Axlotl 2680

So, I conceptually loved Apex. After a lot of tinkering trying to come up with a rig that works for handling any ice, using E3s or Mimics or Always Be Running or something, I was always disappointed with it in some way or another. Poor setup speed, bad economy, or other problems. So it was time to start over.

I thought, what is Apex's greatest strength?


What supports Apocalypse?


What else gets me value combined with DDoS and Apocalypse? Oh, Account Siphon.

I haven't done nearly enough testing yet, but so far the deck has had some incredibly strong games. Either a DDoS/Apocalypse opener (Apocalypse turn two or three) or a DDoS/Siphon opener blows a lot of servers open.

I've won games without installing a single card beyond DDoS, between economic annihilation and board annihilation.

No multi-access. Don't need it.

Note that the deck does have a lot of weak neutral cards, but you want the fodder so you can Prey between Apocalypses.

Kraken is relevant here. Apocalypse with a Kraken in hand can be really good with a little luck. If it doesn't turn out in your favor, just install it face down.

Crypsis is basically a way to get into a server at the end game if you have the money and they've built board presence back up to far. Haven't used it yet, except as a face down install.

17 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Oh, also, this:

Run HQ Install Utopia Shard Run RnD Crack Shard Run Archives (Oh, two ice? neat.)


17 Nov 2015 FarCryFromHuman

God this is absolutely brutal, and I think you are totally on to something here. I think I'd play a single Wanton Destruction in place of one of the Account Siphons but otherwise -- brb sleeving.

17 Nov 2015 CodeMarvelous

This looks neat, whats your ideal starting hand?

17 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Gamble + Siphon/Hunger or Siphon/DDoS or DDoS/Apocalypse + Quality Time would probably be ideal. Plus some cannon fodder card for a face down install.

17 Nov 2015 Diegofsv

This is brutal...oh my God. This is a fine start for a very strong Apex deck. I just love DDOS so much and I'm always using it with Jak Sinclair and Doppelgänger for some neat combo.

17 Nov 2015 Diegofsv

Of course that Jak Sinclair can't be used with Apex, but still, with other ids....

18 Nov 2015 Corporations Rule

This is so great! I might use this in a tournament this weekend. Everybody will hate me! :D

18 Nov 2015 Cryoclasm

Do cards installed face-down have any types? Can they be recognized as face-down program or hardware?

18 Nov 2015 Lupus Yonderboi

@Cryoclasm no, facedown installed cards are untyped. As such, Facedown programs don't use and facedown events are installed.

18 Nov 2015 Cryoclasm

I thought likewise so maybe you can explain what Uninstall does here?

18 Nov 2015 vvribeiro

@Cryoclasmmaybe on the turn before apocalypse, you can grab a heartbeat or an endless hunger so they won't flip. In case the other 2 copies are already installed facedown.

18 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Yeah, Uninstall doesn't do much here, but then again, neither do a few other neutral cards. Treat Uninstall as if it read: "Install me face down, unless the game has been horribly derailed and I need to bounce an Endless Hunger to dodge a destroyer I know I'll need to run through, or I think I can Apocalypse next turn and feel this Endless Hunger is important enough to tip my opponent off to that plan." It is probably the weakest of the junk neutrals. Feel free to play another Traffic Jam or Crypsis, if you prefer.

18 Nov 2015 tuism

I found that same old thing, while being a resource and doesn't work with Apocalypse, supports siphon spam. Without it I feel like I didn't have enough siphon spam power, and Crypsis is really terrible most of the time.

DDoS works superbly, but after a siphon you can't use it to apocalypse anymore. So you can only - again - use it to siphon spam.

It's a strong plan but the opening is so important.

18 Nov 2015 wedgeex

notavirtualresource - if only Apex could play Same Old Thing...

18 Nov 2015 Axlotl

You can totally clear tags to be able to DDoS/Apocalypse later. You don't need hardly any money to run, and the corp has to take a few turns to pick up the pieces. A full siphon pays for 2 tag clears, a new DDoS and an Apocalypse, which is the majority of the things you'll need to pay for.

Same Old Thing: Oh, if only...

18 Nov 2015 hi_impact

Going down to 2x Account Siphon for 2x The Maker's Eye or 2x Legwork ever been tested? I played a somewhat similar Apex with Mimic and Fisk Investment Seminar(no siphons but 2x DDoS), and Legwork won me more than enough games. 1x access on R&D was suitable and I totally can see how this deck wins without multiaccess.

19 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Nah, I haven't made any changes yet in testing. That could always change, but I really don't feel like I need multi-access. Feels like a way to win quicker, but not necessarily more often. Losing that 3rd Siphon makes it easier for them to start firing proper again, and I feel the deck needs to just oppressively smother an opponent's options at every turn. Multi-access doesn't really help with that, and certainly helps a lot less that Siphon.

