Just Open Imp (2nd @ Singapore Nationals 2023)

IonFox 1471

How To Play

Just open Imp.

Text Log recovered two days before event:

IonFox (1128): hm, I could do the Loup thing instead

Jai (1129): I was afraid of this lmao

Jai (1129): I knew your path would lead you back here

IonFox (1130): You show me an inevitable runner doom engine and expect me to not go 'ooooh'

Jai (1131): If you want to play an imp deck, can I recommend you the better hoshiko version at the very least? [Mulch.dek]


19 Nov 2023 IonFox

Actual Writeup

Well it's been about 2 or 3 years since I've touched this game, and what better way then to ease myself back into it if not by going into a Nationals with less than 1 week of prep time, hundreds of new cards, and a brand new meta to learn? (Anguished internal screaming)

Original list by DoomRat and NetDad can be found here (Buffet of Chips). Head over there and give it a read for an actual how to play, I'll mostly be covering my own thoughts and changes.

The Loup Mindset

Just a couple things to share that I found really helped me when piloting this list. Everything in your deck is ephemeral, and recurrable via either Simulchip or Labor Rights. Don't be afraid to play Price or Mosh the three worst cards in your hand, even if they're not Exodia. You need to go fast. Faster even.

Following the similar logic, don't be afraid to faceplant ICE early. Just plan for what to do afterwards, because if you live through that Anansi, the corp just -9'd themselves and likely went broke, opening up their other servers to Imp.

Why not Hoshiko?

Three reasons. Firstly, and in all seriousness, you really want to open Imp, and that's easier in 40 cards. Second, being 40 cards also helps you accelerate down to your eventual sigma grindset doom rig. Lastly, these sort of builds actually run extremely broke on creds, and gaining the cred with my draw rather than losing it definitely helps keep you afloat early on.

Changes and Flex Cards

Dropping Tranq (and a Pinhole) for Conduit

As delicious as headlocking the corp into a concession is, people just don't really do that at tourneys, and it's always good practice to play to your outs anyway. I defaulted to Conduit as my alternate wincon (you still just usually win on infinite imps hitting things). The general gameplan as always is to try and get the corp to spread it's ICE thin across multiple servers, and even just binning Conduit with a Simulchip on board is enough to get them sweating about R&D usually. However, given my own personal playstyle of applying heavy pressure on HQ, I think WAKE or even Docklands Pass are perfectly good choices, being cheaper in both credits and influence, AND not cramping your MU since managing it before Knob gets installed can be tricky. Only tradeoff is Conduit can always be chipped back with no fuss but hardware will cost a Labor Rights and drawing back into it. Note that Twinning is a poor choice since we only have a single Paladin and just might never install it.

Dropping Clot and other things for Hippos

I honestly believe Hippo is the best standard legal Anarch card. You need constant accesses, this keeps that happening. It spooks the corp into installing ICE and not rezzing it across multiple servers. It's so good with Botulus and Audrey that even an hour before the event, I was still considering dropping Paladin for a 3rd copy (and I still am). The list of good hits is so long, but the ones that immediately come to mind include Funhouse, Anansi, Vampyronassa, Tatu-Bola and Border Control if the corp doesn't insta pop it. Play Hippos.

Cutting Clot is probably the most questionable thing this list does, but my rationale is you're not here to remote contest, and should be hitting FA pieces and agendas out of HQ anyway, and no clot means you can use your simulchips a lot more freely and without worry. Another questionable cut was the 3rd Solidarity Badge. I... can't really explain this but 2 just felt right to me. It's probably the second most important thing to find after Imp, and getting it down early is really great acceleration. This really was just a personal gut feeling decision, and going back to the original ratio of 1 Moshing 3 Badge is perfectly fine.

The last Pinhole

This is more of an open discussion on this last single pip of influence. I do think the single Pinhole is probably the best generic choice, as it provides an easy answer to stopping an early Rashida, or any of those annoying upgrades in the remote which either tax you out or give the corp stupid value. Other possible options in this slot include Bahia Bands for more acceleration, a second Buffer for more redundancy, or ye olde DJ Steve for added HQ pressure recurring all your best pieces for a truly oppressive long game.


And that's that! I might add a matchups section later but you basically roll any asset deck, and I teched this list further for games against Corps with ICE. I'm really happy I went with my intuition and brought Loup as my comfort pick so I could devote my brainpower to playing Ob, and I hope this sort of build continues to find innovation and success down the line! Good hunting, everyone! ^w^

19 Nov 2023 HaverOfFun

This was really sick to see in action and love the Hippo include as a bit more of a big ice tech thing which I suffered a little bit with the reg buffet of chips version at the event lol! Awesome placing and groovy to see you get back into the game!

19 Nov 2023 jan tuno

it was great playing you! hope to see you around more ^^

19 Nov 2023 IonFox

@HaverOfFunWas really hyped to see another Loup player among the Hoshikos! Big ICE was my main concern in testing, and I'm happy to see I'm at least moving in the right direction with this. Thanks!

@jan tunoIt was great meeting and playing you too! I think our set was the most intense one I had the entire day. Hope to see you again too!

20 Nov 2023 Jai

At this rate by 2026 we can get the whole gang back together, eh?

Here’s to not wasting another 3 years!

22 Nov 2023 neuropantser

ion_fox is back, the meta is not safe

23 Nov 2023 IonFox

@neuropantserAll my previous projects have either rotated or been banned out, so it'll take some time to find a calling again. Do have a couple things I am looking at though on either side >w<

30 Nov 2023 NetDad

Congrats on the performance! In all seriousness I think the third Badge is more important than the Clot, but it depends on how popular Yellow Assets is. Hippo is a good call after cutting Tranq since you need some way to handle large ice.

1 Dec 2023 IonFox

@NetDadHey, thanks for the original list, it was fun! And I do agree that 3rd badge is probably a good include given how strong yellow assets are currently, but it just falls into the case of "how do I create slots for this", along with other things like Raindrops Cut Stone or Light the Fire!

Everything just feels so tight and good already, but I suppose if the one foresaw an entire field of assets going back to the original 1 Moshing 3 badge probably works >w<