First Principles Haarp

internet_potato 929

This deck is a thought experiment in design. I was interested in seeing whether I could start from a fairly specific win condition (that is not a combo) and build a playable deck where every choice is clearly motivated by "does it build towards my win condition?"

The win condition is build up an incremental point advantage by favorable agenda-for-agenda trades. This deck has about a 50-50 win rate on jnet and went 2-1 to win me a fairly tough GNK, so I consider it "playable."

The Deck

Our primary method for achieving the win condition is to create favorable agenda trades by double- or triple- installing agendas and being Haarpsichord Studios: Entertainment Unleashed.

In order for this to work, you need to be able to put down several face down cards and score any of them: installing an Explode-a-palooza and Project Beale doesn't help you if they check the beale and you can't score the explode-a next turn. To this end, we have 2x Early Premiere and 3x Award Bait. These let us score never-advanced exploda and an occasional cheeky 3-point beale (IA + early premiere or via Award Bait). The need for multi-install turns motivates the inclusion of Special Report and Blue Level Clearance -- you can't install what you don't draw. There is also a good argument for Fast Track, but I like being able to avoid telegraphing plays.

We cannot manipulate the runner's choices on central accesses, so we discourage central accesses with traps and taxing central ICE. In order to punish random central accesses, we run 2x Breached Dome and 3x News Team. I prioritize HQ protection over R&D somewhat -- in order to get double- and triple- installs, you have to let agendas build up in hand for a few turns. Data Raven, Gutenberg, and 3x Quantum Predictive Model (hopefully) remove 3 score-able points from the deck. I basically never put IP Block on centrals, the other ICE is nicely taxing.

We seek to manipulate the score by punishing the runner's point total and improving ours through cards that can only give points to the corp or only take points from the runner. Aside from QPM + tagging ICE, Franchise City allows us to hedge on installing face-down cards, and News Team directly attacks the runner's score. I don't love Echo Chamber due to its high rez and low trash costs, but it occasionally works out. The primary tag punishment is Exchange of Information because the only way we plan to win the game is by forcing point differentials in our favor. SEA Source enables this as a closer-- bonus points for SEA - exchange 15 Minutes, then shuffle it back into R&D.

Aside from the long list of cards that counter this deck, the savvy runner will probably just go tag-me and not get their wrist slapped for it. So, I recently added 1x High-Profile Target to hedge against tag-me runners. If you want to be a purist, then you can change it out for another dome and a Violet Level Clearance or something. I am not a purist.

Playing the deck

  • ICE placement: prioritize HQ over R&D. If you can put an IP Block on the remote with a Data Raven in front, that is ideal.
  • Draw a lot. You need to have cards in hand to jam out gendies.
  • Resist the urge to gamble. Installing Beale, Franchise City, and Award Bait when you're down seems to always lead to the runner trashing Franchise City, stealing the beale, and ignoring your dumb movie. Try to hold out until you can set up even or favorable trades.
  • Don't throw your traps in archives. It's tempting to put a couple of news teams in the bin if you chuck an exploda in there early, but they are way more useful in your hand or as the third card you install on a scoring attempt (since the runner needs tag-removal support to check 3 remotes and clear two tags, they will often be forced to accept the -1 point).
  • Whenever you find yourself looking at a pile of weird cards in your hand, remember how you are going to win the game and evaluate whether the play you are considering builds towards that goal or not.

Disclaimer about this deck probably not being that great

This is really more of a thought experiment than it is a deck. It folds moderately- to extremely-hard to the following commonly-played cards: Film Critic, Employee Strike, Leela Patel, Data Dealer (DAMN YOU SPORTSMETAL), Falsified Credentials, Jesminder, and 419. Even those with the barest understanding of anatomy and Greek mythology will find the term "Achilles Heel" stretched to its breaking point by this deck.

3 comments
6 Mar 2019 kevintame

👍🏻

6 Mar 2019 lostgeek

I like the idea of it! Especially if there is a Strike-light meta, this could really be good.

My suggestion: This feels like the perfect deck for our Bioroid Friend. I think one could try -1 HHN, -1 HPT, -2 IPO, -1 Special Report, +3 Marilyn, +2 Jeeves.

Other idea would be to use Team Sponsorship to get your HB alliance and then profit doubly from your agenda scores, but I don't think your Asset suite does fit this well.

6 Mar 2019 internet_potato

Jeeves and Sporps both seem like good ideas to explore. My experience in previous iterations was that the assets we care about are normally cheap enough to trash that the runner can just clear them out -- they normally just stick around for the turn where they do their job. Jeeves has a high enough trash that it might break that trend, and would certainly give you a lot of flexibility for scoring exploda, getting 3 point beales with early premier, or just getting an extra draw on an install-3 turn.

I'll definitely give it a whirl -- maybe Red Level Clearance would be a good HB alliance contributor.