The Thing That Should Not Be

omegalife2002 2726

This is my Harmony Medtech build, and it is a beast. It's current record is 12-1 (the only loss came from a friend playing it for the first time against me) and shows no sign of slowing down.

The main advantage of this ID is that it provides no opportunity for the runner to slow down and regain control. The runner has to constantly maintain pressure lest he be outscored in 3-4 turns. This leads to runners making mistakes they wouldn't normally make. I usually win by scoring 6 points (it's alarmingly easy), but I have often won by kill too. Interestingly, if you notice, going for the kill is not the aim of this deck. Instead, damage is simply used to slow the runner down. But, funny things can happen like killing the runner with Yagura :P

Agendas:

Braintrust - Simply a 3/2 agenda that gets points. Sucks a little when these get stolen

Medical Breakthrough - This card is GOOD, like Astro good. Honestly, you kind of want the first one to get stolen. That brings down the next one to a 3/2, and then you can fast track the other one for an easy 2/2. One game, threw 2 of these and MHC down in open remotes. Runner hit 1 of them (just like I hoped), then on my turn, got a buck from MHC and scored the other. Next turn, scored the other from hand and we were at match point. That just feels good :)

NAPD Contract - Everybody knows this agenda is awesome and in here is works great. Because of how much pressure the runner is under, they often have just enough money to get into a server. I have seen many NAPD’s just stared at and put back down.

Philotic Entanglement - God, kills me that this is only a 1 per deck! Again, another 3/2 and it slows the runner down if they scored anything. While I prefer to score this if they have already stolen 1-2 agendas, but I’ll score it right away if need. You are preferably scoring an agenda at least every 1-2 turns, 3 at the most.

Assets:

Jackson Howard - What can be said? He does whatever you need. Draw, archive saves, etc. He also works great as a bluff. I rarely end up keeping him on the board long, so I’ll stick him in a protected server and let the runner run it thinking he’s an agenda. This tactic works great in this deck. Everything starts to look like an agenda.

Mental Health Clinic - This is a fun card. Again, I’m not trying to flatline the runner, so the 1 plus card doesn’t bother me. Instead the runner is faced with a problem: let me have 1 credit or spend 3 and not get an extra card…. hmmm :) I’ll also use this as a bluff

Snare! - Again, slow them down and make them fear you. It can kill, but usually not unless is gets pulled towards the end of the game when they get desperate and reckless. I sometimes use this as an agenda bluff, but only if the runner has proven that they will run everything that I lay down. Otherwise, keep it in hand for when Celebrity shows up.

Upgrades:

Caprice Nisei - She is boss. Shoot, often I’ll throw her down,immediately rezz and the runner ignores that server the rest of the game. Perfect….

SanSan City Grid - Strictly speaking, you don’t NEED this to win, but it sure helps. At the very least, you soak up 5 credits on the trash. Then you just Jackson it back in...

Operations:

Celebrity Gift - Not much to say. Makes money when you don’t have a lot.

Fast Track - This is pretty recent addition. I found that I was often digging for the last agenda I needed. Now I can just tutor it up into a hand of Snares and operations

Hedge Fund - Yup

Medical Research Fundraiser - So, most people have been going back and forth on this card. I like it a lot, but only in the right situation. You have to be careful when you play. If the runner ended their turn with 0-3 credits, then DO NOT play this card. The better time to play this is when the runner is already flush with credits and getting 3 more won’t make much difference. Typically anything over 10 and I’ll play it if I need it. Again, another thing a lot of corps seem to forget is that you shouldn't be blowing through all your money cards as soon as they hit your hand. Hang onto them until you need them. They pad out your HQ and can surprise the runner.

ICE:

Wall of Static - Go get your Corroder buddy….

Quandary - Go get your Yog

Yagura - A great little piece of ice, best on R&D of course

Grim - Use this to trash whatever will slow down the runner the most.

