Subliminal Skorpios - Hockley Regional 2017 (2nd Place)

Kikai 1257

This is the water, and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within.

Got a light?

Built and piloted this deck to 2nd place in a small (22 person) regional. Made the cut for the first time and was even crowned King of Swiss. Which was nice, but there was no actual crown...

Final record: 6-2

This started as a HHN Bryan Stinson deck in BABW back in flashpoint - which had some game against sifr but was still bad. The one thing it was good at was rushing out agendas (under threat of flatline) - so I dropped the cute Bryan play and moved the shell into Argus.

This was a lot better (most runners play real slow against Argus), but I found myself worrying about tag-me runners just straight out ignoring the Argus ability. I knew that Hockley regional was coming up, and I really didn't want to take a deck that had no game against siphon whizz (turns out there actually wasn't any siphon whizz... but nevermind).

So I dropped an agenda, an owl (hoot), a consulting visit, a beanstalk royalties and moved the shell into Skorpios. Skorpios is more than just a rigshooter ID. It's pure, unconditional, anti-spam of any kind.

As a cheeky bonus, with a little luck, Skorpios can straight up, unconditionally, shut down both MaxX and Geist.

All that, and a 40 card minimum? Why would you not play Skorpios.

Probably because it's Weyland.

A few thoughts about Weyland

Rotation is right around the corner, which probably throws half of what I'm about to say out the window - and that's a bit of shame because I think Weyland may have finally found it's niche as the shenanigans police.

@TheBigBoy in his very well thought out teaching decks talks about the power of Weyland being in punishing the runner for taking risks - and there are a lot of tools for doing this - but you first have to create a situation where the runner is encouraged to take those risks.

Fortunately, there are some tools for doing this also. They are called Agendas.

But how does it work?

Pretty simply: if it's shaper (or sometimes anarch) you rush out an agenda immediately (turn 1) behind a gear check - and then you jam out a second agenda to put yourself on match point. Now the runner has to run. You then punish the runner with Hunter Seeker and Hard-Hitting News.

More usually: when it's criminal or a more aggressive anarch, you ICE up centrals, MCA Aaron, and then jam out Agendas behind some gear check ICE.

You're not trying to score every agenda. You're not trying to lock the runner out of a server indefinitely. Forcing the runner to dig for another breaker, or getting the runner to drop to 0 credits from clearing tags, is enough to put you in control of the game. Be mindful of your credit pool (have a plan for how to get into IPO range), but this deck is built to recover from very few credits: most runner decks are not. With this in mind, it's usually worth boosting any Veritas trace enough to force the runner to spend 3 credits to avoid the tag (but no more).

On the topic of which... Veritas is for R&D and the scoring remote, Mausolus is for HQ. Both are good for archives. During the regional I installed Mausolus on R&D 3 times (I think) and I regretted it every single time. It's just too porous once the runner goes tag me.

There was a time when the best Weyland ICE was engima... I would go so far to say that Weyland ICE is now good, as long as you have some tag punishment. Otherwise a lot of the subs become irrelevant.

When do I play the Hard Hitting News?

Whenever the impact to the runner is bigger than the impact to you. Most of the time, this means when the runner is on less than 8 credits - but be mindful of your liberties (i.e. can you rez enough ICE with the money left over).

Don't worry about sticking the tags the first time (drip econ often means the runner can't beat the trace but can clear the tags). There are 2 x HHN in the deck, and 2 x Archived Memories so you are probably going to land HHN at least twice.

When do I play the Hunter Seeker?

Possibly never. The agenda suite means you only have 3 opportunities to play Hunter Seeker (tops). Originally there was only 1 Hunter Seeker in the deck, but I included the second because Bloo Moose made me worry about not being able to land HHN ever again, and I had a slot free from dropping a Jackson for a third GFI.

If I were to make any changes, I would want to test swapping either 1 x Hunter Seeker or the 1 x Consulting Visit for 1 x Scarcity of Resources. I'm not sure right now exactly what the answer to Bloo Moose is.

Maybe Skorpios is a counter to Bloo Moose!


Do not trash random runner events unless they are played click#4, otherwise the runner will find a paperclip with an inject and then you will be sad.

What's the scoring plan?

Ideally, you would: Overscore Atlas, Advance Oaktown (but have it stolen), punish the runner, Score GFI, then FA the winning Atlas with an Audacity (Atlas token does work here).

In reality, on the day, what most often happened was: overscore Atlas, score Oaktown, single advance GFI, explain to the runner what Audacity does.

