Barf 101: A Comprehensive Guide [7-0 & 5th @ APAC]

Santa 1332

Santa's activation word is barf
Santa :eyes:

Overview:

Wasn't planning on posting the list. However, had so many fascinating games I wanted to share them along with some updated guidance for players interested in the list.

I'm happy to answer any questions in the comments you might have, either about the list, writeup, or any of my thinking within the replays.

A Comprehensive Guide:

Basics:

For anyone unfamiliar with the list, I'd still suggest looking at the previous posts on basics. Although, things really have shifted with Orbitals:
- 2nd CoS [NO ICE!!] Barf Thule 🤮 (4-1)
- "Oh... wait? What does that do?!?" 👀🤮 2nd & 6th @NANPC

No Mercy! Always Kill!

Use your MCA for kill lines!

This deck does not score out! The goal is to set up a board state where the runner loses the game if they steal, and/or trash any of your cards. Killing with Orbitals if they don't.

With Orbitals, False Lead, and being able to stack MCA, the runner will die before you reach 7 points.

General Strategy:

I won't typically expend resources if I'm only landing the first core.

Landing 2x core is extremely high value though, to achieve a prison state where any tag + End of the Line is game over. This is usually done through a combination of Riot and/or Hypoxia. That said there will be many instances that you kill the runner from a 0-1x core state (see linked replays: R2, R3, R8, C1).

Unrez'ed Power:

This deck works off of a toolbox of threats + taxing out the runner's clicks.

To this end, the unrez'ed cards have a lot of power within this deck:
- They act as a click tax if the runner is checking your board, while additionally being a tool at your disposal.
- Protecting/hiding Gaslights is extremely important.
- To this end I value a board state of unrez'ed cards, and will even leave cards like Wage Workers unrez'ed at times.

MCA is something I will also rarely rez the turn I install it:
- The best time to rez + click an MCA, is on a turn that you've just installed 2-3x additional new cards, splitting the runner's focus.

Spin Doctor is also an extremely powerful card to have unrez'ed on board:
- It allows you to trap archives while protecting agendas there. You can ditch Ikawahs there with any Hyperloop basically leading to this safe state on your agendas. If they run archives, you get to choice what they're going to access/force a steal.
- Against Maw it's extremely important for recurring pieces, and with a Gaslight paired on board allows you to have access to any operation even if it's in archives.
- Allows for a burst of card draw if you need to search for punishment.

Hendrik:

Beyond Riot, I think this is one of the most interesting cards in the list.

I used to simply place them as isolated remotes, which I think is a generically fine way to use them. They'll slow down runner tempo while checking the board.

I still typically use the first one in this manner. However, I've found them to be quite useful while making an Orbital death remote:
- With a False Lead scored + MCA ticking, this makes a 1-2x Hendrik + Orbital remote extremely dangerous.

ICE Placement:

I usually like putting 1x ICE on a remote for feeding Rashida, MCA, False Lead, and/or Orbital through.

The second ICE will usually be put on the most concerning central.

This makes you at times have to flip your comforts on its head and trust the threats/tax you are presenting to protect and slow down the runner instead. For instance, the normal practice of ICE HQ vs Crim doesn't really play out here. Regos are meant to help bouncing back from DoF instead.

Shaper is actually the faction I feel has the most concerning central pressure/disruption at the moment for the deck, through Burner HQ, and Conduit/Cataloguer R&D.

All this said, it does still really depend upon your opponent’s deck and play patterns. This is just the typical approach I've found. Sometimes there's enough concerning pressure within the centrals you need to look at protecting there first.

Deck list choices:

There is 1 floating slot in this list (flavor to choice):
- Currently filled by Skunk [good at protecting centrals, arguably better than Hendrik]

There are multiple options I'd consider:

  • Lady Liberty [if you do want to threaten score outs]
  • 2nd Malia Z0L0K4 [this card is just good. Hitting a newly installed Daily Casts to slow them down, or a Bones when they are wanting to trash are even fine tempo targets]
  • Restore [restoring Spin Doctor for recursion vs Maw]
  • Cerebral Overwriter [I actually think this fits the deck really well now, as I've been playing to Orbital lines a lot now, with multiple advancements on them whilst just sitting on the board]
  • Active Policing [I've found myself playing tempo Riots more than I used it. Theory is this could fit similar tempo]
  • Corporate Hospitality [recursion vs Maw]
  • Nightmare Archive [this -1 might actually be helpful, as keeping runner points below 4 is important so you still have time to land the kill]

Fun tricks:

  • An unscored Luminal on the board with Wage Workers is an extra click on your kill turn. [Every time you advance it is a free Biotic Labor on a future turn]

Replays:

Swiss:

R2 (Win): vs enkoder on Kit [Replay]
  • Interesting instance where I was debating Malia'ing Nuka to prevent overdrawing with Aniccam on board. However, think that possibly telegraphs the kill line in hand too directly.
  • For those interested in how to play into this deck enkoder and I talk through some of the lines after the match.
R3 (Win): vs ValeNetrunner on Ari [Replay]
  • This game the deck came together beautifully, if you want to see the deck operating well vs someone teched with hand size.
  • #puzzlerunner: see if you can find the guaranteed flatline at the end to deal with:
R6 (Win): vs pearl 2.0 on Lat [Replay]
R8 (Win): vs jfoley on Hoshiko [Replay]
  • Dicy low credit game, but was able to score out 2x False Lead and setup a turn skip flatline.
R10 (Win): vs Maninthemoon on Seb [Replay]
  • Playing against Cups I was pretty sure this was going to be an Orbital game. However, it actually went quite different.
  • I did blunder pretty early playing the 2nd Riot, which I needed to help land core later.
  • Got to a dicy position with maninthemoon at 4 points (you typically want to be killing the runner around 4 points).
  • However, was able to make up for it by reading my opponent, and knowing maninthemoon would run an install click one, which feeding an agenda with MCA + False Lead was a core and kill line. At that point if maninthemoon had taken any other action I could have cycled the False Lead in my score area with the newly installed one, turn skipping (see replay).

Cut:

C1 (Win): vs tvaduva on Kit [Replay] [Streamed]
  • #puzzlerunner: see if you can find the click & credit perfect guaranteed flatline, where the runner has stolen an agenda:
    puzzle runner flatline
  • Solution
C2 (Win): vs Toron4 on Hoshiko [Replay]
  • With how the game was progressing I felt this could easily be a Public Trail game, with low runner econ, and drawing it relatively early.
  • Recognizing Public Trail lines is super important
  • Took an interesting line leaving a 4 advanced Orbital on board, forcing the runner to clear it, while also developing a Rashida.
  • Ended up resulting in the flatline.
7 comments
23 Jun 2024 Radiant

Yeah I have a question, how do you sleep at night having invented this

( congrats on the result friend <3 )

23 Jun 2024 Santa

lmao @Radiant <3

24 Jun 2024 maninthemoon

Pog, well done. Honestly terrifying how good you are at this deck :)

24 Jun 2024 napalm900

What's your game plan against an aggressive Loup trashing deck?

24 Jun 2024 Santa

@napalm900, great question. Loup is definitely one of the hardest matchups. Thankfully for the list I’ve personally found Loup has dropped off in popularity after the Knobkierie ban, and I haven’t had to face any in tournament play.

That said if you are facing down a Loup, I’d recommend trying to play to Public Trail lines, as Loup usually runs pretty low on credits.

That said too, the biggest issue I’ve found from Loup in particular is with an Imp setup they can dodge having to worry about your Thule tax. I’d recommend trying to be really cognizant of when they have that available for when you deploy multi-threats to the board.

Also, since Mr. Hendrik still works on access, it’s a good tool to have available to hopefully slow them down on multi-installs by dropping it in a solo remote.

24 Jun 2024 tzeentchling

What kind of lines do you have against a handsize-increasing Esâ or similar tech (eg. Hippocampic Mechanocytes)? And while this may be against your best interests, what is the general strategy/line of play against a deck like this?

24 Jun 2024 Santa

@tzeentchling great question.

Additional hand size like Hippocampic does help counter the deck (slow things down), but definitely isn’t a lost situation (without charging), depending upon how the deck comes together. Similar to having Stoneship you can still work your way through the increased hand-size, and land enough damage to kill with Orbital + End of the Line, etc. (R3 replay for an example of 10 possible damage).
- If you turn skip the runner they still won’t be able to draw up to hand size.
- The biggest difference is you’ll have to setup more of a board-state and probably land an Orbital.
- There also is a fun trick if you can turn skip by cycling End of the Line with Spin Doctor + Gaslight to play it twice across two turns which I’ve done before.

The Esâ matchup however…, is pretty cursed.

Since Hypoxia removes itself from the game, if Esâ only uses Marrow for its own core, and takes click loss from Riot this means you can only reduce them to 4 hand size without some additional trick through Hendrik, or Thule. The issue on top of this is that they do run Steelskin, so trying to land an over damage kill like I stated above is way more difficult. The Esâ wins I have gotten have been mostly due to the runner getting antsy and starting to core up using their own cards. I think the correct approach from Esâ is to disregard their own core cards, and just use Marrow making it nearly impossible to kill them.
- If the Esâ matchup is too prevalent in the meta, there’s a strong argument to switch Orbitals to Ontos as you really do need more of the option to score out when Esâ is playing passive imo.

As for beating the deck, I find the best approach runners can take is keeping the board state honest early to mid game, trying to clear out Rashida, Gaslight, MCA, False Lead, and then switching to central pressure, particularly R&D. Knowing what the Corp is drawing into I think is extremely important. HQ will probably not have too many agendas unless an Ikawah can’t be protected via Spin discard, etc.
- if you get to 4 points that’s also a very powerful spot to be as the runner, since the Thule needs a window to still kill you after a steal, so recognizing your danager, or advantageous position is quite helpful too, and playing from that.
- a runner finding Ikawah is usually how the deck loses, making that 4 point position extra good.