Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
A last month SirLoathing published a really fun Stealth Az deck that eventually became deck of the week. It's an amazing combo deck built around Q-Loop and Masterwork, installing hardware mid-run, breaking into servers with seemingly no credits and getting out of sticky situations with Lucky Charm. Go check it out, give it a like and take it for a spin!
One problem: his deck gave me a headache
Seriously. He wasn't kidding when he described it as a rube goldberg machine! Playing against a friend, I ended up sitting there for minutes brainstorming on how to break into servers and sometimes I ran out of stealth credits (since I was using it too often to pay for installations). I needed to dumb it down a little and get off the ground a little faster to keep up with PD or other rush decks.
As I started cutting some of the hardware (which decreased Aesop's Pawnshops usefulness), and added more events, I realized that Az might not be the best ID for the deck I was working towards. I think this deck could work with Zahya with some minor tweaks, but just doesn't have enough run events to justify Ken.
Enter Steve Cambridge
Steve solved a bunch of problems I was having. His ability let's you bring back Penumbral Toolkit and install it for free which helps fuel our stealth rig and helps pay for trashing assets, or steals, and recur a bunch of powerful run events.
Masterwork vs Pennyshaver
Speaking of Pennyshaver... with more run events and less hardware, Masterwork, started to not pull its weight. The draw just was not enough and losing the Az discount meant we were paying a tax for the privilege to install from hand. After playing a few games with Pennyshaver, I found it to be a better fit. It provides a burst to threaten remotes and keep getting us back into HQ to trigger Steve's ability.
To compensate for the lack of draw, I added Earthrise Hotel and Jailbreaks. Jailbreak is great, because it works surprisingly well when combined with Mu Safecracker. Who needs Legwork, or Maker's Eye?
To help cover our more expensive resources Career Fairs rounds out our econ support. If you draw it late use it to pay for your Toolkits for free without the HQ run discount.
It's not about the destination, it's about the journey
Thanks for reading about my deckbuilding adventure. I recently returned to Netrunner with the launch of System Gateway early this year. The NISEI team knocked it out of the park. I've been trying to get anyone interested in card games that I know to give it a try. It's been such a joy to rediscover the game and play with some old friends. We even started a podcast, Retromancer, if you have time check us out!
Finally, again, shout-out to SirLoathing for his amazing Az deck. I appreciate your great decks and write-ups.