Edinburgh Blue Sun (4th place UK Nationals)

Seamus 3237

Hello. This is the corp deck I took to fourth place at the UK Nationals last weekend.

There's a bit more of an introduction to the event in the write up for my Kit deck ( http://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/21621/seamus-stealth-kit-4th-place-uk-nationals- ) so here I'll just dive right into the deck.

I've named the deck Edinburgh Blue Sun largely due to its similarity (I believe we may now be down to a single card pick difference) to my friend and local player Stephen's, rather than due to it being wildly different from other Blue Sun decks. We've both been playing Blue Sun for about six months and over that time our decks which started at fairly different places have gravitated towards this point. Each of us have contributed different changes. For example I began with two Janus, one of which he adopted. He added Data Raven which I've now included and most recently I added a single Off the Grid which I believe he was also running on the day.

Since putting the decklist up I've seen it described as kill focused. While it's certainly happy to win by flatline, it's actually pretty flexible, able to play a rush strategy, a trap game (either to set up the kill or just to waste the runner's time and resources) or even a bit of Glacier if required with Off the Grid.

The way it's able to support this flexibility is down to the most important agenda and the most important Weyland card -

Agenda

Project Atlas is amazing for obvious reasons. It allows the relatively high number of one-ofs in the deck to function. Everyone knows this. Not much else to say.

Corporate War is fantastic as a first agenda score to maintain the cash advantage that Weyland loves.

Priority Requisition is amazing when you have so much expensive ICE. It's effectively an additional OAI cash combo without the risk of it trashing if broken. The single Cleaners could easily be another 5/3 depending on your preference. I included this as a lot of decks (including my own) are only running a single Plascrete and to disrupt I've Had Worse maths. I think I scored it once on the day and its effect wasn't relevant.

Posted Bounty is probably the closest thing the deck has to an interesting agenda inclusion. I've had a huge number of kills using it, either by waiting for or creating a two-turn scoring window to set up the triple scorch or with a simple install-advance-advance for the double scorch the following turn. Additionally, the threat of this card can force people into running my traps or even just be bluffed as a larger agenda to draw the expensive run, opening the window for a larger (hopefully game ending) agenda.

Assets

I love advanceable traps. I love them. Through practice (and probably a lot of luck) I've managed to drag huge numbers of people through expensive servers onto a Shattered Remains (simultaneously draining their credits, removing their Plascrete and giving the SEA Source the required successful run).

This is nice for the kill but is also a counter to decks that just sit back, accumulating resources and wait for you to install-advance.

The best part is that Blue Sun's ability allows you to rez and bounce a trap back to hand if they don't run. Immediately following that bounce one should always install-advance-advance and ask one's opponent - is that the Shattered Remains? It's always the Shattered Remains. Except when it isn't.

Ghost Branch fulfils a similar role but replaced the second Shattered Remains but still has a penalty if there is no significant hardware installed and triggers off zero credits to penalise Vamp play. This change was based on the Edinburgh meta and their familiarity with my deck and wasn't really relevant on the day.

Operations

The Operations are pretty self-explanatory. I went with SEA Source over Midseasons because of the influence and because the kill win is best as a backup plan these days, or as a way to drag back a losing score. Having to sacrifice an agenda to place tags means that this threat can be turned off if the runner steals enough points.

ICE

I love Weyland but boy oh boy is their ICE terrible. Curtain Wall is more of an economy card than anything else. The rest of the ICE is designed to be annoying to face-check. I think this is incredibly important in Blue Sun. The best way to combat their economy is to force them to waste clicks and potentially credits bouncing and reinstalling ICE. This becomes much less viable if I'm gaining three credits every time the runner hits a Caduceus (or they pay to prevent me doing so) or they lose two from every Datapike. The basic philosophy is that ICE that the runner can bounce off is bad unless them bouncing off results in me scoring an agenda.

Janus is there as an additional OAI target (be careful of Deus X), due to my personal obsession with the card, and as a nasty surprise for the unwary. Stick it on Archives if nothing else.