Guard - Perfect for remote servers and sneaking out an agenda. Also forces a sentry break to come out

Komainu - I didn't know what to think of this before, but I freaking love this ice! Sure, it dies to Parasite but no ice is perfect. No matter what, this ice puts a hardship on the runner. Pay 5 credits to get through with a full hand, or drop dangerously low to make it cheap. Interestingly, half the card is taxing, the other half sets up a kill. Very cool

Pup - Taxing. Love it. Put it on R&D

Swordsman - This is my little surprise ice. If nobody is playing Atman or Knight or Crypsis or Overmind, then you don’t need it. But I’m going to hazard a guess and say that those are showing up a lot these days. :)

Tsurugi - Taxing. Also, slim chance, but can setup a kill too. Great ice

Anyway, still playing around with the exact composition of everything (thinking about how Mushin can fit into the deck and possibly Shi.Kyū) but I’m pretty stinking happy with how it is performing currently. Give it a spin and let me know how it goes!

45 comments
6 May 2014 Exo

I think I played Jinteki once, a while ago. It always seems to me that it was all about the runner mistake's if you win or not. But this ID seem to change that game and your deck seems pretty badass. I'll give it a try for sure.

6 May 2014 omegalife2002

Exo - I know exactly what you mean. I have played Jinteki from the start and it always felt like so much was out of your control. Not with this deck. This deck "bluffs" they way that I feel Jinteki was meant to from the beginning. I am not simply waiting for the runner to make a bad decision; I am dictating the pace of the game and the runner suffers because they are not used to that.

6 May 2014 omegalife2002

One thing I feel is worth mentioning: Don't get freaked out when the runner scores 4 points. Several of my games have had the runner at 4 points (even sometimes before I had anything on the board). You have to accept that the runner will steal agendas. You have to be ok with playing at match point for both sides. It's ok. Remember, you are dictating the pace. Fast Track that last agenda and show 'em whose boss!

6 May 2014 Exo

Thanks for the advise ! :)

6 May 2014 cholas

Love this. Can't wait to give it a spin!

7 May 2014 Rkans

I play a deck very similar to this one, just some variants in ICE and don't have jackson( haven't bought the pack yet). Went 9-1 with mine and 5 of the wins are from adv. Philotic Entanglement when the runner has 4 points and 3 or less cards . You be surprised that you net damage out a lot more then just getting the 6 to win.

7 May 2014 Dydra

I think this deck would work perfectly fine without San San's and could easily run 3x Biotic Labor instead

7 May 2014 tzukimi

Dydra - Losing the Jacksons would mean having no card draw which would also mean an easier time being R&D locked. Jackson also works well to recurr those SanSans/Caprice/Snares. I really dont think there is any room in here for 3 BLs

7 May 2014 Exo

Jackson is good to get rid of a hand full of agenda too. You trash them by drawing with JH and protect the Archvies. When you see the runner gonna get through, you trash Jackson to bring them back. A litte better in decks that use more agenda thought.

7 May 2014 omegalife2002

Rkans - Remember, Philotic Entanglement says "each agenda", not "each agenda point". So with this deck build, the most you can do is 2 net damage.

7 May 2014 omegalife2002

Jackson works great in this deck because he just does so many things. I rarely have to use him to shove agendas back into R&D, so I'm usually shoving more useful stuff like Caprice and money cards. Also, and this holds true for the SanSan's, he is great for forcing the runner through a server they don't want to go down. Since you can get to match point so easily and quickly, they start feeling the need to run everything you put down. This allows you to slowly drain their economy to the point that you open up a scoring window. This even proved true when facing up against Magnum Opus last night.

Also, record is now 15-1... :)

7 May 2014 bubo

I really like the feel of this deck, omegalife2002. It seems like a solid mix, and your record so far is in line with that.

Snare! is a card that I always enjoy, but under Harmony Medtech I would suggest comparing it to Shi.Kyu instead. It costs a little more and loses the R&D protection, but the potential to give -1 Agenda points in this environment can be powerful. You'll be forcing the Runner to choose between recovering from damage to the hand or having to steal 1 more Agenda over the Corp. Plus, if they opt for negative Agenda Points, then Shi.Kyu also interacts with Philotic Entanglement.

Shiro is an expensive piece of ICE, but it is essentially a mini-Precog and may serve well at deck fixing. The ratio of non-trashable cards and high trash cards to Runner-valued cards should allow for the free access to be low risk.

I like SanSan City Grid here, but do we really need 3x Caprice Nisei, especially with a full suite of Jackson Howard?

