Big Girls Play With Monoliths

PeekaySK 8147

This decklist originally came into being as part of the first Turing Test over at CardGameDB - If you aren't familiar with it, go have a read, it's interesting. Basically, the question was "How fast can you conveniently have Monolith and a full breaker suite up?".

Short version: Insane card draw + Freelance Coding Contract to get a Full Rig With Monolithâ„¢ set up early, then recurring siphons and RnD lock for the win.

First pass through the deck should usually be chucking most programs to FCCs - don't hesitate to install what you need to apply early pressure on the corp though. Often, I'll install Magnum Opus to get Monolith out sooner - if I don't, it usually delays the big beast not because of a lack of money, but because I'll take longer to get the 3 programs to install (since I need to be chucking them to make said money).

Funny thing about Monolith - it doesn't matter which programs you install with it, it always pulls its weight. Even if you do a triple Cloak play, it's still worth it: you save 3 actions and 3 credits, so valuing each click at 2 credits you're only paying 9 for Monolith - and you're getting the memory you need to make this rig work, along with a sweet "let's facecheck cerebral overwriters and run through Januses" ability. And this is just the worst-case scenario - most of the time, you'll be getting a much sweeter deal, with one of the cards being either a Gordian or at the very least a Dagger.

Now, about the rig. It always consists of: - one Cloak - Dagger - Corroder - Gordian Blade - Magnum Opus

That eats up 6 of your 8 available memory. The last 2 units are circumstantial: - If your opponent is Jinteki, you want a Net Shield - Unless there's a complete lack of Sentries with the 1-3 Strength range, you want a Mimic (I really can't stress just how hard this breaker owns Caduceus and Katana, two sentries that could potentially become a problem) - Fill the rest of your memory with Cloaks

Once that happens, just establish RnD lock, recur Siphons, farm the extra copies of programs for credits or damage prevention, and you should be all set.

Edit 2013/12/06: Added a Nerve Agent, taking out one Corroder. Basically, sacrificing early-game consistency for a solution to those moments in the late-game where it all hangs on whether they got an agenda into their hand before I established R&D lock. Don't be afraid to trash a Cloak or Magnum Opus to play the Nerve Agent - most of the time, the Sure Gambles and FCCs will give you enough money to function well, and you can always install over the Nerve Agent once it has played its part.

6 Dec 2013 falseidol

I actually really like this idea, account siphon or a good freelance both seem like solid ways to trick out your monolith, way more reliable than trying to game a Eureka.

My thoughts: cut down to just 1 "oh shit" AR lab access, you don't need 3 and it goes against FCC, I personally think you'll see better use out of clone chips, or Same old Thing if you're trying to recur your Account Siphons.

Deja Vu and Test Run both work well with draw/FCC, and will help put programs in your hand before you drop the Monolith.

Without clone chips or SMC, I question the reliability of your 1-of programs, and you're not running Aesop's to gobble up those extra programs (I'm not saying run Aesop's necessarily, but with all the duplicates and circumstantially good cards, I might consider it. That, or get some better search/recursion for when you actually WANT to get those cards).

3 Magnum Opus/40 cards and 9 draw cards (I'm including the Lab Access's) is absolutely bananas, there is no way you need 3 with that much draw. My advice, cut down to 1 opus and 2 SMC. You're not bringing it out mid-run, so paying 7 vs. 5 for it is only a matter of a couple credits the hard way. But I think the preferred way to get Opus out should be to test run it, click it three times, and then play it for 1 with your monolith.

6 Dec 2013 falseidol

and Pro contacts will help keep a full hand for when you FCC or drop the monolith anyway

7 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

@falseidol: Thanks for the comment(s)! You're off the mark by a fair margin though, let me try to explain:

Basically, you need to forget everything you think you know about playing Shaper if you want this deck to work for you. I'll try to explain why the specific changes you suggest would be really bad for the deck, and hopefully that'll allow me to better explain the general idea of how to play it.

cut down to just 1 "oh shit" AR lab access, you don't need 3 and it goes against FCC

This is really hard to explain and you won't believe me before you try it yourself anyway, but the 3 Levies are critical to the whole thing. I really can't stress this enough - it's not an afterthought inclusion, it's a core card. An early draft of this deck only had two (and had 3 Monoliths instead), and the deck performs TONS better after swapping out the third console for a third Levy. It enables FCC hugely - without it, you have to consider which programs to keep and which to ditch. With it, you just ditch the max. amount of programs you conveniently can at the time, knowing more are coming. And it's very important to know more will be coming - that allows you to both keep farming FCC and actually use Monolith's prevention ability (both for soaking up brain damage from overwriters, and for protecting non-program cards in your hand when you hit a snare or something).

Also, I frequently use Levy as a version of Quality Time, especially when I can see what cards the deck still has. Get used to checking your heap and counting copies of specific cards (Diesel, QT, FCC) in this deck, it's a needed skill to make qualified choices. It often works almost like a tutor - you say to yourself "man, I could really get a Siphon through right now", so you play Levy and you either draw a Siphon right away, or you will almost guaranteed pick up a card-draw effect that will net you said Siphon.

I personally think you'll see better use out of clone chips, or Same old Thing if you're trying to recur your Account Siphons

Clone Chips: nope. Take a look at my programs. None of them need to be installed mid-run, none of them are one-use. Very few are singletons, and those that are, are utility cards that I might or might not want (and never NEED before I'm done going through my deck once). Clone chips are a card that would make the second pass through the deck much much worse - I have literally zero use for them once my rig is complete, and I would just draw them instead of programs I do want to draw (for FCC and Monolith purposes).

Same Old Thing is inefficient for Siphon Recursion if you plan to spend you time tagged... which, if you'll notice, I do. I have recurring Carapaces vs. Scorcheds (and even vs. Jackson Weyland builds, I can recur them much faster than the corp will be able to), zero resource cards and I'm extremely resilient to Closed Accounts (recurring credits for breakers, Magnum Opus to get back up to speed, and in the later phases of the game I'll usually hold a hand of 4 programs + FCC to get back up to the desired credit count needed in an emergency). With SOT, against a decent opponent you need to play and use it in the same turn, leaving you with only a single action to capitalize on the fact the corp has been siphoned. Also, there's several counts of anti-synergy with Levy there (need to have a Siphon in trash, will be a bad card to draw on later passes through the deck), which I've already described as being a core card. Hence, no SoT.

Deja Vu and Test Run both work well with draw/FCC, and will help put programs in your hand before you drop the Monolith.

Deja vu: a) works reasonably only in a virus deck b) costs influence, which is tight. Dropping the amount of Siphons is a bad idea, and playing Snowball instead of a Corroder is a swap that isn't justified by Deja Vu's usefulness.

Test Run is good in a Professor FCC build, where you want to have a lot of different programs available and then cherry-pick the one you'll be needing this turn. Such is not the case here - again, take a look at the program suite. Also, it's a really inefficient way of using FCC - you're dumping the program for 2 credits, then spending 3 credits, an action and a card to get it back for one turn, only to have to draw it again... ugh.

Programs in hand when dropping Monolith: half the deck is programs, getting three isn't a problem. And like I explained in the original strategy section, it doesn't matter which three you drop, it's always worth it.

Without clone chips or SMC, I question the reliability of your 1-of programs.

Dude. 9 card draw effects in 40 cards. They WILL come up very soon, believe me ;) And here's the moment where we come back to what I said at start of this reply - re-think what you think you know about playing Shaper. You should be usually playing the first Levy sometimes around turn 4-5, having seen most if not all of your deck once. SMC ain't got nothin' on that.

you're not running Aesop's to gobble up those extra programs

Huh? I'm running FCC. There's so many duplicates so that I can get the first copy ASAP... all the other copies might as well be blank cards saying "Program" and work just as well - they're there for FCC and for Monolith's damage prevention.

3 Magnum Opus/40 cards and 9 draw cards (I'm including the Lab Access's) is absolutely bananas, there is no way you need 3 with that much draw.

