White Girl Blackmail v2 - Collectormania SC 1st

greyfield 3908

Yes, yes, I know Hayley's not white. It's a Kanye reference, let's move on with our lives.

This is an update of my old Hayley Blackmail deck, which took me to 1st at an 18 player SC (along with Scumlording the Meta, aka Snekbite with Little Engines). It went 4-1 on the day, with my only loss coming in a heavily favorable matchup due simply to play error - mistakenly burning all three SOTs while my Levy was in the heap.

The MWL update was a mixed bag for Hayley - on the one hand, the derailment of the Astrotrain meant we could afford to cut the Clots from the deck. That also meant we could lose Clone Chip - which was good, because the bad news was now our breaker suite costs 1 more influence, and Clone Chip was an impossible luxury.

But the best news came with Rumor Mill, which finally, FINALLY solves the deck's longstanding Caprice Nisei problem. The queen is dead; long live the new queen.

You might notice that this deck has absolutely no game against asset spam. In fact, the deck has only one game plan, period, and it's the same it always has had - get a bad pub with Activist Support, and then lock up R&D with three Interfaces and Blackmail abuse. Use Faust for accesses if they get something rezzed. Hope you're faster than whatever shenanigans they're doing with those assets.

Hyperdriver is a new add. With Turing falling out of the meta, there's less need for a backup decoder, and less need for programs in general. Hyperdriver is a nice quality-of-life upgrade that makes it easier to maintain the Blackmail lock if you don't have all your Same Old Things down on the board, letting you accelerate toward your lock early on or push past the SOT/Levy speedbump later. It also helps against Turing if you're desperate.

This build is teched out for a very NBN-heavy meta, with Hades Shard as a special surprise for Shutdown combo. The flex slots would be 2 New Angeles City Hall, 2 Film Critic, 1 Rumor Mill, 1 DaVinci (since NACH can perform a similar job, albeit at a price), 1 Hades Shard, and 1 Sure Gamble (the deck can survive with 2 in some metas). I think pretty much everything else is obligatory, especially including the Artist Colony, which is a game-changer against EoI decks.

A list of other cards worth considering, besides Clot and the second Rumor Mill if your meta calls for those:

  • Clot. Yes, I just said we could safely get away from Clot. Well, with fast advance entering the meta in a big way, there'll be a couple of games you just lose by being unable to stop a corp loaded up on agendas in hand from drawing Biotic Labor after Biotic Labor and shoving them through. You could then cut the Hades Shard for a single Clone Chip. It's not pretty, but that's the choice.
  • some kind of HQ multi-access would be lovely, most likely The Turning Wheel or Utopia Shard.
  • more breakers, especially Inti (easily sold, for Wraparound, Resistor, and Vanilla) and ZU.13 (for Turing, in case one gets rezzed on R&D). Depending on your meta, you might be able to get away without Faust, and if you can find the slots in the deck... somewhere, you could move to a more "traditional" breaker suite to free up influence elsewhere.

Also, like a lot of Shapers, I'll probably squeeze a copy of Equivocation in once Martial Law drops, because that's just another Interface in this deck.

Matchup advice:

