WAR RIG - 82 Card MaxX Deck - 61st/100 place BLM Tournament

CowboyTintin 196

Eighty-Two cards. That's where it's at.

Firstly, this deck can be awesomely powerful.

Secondly, this deck can absolutely tank.

Why? I haven't quite figured out yet... But I swear there's something here, and I'm getting closer to figuring out what it is.

After Levy rotated, MaxX really fell from power. Buffer Drives were offered on her alter as replacement for both Levy and Same Old Thing, to keep the ID from completely dying, but I think tournament standings as well as anecdotal evidence are pretty clear, MaxX just isn't as resilient as she once was.

So, after struggling to play consistently at the Portland, Oregon Red Castle Games store tournament earlier this year, I decided to figure out what needed to happen.

I've won many games from Wanton. Many, many, many games... So, I figured, why not make a Wanton Destruction spam deck, like the old Account Siphon spam monsters... After about 10 deck iterations, and a bunch of play-testing, I actually did. It could pretty consistently hit 5 to 9 Wantons a game, even in quick succession using Swift, Labor Rights, Frantic Coding (to deck yourself and make the Labor Rights turn on), and Window to be able to 'bank' important cards for later.

Problem with that, however, was that it turns out the corp can fairly easily play around Wantons if they know they're coming... For whatever reason, I just had never thought of that. Maybe because you don't usually see 5 wantons in one game...

After that, I tried to just make the deck more aggressive in general, and could make a consistent 4 to 5 points before decking, dying, or simply losing. Usually decking, then losing.

So I started to think... It wasn't the Same Old Things that made MaxX consistent before, it was the Levy, and being able to play through your deck twice.

So just double your deck.

Where everyone goes wrong with this, however, is going straight to 90 cards. That's suicide, because when you double your deck you can't think of sets of cards as individual tools... They have to be viewed by the effects they give. As an example. In a 45 card MaxX deck, maybe you have Stargate. That's great. Now you have 90 cards.... Well, crunch the math. In the 45-card deck, Stargate takes up a whopping 6.66% of the deck. In the 90-card deck, only 3.33%. So, inconsistency pops up if you're banking on getting that set of cards. However, if you look at it simply as 6.66% needs to be RnD access... Well, then put in 3 Severnius Stim Implants. Now you're back to 6.66%. However, when you draw one or the other, you can't afford to be picky. Take what you get, and simply view it as RnD access.

Same with money. If you're got 25% econ in the 45-card deck, then you need to add whatever cards into the 90-card deck to make the same kind of percentage allocations.

Herein lies the problem with the 90-card decks, though. At 90 cards, you are really pushing the limit for the available card pool feasibly available to an Anarch for things like econ, multi-access, hardware functions, etcetera.

Hence, the trick---in my humble opinion---is to drop that number to 82 or less. That way, there's actually some 'slop' in the card pool you can add in if you aren't drawing enough naturally from your MaxX draws... Not enough burst econ? Get out your calculator, figure how much you're willing to throw off the percentages from your benchmark, and add a few more cards.

Using this technique, I got this deck to play and feel almost exactly like the decklist I won the last PDX regional piloting. In fact, that is the deck I used my benchmark percentages to build from.

Here's an example of the percentage spreads for this deck, more or less, with a bit of variability (and I'm sure error somewhere) for what falls into what category:

Based on 46 card Oh, Lady Be Good 20.06 percentages.

  • Remote - 6.5% - 5.33 cards/82deck
  • RND - 4.34% - 3.56 cards/82deck
  • HQ - 4.34% - 3.56 cards/82deck
  • HQ Access - XXX -
  • Breakers - 6.52% - 5.35 cards/82deck
  • AI - 6.52% - 5.35 cards/82deck
  • Easy Access - 13.04% - 10.69 cards/82deck
  • Econ - Burst - 19.56% - 16.02 cards/82deck
  • Econ - Drip - 13.04 % - 13.04 cards/82deck
  • Recurse - 17.39% - 14.26cards/82deck

Rounded down on most things, plus a large amount (like 6 cards) extra under the 'drip econ' type, plus 2 Trope to make 14 recursion cards, even though Trope sucks... Also plus 3 I've Had Worse, kinda for draw, kinda for Faust.

Problems, though...

