Apex Assimilating Bankhar - 3-1 at Italian KoS 2023

PreNic 234

First of all, the original version of this deck was created and shared by Baa Ram Wu.

I was looking for a nice neutral deck to bring at the Italian KoS and I was immediately in love with it as soon I saw Apex: Invasive Predator with Assimilator. Please don't judge me. :D

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After that, I did some modifications based on comments and testing that brought me to a list similar to this one, but where I had -1 Orca -1 Endless Hunger +1 Overclock +1 MKUltra.

The idea for those final modifications was coming again from Baa Ram Wu and I think they were both really good improvements: thanks again for the help! :)

So, about the matches:

Game 1, Loss against Acme Consulting: The Truth You Need: I had Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga in my initial hand (nice!) but no Assimilator or Gachapon or Heartbeat. I have spent a few turns making Apex installations and drawing to find the engine's cards or even a breaker but without success. They scored 2 Bellona and 1 15 Minutes in a row behind a Data Ward and I was not able to contest their remote. The match was finished in a few turns and I could not do much in that case since HQ and R&D where also protected from the very beginning.

Game 2, Win against Sportsmetal: Go Big or Go Home: they were not running many ICEs and they left an open R&D. I installed a DreamNet at turn 2 and rather then setting up I decided to continue spending my turns running R&D and trashing cards until there was no ice on R&D. I got all the agenda points in that way and the match was finished in 10 minutes or so.

Game 3, Win against Jinteki: Personal Evolution: I was able to quickly setup with Heartbeat and a few facedown carts (including Orca) and I got the Assimilator after a few turns. Besides taking -1 points from a News Team I think I was able to setup well and to reach a point where I had both Orca and Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga in play (both flipped via Assimilator) plus Aumakua. They had one Anansi on R&D that got trashed with Prey and one on the remote. Later, they installed a Data Loop but this was not an issue since I could have flipped Hunting Grounds if I wanted to run again on R&D. In the late game I had the full engine running, including Aesop's Pawnshop, one Wasteland and one Reaver, so I could totally afford paying 4 to pass Anansi every turn with Orca. I continued to contest each card installed in the remotes with the exception of one (that I thought it was a bluff) that turned out being a Regenesis (ouch!) that was scored the next turn without adding other agendas to the score area. I think this was the only risky point of the match since the Corp could have reached 6 points with Regenesis + Obokata Protocol. I closed the game stealing an Obokata from the remote one or two turns later.

Game 4, Win against Thule Subsea: Safety Below: I started with Heartbeat in my initial hand (lucky me). I had a Hunting Grounds but I could not use it because I had to find my Assimilator first. I installed DreamNet from hand and started a few turns by running of R&D where they had a Pulse. I stole the first 2 points in that way and 1 point in the remote by passing an Echo with Endless Hunger. Meanwhile, I was able to install a Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga facedown via Apex and to find and install an Assimilator that I then used to flip it. I trashed Pulse on R&D with Prey and it was later replaced by an Ansel 1.0 (I don't remember if I have trashed it too, but maybe yes). In the end I got two agendas from R&D, one from the remote and the closing one from HQ. I ended the match without taking any core damage.

Random notes about the matches:

  • I have never installed a bin breaker and, if I remember well, Endless Hunger was the only breaker that I installed from hand (once)

  • I have seen WAKE Implant v2A-JRJ only once and even then I have closed the match before being able to use it (I was going to flip it next turn).

A few "rules of thumb" that I (try to) follow while piloting that deck:

  • Always install a facedown card with Apex if possible; I normally try to avoid doing that with the events (and specifically not on Prey, Reboot and Mad Dash); I only install a card face up if I have a clear plan to use it and I don't have access to Assimilator yet (like in the case of DreamNet in the HB matchups)

  • Especially in the Jinteki: Personal Evolution matchup, you will soon or later run out of cards, and so, in the late game, it is almost mandatory spending clicks with Assimilator and flip back you facedown Harbingers

  • Never break a Hunting Grounds if you do not have an Assimilator installed unless your life depends on it; as soon as you have an Assimilator in play, Hunting Grounds becomes your best friend to either fuel Heartbeat or to search for cards or both

  • I try not to use Gachapon until I have found one Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga but if you have not seen any Hunting Grounds yet you can also try using Gachapon to find Hunting Grounds and break it to try finding Bankhar

  • Endless Hunger is very situational since it is quite bad against many NBN ices but it can be extremely strong in other matchups; it is also a backup plan that you can find via Gachapon while searching for Assimilator, as it is Aumakua (that is of course nice to have in general, even if not synergic with Reboot)

  • Orca is gold in this deck since, with Apex's ability plus Assimilator, you can have it in play for that, I can ensure you, it feels good; recursion against rig shooting is not an issue in general since you have Reboot and Assimilator

Finally, thanks to everyone organizing and attending the Italian KoS, it was a lot of fun! :)

13 Mar 2023 Baa Ram Wu

Super hyped that you not only took this deck but did so well with it!!

Glad you played the update as the Orca is such an upgrade if you ever come up against an Anansi!

13 Mar 2023 PreNic

Yeah, I think the addition of Orca was a great idea. Especially because I don't remember many occasions when I have used the bin breakers during the testing. It may happen but not so often. On the other side, the efficiency of Orca compared to MKUltra is embarassing.

23 Mar 2023 SHIEL

This was so much fun to play against my friend's Thule Subsea. Charging Wake Implant with Orca feels good. Just wish there was some way to not be completely screwed over if you have a hard time finding Assimilator or Bankhar.

23 Mar 2023 PreNic

I think that if you don't have the full engine running you should play it very aggressively and force the corp to rez ices even without breakers. Unless the corp locks you completely out very fast you have other options like Aumakua and Endless Hunger to contest the servers. And always install via Apex, you should do that even if Assimilator is not on the board, from the very first turn.