Hydra (1st place Preston Regional +)

Cerberus 4611

This deck took me to 1st place at Preston Regionals (38 people). It also went undefeated for my apprentice at the Hockley Regional getting him to the top 4. It went undefeated for him at the Find the Truth open. Finally, Dan (Phoenix) took a variation of this to 2nd place at the Swansea Regional, dropping a single game in the final. In the weeks of testing I've seen this deck lose once to flood, it is a very strong deck.

This deck is heavily inspired by sirris deck, which I looked at and thought that Tech Startup was a phenomenal choice of tutor for spicy tech. I opted for IT Department because it is very easy to lock out games with it, but also because my ice is so taxing, dragging the runner through it to trash IT Department is often enough to give you scoring windows. My next choice for tech was Blacklist, I was playing this before Moose was out and it caught a lot of Conspiracy breakers and generally was very effective at creating lock out or scoring windows. Finally I kept Contract Killer to deal with Film Critic but it also hit Kati and Pro Co and occasionally gives you a flatline victory.

The game plan for the deck is very flexible, hence the name Hydra. It can play standard glacier, it can rush out a Nisei early behind cheap ice, or it can create lock out using Blacklist or IT Department. It is often worth putting an ETR ice and face check ice on a remote and jamming IT Department, if the runner cannot find their breakers and deal with the Ag ability they'll likely lose to the lock. Even of they can deal with it, it's incredibly taxing and will create opportunities for you.

This deck generates a lot of concedes in tournament play, and can be slow, therefore I'd always ensure you play a fast runner deck.

Variations - we are currently testing variations without Contract Killer, and playing GFI with the influence with Melange as additional economy.

Match ups - this deck is very strong across the board, having good match ups against Reg Andy, Siphon Whizz, and lock Shaper decks. I believe reg whizz has been most challenging to date, but believe that a change to the ice suite helps to resolve much of this. Testing Tithonium has proven successful to date.

This deck is a bit of a monster, you should try it! (Or shout at me for using IT Department)

25 comments
7 Aug 2017 Cacoethesvictor

I've gone 11-0 with this deck in regional level tournament play. If you don't have any hate against this deck you lose. Hydra is a monster!

7 Aug 2017 leachrode

This deck is incredibly strong. I played against @Cacoethesvictorat the FTT Open on Saturday with a fairly regular Andy, got a respectable start with money and all 3 breakers (after being shown Cortex Lock, DNA Tracker Chiyashi, Chiyashi with a Celeb Gift turn 1) before all 3 centrals were double iced and the IT Department went into the remote. It got 3 counters, I was very slightly too poor to get in and trash it on that turn and from that point on the game felt absolutely over, a couple of turns later I hit a strength 20+ Chiyashi and conceded.

I've spent the last couple of days trying to think of a way to get any game against it without loading a deck with ludicrous tech that's dead everywhere else (Feint is not a sensible card) and I'm still struggling.

Congrats on assembling an actual monster @Cerberus + @Cacoethesvictor :p

7 Aug 2017 yeoda

All the cool kids on Ag. I really want to try this. May need some coaching. congratulations, man.

7 Aug 2017 Phoenix

As Cerberus said, I took this deck to Swansea Regional on Saturday, came second and dropped one game with it in the final to a deck built to beat it off the back of hearing about it the week before....

I haven't been beaten on Jinteki.net.

Stupidly good deck. @Cerberus and I need to stop discussing deck ideas at lunchtime for the good of the community......

7 Aug 2017 Cerberus

@yeoda if you ever want to chat nets you are always welcome to drop me a message.

7 Aug 2017 maxey

I was expecting more lotus since itd lotus is horrible for reg whizz.

7 Aug 2017 Revelations

Problem is that Lotus Field sucks in every other matchup. Definitely something to consider though!

7 Aug 2017 Cerberus

@maxey I'd play more now I think, as well as make other changes as I said above, but this was the original version.

7 Aug 2017 Cliquil

Can you talk through your thought process when somebody plays Employee Strike? Do you essentially shrug, and then attempt to score using Caprice's usual power?

Do you also think that part of the strength of this deck is that Pol Op is less common around the place?

