Blog

Ben Musashi

Heroic courage

Ben Musashi pressed the attack, and his sparring partner was forced backward off the path. She gritted her teeth in concentration, but Ben was one with his blade.

The duel was over swiftly, and his opponent bowed her head in defeat, breathing heavily.

Chairman Hiro stepped forward and looked to the clone duelist who had been defeated. “You are dismissed.” She nodded and stepped away.

Hiro looked to Musashi. “You have surpassed your predecessor. Do not fail me as he did.”

“My aim is to serve,” Ben Musashi replied.

Moar swords

Have you heard that I like Grail? The Clone Crusade is a deck I’ve been tweaking for years. It’s one of my go-to decks when I want to do something spiky and glacier.

This version uses Ben Musashi instead of my regular Marcus Batty. The negative here is that we lose out on targeted rig shooter, but instead we attack the limited resource of the runner’s grip. I mean, with so many Conspiracy breakers (or shapers with recursion) rig shooter is tough right now. Unless you’re Skorpios.

Which also means people are teching against rig shooter. With Sacrificial Constructs and so many, many breakers.

But enough about the meta! What does this deck do? Well, there are no flat three pointers, so the runner has to score four agendas minimum. If we find our one-of GFI, we can get away with three, but more than likely we’ll also be scoring four agendas. Because a never-advanced House of Knives really helps with that pressure.

This deck lives or dies on Nisei and net damage. It’s also got Fetal, so it’s very afraid of Film Critic. Hence the MCA Informant.

But! If it all comes together against someone who isn’t set up against me (unlikely) it can be a whopping four net damage to steal a two-pointer.

I know, I know. You were expecting Ben Musashi in a Personal Evolution deck.

I’m saving that for when Obokata Protocol comes out!

The Clone Crusade 3.0 (Ben Musashi)

Jinteki: Replicating Perfection

 

Agenda (11)

3x Fetal AI

1x Global Food Initiative  ●

3x House of Knives

3x Nisei MK II

1x Philotic Entanglement

 

Asset (10)

3x Jackson Howard  ●●●

2x PAD Campaign

2x Snare!

3x Sundew

 

Upgrade (4)

2x Ben Musashi

2x Caprice Nisei

 

Operation (7)

3x Celebrity Gift

3x Hedge Fund

1x MCA Informant  ●●

 

Barrier (5)

3x Galahad  ●●●

2x Kakugo

 

Code Gate (5)

2x Lotus Field

3x Merlin  ●●●

 

Sentry (6)

2x Komainu

3x Lancelot  ●●●

1x Swordsman

 

Other (1)

1x Excalibur

 

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)

20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)

49 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Earth’s Scion

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Rosetta 2.0

Small favours

The mark was getting a donut. And not even a nice donut from a bakery or a good chain restaurant. She was getting a vending machine donut. Khan tried to hold back her gag reflex as she thought of how much plastic was inside that piece of pastry.

Isabel McGuire, mid-level exec for Haas Bioroid, had been tagged for surveillance. Khan didn’t question warrants, she just collected on them.

Bringing up her AR overlay, Khan selected a Saker holo and linked it to McGuire’s PAD. The program flitted through the network, showing up as a rose-coloured raptor to Khan’s eyes. It burrowed into McGuire’s hardware, and Khan started to stream the data back to her rig.

“Now,” Khan said to herself, standing up from her crouch on the building above the vending machine. “Who are you working for on the side, Izzy?”

Multi-tool Criminal

Criminals have powerful operations. That’s their thing. They also make runs more efficient through Temujin, Mobius, Security Testing, and Desperado. They’re the monarchs of money. So when they get something outside of their wheelhouse—like recursion—it’s something less reliable than a Clone Chip. That’s when you get Steven Cambridge.

In Rosetta 2.0, we have Criminal program searching. Not targeted, one-and-done search like Special Order, but an interesting new way to find your programs in your deck and just put them out.

You have to remove the installed program from the game, but as we mentioned before, Criminal doesn’t really do recursion anyways. But what are the targets?

Well, I started by putting Cache in. It’s a good small burst of money and then it’s done. Obviously it’s much better in Noise and with Aesop’s Pawn Shop to get some double duty, but now we’re using it to pull out Breakers and install them directly—for a discount. Which is actually about on par with Special Order when you include the cost of Rosetta 2.0.

The difference comes in that we can go and snag one-of programs like Equivocation and Magnum Opus. I’ve put Opus in this build because we need a lot of money before we can start running, which means we can’t rely on Temujin or Security Testing to sustain us. Beth lets us click Opus for 10, which is awesome.

Oh! And there’s Sneakdoor Beta. We can get that early, snag some accesses, and then Rosetta it into a breaker or Opus. Which actually gives us a hell of a discount. I absolutely love the idea of getting some early aggression in and then installing an Opus for 1 credit.

