Death Server of Doom: Jank Level 3000

Arkitekt 270

Well, here we are... The stars of netrunner have aligned, the cauldron of jank has finished bubbling, employee strike is gone, and now I have developed a new miracle for a new world. I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the DEATH SERVER OF DOOOOOM!!!

The Plan:

If it wasn't already apparent from the title and the convoluted selection of various unplayed cards, the intent here is to construct a server that, if ran by the runner, will spell certain death for them. To force them into running said server, we can use any unrezzed piece of ice to boop them there with AGI's ID ability. Once this twisted laboratory scheme is executed, any server with even a single unrezzed ice becomes impossible for the runner to run without dying and it is trivial to lock them out of all of our servers, including a scoring remote.

The fundamental kill piece here is cerebral overwriter. Advance it enough times and it can kill the runner either instantly, or at the end of their turn if they took more brain damage than their maximum hand size. The key is to get this guy charged up (mushin helps to get us started) to the point at which we're confident it's certain death. When in doubt, just keep advancing, baby. In this deck's childhood these were project junebugs, the thinking being that it requires less advancements for them to be deadly. However, overwriters proved themselves to be far superior for three key reasons: Firstly, some runners these days have powerful draw engines, so competing with hand-size is more viable. Secondly, far less damage prevention cards can prevent brain damage (more on this later). Thirdly, players who know what we're trying to do can run the trap and eat the damage to trash it and prevent you from advancing it into deadly range. Since brain damage has a permanent effect, it makes this strategy unsustainable.

But how do we prevent the runner from simply jacking out when we force them to the overwriter server? With the only 'can't jack out' card still in the card pool; inazuma. If inazuma is the innermost ice, then its second subroutine effectively forces the runner to continue and access the overwriter (the first sub is irrelevant).

What if the runner simply breaks the second sub? That's where our ol' trigger-happy friend batty comes in. At this point, all you have to do is win a psi game (or one out of three if you have all copies of batty installed in the server), fire inazuma's second sub, and that pesky runner is dunzo.

There still remains one pressing problem though. What if the runner never runs inazuma in the first place, meaning you don't have it rezzed when you want to boop them into it, meaning they won't encounter it and can immediately jack out? Fear no more. Divert power (who the fuck has ever even seen this card in the wild?) comes to the rescue. Once the deadly overwriter, inazuma, and batty are all ready to go in our death server, we can simply divert power to derez all of the gear check ice we had on our centrals, turning them into boop-fodder, and get inazuma rezzed in the process (for free to boot!). Note; if you don't have any ice rezzed, you can always simply rez the batty or overwriter and derez it again with divert power to get your three cred discount.

Now, after much assembly on your part and much confusion on the part of your opponent, you can finally score out behind a single unrezzed ice to your heart's content and cap it all off with a cheeky offer they can't refuse to reach seven points. MUAHAHAHAHA!!! At least, in theory...

The Problems:

As is usually the case with janky decks, there are some runner cards that have the potential to nerf our nefarious machinations. There are several more commonly played cards that can be annoying (political operative for example) but these don't really cripple us if we know what we're doing and play around them. The real bastards are the members of the brain damage prevention crew. I've compiled a hit list of the members of this defiant squad, and luckily it is quite short:

Sacrificial clone: Yes, this prevents all damage in a single go, but does anyone play it? No. It also is indeed quite a sacrifice, and will probably set the runner back so much as to not be a serious threat. We can always re-charge multiple death servers per game, and if the runner is running three sacrificial clones with recursion, well, frankly I don't know what to say.

The noble path: Again, this is a very rarely-played card that we probably don't need to worry about. What's more, it's a run event so we can choose simply not to boop every time it's played and give the runner a free access. Depending on how many agendas they already have, this may not be an issue.

Caldera: Now we're getting into the threat zone; caldera does actually see some play in crim builds. Any game with this deck against caldera is likely to be an econ-war grind, with us attempting to advance our overwriter faster than they can gain credits to prevent its damage, all the while trying to score out in the process.

Recon drone: Not played that often, but probably the best tech card against this deck. Unlike caldera, it requires that the runner only match us cred for cred (one advancement vs one cred of prevention) and this is certainly doable.

And that's it. Depending on how concerned we are about people actually slotting these cards as tech (who has time to tech for silly jank decks anyways) we can include some responses. As you can see, I've got a voter intimidation in the list to deal with caldera (and sacrificial clone too I guess). A well-timed wake up call instead of one of the localized product lines could theoretically take care of recon drone. Honestly though, I'd be pretty surprised if this deck was meta-warping enough to warrant it.

Other notable choices:

Localized product line is there to tutor literally any piece of the four-card combo you need, and tutoring multiple copies can be handy (especially in the batty department). The ice suit other than inazuma is pure gear-check; the deck needs to prevent early accesses while it gets set up and can't afford to spend many creds early on so cheap, diverse etr ice is ideal. Guard has the added bonus of not being bypassable. Distract the masses instead of preemptive action because it's more important to be able to recycle early agendas into R&D without risk (i.e. leaving them in the bin for a turn) than it is to deny the runner two creds. Agenda suit is pure defence and low-density. Econ is fairly straightforward, note that the gear-check server you jam rashidas in can be used as a scoring remote after the death server is assembled and the ice is derezzed.

Conclusion:

Is this the deck to beat? The next big thing, the ban-list altering novel terror of the meta? Without a doubt it is not: If the runner is aggressive enough in the early game they can often steal seven points before the death server is completely set up. However, it is super fun and hilarious when it works (which seems to be about 70% of the time according to jnet, although probably mostly because runners have no idea what's going on) and I'm confident that the gods of jank will be satisfied with their latest offering. As always, any comments, criticisms, or complaints (lol) are welcome. MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

5 comments
13 Nov 2020 callforjudgement

There's a second anti-jack-out ice: Susanoo-no-Mikoto. It can only bump the runner onto Archives, but if you have unrezzed ICE on Archives, you can then bump them back out into a remote using your ID ability. The main disadvantage of this is that you need to place it on the server the runner is actually running, but it could be a decent way to secure HQ or R&D while you're looking for your Inazuma, and it's excellent for scoring out behind.

I'm not sure if your deck has enough ICE and/or econ to be able to run it, but it's a possibility worth considering.

13 Nov 2020 Arkitekt

@callforjudgement Great point! Definitely worth testing that out, thanks for the suggestion!

13 Nov 2020 Krams

You mention Sacrificial Clone, but not Direct Access? :D

Anyways, great jank!

13 Nov 2020 Arkitekt

@KramsOh shit, very good call. I guess it results in a similar outcome to The Noble Path, but harder to outlast because it self-recurs...

14 Nov 2020 Greasythumb

Divert Power is legit filth in Spark.