The Nightmare on Archive Street (3rd @ Portland Kickoff GNK)

Solomir 155

All I wanted to do was play a deck with an old jank card that will soon be lost to rotation.

The pitch was simple: Manta Grid wants the runner to have no clicks or no credits when they finish a run on a server, and Mr. Hendrik or Manegarm Skunkworks can make that condition comparably trivial to fulfill. I put a deck together with this idea for a local Vancouver event, and received some critique from the TO.

"This deck is fucking disgusting" -Whiteblade111

I think he was trying to be encouraging.

Whiteblade invited me to join him on a little road trip to Portland for another tournament, and we workshopped the deck on the way down in an attempt to make it better (worse?). Manta Grid was almost cut entirely, but I held my ground to keep at least one copy.

This deck went 3-1 at the tournament, beating Sable, 419 and Freedom, and losing in the top cut to Hoshiko. Despite the volume of potential negative points in the deck, most games ended with the runner having only 1-2 negative points in their score area when the game ended.

So how does this deck win games? Let's dive into how it works.

Thule Subsea is sometimes compared to Argus Security as an ID, and we're going to try our best to live up to that comparison. Where Argus would use the threat of tags and explosives to back a bold plan of scoring agendas, Thule instead dares the runner to take a critical mass of core damage in order to keep up with each agenda scored or stolen. One core damage makes almost the entire agenda suite to be never-advanced, allowing you to threaten points with any asset, agenda, or upgrade. The second core damage will turn Ontological Dependence into

Prioritize building a remote in the early game to secure tempo with Rashida Jaheem and rush out points while the runner sets up. Try to jam a card into the remote every turn, aside from turns spent scoring an installed agenda. An aggressive an early runner will set themselves back trying to avoid core damage. Stolen agendas will cost the runner precious clicks and credits they will need in the first few turns of the game. A more passive runner will allow you to put more nasty upgrades in your remote to make their first run very costly in clicks, credits, and/or damage. Central servers, especially RnD, should be defended as needed once the runner is sufficiently intimidated by the remote and has decided to look elsewhere for agendas. Remember that your upgrades can be effective in hampering Stargate as well as protecting remotes.

Most of the credits for this deck are going to come from two things: clicking for credits and Stock Buy-Back. We utilize several sources of negative agenda points to both fuel the Buy-Back burst and to keep the runner's score lower or at parity with the corp. Nightmare Archive can be used as remote bait that can quickly be overwritten with a more valuable asset. Meridian is used as a speed bump that offers the prospect of cheaper runs in exchange for more exposure and risk of core damage. Hangeki is used to force a decision on the runner between taking guaranteed core damage or further tanking their agenda points.

For ice, we're using the Harmonic suite due to their low rez costs across the board. Pulse is often on the remote server, leveraging its rez ability to threaten the runner into taking core damage at the end of the run. Echo is a cheap gearcheck that forces the runner to dig for a breaker. The big Bloop is your primary taxing ice, and makes for a mean facecheck as well.

Special card notes:

  • Red Level Clearance: Best used for its draw mode, either clicklessly or with the credit gain. This will help you dig for more upgrades/agendas to install and can get you past RnD lock. Once the runner has two core damage, you can
  • Ikawah Project: This is in the deck mostly because of card slots, but this agenda is very scoreable. Between Thule's ID ability, Pulse, and Manegarm, it can be made very difficult to steal safely and the runner may decide to not take that risk, especially in the early game.
  • Manta Grid: Unfortunately not a big player in this version of the deck, but it can punish a tightly planned run with a fast advance threat. It requires a successful run to trigger, so it synergizes better with Giordano Field than Manegarm.

Takeaway points from the tournament:

  • 3x Hangeki is too much. I would often not have a good target (Hendrik, Hyperloop, Nightmare Archive) for them since they had just been trashed/stolen and I wasn't banking extra targets in HQ.
  • Against Anarchs, Bloop should be installed in the outermost position so it can be rezzed. If the outermost Echo/Pulse gets trashed by Hippo, your Bloop is just sad and facedown.
  • Stacking Giordano and Manegarm is generally overkill, but sometimes you just want to give the runner Nightmares.
22 Feb 2023 Two_EG

Yes Hangeki in Thule is fun (and disgusting), but it's quite hard to land it.

22 Feb 2023 Mancini

Dang, I never thought about Hangeki in Thule! Cool idea!

23 Feb 2023 maninthemoon

Very exciting deck! It was great to play with you in the tourny. Very well done!

22 Mar 2023 Dustconsumedseeker

I hate this so much, well done