Transformer (2nd/48 Mead Hall MN/SC, Undefeated)

Xavier 559


The name tells it all Transform in/to each individual game your playing. Usually it looks like this...

Rush-Glacier-Fast Advance

I've been working on this deck for quite some time since before worlds (where it only lost one game, to some very unfortunate circumstances). I won't do a full write up but just leave the list here (answer a few questions) and hopefully bring some love to this overlooked identity.

2nd/48 players

6 Rounds of Swiss/cut to top 8/Double Elim


Game 1 Quetzal Eater/Keyhole (Win)

Game 2 Reg A** Maxx (Win)

Game 3 Classic Gabe (Win)

Game 4 Reina Roja Eater/Keyhole/Siphon Spam (Win)

Game 5 Valencia Itinerant Protesters/Blackmail (Win)

Game 6 Valencia Hivemind/Medium Combo turn (Win)

Double Elimination

Game 2 (Losers Bracket) Same Valencia Hivemind/combo (Win)

Game 4 Drip supplier Andy (Win)

Game 6 (First finals match) ProCo/Supplier Leela (Win)

Undefeated on the day with the deck, my runner (Edward Kim) while he did some work (23 ops) just couldn't finish it for the whole thing.

I have a blast with the deck, everyone is excited to play against it, and it works. Test it out! Share your experiences with me I would love to hear them!

(No this is not better in ETF, don't ask)

23 Feb 2015 Xavier

Quick Note! Just because the deck CAN do well doesn't mean it auto pilots to victory. There are a lot of good players out there with some tough decks. If you want to win with it you have to familiarize yourself with every avenue towards victory/read the board state/and take some calculated risks.

23 Feb 2015 eXister

Tnx for bringing love to NEXT ;) propably ABT was shooting every time when scored :) cnrts with nice build and 2nd place, at least you get a car :) will you show us Kim?

23 Feb 2015 StingHP

Nice to finally get a look at this deck after playing it in the finals. ;)

He did mange to fire ABT after I face planted into architect twice making it a safe bet.

23 Feb 2015 Xavier

@StingHP Hey! Are you going to post your first place decks?

Yes when you hit architect and I saw all the ice in RnD I got excited to land a guaranteed ABT. As many of my other ABTs were not as pretty...

@eXister Not every time, when scoring an ABT you just have to calculate how much ice you have and if it's worth the risk.

I might post Kim at some point, he didn't do as well and got carried so there are some definite changes that should be made.

23 Feb 2015 StingHP

@Xavier I have just done so. Mirrored your layout as I quite liked it. Still a bit weird to be publishing them with first place though.

I like the inclusion of IQ where do you typically place it at?

24 Feb 2015 Xavier

@StingHP IQ is one of my favorite ice in the deck. If it is in my starting hand it always goes on the remote, later in the game it is still likely to go on the remote. However if I get more than one then I will spread them out. It's surprising how much trouble it gives people.

24 Feb 2015 SlayerCNV

Why sweeps week on... Boh, beanstalk royalties?

24 Feb 2015 frost-duty

@eXister I relation to triggering ABT... don't do it most of the time. Even in a deck like this. One of my NEXT attempts had 24 ICE in it, and in a single afternoon of play I missed 7 consecutive ABT triggers - that 0 ICE whatsoever. When you look at the fact that ICE you draw goes onto the table or stays in hand it is surprising how quickly the density in RnD can lower.

ABT triggers are always a big gamble.

24 Feb 2015 StingHP

@Xavier Thank you for the insight. I will certainly have to play test with the card either in my EtF or a Foundry deck I'm working on.

24 Feb 2015 Xavier

@SlayerCNV Originally when testing for Worlds it served 2 purposes, the first is obvious as it was additional copies of Hedge Fund the second was Andromeda hate. However with Andy being less dominant, I found as I made slight tweaks to the deck I still found sweeps week to be worth it. Turn one hedge fund or sweeps week/click for credit/restructure happens more often then you think. Where beanstalk just wouldn't cut it.

It is definitely something to test out but for me I like the consistency.

25 Feb 2015 yokhen

Tested it intensively today and L-O-V-E-D I-T. Only problem with the deck are two things:

-IQ can be broken by mostly anything: Gordian Blade, Refractor, Torch, Mimic & Datasucker/Parasite, you name it. Basically IQ sucks anywhere but with CI. So at least on my own copy of this deck, I am definitely switching it out.

-Chimera is an early game card, however you only have 2, which causes it to not come early in the game, thus when it comes out, which is mid/late game, it never comes into use. It also results more expensive than the economy can bear it, since most Melanges are used to deceive the runner into runner a remote and wasting their credits anyway. Thus I am also changing this on my own copy for another stronger or cheaper ICE.

