let'SS gO! 4-0 at Stevenage Regionals (I came fifth!)

I Am Jessica 131

Hello! So, um... I don't really know what to say. I'm not a very good player and a terrible deckbuilder, but I went to a regional and came 5th! I only missed out on the top four cut by narrow strength of schedule difference. I went 6-2 overall, but my SSO was amazing! 4-0 amazing, and pretty much all the games were 10 minutes or less.

All the credit needs to go to Alexis Spicer for giving me the spine of this deck (that I somehow didn't destroy when reworking!) and for just generally being the best. Also, I workshopped this a bit on Slack and people had several helpful suggestions, so thank you all for that! The adorable(?) name is me, though. To remind me to go fast.

Important note: this is not a Cayambe SSO deck! It is an SSO. It has Cayambe. But it wants to go as fast as possible and ideally win before ever installing Cayambe. Cayambe is there to sure things up if the game goes longer than you want it to.

I don't remember all these games that well, but I'll try and get the important bits in!

My aim for Stevenage was winning one game with each runner and corp ID, and I lost my first runner game so I wasn't feeling so great going into my first SSO.

Game one: I was against Leela, who's really scary and made me change plans a bit. I had a medium start, ice and money cards, so I did that. I managed to score an early Hostile and not get Diversioned by installing the Hostile and leaving it a turn. My ice placement was also not the best early, and the Leela bounce allowed me to put a Border Control on HQ. I got to 4 points, then an Engolo came down. My 3-ice remote was three Code Gates, so the game was turning against me, but thankfully I managed to draw the Biotic and Biotic + Red Planet Couriers out for the win! I did not rez... any ice this game? I may be forgetting, but I don't think I did. Leela never contested the remote, and maybe only ran centrals a couple of times at most? When I didn't have money to rez.

Second game was... a Shaper... Jes! (How could I forget that?) I don't remember the start, but I managed to get an early 3-pointer and started SSOing. They stole 3-points, so it's 3-3. I scored a Hostile, then mandatory drew a 3-pointer at the perfect time to Biotic + Red Planet. I forgot about Clot threat, but thankfully they didn't have it! I don't think I rezzed any ice this game. I don’t remember a lot about this game? It was quick.

Third game was Leela again! A different Leela. Kinda slow, playing Gang Sign and the Supplier. I remember this one better, because I mulliganed a hand of 7 points and two operations for seven points and two operations. Thankfully, first mandatory was a Mausolus, so I installed a City Works, installed Mausolus over it and gained a credit. Either they didn’t run, or they missed on R&D, I can’t remember. They didn’t run HQ. I managed to score it, then scored a Hostile a couple of turns later, forgetting Leela's bounce :( but survived! No Diversion. I got a remote of 2 ice built, with Hortum and Wormhole advanced (Wormhole on the outside - not ideal, but it worked out!). They had Aumakua and were running R&D and HQ a lot and missing, thankfully. I couldn’t afford to rez ice early. On 4 points, I install and single advance a City Works. They Inside Job it, with a fracter, killer and Aumakua installed. I rez Wormhole, with no other ice rezzed, but it takes the Inside Job bypass, and then I rez Hortum! It gives me the money back so I can Biotic + quadruple advance next turn, and I grab two cards from R&D I don’t need, as I already have the Biotic. They then ran R&D, and stole a Hollywood, but they ran the remote first, so all the ice was rezzed and the Inside Job was gone. They bounce other R&D ice. At some point, a Border Control on HQ and Masvingo on R&D were rezzed. I may have rezzed ice in one other game, but I didn’t rez more than 5 all day. Ooh, there was a Maw in this game. I got a bit lucky with Maw hits, and we forgot a Maw trigger on the R&D steal that could have hit the Biotic on a 1 in 5, but I don’t think they could have got into the remote and I had Punitive in hand as a follow up to the 6-damage from City Works, so I think I had it either way?