7 May 2014 Dydra

I'm not saying anything about the Jackson's, don't know how you got that impression =) I'm just saying that if I play this deck, I'd run 3x Biotic instead of 3x San San, especially considering that you don't have any expensive servers.

7 May 2014 Dydra

I'm not saying anything about the Jackson's, don't know how you got that impression =) I'm just saying that if I play this deck, I'd run 3x Biotic instead of 3x San San, especially considering that you don't have any expensive servers.

7 May 2014 Oneiro

Hey probably assumed that you would also need to remove the jacksons if you want to replace sansan with biotic labors, because of their high influence of four ;)

7 May 2014 Oneiro

one thing i'd suggest is to remove one jackson and one sansan and put in two rsvps

7 May 2014 Oneiro

@bubo: How do you make card titles bold in comments?

7 May 2014 omegalife2002

@ bubo - Some great thoughts here, I'll speak to each:

Snare vs. Shi.Kyu: I have been trying to think of the best way to fit in 1-2 Shi.Kyu into this deck because I think it fits very well. I hesitate to pull out the Snare! because of how strong it can be as R&D protection and this deck needs help there sometimes. But Shi.Kyu has so much potential in this deck.... I think I need to try a version with it. Maybe ditch 1 Snare and 1 Caprice.

Shiro - The cost is the main thing that holds me back a bit. I could possibly drop 1 Komainu to fit one in, but I'm not sure. Could be worth a shot though. I haven't had much chance to play around with it yet.

Caprice Nisei - You could probably get away with 2 of her, but I wouldn't ever go below that. I tend to want her pretty early in the game. Early game, I love throwing down a SanSan, Caprice, & NAPD behind an ICE (Pup works great here) and letting the runner try to get in and just fail or spend a ton of money if they have it. I've noticed that a lot of my Caprice get trashed out of R&D runs, so I like having the full 3.

7 May 2014 omegalife2002

@ Oneiro - RSVP has a very solid line of play here. I might have to give that a try!

7 May 2014 romanoSoprano

Yea both RSVP or Shiro could be quite good here. I've just tried this a bit deck with very good results, now testing with -1 SSCG -1 Jackson to make room for +1 Biotic +1 Shiro and plays awesome as well.

7 May 2014 bubo

@Oneiro: netrunnerdb.com uses the Markdown formatting language. Wikipedia has most of the Markdown formatting, although keep in mind that it's a fragmented standard. Also, deck descriptions don't allow some Markdown formats that are allowed in comments, so you'll have to play around to find what works. Boldface is applied by two astericks before and after the word(s) you want in bold.

7 May 2014 bubo

@omegalife2002: If you want to consider a full Harmony implementation of RSVP, then you might want to reference my Party Planner deck as a reference point. I built it prior to the full release of Honor and Profit, but it's still a solid RSVP - Harmony Medtech deck.

7 May 2014 bubo

Then again, I just reviewed my Party Planner deck again, and realized that omegalife2002 is the one who commented on it already. That's where I recognized your name from!

7 May 2014 tzukimi

@Dydra - Well you have to drop Jackson to fit in the BLs - you can't straight swap (SanSans 3 inf, BL 4 inf).

7 May 2014 Rkans

omegalife2002 - I don't run the same deck as this. Mine has 3x Shi.Kyū and 2x Gila Hands Arcology. Most the time runners will take the -1 agenda over net damaging out. Since those count as a agenda scored when you adv out Philotic Entanglement you can typically net out someone.

7 May 2014 Dydra

my bad sry, somehow I was left with the impression that it's 15 influence limit

7 May 2014 omegalife2002

@Rkans - Ah, I see. The only reason I mentioned anything was because you wrote "4 points and 3 or less cards", so I thought I'd make sure to mention it! :)

I'll have to check out your version. Always love a damage focused Jinteki build!

8 May 2014 slevin38

what do people think of clone retirement in this type of deck since 1 point agendas are more powerful?