25 Feb 2015 yokhen

Oh and on the IQ note: there is also D4v1d for breaking it when it is strength 5. It honestly its too much to consider when placing agendas/assets/upgrades/ice down or not and all that.

25 Feb 2015 yokhen

Sorry for spamming, but it's been a long day. Also, considering that most of your draws will be ICE (or agendas), your hand will eventually be full preeeeeeeeetty quickly, which means, most likely rezzing IQ will cost 4 or 5.

25 Feb 2015 PaxCecilia

I disagree with your conclusions on IQ @yokhen... Of the "broken by mostly anything" list: Mimic does not break it, and the cheapest of the list is Refractor but it needs support from Cloak or Lockpick in order to work. Otherwise you're forcing out a ZU.13 Key Master, Gordian Blade. Zu is cheap to play, but expensive to break, Gordian is a little expensive to play and a bit cheaper to break, but can still be a tax of up to 3 every time they run. Admittedly I've never seen Torch played before, it would be powerful but at a cost of 9 its still an expensive card for something that could cost us 0-5c to rez.

If the runner wants to spend their Datasucker tokens and Parasite on an IQ, I would be more than happy they aren't trashing my other Ice instead. Better targets would be Rototurret, both NEXT ice... And even if they do trash them, you've got Interns to re-install for 2 clicks (no install cost, not bad).

25 Feb 2015 yokhen

`@PaxCecilia sorry, meant Yog.0

25 Feb 2015 p3t00h

This deck is sooo cool, bro, I drink vodka tonight for thee! Played 2 games vs stealth Andy tonight - 2 Sweeps Week and ice ice baby from the start? That ristie was disposessed then posessed by my NEXT YONG and screamed and finally came buying NAPD while I was scoring like Adonis in SanSan. GJ.

26 Feb 2015 Xavier

@yokhen I think you are missing the intricacies of the card. Use the fluctuating cost/strength to your advantage. One can easily in the game install/play multiple cards expecting the runner to go after a server with IQ (rezzing it for cheap) afterwards drawing up to increase cost later. One of my favorite places to set IQ is at 4 strength (avoiding david, escaping yog)

@p3t00h I'm glad you enjoyed it! Where stealth Andy shines against most glacier, if you are aware of the archetype it becomes a relatively simple deck to beat.

26 Feb 2015 yokhen

@Xavier and that is what I used to do, until I made the small mistake of installing ice (because i needed to) or playing operations that would bring me to 3 cards, or simply having too little money to install anymore ice from a hand full of ice. May seem like I'm being bad at playing, but getting in these situations is super easy. I ended up replacing it with other more stable ice out of which one is Viper, which comes in perfectly at taxing 2 or 3 creds (or more) for a rezz cost of 3, whereas IQ at most taxes 2 or 1 for a rezz cost of 4 or 5 (then again, because unless it's used at the very beginning, your hand will get very unavoidably full)

27 Feb 2015 hi_impact

The problem with IQ, admittedly, is not Torch, but Cyber-Cypher. But that's just Shaper.. though Kate is posed really nicely in the meta. And your hand does indeed fill up pretty quickly here, due to Melanging and Jackson and Install+Advance NAPDs. Good and bad, because IQ still terrorizes Anarchs and Criminals, but paying 4 or 5 for a 3-of ETR code gate seems tough. I would much rather go down to 2x IQ, play 2x Viper, and remove Mother Useless.

I've included her in countless HB decks only to never rez her because she is practically a bastion, because Eli will do his magical work of showing up at least once in the early game. In fact yea... I don't think I've ever rezzed a Mother Goddess yet.

You're ice spread is brilliant man. Especially the Sentries. I'm not fully hating on the IQs, I'm keeping them in. But Viper dude... Viper. Atman is dead, rejoice for now.

27 Feb 2015 ttdlx1989

@scourgedI think you missed the point of Mother Goddess. It isn't to tax the runner by itself. It's to provide another target for NEXT ice.

27 Feb 2015 hi_impact

@ttdlx1989 I understand that, and still I do not rez it. Completely dead ice in any game that is close, nearly.

3 Mar 2015 ohnomycocoa

@Xavier Great deck. Thank you for sharing. Just a quick question. How do you typically play Melange Mining Corp in this deck ? Do you use it early game pre-rush or is it more a later game card here ? Also where would you usually install in - in the glacial server or another remote ?

