The art of the silent kill (1st, Adelaide Chronos Protocol)

Ber 2523

Based on Heartthrob and AKAnderson's 'Killing me softly (a paintbrush & a dagger)', this deck's main trick is to get Dagger with some stealth credit support out very quickly so I can facecheck with impunity. And by lategame, with plenty of Silencer/Cloak support even the biggest of sentries barely slow down runs.

And as per the original design, getting Paintbrush out allows Dagger to take care of other ice too. However, the Atmans, Parasite and Snowball take care of most non-sentry ice anyway, so Paintbrush is not a necessity. (The Atmans at zero strength, and typically at 2 or 4, and the Parasite used with Test Run to pop any annoying zero strength code gates or Mythic ice like pop-up window or Chimera).

Nerve Agent is included as an answer to both NBN rush decks that poorly defend HQ, and any HB Cerebral Imaging decks that will usually hoard Agendas in HQ while looking for combo pieces. It's also great HQ pressure if the game stalls at all.

Dirty Laundry, Daily Casts, Kati Jones, Armitage Codebusting and Aesop's Workshop provide a cheap and flexible economy that often doesn't cost clicks.

I used CyberSolutions Mem Chips for the required MU as space was too tight for Akamatsus/Dyons. And I really don't like using program-hosting hardware such as Dinosaurus or Omnidrives as I find the install-order limitation too slow.

In future, I think I will try out changing a Test Run or two for Clone Chips as sometimes I found Test Runs clogging my grip, but I didn't want to lose the recursion options later in case I lost a key program to a Aggressive Secretary, or wanted my Parasite to do another hit.

22 Apr 2014 Alsciende

Why Snowball and not Inti?

22 Apr 2014 mplain

Hey there! How many people were there at the event?

22 Apr 2014 PlutoNick

According to this, I guess they where 16 people...

22 Apr 2014 Ber

@Alsciende: I went back on forth between Snowball and Inti for a while. But in the end, Kate's discount tipped me to Snowball. I decided the 3 credits was worth it to have a breaker that can take care of Himitsu-Baku or Wall of Static affordably.

@mplain and PlutoNick: Yes, it was 16 players. It was unfortunate that it was run on Easter Saturday, so we lost maybe another 8 players who otherwise would have been there.

23 Apr 2014 KingOfOdonata

I've been playing a version of this deck concept as well. I too have often been finding Test Runs too often just sitting in grip (though I love the idea of Test Running Parasites to remove all the 0/1 Strength ICE). I want to probably take them out for SMCs and Clone Chips. My economy is quite different than yours (though I play an almost identical economy system in my Andromeda deck). Because of how aggressive the deck is and click intensive it can get (through drawing and Paintbrushing), I decided to go with drip and burst economy, as well as even more recurring credits on a console. I've still got a lot of toying around to do and I'd love to get some other tricks and utility into the deck.

23 Apr 2014 AkAnderson

Hey congrats on the victory, glad to see this deck idea getting some love. What decks did you play against that you felt were tough matchups? Which ones did you feel strong against? Like you said, I often find Paintbrush not needed, sadly.

23 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Beauty of a deck. This, this is why we publish deck that someone can take the idea and make it better!

23 Apr 2014 Ber

@AkAnderson: I played 5 decks: a HB big ice deck, an NBN rush deck, and 3 Jinteki RP decks (they've been everywhere in my meta recently).

  • The HB big ice deck never stood a chance, they even rezzed a Janus to try to slow me down but it had no chance against Dagger (the Wotan they had unrezzed on HQ lategame however would have definitely forced out Paintbrush).

  • The NBN rush deck as usual tested the speed of my deck, but I was just fast enough.

  • The first Jinteki RP deck ran a lot of sentries so couldn't keep me out, although I think it was close, down to a turn or two.

  • The next one couldn't keep me out either until they got a Chimera out on R&D after I had discarded most of my program tutors, then managed to get me with double Ronin while I was digging for Atman or a tutor. This one was definitely a loss due to poor play by me - I'd actually seen one of the Ronins around turn 2 and forgot about it :'(

  • The final RP deck tested my econ with masses of asset econ and Encryption Protocols right out the gate, in what was possibly a misplay I trashed them all, but then we went to time sadly. I think I probably would have won otherwise as they were light on ice so within a couple more turns I would have been all over their centrals, probably running for free. (and I had destroyed basically all econ in their deck by then, I think?)