Game four was 419. SSO is the best corp against 419, at least for me. I lose horribly every time, but I won this game 7-0 in quick time! Face-up agendas and Rashida don’t really care too much about 419’s ability, and they seemed unsure what to do, as their credit denial plan was weak against a deck that can rez big ice for free and bounce back from low credits with Mass Commercialization! I had a great start, got to three points, but they were building an impressive board. They ran my remote and cleared out the Cayambe and a Rashida while I couldn’t rez ice. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to win if I didn’t close soon, but thankfully, another Rashida drew me a Hostile and a City Works Project! I scored the Hostile, then, next turn, Biotic + Red Planeted for the win! They installed a Kati the turn before I won. That combo really comes out of nowhere.

Most important cards:

All the agendas. They are perfect. Hollywood would be better as a ‘may’, as you really don’t want to place counters on ice before SSO fires, but there isn’t another face-up 3-pointer.

Rashida. We all know how great Rashida is. Drawing cards is soo important in a deck that wants to go really fast.

Biotic Labor + Red Planet. This combo won me ¾ of my games, and one of those, the first, I don’t think I had much chance of winning without it. It’s annoying, but useless early unless you want to detooth your ice and start over. I like it!

Mass Commercialization and Too Big to Fail. Being able to bounce up from low credits is soo important. The Biotic + Red Planet combo is expensive. You can frequently play Mass Comms for 10+ credits.

Archived Memories. Just as a follow on from the above, a fourth Mass Comms in desperation for 10+ credits can get you back up and running. Also, if key operations like Biotic or Red Planet get trashed. It’s Archived Memories… it’s just good.

Hortum, Mausolus, Asteroid Belt, Wormhole. These ice turn on with SSO’s ability and allow you to rez strong and powerful ice for cheap/free with your first five credits. Wormhole is blank early, but as soon as you get another End the Run rezzed, it’s so tough for any breaker to deal with not named Engolo.

Border Control. Of course.

Cyberdex Virus Suite. It only played a role in one game, but taking a full turn purging Aumakua is the worst thing for an SSO that wants to go fast. Purging when they accessed on HQ made the remote safe for several turns, and when it’s in archives, it means they have to spend money charging it back up again and not just running Archives.

Other cards:

DRM! I only saw this once all day. It was late in a game when I had six points in hand, so did nothing, but cutting it would be a huge mistake. I had a weird, agenda-heavy day of draw, so I almost always had an agenda when I wanted one, but if you don’t get an agenda in the first three turns, you fall so far behind.

Dedication Ceremony. I never played one all day, but it’s combination with City Works to make one almost unstealable, or set-up the Punitive, I think is too strong to cut.

Cayambe Grid. As I said, this is not a Cayambe deck, so I’m not surprised it didn’t do much, but it’s definitely good as a 1x.

Special Report. This is a holdover from the singular change I made to Alexis’ original deck. It was good for resetting your hand and getting a 3-pointer when you desperately needed one, or scrambling for Punitive, but with DRM now, I’m doubtful it’s good enough. It didn’t come up, so I’m no closer to answering that question, really. The deck is an influence short anyway, so the 3 influence could maybe be better put elsewhere, but I have no idea where.

Guard. Okay, so this is going to be the biggest eyebrow-raiser, and it’s maybe partly there because I love it, but sentries in SSO are a really weak point, and an early End the Run sentry that is immune to bypass feels like it deserves a place over Nebula, which isn’t really good early or late game? It is a 1x so it’s a real gamble as to whether or not you find it early, and it doesn’t hurt like Hortum or Mausolus, but I still think it has a place.

So ice was the thing I didn’t learn much about here. As I said, I only rezzed about five ice all day. It’s possible some numbers are wrong. 1 Ice Wall and 2 Masvingo could be swapped, maybe it should be 3x Mausolus or Asteroid Belt, and the Guard will be a popular candidate for being cut (damn you!). This deck also used to have Crisium, but I think Cayambe and Cyberdex are stronger. But I definitely would not recommend messing with the core of this deck.

This deck is soo much fun! I love SSO, and this is the best SSO I’ve ever played (again, 99% down to Alexis and the Slack community). If I’d have played any other corp, I’d have struggled to win a single game. I also think SSO in general is really strong at the minute. Maybe not the strongest, but people really are unsure how to play against it, or how next turn is going to look.

Please, take it and have fun!

Thank you!

