Killing me softly (a paintbrush & a dagger)

Heartthrob 2490

Trying to unlock the potential of the Paintbrush, @AKAnderson and I have put together what I think is a deck with a good combination of early pressure/facechecking ability and solid rig shaper.

The main pieces: Dagger - This is your primary breaker and with its support pieces it is extremely efficient. Cloak - Where else would you keep your Dagger? Silencer - Cause Daggers can be awfully loud. Paintbrush - You're an artist and icy servers are your canvas. Dinosaurus - Because it's surprisingly good with a Dagger. Forged Activation Orders - Leave no ice unturned.

Now that Dagger has 6 cards that can pump up his strength, it is now realistic to play it and consistently have 3 or 4 creds to pump with. Test Run and Replicator make sure you can get what you need and have multiples. Throw Dagger on a Dino and even with only a single Cloak/Silencer you can safely facecheck ice with no fear of painful sentry damage.

My biggest issue with Yog+Paintbrush is that you cannot facecheck safely. So sentry shenanigans rob you of early pressure and keep you scared of all unrezzed ice.

Note: With paintbrush decks you absolutely have to be able to facecheck ice! So having a killer as your main icebreaker is vital. So important.

Atmans are for multiple ice neutralization and Chimaera (paintbrush hater ice). This deck wants to full-court press, hit different servers and keep pressure on throughout the game.

4 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Did I mention that this deck owns Archer?

4 Apr 2014 internetbully

I like the idea of this deck. I've seen paintbrush paired with a morning star for how cheap it is, but that's just too vulnerable or slow when dealing with sentries. Nice work, I'll test it tonight

4 Apr 2014 yeoda

What do you use the test run for? It seems like you could throw in two more SMC's and keep out the programs you dig for permanently. Unless you were trying to use Atman's for multiple breaks. But that seems expensive.

4 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

You won't have memory for SMCs other than in the early game, hence the 1x SMC. Test run will get you Atman or Dagger or Paintbrush if you need one mid game. It's fine if it goes back to the stack, just Pro Contact it back to grip. So basically it's a tutor that can also get you Atman in as a surprise breaker.

I've thought about going SMC and adding some MU cards...but that feels too slow for the deck. Someone ought to test that version though.

4 Apr 2014 AkAnderson

Test running Atman midgame to get through the repeated ICE server that would be too click intensive with Paintbrush is great in this deck

4 Apr 2014 skaterforsale

How's the economy in this?

5 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Econ is no problem, thanks to the identity and the recurrings. Pro Contacts and Katie Jones will keep it flowing. The weakness is deep ice servers, so this deck wants to put pressure early- and mid-game so that they can't afford to go 4 deep. If they do you have to hope some are sentry or use Atman to circumvent some.

5 Apr 2014 internetbully

I've tried it a couple of times now. My preliminary thoughts are that it feels a little 'slow'. Tinkering and Paintbrush both requires clicks, and the deeper the server, the more click intensive. The only multi access is R&D, so games have leaned towards the Corp sealing off R&D. Breaking into remotes when it costs extra clicks feels depressing when it turns out to be anything other than an Agenda.

6 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

It's run well against Weyland and HB for me. Haven't run it against NBN. The trick really seems to be timing your hits to keep the corp sweating when they only have 1 or 2 ice on a server.

I'm not a 100% multi-access kind of guy (been killed too many times hitting double snare), and I don't know if you need to multi access to win if you time things right.

Glad you're testing it, let me know what you think about adding/subtracting pieces. I don't think Maker's Eye fits (needs that credit).

Have you tried other paintbrush decks?

7 Apr 2014 db0

Your econ still seems weak to me. A deck that does not rely on heavy ICE to tax you might be a big problem. Tollbooth + Ash might cause significant headaches as you don't have the pure economic muscle to get in twice and trash Ash.

7 Apr 2014 JWHamner

Personal Touch is vastly superior to Dino for Dagger (getting to strength 6 with 1 stealth credit is the key), but I suppose you'll have memory problems without it. I would probably test -2 Replicator, -2 Dinosaurus, +2 Akamatsu, +2 Personal Touch.

I also wonder whether you really need Tinkering with Paintbrush when the whole point is to be able to facecheck with Dagger? Maybe drop those for Daily Casts or Dirty Laundry to answer the economy questions?

7 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Good points. I really like the Akamatsu + Personal Touch idea. Tinkering stays to alter unrezzed ice in a pinch. I've never not liked having those, especially in the early goings, allows you to harass a bit more and pressure remotes (like a mini inside job).

Econ really hasn't been a problem yet, but I haven't hit an Ash deck with it, so I may need to test against an Ash, Caprice, NAPD Contract-style deck.

7 Apr 2014 AkAnderson

I think Replicator does a good job of being a pseudo Diesel, thinning out the deck in subsequent draws. With that in mind, Pro Co is really valuable for this style of deck. I think taking Dino out is bad because it provides a bonus that it would take 2 Personal Touches and a Mem Chip card to do the same thing. Kati fits fine in this deck as econ because of Paintbrush. It's a slower deck and loading Kati up on your off turns is just fine. All of the recurring credits really help too, making it so you can run nearly broke.