Equivocation is our R&D pressure, and Gauntlet is our HQ pressure. When we’ve got more money than the corp, we can derez their ICE. When we have less money than the corp, Beth accelerates us with cards, credits, and clicks for Opus.

I think this will be a patience deck supported by surprise aggression through Inside Job. I also put in LLDS processor because I love it with Khan’s ability, and it triggers off the turn you Rosetta a breaker in. Autoscripter is a must as well since we’re hoping to fly our birds in and out. One-of Ice Analyzer to try and shave a bit of savings, and two Compromised Employees to sort of do the same thing as Ice Analyzer, but with a higher cost of entry.

 

Avian Tome Khan (Rosetta 2.0)

Khan: Savvy Skiptracer

 

Event (8)

2x Express Delivery

2x Hostage

2x Inside Job

2x Möbius

 

Hardware (7)

2x Autoscripter

3x LLDS Processor  ●●●

2x The Gauntlet

 

Resource (9)

1x Aaron Marrón

1x Beth Kilrain-Chang  ●●●

2x Compromised Employee

1x Hernando Cortez

1x Ice Analyzer  ●

1x Political Operative

2x Rosetta 2.0

 

Icebreaker (9)

3x Faerie

2x Golden

2x Peregrine

2x Saker

 

Program (7)

3x Cache

1x Equivocation  ●●●

1x Magnum Opus  ●●

2x Sneakdoor Beta

 

12 influence spent (max 12, available 0)

40 cards (min 40)

Cards up to Earth’s Scion

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Tournament Report

We had a tournament last night. It was awesome!

Special shout out to Ashton who just walked in and got pressured into being our sixth player so we didn’t have to have a bye. Thanks Ashton!

So yes, six players. With a very interesting faction breakdown.

Meric: Reina/AgInfusion

Adam: Kit/Builder of Nations

Donovan: Los/Making News

Ashton: Gabe/Making News

Perry: Smoke/Skorpios

James: Gabe/Skorpios
No HB! Half Criminal! Half Weyland! Two Shapers!

What a meta. What a meta indeed.

I brought my usual Reina and the AgInfusion deck I posted last week. The Reina was a little tweaked to deal with Skorpios (thank the gods). I took out one Inject and something else to add in two I’ve Had Worse.

Red Rabbit Reina 5.0 (The Archivist)

Reina Roja: Freedom Fighter

 

Event (14)
3x Career Fair ●●●
2x I’ve Had Worse
2x Inject
1x Retrieval Run
3x Sure Gamble
3x Vamp

 

Hardware (6)
3x Rabbit Hole ●●●
2x Security Nexus ●●●●● ●
1x Sports Hopper

 

Resource (17)
2x Citadel Sanctuary
3x Daily Casts
1x Ice Carver
3x Liberated Account
3x Power Tap ●●●
2x The Archivist
3x Underworld Contact

 

Icebreaker (6)
2x Black Orchestra
2x MKUltra
2x Paperclip

 

Program (2)
2x Keyhole

 

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Daedalus Complex

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

 

Anson City Shuffle (AgInfusion)

AgInfusion: New Miracles for a New World

 

Agenda (8)
3x Global Food Initiative ●●●
3x Medical Breakthrough
1x Philotic Entanglement
1x The Future Perfect

 

Asset (7)
3x Jackson Howard ●●●
2x Project Junebug
2x Snare!

 

Upgrade (8)
2x Marcus Batty
3x Port Anson Grid
3x Shell Corporation

 

Operation (8)
3x Hedge Fund
1x Interns
2x Replanting
2x Trick of Light

 

Barrier (6)
3x Galahad ●●●
3x Kakugo

 

Code Gate (3)
3x Merlin ●●●

 

Sentry (9)
2x Cortex Lock
3x Lancelot ●●●
1x Neural Katana
3x Pup

 

15 influence spent (max 17, available 2)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Blood and Water

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Anywho, we played three rounds.

First round, I’m up against Ashton. I can’t remember what side we played first, so let’s go with the Reina deck. I was heavily teched against his Midseasons/Scorch Making News… so it did not go well for him. The best highlight was Keyholing through a Searchlight with Power Tap and the Archivist installed. I keyholed three times, made six credits, and stole three agendas to go to six points. Spent a little bit more time setting up, then I used Nexus to get through an Enigma and score the last agenda.

In the AgInfusion game, I got my setup pretty quickly. I scored a Future Perfect pretty early then snuck out a Medical Breakthrough as if it were a Junebug. Unfortunately, Gabe was just so poor. Galahad was a huge pain for Ashton’s breaker suite. He stole another Medical Breakthrough, which left me to score the final one as a 2/2 for game.

So I sweep first round. Then it goes pear shaped.

