Noisey Find – 4th Place Uroboros Cup (UK Games Expo 2014)

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evilgaz 877

A couple of people at Game Expo were asking about my Noise deck at the weekend so I thought I’d post it up with some notes. I’m good like that.

It’s been through several iterations and initially started with Lucky Find in (hence the name), I’ve come to the conclusion that the initial build full of cash wasn’t consistent so the deck now runs on fairly minimal economy. That’s okay because everything is cheap to play and Closed Accounts is a non-issue. Key to enduring longevity is Aesop's Pawnshop, Cyberfeeders work hard for you and Armitage Codebusting can boost you up for a Sure Gamble or otherwise dig you out of a hole.

There are lots of viruses. I’d like there to be more variety but the card pool is what it is. Gorman Drip v1 is excellent – it’s the first card people say I should drop and one of the last I’d actually get rid of. Against the likes of Cerebral Imaging, lots of Jinteki decks, any corp that draws or clicks for credits; it earns you lots of cash. If you can get 2-3 out, the Corp player has to think long and hard before every click and will often take sub-optimal actions in order to avoid giving you cash. Also they’ll purge more often and waste whole turns. If your opponent is playing round them, pawn one or two and still turn a profit (especially if you played with free Cyberfeeder credits).

Imp is your defence against combos, killing Scorched or other key cards, and trashing SanSan or Eve Campaign is easy. Also good for destroying economy cards or Ice out of R&D and HQ (whichever one the corp seems short of). To be honest I usually Imp whatever I see. With 3 of them in the deck, three Déjà Vu and two Clone Chip spend them merrily. Another card that can encourage a Purge from the corp.

The other key card is The Source. A typically play if you’re short on money is to Imp an accessed agenda and go get it later. When you’re ready to collect, pawn the Source and get cash then go pick up your agenda bounty. This card also stops Fast Advance decks from just blasting past you with speed. If they burn lots of cards to over score an agenda you can always Déjà vu it back and play it again (after a bit of a look to see if you can steal something first). I did very well against both Cerebral Imaging and NBN TWIY – my only loss against the former was when I’d seen a Scorched and ran too aggressively afterwards getting my house burned down. Remember to keep on top of economy or (more likely) Imp away SE or Punitive, there’s no Carapace in this deck. Be sure to check Archives every now and then – getting info on which threats have already been milled can help make your runs safer.

I’d suggest running reasonably aggressively to start with, get ice rezzed and have a look at what you’re dealing with. This should help slow the corp down and give you targets for Parasite. Getting Wyldside out is good, but if it’s not there take at least one click a turn drawing. You can use most of what you see on three credits or less and clicking for the odd credit too isn’t a problem (although ideally you’ll want to see an Armitage or something early). Don’t be scared of Wyldside flooding your hand and having to discard. You can probably recur whatever goes in the bin and I’ve never run out of cards in my deck, plus extra versions of Wyldside, Grimoire etc. need clearing out of your deck.

if the corp is reluctant to rez ice or leaves the centrals open you can drop a Nerve Agent, Medium or Hemorrhage. I rarely get to use them in the classic sense, but they soon get the corp using clicks or credits protecting centrals and not scoring agendas. And if they don’t… cool. I’ll see five cards in R&D please (and Imp some, plus Datasucker etc).

Depending on how things are going, about a third to half way through a game you might want to switch to a less aggressive stance and run infrequently or stop running altogether. Milling someone out is a finely balanced game, and it often comes down to the wire. Don’t be frightened of losing programs by trashing over them or feeding Aesops. There’s a good amount of recursion and plenty of cheap stuff. By now you should have Wyldside, Grimoire, Aesops, maybe the Source, and a bunch of diverse programs that allow you to pressure some areas if you really need to – just time your run well and don’t leave yourself open to tags or Scorched if you can help it.

Kill Jackson if you see him. Kill him in the face. Except… if the corp player is drawing like a madman and not scoring then you can arguably leave him. With the Corp drastically drawing and not scoring, he’s thinning his deck wonderfully. Try and hit HQ to get some of the good stuff he’s holding onto, or grab some Hemorrhage counters and get him to discard his own. Eventually Jackson’ll get used but let the corp do some work for you. Mainly though, kill Jackson in the face – note if he’s protected, running Archives normally has the same effect.

I put Stimhack in thinking at some point I’d want to make a glory run and burst into a server to steal something at the last minute. As it turns out though, I rarely use it – and if I do most of the credits go unspent. As a result I’ll probably swap this out for another Cyberfeeder, although I’ve messed about with Surge and other surprise cards which can help you kill of a piece or beef up Darwin quickly. You can definitely use this slot for {insert favourite card here}.