Sure I do: * blank card saying "Program", remember? * I need to have it available pretty much at will whenever I decide that's how I'm gonna farm up to Monolith cash (because I can't get through to Siphon, or because it would be unwise to - no Carapace, opponent probably playing Psychographics, etc etc etc). * Most times, when things go according to plan, I'm getting Magnum Opus from the Monolith install. That won't happen before I've farmed FCC a bit though, and to do that, I need the liberty of having good card circulation. That means I won't be able to hold onto my one copy of MO if it shows up early - I need to be able to ditch it to FCC and still draw another in time to Monolith it out.

But I think the preferred way to get Opus out should be to test run it, click it three times, and then play it for 1 with your monolith.

This is a very slow play. Do the math: Test Run + 3 clicks: one entire turn (and a card), leaving me at +3 credits. Next turn: draw the MO, play the Monolith for 19... meaning I had to have 16 credits before playing the Test Run. How did I get to 16? I obviously didn't have a MO installed, and I probably wasn't farming FCC to get there, because my deck is now full of non-program cards like Test Run (which will be useless after the first Levy).

So, it's slow (5 clicks minimum), circumstantial, unreliable (moving parts, singleton of a card) and actually weakens my lategame (by diluting my program ratio after the setup phase is done).

Now compare it to stuff like playing Diesel, ditching two programs (which is worst-case scenario that shouldn't come up often in this deck, really) and installing a MO: 3 clicks, 1 credit and you're all set. If you can afford to ditch 3 programs for that FCC, it's actually 3 clicks and a gain of one credit! Much faster and better.

and Pro contacts will help keep a full hand for when you FCC or drop the monolith anyway

Pro Contacts go totally against the way this deck functions. It's slow by this deck's standards, and you'd need to play multiples to reliably see it early enough. That will dilute the deck on the second and subsequent passes through it (when all you want to be drawing is programs, FCCs and Sure Gamble). Also, Pro Contacts aren't really good with FCC, they're good in decks where you want to alternate drawing cards and playing cards. This is a different situation: here, you want to draw a bunch of cards all at once, then play one card (FCC), then either play a couple more cards before restarting the cycle, or restarting the cycle immediately (if you drew another QT from your previous QT, for instance).

Man, was this one long-ass comment :D

In conclusion: go ahead and build your version and play with it. Then build my version, play it like I've just described to you and you'll see it flows much better, has a more solid endgame, is faster out the gates and more aggressive early. I've done the testing, now it's up to you :)

7 Dec 2013 jeremylarner

Thanks for directing me to this deck. I've had a lot of fun playing around with it, though only a couple of actual matches with it. In my experience, it works really well, and most changes I've tried I think make it worse. I definitely think 3 MO is correct (though this may be partly the way I'm playing it), it also definitely doesn't need any fewer programs (most of my attempts have been to increase the program count to increase FCC efficiency). I think the only two real question marks for me are:

1) Net Shield: I really don't think you need this against Jinteki, and it's useless against anyone else. Jinteki is still the weakest corp (IMHO), and Monolith allowing you to choose to throw progs to protect your card draw is a major boon, even if it doesn't help you avoid a flatline. You also have LALA, so you don't die to attrition either. I think this could be cut

2) 3 LALA. You definitely need 2, but I'm not sure about the third. They are often dead draws early game, and I've never come close to needing to go through my deck a third time. I've also never been in a situation where I felt "I need LALA right now", whereas that happens for a lot of other cards in the deck.

My biggest problem with the deck has been inability to find the program I want. Sometimes this is early game when the corp is trying to push an agenda through behind an ice wall, or when I'm looking for a mimic so I can pressure Jinteki more. Sometimes is looking for my final breaker so I can apply late game pressure. SMC seems like the best fit to deal with this, and I really don't want any more non-programs. The only problem is the slight anti-synergy with Monolith...

7 Dec 2013 jeremylarner

A couple of questions regarding how you play it: - What do you look for when deciding whether to mulligan? So far my basic rule has been to keep a hand with FCC and card draw (FCC and lots of programs is ok too), or with MO, or with siphon and a couple of breakers if I'm up against an ID I think I can safely float tags against. - How often (i.e. what percentage of your games) do you play MO early and click for credits vs drawing like a madman looking to find more card draw and FCC a lot? I find my games tend to go one of these ways - is there another way to play it? - On average, how many programs do you find you tend to discard with a typical FCC? Is there a minimum number you wouldn't FCC with less than?

7 Dec 2013 jeremylarner

Ugh, I fail at formatting... here is a readable version of the above comment (no editing on this site?)

A couple of questions regarding how you play it:

  • What do you look for when deciding whether to mulligan? So far my basic rule has been to keep a hand with FCC and card draw (FCC and lots of programs is ok too), or with MO, or with siphon and a couple of breakers if I'm up against an ID I think I can safely float tags against.

  • How often (i.e. what percentage of your games) do you play MO early and click for credits vs drawing like a madman looking to find more card draw and FCC a lot? I find my games tend to go one of these ways - is there another way to play it?

  • On average, how many programs do you find you tend to discard with a typical FCC? Is there a minimum number you wouldn't FCC with less than?

8 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

@jeremylarner: Great questions! (it's weird you can't edit, I can edit my comments just fine - maybe your session got killed and you weren't logged on?)

What do you look for when deciding whether to mulligan? The rule of thumb I've come to after about a dozen games or so is: "card draw before FCC before Sure Gamble". A Gamble is nice, but it won't actually get your gameplan going nearly as much as it will in other decks. Also, it's relatively easy to get back up to 5 creds, even from zero. An FCC in opening hand is nice, because it's basically a back-up saying "you can spend your first turn drawing, looking for useful cards, and you won't have to ditch too much pointlessly")... but what you really want to see is a QT, two Diesels, or a combination of those two.

A "god hand" for me would be Sure Gamble, FCC, Quality Time and 2 programs. Ideally drawing a second QT and a Diesel from the first QT :D (I once hit the table with a pimped-out Monolith in the middle of turn 2 that way... boy was my opponent surprised).

Another good hand (and this often happens to me after I play Diesel as my first action) is Siphon, Carapace and Mimic/Corroder, the particular choice of desired breaker depending on the matchup. The thing to note here is that the Siphon isn't necessarily for actually getting rich. If I can make you broke by rezzing a piece of ICE that will stop me, that suits me just fine (because the game will be slow for the next turn or two, leaving me time to draw enough moving parts to get the engine going).

How often (i.e. what percentage of your games) do you play MO early and click for credits vs drawing like a madman looking to find more card draw and FCC a lot?

This depends on the matchup to a large degree. What you need is to apply early pressure as much as possible, and you need to play it in a way that will let you do that: * The best matchups for you are the ones where you don't actually need breakers to get into servers and can facecheck with impunity while running naked (hello, HB). There you can go for FCC madness and just build up cash this way - then, once you have your money together, drop a Monolith with the programs you'll be needing (hello, insta-rig!) and start playing an actual game of Netrunner, as opposed to milling yourself for credits :P * Jinteki is a bit trickier, but nothing too horrible. Ideally, you want either the Mimic, or one Cloak + Dagger. Once you have that, try to rez as much ice as possible, don't be afraid to bounce off of ETRs. One thing to note vs Jinteki though - be very conscious of where your three Levies are at any given moment (how many you've ditched, how many are used, how many are in the deck still) - you really need to control their flow well, because if you find yourself unable to reset, you might as well concede this particular matchup. Once you have Monolith set up, it's easy sailin' - Cerebral Overwriter becomes a non-issue (as for the corp it'll essentially become 3+X credits and 1+X actions for X net damage... not exactly a good deal :D) and you can always stop a Levy discard by playing judiciously and making sure you have enough programs in hand to soak up net damage. * Probably the worst one is NBN - this is the one where I usually get Magnum Opus early, because it'll allow me to get to 18 without having to Siphon and float tags. Also, you really don't want to get into that nasty spot where they Closed Accounts you and you KNOW that card there is an Astro, but can't get to it because you're missing one credit.