I’m paired up against James, and I’m not 100% sure how to deal with Skorpios. A Hatchet Job takes out my first Paperclip. A Hunter Seeker takes out my first Nexus. I figure the answer is to have more money than him (to turn off Hatchet job traces). Then I’ll only Keyhole so I turn off Hunter Seeker. But I just cannot keep up with his cash through Hedge, IPO, Restructure, Oaktown, and Jackson/Preemptive reshuffling of those econ cards. The only saving grace is that he can’t find agendas quickly enough to win. But I also can’t find my answers. I get my Paperclip out. It goes away again when he bluffs a Hostile as a game-winning GFI. I get my second Nexus out, and he’s got double-stacked barriers everywhere. I concede.

Swap sides, and he’s on Fisk/Drug Dealer/Faust Gabe. It actually works out really well for me because the Fisk draw gets my traps, econ, and Grail into my hand so quickly. I get my setup in record time, and James is scared about what I’m slow rolling in two different servers, with upgrades. Turns out it’s a Future Perfect again (also a Junebug). I do get to AgInfusion this time and James trashes a Mongoose to stay away from the Junebug. I love those bad choices. Anywho, he pulls agendas out of my deck and out of my hand, and I score a Medical Breakthrough. Then he goes into desperation mode. He knows I’m on Fast Advance because he’s seen my Trick of Light. He knows I have four counters on my Junebug. He preps, nothing. He hits R&D. Nothing. He runs HQ on last click (with an HQI). He takes my god damned Philotic on his first pull. I had the game next turn!

Now I’m up against Perry. Again, I’m not sure what we played first. I must’ve been getting tired. So let’s talk about Skorpios again. This time, I figure the answer isn’t to have more money. I’ll get my Link up to contest Hatchet Jobs, but I think the answer is to just trash the Hatchets out of HQ. Problem is that I hit a GFI in hand and he Hunter Seekers my Paperclip. So I dig, dig, dig, and then he wins. Six cards left in my deck, and Paperclip was the fourth from the bottom. I think my tack was the correct choice, but I think the best answer to Skorpios is Keyhole/Eater/Wanton Destruction. I mean, any build that trashes their hand or headlocks them down to zero is probably the right way to go. But their ICE is just so cheap, and their economy is so hard to keep down once they get to 10.

My AgInfusion deck was getting manhandled this game, but it also had its best shining moments. Turns out that AgInfusion is fantastic for getting rid of impactful event runs like Indexing! I didn’t stop him early on from Indexing into a Future Perfect (which went onto a Film Critic), and then he pulled a Medical Breakthrough. I had scored a Medical Breakthrough, run him into my Anson server for two program trashes, and had a good solid economy going when I topdeck a Global Foods. Instead of over drawing with my unrezzed Jackson or scoring the Philotic in my hand, I panic and install the GFI over the Jackson. My idea–mad as it was–was to posture that I was replacing a Snare with a Jackson. So Perry just runs it. He’s on Stealth, and it’s a single Merlin, so he gets in and wins. I should not have given that game away, but I just made a terrible, terrible decision.

The tournament was super awesome. Everybody had a lot of fun, and I really liked AgInfusion. The ability doesn’t trigger that often, but the threat of the ability keeps people stepping lightly. In that way it feels a lot like Personal Evolution. And my server of doom works so well with Port Anson Grid. What an amazing binder fodder card that came together super well.

Oh yes, AgInfusion tips. I like this build because I put a Merlin or a Lancelot over my economy/battery/death server. Just one. It’s Grail, so it’s modular. If I want them to go in and hit the Junebug (through the trigger), then I add other Grail subs, but not Galahad. If I don’t want them in, I can put the Galahad sub down and use a Batty if it’s really important. There are lots of avenues for surprise kills and delays. It’s a super fun deck. Also it’s very, very important not to put an ETR on your death server. Kakugo usually goes on R&D.

Also Replanting was amazing. Cortex Locks and Pups were great early game, then I would replant the Cortex Locks or Pups onto the outside of the central to serve as AgInfusion triggers. The deck could probably use a bit more econ. Something dripping like PAD Campaigns. One friend recommended putting in Friends in High Places since I have two free influence. I think I’ll keep tweaking this deck, and also probably put an Obokata in in place of The Future Perfect. Rationale? Either way, Film Critic will steal them, but against people without Film Critic, Obokata protects itself on the ground and makes my R&D spiky.

Bamboo Dome

Forfeiting surprise

Caprice Nisei studied the monitors as the breach was logged and stored. “Tell me again what you did, sysop Yun?”

Yun, a pudgy man with long black ponytail seemed intimidated by the formidable and legendary Nisei, but he spoke with excitement.

“The net architecture on Mars is malleable, Nisei-san. We were able to manipulate our core data to more efficiently deploy our countermeasures. What we lose in surprise, we gain in efficiency.”

“And so you have employed Haas-Bioroid countermeasures?”

“A number of them, Nisei-san. As efficiency goes, they are prime examples of their craft.”

“Keep me informed.”