11 May 2014 Oneiro

So have a few questions, because i didn't do to well with this deck on OCTGN (with your version and with my revised one). Did you playtest this deck in your local meta or against different players on OCTGN? I lose about 75% of my matches due to very agressive runners. I have the feeling that because of the low economy it is really hard to keep the runner out. I seldom have enough money to even rez sansan or pay for caprice. Do you have some general advice how to play this kind of deck? I am far far away from beeing a very good player, but i feel that even the slightest mistake in playing will loose you the match with this deck. All advices how to play this right are highly appreciated :)

12 May 2014 Proteus

I prefer this deck at 6 agendas, with 3x the Future Perfect there's really only 3 in there that are easy to steal.. It's a thing of beauty. Also: Susanoo-no-mikoto

12 May 2014 Oneiro

Yeah, but with six agendas it would be a completely different deck and playstyle, which would've not too much in common with this decklist.

12 May 2014 omegalife2002

@Slevin38 - I tried the Clone Retirement version and it doesn't work too well. First it raises your agenda count and they score more often. Second, it can often greatly increase the BP that you take, thus decreasing the taxing nature of the runs. Just doesn't work all that well.

@Proteus - As Oneiro mentioned, that would make this a very different deck. You would have to change a ton of cards to make that work and it would be a completely different deck. Also, I tried Susanoo but found that, while a good piece of ice, it is not for this deck. First, it's pretty spendy and this deck isn't flush with money. Second, while it forces the run on archives, it doesn't get you much taxation, outside of them needing to break it, or Femme it.

@Oneiro - I'll try and post some more advice on playing this deck soon.

12 May 2014 ttsgosadow

Nice deck!

A note on the site: would be awesome if you can somehow get a list of all decklists of the week. Now they are forgotten once a new one is up. Once we get more weeks under our belt the 'decklists of the week' list would be a cool way to go back in time and see what was hot.

12 May 2014 omegalife2002

Ok, this is going to be my attempt to give some general game play advice for this deck. A lot of advice is kind of floating in the main section about the deck, floating around in the individual card descriptions, but here are some more specific thoughts:

Opening Hands

(Quick side note: the first 15 times I played this deck I never mulliganed. I did this on purpose to see if the deck could survive bad opening hands. There were several games where I had 2 agendas and then drew a 3rd, or I had no ice in the initial draws. So I know it can survive some terrible openings. Not saying it’s easy, but it can be done)

This is just my general thought on opening hands: Can it be worse? If the answer is a reasonable “yes”, then I won’t mulligan. If I have 2 agendas, 2 ice and 1 other card, I probably won’t mulligan. If I have 3 agendas and 2 SanSan, then yeah, I’m probably going to mulligan because it doesn’t get much worse than that. If I have a Jackson, I probably won’t mulligan because I can safely dig my way to better hand.

Dream hand? Depends on the runner I’m facing. But generally I want some money, ice and 1 agenda or “trick” card. Probably something like this: Yagura, Quandary, Hedge Fund, Medical Breakthrough, Caprice and then draw a Mental Health Clinic. This gives me ice for R&D and HQ and lets me start throwing down remotes with the MHC. Sometimes I’ll wait for the runner to spend some money and then lay down the MHC/SanSan/Jackson/etc in order to make the choice harder. Nobody likes going down to 0 credits, especially when it gives them an extra card in hand. Now, smart runners tend to kill it, but sometimes they can’t, and if they do, they spend 3 bucks and you spent 0.

General Play

Now, how you play is going to depend on your draw. Sometimes you get all your ice and money up front and you can start building up your central defenses pretty smoothly. At this point, the runner is getting taxed or hurt by your ice and has to back off and look for answers. Then you need to try and get your first remote up and score something quick. The best line of play here is to get a single piece of ice in front of SanSan and push through 1-2 agendas before the runner can find an answer or have the money to trash SanSan. Once they have an answer for your remote and trash the SanSan, you need to dig for your closing agenda. Fast Track it if possible. Your best outcome you hope for is 2 Medicals have been scored and you can pop the last one for the win. But honestly, that rarely happens. So dig for another SanSan to speed one through, or an ice they don’t have an answer for on your remote to lay down the last agenda.

A huge thing with this deck is you often need to lay down things that look like agendas but aren’t. You HAVE to bluff with this deck or it won’t work. If it is always obvious when you install an agenda, then you will lose quickly. I tend to look for really shaky or suspect “scoring windows” and throw down an asset or upgrade into the remote and take money. To most runners, it looks like I see a scoring window and they rush to close it, only to find that after getting in that it’s just Caprice (and don’t get in) or it’s MHC or Jackson or whatever. This usually sets up an actual scoring window and I pop one off next turn.