4 Mar 2015 Xavier

@scourged The ice is always changing to fit the meta, so by all means try out viper if you feel it's solid in your meta. My main issue with it is that I cannot gear check as they can fight the trace. I frequently rez it for 1-3 so IQ is a hard pull for me.

@ohnomycocoa 98% of the time I only make one remote (not including Jackson). So it will definitely go in the scoring remote, as for early or later? Both actually. Early on is ideal if you're not rushing an ABT as it might be hard to trash giving you enough econ to last the game. However it can also bring you back from bankruptcy late game. Rushing is a fickle thing as you really have to read the board state (and runner archetype) sometimes rushing is very bad for you.

7 Mar 2015 cranked

Awesome deck. I really hope HB Rush becomes a thing, and I think NEXT Design is the ID to do it in rather than ETF.

My thoughts after having playing the deck several times on OCTGN:

I hate Chimera so much. I really don't think it has a place in the meta at the moment with so many AI breakers right now. Gearcheck ice that I have to rez every turn with a mostly operation-based economy just doesn't thrill me. I really want to slot Markus 1.0 in over it; it's 2 more but taxes Corroder for 3 and forces the Eli dilemma of making your opponent spend clicks for accesses which usually ends poorly for them.

IQ: I didn't actually rez one at all during my testing, every time I had the opportunity I would have had to pay 5 for it, which I really hated doing. However, flipping one off an an ABT seems pretty good.

Daily Business Show: Is there any room in the deck for it? I know influence is tight in NEXT, but I think once Clot drops you could get away with dropping the SanSans and finding room for it. I actually would love to drop the Sweeps Weeks and find other econ to fit in DBS. You could experiment with running either Adonis or Eve Campaigns as drip econ options while you wait to find agendas. You could try going to a 2x Jackson/2x DBS platform, which I actually think is really strong, although you'd have to find deckspace if you cut a Sweeps Week.

14 Mar 2015 Oisin

I've been playing this deck for a month, and wanted to share my thoughts here. I'm not a tournament player, though I play the game a lot and follow the tournament meta. My main opponents play Andy (supplier or stealth) and Chaos Theory (Opus). I also play against some anarch decks (Noise and Ed Kim).

This deck is certainly fun to play. And when it works--when you get three installed ice in the open and a huge economic burst it just plows its way to victory. It renewed my faith in Melange Mining Corp.--a card that forces opponents into making inefficient runs. But what are they going to do? If they let it sit there, then the ice just keeps coming. 4-5 deep on all the centrals. If they run it, then they most certainly don't have the credits to trash the San San or run the scoring server again next turn. Muha, ha, ha.

But when that doesn't happen, usually because you don't have the money early, this deck gets into trouble really quickly. And nothing is worse than being in the mid-game, having six credits, and drawing a Restructure. Or being in the mid-game, having 6 points and 3 credits, and watching an R&D lock trash all the Melange. Or being in the late game and spending a turn digging to draw and discard 3 ice. Or seeing a Roja denial deck. Etc. Etc.

One of my revisions was to swap out the Restructure for Blue Level Clearance. This might seem an odd choice, but the Blue Level Clearance gives us a credit burst and more importantly gives some card draw. Often in the mid/late game I am just drawing and discarding ice, hoping to get to a Jackson Howard so I can draw and discard more ice in search of economy (or, more rarely, a SanSan City Grid). Blue Level Clearance isn't nearly as good in the opening hand, but it is much more consistent late in the game.

I don't mean to be overly critical--this is a very fun deck, and it is certainly solid. I can see how it might catch people by surprise in a tournament.

As to some of the ice choices: I think IQ is incredibly strong, and a better play than the other influence-less code gates out there. I can often rez the ice for 2 or three credits. 3 credits for a 5 strength, end the run code gate is an INCREDIBLE bargain. Unlike @cranked, I find Chimera is useful late game for interrupting cutlery events. But I do agree with him that this deck really, really wants Daily Business Show.

So here's my revision of the deck:

I reduced the ice to 20 and cut the Restructure/Blue Level Clearance to fit in 3 Biotic Labor. Interns becomes a Reclamation Order. The deck can still create a "scoring" remote for Melange, NAPD taxing runs, and the singleton San San (and it still doesn't leave any open assets for criminal shenanigans). The extra influence becomes 2 Daily Business Show and a single Crisium Grid. I was really tempted to just make this 3 Daily Business show, or to cut down to one Jackson.

@Xavier--thanks for posting, and I would love to hear what changes to the deck you have made post O&C.

15 Apr 2015 FetidCrow

Ok. I've had a lot of fun with this. Thanks for posting!!