Executive Helheim Tour [4th, Game Shoppe Regionals, Omaha]

lukifer 904

The latest of evolution of World Cup NEXT, this time without grails. Went 4-0 during Swiss (alongside 77-card MaxX) to land 4th at Nebraska Regionals. Had a flawless rush to 5 against 419 in the cut, but could not find the final agenda to save my life (until the runner's Turning Wheel courteously found them for me).

This build focuses on cheap ETRs more than taxing face-checks; I have mixed feelings about the ICE suite, and I'm still experimenting with it.

Strat

In a nutshell: MCA as aggressively as possible, rush behind ICE, close in the lategame with a 5-deep Jinja remote.

Mull any hand with less than two ICE; you usually want to ICE remote, HQ, R&D, in that order (DDM is a threat, but so is redrawing into a flood). Get MCA online ASAP, preferably turn one, or rush a CST/Hopper to get drip econ rolling. Along the way, try to stick a Jinja in the remote. Unless you're facing an econ-denial criminal (or Reina), you can function quite well early-game on 3-5 credits. GFI lets you take some risks on centrals; I usually let single accesses through unless Architect can hit for value.

Sometimes you can completely rush out the runner before they can get set up (especially if they're forced to live on 3 clicks). But if not, the deck rapidly transforms into a Beautiful Glacier Butterfly. With 19 ICE, and a little help from your friends Rashida and Jinja, a 5-deep remote assembles itself extremely quickly; and while much of the ICE isn't that taxing, the Seidrs and Turings do some seriously heavy lifting, with an assist from Helheim.

Those Synergies Tho

You might notice a theme of draw/discard shenanigans. That's no accident, and the synergies are exquisite:

  • Use EBC to fetch an asset mid-run to feed to Helheim.

  • Dump your hand to Helheim to rez a free IQ (which now has 2x strength for that run).

  • If the first run is on a Jinja server with Hopper(s) scored, you can trigger for a card, and potentially throw fresh ICE in the runner's face (or just find more Helheim food).

Cards

Executive Boot Camp: The secret weapon. Originally slotted with NEXT ICE (to make X go higher at value); but it turns out to have a ton of uses, not the least of which is the ability to find an MCA. Discount Jeeves and free Jinjas/MCAs are huge, since we cut credits to the bone. And the ability to disrupt Indexing, pad the hand, or break R&D lock is just icing on the cake.

Jeeves Model Bioroids: These sit naked over half the time, which is fine against everyone but Khumalo. Don't be afraid to triple-click for credits or cards, in addition to scoring tricks. It's very frequently in PAD Campaign mode, especially after a score or slow-rolling MCA.

Helheim Servers: I love this card; it creates so many interesting decisions for both players. Note that when the outer ICE is mere ETR, the runner can often bounce and go again; if they have clicks remaining, the math of when to boost during the run, and by how much, explodes into exponentially complex permutations (particularly if you're trying to tax with HB's trademark never-advance shenanigans; dumping zero cards while Helheim is visible risks blowing the ruse!). Best-case scenario is a last-click Stimhack or Mad Dash, in which case you can often dump your whole hand and win the following turn. :)

Tour Guide: A bit of an odd choice, but I've been finding it very effective as a cheap gear-check to protect an early MCA or Jeeves. The potential for multi-sub creates some options to block pirate breakers, but it seldom goes past 1-2 subs most games. If it goes blank occasionally, that's fine, just plan around it.

Spiderweb: Troll card against pirate breakers and Quetzl. Kinda meh about it.

Quicksand: Mostly a cheap gearcheck, but it dissuades bouncing for Turning Wheel tokens.

Rototurret: Again, mostly a gearcheck (almost went Guard instead), but occasionally can sting an aggressive runner, especially with Helheim support.

Pop-up Window: The deck runs lean on econ, and these help immensely. Great if you can stack them on a Jinja+Seidr remote at no cost; also makes for a good tax in front of a Marilyn or Jeeves.

Regarding the NEXT Suite: I tried real real hard to make these work; but with MoGo restricted, not enough money for Gold or Diamond, and no ETR on Sapphire, it performs very unevenly. I really want to like Sapphire (its draw sub feels like a natural fit), but it's too porous, X=1 far too often, and often runners can let 1-2 subs fire without major consequence. I may try another build with 3x Silver, but only 1-2 Sapphire. Switching to Elective and 1x MoGo might not be the worst thing either.

Other ICE that didn't make the cut: Special Offer, Errand Boy, Bailiff.

Weaknesses

They're numerous; I've no doubt I did well only because I didn't see the problem matchups.

  • This build has a lot of single-sub ICE, making it weak to Pirate Hayley and Quetzl (who can ignore your strength-boosting nonsense); if expected them more, I'd have built the ICE suite with more multi-subs.

  • You have to slow down a lot against Khumalo, as the tempo hit of trashing your naked assets disappears.

  • It's hard to tax out Power Tap Nexus (Nexus and Femme also ignore strength); your best bet is to win before they set up.

Quick note on Hopper triggers: it's technically optional, and very easy to forget. I recommend declaring to your opponent that you will always choose a credit unless you declare otherwise, making it easy to fix if you accidentally rez ICE before resolving the trigger, etc.

Operations

...are a crutch.

2 comments
4 Jun 2018 SneakdoorMelb

Are you just gonna casually drop 77 card MaxX in that writeup without a decklist??? Nice result!

4 Jun 2018 lukifer

@SneakdoorMelb Thanks! Just posted MaxX now that NRDB sees it as legal. ;) netrunnerdb.com