23 Apr 2014 Ber

@AKAnderson: In answer to your last question, the deck has felt strong against everything I've played it against - except that annoying little Chimera! I love playing it!

23 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

I realized early on that Chimera was a problem ice for this style of deck...really Atman's the only way around it in my version but I like that you have Parasite to help out.

Did you ever run into problems drawing into Silencers?

23 Apr 2014 falseidol

I'm curious, because I'm definitely a fan of subbing in nerve agent and parasite, but with parasite (and paintbrush) also requiring a rezzed ICE, and only 1 copy of FAO, have you thought about switching it out for something like a Snitch? It's suboptimal (especially since it further clutters your MU) but with Cybersolutions out, at least Snitch will let you see what strength to set an Atman to? I guess with dagger there aren't TOO many nasty surprises, but an out of faction Bioroid could make for a bad day.

24 Apr 2014 Stentorr

Congratulations for your result !

I tested the concept yesterday without Atlantic and encountered a problem against heavily iced remotes, especially when several sentries are installed and require several stealth credits to get through. Paintbrush was a solution, but a vary slow one. Any feedback about it?

24 Apr 2014 TheTick

I'm curious as to what you typically end up selling to Aesops in this deck? Is it just there to squeeze an extra credit out of Armitage and Daily Casts?

24 Apr 2014 Ber

@falseidol Can't pack an answer to everything! I have a dagger + a couple of stealth credits for it pretty quick, I'm yet to have a nasty surprise ingame yet. I'm right on the edge of MU problems already, Snitch would be trouble I think.

@Stentorr Do you mean without Atman? I actually have never had trouble with too many sentries so far ... sometimes a deck heavy on midstrength EtR barriers and code gates is difficult though. I'm not sure what to suggest, maybe draw more to get more stealth credits out quicker? or play with more pressure (runs) to stop the game going so long? I pretty much run HQ or R&D if I can get into it for cheap/free every turn until the corp spends more money icing it up.

This deck should obliterate almost any number of sentries. I guess adding Dinosaurus back in to get Dagger up to 2 base strength might work for you? If they're getting that many ice up, the game is probably going long enough to get it out.

24 Apr 2014 Ber

@TheTick yep its primarily to sell those income resources. It gets more than a credit though: With Daily Casts, on the turn it starts with 4 credits, you can take 2 credits first, then immediately sell it to Aesops for another 3, netting you both an extra credit, and the money faster - which is significant. And with Armitage, it's both an extra credit and saving a click.

I will also consider selling an excess cloak lategame if I think it will give the edge needed to bust into an agenda remote, but you're right the rest of the rig is not often sold.

Maybe its not worth the deck slots? I really like the speed though.

24 Apr 2014 TheTick

Yeah, they definitely do provide some use. I really like this deck and intend to take it for a spin. I'd love to see some Clone chips in it, though, so was sizing up the Aesop's as possible replacements. There are a lot of program destruction decks running around now a days and having more options of rescuing key breakers is always welcome.

24 Apr 2014 Ber

@TheTick Agreed, some Clone Chips would be great. Very hard to fit though :/ I have changed out some Test Runs for them since the day to try that out.

24 Apr 2014 Ber

@HeartThrob oops I missed your last comment. Re Silencer, yeah I LOVE drawing it - sometimes I had to make do with just Cloaks for a while, which was not ideal due to MU usage, but it never became a huge problem - I usually managed to get a Mem Chip fast enough to then be able to install anything else I needed. I've never had a game where I didn't get some source of stealth credits very quickly.

24 Apr 2014 Stentorr

@ Ber : You got it right, my game was against Jinteki PE with an unprotected HQ and a lot of credits, thus I was too cautious and the game took too long. I run a version closer to Alsciende's, with 2 Corroders and 2 Gordian Blades, and in the end I used Paintbrush against sentries because of the lack of stealth credits !

