[Startup] Punitive Archers Mk2 (Feedback welcome!)

dessert cactus 261

I've been playing Netrunner for about 2 months now and this is my first second serious crack at building a deck. Here is the first list and its writeup. I changed so much from the last list that I decided to just make a new post, but to recap, the core idea is that with 6 strength and 4 relevant subroutines, Archer has an extremely favorable match-up against both Boomerang and Bukhgalter, two of the best -- and most ubiquitous -- breakers in the Startup format.

Shoutouts to Andrej (MetropoleGrid on Twitch and YouTube), Diogene, my Netrunner degen friends in meatspace, and all the people who left comments on the previous list for the feedback!

The core is largely unchanged:

  • 3 Hostile Takeovers are fodder for our
  • 3 Archers, which also play nicely with our
  • 3 Send a Messages, which contribute to our alternate wincon of
  • 3 Punitive Counterstrikes, which are further supported by
  • 2 SDS Drone Deployments.
  • 3 Magnet are much-needed anti-virus tech, since Tranquilizer and Botulus are both super effective against Archer and we aren't playing Cyberdex. Put these in front of your Archers so you can rez them and force a jack out! This is also usually the ICE I throw on archives in matchups where that matters.
  • The other holdovers from the previous list should be self-explanatory.

Cut from the previous list:

  • Building a Better World -- Spending most of our influence on operations didn't feel good, and as Andrej pointed out, BaBW's ability caps out at about 6 of value. Earth Station just fits our game plan much, much better.
  • Divested Trust -- Another suggestion from Andrej was that Divested Trust just kind of sucks. I actually hadn't realized you can't use it to prevent game point, and they can always just run it in HQ if they have the econ for it. Its role as Archer fodder and the synergies with SaM and SDS just don't really put it into the playable territory by themselves.
  • Spin Doctor -- We're playing Earth Station now, so this card is really awkward to install and even more awkward to use effectively since we can't just let it camp out waiting for an opportune time to pop it; we need that server for other things! And a Spin Doctor that requires you do immediately use it, well... At least Action Howard would have drawn us cards. We'll miss the consistency and the recursion for sure, but it's just not that good here.
  • Palisade -- Akhet is just better here, especially with Wall to Wall in the deck and Tao in the meta.
  • Hansei Review and Predictive Planogram -- much less impressive with BaBW, plus we spend the influence better elsewhere.
  • Subliminal Messaging -- This card was already pretty mediocre, and without Hansei Review it doesn't even have any synergies. I thought about playing 1, but... ehh....
  • 1 Afshar -- Drawing 3 feels terrible, and Tao makes this ICE look pretty silly. Still, it's nice to tax HQ runs since your ID incentivizes it.

New cards:

  • Earth Station -- It was this or Built to Last, and I wanted to play La Costa Grid, so Earth Station seems cleaner since I doubt we're clicking advance enough for BtL to make us that much money. Plus, when you're tracing for lethal, -6 for the runner is effectively the same as +6 for the corp.
  • 2 La Costa Grid -- This is probably the biggest change from the last list. I love this card, and we usually charge 6 up front just to run our remote so it's pretty hard to trash once it's down.
  • 2 Clearinghouse -- This card rocks with La Costa, and can kill by itself or combine with a single Punitive for lethal meat damage.
  • 3 Reversed Accounts -- This is that sweet, sweet Diogene tech. Pressuring the runner's econ is really crushing with our ID's ability, and we play really strong 5/3 agendas and clearinghouse, so the runner kind of has to run it once it hits 2-3 advancement counters. It's also totally fine to just cash it in to make room for a better asset, you don't need to get that much value for the runner's econ to start withering against our scoring server.
  • 2 Regolith Mining License -- This is just worth so, so much money, and we spend a lot of credits installing ICE on our towers.
  • 1 Project Atlas -- This could honestly just be an SDS, but I don't think cutting a Hostile Takeover is viable so we'd end up with 21 agenda points, which just feels wrong. We play this over Above the Law because we actually take advantage of the over-advance ability pretty well. When we score out, we usually do it by going 3+3+1, it's usually not worth more than 1 effective agenda point unless you scored 2 Hostiles and didn't forfeit them (3+2+1+1, not super exciting); furthermore, our primary win condition is flatlining. All this is to say you shouldn't feel too bad forfeiting this to rez Archer.
  • 1 Crisium Grid -- I'm still testing this, but it seems pretty mean to slap one on HQ when you're in space. This slot might ultimately be better served as an ICE, a Subliminal Messaging, or just a third Wall to Wall.
  • 2 Wall to Wall -- I shouldn't have to justify how much value this card provides, plus it's really nice that you can bounce it to your hand instead of trashing it when you change gears.
  • 2 Akhet, 2 Hortum, 1 Colossus -- We need some advanceable ICE for Wall to Wall. Don't click these unless it puts them to a relevant breaking point.

