"Ok, at the end of your turn I'll pop this, gain 3 and draw a card to put down a Spy Camera and Hayley out a Sports Hopper to tick my Tech Writers up by two each, pop the Hopper, gain three, get four cards, neat! Start of my turn, I'll Clone Chip this for three credits and a card, to pop it for three credits and a card, to put down one Street Peddler and Hayley out another, pop the Peddler to get the DaVinci on it for free and tick up the Tech Writers by one, oh and also my three credits and a card, then I'll pop Spy Cam to get three credits and a card and see the top card of R&D, cool! CLICK ONE, RUN R&D!!!1!1!!"
- Actual real-life turns with this deck
First things first: I have to mention that my Hayley list stood on the shoulders of giants that came before, but I made some crucial changes, and took it to an undefeated 4-0 run at the NISEI Store Championship in Fredericksburg, Virginia, beating two Titans, a Palana, and a Sportsmetal.
The engine behind the deck is multi-layered, but it's pretty straightforward. Get to know and love DaVinci. It trashes to install any card from hand so long as the install cost is equal to or less than the number of counters DaVinci has, and lucky for us we have plenty of cards that cost zero; those trashes then trigger your Tech Traders to gain you credits, and they also trigger Geist, who is ALWAYS your choice for DJ Fenris, to draw you a card. Whenever you make money and draw cards installing hardware or programs off those DaVinci trashes, you'll also load up your Technical Writers, which means you'll eventually cash out for a disgusting pile of credits (and a card off the trash!). And since Hayley Kaplan triggers each turn, well... Now you see why that original list was named Rube Goldberg...?
And let's go back to that deck for a second, because since it was published, two big changes have come about in the game. First, Laamb hit the MWL restricted list. Second, everyone started realizing that Red Level Clearance makes Titan pretty damn good. What do we do about that? Please. Step into my personal workshop.
The Titan problem is easily fixed: all you need is Clot and a prayer. Get the Clot threat on the board as early as you possibly can. Either through Self-modifying Code, a DaVinci with two counters, Clone Chip with a Clot in the heap, or even Clone Chip + your Hayley trigger. It's worth noting that Titan can still out-speed you (wins as early as turn 5 are not out of the question), so for the love of g00ru, dig for your Clot threat.
Now the fracter. Laamb is out, because our unicorn card is Levy AR Lab Access and that's simply not up for debate. You could look at saving influence by putting in a Lady or two, but in testing I couldn't stomach it. The Lady will either hog up your Clone Chips (which you want to be saving for DaVincis for clickless installs, credits, and draws) or they'll demand you slot either Scavenge or Rejig, and there's just no room for that. The solution then is pretty simple. Keep it cool. Keep it classy. Keep it Corroder™.
You can compare my list to the original for the breakdown of how I rearranged influence, but let's cut to the chase and call out the big one: this deck doesn't run Hostage. After more than 50 games of testing this, I never found it relevant more than once or twice; and worse, when you're on the third pass-through of your deck, and the corp is threatening 7 points, it feels so bad to draw into a card that's been dead ever since you found your DJ Fenris two Levy's ago.
I included Hunting Grounds because I expected more people to be on Argus. Stacked Data Ravens can become a problem once Argus gets a PriSec or two in the remote, but I never used this card on the day. I also had it in to hedge against Palanas who try to stuff Obokata Protocols behind Data Loops. One person there was on that combo, but I never ended up facing them. Worst case scenario, this turns Slot Machine into a guaranteed " The runner loses 3" and nothing else? If you don't expect much annoying on-encounter ICE, Turning Wheel could be a good fit to up the deck's HQ pressure but it's not strictly necessary.
So how do make this better moving forward? The first thing that stood out to me would be cutting Freedom Through Equality. Even with Khusyuk in the deck, it just never feels like you really need to play it. Either you're ahead, and you can lock nearly any server you want, or you're behind and the tempo is too much to give up. I'd probably change this for a Paricia which if nothing else could help to trash Rashida, NGO, or Reconstruction Contract, and is another zero-cost target for DaVinci. Before the tournament, I was actually torn on Misdirection vs. Paricia. Both would 95% of the time simply act as DaVinci + Hayley/Tech Writer triggers and Spec Work fodder, but now it seems a pretty logical replacement for Freedom.
The second card I'd look at cutting would be the third copy of Levy. It's rare to go onto a fourth pass-through of this deck, and I've actually been looking for a way to slot in Citadel Sanctuary. That card would be the nail in the coffin for Argus and can help in other tag-style match-ups.
For Khusyuk, you're either calling 1 or 2. Cards for 1 include: Tech Writer, Clone Chip, DaVinci. For 2 you're looking for: Leprechaun, Corroder, Clot, Feedback Filter, Hunting Grounds (and Citadel if it makes the list!). You'll most often be seeing about 4 cards off the Khusyuk, but that's alright, because even if you don't steal the corp shuffles afterward, and before you decide what needs to happen next, you can peep a fresh card on R&D by popping Spy Camera. Oh and hey - did you get your 3 and a card?
26 May 2019 EnderA
26 May 2019 BTrain
3 Jun 2019 DoomRat
17 Jun 2019 mo0man