A Single Mom, A Fraud and a Con walk into a bank

Xtreme 149

Fraud Criminal

Introduction

The diversity of competitive decks in the current meta is very slim and in my opinion not very interesting and fun to play. As a criminal player my options are either 419 or Tagme Zahya if I want to go competitive, and neither of these cached my attention.

I decided to go away for trying to make a tier1 deck, and made it my mission to make Conduit work in Zahya.

Why Conduit?

1.The synergy with Zahya ID ability is a match made in heaven
2.The 4-influence cost makes it a challenge in a 40-size deck.
3.Difficult to get a program out when needed in Criminals without SMC, which is another 3-influence and 2c.

After a few months of testing and help from my fellow Drop Bears, this is my decklist that I wanted to share with the community.

Off the beaten path

This deck include a solid portion of the good-stuff Criminal cards that is needed for Tier1 decks to be competitive, but this is not the goal of this deck, so some iconic criminal cards got cut in the process. The reason is that I don't like to either play with or even against some of these cards, and would rather focus on what is fun for me to play with.

Diversion of Funds:
The most interesting decision that I made in this deck was to cut DoF, for that simple reason that the Corp is to fast and can get crazy rich early on. It is an auto-include in the majority of Criminal decks, but it doesn't work with Zahyas ID ability. It is without a doubt one of the most ideal and powerful criminal cards, but a lot of stars needs to be align in the current meta in order to get the full benefits of it.
With a 40-size deck, I came to the conclusion that focusing on cards that either helps with the econ or gave multi-access would be more valuable.

Aumakua:
With the bottom of my heart, I don't enjoy playing Aumakua and especially not when a deck is built around turtle.
It was an easy decision to cut turtle and it also helps in order to avoid dealing with IP BlockCyberdex Sandbox, that can keep you out from a server

Strengths and Weaknesses

Rigshooters: With only one set of breakers, this decks fails against rig-shooting Corps, very simple. Boomerang helps, which is why we run 3 copies and Inside Job helps dealing with 2-ice servers.

Tag-punishments: Hard-Hitting News is hard to deal with, in a run aggressive criminal deck, and the only way to deal with it in this deck is to take a step back and always make sure to have 8c at the end of your turn.

Fast Advance: This is where the deck shines. Bankroll and Pennyshaver gives a great economy and together with multi-access cards like Jailbreak and Docklands Pass, each runs is a money run. The run aggressive approach helps to keep up with FA decks and I have had some success with dealing with the tempo of Precision Design and Sportsmetal.

Versatility

With only one copy of Conduit, you have to adapt until you find it. Luckily this deck is not built completely around Conduit, and is very Versatile due to the good-stuff criminal package.

  1. Corp normally ice up HQ in fear of getting DoF when facing criminals, making RnD wide upon for early multi-access. Having Conduit in the opening hands and install run-run-run provides early important access (and potential agenda snipes), that can tell in what direction the game is going.

  2. Conduit+Bravado provides options to get the Conduit engine running in mid-game and also late-game with support from Bankroll.

  3. Conduit+The Turning Wheel is the booster combo for Zahya's ID ability, and give the options to pressure HQ as well (Due to the lack of Legwork. Two copies of TTW is ideal to see it as early as possible.

I tried to go two copies of Conduit, and even 1xConduit and 1xSMC but the influence-cost would be to cut the 2xDiesel and I values more the card-draw tempo that Diesel provides (together with The Class Act filter).

Final Thoughts

Slotting Conduit in a Zahya Deck has a huge influence prize, and that is why it is not seen very often. The deck works really well without conduit, but being able to pull off the Conduit Engine requires consistency that one copy can not provide. 2xThe Makers Eye is the better card-choice if you want to have the consistency that 40-size decks provides, and play competitive. That being said, playing this deck without DoF and with a Bankroll+Pennyshaver econ engine has been successful and fun, and provides an element of surprise that the Corp is not always ready for. I'm sure that there is many different ways to improves this deck and make Conduit in Zahya more consistent, and I'm looking forward to discovers these in the future.

A special thanks to my fellow Drop Bears for card suggestions and playtesting this deck with me

8 comments
11 Oct 2021 gilesdavis

Very nice write up!!

Can confirm the R&D pressure this lays down is terrifying 🙂

13 Oct 2021 Baa Ram Wu

love the write up - the strengths and weaknesses section is particularly useful for seeing how this would do in different metas!

13 Oct 2021 Davidmc7

I feel like Diversion of funds is a little bit like Hard-Hitting News or Snare!, the fear of it makes others play around it without you even needing to slot it. Playing against Crim? Better protect against Diversion and pad HQ. Then all a sudden boom, you're all over R&D.

13 Oct 2021 Xtreme

Thanks @gilesdavis and @Baa Ram Wu. Go drop bears

@Davidmc7 I totally agree, all over R&D and getting paid for it at the same time with Zahyas ID ability.

Next challenge will be to include 3xDiversion of Funds in shaper, to mess with the corps mindset.

It is time to change the game style.

16 Oct 2021 rsh

I respect your disdain for turtles, but a variant with Contaminate+Aumakua (as a backup target) would give a lot of teeth to the Conduit. Getting 4c off Zahya on the first run isn't bad either.

16 Oct 2021 Xtreme

@rsh I really agree on that. I did try it, and when I pulled it off it was very powerful. Especially right after a purge.

I decided to go away from it, due to multiple game where the Contaminate ended up as a dead draw (even with 2 copies). That might be the wrong decision of me, who knows 😜

17 Oct 2021 nbkelly

A Single Mom, A Fraud and a Con?

Like this?

Does it look like this?

19 Oct 2021 Ghost Meat

Amazing GIF. XD

Congrats on DLOTW, @Xtreme!