US National's Blue Sun (5-1, 18th Place)

ClosDeLaRoche 185

This is the Blue Sun list I took to US Nats, piloting it to five wins and one loss. The loss was to Jaiden's Apoc Omar which I played poorly against. I began setting up my scoring remote prematurely hoping to get a few agendas out of a moderately flooded HQ, foolishly placing a Border Control on the remote rather than a central. To beat Apoc you need to stop DDoS with a Building Blocked Chiyashi or Orion on R&D or Archives, OAI an Afshar as the outer layer on HQ, and get a Crisium Grid or Border Control on a central. This seems like a lot but it's more manageable than it sounds. Unfortunately I played a middling runner game, going 2-4 with my Apoc Val to finish the day in 18th place.

I've been on Blue Sun since March of this year and it has served me very, very well. It's worst showing was at GenCon in the Laamb Surfer Wu meta, but even then it went 4-2. At all other tournaments it's gone either undefeated or lost a single game, for a cumulative record of 25-5.

Here are some piloting tips and notes on my card choices:

1) I didn't get one Punitive kill all day; consider it your back-up plan. There are too many defenses against Punitive to lean heavily on it, so always focus on scoring and don't play sloppy to try to get a kill. I've gone "vegan" by swapping Punitive with Scarcity with good results and do recommend this depending on your play style and/or meta.

2) Don't play more than three ice that do not have an ETR subroutine, and two is ideal. The ice you choose for these slots should be heavily taxing, not too expensive to rez, placed on R&D or Archives, and fairly immune to Hippo. Slot Machine is the best choice. I tested Excalibur with mixed results; sometimes it wins you games when combo'ed with Border Control, but too often the runner doesn't care about its subroutine. It's also best on the scoring remote and we have enough great "scoring remote" ice here without Excalibur.

3) Without Preemptive you need cheap "rush" ice to compliment Border Control in case you get flooded. Afshar is excellent. Running three copies feels fine because you are Blue Sun and replacing it on HQ later is not a problem. Gatekeeper is also a fine choice which doubles as punishing facecheck ice.

4) That said, at least two "punishing facecheck" ice are needed. Fairchild 3.0 is the perfect choice. It can tax, deal Brain Damage, ETR, go on any server in any position, it's good early, mid and late game, and its annoyingly expensive to break with all but Amina or a loaded turtle. The one thing it can't do is act as an early rush ice, but Gatekeeper can! I consider Gatekeeper not only "rush" ice but also "punishing" ice because allowing its first subroutine to fire solves two major problems: bad draw and agenda flooding.

5) Two copies of Crisium Grid is a necessity in the 3.4 meta. If I were to possibly recommend a change to this list it would be to swap a Consulting Visit for a third Crisium. Can we take a moment to consider what it hampers if not neuters? Apocalypse, Diversion of Funds, Embezzle, Khyusuk, Stargate, Legwork, Dirty Laundry, Omar, Alice, Liza, Knobkierie, Paragon, Wanton Destruction... need I go on?

6) The "Blue Sun Ice/Operation Econ Package" feels right at 3x Chiyashi, 2x Orion, 3x Building Blocks, 3x Oversight AI. Orion is the weakest card here, and 3 copies feels like overkill to me. Please, when playing Blue Sun always keep in mind that Orion is unique! If not for that diamond I'd recommend 3 copies, but as it is, too often that third copy ends up as Surveyor fuel at best. I often see OAI at two or even one copy in Blue Sun decks but I do not recommend it. Blue Sun is at its strongest when you can get this combo going on turn one and three copies of OAI ensure that this happens as consistently as possible.

In 3.3 Surfer Wu simply demolished Blue Sun but with Laamb banned the deck has serious legs. Its few weaknesses include D4, Hippo and bad draw. It's a very fun, very strong deck that's not terribly difficult to pilot & I couldn't recommend it enough for your next tournament!

Cheers and Always Be Printing Credits!