7 Aug 2017 Cerberus

@Cliquil you'll find Strike is played against you very often. However until the runner finds strike it leaves them with a large problem. This allows you to rush or set up your lock early. This deck presumes its ability will be turned off, it doesn't rely on it, but uses the time it gives to further its game plan.

7 Aug 2017 sirris

Glad to see a hall-of-famer taking my jank and actually making it good. Well done Dave!

8 Aug 2017 Sixtyten

Surprisingly similar to my own list without the IT department filth. Strike and sifr/parasite is a major problem (thanks Tim). Also faced a snitch/au revoir deck on Saturday that did the business before I could score. I had been testing melange earlier this month and it's good if you can afford the clicks. I swapped for more event econ in the end. I like the use of sweeps in Dan strong's deck.

8 Aug 2017 theboycobra

Do you feel that the ITD is only a viable decision in timed tournament matches? Back when it was a bit more of a staple in HB Glacier, the issue was often getting timed wins rather than scoring out.

8 Aug 2017 Phoenix

@Sixtyten the version I was running on Saturday was

-3 Obokata Protocol, -1 The Future Perfect, -1 Contract Killer, -1 Tech Startup, -1 Tollbooth, -1 Restructure, -1 Philotic Entanglement

+3 Global Food Initiative, +1 Executive Boot Camp, +1 Melange Mining Corp., +1 Tithonium, +3 Corporate Sales Team

The Boot camp was included to help combat Dyper/Au Revoir and can be more flexible then Tech Startup (plus I had an influence left). The other changes I made were from discussions with @Cerberus.

As to Sifr/Parasite, I think the answer is likely more Lotus Field but it is so expensive.

@theboycobra yes a lot of games do run long. I know @Cerberus had a few games go to time. I was lucky that my opponents tended to concede when they were locked out so we could play the second game.

8 Aug 2017 Cerberus

``@Sixtyten` this is what I'm good at, taking the shell of a solid deck and adapting it for the meta or generally making it better. You'll find most solid cards that Ag play, I'm not trying to get too cute. The reason this deck is good is the surprise tech cards, Blacklist lock out wins games, same with IT Department. I imagine it will be worse now I've published it, but that just means I need to build something else.

8 Aug 2017 spags

Fantastic build! I have been working on Aginf from the get, and am impressed. Being able to successfully leverage one of my all-time faves, Blacklist, warms my cold, dead heart.

8 Aug 2017 d1en

Took this list to Montreal Regionals with some tinkers; lost one game to SIFR Whizzard and another to time being called in the cut, but given more time I believe I could've stabilized and had a chance to win it out. I made 3rd after Swiss in Montreal and I even had someone concede because IT Department got very out of hand. The list is very strong and very terrifying to run against. Glad there is so much love given to this list.

9 Aug 2017 Nembras

I assume you are creating a second remote to put in your tech assets. If so, how do you manage to protect all your servers? From my experience with ETF & RP glaciers, even with 18 ice it's hard to protect centrals and a scoring remote, what with the ice costing money to install and rez and all that.

9 Aug 2017 Phoenix

@Nembras From my play with the deck, you spend most of the game with one remote. You need to decide are you rushing or going for a lock. You use that remote to advance that game plan. Once a lock is established (assuming that is your plan) you can create a once ice second remote to score out of. The art is choosing your win con early and/or knowing when to switch mid game.

9 Aug 2017 Nembras

That makes sense, thanks @Phoenix. In a way, that's akin to putting your econ asset in your main remote until you're ready to score.

9 Aug 2017 ChairmanHiro

Would PolOp br decent tech for this? You could stop blacklist and IT with an early polop drop.

9 Aug 2017 Nembras

Inside job into hq just to play polop is one of my favourite plays out of crim

9 Aug 2017 Phoenix

Yes, but I could name so many different tech cards which shut down or cause problems for the deck (Sifr, Parasite, D4v1d, Inside Job, Femme Fatale, PolOp etc.) but the point is that so few of them are actually played regularly or played in combination that this was the meta call we made. Even PolOp can be played around (Friends, for example).

9 Aug 2017 Murse

NO! IT Department. ...NO!

13 Aug 2017 saetzero

I always endorse ITD!

:D <3