Fun Cards Kate - Aldershot GNK 2017

TR1S 590

heckin costly

I don't like expensive things.

Like the cat.

Inspiration

This deck emerged out of a simple observation - Inversificator is really expensive to install.

Like really expensive.

Almost comical really.

So when deciding what I wanted to play for the GNK I decided that I was bored of Blandy as my go to alternative to Whizz, and I sure as hell wasn't going to be "that guy" who turns up with fully teched out decks just to grab a promo. So instead I opted to go with a Shaper, after finding Cache Refresh Ayla fun to play. I decided to keep the core of that deck - Mopus and the Gauntlet - because they were cards that I enjoyed using and give your deck some good flexibility. Of course, this is an expensive rig and you really want some way of off-setting the cost so that you don't end up destitute and unable to play cards (which is generally not that fun). The lesson I had learned from Cache Refresh was that Modded made installing super expensive things like Inversificator and the Gauntlet palatable, so it went in as a three of. In order to take full value of this and avoid the potentially awkward situation of drawing into the Modded after having installed an expensive thing, I decided to go with some other expensive hardware that could serve as a target for the discount. The upside to R&D Interface is that it is not turned off by Crisium Grid and pairs well with equivocation - a card that I have really enjoyed. A one of CyberSolutions Mem Chip means that you can have an enormous rig of 8 programs, allowing you to have both Clot and Tapwrm on the table if necessary and it also means that you don't end up in situations early on where you have to choose between Mopus and a breaker, or a Tapwrm given that you have 3 sources of +2 MU. Kate further enhances this as it means you can Modded out an RDI or most of your programs for free, or install your console or a Mopus for 1.

I then realised that I could get further value out of Modded by adding in everyone's favourite new Martian hangout. Two seemed correct given that you aren't in desperate need of drip as a result of having both Tapwrm and Mopus as economy options, but it is nice to be able to get drip going and you have a fair few targets for it in the second Gauntlet, spent SMCs, and your other events. Of course, Bloose costs 4 as well meaning that I ran back into the same problem of heckin expense. Career Fair has been a card I love playing in Andy for the discount so I decided to spend some of my influence on three copies of that. This also meant that I could now justify a card I really like but often struggle to find the tempo to install - Laguna Velasco - which is really good if you are only paying 2 for it. Having three also meant that I would see it early and could feed the others to the Moose.

It then got a few meta related choices, and the result was a slightly wonky Kate deck that has been enormously good fun to play.

The Game Plan

As this deck is primarily built around taking advantage of discounts and durdling, your game plan is actually fairly straightforward: find Laguna, find your Mopus/Moose/Tapwrm+Saccons, install them with the relevant reducer and then build your board from there. Of course, your opening hand and draw can change the order in which you do this, but the early game typically devolves into a cycle of: draw, then take money, then install a program or piece of hardware, then install a resource. What you will find is that once one of your key pieces is on the board you will accelerate quite quickly and establish a very formidable rig. As you have in built HQ pressure in the Gauntlet, the next step is to try as best as possible to pressure HQ until you are happy that it is clear, or the corp shows no indication of wanting to protect it and then locking R&D so they can't win. Clot will help you achieve this by allowing you to periodically check remotes and turn off fast advance and three saccons and two clone chips will ensure that the corp is better off just leaving it than trying to contest it. In matchups where you are sure the corp isn't going to try and fast advance, Tapwrm then becomes a major headache for the corp for the same reason. The deck does try to win the late game so you need to be willing to sacrifice a few early agendas to advance your game rather than attempting to contest everything. Keep your cool while the pressure mounts and the deck will reward you.

It's takes a bit of a build up but it is fun to put lots of things on the table and respond to your opponents quizzical expression when you install CyberSolutions MemChip with a cryptic: "don't worry, I will make sure its used".

Performance

Unsurprisingly this deck isn't going to set any meta on fire. It does not have the speed to compete with many decks and can suffer a bit from awkward starts. That said, it has some game against mediocre moons players who struggle to play around a clot with multiple saccons, and can go toe to toe with AgInfusion so long as you don't let them score a second Nisei Mk II. The emphasis is on having a deck that is fun to play around with rather than beating tier one, but it is surprisingly robust for a deck that is playing modded in 2017.

In the GNK it went 2-2 with the two losses being due to my own mistakes rather than a problem with the choices in the deck. In a game against Jammy HB, I went for an ill-advised last click run in an attempt to try and bleed the corp of some credits which resulted in me having to burn a clone chip for an SMC to install Gordian. This meant that I sacrificed the threat of clot that had kept my opponent from winning and he scored via biotic the following turn. If I had simply taken money and played more cautiously, I could have avoided that problem. Against an Armored Servers BABW, I made the mistake of contesting an Atlas after the titular agenda had been scored. A Komainu into a Cobra later I was flatlined, but I could have avoided that by being more aggressive and preventing my opponent from scoring the Armored Servers a few turns earlier.

Changes

Savvier players may notice that there is no meat damage protection in the deck. That is a deliberate omission based on the fact that I wasn't expecting to face any 24/7 Boom decks on the day. Instead, the tech was a Levy and a SoT in the flex slots to deal with any awkward Jinteki decks that I might face. In hindsight, I would have been better off playing 2x Daily Casts to give myself a few more Career Fair targets, but those two slots are flexible for your particular meta.

Go have some fun with it. I sure as hell did.

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