RNG be with us

Jinteki has always had effects that take a look at their R&D. Precognition was in the core set, and we just got Heritage Committee and Psychokinesis. They’re not normally great effects—as cool as they seem to be—because they don’t actively win you the game. They usually just turn off R&D runs for one turn. Which of course means the Runner builds up resources (instead of throwing them away to our taxing ICE and House of Knives counters) or they attack another position—our remotes, our HQ, or they check Archives.

Really, Jinteki is about baiting the runner into sub-optimal plays until each play is more and more risky. At least, that’s how I like to play Jinteki.

So, Bamboo Dome is a different archetype. It reveals those three cards, lets you draw one, then puts the other two back in whatever order you want. There are many mind games here, but the randomness is definitely dangerous. Best case scenario, it hides an agenda. Worst case scenario, we encourage the runner to hit R&D.

But again, it gives away too much information.

Unless! Unless we can use another card that Jinteki has to great advantage. Mutate.

So, now we treat Bamboo Dome as just a draw mechanic. It’s like an Express Delivery without the shuffle. If we want to draw a card, we just click Bamboo instead. And eventually we’ll get the combo.

We turn a Paper Wall, a Vanilla, a Mind Game, or a Pup into something big. For two credits.

To that end, I’ve included Heimdall 2.0, Ichi 2.0, and Janus 1.0. There’s also Chiyashi and DNA Tracker to fill out the suite without spending influence.

The goal? Make it too taxing to run consistently, then score with a Caprice and a Musashi.

Hopefully it works… there’s lots of ICE in the deck, but it’s not fun if your heavy ICE bunches up in hand before you find Mutate. Then you’ve got to Jackson them back in, or—gasp—pay to rez the ICE. Ugh.

Rattan Switch Palana (Bamboo Dome)

Pālanā Foods: Sustainable Growth

 

Agenda (9)

3x Medical Breakthrough

3x Nisei MK II

3x The Future Perfect

 

Asset (5)

3x Jackson Howard  ●●●

2x Snare!

 

Upgrade (7)

3x Bamboo Dome

2x Ben Musashi

2x Caprice Nisei

 

Operation (11)

1x Cerebral Static

3x Hedge Fund

3x IPO

3x Mutate

1x Neural EMP

 

Barrier (10)

2x Chiyashi

2x Heimdall 2.0  ●●●●● ●

3x Paper Wall

3x Vanilla

 

Code Gate (4)

2x DNA Tracker

2x Mind Game

 

Sentry (3)

1x Ichi 2.0  ●●●

1x Janus 1.0  ●●●

1x Pup

 

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)

21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)

49 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Terminal Directive

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Aeneas Informant

An Aeneas insider

<<Incoming message>>

Accept [Y/N]?

[Run spoofer.exe]

.

.

.

[Y]

<<Message received>>

01010111 01100101 01111001 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100001 01100011 01100011 01100101 01110011 01110011 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 00100000 01100101 01101110 01100011 01101100 01101111 01110011 01100101 01100100 00101110 00100000 00110000 00110011 00110010 00110110 00111000 00110111 00110100 00110010

Unmatched R&D efficiency

The starting point for this deck was that Aeneas was a cheap Connection, and comboed really well with Maw. I thought that I could make something work in a Geist deck, but with Maw being three influence, I decided to try it out in Anarch.

Off-Campus Apartment was a must include, as was Levy and a few Fall Guys. Then we were on the hunt for some Connections to fit in. Going with Hopper and Archivist meant that we could include Underworld Contact. This isn’t as optimal as Tech Traders in Geist, but we’re also not using as many Trash abilities as Geist uses.

So we’ve got card draw and combos. Econ is moderate, but we can make it much better with Temujin.

The game plan? Get our breakers, Medium the hell out of R&D. Trope to get good stuff back.

Additionally, when we hit something that we can trash and we don’t (which hopefully will happen a lot with Medium digs), we knock a card out of HQ and we gain—again, hopefully—three credits. This should make four-run turns on R&D possible, as we’ll maybe get another 7-10 credits from Temujin and Aeneas each time we hit R&D. Asset spam is heavy right now!

Maybe I should fit in a spicy one-of Showing Off. But I’m already two cards up, and right now Street Peddler never misses. So let’s stick with this as is for now.

Informed Content Reina (Aeneas Informant)

Reina Roja: Freedom Fighter

 

Hardware (5)

2x Maw

3x Sports Hopper

 

Resource (29)

3x Aeneas Informant  ●●●

2x Biometric Spoofing

2x Dadiana Chacon

3x Daily Casts

2x Dean Lister

2x Fall Guy  ●●

2x Kati Jones

3x Off-Campus Apartment

3x Street Peddler

3x Temüjin Contract ★★★ ●●●●● ●

1x The Archivist

3x Underworld Contact

 

Icebreaker (6)

1x Black Orchestra

2x Mimic

2x Paperclip

1x Yog.0 ★

 

Program (7)

2x Datasucker

2x Medium

3x Trope

 

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)

47 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Terminal Directive

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

AgInfusion: New Miracles for a New World

Lucky Number Slevin

It’s a blindfold kick back type of a game

Called the Anson City Shuffle

Whereas you look left and they fall right

Into the Anson City Shuffle

It’s a they-think you-think you don’t know

Type of Anson City hustle

Where you take your time

Wait your turn

And hang them up, and out to dry

(Is that Marc Batty?)