But, often things don’t go great and you don’t get much ice and you need to take a very different approach. A great thing this deck can do is just lay down 3 new remotes and pass the turn. This is fantastic when paired with cheap to run or non-iced centrals. Runners have been conditioned not to run remotes with Jinteki. So they will naturally want to hit centrals first and maybe check remotes later. Your R&D can normally take care of itself; at least for a little while (don’t push it!). I have had many games where I have thrown down 1-2 agendas open and then added SanSan, MHC or Snare! to the mix and let it ride. It’s actually really nice when a runner hits an open Medical Breakthrough because then your next 2 are way easier to score. Of all the agendas in the deck, this is the one I want them to steal the most, followed by NAPD.

Another piece of advice: Give the runner a target. Over the past year, all the advice online has been telling runners one thing: Run fast and run often. Everybody knows at this point that you HAVE to run constantly and pressure the corp continuously. And that is true… usually. But what about when it’s not true? Well, a lot of runners don’t realize when they need to hang back. They just keep pushing. Keep burning resources. Keep taking damage. Well, this can work to your advantage, BUT only if you give them the target that you want them to hit. Let’s say that you seal off R&D so hard that they just have to give up on it for most of the game. Well, since they have HAVE to run, then they will look for the next remote they can easily get into. So they probably look at HQ and begin to just hammer it into the ground. If you have nothing in HQ of any worth, then great! But, what if you start getting agendas into HQ and can’t get them out fast enough? Or you have no remote to work with? I have found that it is better to let the runner into certain servers, for a price. It can be nice to never have the runner get into R&D again, but it’s much better if they make runners into it, costing them money, and come up with nothing. It gives them a target (and R&D is by far every runners favorite target right now) and gives you some room to work. Just something to think about. :)

Now, I can give all kinds of advice, and it will turn out to be the completely wrong advice for the game/opponent you are playing RIGHT NOW. That is the beauty and frustration of Netrunner. Nothing is ever solid and perfect. This deck does have a silver bullet (hint, it involves a runner having an index of little worms) and when you face that, you have to completely adjust on the fly and hope you can survive. I have had games where HQ was loaded with 5 agendas and only covered by a Pup, but I left R&D fairly easy to get into, so the runner hammered it into the ground while I pumped the last 2 agendas I need through. :)

12 May 2014 db0

Quite ICE light and horizontal, I suspect a Whizzard with Parasites is really going to hurt this deck. Same is also true for a Gabriel Knight + Sneakdoor running infinite siphons and tag-mes in general. I don't see any way for you to punish tags so a runner who's able to siphon you repeatedly will easily nullify all your operations econ and then run and trash in remotes with impunity.

12 May 2014 Oneiro

Thank you so much for such a long and detailed answer - i really appreciate that. There are lots of advice which might help my playstyle with this deck. I have probably been a bit unlucky in most matches i played, because i almost always faced very aggressive and fast runners who played parasites, siphons and vamp all the time. That way i couldn`t keep up in speed with them and had to click for credits way too often, just to have enough money to rezz ice or even advance agendas.

I also have the feeling, that grim works a bit against this kind of deck, because most runners will have an answer to it early in them game anyway (sentry breakers or AI's where the first on the table in most of my matches) and the badpub makes taxing the runner so much harder (and the napd's get very hard to score, too).

How often do you have the money to fire a snare and be able to stick with your gameplan? I tried some shocks and had the feeling, that they are quite nice, because they fit into the scheme of taxing. On the other hand they don't hurt the runner that much card wise.

One last question: Under which conditions do you play the celebrity gifts? As you said it is important to give the runner some targets to run on. I have the feeling, that playing a CG in most cases gives away way too much information to the runner, so he knows exactly where to run and what he needs to be successfull. I love CG and i trap-heavier jinteki-builds it is awesome, but in this kind of deck i realy have trouble to profit from it enough to keep it a viable deckslot.

12 May 2014 omegalife2002

@Oneiro - A siphon/vamp deck can cripple any corp! Yeah, you probably have been unlucky there. If you are playing against that, then I would look for a way to slot in some tag punishment. I personally haven't had to play against that in my meta a lot (Seattle area) but it can be crushing.