Executive summary: If you can pressure well enough breakerless, go the FCC route. If you can't, get MO and play it more conservatively.

On average, how many programs do you find you tend to discard with a typical FCC? Is there a minimum number you wouldn't FCC with less than?

On average, I tend to FCC after a Diesel or QT, so it's usually 3 or 4 programs. 5 I can probably only do after a double-draw effect. Never less than 2 programs, and never ditch something you know you might need soon (like, a second Corroder when you've ditched one already).

8 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

(oh, and you're right - seems the edit button is missing... weird, it was here yesterday. Dropping a line to alsciende)

8 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

Oh, and I missed your first comment, so:

Net Shield: I really don't think you need this against Jinteki, and it's useless against anyone else.

Useless against everyone else, yeah. Vs. Jinteki it's there mostly to soak up the Identity's effect, because i'd rather pay a credit and FCC a program for 2 than just Monolith a program. You might be right though, I'm considering swapping it for Deus Ex (which will become massively useful in my worst case too, which would be stacked Januses :D).

3 LALA. You definitely need 2, but I'm not sure about the third.

For me it's a matter of convenience. Having three means I know I can ditch the first one I draw without worries, and won't lose the second to some unlucky random damage point or something. Also, it gives me the liberty to use one early when going through the deck, like when I already used both siphons and could really use another right this second. Then I'll just LALA and see what happens.

I'd rather slow myself down a little bit than completely lose a match to random 1 net damage :D This might have something to do with the fact that I tend to be relatively unlucky in this game as a general principle, so I've learned to build my decks in a way that tempts fate as little as possible. Definitely could try cutting one LALA for another program and seeing what happens.

My biggest problem with the deck has been inability to find the program I want.

I've ran into this a bit since swapping the third Corroder for a Nerve Agent, but the NA just too essential to leave out, unfortunately. One way you could go is drop one Monolith, one LALA, the Net Shield and both Corroders. Then you could go for 3x Snowball as your barrier breaker (though I don't really like the prospect), up the Mimic count to 3, and have 2 influence left (maybe for a second Nerve Agent or something. The thing that's stopping me from this version is how much worse your early-game pressure is, though - compare the play of "Drop Corroder for 2, run and break Wall of Static for 2" to "Drop Snowball for 4, run and fail to have 3 credits for Wall of Static" :D

Hm... one though: you could try going -1 LALA, -1 Net Shield, +2 Inti. You'd pretty much only use it on Ice Walls, Himitsu-Bako and Chimeras, and since it cost 0 to install, ditching it once you get a Corroder isn't a huge deal. It would give you some more early game speed and a bit of consistency. Thoughts?

8 Dec 2013 Dottore2k

Hi. I was goldfishing a bit and must say this deck run very smoothly. Just made two an a half changes: -1 Mimic + 1 Snowball -1 Nerve Agent +1 Imp -1 Net Shield +1 Deus X All in all a nice deck!

8 Dec 2013 jeremylarner

I didn't mean net shield was useless (I can see why it's there), just that I don't think you need a silver bullet. The deck is strong enough against Jinteki without hate, and it is a dead card in all other matchups (though it's still a program!). I don't think I like Deus X in this deck. You're not running any recursion (apart from LALA), and it doesn't deal with the stacked Janus's that well (Cloak and Dagger is a better solution, I think).

I can see where you're coming from with LALA, and it's possible I'm just not using them aggressively enough. I'm going to try cutting one for a bit and see how it goes.

My experience so far has been that SMC is extremely useful (though I've only played with this version of the deck a couple of times). I find this deck plays heavily on the fact that a Shaper with 15+ credits is scary, and corps are reticent to try and push agendas through even if you haven't played any breakers (though I'll be interested to see if this changes now my opponents realise I have no Test Runs). Having an SMC on the table in addition to those 15+ credits makes you even more scary, and ups your early game pressure considerably. It allows you to run early, knowing you can grab mimic to break a katana you hit, or to provide protection to MO from Rotos. And it's a much better solution than either Snowball or Inti to the only-two-barrier breaker problem, imo. Also, the big drawback of SMC (2 MU) is almost never a problem for this deck, so it's almost always useful.

@Dottore2k: I thought about adding Imp as well, but I think it also suffers from the lack of recursion (although LALA might be enough). You also have to cut Nerve Agent, which I think is the main reason I'd want it in the first place. Let us know how you find it though!

8 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

@Dottore: Thanks for the comments! I find the Mimic literally game-winning in two matchups: Jinteki and Weyland. Weyland especially, because with Mimic you can own Shadows and Caduceus, which make frequent appearances and are a tad problematic when layered.

@Jeremy, you sold me on trying out SMC. I'll try to fit two in there, though I have no idea how :D I can see going two ways here - one would be to cut some non-program cards (though I don't know which)*, the second would be to cut one Dagger and one Gordian. If I really wanted a third, I'd cut Deus X.

    • Of course, there is one other, decidedly more crazy option... cut Sure Gambles :D At the very least, it would help with FCC efficiency, though I'd be even more screwed in the scenarios where I have trouble finding my FCCs.
8 Dec 2013 jeremylarner

As I mentioned above, I cut Net Shield and a LALA. I'm definitely happy with the Net Shield replacement, less sure about LALA... I don't think I'd cut breakers, and I don't think you need 3. I'm finding 2 helpful, but I think 1 might be enough to be honest....

9 Dec 2013 Dottore2k

Did anyone read the 2nd ability on Monolith? I did not, but its a good one: Trash a program from your grip: Prevent one breain or net damage.

9 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

Dude, why exactly did you think my deck has 20 programs in the first place? :P This is what I was talking about when I praised the ability facecheck Cerebral Overwriters ;)

9 Dec 2013 Cemehiden

Be nice to fit in Escher. Maybe try it with -2 Plascrete Carapace, and +2 Escher to ensure that rnd lock? Then again i'm a fan of Escher. :)

9 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

There's absolutely no way in hell I'm leaving home without two Carapaces. Few things suck more than losing a won game because you're not playing the most obvious counter known to man.

One Escher would definitely be cool, as it would enable counterplay to the stacked mega-sentries problem. Can't cut a program for it though (the FCC engine can get a bit unreliable with 17 programs already, 16 would be pushing it too far I feel), the only reasonable options are one Levy (which I've already explained why I really want 3 of) and possibly an RnD Interface (which would in turn weaken the RnD lock enabled by the Escher)... so, I dunno.

9 Dec 2013 Calimsha

I played against this deck on OCTGN (maybe it was you ?) with a big money jinteki deck. I think you won the game but it was a close one (something like 5-6 agenda scored for the corp).

The Net Shield / Monolith absolutely wrecked my disruption =D

9 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

Yeah, that was me. I remember how you whined a little about how I have both Net Shield and Monolith, two cards that nobody plays :P

I was sorta in trouble with all those Januses running around that place, but thankfully, Monolith FTW :)

9 Dec 2013 Trewaters

Thanks for posting this deck.

11 Dec 2013 zwarbo

Thanks for posting this deck. I just had the most fun game of netrunner! I managed to get the combo out, and started the R&D dig. Playing against NBN I floated up to 8 tags before it was match point for both of us. I left the corp have the Jackson out for the whole game and the corp drew deep into their R&D to get their combo. Tollbooth and Dataraven where making it slow as well as Closed Accounts, so I spent 3 turns dropping tags. Just to the corps bad timing with one short on Beale then no cards to draw from R&D for a decking win! First one ever for me. Classic.

11 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

Glad you had a fun game!

NBN is actually the toughest matchup, because you both have to run way more aggressively than you'd normally like (you can't really decide to let him have an agenda, because it could be an Astro), have to be judicious about floating tags (both Closed Accounts and Psychographics can murder you when done right), and they can make RnD very taxing to check regularly (I hate you, Tollbooth).