(You play Replanting?)

(That don’t Trick me)

(Agenda Perfectly)

It’s a shakedown switch arrive in town

Type of Anson City Shuffle

Gotta’ make both sides and let it ride

On the Anson City Shuffle

Now the tables turned the lessons learned

You’ve gotta earn yourself some trouble

Revenge like this, never sweet-

You’ve got yourself a long ride home

(Is that Marc Batty?)

(You play Replanting?)

(That don’t Trick me)

(Agenda Perfectly)

Are we world-class assassins?

I’ve told you I love Grail. Well, here’s another Grail deck!

I figure if you’re going to slam a runner into something without them having the opportunity to jack out, you might as well choose the Subroutines on the ICE as well.

Let’s talk about the timing on AgInfusion so everybody has it clear.

At 2.3 in a run, the corporation chooses not to Rez their ICE, and they trash it. You choose another server, and the Runner is now running on that server and encountering the outermost piece of ICE, if any.

So, because they are now encountering the ICE (step 3 of a run), there is no opportunity to rez the ICE. Also importantly, the Runner does not have an opportunity to jack out. So you can slam them into a rezzed piece of Grail ICE that they don’t have the breaker for, then you can reveal a Lancelot from hand to trash their other installed breaker. This is the dream.

Now, if they already have their full suite, that’s when Port Anson Grid comes into play. Once they get through the piece of ICE that you slammed them into, they now cannot jack out unless they trash an installed program. Nasty, right?

Particularly when the server that I plan to be slamming them into includes a Junebug that is protecting my Shell Corporation.

That Junebug will also combo as a Trick of Light battery to close out the game with Medical Breakthroughs.

Batty? Also here for Rig Shooting. Also potentially a kill with Neural Katana.

My one hiccup is that if they never run the remote, then I won’t get rezzed ICE there. But it’s not worth putting in Oversight or Executive Boot Camp to pre-rez stuff. Card slots, you know?

So. Another sad bit is that AgInfusion trashes our ICE. That’s why we have Pup, Katana, and Cortex Lock. We don’t want to trash our Grail ICE, so we’ve included other options.

Replanting also lets you move your ICE around and get the Pups on the outside of the server without spending on install costs. Plus we have the one-of Interns to bring something back in an advantageous spot. This works great for us because it can recur Batty and Junebug as well.

I’m not certain about the numbers on Junebug/Shell Corp. I feel like you need your Shell Corporation early to make sure you’re forcing runs and also that you’re making money. But Junebug is so often just trashed out of R&D that I wanted to make sure it got into hand. After some play, that might be swapped.

Actually, I’ve talked myself out of it. I’m swapping the numbers now. Three shell Corps and two Junebugs. Why? Because we also have two Snares. So if we get the Shell Corp early, we’re likely to have either a Snare or a Junebug in there to protect it. And we can always bluff a Jackson or a Batty or a Grid as a Snare.

How do we win? Well, ideally we lock the Runner out by destroying their breakers. Then we score. We can also win with Cortex Lock or Merlin kills off of Batty. Or maybe a Port Anson Grid into a Junebug will do the trick. If they have no more programs to trash… they can’t jack out. Then they die.

I’m excited for this deck.

Anson City Shuffle (AgInfusion)

AgInfusion: New Miracles for a New World

 

Agenda (8)

3x Global Food Initiative  ●●●

3x Medical Breakthrough

1x Philotic Entanglement

1x The Future Perfect

 

Asset (7)

3x Jackson Howard  ●●●

2x Project Junebug

2x Snare!

 

Upgrade (8)

2x Marcus Batty

3x Port Anson Grid

3x Shell Corporation

 

Operation (8)

3x Hedge Fund

1x Interns

2x Replanting

2x Trick of Light

 

Barrier (6)

3x Galahad  ●●●

3x Kakugo

 

Code Gate (3)

3x Merlin  ●●●

 

Sentry (9)

2x Cortex Lock

3x Lancelot  ●●●

1x Neural Katana

3x Pup

 

15 influence spent (max 17, available 2)

20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)

49 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Earth’s Scion

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Rubicon Switch

Bad day at black rock

Los opened his eyes and looked about groggily. The lights were bright, and they moved past him in a hypnotizing, strobing passage. There was a high-pitched squealing sound that assaulted his ears, and he couldn’t make sense of his surroundings.

He tried to touch his aching head, but his hands were secured. Adrenaline flooded his system, and his head snapped around taking in details.

