Meat Sweats

Xandorius 129

DON'T TOUCH THAT MEAT!

This is the most stable iteration of the Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations deck that I've been testing over the past couple weeks. It's running an approximate 65% winrate on jnet across about 50 games. There's been tweaking along the way, but the core realization was discovering that the Hard-Hitting News kill package works really well in a smaller 44 card deck.

WHAT'S THE MEAT PLAN?

The gameplan for this deck is to kill the runner. That's goal #1 in the time honoured Weyland Tradition. To that end, seeing Hard-Hitting News early is good, often having one in your opening hand is worth keeping. Make the runner sweat by threatening a lot of MEAT all at once, or a steady stream of MEAT whenever they run.

If the Tag-n-bag looks like it's not really working out, this deck can also score out. An early Project Atlas helps to serve both goals well. The deck runs taxing ICE both through taxing credits, and more importantly taxing cards out of the runner's hand. Frequently runner's won't want to risk trashing key early game pieces to damage, so they won't run until they're more set up. This can create windows to let you score early agendas.

WHY NOT A MEAT GRINDER?

This is the biggest question I get in the deck. Why not run 6 agendas, glacier-y ICE, and try to tax the runner down to 0 cards and an inevitable win? I've probably played a couple hundreds games with Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations now, and I've found that the 6 agenda suite tends to stall out at 6-6 with the runner eventually winning through a remote lock in the late game. Also, Buffer Drive can eliminate your ID's ability to bring the runner to 0 cards which limits the success of this kind of grinder deck.

The 6 agenda suite will typically be 3 SDS Drone Deployment and 3 City Works Project - Although City Works synergizes with the grinder plan well, it is a real liability if stolen out of R&D or HQ, especially early.

Finally, you usually want to cheat out the 7th point somehow. Gene Splicer is typically the best choice for this, but it's expensive, slow, and requires a fair bit of card support to make reliable.

CARD CHOICES - TOO MUCH MEAT IS BAD FOR YOU

Agenda Suite - The 7 agenda suite allows for scoring out much easier than the 6 suite due to Project Atlas being able to bluff as Wall To Wall or Rashida Jaheem. The controversial choice is running a single SDS Drone Deployment. That means that there is 3/7 odds that the runner wins out by stealing SDS. The benefit to SDS is that it defends against early steals decently well and it frees up a valuable card slot. The biggest defense is the runner encountering SDS in the first few turns, especially if they don't have a program install yet. Forcing them to spend a and s to install a program just to sack it for the steal buys you precious time and tempo.

Assets - NGO Front is money, bluffs an agenda, and will frequently prompt the runner to check on it, which means running your remote and losing a card. It combos great with a 3 advanced Akhet since if the runner checks the Akhet will put a token on the NGO right before you trash it for cash. Wall To Wall is great for advancing ice and moving your gameplan forward. Rashida Jaheem does the same thing. I found the most success with 2x since the deck runs fast and doesn't require the same amount of draw as a larger deck does.

Ice Suite - Akhet is great for triggering your ID. If the runner face-checks it then it puts a token on itself. Masvingo does the same. Mausolus taxes Black Orchestra much more than Hortum and it has the potential to tag the runner, so it's the preferred pick. Oduduwa is kinda spicy and it puts a token on itself for your ID ability and if you pair it with Masvingo you can create very expensive servers. Thimblerig was a pick for the last influence point and it turns out to be pretty useful to swap around your servers as you need. Colossus was the most useful sentry pick. It has a very edge case of defending SDS if it fires and trashes the program the runner would need to steal.

THE PAYLOAD PICKS

The biggest amount of tinkering in this deck went into the operations. 1 BOOM! and 2 High-Profile Target is the most flexible package to potentially kill the runner. 1 Consulting Visit adds additional flexibility, with a scored Project Atlas increasing that potential to get the cards you need. Hard-Hitting News is the typical tag generating pick.

1 SEA Source turns out to be a useful include. Late game the runner often has only a few cards left in hand, so you can create a SEA-HPT combo for the kill. It also enables you to take out Citadel Sanctuary. SEA Source - trash resources - HHN can be a killer turn, landing 5 tags and making things much more difficult for the runner to deal with.

