[Startup] Meteor Shower

Xyptero 47

Adapted from easterncalculus's hilariously fun 'Tunguska Event' deck, which aims to perform a legendary triple Deep Dive in a single turn to win the game. 'Tunguska Event' is a lot of fun, but it suffers from some consistency issues and an inability to effectively threaten remote servers or HQ.

I have therefore adapted the deck for a slightly more conventional gameplan: with this list we want to harry the Corp along the way, usually finding an agenda or two in the process, then use 1-2 Deep Dives whenever the opportunity presents itself, and without destroying all our breakers in the process. The original list's triple-Deep Dive, 11 blaze of glory is now the backup plan rather than the primary goal.

Changelist from that deck:

  • 1x → 3x Professional Contacts - we want it early, and consistently.
  • 2x → 3x Hippocampic Mechanocytes - we want it early, and consistently.
  • -3x Nanuq - Nanuq's tendency to vanish without warning makes it risky to play before the Deep Dive turn. With far fewer s on that turn than the original list, it's not viable to play immediately before use.
  • +6x Matryoshka - harder to set up, but doesn't evaporate like Nanuq. This enables repeated use, and is the most impactful change in the deck, transitioning from a one-turn cataclysm to a deck that can still threaten remotes and centrals through the midgame.
  • -2x Rigging Up - combo with Hippocampic Mechanocytes is too inconsistent, and we don't have a backup target. Additionally, this deck runs R&D more often, reducing the value of an extra charge.
  • -3x VRcation - trimmed for deck size. Even with the Professional Contacts on the board, I find Diesel more flexible as it can be used at the start of a turn to find options, but this is open to preference. VRcation vs Creative Commission is local-meta dependent.
  • 1x → 2x Katorga Breakout - greatly improves ability to fetch used or trashed combo pieces.
  • -1x Ghosttongue - this deck runs fewer 2+ events than the original list, and the recovered influence affords the extra Katorga Breakout above. One less core damage is nice, too.
  • -2x T400 Memory Diamond - simply not efficient enough. This list can break into R&D much more easily (though bouncing off ice remains an option: Padma doesn't need to succeed to charge, only to begin the run), and with Matryoshka over Nanuq we're less interested in the MU
  • -3x Telework Contract - not worth it with Professional Contacts on the board.
  • 3x → 2x Stoneship Chart Room - without the intention of playing multiple Running Hots with three Deep Dives in hand, the padding Stoneship Chart Room provides against losing key cards is less important. This deck usually plays a single Running Hot before a single Deep Dive, and with five even this is not essential. Unlike the original deck, here it's often worth using Stoneship Chart Room for the charge rather than the draw, depending on game state. Nothing wrong with running 3 regardless, but this brings us down to a tight 45 cards.

Note: outside of Startup, swapping Professional Contacts for Aniccam enables you to ignore tags. Inflated hand size and Stoneship Chart Room largely nullifies the threat posed by tags. Losing Professional Contacts to the Corp's trash-resource ability, however, will hurt. Aniccam is cheaper to install, doesn't compete for clicks with Diesel etc, and as a piece of hardware is not vulnerable to resource-trashing.

You may wish to swap one Running Hot for something like Inside Job: this list only relies on Running Hot if you want to play two Deep Dives in the same turn, so it's not essential to have multiple copies in hand, and you don't need to find it early, making 3x a luxury rather than a necessity. Remember, you can always Katorga Breakout for a Running Hot you've already used if necessary.

If concerned about Hortum, a single copy of Gordian Blade should suffice. Swap a single Running Hot for Mutual Favor to make it easy to find.

21 Jul 2023 Diogene

I like this idea. Here are some questions about the deck :

  1. Considering that your sole charge target is Hippocampic Mechanocytes, why use Captain Padma Isbister: Intrepid Explorer? An ID like Tāo Salonga: Telepresence Magician, Lat: Ethical Freelancer or Ayla "Bios" Rahim: Simulant Specialist could give you better results.
  2. Why not use Marrow, replacing Hippocampic Mechanocytes to get to 5 hand size?
  3. Why not use Buffer Drive, which combo with Stoneship Chart Room, to get back a card without needing a run (or needing a click)?

I will test this deck for sure, it look so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

21 Jul 2023 Diogene

I just realized this is a startup deck, so my idea about Buffer Drive is just wrong.

22 Jul 2023 easterncalculus

This is awesome! I’m really thrilled that someone took my janky decklist and built something consistent with it. I’ll be netdecking this at my local meetups!

24 Jul 2023 Xyptero

@Diogene good questions. The short answer is that a hand size of ~9 is awesome and easily achievable. I considered adding more charge targets, but concluded there was nothing on offer I'd rather have than extra hand size in most cases.

Ayla gets her best value in decks that don't draw much, where this list wants to draw like crazy and with an inflated hand size can easily store useful things for later, greatly reducing the value of Ayla's 'combo piece on demand'. Lat is, I feel, largely antithetical to the capability of this deck: we don't want the same hand size as the corp, we want more, and a free card some turns is less important given a deck loaded with Professional Contacts, Diesel etc. Tāo is, I think, the most tempting of the three, but he won't fire as often as we usually steal at least half our points in a single turn in the late game. I don't think the utility Tāo offers is worth the reduced hand size. The 40-card deck, however, is very tempting, though I'm unsure what I'd cut to take advantage of it

Marrow would get us back to 5 (until playing Running Hot, anyway), but being able to hold a couple of Deep Dives, a Running Hot, a Katorga Breakout, and still have room for a bunch of events is great. Plus, Marrow is two influence and Hippocampic Mechanocytes isn't.

I might consider Marrow in addition to Hippocampic Mechanocytes as a way to move away from Padma however. Perhaps a Tāo deck with Marrow and Hippocampic Mechanocytes is worth a try?

24 Jul 2023 Xyptero

@easterncalculus I'm so glad you like it! I had a blast playing your original list, so very glad I can return the favour <3

14 Aug 2023 easterncalculus

This has been holding me over until my Automata Initiative cards arrived! Thanks again for sharing, it's a blast to play!

I found the deck to be very consistent, although getting your Matryoshka set up always feels a little slow, even with all the card draw. A lot of my games resulted in an early Running Hot + Deep Dive before centrals were fully iced to both put on some early pressure and also release some combo cards out of my hand so I could focus more on contesting the board state in general. Initially, I thought the deck had way too much economy as I'd quickly end up with twice or thrice the corp's credit total around turn 3 or 4... but quite a few of my games ended up being credit-perfect wins. After the second or third Matryoshka, once-a-turn R&D runs become very easy, even if it's just to jack out after the first piece of ice to charge Hippocampic Mechanocytes.

I like how even with the new cards, this is still startup-legal. With the advent of Slap Vandal, I wonder if we'll see more Wraparound, Swordsman and Hortum played? If that's so, then this might put a hole in our plans. I'm interested in what cards could be added to further iterate this sort of deck in the new Startup meta. I think Joy Ride might be really good here, along with possibly AirbladeX (JSRF Ed.), Pichação, and maybe Hannah "Wheels" Pilintra for some extra remote pressure and s (though I think slots are difficult to justify and influence is tough as it is...).

Thanks for the awesome decklist and writeup!