*Update 5/10/19 - Thank you all for making this deck decklist of the week!!! My first ever one. This is amazing! I haven't really played much more since, just a couple of JNet games, but a friend suggested the Special Report could become a second Archived Memories and I like that suggestion! At least unless someone else has any other suggestions? Thank you all again! x *Update 6/10/19 - So it seems really apparent this deck doesn't work well when played more like a traditional corp, so I just want to add an extra bit that may help, and just say almost whenever I have a choice between suring up centrals or really anything, and getting a 3-pointer going/protecting it further in a remote, I'll choose the agenda play. You want to do anything to get to 4 points as quickly as possible (whilst also protecting from Diversion and such, of course).

29 Sep 2019 robotmascot

This writeup managed to answer pretty much every question I would ask, so mostly using the comment space to note that I really appreciate the overview - games - card choices format.

29 Sep 2019 I Am Jessica

Thank you!

30 Sep 2019 Cliquil

Great write up; its good to really understand the choices and compromises. Well done on your great placement.

30 Sep 2019 I Am Jessica

Thank you so much!

1 Oct 2019 zmb

Congrats on the win! It is true you dont want to advance with Hollywood Renovation but read the card, it is a may :-) I like the inclusion of Digital Rights Management as a 2 of (think I only run one but will consider upping it to two). How has Special Report been working out for you? Both Punitive, RPC and Biotics require a lot of money, have you considered Death and Taxes or Paywall Implementation?

1 Oct 2019 I Am Jessica

Thank you! ... oh gosh, it is a may! I never realised. That makes it soo much better. The Special Report did a bit in early games, but as I said, since DRM, it's really been a mostly dead card. A current is an interesting idea, and Death and Taxes can make crazy money... I'll look into that. Thank you so much!

5 Oct 2019 themeanlady

SSO is the best!!! I'm so glad that you did well with it :D

5 Oct 2019 I Am Jessica

Thank you so much Alexis! SSO is the best!!!

6 Oct 2019 Vortilion

Maybe I'm too stupid to play SSO, but I tried this deck several games now and ALWAYS had to rezz all my ICE. Also I was having horrible credit problems and no runner had any problems getting in.... :-(

6 Oct 2019 I Am Jessica

Ohh I'm sorry :( Yeah, I don't really know what to suggest... as far as the rezzing ice goes, that probably was just a fluke thing that I was drawn against four runners that weren't very quick and aggressive, I've had other games where I did rez more ice. I've never found the credit problems too long-lasting, though, unless you can't get your SSO ability to fire. It is definitely a deck with a certain playstyle that really suits me, and doesn't work at all when you play it more traditionally (as seen on the Metropole Grid this past week). It's not a deck that can keep runners out too well once they're set up, which is why most of the wins then come from Biotic + Red Planets, so it's possible you need to try going faster? Leaving centrals kinda open to get the 3-pointer going is usually what I do.

6 Oct 2019 Vortilion

Hey @I Am Jessica, don’t worry about that, I‘m kind of the worst player there is, so it’s not your Deck. ;) Your answer did give me some insight though, especially your last sentence. I’m always afraid of leaving the centrals open, especially against Criminal... or shaper with FC and Kyhusuk. I‘ll keep on trying!

7 Oct 2019 Imperialcreed

I took a slightly tweaked version of this to Worlds 2019 and it was far and away the best of all my decks I played through the weekend. Thanks for a great list and the inspiration!

7 Oct 2019 Vortilion

@Imperialcreed Would you be so kind to post your version of this deck?

7 Oct 2019 Imperialcreed

@Vortilion No worries, should be up now netrunnerdb.com

7 Oct 2019 I Am Jessica

Thank you Imperialcreed! I'm so glad you liked it and it did well for you! x

31 Dec 2019 I Am Jessica

Okay, so this was a while ago! The game has changed a bit, and so has the deck! Not that much, but a bit. Guard still makes it! The current list is -1 Ice Wall, +1 Colossus, - 1 Special Report, -1 DRM, +2 Red Level Clearance (finally using all that influence!). I'm toying with the idea of Akhet but... that costs money, and Asteroid Belt doesn't, and I don't know what else I'd cut for it. Akhet would likely be better for a slower SSO but turn one Asteroid Belt rush is so much better, as you still have money for rezzing something else or whatever you need. I'm still loving the deck!