The grey hallways of Consolidated Security Group flowed past him as he was rolled by on a gurney. The squealing sound came from one of the gurney’s wheels—it was loose, and it was annoying.

The man pushing the gurney was older, his forehead wrinkled and pasty. He wore a CSG contractor’s hat, covering a mop of grey hair, and a facemask that pulled up over his nose and obscured his chin. It was a medical mask.

“What’s going on? What the hell is going on?!” Los said desperately. Was his cover blown? Obviously. Okay, how to talk his way out of this one…

The older man looked down at Los for the first time, his black eyes twinkling with amusement. He raised a white-gloved hand to his face and pressed a single finger against the mask in a shushing motion. Then he winked at Los.

Dumbfounded, Los tried to sort through the implications. But he didn’t have much time.

“Time to say night, night, my friend. The security check ahead will expect you to be sedated.” The man’s voice was familiar. Where had Los heard it before?

Without explaining anything else, Los’s captor reached toward the gurney and typed some commands into a console. There was a sharp tapping sound as if he was clicking metal against the screen. Then Los’s adrenaline hit a hard wall of sedatives, and everything went black again.

The devil’s on my shoulder

I’m crazy excited for this deck.

I mean, I’m usually excited for any deck that has Xanadu in it, but this one is a particularly awesome build. The synergies are just so good.

As I discovered the last time I played Los, Forged Activation Orders is an expose and an econ card or its ICE destruction. So wonderful that this deck got three. Legwork of course because we’re in Criminal and we’re pressuring R&D and the Remote. Great to have some burst multi-access. Actually, I’ve been thinking recently about how stale the runner builds are becoming. How you do the thing is usually different, but the thing pretty much always comes down to locking the remote and then accessing R&D until you win.

What’s the answer? I don’t know. Maybe that’s just what Netrunner is right now—Runners are just different levels of efficient at delivering Medium. Or in this case, Keyhole.

But this build is still cool. Let me get back to excited.

So we wanted to run Rubicon Switch. Derez some ICE. Cool. Let’s find some synergies.

First thought is Xanadu. Rubicon—crucially—costs us the printed cost of the ICE to derez. Now of course, they spend money, we spend money, net zero, right? Probably not even in our favour because Corps make money so quickly, and we had to encounter the ICE and probably break it.

Well, Los puts us two credits up. Xanadu puts them one credit down. And here’s more synergy… Hernando Cortez puts them down even more if they’re rich!

Of course, we’re Criminals, so we’re making tons of money. With Temujin, Kati, and Daily Casts, we should be pretty rich. Siphon will work in our favour, particularly mid-game once we’ve got Aaron up and we don’t have to clear tags with cash and clicks.

But how do we get in? Mammon! Let’s pay that devil. Because we’re in Criminal, and we can e3 Feedback Implants. So all we need to do is count the ICE and have cash. Datasucker helps us deal with odd-strength ICE, and Desperado makes us even more efficient.

I ask you, is this not a thing of beauty?

River Devil Los (Rubicon Switch)

Los: Data Hijacker

 

Event (14)

2x Account Siphon

3x Career Fair

3x Forged Activation Orders

1x High-Stakes Job

2x Legwork

3x Special Order

 

Hardware (7)

3x Desperado

2x e3 Feedback Implants

2x Rubicon Switch

 

Resource (17)

2x Aaron Marrón

3x Daily Casts

3x Earthrise Hotel

2x Hernando Cortez

2x Kati Jones

3x Temüjin Contract ★★★

2x Xanadu  ●●●●

 

Icebreaker (4)

1x Femme Fatale

2x Mammon

1x Mongoose

 

Program (4)

2x Datasucker  ●●

2x Keyhole  ●●●●● ●

 

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)

46 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Terminal Directive

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Week 14 – Follow Up

Some housekeeping first.

The blog has been sporadic (having missed a whole week! Plus having missed a bunch of RPG posts even when I am posting!) because I am now in the process of selling my house.

It’s been very busy.

I’m on parental leave now with my six-month-old daughter, and I thought I’d have tons of extra time to write and post and play games, but instead, any time that I’m not feeding or playing with the baby, I’m cleaning the house for showings.

It should all settle down in the next few weeks once we’ve gotten a sale, but until then… things might still be sporadic. The fiction will likely be shorter than previous posts. I’ll do my best.

Additionally, my local store the Two-Headed Giant will be hosting a tournament on Monday the 19th. I’ll be running it, and so I won’t be testing my week 15 decks. I might take AgInfusion as my corp, but I’ll likely take Geist or Reina as my runner because I’m still tweaking those.

Actually, I’m thinking hard about taking my AgInfusion deck. It’s pretty cool, and you’ll get to see it later this week.

But on to the decks I actually played yesterday!

Berserker

Honestly… this card. I still don’t get it.