22 comments
2 Jun 2014 el-zilcho

Can you explain your choice to use Darwin and speak to your experience using it? Thanks!

3 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@Kwyjibo Sure thing! Firstly I need to keep the number of breakers down, so I can fit more cool stuff in. When a breaker turns up, I want to be able to get into anything (given enough cash / sucker tokens). As soon as a Knight or Darwin turns up there is no ice that definitely keeps me out, whereas seeing a Yog does me no good against an Ice Wall etc.

Having moar viruses is good, so that helps. Often I’ve installed multiple Darwin’s just for the mill effect. Darwin goes really well with Cyberfeeder for free strength boosts every turn. Parasites and Datasuckers do a good job of making Ice manageable, but if you want to encourage a Purge from the corp, keep building up strength on Darwin and some players get nervous.

I did try Crypsis for a while but he’s too pricey. Everything in the deck (except Sure Gamble, which makes you money) costs three or less, plus with Crypsis you need to give him tokens and when you’re already losing a click to Wyldside, having to give up actions so you can use and keep your breakers sucks.

Darwin lets me get in places where I need to, when I need to – I rarely use him lots of times. Pick your runs correctly and he does the job.

High strength, low subroutines, use Darwin or Knight. Low strength, high number of subroutines, use Parasite. (As a rule of thumb.)

3 Jun 2014 r

What about when you first draw Darwin? Even an Ice Wall will stop a Darwin on its first turn. Have you considered Overmind?

3 Jun 2014 r

Derp, nvm, Datasucker tokens will do the job if Darwin doesn't have enough strength.

3 Jun 2014 evilgaz

:)

To answer the Overmind question - I usually have most my memory used, Overmind would be a sad panda in my deck. Plus it costs four, which really offends me... ;)

4 Jun 2014 jawohl

Isnt it that simply one purge can effectively keep you out? I was always worried that in decks like this its too painful.

Anyway good read! Good job

4 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@jawohl If you're playing a big glacier deck then you might struggle - you can normally do okay against them by eating the smaller ice with parasite, clicking though other things, not worrying about programs getting trashed, and using Knight to get past things like Hadrian's Wall or Tollbooth.

Ideally against HB you're trashing all their asset economy cheap with Imp and forcing rez to get credits spent. With The Source out you usually get a couple of turns to build up again after a purge. Having Grimoire helps to (Darwin + Parasite + Datasucker, give's you Strengh 3 for a run immediately). Using clone chip to get something out on the Corp's turn gets you an extra token for your turn too, so anything up to Str 4 can be beaten.

That's a lot of moving parts though. Don't get me wrong, big ice and lots of corp economy is a tough match up, but I've done really well against Cerebral Imaging for example, usually winning via mill.

4 Jun 2014 Langoroth

Why aren't you running any Djinn?

5 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@Langoroth If you want to put Djinn in, then swap out Cyberfeeder for two, although you might struggle with economy then. (CF replaced the Djinn, but I had more money too.)

I had them in for a while, but to be honest their main use was as extra memory to store throwaway viruses on. I occasionally used them to fetch a virus, but the click and credit seemed expensive – I can’t remember a time when getting a specific virus or set of them was crucial. More often clicking for cards and using what you get was more useful.

This deck plays out different ways depending on what you get in your hand, but you’ve always got plenty of options and things to do with your clicks. Ultimately I just didn’t get enough value out of Djinn to justify the card slots.

5 Jun 2014 Thike

Have you played around with Keyhole instead of Medium? it may not be a virus, but it does allow you to more selectively prune the corp's deck.

I quite like the deck, I've recently been playing around with something similar. I'll have to give Gorman and The Source a try.

6 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@Thike I've thought about it, in fact Keyhole is sat next to my keyboard winking at me. I've not tried it yet though. The thing putting me off is 2MU as I use a lot of programs, but I think its definitely a valid option for exploration.

There's an argument for having both in (one of each) and drop something else. I may well give it a go and see what happens.

7 Jun 2014 nockstaff

I'm a fellow traveller on this path to make Noise a usable option. I like this, there's quite a few options I hadn't thought of before and will have to try them. Have you thought about scavenge or Scheherazade if you not bothered about losing your programs.

7 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@nockstaff I wouldn't go with Scheherazade - for the sake of a credit I'm risking a lot of programs hosted on one fragile thing - I don't care too much about losing them, but losing a bunch all in one go is a bit much! ;) Besides, I wouldn't know what to take out to make room for that card.