Data Raven is deliciously taxing and - as a strength four sentry - can cause PPVP Kate issues if she hasn't seen a datasucker before I lock down my centrals. It's also there to combo with Off the Grid and Crisium Grid on HQ. Even assuming they have the resources and breaker to beat it, the two runs on HQ that are required leaves the runner with two clicks remaining and two tags. Score or Scorch: Runner's choice.

Upgrades

Crisium Grid is an amazing card. It was in the deck prior to Eater and now does even more work. The combination with Off the Grid is not something to focus a deck on but can be great for getting that last score (or Posted Bounty kill) against a runner sitting back and taking cash.

That's the deck. I've spent more time in my runner write-up (linked above) making mention of anyone who was particularly lovely to play so I won't repeat that here. However, everyone I played on the day was great and I enjoyed all of our games. Thanks guys! On to the games -

Round 1 - Andrew running Valencia

I'm a little worried to see Valencia. While Off the Grid and even Oversight AI can help against Blackmail recursion I've long since dropped Executive Bootcamp from the deck. Early in the game Andrew installs an Incubator and my heart sinks. Virus decks have dropped significantly in popularity in our meta since their brief rise after the release of Order & Chaos and I've also taken Cyberdex Virus Suite from the deck.

I get pretty badly agenda flooded and decide to install/advance a Corporate War behind a Tollbooth since there are no breakers are on the board, gambling that Andrew hasn't seen a Blackmail yet. He immediately Blackmails for 2 points and installs a Same Old Thing.

While remote play is looking really problematic and my hand is still agenda heavy I then draw into an Oversight AI. I decide to gamble another score of a Corporate War behind an Oversighted Curtain Wall, this time gambling that Andrew doesn't have a D4v1d in hand.

This time I get lucky, or so I thought - it turned out after the game that Andrew was not running D4v1d, and score. I briefly consider picking up the Curtain Wall for the money but looking at the two agenda remaining in hand I decide to see if I can quickly push out the five points needed for the win.

Beset by draw and economy issues (and lacking a D4v1d) I manage this risky (courageous for those feeling charitable) play and finish the game.

Round 2 - David running MaxX

Games between MaxX and Blue Sun tend to go one of two ways and tend to do so quickly. As long as the first couple of turns' assault can be weathered I think Blue Sun has quite a nice match up against her.

Bearing this in mind I mulligan away a hand incapable of at least offering meagre defence to HQ and R&D. My greed is punished brutally with a Curtain Wall, a Janus, a Restructure and two agenda. My mandatory draw doesn't help. Neither does the first click draw. I install the two unrezzable ICE on HQ and R&D in the hope that this will discourage David from committing to anything dramatic like a Keyhole or Account Siphon.

Unfortunately for me he announces on his second click that he's going to take a risk and plays an Account Siphon. I assure him that there's no risk and lose five credits. I believe the Keyhole hits the table on the second turn and I'm very quickly behind by five points.

He floats tags at a few points and at one stage I'm a credit away from the kill with the triple Scorch but a credit might as well be a mile if you don't have it and he steals another agenda following - if memory serves - a Wanton Destruction.

Round 3 - David running Silhouette

I get a nice amount of economy and ICE set up quite quickly and David struggles to find the pieces he needs while being punished for face checking Caduceus and Datapike.

He finds a Mr Li the turn after I draw my Snatch & Grab. While Kati Jones is the real target of this card I've been playing a Silhouette deck recently that is incredibly dependent on Mr Li to find the appropriate pieces for the moment.

I decide to bundle the mobster into the back of an unmarked van and this small event pretty much decides the game. David can't find any economy pieces while I score some points and build my defences.

He finally finds a Bank Job but unfortunately plays it on his last click. I apologetically pick up my unprotected Private Contracts, removing even that small ray of hope.

Seeing the writing on the wall he runs more recklessly than he should, ending his turn with three cards. I SEA Source and Scorch and am shocked to discover that he had three I've Had Worse in hand. Sadly, they don't save him.

Round 4 - Ben running Kate

Ben - at least from what I saw of the deck during the game - was running a pretty standard version of the PPVP Kate build.

He doesn't get the early money to prevent an Oversighted Curtain Wall and fails to keep up economically from that point on.

