Salty Sting Biotech [1st Place / Undefeated, AZ Regionals]

lukifer 996

This deck is mean as hell, but slightly less evil than Gagarin Prison or IG. Sorry not sorry? 🤷‍♂️ It went undefeated all day in the Arizona Regionals at Phoenix Gaming Lounge. (Huge thanks to Devin and the AZ meta for hosting a delightful event and welcoming us CO invaders!)


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How To Win

The primary win-con is Brewery kill, either using Urban Renewal or an ill-timed trap. If the runner is overly cautious, we're perfectly happy to fall back to rush, glacier, or grinding out every last card in the stack and scoring Obos at our leisure.

ICE is prioritized for remotes in the early game; we want to slam Rashida, Urban, HoK, or Sting! as soon as humanly possible. We can rely on six traps and 18 points of hurty agendas to deter central runs (even against Khusyuk). This allows us to get away with only 13 ICE; it's often correct to leave HQ open all game after using Gift to flash a Snare!.

The deck also has many interesting agenda-bluff plays: IAA-bluff Fetals or 3/1s as Obokatas while the runner is low on cards; or single-advance Fetals to bluff as a 4/2, baiting a run and open up a kill / scoring window.


Sting!: My favorite card in the deck. If we can score one, we get immediate tempo value, and the remaining two become free mini-Snares. I've yet to pull it off, but there's theoretically a fun play of triple advancing it, waiting for the runner to go down to 3-4 cards, and then score-flip-kill the following turn. (It happens to look like an Obo score against Leela.)

Hokusai Grid: This used to be 3x Prisec, but losing the ability to install multiple is worth it to get multiple fires (often the runner doesn't have enough credits to trash after an expensive Urban trash), not to mention firing on replace-access runs on centrals.

Preemptive Action: MVP. Aggressively cycle back Snares, Urbans, and money, preferably while waiting for an Urban to tick down.

Data Loop: This has done great work in the past, but with more Hunting Grounds in the meta, it might not be worth the money or the slot (didn't rez once on the day). FC2 might be better.

Mlinzi: I really like the include (especially for lulling the runner into false security at exactly 7 credits), but for some reason I didn't see it often and never got a chance to rez it.

Aiki: This card is nuts in an Engolo/Laamb heavy meta, and I can't believe I only added a third at the last minute. Occasionally feeding the runner cards with a psi game to assist the grind plan is icing on the cake.

Reverse Infection: Possibly a better include when turtles were heavier in the meta, but I still like it to tech against 419, Freedom, and being broke. Only used it for money on the day.

How (Not) To Lose

Econ Denial: The easiest way to beat the deck is keeping it broke; Snares and Anansis get expensive fast. We pack a couple 0-cost econ cards to help us bounce back. While it's almost always correct to fire net damage if you can, don't be afraid to be patient and click up into the crucial 4/8 range; and sometimes it's best to let 419 have info and turtle counters.

Feedback Filter: This card is a major problem, and you need to completely switch gears and focus on grinding out runner economy. We're unlikely to land a kill once Filter drops, but we can still grind out their resources and open scoring windows.

Film Critic: Arguably the biggest problem; our only answer is a Sadaka that's unlikely to fire. Obos and Fetals become almost unscorable; you have to focus on burning through economy or getting Urban to land. Luckily, Film Critic doesn't seem to be a super-popular unicorn at the moment.

Deus X: Effectively shuts off the flip-kill, again forcing a grindy glacier fallback. Luckily this card isn't super-common.

Surfer: This is a tough matchup. Pay a lot of attention to your ICE placement, and be very strategic on what to rez when. Most of our ICE installs are now to tax 2, rather than to actually rez.

Turntable: This one’s rough: we have five 3/1s that can be spun into hard-won Obos. There’s not a lot of counterplay, other than rushing your small agendas to get them out of the deck, and/or not scoring Obo unless it gets you the win.

That's the deck

Have fun not letting your opponent have any fun!

19 Aug 2019 Dirjel

You're a bad person and this is a mean deck.

Effective, though, and the pilot was a real nice guy, so I don't feel TOO bad about it. Thanks again for coming out, my dude, we had a great time!

19 Aug 2019 Dirjel

PS, grats again on the win! Well played, well deserved :)

20 Aug 2019 tonybluehose

This is the type of corporation I want to work for.

23 Aug 2019 gadwag

Have you considered a wake up call for blowing up feedback filters?

23 Aug 2019 lukifer

@gadwag I have, my meta-mate runs it out of RP, it does a ton of work. I only have room for one, meaning cutting Data Loop, but with Hunting Grounds everywhere that might be OK. It hits Film Critic too, which is the biggest weakness. I think I'll try it on the next build. :)

@Dirjel Thanks! Once again, thanks for hosting. Looking forward to your 100 format!