19 Nov 2015 tuism


19 Nov 2015 mendax

So how do you beat anyone that puts crisium or caprice on HQ? You don't have nearly enough econ to comfortably trash crisium or regularly play caprice.

20 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Those are definitely some of the threats to the deck. You'll have to either get rid of them and deal with the economic woes, or head elsewhere. Hopefully you've achieved enough of a lead before they show up to finish.

Trying to handle all threats with Apex is a dead end. You just have to live with it.

21 Nov 2015 Metaphorazine

Kraken is relevant here. Apocalypse with a Kraken in hand can be really good with a little luck. If it doesn't turn out in your favor, just install it face down.

I don't see the Kraken/Apocalypse synergy here, what play are you looking for? Do you run archives first to start the Apocalypse play and if you find an agenda you abort and Kraken ice for this turn to make next turn's Apocalypse easier?

21 Nov 2015 Axlotl

What I mean is Kraken is for post-apocalypse turns, when the corp is struggling to re-ice servers and you get free RnD/HQ accesses, or snipe an apocalypsed agenda out of archives. Makes it take longer for the corp to recover, and buys you time to set up a 2nd apocalypse, if you have the cards for it.

21 Nov 2015 Metaphorazine

@Axlotl Ahh I see it now. Nice looking deck, I think I'll have to try it out!

21 Nov 2015 RJayz

Deck looks great :), but even though you're not on Faust, what about including some Brain Cages to be able to hold cards you're drawing from Quality Time / protect you from meat damage by holding up to 8 cards?

21 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Nah, the rig is built to be extremely disposable. I don't want to even install the console except in damage match ups, and to see any value off brain cage I'd need the console first. If I actually take the brain, the brain damage will matter after an apocalypse. I don't see over drawing with Quality Time as a problem here, There are always a couple of cards to discard with no real loss, and dumping face downs with Apex's text empties your hand pretty quick over the first few turns anyways.

22 Nov 2015 LeonardQuirm

What do you do if the Corp puts a Caduceus in front of HQ? Without being able to break it, you probably can't land a Siphon, and getting the money to ever beat the trace for Apocalypse or Prey seems tough.

22 Nov 2015 Axlotl

They'd need the Caduceus before Siphon (or it probably won't matter for quite a few turns) and you'd need to not have a DDoS. If they leave a single "unbeatable" ice on HQ, you do have the capability to Kraken if you get lucky.

Sure, Mimic would be good, but this deck wants to use apocalypse to swing the game as far in Apex's favor as it can, and that means any influence spent on persistent pieces of the rig will become irretrievable. I'd rather acknowledge that occasionally a clutch Caduceus will be an issue that can cost you a game, but by being laser focused on the aggressive denial plans, how many more games do you win than were you would have been digging for a Mimic?

I think its fair with the state of the game right now to bring up this point: How often do you really see Caduceus?

Feel free to play Mimic, its an easy swap into the Shard's place.

I really strongly feel trying to build a persistent rig beyond a card or two with Apex is wrong, I think this kind of Apocalypse/Siphon play (with or without DDoS) can be played with other IDs, and that is the way to go if you want to be able to answer every conceivable threat. Apex is about raw power.

Apex is going to drop games no matter how you build him.

23 Nov 2015 Bandura

Ichi says hello

23 Nov 2015 WayneMcPain

I don't have a second core set, so I can't have a third Siphon. So instead, I dropped Utopia Shard and added an Escher. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it seems like a good way to set up an apocalypse for next turn. Not sure it's worth the influence though in my case. Fun deck though! Congrats on Deck of the Week!

23 Nov 2015 gammanet

isnt architect a widely played card that will make any and all apocalypse decks cry?

23 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Architect doesn't stop Account Siphon or Apocalypse. You can power through it, some. While a rezzed Architect survives an Apocalypse, it doesn't generate any value since the other cards die. If you have DDoS, it needs to already be rezzed or be two deep. I don't think Architect is insurmountable.

Ichi? completely positional versus this deck. Has to be in front of an ETR. Easily killed by Prey. DDoS reduces the chance of a surprise Ichi crippling an Apocalypse or Siphon.

I keep seeing posts like how does this deck deal with X or Y, it doesn't specifically deal with anything. It selects a denial package than can ideally create so many problems for the runner that there will always be an avenue for attack, somewhere.

Will this deck drop games to certain cards sometimes? Yes. IMO, don't play Apex if you can't accept that.