Well, the biggest issue seems to be the kind of corps that runners are facing nowadays. MaxX, or at least my MaxX builds have never excelled at extreme glacier builds, which are a bit more common now. (Looking at you, Surveyor.) Also, this deck depends somewhat on drawing either some AI breaker or a Boomerang a bit early against rush decks... Twice on the day I faced rushy decks, and this didn't happen. Insta-lose.

Extreme econ denial decks also can be a problem, although those are just hard to play against regardless. This deck does seem to be a bit more squishy against them than I'd like, however.

Also, there's a lack of really solid and permanent multi-access threat, which can end up killing you in late game.

All in all, something about this deck just doesn't work well against the current meta... It very much 'clicks,' just not always in the right way. It's consistent... At least consistent for a MaxX player, but it's not always supportive to the board state.

In conclusion, I really believe that 82-card MaxX is the only way to make a strong deck in the current meta without Levy. And, I should clarify, the only way to make a strong deck of the destruction-and-chaos unpredictable plays style... There's probably some other rig set-up/rebirth deck that would fair fine...

But I don't play that style, and I don't play Rebirth. 'Cause I like to play MaxX.

At the end of the day, I placed a fairly sorry 61st. I sat in the mid-30s for a while, lost a dreadful 241 against a Titan rush deck, and then screwed up my game against a Palana Glacier. Ultimately, my standing was mostly thanks for my corp deck, which I straight up stole from NetrunnerDB... @callforjudgement's Big Spiky Centrals RP deck.

In summary, the fine lady got me 6 points... Which is pretty abysmal, but I'm not complaining...

TLDR; DID MATH, MADE BIG DECK, IT WORKS BUT COULD BE BETTER.

Bailey, aka CowboyTintin

4 comments
29 Jun 2020 Cliquil

I too like decks of this size but where I think you make a mistake is looking for recursion. I think all 81 need to be attack/disruption tools. Because your biggest power is your Maxx pace; so you need to use it, not shoring up for a late game you don't have the efficiency to fight for.

29 Jun 2020 CowboyTintin

@CliquilSo, I've played that style before, back when Levy was around... The only problem with that is the chance that you won't see 2/3ds of any full set of cards you include... So, if you're building it for consistency, anything less than a full set (in this case, basically 6-7 cards of like function) almost may as well not even be included, if you don't have any recursion...

At that point I've found it gets to feeling like you're just relying on literal luck of the draw for how well or poorly your game goes...

That being said, if you pump the deck size, like this, and then tweak the percentages of what cards/card functions you have, your need for recursion does drastically seem to lower. I would almost consider removing the buffer drives, considering how rarely I actually used them, even for their bottom-of-the-deck ability. District 99 was the real MVP of recursion... Stimhacks, Day Jobs, Glut Ciphers, Divide and Conquers... That card really excels.

Back when Levy was around, you could push really hard and play a bit recklessly the first time through your deck, and then step back and take your time to win the last few points, snagging whatever you needed the second time through. That's not an option now, and with the larger deck style you kinda have to play 5 to 10 turns ahead, which is stupidly hard in Netrunner... When I can pull it off, though, this deck seems to have a very consistent pressure all the way through.

Of course, like I said, it just fails somewhere... I'm messing around now with putting in Clots and Simulchips... Both of the games I tanked in had some serious fast advance tech that I just couldn't slow down...

30 Jun 2020 Thike

The real thing with recursion in MaxX - oversized or not - is that recursion isn't always "do this good thing over and over" like it usually is. As often as not it's a tutor effect, and those are definitely worth it.

1 Jul 2020 CowboyTintin

@Thike I totally agree. MaxX's trash ability really turns into a fast tutor menu, as long as you tech the right recursion cards.

So, in this deck I had Trope, Labor Rights, Buffer Drive, 1 Retrieval Run (for unlucky opening draws) and District 99. Back in the day I would run 0-3 Retrievals (depending on whether I had Corroder or Paperclip), 3 Same Old Things, and 1 Levy and that was about enough.

During this tournament I came to the conclusion that the retrieval run and tropes were very probably unnecessary. One issue I found was simply not getting breakers available fast enough... At the moment I'm testing using Simulchips for Clots, as well as cheaper breaker installations, Labor Rights (mainly for recycling econ and other recursion cards back into the deck... I generally play them as soon as I get them), and Buffer Drives for all my out of faction cards. This seems to be working pretty well, more or less, and has given me a bit more room for more pressure cards like Turning Wheel and Stargate...