This is one of the matchups for which the Nerve Agent got added - if they draw through your RnD lock with Jackson, they won't be able to score the agenda the same turn. This is why you need to be able to nab it from their hand in the one turn before it hits the fan.

16 Dec 2013 Monge Cravos

Hi there! Very fun deck indeed. I am using a slightly different version, -1 Plascrete -1 Net Shield, + 2 Modded. It really helps to speed the deck, give it a try =). I've won some games without casting a monolith.

17 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

That does sound like a good change, although I'd be worried about reducing the reliability of both of my primary econ moves (FCC and Siphon) at the same time. Also, don't you find that the Modded is pretty much a dead draw on the second and subsequent passes through the deck?

18 Dec 2013 Nushura

Hei there. I tried this deck and it was quite fun. However, I was once blocked by an Archer early game. In order to get through it I was forced to install 2xCloaks, and a Dagger. Since even in this case costs 4 credits per run (+ the two from the Cloak) I am also forced to install MO. But then I have no space for other breakers until I get the Monolith.

Have you tried adding a personal touch?

18 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

What I do when I hit an early Archer is just concentrate on the other servers - every Archer that gets rezzed is one agenda less in the corp's score area (if it was Oversighted, it's not much of an issue - I'd install a second cloak just to nuke it, then trash the cloak once I need that MU... it'll be back soon enough, after I recur). If they manage to score a 3-pointer behind it before you get your act together, though, that would be bad.

A Personal Touch is certainly a decent addition (certainly better than many other options available), even though it's mostly just a silver bullet kind of thing vs. Archers (and Ichis in Stronger Together, but that's a bit of a reach :D)

The question remains what to drop for it. Dropping a program might be viable here, as a P.T. will be out of the deck and on the table after the first pass, so it won't affect the deck's flow too adversely. Personally, I'd be most tempted to actually drop the Sure Gambles and add two Personal Touches (I can see myself double-PTing a Mimic vs. people with a lot of STR 4-5 sentries, like a tag-happy NBN with a lot of Hunters and Data Ravens) and one other program (either a SMC or maybe a Deus X). It might hit my first-turn econ too much though, I'm not sure.

p.s. Possibly three Sure Gambles for just three Personal Touches - that would actually turn a Dagger into a boostable Mimic (and allow me to cruise through a Janus with one Cloak credit), which would be pretty badass. Then I could drop the Mimic for some other 1-inf program... Crescentus, maybe? This version would definitely play differently, though - installing an MO at the first opportunity would pretty much become a required play. Not sure I really like that, will test.

18 Dec 2013 Nushura

PT has the nice advantage that it does not return to the Stack with LARA (if you installed it). I removed 1Caparace and 1 Sure Gamble for 2 Personal Touches. Will try a few more times with this rotation. Just for curiosity, how many turns does it normally take you to get the monolith out? I normally do it in my second pass

19 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

Just for curiosity, how many turns does it normally take you to get the monolith out?

To paraphrase Gandalf, "Precisely when I need to. Not too early, not too late" :P In other words: depending on the matchup and board state, you can drop the big dude on the table for different reasons. Sometimes you want to be able to surprisingly create an insta-rig, sometimes you Siphoned and want to use the cash before you get hit by Closed Accounts, sometimes you need to be able to facecheck Cerebral Overwriters, and sometimes you just need the memory.

But to give an actual answer, most of the time I set up Monolith towards the end of the first pass (usually ditch the first copy that shows up and play the second one), when there's a turn where I don't really need to be doing anything time-critical (when there's a window for one of those "upkeep" turns).

19 Dec 2013 Karm10

Check out this deck:

19 Dec 2013 vdude

Cant wait to try this deck out!

19 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

@vdude: Thanks, hope you have fun! Make sure to report back your experiences after :)

20 Dec 2013 omegalife2002

So, I built this deck (with the slight changes of -1 Net Shield and -1 Dagger, +2 SMC) and I have to say this is a blast to play! It's tough to get a feel for it the first game or two but it starts coming together really well after that. Played 4 games with it; lost 2, won 2. Both the losses were against fast advance, first game against HB, second against NBN. I barely lost the match against NBN because I was able to stall him out a bit, but he snuck an Astro past and it went downhill from there. Fast Advance really can be hard with this deck, but like you said, you have to change your game plan once you see that coming. I basically gave up on Monolith and went just with whatever breakers I could pull.

A game against Jinteki PE was making me miss the Net Shield. He discarded all 3 of my LALA's and I was down to a single card in hand when I nabbed the last agenda. Whew!

Anyway, great deck and I will continue to play it. I'm thinking the Net Shield needs to go back in since Jinteki seems to be on the rise lately.

Side question: Do you think this deck would work as well/better if you dropped the Mono's and put in Dyson's or something for memory? I can't decided if this deck needs Mono or not. I know that point of the deck is to play Mono, but what would you change if you dropped it? Thoughts?

20 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

@omegalife2002 Thanks for the words of praise!

Pro tip for playing Jinteki: you don't strictly NEED net-shield, you need two things:

  • an early monolith for redirecting net damage away from your actually useful cards (and soaking it up with spare programs), and for facechecking cerebrals/junebugs. Save your QTs for runs where you suspect there's a junebug or fetal out there, then stack up hand with programs and run. Fortunately, you can set up Monolith much sooner vs those tree-huggers, because their ice isn't nearly as taxing as, say, HB -play it SMART with LALAs - get out of the mental prison of "I can't LALA yet, there's still useful cards in my deck". If you're in danger of being stuck LALAless, recycle. You don't need 120 cards to beat Jinteki attrition, 70 is plenty :P

re: changes. First, if I were to need memory, I'd go Akamatsu over Dyson. It's in-faction, it's super-cheap, and I'm not going to pay for Link I really have no use for. That being said...

... if you ditch Monolith, you're really better off changing about half the deck. Thing is, Monolith isn't just there "to play Monolith", it's there because it's both enabled by Freelance Coding Contract (because that's a lot of burst money you can make) and because it actually makes FCC better (by giving you another use for the extra programs, even when you don't have FCC and/or don't need any more money). It's a match made in heaven, and seeing them come out in the same box really makes me appreciate the genius of the design team. If you really wanted to change it, I'd say console-wise swap either for Desperado (and drop the siphon angle completely) or for Toolbox. Either way, you can't use Cloak & Dagger then, it's too slow and needs Akamatsus to work... so probably go with either Mimic + a couple datasuckers, or a Ninja (possibly with Personal Touches). Less copies of breakers, probably Armitages instead of FCC. But like I said, it'd be a completely different deck.

I've tested variants of this particular draw/econ engine in things like Kit with Dino and Prof with Toolbox, but it only really sings here. The complete synergy between FCC, Monolith and Chaos Theory's ID ability (which contrary to popular belief isn't 40-card decksize, it's +1 MU :D) is what pushes this setup to be superior to all the other versions, I feel. Professor for instance has the problem of not being able to play gratuitious amounts of copies of his key stuff, so he then has to play Clone Chips to be able to grab stuff he needs, and it becomes fiddly and overall meh.

21 Dec 2013 Anima

I tried the idea of using personal touches on cloak, cutting sure gambles and replacing mimic with crescentus as a way deal with stacked sentries, and found that the loss of instant econ and addition of more hardware slowed Monolith installation by several turns in every game. Do you think a singleton Atman might work better? Like net shield, you normally wouldn't need it, but it could make all the difference in a rough Weyland game, or give you a big advantage vs HB when set at 4 str.

22 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

I tried the Personal Touches too and arrived at the same conclusion - the Sure Gambles are simply necessary. An Atman might be a good idea, I'll try it instead of the singleton SMC I have in the current version.

26 Dec 2013 Diegofsv

What an awesome deck to play. I did minor changes. -1 Mimic -1 Net Shield, +1 Femme Fatale +1 SMC. Femme just help me against toolbooth and such, SMC I barely used it, but most of the time I go for the third cloak.

26 Dec 2013 PeekaySK

@Diegofsv - glad you enjoy it!