  • CTM: As mentioned, AC is a game-changer against EoI. If they have a click left after scoring a BN, and you can't avoid the tags, it is entirely valid to forfeit all your agendas to AC so they have nothing to swap for. At a minimum, you should never give the CTM decks a chance to swap for GFI. Since that's the big way they can get to 7, that leaves them with only 11 points to win (barring never-advancing a GFI on a SanSan with an Astro counter), of which 8 require some fast advance advantage which you can attack by trashing SanSans. Do you want to have to trash SanSan and Sensie? Hell no. But desperate times. Never end a turn with less than 8 credits once you've set up NACH. Ultimately, there are some starts (Sensie + CBG turn 1) that you just can't beat. But if they stumble, you can capitalize.
  • Sync Bioball: Favorable matchup even without Clot. Get money. Once you have NACH up and insurmountable, they basically become a bad Biotic deck - with only 9 points in their deck they can actually score barring shenanigans to score a GFI. Eventually, you'll burn through their money and/or their tagging tools en route to the lock.
  • Tag 'n Bag: Depends on how they tag. If it's 24/7 NEH, follow the same route as Sync, with the added bonus of Hades Shard (including off a DaVinci Hayley install!) as a backup strategy. This is the matchup where that second NACH shines, so they can't bait you into giving it up with two dummy agendas. If it's Midseason Replacements, lean hard on making money and use your Film Critics aggressively. There's no shame in letting up on the R&D lock if it takes those two extra clicks to make sure you score every agenda through the FC.
  • Biotic ETF: This matchup demonstrates what sets WGB apart from, say, Dyper. Where Dyper is a combo deck with a really convoluted combo that, when it finally goes off, wins 99% of the time, this is a combo deck with a simpler combo (R&DIs + Blackmail = profit) that isn't a completely hard win. I'd say once you have a Blackmail lock running smoothly, you win 95% of the games against the field - but that 5% is largely attributable to ETF, because between randomly ABTing into ice impediments and being able to pile up agendas in hand and patiently fast advance them out, you'll occasionally run into situations where it just doesn't matter how firm your lock us. That said, if ETF is a big part of your meta, Clot is still a valid add - and even if you cut it, an SMC bluff can pay big dividends, provided you manage to sneak your Hyperdrivers around them. (Jeeves ETF, on the other hand, is a matchup where having Rumor Mill can be absolutely crippling to them, because then their deck is full of non-Biotic cards that do almost nothing in lieu of Jeeves. That makes it much better for you.)
  • True Glaciers - ETF, Palana, Blue Sun, etc. The dream. Provided you make it to your combo before they clear a certain critical window, they often have almost nothing set aside for dealing with Blackmail abuse powered by Rumor Mill. The one equalizer is free ice rezzes - Oversight AI, ABT, etc. Fight hard to make sure they can't disrupt your plan, or just stockpile a bunch of cards to punch through whatever they put in your way. (Just don't do what I did and discard your Levy, then use all your SOTs without realizing it.)
  • CI7: Not great, without Clot. Rumor Mill is an impediment, but not a big one; while they can't combo out while it's up, that doesn't stop them from just regular FAing. Against a Power Shutdown-based version, set up an instant-speed Hades Shard off DaVinci + another resource, and pressure them hard to try to force them into going off before they've moved all their agendas into HQ. Against the Hasty Pudding version, uh, rush like hell. That's about the best you got.
  • IG: Dig deep. You can't contest their assets well, and oftentimes trying to win that game is just asking to lose slowly. You're often better off setting up Blackmail and then pounding R&D over and over with Film Critic to move off Fetals and TFPs. Sensie Actors Union is your friend in this respect. Keep as many cards in hand as you can, and keep an eye on any remotes that look suspiciously like Chairman Hiro.
  • PE/24-7 Philotic: Get both Film Critics up and running and control the board hard. Even more important is Artist Colony. Not only do you want to forfeit any Shi.Kyus, Kusanagis, or other garbage they're feeding you, but you really don't want to have more than two agendas in your score area, period, lest you get hit with some sort of Philotic double-play. Many games against 24-7 PE I've won not by scoring points, but by removing so many agendas from the game that the PE player was almost unable to win the game and had to be more reckless, at which point the real valuable agendas appeared.
27 Nov 2016 raphaeln

Congrats on the SC, @greyfield! Fifth time is the charm! :)

This is probably one of my favorite unfair decks. I was running it out of CT to get the combo and the Blackmails/SOT after Levy faster, but running 3 Hyperdrives out of Hayley probably just works as well, if not better, since you burn them on the 1st pass of the deck and then they are removed from the game and your deck gets smaller on the 2nd pass.

Now, I know that ProCo can be a liability on this heavy tag meta, but with the Hyperdrivers and NACHs, don't you think you could put them back over the Daily Casts (or Quality Times)?

29 Nov 2016 Infectiou

I always thought you can't use New Angeles City Hall to avoid the tag from activist support, because you don't "get tagged" but "take a tag".

6 Dec 2016 Phoenix

I assume the point is to install the Activist Support on the Corps turn, then sell it to Aesops before it triggers - hence no need to avoid the tag.

7 Dec 2016 hotelfoxtrot

Cards like Account Siphon and Data Raven use the wording "take" in relation to tags, and I think avoiding those tags with New Angeles City Hall is okay.