Some say that sports are war by proxy. Our team skips all that and blows up the runner’s house with extreme prejudice.
This deck went 6-1 @ the final Worlds: five merciless kills (including one Top 16 Liza*), and one triple-recycled Game Changer to go from 2 to 7 after time had been called. The only loss was to a well-piloted Adam in the last round, who had a Misdirection in opening hand, clearing 4 tags on turn 2 (and three Employee Strikes in a row didn’t help).
* Pull quote: “that’s a cool deck, and also you’re an asshole” XD
As fun as it is to drop Hard-Hitting-Boom out of purple, the deck’s first goal is to rush out, letting the runner have a few points for tempo, and close out with Game Changer (ideally a Food from hand, or never-advanced). There are many, many paths to victory, which is part of what makes the deck so satisfying to pilot. I’ve even won multiple games with 1-2 Domestic Sleepers as the winning points (with GC shenanigans, sometimes you can score Sleepers and activate it in the same turn!).
Generally, you want to rush a Rashida, Hyperloop, or False Lead on the first turn, icing one central at most. Bleeding agendas early is generally a good thing, giving you valuable tempo or finding combo pieces.
I don’t know what’s more satisfying: blowing up runners who don’t see it coming, or when they figure out the plan and get blown up anyway.
While some runners will sit back, set up, and let you take an early lead (fearing to give you tempo and turn on Game Changer), some will eagerly take the bait and get aggressive, on the assumption that they need to race you. And that’s when you mercilessly blow up their house.
Often runners will go below 5 credits on their own early-game (why respect HHN out of purple?), meaning an instant kill without Misdirection. More often, the secret sauce is getting 1-2 False Lead scored, taking away their turn entirely for a slam-dunk murder (see what I did there?).
HHN as a tempo play is also perfectly reasonable: for instance, install-advance a Vitruvius, drop HHN, and dare them to go tag-me. Sometimes people assume you don’t have the kill yet, or are sticking tags just to kill resources. If they play it safe, clear tags, and let you have the Vit token, you can now threaten the next HHN for the kill, or a double-GC to close.
Consulting Visit: MVP: in addition to finding your kill pieces when you need them, Game Changer starts turning a click-profit after the runner scores their third agenda. You can also fetch Archived Memories, Best Defense, or even Stock Buy-Back when the runner has 3+ agendas scored.
Errand Boy: A subtle card, but a powerful one. In addition to hitting the 6 green cards to enable Visit, the card+credit tempo is a perfect fit for the deck. If they break, even a 4-against-3 against Nano or Dagger is fantastic; and it’s a tragedy for MKUltra, who either pays 6, or 3 and letting one fire. Especially fun: never-advance a real agenda behind a solo Errand Boy.
Stock Buy-Back: A beautiful econ card, even if it delays HHN by one turn. At 2 agendas, it becomes IPO that costs 1, and the value skyrockets from there.
Quicksand: People think I’m crazy for running it, but it’s a solid gear-check, and I love the psychological deterrence against running repeatedly, whether on centrals or remotes. Even if they put it into D4v1d range, that taxes precious counters otherwise used for the big boys.
Misdirection: The #1 problem card. We pack a solo Best Defense (with 3 tutors) as an answer (which can also hit SMC so they can’t find it). 2x False Lead is also a perfectly reasonable answer, and it happens decently often. In a pinch, you can give up on the kill plan and focus on rushing out.
The Shadow Net: The #2 problem card. We pack Best Defense for this also, and luckily it’s harder to rescue than Misdirection. If it sticks, scoring Sleepers yourself is usually the lesser evil. (Meridian was cut due to Shadow Net’s presence in the meta.)
Adam + Geist: These runners are hard to kill late-game, due to increased hand-size on the kill turn. You want to pressure runs early to land the kill before they set up, but at some point you know when to give up on the kill plan.
Clot: Surprisingly, not usually a big problem. GC’s are often used for never-advancing Foods when Clot-threat is online, and we pack a solo CVS in a pinch (a good include in general, but I never used it once on the day).
Employee Strike: We rely heavily on the ID for economy and tempo, and strike is everywhere. While I tried to find room for counter-currents, they ultimately serve to slow a deck that aims to go fast. The best answer is to rush a 3/1, or to score a Sleepers from hand.
Money: This is biggest problem: some runners will be patient, outpacing your economy and making HHN impossible to land. This is fine if you can rush them on points, but can be a real problem if they get Strike to stick.
The bad news is, the deck is less effective when the runner knows your plan. But I’ve been testing for a couple months against Colorado folks who know the secret, and it holds its own surprisingly well even then, leveraging the implicit threat to scare runners against getting aggressive. Maybe you can explode a few more hapless targets before they learn the secret. Enjoy!
\m/ SPORTSMETAL! \m/
10 Sep 2018 5N00P1
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