23 Nov 2015 WayneMcPain

With Architect, the Corp still has to pay install and rez costs, so it isn't all that bad. I think ideally you'd want to Apocalypse and then next turn, while they are still vulnerable, Acct. Siphon so they can't afford to rex anything Architect would bring back. If you're really worried about it, Mimic is only one influence.

23 Nov 2015 Bandura

If it's all about Apocalypse, then you should not limit yourself to Apex. Magnum Opus -> Vamp -> Apocalypse is very strong out of shaper, whether you use Faust or smth like DDoS + False Echo to achieve it.

In my comment I was mostly referring to the incredible weakness of Apex ability + Endless Hunger package to sentries like Ichi and Architect, of which there's like eight or more in the world champion's deck.

23 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Yeah, its a fair point. And I'm not limiting myself to Apex. I've been brewing similar decks outside of Apex. I just decided to post this one as it is kind of the distilled essence of what I was trying to achieve. Never expected it to take off like this.

24 Nov 2015 Fry

The Turning Wheel might be a sweet multi-access to lay down after an Apocalypse. Bring on the next cycle!

25 Nov 2015 CapAp

Congrats on Decklist of the Week!

I think I'm agreeing with Bandura here, if I read his comment correctly. This looks to me like a devastating Apocalypse package that suffers by being played in Apex, rather than an Apex deck that's capitalizing on Apocalypse! You posit nearly as much in your writeup ("What's Apex's greatest strength? Apocalypse.") I don't really see how Apex's ability is even benefitting you here, you're pretty much just playing him for the influence discount on Apocalypse, right? I love the package, but I think I'd like to see how it fares in a Criminal or Anarch shell.

26 Nov 2015 Axlotl

Yeah, I built it side by side with an Anarch version.

Apex's effects aren't entirely irrelevant. Endless Hunger is hyper efficient when it works. You can get a decent usage of prey every now and then.

26 Nov 2015 yingkaik

Hmm @Axlotl What about hosting Endless Hunger on Dinosaurus? That would relieve it of its 4 mu requirement and boosting its strength to 13. Of course, that would mean a cost of 5 credits. Would that be efficient?

26 Nov 2015 Bandura

Leprechaun is cheaper )

27 Nov 2015 ChairmanHiro

So what do you do when you don't draw any icebreakers? Endless hunger is basically your only one and you have little draw/tutor? Are you relying almost entirely on ddos to get through a run?

27 Nov 2015 Trypios

I've playtested this deck a few times, I've to say the idea is great...but Apex is still awful. Good corps nowadays pack multi-sub ice, tracers, prog trashers etc... I lost all the games except when I faced Weyland.

4 Feb 2016 straygeologist

Ran this last night as you have it here. It decimated a Jinteki deck, but was completely blocked out (unable to pull off Apocalypse) of HB central servers with Heimdall 2.0 and Sagittarius. We swapped out the Account Syphons for Inside Jobs to give it a couple more tools to bypass problematic ICE.

4 Feb 2016 Axlotl

HB probably is the worst match up by far. A lot of problematic ice and Apex has a hard time even making a dent in their economy without a well timed Apocalypse. You really need to ride the back of cards like Kraken and Prey to keep them down. I'm 4-0 or so against various HB glacier build with this, but half of those where narrow, squeaking through to victory wins, including one convoluted play involving Preying outer ice, DDoSing inner ice, after HB let me first click scout HQ and sneaking out an Apocalypse late game. and I've mostly played against different people, so I'm sure it will get harder to win as they play around me better. Inside Job is definitely superior in the HB match up, but I think Siphon is better vs all 3 other factions.

6 May 2016 Axlotl

Went 3-0 on Jankteki with this tonight. Replaced Uninstall/Traffic Jam with 3x Freedom Through Equality.

21 Jun 2016 Tytles

How would Aesop's Pawnshop work with face down cards?

21 Jun 2016 Cryoclasm

Aesop will happy to buy any installed card. Empty cache, facedown harbinger...

21 Jun 2016 LeonardQuirm

Aesop's Pawnshop, in general, works really well with face down cards: they're still installed cards, so you can sell one for 3 creds. Lovely!

Unfortunately, while Aesop isn't discriminating in his purchases, he's a bit prejudiced when it comes to choosing clients, and refuses to work with a mysterious digital entity that is eating the Network. So he wouldn't be very helpful in this deck.

21 Jun 2016 Tytles

Yeah I was just asking about Apex: Invasive Predator in general

21 Jun 2016 Axlotl

Aesop's + Harbinger is good, just not in Apex. lol.

4 Aug 2023 DDDydra

Oh boy, I think I'll get data & destiny...... :)

That deck is sooooooo beautiful, I thinks it's better than that 700+ like noise deck.