1 Best Defense is for targeting Misdirection which is the biggest counter to Hard-Hitting News. The deck often fires one HHN to bait the runner getting Misdirection out, then money's up and plays Best Defense with a second HHN to seal in the kill. #Simulchip can disrupt that plan, but either way it can create a big tempo hit to the runner. If you don't suspect Misdirection being in play, Best Defense also targets anything that costs 0, which is often a pretty flexible amount of choices. Occasionally you can pair it with SEA Source to trash something else.

Mass Commercialization is usually better than both IPO and Too Big to Fail so pairing it with Hedge Fund was the best choice overall when testing the deck. Economic Warfare is hugely valuable as many runners after seeing the HHN will always stay above 8 thinking they can just clear tags. EW-EW-HHN can be a game winning turn.

Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations hasn't been a Tier 1 deck in a long time, if ever. I think taking advantage of the 44 card deck allows for the kind of consistency that you need for the kill package. With the ID also chipping cards out of the runner's hand, you create a situation where if the runner goes poor you can kill them, if they run often you can grind them out. Having the two win conditions has been better than going all-in on either plan.

Thanks for taking a look at this deck! Any suggestions/ideas are always welcome. A solution for Buffer Drive might be worth finding, and rejigging the deck to make more money to land those HHN turns. 1 Wake Up Call might be the solution for late game Buffer Drive destruction, but what to cut is a tough question to answer.

7 comments
17 Nov 2020 Diogene

@Xandorius This look very good. In my 40 cards iterations, I found that landing a trace operation (HHN in your case, Punitive in mine), I needed to have a good credit differential. Which mean you must spend less than the runner.

Since it seems you are going for a kill, rather than a scored victory, I would think that there is not a need for expensive ices. The ices have to be cred taxing only. With a good tax to rez ratio. Afshar would insure a 3 cred loss at all time (plus immunity to Hippo) and Ice Wall would be cheaper than Masvingo, for the same tax effect. The advantage of Masvingo is that it eventually becomes immune to Boomerang (not to be neglected). Food for though, because I do not see anything wrong with your ice choices.

The use of Best Defense for Misdirection is truly brilliant.

One question : in all your trial, what was the drawback of using Punitive compared to HHN + HPS/BOOM?

In my trials, I found Wall to Wall more valuable than Rashida. I would suggest to do +1 Wall to Wall (for security), +1 Consulting Visit, Wake Up Call or an extra ice and -2 Rashida Jaheem. Because once you have a WtW on the board, Rashida is really superfluous.

Thank you for sharing your deck. As always, it is well documented and thought out. A win rate of 2/3 is really good, especially over many iterations. Congratulation.

17 Nov 2020 Xandorius

@Diogene Thanks for the thoughts and comments! Always good to see your input!

Comments on ICE selection: In testing I've found that Masvingo performed better than Ice Wall in this deck because it automatically puts a token on itself. To manually do that on Ice Wall costs you an additional and . It's true that Wall to Wall can do that for you, but that is a two card combo which is naturally slower. There is also the edge value of runners face-checking a Masvingo and not anticipating the damage. Being able to trigger your ID early is useful. I see Masvingo as having more value than an Ice Wall that has been advanced once. Afshar is a good pick, but I don't see what it's worth replacing. Keeping advanceable ice is useful for turns where you choose to manually advance in order to maximize a Mass Commercialization. This deck tries to thread the needle between being able to kill as well as score, so you need some ICE with teeth to create those windows. Afshar is really best on HQ as well, so I find that when you have only 10 ICE you want things to be as flexible as you can get.

On Punitive Counterstrike - I tested that version a lot. I find it's best with a 6 agenda suite of all 3 pointers. It's kill potential is maximized when combined with City Works Project. I found its often not flexible enough. If the runner has 3+ cards in hand then you need to land two Punitives for the kill. If they have Citadel Sanctuary then they can trash a hand of zero cards to prevent further damage. Plus once the runner steals two agendas, punitive is done and you're stuck with a secondary win trying to score out. Overall I found the HHN combo more reliable. It can kill early game and late game and requires fewer pieces to fall into place.

I may cut Rashida Jaheem for another Wall to Wall . So far in testing seeing the first Rashida is good and the second isn't useful. Same with Wall to Wall. More games will determine if one really out weighs the other.

Same goes for BOOM! I might swap it for a third High-Profile Target. The question is how often is BOOM! better than HPT? It does out damage I've Had Worse defense, as well as a runner with 4 cards in hand. I think the flexibility of both is worth it, but I'll need to assess how often BOOM! kills a runner when HPT would not.