Those are definitely good changes, though I prefer the early speed of Mimic to Femme's mid-lategame utility. Having a Mimic out really just makes all those Caducei, Shadows and Katanas (and Dracos, 9 times out of 10) inconsequential. That's something that is pretty tough for me to live without :D

30 Dec 2013 ZiNOS

Probably one of the most fun and well tuned i have seen on the net. Well done m8, i will be playing it for the time being, grew tired of my Andy a bit. Cheers!

31 Dec 2013 Ravarix

Can you post the more recent version of the deck you've been running? I arrived at a similar conclusion where i felt an atman would be excellent for those troublesome big sentries.

1 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

Just swap the Net Shield for Atman, and you're done. I've played around with other various versions, but none of them seemed to work as well as this one.

If you really want a second Atman (though I have no idea why you would :D), probably take out a Magnum Opus - but that will take away part of your flexibility, as you're basically forced to do a max- or near-max-FCC to get your econ really started.

1 Jan 2014 vdude

Played it once and it was a lot of fun! Have to play it more to get a better handle of when to play Monolith versus when to use my amazing stash of cash just to run.

2 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

@vdude: Yeah, that's definitely the tricky part of playing this deck. My advice would be:

  • if you'll need the memory, drop Monolith
  • if you'll have to facecheck advanced cards, drop Monolith
  • if you're not conceding agendas or relieving pressure by losing tempo for a turn, drop Monolith

Eventually, you'll be wanting to have it in play, its golden moment comes at different times in different matchups though.

4 Jan 2014 vdude

Played it again and put the beat down on opponent. Dropped it at the perfect time too. Thanks for sharing. Whats your record with it?

5 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

I have no idea :D That would require me to keep track of games played, and it's a pointless thing to do in the first place: if I told you "I won 15 games and lost 3", it would still tell you nothing without knowing what the matchups were, how many mistakes were made and who was the better player ;)

Overall, I'd say I'm winning more than I'm losing with this thing, and pretty much all losses can be traced back to an error in judgment I made. Also, I can tell that the Atman inclusion really helps, it pretty much negates the "stacked Archers" problem. It's especially good in this deck since you'll be Levying so much - if needed, you can always uninstall Atman, reshuffle and get him out at a different strength.

5 Jan 2014 jakechance

Are there any YouTube videos of this in action either live or on OCTGN? That'd be great :)

5 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

Right now there aren't, I'd have to get around to making some. Of course, if someone else is up for it, go right ahead (just maybe point people here in the description or something).

8 Jan 2014 JWHamner

It occurs to me that Flare could really ruin this deck's day... but luckily nobody plays that card. :)

8 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

Not with the current version - for one, there's an Atman for STR 6 Sentries. Also, Flare is just about the least problematic one, since you can just brute-force it with money if needed. Archer, not so much.

9 Jan 2014 JWHamner

Fair point since I mainly see Flare in Tag 'n Bag decks trying to surprise snag a Plascrete, so you'd likely be prepped to see an Archer and possibly have that Atman out. However you've got to sacrifice some of your rig's functionality to play that Atman... and the Corp can rez a Flare even at zero agenda points. I'm just saying in a "What's the worst that can happen?" with say a Grim and unrezzed piece of ICE over R&D is probably Flare taking your Monolith.

10 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

However you've got to sacrifice some of your rig's functionality to play that Atman

Corroder, Gordian, Dagger, Cloak x2, Atman, Magnum Opus.

The only funcionality being sacrificed here is that of the Mimic (well, and Nerve Agent, but oh well - hopefully you checked their entire hand before losing it). That's not much of a sacrifice, since Atman essentially fulfills the same funcionality (saving Cloak credits for when they're really needed), only for a different set of sentries. You seem to forgetting that I am running Account Siphons, and am regularly able to siphon 4-6 times per game. It's highly unlikely that someone will have all of this:

  • enough rezzed str 1-3 sentries to make Mimic a must
  • enough str 5 sentries to cover all critical servers with at least 2 rezzed pieces each (I will rarely make more than one run at a critical server per turn)
  • enough str 6 sentries to make Atman a must
  • enough ICE everywhere (or enough Closed Accounts) that I actually really need Magnum Opus
  • strong enough econ (and a well-enough protected HQ) to survive the chained Siphons
  • enough tag punishment to make floating tags a bad idea

(the closest match to this list of requirements is probably a well-built NBN, which is this deck's worst matchup, but that's more a property of chained Astros than anything else)

To do that, you'd have to draw (not have in deck, actually draw into and install) like 15 sentries or so... so ask yourself, how many sentries do your corp decks play? ;)

Now, let's take at the STR 5 sentries currently in the game:

  • Grim
  • Ichi 2.0
  • Sherlock
  • Swarm

Sherlock and Ichi can be broken with clicks (Ichi's trace is a non-issue - dump a program, take a tag and laugh really hard). Swarm takes forever to set up properly, and can always be brute-forced through with just credits if need be. So, that pretty much leaves Grim as the only relevant str 5 sentry. Now, you have to realize two things: First, if they rez a crap-ton of Grims, you don't actually need MO, because your runs are sponsored by Bad Publicity (and therefore you can break the Grims before you run out of steam, 'cause you can have 3 Cloaks out). Second, Grim doesn't end the run - there are situations where YOLOing through a Grim is a valid play, especially if there's no ETR ice behind it.

If someone actually manages all this (some sort of oddball Jinteki all-sentry Unorthodox Predictions insanity being the most likely candidate in my mind :D), just dump the MO and replace it with Mimic and the third Cloak, and you should be all set. Sure, you'll need to farm FCC a bit more than you would with MO installed, but it'll work just fine.

And hey, if someone layers str-5 sentries really thick, just play the Atman at STR 5 and save cloaks for the huge stuff, which there'll be fewer of :)

I'm just saying in a "What's the worst that can happen?" with say a Grim and unrezzed piece of ICE over R&D is probably Flare taking your Monolith.

Basically, you have to misplay horribly for this scenario to be a problem:

  • What you're describing takes a long time to set up - we're talking two installs and 14 credits minimum.
  • If that Grim just got rezzed and you only have one Cloak, you better be jacking out.
  • After rezzing Flare, the corp is usually pretty low on creds, so you'll often be able to beat the trace with your FCC/MO cash.
  • And, last but not least, if the Flare connects and actually trashes your Monolith, you'll still come back unless that meat damage managed to take all your remaining Levies.

Sure, it'll take a while to get back up (if your Monolith explodes, you should be probably keeping MO, Corroder, Mimic, Gordian - you won't run through Archers, but there still have to be plenty of servers you can pressure just fine with that rig ) but then again - the corp just spent 14 credits on a server you won't be running so soon anyway. Flare is only really good if it rids you of the stuff it trashes, which in this deck it doesn't.

p.s. one more note on Archer - it's only really problematic if it's rezzed in large quantities. Sure, it'll shut off a server for a while sometimes, but that's ok - you have other avenues of attack. Also, don't forget it takes an Agenda sacrifice to rez.

So, if they're hard-rezzing multiple Archers, you're a happy camper - they just ditched points for it and caused the game to go long, which is where your deck will start to really shine, as the FCC+draw engine is just brutal once your deck is filtered free of all hardware but the second Monolith.

Oversighted Archer will only need to be handled once, then it'll explode. PriReqed Archer could be an issue, but still - there's just one of those, so other servers are open.

10 Jan 2014 JWHamner

To be clear: I'm not criticizing your deck and saying it's going to get destroyed by Flares or something... I've played it a handful of times and think it is fun and effective... I am just noting that Flare is a card you need to be aware of if you are running an 18 cost piece of hardware, since otherwise nobody really cares about it. It's also not unrealistic to worry about seeing Caduceus, Grim, and Flare/Archers when running against Weyland... which is coincidentally also the corp who is likely to be sitting on a big pile of credits when you get your Monolith out.

