Below is an article from the Snare Bears Vault, published by me internally on Nov 8, 2021 in its entirety. You can view the Snare Bears' Gagarin deck here.
You want to just build a deck with the 45 best cards, right? Wrong motherfucker. It’s my goal to make you all understand why going above the minimum 45 cards makes sense in this particular scenario. This scenario is:
It’s pretty obvious that there’s a ton of really good drip cards. PAD Tap tipped the scale here, because now we have Maxx's ability, Companions, Rezeki, and PAD Tap (which works either as drip on steroids, or slows the corp down so that other drip gets more value over the game).
It’s pretty obvious that there’s a ton of above average draw. Maxx’s ability is amazing for getting to breakers, worth over a click a turn for her ability to get breakers into the bin as well as the card draw. IHW, Zero, Moshing, Deuces are all exceptional and chain into each other well.
It’s also pretty obvious that you have a strong and flexible endgame. Maw takes apart hands (Great vs void, plus operation-based stuff like Neuro/SFT), Stargate provides similar pressure on R&D, Hippo makes any one-ICE central a liability and can also make remote-camp a viable pivot.
Drip is just like any other econ engine, in that you want all of the pieces to synergize with each other. You want to pair Desperados with Sec Testings and Aumakuas and Datasuckers. Drip pairs well with prolonging the game, through denying the corp econ: spreading their servers, destroying their ICE, and making them protect things when they don’t want to. And the more you are dripping every turn, the better you’re able to do that.
Obviously you want to contest Rashidas, Daily Quests, etc. when you can, but your main goal is to get drip early so that you can spend your clicks drawing for what you need (Burst or More Drip, depending on the situation).
The best drip is PAD Tap. If you could play more PAD Taps, you would. There’s no real downside to the card, because all corps have to play some form of econ other than clicking for credits. But what would you cut to make room for these PAD Taps? My answer is nothing, influence permitting, because the faster you are able to outdrip your opponent, the more you’re able to stay in control of the game.
But this is only because you are also able to take advantage of good Anarch burst econ. IHW, Deuces, Liberated, Overclock, Dirty Laundry, Moshing, Gachapon, Botulus all allow you to react when the Corp first forces you to start contesting their remote(s).
Now’s the time for some hypothetical decks Slightly ignoring deckbuilding requirements (3x cards, and influence) and let’s start with a bonkers Maxx deck:
18 PAD Tap 6 endgame cards (Stargate, Maw, Citadel, Political Operative, etc) 6 Rezeki 6 Companions 3 Hippo 3 Labor Rights 3 of each bin breaker
Now, it’s pretty clear that this deck would outcompete any corp deck thrown at it. If the field goes to grinder to compensate, you could even add a Caldera because you’re otherwise so far ahead.
But, can this deck get better? Would this deck be better if we upped the number of PAD Taps?
36 PAD Tap (instead of 18) 6 endgame cards (Stargate, Maw, Citadel, Political Operative, etc) 6 Rezeki 6 Companions 3 Hippo 3 Labor Rights 3 of each bin breaker
Perhaps this is better. Most of our draws will hit PAD Taps, to the point that any econ card the corp has will be utterly useless after the first few turns. But, we’d be vulnerable to early gearchecks. Not to mention, there are cards that allow us to use our drip to burst better…
12 I’ve Had Worse 36 PAD Tap 6 endgame cards (Stargate, Maw, Citadel, Political Operative, etc) 6 Rezeki 6 Companions 3 Hippo 3 Labor Rights 3 of each bin breaker
This allows you to draw even more efficiently to stack drip. You can also get to your breakers easier, as well as to your endgame cards once you’ve reached a point where you’re in control, instead of the corp.
Now here’s the important hypothetical:
8 I’ve Had Worse 24 PAD Tap 4 endgame cards (Stargate, Maw, Citadel, Political Operative, etc) 4 Rezeki 4 Companions 2 Hippo 2 Labor Rights 2 of each bin breaker
Is this better than #3? Take a minute on this one.
The ratios of this deck are absolutely the same. But the smaller numbers mean a few things:
You only have 2 labor rights. Obviously you should play 3, and it wouldn’t mess things up that much, but you’re much more at risk of losing vs random net damage decks.
You only have 2 hippo. Every hippo buys you an extra turn or two, to say nothing of the implicit threat it creates.
Most importantly, though, you only have 4 endgame cards.
This limit on endgame cards is important. You want to be playing as many different, powerful endgame cards as you can. Once you have an econ advantage, cards like Maw, Stargate, Political Operative, Rebirth, Citadel, and others, turn the game on its head. But you never want to see these cards until you’re far enough ahead to capitalize on them.
To which of course the snarky (sensible -ed.) Brit will say: that’s what Labor Rights is for. And it is! Without Labor Rights, Maxx falls apart because it can’t reliably reach an endgame state. But in practice, Labor Rights while at the middle of your deck is often a losing proposition, unless you’re putting all of your other LR/recursion back in. And Labor Rights at the end of your deck can also be rough, as you often have to take most of the turn off to draw and/or Rebirth.
Maemi is not universally agreed upon, and that’s okay. But it pairs well with two key cards that I feel deserve an instant 3-of in the deck. First is Deuces Wild, it’s a card that’s very flexible, gets you through your deck, and costs 2 so that you can cash in that sweet, sweet Maemi drip. But more importantly is Mining Accident. Accident also has that 2 in the corner, and more importantly, it plays very similarly to PAD Tap. Making the Corp pay 5 is great, because that functionally buys you an extra turn of the game. (Conversion rates may vary, but close enough.) Getting the Bad Pub vs anyone but Outfit is okay, because you just got a +1 drip on every server. While you’re not making random centrals runs that much early on in the game, by mid-to-late game you’re going to be making at least one or two runs a turn for Maw, Stargate, remote-checking, and other power-runs.
I’ve conveniently left out two key cards of the equation. One is Rebirth, because it can get very complicated, especially when talking about options other than Omar. But the second is DJ Fenris. DJ Steve allows you to tutor a card that you have doubles of in your bin. While it doesn’t pay off too much early, later triggers will get you doubles of burst econ to stay in the game much longer than you have any right to. Either that, or it’ll get you one of two Maws / Stargates / Plops that both hit your bin. And the fact that, with Rebirth in your deck, you can trigger this from either HQ or Archives makes defending every server efficiently almost impossible.
So, I hope I’ve illustrated that having a bigger deck when the average speed of your drip outpaces the speed of the best corps makes sense. Obviously you aren’t going to be playing 20 PAD Taps or IHWs, but the Replacement-level drip cards and Replacement-level burst cards are not much worse. While there will be debates on what drip/burst is worth it, (Sorry WB111, Day Job's ain't it. -ed.) the core tenets of the deck are:
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