Alright, that's my lengthy writeup of the second version of this deck. The next iteration should hopefully be small enough that I can just put a changelog at the top of this post. (lol changing published decklists is not a feature on nrdb, rip)

As always, feel free to provide feedback, and thanks to everyone that helps me learn this game!

11 Jun 2021 fourthdiagonal

I think you should drop the punitives and clearinghouses oh and all the ice too and just add agendas ;)

In all seriousness, this was a lot of fun to play against! And by fun, I mean oh-god-why-do-you-have-three-punitives-and-a-loaded-clearinghouse. I feel sorry for the poor runners who have to face this....

11 Jun 2021 dessert cactus

@fourthdiagonal you say that as though you weren't one of those poor runners......


14 Jun 2021 GameOfDroids

Plus, when you're tracing for lethal, -6 for the runner is effectively the same as +6 for the corp.

If you are playing multiple Punitive, -6 for the runner is better than +6 for the Corp. :)

14 Jun 2021 dessert cactus

That is a very good point, I hadn't considered that!

15 Jun 2021 Diogene

@dessert cactus I like your design ideas. I'll test the deck. Here are a few ideas I will tests with your deck. I'll tell you how it went after.

  1. Since this is startup, trying Cayambe Grid. Dropping Colossus and Hortum for Ice Wall. Other cards would need to be replaced to make space. But having 3 ices advanced would cost the runner 6 to breach.

  2. Using Trebuchet along Increased Drop Rates, making the ice suite sentry heavy. Maybe adding also Winchester.

  3. Changing the SDS Drone Deployment for 3 Cyberdex Sandbox.

It will be fun to test. Thank you for sharing your deck and writing up the iterations that you went through. Cheers!

15 Jun 2021 Claim

I got bullied by that deck twice ! It is also extra effective because dessert cactus's chat-game is so good you wont be able to focus. Fun times and deck seems really good from an humble rookie standpoint.

15 Jun 2021 dessert cactus

@Diogene I can't help but feel like Increased Drop Rates is just awful if you don't have tag punishment.

I also tested Trebuchet in a previous version and it gets Boomeranged a lot. Never bothered with Winchester since it's basically the same problem. I think if I was to play an NBN ambush with that kind of suite I'd go for Ganked! over anything else.

Cayambe Grid on HQ is probably better than Crisium Grid, yeah. Just remember that it and La Costa are both region upgrades.

Cyberdex is obviously good but doesn't it make Punitive worse?

15 Jun 2021 Diogene

@dessert cactus thanks for the feedback. I'll drop test number 2. The idea was that being sentry heavy, it would be more expensive for the runner, since sentry breakers are less efficient.

I wanted to explore Cyberdex because I felt that the deck needed money and because it was a way to counter viruses heavy deck. But you are correct in your assessment that it would weaken a lot Punitive Counterstrike. But considering that you need a lot of creds to rez the ice, it might be a consideration. I'll test it and tell you about it. It might be that instead of three wincon, I'll go down to two (Clearinghouse and scoring, taking out Punitive Counterstrike). Fun tests to do!

I think, for your deck, that Cayambe Grid could be a good addition to make it super taxing. I envision a 4 ices deep HQ with Cayambe Grid. Forcing the runner to run the remote and paying 6 from the ID effect.

Discussion about deck design is so interesting to me. Thanks again for the feedback. I look forward to seeing your deck become decklist of the week.

16 Jun 2021 Diogene

@dessert cactus please check this : netrunnerdb.com

It was tested successfully. I kept the 3 win con and it survived an encouter with Tāo Salonga: Telepresence Magician and Sneakdoor Beta.

Minimal changes all in all (your deck IS amazing to start with). I added Cayambe Grid and Engram Flush, which are only available in the startup format. Switched Hortum for Ice Wall, because it is cheaper and can still be manually advanced. The main ice to stop the runner are Archer (name of the deck) and Pharos, both of which you gain to rez with Send a Message. It is worth to activate Cayambe Grid once you have 2 ice with advancement on RD or HQ. Otherwise, it still cost 3 to trash it, slowing down the runner.

Of note, I tried first the deck without any changes. And it work very well! Very good pressure and bait. My proposal makes the deck a bit more of a glacier and more taxing also, but it bait a bit less and so, pressure a bit less. Thanks for the conversation in this comments section, I hope you become decklist of the week. Cheers!

19 Mar 2022 Solidbuck

Have you considered replacing the Hostile Takeovers with Standoff instead? If the HT's are only meant for Archer cannon fodder, then might as well lose the Bad Publicity, while gaining the potential to earn an easy 5 credits and draw 1.

20 Mar 2022 dessert cactus

Standoff is not in startup :)