10 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

I'm not taking it as criticism, I'm just explaining that I've already played against Sentry-heavy decks, and against Flares as well, and that they're less of a problem than you think :P

(at least part of the reason is definitely player skill though, if you run into a Flare not expecting it, I can see how it could be a problem)

11 Jan 2014 db0

I suspect a corp. Troubleshooter in combination with Flare or Archer might give you the most problems. Especially in HQ.

I also think my Untrashable Jinteki can take you :P

11 Jan 2014 TheUbiquitous

Professional Contracts seems like it would be a good fit rather than Magnum Opus. Money power and card-drawing power is always useful in a deck with three AR Levy Lab Access cards.

11 Jan 2014 db0

The deck has crazy card draw already, it definitely doesn't need any more

11 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

I suspect a corp. Troubleshooter in combination with Flare or Archer might give you the most problems. Especially in HQ.

This deck has a playing philosophy similar to my Swiss Army Whizzard (and all my runner decks in general, come to think of it) - it's decent at pressuring whichever destination is most comfortable, without being overly reliant on actually making it through on any particular one of them.

Flare/Archer on HQ? Whatever, just go elsewhere. (btw - a Flare would usually have to be Troubleshot to str 11 to be a real problem... so we're talking about you spending an installed upgrade and 14 credits, just for the privilege of being able to trigger a trace

I also think my Untrashable Jinteki can take you :P

Challenge accepted! Maybe we can make a video out of it, for the guy who wanted to see this deck in action? :D (mind you, I may very well end up losing, but I think it'll be a matter of player skill more than anything else)

Professional Contracts seems like it would be a good fit rather than Magnum Opus. Money power and card-drawing power is always useful in a deck with three AR Levy Lab Access cards.

Magnum Opus for Pro Contacts is one of the worst changes you could possibly make to the deck, it's completely anti-synergistic:

  • it doesn't utilize CT's identity ability properly
  • Pro Contacts take forever to farm up for Monolith
  • You're reducing the amount of programs in the deck, which reduces FCC's reliability
  • Suddenly you can't utilize recurring Siphons properly, because you have an expensive Resource that takes forever to pay back, so Siphon becomes a hassle rather than a power play
  • For consistency, you need to run multiples of PC, which means all but one of those will be dead draws on the second and subsequent passes through the deck.

TL;DR version - don't buy into hype, various cards have various ideal use cases. Think about how various cards in a deck interact when choosing what to put in :)

11 Jan 2014 TheUbiquitous

It wasn't an issue of hype. It was an issue of self-decking and raw drawing power.

12 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

Out of all the possible properties that Runner decks can possibly have, do you in any way feel that "self-decking" and "raw drawing power" are the two things that are really lacking in this particular deck?


12 Jan 2014 TheUbiquitous

I suppose not. I just tend to value cards over credits, and can nearly always use both. Your reasoning is persuasive, and mine at least was understandable.

12 Jan 2014 db0

ha-ha! I just won your deck with Untrashable played by a guy online. So there, I win! No need for further contests :P

13 Jan 2014 EverRich

Also remember that opus and quality time is the same click efficiency as pro contacts. 5 clicks with pro contacts gets you 5 cards and 5 credits, while 4 clicks with opus and 1 quality time gets you 5 cards and 5 credits.

13 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

ha-ha! I just won your deck with Untrashable played by a guy online. So there, I win! No need for further contests :P

And my wife just beat your Untrashable (played by me) with this deck. So there, the contest is on again!

(the real take-away from your anecdote, though, is that there are people playing my deck running around in the wild. That's an awesome feeling! :D)

13 Jan 2014 db0

Yea, same here. I've heard a bunch of people tell me they've seen it around :)

This was actually the second time I thrashed your deck online, but it's usually people taking it on a test run, so I mostly put it down to inexperience with its playstyle.

13 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

To be completely fair, I can't play it mistake-less myself, most of the time. In retrospect I can always tell where I erred, it's just kinda hard to see it when you're in the moment. It's just that the playstyle required for the deck to really shine leads you into situations where the right call is something different from what your previous Netrunner experience tells you :)

14 Jan 2014 db0

Yeah, I get into same thing with my Homeless Kasparov and Untrashabe. You really have to unlearn some ANR habits to make those decks perform.

17 Jan 2014 tylershatch

Fun deck, very different play style from any other deck I've played. Question/Suggestion: with so many duplicate programs, do you think there's a place for the new True Colors card Capstone in this deck, perhaps as an alternative to either diesel or quality time? It would slow down the first pass through the deck, but might significantly speed up the second and third. Kind of anti-synergizes with FFC though.

17 Jan 2014 tylershatch

Meant FCC

22 Jan 2014 PeekaySK

It also anti-synergizes with Monolith itself, so my first-instinct reaction is "nah". Don't forget, you can dump duplicate programs to soak up Snares and do all sorts of other fun stuff.

Let's think about the ideal use case here: what cards are you hoping to draw into whenever you're using Capstone? Personally, the only thing I really mind seeing in my hand on the second and subsequent passes is the spare copy of Monolith, everything else I want to either play (any RnD interfaces I had to ditch on pass #1, recycled Carapaces, etc), or use (Sure Gambles, programs). Dropping programs to draw into FCCs doesn't really make sense either.... about the only thing I can see myself using Capstone for would be to dump a handful of programs to draw into either Diesels or Siphons. Dunno, doesn't seem to be worth the (already limited) deck space to me.

24 Feb 2014 Heartthrob

I like how you added a trademark to Monolith in the deck description, nice touch.

25 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

Do you think Datasucker might earn some spots here? I was thinking maybe going all in on Dagger and Dropping Mimic, Atman, and Nerve Agent for 3 data suckers. The other option is to keep the Nerve Agent and just run 2 Datasuckers

25 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

Also I am surprised at the lack of discussion outside of this website of this deck since with all the card draw it is very consistent and has some of the most streamlined economy I've seen in this game.

26 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

Do you think Datasucker might earn some spots here?

I've actually been experimenting with a Datasucker-based version, but took a very different approach to what you're describing.

Basically, with NBN the powerhouse it is these days, and with how rich the corps can get, Siphon lost a lot of its appeal to me (I need to siphon in the same turn I plan to drop monolith, otherwise I risk getting completely raped by Closed Accounts, a super-frequent splash).

So, what I did was lose the Siphons. That freed up enough influence to move from Cloak & Dagger into a completely Mimic-based model, which is awesome at handling stacked sentries. That in turn had a nice side benefit of being able to fit in two more Atmen and the third Corroder - which is awesome for Archer handling, more early speed, consistency, and even adds 2 more programs for FCC.

The changes go as follows:

  • 3 Cloaks for 3 Datasuckers
  • 2 Siphons for 2 Atmen
  • 3 Daggers for 2 Mimics and a Corroder

This is the version I've been playing with lately. It's funny, because it behaves like a mix of a rush deck and an Atman deck - you can pretty much custom-tailor your rig to fit exactly the ICE setup your opponent is running :)

Also I am surprised at the lack of discussion outside of this website of this deck since with all the card draw it is very consistent and has some of the most streamlined economy I've seen in this game.

Probably because I didn't bother to post about it on BGG, Stimhack, CardgameDB or anything similar. Some people did try to take it to store championships, but from reading the tournament reports, they weren't proficient with it, and this is pretty tough to play in my experience. Definitely not something you pick up and wreck faces with immediately.

26 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

I really like the changes you suggested! I can't understand this deck being very complex. The decision trees can become very complicated with all the different Corp running around. Just to point out, a friend and I arrived at your deck separately and played it against each other. He could get it to work while I had some of the most stellar games in any card game with it. I believe it had more to do with my competitive MTG background. The deck really rewards tight play! Although I have noticed you may just have to roll the dice if you don't have a "combo" piece in hand but a lot of card draw. I've read through the comments already but I'm not sure if you mentioned that you should always mulligan a hand that doesn't contain either a Diesel, Quality Time or FCC. We have a store championship in two weeks and I fully intend on bringing this. I've been smashing it against any and everything for the past week to get a good grip on it. Thanks again for bringing something that is fun and very different to the eyes of the community

27 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

I've read through the comments already but I'm not sure if you mentioned that you should always mulligan a hand that doesn't contain either a Diesel, Quality Time or FCC.