I start scoring, I think from an Off the Grid, including an Atlas with tokens. He plays a Maker's Eye with no Plascrete installed and - after the shock reveal of splashed I've Had Worse in the prior game - I worry for a second that he may be holding Scorch protection in hand. I take the risk and am relieved when he discards his hand and shakes mine following the first Scorch.

Round 5 - Peter running Connections Andromeda

Peter and I have played a lot and he very quickly installs two Plascretes and cleverly avoids my Shattered Remains while setting up a sizeable rig. His reticence to run advanced cards allows me to score five points but he scores three from a triggered Utopia Shard.

I run out of agenda to score and he sets up two R&D interfaces and Inside Jobs past a Janus. I use Jackson looking for an agenda to score and he uses another Inside Job and closes the game.

Round 6 - Konrad running MaxX

My comments regarding match-ups between MaxX and Blue Sun above apply equally to this game. Unlike the earlier game against David I lock down my centrals and start scoring.

I have access to the Scorch kill but don't risk it as I've only seen one I've Had Worse in the trash. Konrad is reaching the end of his deck and I start to worry that he'll Levy now that his rig is relatively established.

Another couple of turns pass and he makes a successful run. I ask how many cards are in his deck to which Konrad responds: "45," looking confused before realising why I'm asking. There are two cards left in his stack and two Scorched Earth end the game.

Round 7 - Dylan running PPVP Kate

Although Pre-paid Kate is generally a tough match for Blue Sun things start out well and I score an Atlas (I think). Dylan guesses correctly that I have access to the kill lined up and assembles absurd economic reserves. I drag him through a Curtain Wall and a Tollbooth a couple of times with (I think) a Shattered Remains and maybe a two pointer.

Each time I ask what his credit total is. Each time it remains eye-wateringly high. I'd raised an eyebrow at his inclusion of Kati Jones in the deck but it really paid - no pun intended - off in this game.

Going into the final round both Dylan and I were fairly convinced we needed to win both of our final games in order to make the cut and - having split - we shake hands having enjoyed the game but thinking that we'd ended each others' tournaments.

When handing in the results I ask if the results are available and am told that I'm currently placed tenth with only a couple of games still to finish.

I leave to get something to eat, buzzing with the possibility that I might make the cut.

On returning to the marquee the names of the top sixteen are read out and after what feels like an eternity and far more than sixteen names I finally hear my own called out.

Happily, Dylan also makes it.

Elimination Round 2 - Tim running PPVP Kate

Another tough match up for Blue Sun and given how many Kate decks were in the top sixteen I expected the corp games of the cut to go pretty poorly.

My economy comes very slowly while Tim struggles to find an SMC.

I finally get a Restructure off while Tim remains breakerless. Perhaps worrying about losing early pressure or perhaps just tired from a long day of netrunner (as we all were by this stage) he runs my R&D on his second click without a way of deploying any programmes. In such cases the ICE is always a Janus. He takes two brain damage and the kill game is on.

He plays carefully while I get agenda flooded, ditching an Atlas into the bin hoping that the unrezzed ICE will dissuade Dirty Laundry runs there.

He collects five points from R&D and (I think) a Legwork putting me under serious pressure. I drop a Shattered Remains and advance it behind some ICE including a Data Raven. Having already seen a Posted Bounty, Tim worries that a single Scorch off another could kill his brain damaged runner. He makes the run, paying off the Data Raven trace and loses an insignificant piece of hardware to the Shattered Remains.

He looks over the board state and realises that if he spends his final click clearing the tag that he'll place himself in SEA Source/Scorch range and decides instead to take a final run at my hand. He's right. The single Atlas is in hand for the game. With the Scorch already in hand I pull another non-agenda card into hand with an Atlas counter.

He pulls the Scorch that will kill him and we shake hands and immediately start enthusing about an incredibly close game. Someone - I've no idea who - asks if I'm actually going to take my turn and finish the game so I pick the Scorch up and drop it again.

It's only then that we both realise that there's the game winning agenda in the archives and we both lose our minds.

Elimination Round 4 - Alex running with PPVP Kate

My economy starts nicely again and I weather a couple of runs from Alex.