Swiss Round 1 - Andromeda - Loss

First game of the day, and I was trying too hard not to smile at the turn 1 Plascrete discard, and missed the Paperclip discard that preceeded it. 3 turns later and I neglect to rez a Quandary in front of an Atlas because I figured it was better to rez the Vanilla behind it that the runner had already seen in an R&D dig.

Always good to get the mistakes out of the way early.

The real mistake, though, was not pre-emptively ICEing archives against temujin. Even without desperado installed, this gave Andromeda enough money to remove any hope of me ever landing a HHN.

Swiss Round 2 - Andromeda - Flatline

I go into this game and all I'm thinking about is the right time to ICE archives (it's not usually good to waste an ETR on archives just to switch off temujin) - but almost straight away there is a sneakdoor on the table which removes any uncertainty!

It was a long day, and I don't remember exactly how this match went. I remember that Andy rebirthed into Leela, and I remember having to tax Aaron counters with Veritas.

Pretty sure it ended with me landing a hard hitting news, and then using Consulting Visit for Boom. I distinctly remember thinking that I'd only won because of the surprise factor of HHN, and that I probably wouldn't win any more games.

I was wrong.

Swiss Round 3 - Self-Harm Val - Win

Wasn't sure what kind of Val this was (turns out it's from the front page of nrdb), so I hedged my bets a bit and Jackson filtered a GFI early. When the first Data Folding was installed I instantly regretted filtering the GFI, and started drawing for more agendas.

Overscored an Atlas, scored an Oaktown (I think) - single advanced GFI, and next turn used the Atlas counter to tutor Audacity.

There was a window here for Val to pop 2 x Clan Vengeance to mill 2 from HQ. This would have given them a chance of hitting the Audacity, and stalled me for a turn. I think definitely the strength of this type of Anarch is in combo disruption - and your best line of play in this matchup is to go fast (more on this later...)

Swiss Round 4 - Andromeda (piloted by @twisty_b) - Flatline

I ICE all 3 centrals early (as is the game plan), and start to build a remote out of gearchecks. Aaron gets installed, and promptly MCAd. I start to advance agenadas and force Andromeda to make some tough decisions.

I land a soft hitting news, and Andromeda fights the tags (clearing 3 of 4). Probably the right call. I trash Bloo Moose and leave Andy destitute.

A few turns later I land a second, much harder, hitting news. At this point Andromeda can no longer fight the tags effectively - and they start drawing for any econ which is not resource based. IMHO this was the point to start running through the Mausolus on R&D, but instead they keep drawing (since confirmed as digging for Medium) and I'm left to credit up and BOOM.

1st game of the cut - Self-Harm Val - Win

Having played this matchup already (see above), it was clear to me that I needed to get agendas scored before the drip econ and self-harm shenanigans kicked in. I keep a hand with 2 x agendas in it, and soon enough R&D presents me with a 3rd.

Overscore Atlas, score Oaktown, single advance GFI into audacity.

Loser's bracket semi-finals - Street Peddler Andromeda - Win

@cacoethesvictor did not want to play against Skorpios. Quite a few people in the cut actually did not want to play against Skorpios (which surprised me), but we'd both run twice, so we flipped a coin - and @cacoethesvictor had to play against Skorpios.

This should have been a flatline victory. Andy steals an Atlas out of a remote, and I respond with a soft hitting news with all 3 centrals ICEd which completely wrecks Andy's tempo (as it almost always does), and puts me firmly in control of the game.

I jam out another Atlas - which Andy trashes Abagnale in order to steal. Not great, but manageable.

I naked install a Jackson, which Andy runs with dirty laundry - and for some unthinkable reason I am distracted by Andy no longer having the money to trash Jackson and so I don't pop it. Andy uses the dirty laundry money to play sure gamble, and I spend the next few minutes trying to calm down, and trying not to look at the HHN BOOM combo sitting in my hand.

Having succesfully baited the run, only to throw away my opportunity to land a kill, I realise that my best option is to score out. Abagnale is in the bin, so Andy has to dig for another decoder, as well as a Killer (Cobra is on the remote by this point).

Overscore Atlas, tutor Oaktown (all the combo pieces are in hand), score Oaktown, single advance GFI, throw out a Vanilla... pray that @cacoethesvictor isn't aware of Audacity.

He isn't, and it's been a long day, and he runs R&D, and I score the GFI next turn.

Loser's bracket final - Reg Val - Timed Win

Yay for standing #kingofswiss.

This was an incredibly tense game - and probably my favourite of the day. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to play the reverse matchup against @callmedutch, and I think we were both so happy to have made it this far that we played with a lot of focus, but also a lot of good humour.

There may have been some very polite smack talking.

This game went back and forth so many times. I landed a HHN, Val cleared the tags. Val used Yog to break into the scoring remote, I Hunter Seeker'd the Yog.