I didn't really state a hard rule, because that'd be against the most critical thing you need to do when playing this baby: think :P

The exact same hand could be mulligan material, or it could be The God Hand, depending on matchup. While true that I mulligan hands that contain none of the cards you mentioned, sometimes I do pitch hands that contain some of it, but not enough to make things work at the speed I'd like.

Oh, and as for your friend and yourself: would you say there was a difference in how you two timed/used your Levies? I find that to be often the hardest part of playing this, and definitely the one that's easiest to fail hard at.

27 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

I think the deck just didn't fit the way he likes to play the game. This deck is in a really unique position because it can be aggressive or it can play the long game or it can meet somewhere in the middle. On another note, have you found that you don't actually play out the monolith very much? I find that I usually discard it if I have a few to many cards and honestly I have yet to cast it, At first I held it to try and get value but then I ended up just not using it at all. I'm curious if it might just be better to run Toolbox over it as you get 2 MU and the 2 Link if randomly useful plus the 2 Recurring credits are extremely useful. I will say the changes to add in the datasuckers have been stellar and this already streamlined deck felt even more streamlined. Its really coming together I believe and in 2 weeks Ill have a full report for your reading pleasure.

27 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

Oh and the 1 of Nerve agent has been MVP is so many ways

28 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

On another note, have you found that you don't actually play out the monolith very much?

Lately, yes. Part of it is because of the rebuild (I used to get the final Monolith money from Siphoning), but it's mostly because corps are faster now than they were when I first built the deck. As a result, 5 memory is usually plenty to decide the game (one way or the other).

Monolith for Toolbox has been an oft-proposed change, but I'll admit I'm not a fan - thing is, Monolith has brutal synergy with all those spare programs once you actually put it into play. Being able to just soak up brain damage is nothing to scoff at.

What I did consider, though, was to only keep one copy and cut some other stuff to make room for some Dirty Laundry, to better keep up with the corps of today.

And yes, Nerve agent is boss. So much added pressure for a meager 3 credits!

28 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

So I can understand the synergy for all the spare programs for monolith but you know Dinosaurus could be an option as it makes the need for Atman less since you can throw whatever breaker you need on it. This in turn could free up some slots. Honestly the novelty of monolith was the biggest appeal of this deck to begin with. So I can still see the need to keep it. I'll keep grinding it out and reporting back.

28 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

So just a thought from some testing today. I am really missing Account Siphon. I mean it struggles vs the NBN decks at times but man is it good vs HB. I may be switching back as Cloak and Dagger pulled their weight before as well.

28 Feb 2014 Bedwyr

Oh and Datasucker/Atman hasn't been as stellar as I would like them to be

1 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

I was getting similar results in my own testing. Part of it is definitely that the deck plays simply different without siphons (Monolith is less of a rush thing, more of a lategame install once you run out of memory)... but I have to admit, I liked the siphon version better, too :)

12 Mar 2014 Bedwyr

So I took 2nd this past weekend at the City Champs with little Ms. Theory and GRNDL. I made a couple of changes to CT though:

  • 2 Monolith +2 Toolbox -1 Atman +1 Test Run

So I found that I really only needed 7 MU to run the rig the way it was intended and I really wanted a 2nd Nerve Agent but alas it couldn't fit due to influence so I ran the next best thing.....a tutor for it as well as any other program I needed at the time. Anyways the deck ran great but I realized that I like to run faster than this deck typically did. I liked drawing a million cards but some times I just spent turns drawing and not doing anything. This deck is the definition of "late game" deck. In the finals I had my entire rig on turn 4 and spent some turns just gaining 8 off Opus. I had both R&D interfaces out and kept running R&D for like 6 straight turns and didn't see agendas. He finally shuffled a Howard and just nabbed the last couple of agendas. It should be noted that he had 7 ICE protecting R&D so it was costing me like 11 a run to get in. So it was an every other turn run. Anyways the deck was sweet and could use a little more fine tuning. MVP was the Toolbox/Monolith switch as it was half the cost and the trashing programs wasn't needed all day. Thanks for the idea and the thoughts on the deck!

28 Mar 2014 tgtoland

What would you think about swapping 2 corroders for 2 snowballs and then using the influence to trade for lawyer up. I'm thinking dropping one diesel and 2 quality times?

This would help you drop the tags off siphon if needed, draw cards and snowball would be a bigger bonus with monolith.

Any other updates now that double time is out?

28 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

What would you think about swapping 2 corroders for 2 snowballs and then using the influence to trade for lawyer up. I'm thinking dropping one diesel and 2 quality times?

1) Snowball is too slow for the current meta, and it's also horribly inefficient in the long run - you need to stack like three barriers for it to start pulling any weight. I'd say no to Snowball unless you want to also squeeze in an Escher 2) QT for Lawyer Up is a bad change - you need the draw power of QT to get the most out of Freelance Coding Contract, otherwise your whole econ engine falls apart

If you don't want to go tag-me, drop the Siphons and do something fun with the influence.

Any other updates now that double time is out?

The last two packs didn't really bring anything I'd want to play in here. The most relevant card of the second half of Spin was Sharpshooter. I tried a version of this deck that ran 3 Sharpies and 3 Mimics, it was actually reasonably decent (the only problematic ICE at that point was Flare, really :) )

12 May 2014 voltorocks

First off, I don't know why I just now saw this deck, but I have to say, I love it! It's really got me back in Shapers: I think it's the deck I always wanted to build. A lean, mean icebreaking with enough econ to support the rig of my dreams and the means to get it out in a timely fashion. Definitely a harder deck to play than most, but extremely rewarding once you get the hang of it.
I could go on and on, so TLDR I love this deck.

My question, if you're still watching these comments is, have you considered running a personal workshop or two? With so many cards in hand all the time, whenever I didn't pull a timely FCC I often wished I had this just so I could lay some stuff down and get them "cooking" without slowing down my rush to monolith at all. I tried running with one (41 card deck, blasphemy! I'll decide what to drop after I decide if I wanna keep the PW) as I realized, duh, I can put monolith on there too and get it out of my hand. (worth noting that I play the siphonless version with atmen and extra mimics, so corps trashing resources is less of an issue)

the other thing I've noticed is I can load it up with a bunch of icebreakers before I can afford to play them all, then run blind and just cherry pick the ice I end up needing.

what do you think? would this card fit into the pacing of how you play this deck?

15 May 2014 PeekaySK

Sure I still read the comments :) Glad you enjoy the deck!

Workshop could actually work here reasonably, although I have to say that I'd probably drop the Siphon angle entirely if I wanted to play Workshops. Freeing up the influence means you can do some more interesting stuff, possibly change the program suite around a bit (although I wouldn't go below 17 programs personally, any less and the FCC engine starts losing effectiveness).

Play around with it a bit, figure some stuff out, maybe if you have something you like post a link here and I'd love to take a look at it :)

19 May 2014 voltorocks

been trying a workshop build of this (swapped out net shield) with mixed results. Against big-ice/taxation decks, it proved brutal. The threat of having any breaker I wanted mid-run completely takes the juice out of surprise-it's-janus type strategies, and then later the monolith comes out and they're just done for. unfortunately, against almost other decks, I've been finding the lack of siphon (b/c workshop precludes going tag-me) is too much of a loss; this deck benefits hugely from its massive econ, and siphon can definitely push it over the edge in that regard.

One swap I've tried that I do like is -2 siphons +2 sneakdoors -1 netshield -1 dagger +2 mimic

sneakdoor firstly enhances nerve agent, and also opens up archives as a serious threat avenue for this deck, especially early. you can force them to spend a lot of cards and cash defending archives, then abandon it for R&D or remotes or just regular HQ runs. It's a bit me heavy, even for CT, but you can simply install over it once it's done its job.

