Freelance Smoke - ACC 3rd place & 5th in top

mao 926

This beast dragged me to the cut.


"Dear #netmercurers, welcome to another episode. Before bringing our usual havoc on corporate servers, tonight I have a big announcement to make.
It's time for a new chapter of my life. I'll travel to the extreme North, and maybe I'll take on some telework contracts along the road. I hear something big is happening there. But don't worry, I will still post here some updates every now and then. Secrecy first, as always."
- Smoke

I ended up 3rd in swiss for SOS reasons. This deck went undefeated through all the swiss and lost only one match in the cut, against a R+, that I could have won if only I had the guts to run with Overclock and few credits the remote server with an unrezzed external ice. I thought it was an IP Block, it turned out to be Turnpike. So I lost my winning agenda... But this is Netrunner eh? Sometimes you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

In the beginning this list looked very different. I had Unity, Endurance, Rezeki and PAD Tap. It was fine but it lost consistently to R+. After Apac I thought it would be seen a lot and so I decided for major changes.

I wanted a Smoke less reliant on Net Mercur, less exposed to Self-Growth Program and with more instant economy. So I cut the Rezekis, Endurance, 1 Daily Cast. I chose Aniccam, Telework Contract and a second Mantle. It felt better because I was not scared to have those cards back in my hand or trashed, but it was still not enough. I was almost convinced to abandon the idea of playing Smoke when, thanks to the fellow Italian netrunners @guiot and @koga, they suggested to cut the Pad Taps to put Trickster Taka instead. I thought it wasn't a bad idea, because I could also go up to 3x Overclock and 3x Self-modifying Code. I chose also Penrose over Unity because it's so important to be able to contest the remote servers immediately. With Taka and double Mantle, stealth credits are not an issue.

It turned out to be what was missing. Taka produces so much more value than the Pads in this list, and 3x Overclock and SMC help to setup faster. I still kept the second Mantle and therefore Net Mercur was not so indispensable anymore. Very good if it's installed, mostly as a draw boost (optimizing the clicks spent on Telework), but I managed to win games even without. Turns out that Smoke can contest the R+ remote with only 2 stealth credits and 1 Overclock.

This deck has a good matchup against everything. R+ is a bit tough but manageable. Just keep clearing the tags and camping the remote with a couple of stealth credits and the Overclocks. Eventually the Corp must trash Ivan Drago to score. Make every run count, you won't be able to run every turn.

In swiss I played against Sports 2 times, PE and Aginfusion. Against PE, after snatching 2 Blood In The Water, I did the best play of the tournament: I had 2 Deep Dive in hand, I ran HQ drawing with Mercur, I ran R&D and I hit Snare! losing 1 Deep Dive, then I ran Archives simulchipping a SMC for the second Mantle and drawing again with Mercur, and finally I deep-dived on the closing Obokata with exactly 4 cards in hand.

The Twinning and Deep Dive are so good together, you can have so many valuable accesses. And Mantle charges the Twinning also during Corp turns. Simply amazing!

29 Aug 2022 dnddmdb

I was very much convinced that Smoke wouldn't be able to do well in this meta and was proven wrong! Really cool deck.

29 Aug 2022 mao

Thank you. It's because everybody got comfortable with the idea that Smoke and Net Mercur were co-dependent. Net Mercur sure is very powerful but, man, the use that has Mantle now... Also, almost every good ice is in range of Penrose, and Ansel/Anansi are preys for Afterimage. Taka helps a lot with taxing barriers like Data Ward or Endless Eula.

29 Aug 2022 JamesG


30 Aug 2022 Odol

Well done! Do you reckon Daily Casts are still good in the meta where you are either getting tagged over and over or the games are insanely fast and you'd rather have the money here and now?

I switched them to Into the Depths in my list from last week's APAC continentals, but keep wondering about more consistent solutions... In hindsight, are you happy with this economy package, or would you make any changes?

30 Aug 2022 Jose-san

I love your deck!

30 Aug 2022 mao

@OdolI found 2 to be the right number in this meta and I rely more on the Telework Cotracts that are my bank while Net Mercur focus more (not exclusively) on drawing. Of course not always you want to install DC, it's very important to don't waste clicks and installations that get trashed hurting you. But when you find the right window and they go through you are reminded of the utility of them (also in terms of click efficiency) and why they are still a staple in every list. But yeah in this meta you can't rely on them, they are more fuel for the long run. At the moment, until Ivan Drago is still around, I wouldn't change anything of this list.

30 Aug 2022 mao

Thank you @Jose-san! While I was watching your matches I was commenting in our discord chat that I really liked your Asa-Trieste.

31 Aug 2022 Irrio

This is sick! I am super excited to see a Smoke deck take off! I just got back into Netrunner after taking a hiatus in 2016. The very last data pack I bought before I stopped had Smoke and I never had a chance to try her. I've been trying to fiddle with a Smoke deck while I wait for my NISEI cards to arrive and this looks like a killer list to playtest while I get my head back into the game.

31 Aug 2022 mao

Sure thing @Irrio! Thanks. 😁🙏

4 Sep 2022 Piwko

Awesome deck @mao. One question: how do you use Mantle on corp's turn?

5 Sep 2022 JayPumpkin

@Piwko you use mantle to increase the strength of an installed breaker to trigger twinning on the corp turn.

5 Sep 2022 Piwko

@JayPumpkin :O I had no idea. Thought you could only do that during a run. TY

5 Sep 2022 mao

@Piwko if it's not specified "during a run", you can use it during the Corp turn. Mantle is the only stealth card allowing that atm.

7 Sep 2022 Sindarin

@mao were you ever able to use a Beth click to get the extra access with Deep Dive? Or was it usually just the single?

7 Sep 2022 mao

@Alphait happened many times during the testing phase. Not during the tournament though.