Grim is tricky. It's not a perfect card (what is really?) but it can do the job when you need it to. Typically I don't end up firing one super often, but if I see a key opportunity, then I'll pop it off. I don't like Roto in this deck because by the time it's useful, they prob already have a Mimic or something out. Archer is too much influence and losing an agenda in this deck sucks. (Crazy side story! Was watching a streaming match on twitch and I watched a runner top deck a 3 pointer off a Harmony deck and then next turn sell it to Data Dealer! WTF?)

I can usually pay for a Snare! I'd say I miss the chance 1 in 5 times maybe? I personally haven't got much use out of Shock! Overall, you have to be very jealous and careful with your money. A mistake I think some people make is to rez SanSan and push through and agenda and are then broke. I typically won't pop the SanSan unless I will have something like 3-4 credits left over.

Purse Giraffes? You know, it depends. If I have a Snare! and ice and some agendas (particularly Medicals or NAPD) then heck yeah, let 'em see it. I'll hold onto them sometimes if I really want to save a surprise, but I only have two in the deck for a reason. They are great for fast cash, but this deck doesn't always want them.

8 Jul 2014 faith_star83

Did you ever have trouble against Mimic? I run a similar list and just was trashed by Kate running Yogosaurus and Mimic...I had no ICE to keep them out of anywhere...

16 Jul 2014 voltorocks

Just brought a version of this deck to league night; tons of fun, I think I will definitely be playing around with this concept a lot more.

mostly b/c of not owning all the cards, I swapped a sansan and a JHo for 2 Shi.Kyu, and used the spare influence to bring 2 caudacus instead of Swordsman and Tsurugi, neither of which I own yet. (also yagura for datapike, same reason)

The ShiKyu's definitely stay, so far they have been clear MVPs in the games I've played. Landing one virtually guarantees victory, and they can become a much bigger deterrent for archives even than JHo (though he is still a powerhouse for this thin deck to draw through)

I like the caudacus (caudecii?), they are very taxing for a low rez cost and in many circumstances can really earn a lot of cash for you. They do make the deck less net-damagy, so I might swap them out later if I can.

@faith_star83 yeah, I'm gonna take a look at the deck tonight to see if I can't beef it up in this regard; though, it's worth pointing out that this deck does not rely at all on its ICE. Good bluffs are core to the strategy here.

18 Feb 2015 nafanenas

you were right about silver bullet - parasites are killers of this deck. Played last night against Noise. Runner was loaded with viruses + Gin + data sucker combo and very good economics. I got crashed by parasites and had to spend clicks & credits protecting archives. Money was no issue for runner at all, so taxing strategy didn't work well. He also figured out very quickly that my deck doesn't have many punishing assets, so he just kept running. 3 times he won by running to RnD and Archives trashing my ICE with parasite. I can see this deck working really well against runner with ICE breakers.

9 Oct 2015 formerteen

wait, Grim and NAPD Contract? isn't that pretty anti-synergistic?

9 Oct 2015 romanoSoprano

NAPD Contract is the last thing you wanna score anyway.

9 Oct 2015 Exo

Are you thinking about making a new version updated to Data and Destiny? I would gladly play a revamped version of this deck.

12 Dec 2016 Eldil

I know I'm way, WAY behind on this, but I'd always wanted to try Harmony Medtech but didn't have a clue how to build for it.

Because of MWL, I had to do something about the influence, so I dropped a copy of SanSan and a copy of Jackson Howard, and added in 2 Junebugs (I just really like having Junebugs).

It was wicked fun to play, but after getting smacked in the face by the newly-arrived Baba Yaga, I decided to drop a Quandry for another Swordsman.

Also, I realized that "Merger" can be a godsend for this deck, so I swapped out the 2 NAPD Contracts for 2 Mergers. I know that, technically, the runner could win off of stealing just two mergers, and if this ever happens I might swap an NAPD back in, but man... having 7 3/2's makes this deck TERRIFYING.

Anyway, thanks for the deck--it's a lot of fun to play, even in a very different meta.

21 Jan 2017 YankeeFlatline

The fun part is that with so many horizontal ice-light decks floating around this one feels really normal now.