Dropout Geist (1st and 3rd, Auckland Regionals)

Fjord 1777

5-1 on the day. The deck has a core that cycles very quickly generating money and answers.

edit: Writeup is in progress but feel free to leave any questions in the meantime and check back later for more.

Rethinking Geist

There are solid cards that simply get better in Geist. Sports Hopper already sees a good amount of play in other runners. Does that make it an auto-include? It adds link for Spike, Shiv and Crowbar, the ‘Geist’ or 'Cloud' breakers. Then you've got link and free MU to start exploring something like Deep Data Mining.

But hold on, with so much of any Geist deck giving instant speed draw, he is already one of the hardest runners to kill. Do you need to dedicate slots to damage protection?

And when playing against Geist breakers, the efficiency is impressive to watch, but they can end up floundering. A third Fracter while you don’t have any Barriers makes you realise that icebreakers are answers not questions. In a diverse corp meta that can make them as situational as any other tech card. When you dedicate a dozen slots to icebreakers, they are your economy’s output and you might find it doesn’t consistently produce what you need.

The Geist Equation

Geist Draws = (Click Draws + Geist Draws) x % Trashable Cards

The more cards Geist draws, the more things he has to trash, and the more he draws. There are only a few cards in Netrunner that are exponential like this, Estelle Moon being one. Another is Off-Campus Apartment, a card rarely seen outside World Champion decks. It has a similar equation and when combined with Geist, the math really starts to take off.

Free Draws = (Click + Geist + Off-Campus) x (% Trashable + % Connections)

The Geist Equation

There are a few ways to interpret this graph but I've got a challenge for you. Click on the info tab and try out the card draw simulator. See how many times you have to click to draw to get through the entire deck (bonus draw each time you hit a connection or trashable card, two if it's both). First attempt I clicked three times, although I wouldn't always trash my Abagnale on turn two! If anyone manages a perfect run take a screenshot, I believe it's doable with lucky Street Peddlers.

Geist still needs to install things of course, including the crucial Off-Campus, but I suspect the deck averages around 30 clicks a game of free draw.

Mulligan and Openings

This deck has some mighty fine looking hands so you need to raise your standards. If it doesn't have Off-Campus Apartment, get rid of it. Unless they play Door to Door turn one, then you really should have looked for Temujin you dingus. That was my loss on the day. I almost turned it around but All Seeing Eye, Closed Accounts and then Media Blitz + Restructured Datapool + Aryabata Tech, traumatizing. In the rematch, I mulliganed Off-Campus away for a turn one Temujin with Employee Strikes to fight the currents and boy was that game easier.

There are three common openings:

  • Off-Campus Apartment, let the games begin
  • Temujin an open server three times
  • Draw, Draw, Street Peddler, Spycam - Pop these for draw at the start of your next turn, aiming for an Off-Campus.

The Gameplan

We've established this deck can draw like no other. What does that do for you? Well, power cards like Account Siphon and Temujin Contract show up at a very high frequency. You'll be able to find key tech cards cards for each match-up, Aaron Marron, Film Critic, Employee Strike. When they go horizontal, you'll have Aeneas Informant and Desperado ready. Any glacier that sits back will quickly fall behind your connection engine.

There's no key strategy, the deck simply seems to always produce the answers you need while efficiently sniping points with Spy Camera and Mad Dash.

Things I had to Learn

Actually there might be a key strategy, keep digging hard. There are tricks like Maxwell James and Inside Job in the deck but eventually your rig will be tested. Mammon and Femme can usually hold it down on their own for the midgame. Street Peddlers will chunk through your deck for just-in-time delivery of your breakers.

Don't save cards for the perfect situation. Dean Lister is your litmus test, if you've got him installed at the end of the game you need to be more trashy. Don't be afraid to pop a Fall Guy with no Tech Traders installed, the acceleration and tempo it provides generally surpasses the efficiency loss in the long run.

Oh, uh keep one Fall Guy around if you can though, I keep finding new things that kill Off-Campus Apartment (Elizabeth Mills, Best Defense).

The deck is very responsive to tuning, it's an answer delivery system so definitely adapt it for your local meta. I'll just caution that it's very easy to end up drawing duplicates or too many expensive cards. My initial version had 2 Dean Lister, 3 Maxwell James, more breakers, more tricks. Streamlined works better.

15 Jul 2017 Treiclon

How often was Levy played? Did you have no troubles with only Femme as your Killer? How did Mammon perform?

15 Jul 2017 BizTheDad

What an interesting composition. I can imagine this helps with the asset spam matchup quite a bit.

15 Jul 2017 Fjord

@Treiclon I'm not a fan of putting Levy into every runner but it's not just a safety net here. Use it just about every game.

Femme came in for Mongoose after testing this week and has been doing work. With a light rig, being able to deal with a boardstate on her own and guarantee a run is great. Sentries aren't as scary as they used to be; or maybe Barriers, Codegates and Operations have just gotten meaner! The deck has plenty of money and instant card draw which takes care of half of them, if you lose a program there's some redundancy and the levy.

Mammon is really interesting, he feels bad to play. You really have to take a step back and think about the effect he had on the game. Corps are scared of him, just the threat will buy you time. Often you'll see a couple lines of play (spy cam before making mammon decision), load a few counters onto Mammon and find the corp just lets you walk all over them. It'll feel like you wasted two credits but actually he did his job nicely. There's also the Dean Lister + Mammon dream, crushing a giant glacier. The deck has too many tricks to let it come to that though.

15 Jul 2017 Fjord

@BizTheDadIt's got a solid winrate against Moon but man that's a tough matchup. Credits aren't usually an issue but sometimes even trashing 3 assets per turn isn't enough. The Cams let you know when to duck over and grab a point so you can focus on containing them.

16 Jul 2017 BizTheDad

@Fjord Most of the time I've noticed that you don't need to trash them but you at least need to check them. Aeneas Informant lets you do that without sacrificing so much momentum.

16 Jul 2017 Linger

@Fjord interesting deck! well piloted! look like its similar to camera Hayley deck that was brutal on past Regional. You haven't got a room for a clot in this deck. If you get to Match-up against hasty CI or San-san x3 biotics HB-moon? ...what is an answer for fast advance deck (non-glaciers).

17 Jul 2017 Fjord

Hey @Linger, yeah it is similar to Camera Hayley isn't it? I think it's actually stronger in a few key ways.

Hayley speeds up combo set-up but Geist himself is actually a great combo piece. This combo deck can accelerate past most runners on turn 1 with an opening of Off-Campus Apartment into Street Peddler.

It keeps up a steady stream of pressure on the Corp with Account Siphon. With the amount of extra draw you generate it feels like you're running five copies. And how does five copies of Temüjin Contract sound? It's enough to contest horizontal decks or pressure the corp to ice archives.

You're right though, there's fast advance in the top meta decks. The last minute change I was itching to make was adding The Source with the dream of pulling it off a Street Peddler. Fall Guy and Film Critic are there to support it so it might work. All my previous tuning had been to cut slower card and silver bullets so I decided against it.