7 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Also correct. On second look, why would I want to switch out Dino for 2x Personal Touch + 1x Mem chip? Dino is great here. The +2 strength you get right out of the gate is important to beat Wraparound as well. I'm not against using Corroder + Gordian in place of Atman, but don't think it's as good a use of MU as Atman that can be recycled later using Test Run.

I would never cut replicator, it's too valuable when you play Silencer. I can drop all three by mid-game.

7 Apr 2014 JWHamner

Because Dino costs 5 credits to install and you need to install it before Dagger. Personal Touch and Akamatsus can be installed as needed, in any order, and are much cheaper... especially for Kate. I've played a lot with Dinosaurus and it makes for a slow and inconsistent rig.

7 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Hmmm, I guess I just prefer to use up less deck slots and not use up clicks installing and drawing the extra pieces. Kate makes Dino cost 4, which is the same cost as 2x Personal + Akamatsu...except you only spend 1 click to install Dino instead of 3 separate clicks to install. Give and take I guess because you may have to wait until mid game to see Dino. I haven't had problems with the Dino rig yet and like having the deck slots for other things. 1 Dagger can be played without Dino early on if needed, you'll get another later when Dino shows up.

8 Apr 2014 db0

Actually in Kate, 2x Personal + Akamatsu cost 2 and 3 clicks, whereas the Dino costs 4 and 1 click. It's pretty much the same. The difference is that Dino saves you the deck slots for other things

8 Apr 2014 falseidol

I think you're right that Dino is the right answer for the purpose of beating wraparound--I think the question is whether a dagger on a dinosaurus is the best response to wraparound (and I guess Heimdall 2)? when you have so much search in faction, would it not make sense to pack one inti if somebody is playing wraparounds? Because my concern is that with 3 daggers and 3 test runs, won't you most likely wind up having to play a second dagger once the dino is installed?

8 Apr 2014 falseidol

Also, with replicator, you can look at deck space in 2 different ways. You're right that dino allows you more total spots in the deck, but mem chip and personal touch (aside from giving you 3 separate procs for your ID ability), also provide more thinning for the deck, so if you want to see your other pieces more frequently, then the more you can weed out with replicator the better.

8 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Falseidol, you're right about replicator...but replicator's main function is to tutor up your Silencers. The thinning is icing. Personal Touch and Akamatsu don't help get those Silencers. I did want to include a fracter, but Atman seems like a better use of the slots. Inti is useless to me if they don't play I don't want a card that is dedicated to stopping one single ice. Dagger on Dino + 1 recurring cred + 1 normal cred gets through Wraparound, and that's the rig you're using for everything else anyway. It's really the price you pay to get through all 1-sub no need to worry about slotting a Fracter.

8 Apr 2014 Hoywolf

why not try Sharpshooter? that should help with destroyer sentries.

8 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

soooooo, Dagger is the main breaker. It pretty much be shankin' any destroyers...

10 Apr 2014 Baotus

Haven't tested this deck (i.e. feel free to ignore me), but what about 1x Inti and 1x Armitage rather than 2x Replicator? The former could save you grief vs. Wraparound and its ilk; the latter could help a little extra in those games where the corp is able to stay ahead on ice (esp. Tollbooth). I almost want to say Levy 1x but the nine relevant events (though good) make that a little hard to justify.

10 Apr 2014 Baotus

I guess before I say that, I should justify cutting Replicator since that seems to be an important card to you — to me it seems awkward. I wonder, would you delay playing your first Silencer until you've seen a Replicator? If not, your second? For the 2C cost, it seems like 3C on a Quality Time would be more flexible, though obviously it takes away some security.

Anyway, cool deck. I like your rationale for going Dagger over Yog0saurus.

11 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Dagger + Dino = 2 strength Silencer or Cloak credit = +5 strength Total = 7 strength

Seems like the main breaker build is pretty efficient against Wraparound.

11 Apr 2014 Baotus

Come on, you're telling me what I already know. I offered my suggestion in good faith and thought about it before posting it — let's have an actual discussion if you're going to bother responding.

How much time does it usually take to get those pieces on the table? Paintbrush, 3C; Dino, 5C; Dagger, 3C; and a stealth chip or program, 1C — that's a lot of setup, and pushing it out fast will make you broke. Well, OK, maybe against NBN you might plan to look more for two stealth pieces rather than Dino and push the rig out faster for 9C — that's not so bad.

I could see it happening turn two, sure, but it seems like it could take a while. To be fair, getting a one-of Inti on the table could take a little while, too, assuming that we're not making any additional changes. NBN is super-common in my neck of the woods (I play it myself) and a Wraparound over SanSan City Grid (or an RSVP for that matter, but that's another day) or a Melange can pose an existential threat in the early game. Surely, test running an Inti and trashing a SSCG through a Wraparound is still a 9C disaster, but having two Astros, each with counters, is basically game over, and it's not uncommon in early games against TWIY.