So, I didn’t get to play this deck. But a newer player who didn’t have his own cards wanted to play, and he thought he’d give the Quetzal deck a go. I cautioned him that it was a sub-optimal deck and was probably extremely weak. Nevertheless, he wanted to play it.

Unfortunately for him, it took half the game to find a Paintbrush and he never found Berserker. Anarch problems!

As Quetzal, he was still able to get through my Eli’s for a not-terrible trade, which he used to great effect on R&D. In a separate game he kept Keyholing through an Architect. It was… amazing for ETF with three Turtlebacks in play.

Again. Berserker. In any deck using SMC, Corroder is better. In any other deck (particularly in Anarch), Paperclip is better. So… not sure why you’d ever use this over something else. Maybe I could see it if it was break one sub for one credit. But the two credits for up to two subs makes it extra expensive.

NEXT Opal

This didn’t fire once. The deck was okay, but I also didn’t see any Ronald Five’s all game, so it just played like a super weak Moon deck. Seidr’s ability never fired because my opponent was Kit and just broke my Eli a few times with Inversificator.

Again, I don’t think Opal is amazing. It’s probably pretty taxing if you have all of your Silvers and Bronzes up, but it’s also a strength three Code Gate, so it’s not taxing at all if your opponent is using a Yog.0.

Not super impressed with this one either. I wish it was three to rez. Then at least it could be an okay trade against something like a Gordian.

Persephone

This deck fell flat on its face. I was up against a combo Weyland (which I will be featuring on the blog in a few weeks), and I just couldn’t get set up quickly enough. I didn’t see my breakers (the problem of not including any searches), and I just played NetInstaller.

I got a ton of Chips and BMIs out, but I found that the draw wasn’t strong enough to get through my deck to the cards. Not the way I expected it would be at least. I was also really low on money because I had no drip. If I was clicking Opus to get money for installs, I wasn’t drawing to find my breakers.

Once I got one Inside Man out, things got a lot easier, but then he won. How to speed this up? Maybe in Kate. Maybe with Test Runs.

Bioroid Work Crew

This. Deck. Had. Legs.

I played this deck maybe four times last night. It was gorgeous.

Though playing against non-Whizzard, non-Slums runners is sort of cheating. You know?

I scored a GFI from hand in two different games. Once with the Work Crew, and once with triple Biotic. I had an ungodly amount of money. Estelle was an easy game closer. If I had two agendas scored, I could just get Estelle up to eight or ten counters and brute-force draw into the game-winning combo in hand.

One thing I was very susceptible to was HQ multi-access. Gauntlet and Legwork were pretty nasty while I was setting up. This made NAPD Contract a must-include. I’d probably drop a Hopper for another NAPD.

Marilyn Campaigns. I love them.

Oh, and Advanced Assembly Lines. So beautiful to drop Bioroid Work Crews that are stuck in your hand when you want to combo turn.

This deck was magnificent. 9/10. Would play again.

Bioroid Work Crew

Big-picture thinking

Estelle tracked productivity from her PAD. It was one of her favourite things to do.

Percentages tracked across the screen in real time, changing and adapting as her work crews assembled and disassembled and packed and shipped.

Multi-tasking, Estelle swapped to her investments portfolio. The latest model of bioroid nannies were selling ahead of expectation. She readjusted her projections. Additionally, a shell investment into Jinteki’s mining operations on Luna was also doing well. She quietly transferred some credits through several international banks before using those to subsidize her repairs and enhancements pot.

It was looking like it would be a good day.

Combo training wheels

If you’re not against Desperado/Whizzard/Slums (as one of my most awesome local players took to Regionals), then this deck will tick along like a well-oiled machine. I think.

Originally, I’d had Adonis in the Advanced Assembly Lines slot. The money was good, but I thought with ETF, Estelle, Turtlebacks, and Marilyn’s, we’d be able to get to the magic number—which is 14. The amount at which you can score a Global Food from hand. 12 if you use Advanced Assembly Lines as well. Also Advanced Assembly Lines helps us get those Work Crews out quickly and surprisingly. Great with an Estelle draw.

But here’s the goal: Have a Bioroid Work Crew installed (or have it in hand with an Assembly Lines on the board). You must also have two Biotic Labors in hand. Plus the GFI in hand as well.

Play both Biotics for 8. You now have 5 clicks.

Rez the Bioroid Work Crew for 2 (total 10). Trash them to install GFI (gaining 1, total 9).

Advance GFI 5 times (total 14).

Next, you’ll find your third Biotic or use Clone Suffrage or Jackson to recur the other two. Use Bioroid Work Crew and Biotic to score a 4/2. Or, if the runner isn’t checking your remotes, just install a 4/2 naked and then Biotic it.

Last, we’ll want to close the game with an ABT. Most likely.

You can just Biotic it out. Or you can use Subliminal Messaging and Bioroid Work Crew to score it. Or you can never-advance it—though that’ll be less likely against experienced runners if you’re on five points.

