Nightmare Saraswati

Runaway 174

27 months of intermittent pot-stirring brings you this nightmarish pile of traps where any facedown could be a horrible faceplant, a ticking bomb, or a hatch that leads you down to the next level of hell.

John and Dr. Jack peer down into the hatch.

This is a real deck, not some theorycraft or meme Saraswati. However, it is solid tier 2 jank.

The soul of the deck is this: Use the ID, as much as possible. If the runner checks everything, feed them more traps. If you've broken their will, and they just stick to hitting centrals; score that Jumon, advance that Ronin. You want them to fear every possible outcome.

Strategy tips:
- Don't sweat it too much if you have to install things unprotected, but keep your money up. Try to gauge when the runner is ready to bite something spiky.
- If you're already set up and the runner isn't hitting HQ much, hang on to a Jumon until you have 2 Seamless in hand to 5-advance it the next turn.
- Mlinzi is a 7c Anansi, although you should probably try to stay well above 7c.
- Otoroshi can get you a kill if you have a hidden trap on the board. Some runners will just treat it as a tax and give you counters... you always want to have something unrezzed on the board.
- Keep track of whether the runner has seen any Ronin or not. If they have, you can try bluffing an advanceable trap as one by boosting it to 4 advancements.

- The deck can run poor if you're not careful or get bad draws, especially against Criminal decks. If possible, mulligan for and rush out a Sandbox.
- NGO Front is clearly a nonbo with the ID. But Rashida makes less money and can't benefit from the ID at all, whereas an ID-advanced NGO in a safe-ish server can still pay out a full turn later.

Cards intentionally left out:
- La Costa / Trick of Light: too expensive and Seamless does it better.
- Anoetic / Bio Vault: these run counter to the goal of the deck. If the runner steals something, they steal it. You want them to not know whether they're getting a Jumon or an Overwriter, which means we need to let them in so they can see as many traps as possible.
- Hansei Review: Extra Hedges could be better than Celebrity Gifts, but with Review the runner has to run Archives to see the traps. Gift just lets us show them to the runner.
- Longevity Serum: This card could maybe replace another agenda to get us to 20 points, but it is frankly tempo negative in comparison to the others. Honestly I would consider Viral Weaponization in one Obokata slot except for the fact that it does nothing when stolen.

Thanks to the Seattle-area meta for suffering through two years of COVID and Saraswati testing.

thx, you'll haunt my nightmares. (Jumon advances a card) Oh god what is that. (Otoroshi + Urtica kill) lol

2 Mar 2022 xFWx FIREBIRD (aka FireRL)

<3 This is some saucey mess!

2 Mar 2022 CryptoGraham

Lots of death?

Can confirm.

I have been net damages to death so many times against this deck.

2 Mar 2022 CooK_eD

Step 1 score Jumon? Love it 😊

3 Mar 2022 Runaway

Oh yeah - the reason 2 Snare! is the right number of Snare is this: savvy runners will try to note where all 3 copies are after they've seen... but they can't do this if there are only 2 in the deck. 😏

3 Mar 2022 Runaway

Oh yeah - the reason 2 Snare! is the right number of Snare is this: savvy runners will try to note where all 3 copies are after they've seen 2... but they can't do this if there are only 2 in the deck. 😏

3 Mar 2022 Diogene

@Runaway I love decks like this! This is the reason Jinteki is my prefered faction. Some questions :

  1. Has Mind Game and/or Vanilla been considered?
  2. Was Mganga and/or Sadaka tested in a previous iteration?
  3. Could Konjin or Thimblerig help?

The deck is good as it is. I am just wondering if other ices, which are often used in trap decks, were used and then replaced by the current ice suite.

Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

3 Mar 2022 Runaway

@Diogene Mind Game could be a good include, although I shy away from psi ice in general since smart runners will know when they can use them as a Vamp. I am also hesitant to use trap ice since I have a hard enough time getting ice to stick what with the rampant hippos in my meta. Similarly, Vanilla was dismissed due to a few local decks that learn on turtles.
Thimblerig is great here, however, and was in the previous iteration of this list. It could easily stand in for Whitespace or Enigma.

5 Mar 2022 callforjudgement

My experience of NGO Front in Saraswati is that it leads to some fun second-level mind games – you can install a card and then advance it without using the ID in order to bluff it as an NGO Front. The runner then has to decide whether they're going to run all the NGO Fronts too, or whether they're going to leave them be (allowing you to sneak through an agenda disguised as an NGO Front).

The next level beyond this, of course, is to manually advance a Cerebral Overwriter in order to make the Runner think that it's an agenda disguised as an NGO Front.

5 Mar 2022 maninthemoon

It is a nightmare to play vs, but a very fun deck. Well done! It's hard to make anything Jinteki these days.

5 Mar 2022 SMITTYL

I will give myself up as the bravado + otoroshi death victim. In my defense I knew he had kakugo and anansi and was ok with slamming into those. I had to re read otoroshi 3 times after hitting it since it had been so long since I’ve seen one in the wild. Congrats!

7 Mar 2022 Runaway

@callforjudgementI love it!
@maninthemoon I recall losing to you every time I brought this to the table, so kudos to you for not falling for the mind games. :hat_tip:

7 Mar 2022 Runaway

@SMITTYL to be honest "gotta have that card" is a hard cross to bear when playing against this deck.

7 Mar 2022 Runaway

Anemone clearly belongs in this deck. I think I would probably start out by trying -1 Mlinzi -2 Whitespace +1 Enigma +2 Anemone.

26 May 2022 Nefta777

Just died to this deck. This junk is Awesomesauce!

9 May 2024 Santa

Fun to randomly run across this!! 😁

Happy to see the Saraswati has been living its best life for awhile! 🎉