I have tried Scavenge though. Great for getting a mill, refreshing an Imp with tokens, moving a Parasite around etc. Ultimately I found Clone Chips to work out better, especially for using out of turn and not requiring a click. If you don't have much Fast Advance in your meta you could try removing The Source and being more aggressive with some Scavenges too.

7 Jun 2014 disturbedjack

On the topic of Djinn it might be worth trying: -1 Grimoire with +1 Djinn

7 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@disturbedjack Could be... I spent a lot of time with this deck with a lot of "two-ofs" in but it lacked consistency. I don't think one Djinn would come up that often, but maybe -1 Stimhack, -1 Grimoire, +2 Djinn? They didn't really work out for me, but worth a try.

7 Jun 2014 disturbedjack

@evilgaz I entirely see what you mean, my angle was that in odd cases where you would have run into 2 Grimoire in which the second is effectively a dead card to you, you have the potential (or increased probability) to hit a Grimoire and a Djinn instead.

I don't think there is a need to run multiple Djinns as I agree it is a very heavy card at times and can really slow tempo at times. I do like the 1 off Stimhack, because I rarely ever want to run into more then one, but if you want to try running both altered setups please let me know how you like it.

My take is I like to increase consistency as well. But also reduce odd cases where getting multiples of the same card leaves the second copy a dead card to me. In this case Djinn could act similarly to Grimoire, memory wise.

7 Jun 2014 lukesim3

What's your take on Spinal Modem instead of the Grimoire? It would let you cut the Cyberfeeders and add things like Djinn, Keyhole, etc.

7 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@disturbedjack I see what you're saying. I have three Grimoire because its a card I want to see and see early. By swapping out one for a Djinn, I might see the Djinn first and have to wait ages for an actually Grimoire - that's balanced against the dead draw later for multiple Grimoires. I prefer the guarantee of getting the card I want and am happy to overdraw later. There's plenty of times I have to discard and the odd duplicate is fine (for me).

@lukesim3 Personally I really dislike Spinal Modem. For starters if you hit an early Caduceus, or you're playing NBN, or hit a Viper or one of a dozen other things, a trace could land and you're taking Brain damage. Sad face. There are no Plascretes here, you definitely don't want to be reducing hand size if you can help it.

The free virus token from Grimoire is actually really useful (it makes Imp 50% more effective, gives Parasites and Datasuckers a kickstart, enables Medium or Nerve Agents to see an extra card on the first run, etc,). It also costs one less credit to use. (Minor point, but its there.)

You're not going to be making that many runs necessarily, certainly later game, and if you don't run the free credits on Spinal don't do you any favours - plus its only one extra memory, not two, and memory is at a premium in this deck. Cyberfeeders allow you to play viruses as well as paying for runs, so I really like their dual purpose (plus beefing up Darwin for free).

I know Spinal has a cult following, but for my money (certainly in this deck), I think its too much risk for not enough up-side.

9 Jun 2014 gravity

How did this deck fare against Supermodernism Weyland? The milling really hurts them, but their superior speed when it comes to threaten a double scorch seems like it could be a problem.

I'm a real fan of this list. I'll give this thing a spin and hope come up with my own variant. Congratulations!

9 Jun 2014 evilgaz

@gravity When playing against a scorchy Weyland, you just have to slap your cajones on the table and go for it... ;)

Most of the time you'll mill or imp at least one Scorched, and then most players don't go for the kill if they know they've lost at least one of the key cards. Sometimes though, you're going to get burned. Especially if Jackson is around and the Scorched get stuffed back in the deck...

Those sort of decks generally rely on smaller ice to defend themselves and Parasite chomps through Chimera and Ice Wall merrily so you can bring a lot of pressure to bear.

You're probably not going to win on money terms, so put your faith in Imp to remove key cards when you see them, and get through as many cards as possible.

Let me know how it goes if you give the deck a try - or any improvements you think make a worthwhile difference!

10 Jun 2014 Shishu

The only major problem I could see with this deck is getting hit by swordsman, but I suppose that can easily be taken down with a parasite, considering the program recursion. I feel like Keyhole is a much more viable option than hemorrhage; it's like a mini indexing, and you get to trash a card. Not to mention it can be a nice safeguard against snares and shocks

12 Jun 2014 Katsushika

Nice list Gary, been playing a very different Noise recently (Siphon, less Viruses, more economy, fixed breakers) but will give this a try. After playing you in Regionals and at CP, I can testify to the power of your Gorman Drips. I would want to try and make room for an E3 to help your matchup against Glacier, dropping maybe one copy of The Source?

Well done on your finish and enjoy your new alt-art Noise!