[Startup] Life in the Bubbles (Under the SEA) [75% W/R]

xiaat 983

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I built this deck during the spoilers season of Parhellion and played lots of games over the last 3 days since release to test it out. It went 24W - 7L and a couple of ragequits/disconnects from opponents (some opponents were also running Ashes cards which didn't help). This is not too bad for a deck with 13 agendas and 10 ice (sometimes the flood is real), so I decided to share it. There were many changes in card choices during testing. I didn't keep track of all of them, but some explanations can be found down below.

1. Setup

Basically, the gameplan is as follows: Get some early economy ASAP by placing Marilyn Campaigns and Regolith Mining Licenses on the table. This is also what you mulligan into, 2 econ cards and 1 ice. Prioritize icing up the Regoliths over the centrals. It is the most important card to hit early, this deck is really hungry for credits because it runs some expensive ice and an essential 4-cost upgrade.

Ice up HQ and R&D. Single ice over R&D is all you need early (Ansel 1.0 or Brân 1.0 are best against Endurance), and you can leave HQ uniced if there's not much to steal/trash. Start building a remote, ideally you want 2 ice on the remote, none of which are Eli 1.0.

Do 2 core damage, capping the Runner at 3 cards in hand. This is mostly done by scoring 2- and 3-cost agendas from Djupstad Grid and creating opportunities for the Runner to make mistakes and faceplant into an agenda with 0 clicks. Keep your remote safe with Manegarm Skunkworks: the era of rich Runners is over, they will struggle to pay 5 and still have 2 to steal an agenda AND 4 more to trash Djupstad. Stay above 7 to threaten wombo combo. Admittedly, if the Runner uses Hippocampic Mechanocytes or some other ways to increase their hand size, you'll have to keep finding opportunities to deal core damage. They're not that hard to come by though.

2. Enable

Give the Runner a tag using either Distributed Tracing or Public Trail. Another option is to put Orbital Superiority in the remote and advance twice, threatening giving a tag next turn + core damage with Djupstad, but also a core damage and Distro Tracing if they manage to run and steal the agenda after the Manegarm. This is a very strong fork. Random Snare! from R&D or HQ also works. They use No Free Lunch? No worries, you've got more enablers than they do tag evasion. Repeat next turn. No enablers on hand? Draw into those aggressively using Spin Doctors and regular s.

3. Nuke

Play End of the Line. Congrats, you've won with the most rage-inducing Corp deck of this competitive season! alt text

4. Alternative wincons (who needs those?)

I thought this was a game about scoring agendas? If the Runner continues to take core damage, but refuses to take some of those sweet tags, scoring out is not out of the realm of possibility. Ontological Dependences become 2/2s with just 2 core damage (and 0/2s with 4), so you can build the OntoTrain of your dreams with 2/1 Élivágar Bifurcations to fill the gaps (and derez your Spin Doctors).

5. Card choices

  • Mr. Hendrik I found pretty easy to play around, while Manegarm does its job every time.
  • Hypoxia is slow and wastes your expensive enablers for something your deck already does.
  • Public Trail and Snare! are flex slots, both of these won me games consistently, but you could change these to 2x of either or something else entirely.
  • Hákarl 1.0 is too expensive and weak overall. This deck is already struggling for cash, no need to shoot yourself in the foot. 1 core damage isn’t worth it.
  • Harmonic ice package is just bad overall, low-strength and too slow scaling. Instead I opted for a bioroid package. These ice cards are initially balanced by having an option to click through the subroutines, however Thule Subsea: Safety Below ability offsets this balance a lot in your favor.
  • If you’re really struggling with credits, swap Orbital Superiority for Offworld Office.
  • Biotic Labor used to be in the deck, there are some interesting combo possibilities with this card including double End of the Line, however such scenarios are very hard to support from the cash perspective. Could be good depending on the meta. 2nd Public Trail instead of Snare is better with Biotic, for a theoretical combo of Biotic - 2x Public Trail- 2x EotL (the hard part is to find 18 for this).
  • Other flavors of Thule deckbuilding are also possible, changing the win condition. One option would be dropping the tag-and-kill package and instead opting for pure asset-based prison deck, maximizing core damage opportunities and further reducing Runner’s grip size by importing Dr. Vientiane Keeling + Reaper Function + Hostile Architecture, maybe even keeping some of the tag cards and using Retribution to trash their Marrows and Hippocampic Mechanocytes to suddenly flatline them. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

Good luck!

12 Dec 2022 xou

really nice writeup!

I think you underestimate Mr. Hendrick and harmonic ICE package but it's great to see an unusual build for Thule.