[TWA] HB Department Control

chaosjuggler 1554

Discussed on Episode 27 of The Winning Agenda, a premier resource for competitive netrunner content!

2 Apr 2015 hhooo

Way too much influence spent on fancy Pad Campaigns when you're running 5 cards that are blanked by Yog. Lotus Field is crazy with ITD, and Ichi 1.0 is one of the best ice in the meta right now. No Ash in a deck with this much money doesn't make a ton of sense, just to protect the ITD early. Hades Fragment should be in over one of the PriReqs, to help the Noise match, the opportunity cost is essentially zero there. Concept should be solid, but the details need some work.

2 Apr 2015 Shielsy

@hhooo I'm not sure I agree that Mental Health Clinic is a waste here. All this ICE ends the run and is resistant to Parasite, which I think is where you want to be. That said the costs stack up quickly, and being put behind by a PAD that gets trashed isn't going to help that. You certainly want the effect though, and Mental Health Clinic is the only one that puts you ahead straight away.

6 Apr 2015 poorhaus

Tollbooth is just the quintessential control card for the corp, isn't it? My RP deck seemed to have lost its mojo and when i went back and looked at my top 8 Regionals deck there was the answer staring me in the face: 3x Tollbooth

@chaosjuggler I imagine the IT Dept is an Ash replacement, for charging up in a remote then denying runs on the agenda. I'm interested to hear your appraisal of power here, especially since it's an asset not an upgrade, which splits your ice on yet another server. I suppose gameplan ICE up centrals, get econ, then defend and charge IT up enough to defend itself and another remote, then make a two ice scoring server that is un inside jobbable? Seems like you might have to advance - IT -IT often against a dogged runner but still ends in a win if they can't get in before you win.

I dig it. IT dept hasn't seen serious play in my meta and I'd love for it to. Tried it in RP but found it spread my ice too thin. Super powerful control card when it's online though.

6 Apr 2015 chaosjuggler

Now that I've played with the deck quite a bit, I can say IT Dept is not essential to win (you can easily play a regular glacier game) and doesn't quite play like Ash - it's main strength is that it can be a card that ends the game by itself against decks like Prepaid or Contacts Kate which don't really have any way to cause a large swing in credits if they don't have David - no matter how strong their economy is once you can get a Department up to 10+ it's basically impossible for them to get through, and against faster decks or decks with David I like to keep it at about 6 and try to develop my game normally - usually if they spend their resources finding David to trash it it opens up a scoring window. The main weakness with the deck is very slow decks with David, but it's better than you might imagine at pushing out agendas early against those kind of decks, since it has basically all ice, economy and agendas. I wouldn't mind Ash but there really isn't any room - because you want to see at least 10 Ice in a game and 2-3 before your third turn a high count is really necessary. Operations that can give money quickly are essential to either get IT Dept online ASAP against slower decks or to be able to rez 2 Ice on HQ by turn 2/3 against fast decks, and drip economy allows you to continue to build your board in the lategame (usually you require two servers between Adonis, Jackson, IT Dept and scoring out). Mental Health Clinic has been really excellent - if they run into an Architect or if you can boost one out of range you can start gaining money immediately even from 0 credits, and with the ice not being cheap being a lot more efficient than Pad Campaign (each time you rez it you get a free Beanstalk compared to Pad!) is very important.

14 Apr 2015 AKirkland

Out of interest, do you have an answer to Valencia and Blackmail? I'd say she's common enough nowadays that you pretty much have to.

14 Apr 2015 chaosjuggler

Nope! Honestly I haven't played against another Valencia deck (apart from my own, I guess). If it becomes common I might try adding more Beta Tests (to replace a 5/3 and another card), or maybe splashing 2 Boot Camps over a Health Clinic and something else - but I really don't recommend playing this deck if Blackmail decks are common - any solution would reduce the strength of the deck.

15 Apr 2015 sruman

I'm sure you've considered this but what the NeXT suite? They are cheap ETR ice which becomes taxing late-to-mid-game. They are weak to parasite (especially Bronze) but it's losing a couple to a parasite play that's only marginally less costly to the runner than the ice to the corp (or less with HB install bonus).

16 Apr 2015 chaosjuggler

Yeah I started off with the NEXT suite, but the deck really doesn't want to trade cost for strength - it wants the most taxing ICE to get through possible especially in the early game. The problem I found is that if they know you're NEXT (which they will from the time you rez the first NEXT) then they can only run to make you rez one NEXT ice, then (since it's hard to pressure them by making a scoring remote with this deck super early because it's not that fast) Parasite that ICE, and continue this. If Parasite isn't as common in your meta I suggest trying it (it definitely pushes towards a more aggressive build since you're not spending as much on your ICE) but it might be, at the time of writing, the most common Runner card I see, so being less effective against it is a huge deal.

2 May 2015 poorhaus

Quick update: I've been testing this deck for a week or so and went 3 for 4 in league play with this deck today. It's a beast. I lost to prepaid Kate by not timing my windows correctly- should've started scoring earlier. Against other builds that can't get up to 20 or 30 credits repeatedly there eventually is no answer.

Mental Health is absolutely the right call and really makes the deck work. Great call on that influence. Tollbooth, as always, is MVP. Datapike, Enigma, etc. I can't say enough about the design of the deck.

@chaosjugglerany tips on timing of protecting IT vs scoring, esp versus controll-y runners? In my loss I think a mistake I made was protecting IT too well, which let my opponent bounce and save up for later. I should've taxed them but let them trash then scored in that window. Prepaid is just so bursty it was difficult to find the window. I also didn't build deep enough.

Other than that matchup, which I played poorly in, the deck has performed well with great consistency.

6 Jul 2015 HexNet

Wilfy won the Melbourne Regionals with a list very similar to this:

-1 Mental Health Clinic

-1 Green Level Clearance

+2 Executive Boot Camp

AKirkland These EBC's will help against the Valencia matchup.