In the end, it came down to one fateful Femme install on the remote, which left Val 1 credit short of actually breaking in. I respond with a hard hitting news. BOOM in hand. Ready to win.

Val runs R&D, stealing an agenda, and putting the runner on match point. This is fine. BOOM next turn. GG.

Val installs Plascrete.

So frustrating. I have the Hunter Seeker in hand, I have the BOOM in hand, I can hunter seeker the Plascrete and boom next turn. Easy. But there is an atlas on the table, and the runner only needs 4 credits to steal it (now that breakers are installed). And the Atlas doesn't even contribute to a scoring plan, because it puts me on 6 points and the other 2 Atlas's are on the runner side of the table.

I do what I know I have to do. I score the Atlas, and I spend the next 2 turns clicking for credits, while Val pokes R&D and HQ for single accesses. Fortunately the R&D and HQ gods are kind. We go to time the turn before I'm able to play BOOM.

A draw at 6-6, but I win from having a higher swiss standing. This really could have gone either way. I had the BOOM and archived memories in hand, so I just needed credits and time - but Val sensibly rebirthed into Kim early on - and there was 1 agenda left in HQ and 1 in R&D, so every central access could spell disaster.

Winner's Final - Desperado Whizz - Loss

vs @Nemaniah aka World Champion 2016 and all around nice guy

I was hyped for this game, but unfortunately, it was pretty anticlimactic.

My first hand is 2 x Agendas, 1 x Veritas, MCA and Audacity. Pretty bad. I can Veritas on HQ.... but then what? MCA and Audacity are dead draw for now. So I mulligan... into 2 x Agendas, 1 x Jackson, 1 x Hard Hitting News, and 1 x Audacity.

All of a sudden Veritas on HQ is looking pretty good.

I double Jackson draw - finding another Agenda and econ, and then some ICE. I discard 2 of the 3 Agendas and pop Jackson.

Whizz proceeds to steal the Oaktown from HQ, and an Atlas off the top of R&D. Things look bad. I try and Advance an Atlas behind Vanilla (with Hunter Seeker in hand). Hoping that the runner installs Paperclip and not Parasite. He trashes the Vanilla with Parasite.

This puts @Nemaniah on match point, and me with the only possible out being that the reigning world champion makes a mistake.

I throw out a GFI behind another Vanilla (because why not), but there is another Parasite in hand and that's GG.

14 games of netrunner total, of which I lost 3.

Really good day. Would regionals again.

30 Jul 2017 twisty_b

Congrats on the outstanding showing, and also the excellent deck! Although, in the spirit of constructive pedantry: I was your opponent in the last game of Swiss and I definitely wasn't running Sneakdoor :)

Enjoyed the game though - the rushiness combined with the HHNs messed me up nicely. I think I was digging for Medium, which in hindsight was probably a waste of the precious, limited clicks I had left to live.

30 Jul 2017 Kikai

@twisty_b - Oops! Sorry about that, it was a long day yesterday and some of the Andromeda games seem to have merged together in my memory.

Digging for Medium makes sense - and tbh I don't think that single accesses off R&D would have won you the game (I don't remember if I drew any agendas or not).

It was a fun game, look forward to seeing you at the next tourney.

31 Jul 2017 cwoac

Well done on taking Skorpios far. Why the singleton scorch? for value vs runners who assume only boom! and just clear 3/4 tags?

Have you looked into going (probably) -1 archived to go +1 lockdown?

31 Jul 2017 Kikai

@cwoac - thanks!

I like the BOOM! + Scorched Earth + Archived Memories kill package because of the flexibility it offers. All of the kills on the day came from a tutored BOOM!, but I dug pretty hard for Scorched in the loser's final after Plascrete was installed.

re: Ark Lockdown, it might be useful if you mistime a skorp trigger... but I practiced quite a lot to try and not do that. You could use it to work around Employee Strike - but then any current (probably Scarcity of Resources) would do that just as well. I've not tried it though - so let me know how it goes if you do!

31 Jul 2017 cwoac

I've been playing a fair what of unclippable skorp, and I've found lockdown to be worth it's weight in gold. The number of runners who will discard (especially paperclip/mkultra/etc) cards they want to keep to avoid skorp is really high.

And yeah, play scarcity. Or tarmar, if you can scrape the influence.

1 Aug 2017 Gregolution

Very well played mate, I didn't get the chance to play you but we spoke outside about Euros briefly. Congrats and not doubt see you at Nationals ;). I'll be trying this deck out too, looks far more interesting to play than that barrier skorp deck.

3 Aug 2017 Inermis

Great job and nice deck!