Inti has additional benefits against Ice Wall and Paper Wall, not least of which is pressuring the corp to spend time advancing the former. Give it some thought — these are all pretty common ICE.

11 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Not being rude, just thought you hadn't read that.

...but you're going to build the dino+dagger rig if you play this deck. If you don't like the setup it takes, you're not going to like playing this deck.

Dino+Dagger is not a reactionary play when you see's IS the breaker you'll use for everything. You will have to use it to break most things, so why worry about Wraparound more than you worry about any piece of non-sentry ice? If they play out any Code Gate or Barrier, you'll have to build this rig...

So again, I don't see why you'd bother with Inti in this deck. At worst, use two recurrings to pump up to +10 if you don't have Dino.

11 Apr 2014 Baotus

All right, if you're not interested in considering Inti, I guess there's not much more to talk about on that particular card. I think it would give up some purity of the concept and trade in some of the sure-thing feel for a little more flexibility — more early-game potential against FA strategies and more late-game flexibility against super-servers (if they ever get that far!). But, I honestly don't know if it'd be an improvement. I do prefer to cash in a little power for flexibility as a personal preference.

If I playtest this, I think I'd make the change of 1x Inti and 1x Cyber-Cypher instead of the Replicators, and ask myself as I play if I'd rather see a Replicator than each of those two cards, or (in line with my original comment) if I'd rather see an Armitage instead of the Cyber-Cypher.

Still curious about a couple things in your experience playing this deck — have you found yourself delaying playing your first (or second) Silencer until you had a Replicator out? Or do you just play what you get and use them later (if at all) for your other hardware plays, for deck thinning (and getting two Plascretes as needed)? Also, how fast do you tend to get the basic rig out?

11 Apr 2014 Baotus

(Also, are you looking forward as much as I am to seeing what the other stealth breakers turn out to be?? Yours, IntiLuvr420)

11 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

Oh Baotus.



12 Apr 2014 Ber

I guess the Forged Activation Orders are to harass early game while setting up your rig? Have you considered swapping them for Parasites to knock out a few cheap ice? Might save a lot of Paintbrush clicks...

12 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

FAO's are to make sure ice gets rezzed (harassing is good too). Paintbrush is tough to use if they have a lot of unrezzed ice.

19 Apr 2014 weepinggorilla

If someone just puts 4 pieces of non-sentry ice on a server, do you just lose? Or is that where atman comes in?

19 Apr 2014 Ber

I just took first at a Chronos Protocol event with a deck based on this :) A few changes: I changed the econ to Kati, Aesops, Armitage, Daily Casts; I dropped Dinosaurus and Replicator, and replaced with some Cyber-Solution Mem Chips; added a Snowball and Parasite to give me a bit more anti-ice tricks; and Nerve Agent to let me really turn up the pressure on HQ against rush decks, (reluctantly dropping a couple of Forged Activation Orders to get some influence).

Funnily enough, I rarely even needed to install Paintbrush. A Gunblade + Atman at 0 and Atman at 2 or 4 was enough to get past every ice that I needed to. And I can't recommend the econ package I ran enough, I was almost never poor - a lot of flexibility with Daily Casts for trickle money, Kati for steady money, and Armitage to burst a bunch of credits when needed.

It's so fast to get Gunblade out with this, and once its out you can run everything with almost no risk, it's just beautiful. A funny moment was when an opponent hard-rezzed a Janus over R&D to keep me out - I already had 4 sentry stealth credits though so it only cost me two normal credits to break, so it didn't even slow my pace of R&D attack. Corps usually expect more stopping power from Janus I think :D

Thanks for sharing this, I've been a Shaper player for a long time and recently had a hard time finding effective Shaper decks. Obviously, this deck worked out for me, and I LOVE playing with it.

20 Apr 2014 Ber

@weepinggorilla: I've never seen someone manage that, but if they did, firstly I would assault other servers - that are going to be pretty poorly defended, or else yeah, one Atman should be enough to take care of a couple of those ice.

23 Apr 2014 Heartthrob

@Ber. You sir, are a genius. I will be trying a deck with your modifications immediately!

11 Mar 2015 konradh

Love it. Played few games with this deck at, but I'm kinda scared what will happend against Jinteki: Replicating Perfection. Its ability takes one click from you at the start, and with Enhanced Login Protocol there is even less room for Paintbrush.

Also, NEH.

I want this deck be universally good, but I fear much changed in the game since April. Any ideas how to upgrade it?

12 Mar 2015 AkAnderson

@konradh Haven't touched this deck in a long time but let's see here... So I started to do a little write up of what I'd change but then decided to just quickly edit the deck. I don't think this is anywhere near top tier but, eh...? I made a new version, check it out in the derived from or click here .