All in your head - The strong Chronos List

Bridgeman 2321

This is the chronos protocol list I´ve been playing for a while now with a surprising amount of success, winning a 7 person tournament, a 4 person tournament, and getting 2nd in a 22 person tournament. All in all winning 10/13 tournament games so far.

This started out as a way to justify the inclusion of complete image in a jinteki deck, in general the card is straight up bad, but in chronos protocol it is beautiful. :) If you know any of the cards in your opponents hand it is a 100% kill with two cards, 50% with three, with four and up the odds start getting really bad. Naturally the main threat is to play it when your opponent has two or fewer cards.

So what does this deck do? Why play this deck?

The three main perks of this deck are:

  • Runners will be extra scared of running early due to the threat of losing key cards like breakers to a hokusai grid or something. This buys you time to develop your board and score agendas.
  • The threat of complete image forces the runner to either take a lot of precautions or take on a lot of risk. This helps you get scoring windows for obokata and makes snare a bigger issue.
  • The deck is a lot of fun to play, flatlining with complete image feels amazing.

Notable choices:

  • Only 3-pointers to always enable complete image on steal, and gene splicer to get that last point.
  • Archived memories to bring back complete image if needed, and recur gene splicer over and over again when on 6 points to tax out the runners hand. This is often also great for recurring rashida.
  • Slot machine is good in general, but even better here as knowing what your opponent draws enables complete image in situations where your opponent goes down to 0 cards and then draws back up.
  • Saisentan: Not great in most decks, but really shines here. Facechecking into what is basically a guaranteed 4 damage is absolutely crazy and makes running early very risky for the runner. I´ve had this card flatline a runner with 5 cards in hand! MK ultra breaks it for 6 credits(!!!), yes a setup crim with bukghalter is very strong against it but the perks make up for it IMO.
  • Engram flush: Extra strong in chronos since you are more likely to know the contents of your opponents hand. Also the reveal synergizes with complete image.
  • The deck runs cheap ice because it´s not very rich, but the ice does its job very well. You want to have enough money left over for snares and complete image.

General strategy:

  • Usually you want the remote to be taxing in terms of cards and centrals to be taxing in terms of credits. Kakugos and border controls most often go in the remote.
  • Hokusai is often good in the remote, but especially great for centrals where you expect the runner to skip access due to cards like diversion of funds or stargate. Definitely get this on a central against apoc to snipe that apoc. Great detterent for runs, steep trash cost and guaranteed net damage. Great card 10/10 would play in Chronos again.
  • If the game gets to a point where the runner is starting to run out of cards in the deck then you should consider using and recurring complete image simply to drain the last few cards to make it impossible for the runner to steal Obokatas or trash your splicer. Remember that as long as you know one of the cards in the runners hand complete image is a guaranteed two damage.
  • Really try to exploit windows early on in the game to score out an agenda or two while the runner struggles to set up. If you are facing a deck featuring nasty hate cards the best way to beat that is to play fast and not let the runner get a comfortable setup, or to try to wiggle out of it with some well timed bluffs. As the runner stabilizes you will want to have a card taxing remote ready to finish off the game with.
  • Always take notes while playing this to keep tabs on your opponents hand and top of deck.

Why not play neural emp and salems to make the kill threat stronger?:

I found that this just clogs up the deck without making the kill threat that much stronger, in a a lot of cases neural EMP + salems will only deal one extra damage in total. While those combo pieces are sitting in your hand they do absolutely nothing. Complete image is the real star, in the normal cases it deals three or four net damage by itself and you dont need to include more than the three copies to keep that threat alive. Therefore, keep it clean, keep it simple.

This deck will naturally be slightly worse if people are aware of it, but I dont view this as a gimicky deck. The gameplan is solid and there are many threats for the runner to dodge.

The events I´ve brought this to so far:

7 Apr 2020 Krasty

Very nice deck! I love this "broken" Jinteki decks so much... :o)
What are you doing against anarchs with 3x I've Had Worse? I think it totaly broke your deck...
Did you ever try Salem's Hospitality in this kind of deck?
I also dont know if 2x Border Controls woth there influence slots...

7 Apr 2020 Bridgeman

Hey, thank you! :D

Fair questions. I´ve had worse is annoying yes, you have to dodge it best you can basically and usually not go for complete image if they have it. Sometimes engram flush can get rid of it. I havent found anarch to be a big problem though since anarchs have a hard time breaking saisentan and the code gates, also stimhack is not so great against this deck so that can become a dead card.

I´ve tried Salems and also neural emp as mentioned above, but I havent found it to be worth the investment, sometimes it can get you a kill yes but a lot of the time it will just slow you down while sitting in your hand. Playing 6 yellow cards to get it for free is also an issue, there are really none I want in this deck except slot machine.

Border control is important because you want to be able to create a remote where the runner basically cannot steal your obokatas, it helps with that and is pretty good in general. I´d say it is worth the inf since there arent any other cards that come to mind that I´d really like to have in the deck, the slots are pretty tight as is. I would trade celebrity gift for a fourth hedge fund though if I could. :D

18 Apr 2020 Fromus

I've been having a blast with this list, but I have two questions: 1) What about Bacterial Programming instead of Future Perfect? Is Future Perfect's evasion more important than draw filtering? 2) Is Celebrity Gift better than Scarcity of Resources? Econ is definitely needed, but getting trapped by a Corporate Grant is no fun.

18 Apr 2020 Bridgeman

Hey thats great to hear!

1): In my opinion yes, every agenda steal is very impactful as your opponent only needs three of them, avoiding a steal can be crucial. Especially because the games sometimes get a bit grindy. I still favoured SSL over future perfect because the deck really needs the money but I dont think the value of bacterial programming justifies a swap here. I did try bacterial programming when attempting to build more of a combo kill Chronos deck but didnt find that deck to be consistent and threatening enough, this is a more solid approach.

2): Again, in my opinion yes. I dont like the idea of adding a card just to deal with another specific card because that weakens the other matchups. I understand that scarcity can be useful in general but it doesnt really synergize with the deck, wheras celeb gift addresses the need for money in the deck. Celeb is admittedly the worst money card in the deck due to the reveal drawback, but there is no better alternative atm.

Corporate grant can definitely be annoying, those matchups sometimes get into a situation where you are starved on cash at least for a moment. Often you can break out of it by simply being calm and gathering enough money to get your agenda out. Important to remember is that crim is not inherently very resiliant to net damage and in drawn out games they tend to have trouble stealing obokatas, so a long grindy game where you have to click for credits a lot doesnt necessarily mean a loss for you. If they are on anicram that is pretty annoying though as it makes the kill basically impossible, just hope they dont draw it. :D