With limited breakers on the table I set up a temporarily unassailable scoring remote with an Off the Grid rezzed and feel like I might have the game in hand.

Alex wisely ignores my remote and my HQ and instead makes an Indexing run through the Caduceus on R&D. I don't even see him rearrange the cards which he places back on my deck. I feel even more confident, thinking that R&D is safe for the next few turns.

I'm dissuaded of this notion when he then plays Maker's Eye. One by one he scores three three pointers going from zero to nine points in two clicks. A trio of gasps emanate from my friends watching over my shoulder.

My shock and dismay quickly clears and within a couple of seconds and Alex and I start enthusing about the game, the day and the competitive scene in general.

I lose a runner game in the following round to Tim and end my tournament.

There is a little more of a conclusion in my runner write-up but, in brief, it was a magnificent day and every game I played and every person I met was fantastic.

Thanks to everyone involved and I hope to see you all at a future event.

20 comments
1 Jun 2015 unitled

@Seamus, I'm wondering if you could tell me under which circumstances it is a Shattered Remains?

1 Jun 2015 Seamus

Ah, well, that's a very easy question to answer. It's always a Shattered Remains. Except when it isn't. It's much like whether or not a piece of ICE is Janus.

1 Jun 2015 unitled

In all seriousness, love(/hate) this deck. I've been lucky enough to get in a fair bit of practice against it, so was happy to split our match. The Plascrete in my opening hand was a no-brainer to keep. Blue Sun just pulls money out of thin air, and they screw up the common aggressive criminal game of forcing them to rez and go broke. Looking forward to the breakdown, but from what we're hearing about Regionals in the US and the other decks at Nationals there's certainly a Blue Sun rising.

2 Jun 2015 tomdidiot

Congrats on taking an unconventional Blue Sun to 4th at Nats! Am very pleased to see the diversity of Blue Sun lists - all 4 of them in the cut at Nats had very different strategies (your hybrid, my slighlty more rushy hybrid, Sam's Mushin Grid, and Dylan's Vegan bootcamp glacier), which is really really cool! I'm also particularly glad that none of the pure kill decks made it, because fuck Government Takeover :p

Look forward to seeing you the next time you're in London!

And yeah, I can attest to Alex being a lucky son of a bitch against Blue Sun. I flooded twice against him in Manchester; the bastard!

2 Jun 2015 Seamus

Thanks man. Congratulations to you too. Is your decklist up? I'd be curious to see it.

That's so funny that Dylan's is vegan. I played him and had no idea. I think I may have installed a Plascrete and held on to the Utopia as Scorch protection in our game. He did very well not to smirk.

Likewise. I can't remember, did you say you were coming to the inter-city tournament?

To be fair, Alex was the first to acknowledge his luck in that instance and, hey, that's the game. It's tough to survive those pre-paid event runs and sometimes you don't.

2 Jun 2015 tomdidiot

Yeah, this is my Nats list: netrunnerdb.com

My Manchester list is: netrunnerdb.com

2 Jun 2015 tomdidiot

I think Dylan is vegan. I counted a lot of influence spent on Adonises, Ashes and tollbooths when I played him in the cut

3 Jun 2015 badwammerjammer

It was indeed vegan! ) This is what I was running. Nice playing both of you, it's good to see some Weyland at the top. Congrats on top 4 Seamus, well deserved.

3 Jun 2015 Seamus

Haha. You sly dog.

Likewise man. Hopefully catch you again.

3 Jun 2015 Seamus

Seems that link isn't working.

3 Jun 2015 badwammerjammer

Ugh, formatting! This should work.

3 Jun 2015 Seamus

Nice. How do you find the cosmic ICE? I've always been a bit dubious about it if the deck isn't subsequently doing something with the discounting advancement tokens.

I really like the Reversed Accounts splash. Great card for your build. Either they go broke trashing it or don't and go broke when you trigger it.

3 Jun 2015 badwammerjammer

I never advance the cosmic ice, and effectively just use Wormhole as a slightly less taxing Tollbooth. Nebula's a holdover from when I was running Blacklist, but it does force recursion out of Kate for Sharpshooter when they want to be spending it on Lady.