I think drawing more is one of the key, maybe using Quality Time AND Diesel.

25 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

@Ber: Played this deck several times last night, it played great! Went 2-1, losing to a GRNDL double-scorch when I couldn't get to plascrete. Won to Cerebral Hives CI and GRNDL. It plays much more quickly than mine, I like the Snowball inclusion especially. I did swap out three pieces for Sure Gamble...because that one's a staple for me ;)

25 Apr 2014 PlutoNick

I tested this deck but I had serious problems with HB using tollbooths. Any suggestions?

27 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

A femme perhaps would solve late game Tollbooth issues. Tutor her up in a pinch?

27 Apr 2014 Ber

@Heartthrob: Awesome :) Really cool to hear about you using it and having a good time with it.

@PlutoNick: Hmm that is rough. Maybe Atman at str 5? Run other servers? (you've got good pressure for R&D and HQ after all). FAO would be possible to swap out for Femme if you think you'll need to tangle with tollbooth regularly.

28 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Took it to tourney, it performed very well. As PlutoNick mentioned, I had major issues with late-game tollbooths. I think I will be adding that Femme in for FAO. I used Tinkering much more than Paintbrush (mostly to snipe remotes)...but I did need Paintbrush for late-game.

29 Apr 2014 gudix

mmm... 1 Deux X for 1 Atman ¿?

29 Apr 2014 Ber

@gudix - Deus X is awesome but you only need it in this deck if your meta is heavy on net damage ambushes like Junebug - because Dagger laughs at most of the AP ice.

1 May 2014 Nushura

Have you thought of adding grimoire instead of a memory chip? It also adds 2 memory, costs 3 (or 2 with Kate), and gives a minor benefit for Nerve agent/Parasite. You can get the 2 influence from FAO

2 May 2014 Ber

@Nushura: I hadn't thought of that, and I really like the idea! As you say, its a great source of 2MU. And it'd actually be amazing for the 2 viruses - it would let Parasite insta-kill 1str ice, and Nerve Agent is often played as a 'surprise attack' so the extra access on first run would be significant too.

2 May 2014 Nushura

@Ber Indeed people seem to overlook Grimoire for other fancy results...but the +2 memory for only 3 credits is great (desperado and doppelganger add only 1, so I guess people think Grimo does the same).

I will try the deck with -1 CyberSolutions -1FAO. +1 Grimoire, +1 Deus X. A lot of jinteki nowadays

7 May 2014 Kenan

Hi, I'm starting to get into Netrunner and one thing I don't understand is how you're able to facecheck unrezzed ICE with "impunity". What protects you from the effects of unrezzed non-sentry ICE?

15 May 2014 Ber

@Kenan Potentially I will have to suffer some non-sentry ice ... but as of the time I used this deck Inazuma was not available, so the worst-case scenario for a Barrier or Code Gate is just not that bad - I'll suffer the results of any of them and not really care.

26 May 2014 D3liverance

Are you still playing this deck as is in the current Jinteki heavy environment? I play something similar and found room for some clone chips and Deus X to handle Snare/Junebug/Inazuma + net damage ice. I'm still not sure about the best way to handle face down ice now that Inazuma is seeing heavy play. Any thoughts?

26 May 2014 Ber

I haven't played it against an H&P Jinteki yet (we only got H&P last week!). I agree, Inazuma will be very dangerous for this deck, it will need a decoder for sure now. I'm looking forward to the stealth decoder Refractor in Lunar #3 - 'First Contact', it will be a perfect addition to this deck. In the meantime, I'll probably add a Gordian Blade somehow.

26 May 2014 Ber

Refractor can be seen here:

14 Jun 2014 Kenan

@Ber: so Refractor seems neat. Looks like that and Kit could actually make a solid combination for the basis of a new a stealth-based paintbrush deck. Unlike the dagger build with silencers, all of the core cards are in-faction and Kit gives you the ability to essentially brush the first ICE you encounter, rezzed or not, for free. Only Wotan would need a third stealth credit to pump strength, and you could devote some hardware space to remedy that if you so chose.