I find net shield to be and under-performer most games, while I'm often digging for mimic early on, hence the extra copies.

19 May 2014 voltorocks

forgot to say, what really sold me was a game against a notorious CI deck; I withheld my sneakdoor, even for FCC, giving her the impression that I had no interest whatsoever in archives, She was clearly waiting for me to blow my credit lead running so she could land sea+scorch+scorch. I had three counters on nerve agent, but her HQ was so heavily defended; I think it was like 20 creds to get in with my breakers :D Last turn, I play sneakdoor and access 4-5-6 cards (that's 15 total cards accessed :D), blowing cash to trash cards and thin her hand, and end up scoring all 7 points in one swoop!

21 Jun 2014 Crashdown

Luv this deck... played it now like a dozen times and only lost two of them due to bad luck with card draw (diesel, quality and freelance within the last 15 cards lol).

However, I had to make adaptions: + 1 Monolith + 2 Lemuria + 2 Sneakdoor - 2 Siphon - 3 Levys

Makes eco a little tougher but even in the worst case scenario (s. above) I just lost because of a mistake.


  1. really big girls have three monoliths because they really need them ;)
  2. lemuria because I ran in so many traps, I lost count. Expose is awesome and a powerhouse combined with...
  3. sneakdoor which you install when archives is free/forgotten (so many do fp) and you have the need-to-trash-breaker on your grip. Install Sneakdoor, enjoy to the whines, make some runs and as soon as the corp ices up, you go back to normal mode and install the breaker(s) again... scored like three games that way and safed myself a lot of traps.
30 Jul 2014 voltorocks

Just updated my version of this deck with a fresh addition for upstalk:

It's the first version I've played that I think successfully moves away from the Account Siphons and poses even deadlier threats to current-meta decks.

Let me know what you think if you look at it!

25 Oct 2014 aero

I LOVE this deck. I'm new to deckbuilding, and I threw Origami in there for fun. If you wouldn't mind critiquing it, that would be awesome.

25 Oct 2014 aero

Oops. Forgot to include that.

25 Oct 2014 PeekaySK

Done :)

22 Dec 2014 Zeromus

Hi! I know this is probably an out-of-date deck now, but I took it to a small 12 person tournament and it went 3/0. I had a lot of fun and the deck worked pretty well! I had the posted list with 1 Atman swapped in for Net Shield. Some comments and questions...

Do you have an updated version that you have been playing?

The Atman was amazing. I played against two BS and it worked perfectly for dealing with Archer. Dagger and two Cloak took care of everything else.

I didn't get much use out of Mimic, especially in any way that Dagger couldn't cover. One person was running Shadows, but that's about it.

I played against a super attrition PE and would have loved the Net Shield. However, Monolith is super awesome at keeping my Levy safe!

Nerve Agent never got much play. I installed it once over a Cloak, but then ended up just installing another Cloak over it. They already know I'm recurring Account Siphon, so another attack on HQ doesn't feel that useful.

Lastly, I read your guide on how to play the deck, but I often found I had Magnum Opus in hand early or in opening hand, so I would just install it immediately and take credits. Then I would start drawing afterwards. Is that what you do, or do you play the Quality Time and use Freelance Coding Contract on the first one or two? I also found that, because I have MO, I install the first Monolith that I draw.

Thanks for the great deck!

28 Dec 2014 PeekaySK

Hey @Zeromus, thanks for the comment! Love your decks myself, glad to see you're enjoying one of mine as well.

Onto the questions:

I remember the Mimic being put in after a game where one gentleman had stacked Archers, Grims and Caduceus(es) onto Sentry Towers of Doom, and in that situation the Mimic was amazing. I'd also probably want to keep it because of Architect nowadays.

I've been toying around with other things lately (mostly Leela, for her great matchups against both Mushin Nonsense and NEH MEH), but there are some thoughts rattling around in the back of my head, where this deck is concerned. The main thing I've been considering is to try a (more) stealth build out of this shell. Refractor's a great breaker, and there's synergy with other pieces already in. Question is whether it's worth dropping the Siphon angle in order to go more fully into the stealth aspect, possibly using the influence of things like Switchblade, BlackKat and support. Last time I tried though, it felt like there's not enough room for both all of that and a set of Ghost Runners - this dissuaded me from exploring further, as stealth felt not super reliable without 3x GR.

As for the MO opening: back when I played this listed version actively, it really depended on the hand I got and the corp I was up against. If I suspected Scorch and/or Closed Accounts, I'd often go the MO route, yes. Getting to 18 without it is kinda tricky if you want to avoid floating tags. On the other hand, if I expected Rototurret over Closed Accounts, I'd often prefer to draw up and FCC the Opus(es) away until later. The biggest mistake I've seen players new to the deck do though was to focus too much on the drawing and selling bit, and not running enough.

In general, the worst thing you can do is get yourself into a position where you can't run - whether that's because you're broke from a CA, you're broke from a trashed Opus or because you're too busy playing with yourself. So, I always tried to do whatever would keep me from making that mistake.

29 Dec 2014 Zeromus

I try to run early, but I feel like I'm wasting time if I run HQ and they don't rez. Can't siphon if I don't know what the ice is. Also, running R&D usually doesn't do anything but cost them a few bucks. I don't feel it is worth it before I have an R&DI out.

Once again today my opening was play Quality Time, play Diesel, play Diesel, take a credit and discard tons of programs because I didn't draw the Freelance Coding Contract. Makes me sad every time. This deck is definitely difficult to play correctly. =-)

1 Jan 2015 raucous_mocker

Any ideas on using Cerberus "Lady" H1 in a version of this deck? My first thought was to do:

  • -1 Net Shield -1 Plascrete Carapace -2 Corroder

and then to add:

  • +3 Cerberus "Lady" H1 +1 Account Siphon

going on the current list.

I'm a little worried about the impermanence of the card in a deck without Clone Chips, Scavenges or Test Runs though. Ditching the Plascrete might also be a little questionable with Account Siphon going around.

12 Mar 2015 Bedwyr

Sooooo I have been out of the loop for quite a while. In fact I haven't played since last March though I did pick up honor and profit. This was my favorite deck from then and I was curious if it is still competitive and if so what would be some changes or are the made in the list above? The guys in the area are starting to really play more and I find myself with more time to play now and I would like to rebuild this beast and give it another go. Any thoughts on any changes Peekay?

16 Mar 2015 PeekaySK

@Bedwyr, that's kinda a tricky question :D

Basically, I'd want to rebuild the deck from the ground up, keeping the philosophy rather than any particular decklist features.

If you do that, there's several ways you can go with it. What I'd be most tempted to try right now would be to go stealth and use Switchblade - it's really powerful, got some solid support in the last cycle, and benefits from the setup speed of this deck.

And hey, you can always just win with Atmen as your backup :D

24 Mar 2015 spore

I really like this deck. I'm new to Netrunner and don't have all the cards yet but I have almost all of those needed here. I switched the Magnum Opus that is not in the single Core Set for an Atman and it is always funny to see my opponents face when he realizes how aggressive a Shaper can run. :) Thank you!

10 Jul 2015 RS14

It's pretty cool to realize that the same combo was one of the major runner economy engines in original Netrunner, using Organ Donor, Bodyweight(tm) Synthetic Blood, and MIT West Tier.

5 Jun 2017 amrbean

Does anyone have a recommendation to replace one of the Magnum Opus for those who only have once core set?

6 Jun 2017 voltorocks

@amrbeanSelf-modifying Code is first swap in for making any changes to this deck.

just a heads up, this is a fun deck for a limited local "meta of 2" so to speak, but is extremely dated when playing against modern decks. You can check out the comments for links to a few slightly more updated versions, but ultimately this engine is from an earlier, more innocent era of netrunner when ice was actually broken with icebreakers that use credits :P

19 Aug 2023 DDDydra

This deck is awesome! Dinosaurus is cute and fun, but Monolith is a really good choice! I put this together and will be playing it later today. keep them coming!