Reversed Accounts was a last minute switch from Blacklist and I don't regret it, it does create some really nasty lose-lose situations.

3 Jun 2015 Seamus

Fair play. I was thinking you didn't have a lot of nasty other subroutines to resolve with it.

During my last minute deck panic I almost made room for Blacklist. Did you get much chance to test with it and if so how'd it go?

3 Jun 2015 badwammerjammer

I only got a couple of weeks to test it - I never got a lockout with it, but just forcing them to get in and trash it on the turn I went for a score helped a lot. Reversed Accounts replaced it because I wanted something to bait runs that wasn't NAPD.

8 Jul 2015 Humanoids

What would you cut to fit in adonis?

8 Jul 2015 Humanoids

I really like the deck. It seems just what I've been looking for since Bootcamp glacier has let me down a bit and that deck's hard matchup VS Kate was worrying me a lot. I'd like to know your thoughts on how to beat PPVP Kate decks, if possible.

8 Jul 2015 Seamus

I suppose if you wanted to be really dull you could swap Janus for another Tollbooth or Data Raven and swap the Ghost Branch for a Shattered Remains.

I've not played with the Adonis (due to my love of Janus) so I can't give much perspective on how good this swap would be.

PPVP Kate is without a doubt the hardest match-up for the deck. How to play against it depends on the approach taken by the Kate player. Some will seek to overwhelm you with all-out aggression. This is easier. All of the ICE is designed to be relatively taxing. If they run every turn then you should be able to find a scoring window in a relatively taxing remote. It's still not an easy game but while they can maintain a relatively steady stream of runs your advantage snowballs through Pri Recs and Corporate Wars.

The other approach they can take is to money up and snipe your remote while remaining at a credit advantage to remove the kill threat. This is probably the most effective way to play against Blue Sun (remembering to put down the Oversighted Curtain Walls). The relatively distinct includes in this deck - traps, Posted Bounty, Data Raven, Off the Grid - are all designed to combat this style of play.

Even if the effect of the trap is irrelevant (they have no important hardware or have the clicks to clear the tags), you've made them spend money without giving up an agenda. This may open a scoring window or even the kill. A couple of Kate decks I played lately have also included Kati Jones. That makes this very tough. Against these even bigger money decks a mad rush seems to be the best approach.

The final tricks are Off the Grid and Data Raven. Off the Grid (with Crisium Grid on HQ) is a great way to tax Lady counters with Meru Mati on HQ and any other barrier on the remote. Data Raven forces the Atman at four (which can pressure MU or at least cost money) or, if no tutoring is available, is frequently the best end the run in the game (if you're Weyland). Even if the Atman comes in, the click and two credits to clear the tag following the pass is fantastic.

The final play is a bit specific but I have set it up a few times. You need an Off the Grid in a remote and a Crisium Grid and Data Raven on HQ. In order to access the twice advanced three pointer you've just thrown in the remote they have to run HQ twice. Once to trash the Crisium and once to trash the Off the Grid. They now have two clicks and two tags. Three points for you or three Scorched Earth for them.

There is plenty that can be done against PPVP Kate - and this deck would probably look different if she wasn't so prevalent - but it's always a tough game for Blue Sun and you'll definitely not win them all.

8 Jul 2015 Humanoids

Thank you for the broad explanation, I've been really enjoying your Kit deck (with some slight tweaks) and decided to give this Blue sun a shot as well! It's just that the Bootcamp Glacier seemed like wasn't my cup of tea, however, decks with multiple win conditions are exactly what I like. So thanks again!

8 Jul 2015 Seamus

Cheers man. Always cool to hear people are enjoying the decks. If you're interested I'm considering the following changes with the new cards that are out - swap the Corporate Wars for Oaktown Renovations, swap the Snatch and Grab for a Contract Killer.

It's hardly a new insight but Weyland can be really cool in terms of deck building because of the strength of Atlas. Those tokens mean you can do some really cool stuff with one-ofs.

Unfortunately for Blue Sun, the release of Muertos Gang Member has given Criminals a good boost against it. They were the last really comfortable match-up. Fingers crossed people don't find the deckspace for it.

Out of curiosity, what're the tweaks you've made to the Kit deck?