17 Nov 2020 Diogene

@Xandorius Your evaluation of Masvingo is spot on. It is basically click compression.

Also, you are right about Punitive, in late game, it is pretty useless. It worked well for me because I was baiting City Work Project (or GFI) and doing Punitive right after. Especially early, it is very effective. The HHN + HPT does not work with only 40 cards. The support of Economic Warfare is vital, as you've mentionned.

This lead to a certain reflections, and I am not sure about it. This is just me musing about alternatives and the effect that could have.

Would an Audacity allow the deck to snatch victory at the last moment? But that might be too much of an edge case.

And would credit differential matter more than anything, for an HHN combo deck? If so, Mumbad Virtual Tour could be interesting, because it would create a large credit differential, allowing you to land SEA Source and HHN much easier and make it harder for the runner to get rid of the tags.

This is interesting, because there seems to be something that could increase the consistency of making the kill tactic stick, but there are trade-offs.

Lastly, how well does the grinding aspect of the ID help with the gameplan? Because it seems that you could put in a Hostile Takeover and put the whole recipe in Argus and it would work also (this is show awesome and well thought out your gameplan and card selection is). After all, BoN allow you to transform every ice in Kakugo.

19 Nov 2020 Diogene

@Xandorius I just want to say that I am testing the deck "as is". Like surmise, it is really really well built and perform well. The BOOM! works wonders. When you can have only one card, it does the job like no other. I got apocalypsed and survived the game because of it.

How is your experience in using BOOM! versus HPT? Thanks for your comments, it really let me understand Weyland (I am trying to get to know it better, I usually play Jinteki).

Cheers.

21 Nov 2020 Xandorius

@Diogene Thanks for your thoughts and taking the deck for a spin!

The last few days I've been playing around with a different kill package out of Chronos to take a break from Weyland (first list is here, but it is way far from optimized! netrunnerdb.com)

Mumbad Virtual Tour is actually a clever idea as an alternative or addition to Economic Warfare. Sometimes your hand ends up cluttered with EW and HHN while you are waiting for your moment to strike. Installing the tour in your remote, baiting that run and forced trash is kind of like playing EW proactively. It does have the potential to be trashed when you don't have your pieces ready, but it has a different kind of flexibility.

Audacity might be worth it as a final fast advance tool, I haven't tried it out much before but it does make scoring out a little smoother. Pretty seriously hurt by Clot though.

Picking this ID over Argus Security: Protection Guaranteed is for a couple different reasons. The first is that 44 card decks provide a different kind of consistency over 49 card decks. Needing 3 or 4 agendas out of 7 is more challenging than getting 4 of 8, for example. Argus also wants some more agendas than the minimum in order to fire their ID ability.

I think Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations ID ability is really strong if it has the right kind of support. Cayambe Grid and Kakugo were both really solid supports for the grinder version, but both are currently banned. Kakugo with an advancement token on it though? Those days were fantastic. Similarly Breached Dome was a decent choice.

What the ID does best is slow down early runner aggression. Runners don't want to needlessly lose their early pieces so the first few turns often let you set up and get your kill package ready. If the runner sits back too much, start scoring.

For awhile I thought I'd toss the BOOM! for a third High-Profile Target but then I got a couple BOOM! kills when HPT would not have worked. The most common scenario being that the runner ends with 4 cards in hand and two tags left, with you having either boom or consulting visit in hand. A one card kill is sometimes better than a two card kill but has its own vulnerability. Having both available means that the runner can't avoid death by playing around one option.

Currently questions are, 10 ice feels a little slim and might be better at 12. I don't know if Rashida Jaheem is doing enough work and if another Wall to Wall is worth it. Lastly you have little you can do against a mega rich runner... Tags require you to be richer, but having tags stick requires the runner to be poor. There isn't really a benefit to landing HHN when the runner has 15 credits and just clears them. Sure, it's a tempo hit, but you had to spend a lot to make that happen. Something like Reversed Accounts or Closed Accounts might work. Maybe.

At this point I think this deck has potential, but it has some pretty clear weaknesses that a good runner can play around.

25 Nov 2020 lightburied

As someone who tried for way too long to make Underway Renovation mill decks a thing, this is a neat looking deck. I've admittedly been out of Netrunner for a while now (meatspace still exists) but the kill package is there and I genuinely can't tell what the primary win con is because both seem pretty valid options. Nicely done!

27 Nov 2020 Ulkrond

I like this deck. Simple and too the point.