Obviously you can do these three scores in whatever order your deck gives them to you. I mean, it’d be really, really cool to score a Concept Hopper early and get the extra credit or card draw drip.

Also, NAPD is in here because I had so much free influence. This could easily be Corporate Sales Team, but I figured I’d put some more tax on the runner. I think the cash will be good enough.

Tortoise Moon (Bioroid Work Crew)

Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future

 

Agenda (9)

2x Accelerated Beta Test

3x Advanced Concept Hopper

2x Global Food Initiative  ●●

2x NAPD Contract ★★

 

Asset (20)

2x Advanced Assembly Lines

3x Bioroid Work Crew

2x Clone Suffrage Movement

2x Encryption Protocol

3x Estelle Moon

2x Jackson Howard  ●●

3x Marilyn Campaign

3x Turtlebacks  ●●●

 

Operation (10)

3x Biotic Labor

3x Friends in High Places

3x Hedge Fund

1x Subliminal Messaging

 

Barrier (3)

3x Eli 1.0

 

Code Gate (4)

2x Fairchild 3.0

2x Turing

 

Sentry (3)

2x Architect ★★

1x Ichi 1.0

 

11 influence spent (max 15, available 4)

20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)

49 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Terminal Directive

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Persephone

She can solve it

Hayley jacked out of her terminal and took a long swig from her water bottle. This run had been another close one, and she’d been forced to leave the Haas-Bioroid servers relatively unexplored.

“The destroyer types still prove challenging,” she muttered to herself taking notes as she spoke. “Maybe I need more constructs to hold the load?”

The back corner of the library where Hayley had set up her experimental rig was devoted to ancient Greek mythology. It seemed fitting, as she was testing out a new program for one of her contacts.

The Persephone killer was a puzzle. It seemed to have potential on par with access granters like Keyhole or certain run of the mill viruses, but it fed off of actively firing subroutines—the nastier the subroutine, the greater the payoff.

Whoever had designed this was probably some sort of Anarchist masochist.

Still, it was a puzzle. And Hayley would solve it. She just needed to put together the right mitigation rig. HB’s servers were pretty spiky these days. Maybe she’d try a Weyland server next. Jinteki might work too, but she’d have to offload a lot of the attacks to her interconnected BMI’s, and Hayley preferred to use that only in emergencies.

“If I looped my identity through some Rabbit Holes though…” Hayley mused, “I could probably run some tracer servers and have them spinning their subroutines in place while they try to find me.”

Might be a long week of testing.

Sub-optimal but also what we’ll have

Okay, so Keyhole and DLR are rotating out. That’s awesome. That’ll put the game back into the remote. Well, it would if Medium wasn’t a thing. I guess that means Cyberdex Virus Suite becomes a must-have in decks? Or else ambushes like Snare, News Team, and the rumoured Shock 2.0.

Either way, there will be fewer ways to mill the corp and land massive accesses all at once.

Enter Persephone. Something that feels like Keyhole but is slightly more flexible… with a much more biting downside.

On building this deck, I went through every piece of Sentry ICE to see what we could deal with. It’s not news to anyone of course, but Sentries usually break down into AP (Net and Brain damage), Destroyer (trash programs), and Tracer. So, we have to mitigate those subroutines.

Ramujan-reliant is a pretty cool way to have an answer to net and brain damage on a sliding scale. It also doesn’t cost us money like Net Shield or Feedback Filter.

To deal with Destroyers, we go for the good old stand-by of Sacrificial Construct, and Tracers get Rabbit Holes.

With so many types of Hardware, I decided to put it in a modified SpyCam Hayley build. Obviously not as good as that deck. But potentially more interesting once you get the puzzle together.

Hayley/Replicator/Bazaar gets your Ramujans and NetChips out super fast. Then your deck is crazy thin for you to find your programs quickly. Make money, make runs, and break subroutines when you want to, let the Sentry ones fire when you want to. With three Levys, you’ll be able to recur cards that get trashed from Ramujan and Persephone, and then hopefully you get some great Archives accesses!

Greek Studies Hayley (Persephone)

Hayley Kaplan: Universal Scholar

 

Event (9)

3x Diesel

3x Levy AR Lab Access

3x Quality Time

 

Hardware (20)

6x NetChip

2x Prepaid VoicePAD

3x Rabbit Hole

6x Ramujan-reliant 550 BMI  ●●●●● ●

3x Replicator

 

Resource (14)

3x Bazaar

3x Inside Man

2x Laguna Velasco District

3x Sacrificial Construct

3x Technical Writer

 

Icebreaker (4)

1x Gordian Blade

1x MKUltra  ●●

1x Paperclip  ●●●

1x Persephone  ●●●

 

Program (1)

1x Magnum Opus

 

14 influence spent (max 15, available 1)

48 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Terminal Directive

 

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.