Questing Hydra (4-1 at Sovereign of Subways)

EnderA 470

Old school "Hydra" AgInfusion (see the old list,) now with Employee Strike gone, Paperclip restricted, and Au Revoir being a major threat which means spiky ice is extra important, and updated with new cards.

I fired Tithonium an obscene number of times. Sometimes it cost an agenda, but it was always worth it.

The basic premise of the deck is having a suite of assets that are extraordinarily strong and can be fetched on-demand, a remote (usually Tithonium + Marcus Batty) that becomes terrifying to attempt, ice that are punishing and taxing, and an ability that, once one ice is rezzed, makes all unrezzed ice just as punishing. It also abuses the fact that it has unavoidable end-the-run abilities and an ice that prevents them from making more runs that can't be broken by normal breakers.

The many changes from the original:

  • Drudge Work + Genotyping instead of Whampoa Reclamation. Most often you were burying agendas, and while this shuffles them in instead of putting them on the bottom, you get money back. Still, I would almost certainly pick Whampoa over it if it wasn't restricted.
  • No Obokata Protocol. Again, Excalibur + The Future Perfect is better than no Excalibur.
  • No Mother Goddess. MoGo has too many answers to rely on it compared to the immense value of Excalibur regardless of their answer.
  • Timely Public Release as a pseudo-Nisei MK II that also helps when important ice gets trashed, such as by Hippo. Could be Philotic Entanglement or Project Yagi-Uda or Corporate Sales Team instead.
  • SSL Endorsement as the fourth 3-pointer. Sucks to have it stolen, but at least you'll get money back from it if it doesn't end the game. Feels great to score, unlike TFP. It also means 5 of the agendas give you something for scoring them which helps with tempo.
  • Thimblerig as an excellent gearcheck and repositioning ICE, both of which are very useful.
  • Anansi primarily for Security Nexus, but also to mix up threat types. It also does better against Engolo, which is very popular.
  • Cobra as an alternative to Rototurret, saving one influence, often being more punishing than Rototurret, and having 1 strength, which a purged Aumakua can't break (a problem I often encountered in testing.)
  • Executive Boot Camp to fetch assets and rez Excalibur on Archives if possible. Sometimes you use Tech Startup to get this just to rez an Excalibur. Also, once installed you can get your asset regardless the remote being breached.
  • Daily Quest is the strongest economy asset in the game, and it requires no clicks to use. Boatloads of clickless money is more useful than the hypothetical single agenda score from MCA Austerity Policy. The deck has very expensive ICE, and although you don't need to rez a lot (you can just bounce runners to rezzed taxing ICE,) its often better to. DQ is the primary target for EBC/Tech Startup early game unless you drew a lot of money already or are flooded with agendas.
  • Roughneck Repair Squad as dual-purpose backup economy and bad publicity removal. Anarchs with bad publicity and Hippo are very strong against this deck, and this is basically a straight upgrade from Melange Mining Corp..
  • NGO Front to bait runs and gain money. Having the ability to bluff is very useful, otherwise they know that every advanced card is an agenda. You can go for the EBC-NGO power play: Fetch an NGO Front with Executive Boot Camp, then shuffle your hand and install-advance-advance. Is it the NGO you grabbed or a real agenda?
  • Breached Dome to help against Crowdfunding and Aumakua. Can be fetched.
  • No Blacklist. The big problems with Blacklist are twofold: It requires an additional remote, and the runners where it matters are usually running extra copies of the relevant cards. If you want, you can replace the Roughneck Repair Squad with Blacklist. They're both primarily for the anarch matchup anyways.

First match and only loss was against @Kysra, who grinded me out as Val, with an early rebirth into Omar, constant pressure, and good use of Hippo and D4v1d.

I also played against a Criminal, Leela I think, against whom I fired Tithonium, a Pawnshop Hayley, against whom I fired Tithonium twice, a Kabonesa Au Revoir (@netjogging), against whom I fired Tithonium twice, forfeiting two agendas, (a recording of this game will be published in the future with commentary,) and a fifth that I'm struggling to remember but IIRC I clicked IT Department 12'ish times before they conceded.

Anarch still fares the best against this deck, even though without Paperclip/Employee Strike this deck does a lot better than it used to. D4v1d, Clone Chip, Hippo, and the heap breakers all do great work, even though relying on Corroder for a fracter is dangerous against Tithonium. For Shapers/Criminals, Engolo/Laamb help versus IT Department because of the 1:2 boost ratios, and help versus Tithonium/Rototurret/Cobra because they are pseudo-AI breakers, so a single Marcus Batty can't kill both the breakers they have available. Flip Switch also helps against Batty, avoiding the following facecheck which would ruin your board. The recent loss of Labor Rights is difficult for criminals, though. A single Tithonium fire can put them out of the game.

My runner for the tournament was Surf Revoir Wu.

Sovereign of Subways was a wonderful tournament, thank you to the entire NYC crew for making it happen, thank you to my teammates for working together, and thank you to my opponents for being good sports about facing my very rude decks!

4 comments
20 May 2019 branimated

This is a sweet list. I especially love the variety of imports - really getting your money's worth from that 17 influence!

21 May 2019 EnderA

@branimated Thanks! That's Hydra for you.

21 May 2019 Steinbran

This deck has SCARY in tech choices and when piloted that well means you can't take any chances.

That being said, I didn't fall for a single trap, didn't lose to Batty, and was able to rebirth for some agendas in the mid game. I still lost to this deck because an early well protected Daily Quest was enough to make sure I never caught back up.

22 May 2019 EnderA

Yeah, Daily Quest is insane economy. It's sometimes difficult to know when to transition to scoring.