Timberlake Scorcher

travisrchance 2254

Before digging in, a brief caveat: I have lost less than 5 games in the last two years to Scorched Earth, and I have not played Plascrete through this time. Why? I find Scorch flatlining to be very, very easy to play around. Unless the stars align, the corp playing Scorch has to make some pretty substantial sacrifices in terms of influence. This means that it is a very predictable and often linear gambit. When I have died, it was overkill the majority of the times: eat two snares on a Maker's Eye, for example, with six cards in hand and 1 action left spells death when they also have a Scorch in hand. In short, I find playing this match to pretty easy to navigate as a runner, so in turn, I have dismissed it as a strategy.

Now, I made this deck, because in truth, I have found this ID to be, well, not "effective." On paper, this was one of those IDs that I went "gasp" at first, but then just watched it falter when played by others. This deck, in truth, started out as an experiment of sorts one day while bored, the idea therein being: try and take something I find to be pretty marginal and see if, through testing and tweaking, it can be worth a damn.

I can say now, after two weeks and over 60 games, I find this deck to be not only effective, but better than average in terms of wins. I tracked my progress while playing the deck, the end result being 48 wins, 28 of which were flatlines, while the rest were simply scoring out. I will state, the majority of my losses were in the first 20 games, wherein I was still messing with the make-up of the deck. Once I settled into a general strategy--using a couple of other decks for reference--the wins were pretty consistent. Strangely, all these kills come primarily from knowing when to press the advantage and put the runner is a lesser of two evils scenario.

STRATEGY

At a glance, this deck packs the usually wares of Argus, undoubtedly. The strength of the ID is disruptions/taxing, not so much for setting up the kill. The deck is very, very play dependent. It's grindy, and if you know your matches well enough, you have an upper hand already. I don't play to kill; I kill when the opportunity arises.

Being aggressive early is often the best approach. If I am not worrying about a Siphon, I will drop an Ice Wall and an Atlas or Renovation turn 1, esp. if I have the Scorch in hand if they get greedy/dump their hand in order to snatch up the points. Not many decks, unless their hand is ideal, will risk their neck for that initial agenda. In particular, if I am sitting on Hostile, I score that mother out. It's pretty easy to get to a 2-4 lead in the first 3-5 turns.

AGENDAS

This was one of the two toughest things about hammering out this deck. I used the two following decks as a reference at first, because, well, I don't play these types of decks, so I needed a starting point:

DECK 1: http://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/23604/the-panopticon-auckland-regionals-6th-

DECK 2: http://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/18224/argus-security-flatline-guaranteed-athens-st-champ-winner

I would say this deck borrows more so from the latter, so kudos to these bros for sharing--and for performing, no less.

I went through multiple iterations of agendas, and ultimately arrived at this composition being the more favorable.

Hostile is econ. The bad pub is a drag, but the cash and the speed make it worth the drawback. Atlas sets up favorable game states and doubles as a no advance tool to feint Snare, etc. Chronos is simply a tool against all this damned recursion, which has proven to be the right call. Oaktown, which seems like a liability, is actually one of my favorite cards in this deck. The instant return allows for aggressive plays, as well as putting a needle between the runner's eyes--"why the fug would he just plop that down that way???" The single Cleaners was the thing I vacillated on the most: "this or 3 False Leads???" After 40 games with False Leads, I had set up one kill situation, so they just felt underwhelming--though their impact on how the runner plays was undeniable. I have won quite a few games to Cleaners, which ultimately went in as I wanted to make Dedicated Response Team actually be a threat and not a d6 roll and hope for napalm when the corp smashed into R&D. That and playing 14 agendas made my eyebrow twitch.

ASSETS

Snare remains, in my humble opinion, one of the best corp cards out there... if you can support the cost issue. Punishing multi-access cards, esp. on R&D, is awesome. With our ID already doing this, reinforcing it with Snare, which is the obligatory "run on your last click and die" card was a no brainer.

What better way to abuse your Snares than to shuffle them suckers back in with Action Jackson. I won't bother stating the obvious beyond this on the topic of this particular card.

GRNDL Refinery is so-so in this, for sure, as I do not play any advanceable traps--and I play Cleaners. But the runner doesn't know this, right? I did play 1 Shattered Remains, but I just hated it--I would rather have Taurus all day, if even for the threat of being ANYTHING. Still, I have advanced this on the regular to get 12-20 credits, meaning it is more than "aight."

Dedicated Response Team... here was the second hardest obstacle to overcome with this deck. I want this card to be nutty, but, with such limited access to tags, it often isn't. I read the report from the OP of the latter deck above, and my games, like 99% of them, were not shaking out as such. In a way, this card makes the conundrum of your ID less of a bother: "Well, hell no I am not taking a tag AND then getting hit with DRT?!" This means multiples up and rezzed were also pretty marginal, unless they were eating a Snare or willingly smashing through a Data Raven. Further, when you are giving the runner bad pub reliably, that means trashing these is more so a lost of an action a credit or two 9/10, making it parity at best.

At the end of all of this, I kept the card in--and I tried a few iterations with Contract Killer, which is great, but a whole other deck in my opinion. If you happen to hit them with an Archer and then protect one of these with a piece of ice that suddenly matters again, it can be a grind on the runner. Cleaners helps to elevate its value, as mentioned above. And let's not forget how testicle-sizzling it can be for a runner trying to Siphon you. For the more twitchy runners, they snap trash this no matter where they access it--but you are probably beating those people anyway...

OPERATIONS

Hedge and Beanstalk mean money. And while the latter doesn't see much play these days, it makes Scorch kills, which can be expensive to setup, suddenly a non-factor. With Oaktown, Hostile, and GRNDL, the deck has quite a bit of econ already, so these simply make paying for Snares and Data Ravens manageable.

Scorched Earth is your big scary threat. The key is to not orchestrate an elaborate situation to kill the runner--opportunities arise, but usually via trying to press tempo and put the runner in a bad spot. No Sea Source, as this card feels too conditional and it just isn't as good as the pervasive annoyance of Snare and/or Data Raven. When the runner is afraid of dying, they tend to cool their heels, which in turn can result into them accumulating funds. I do not want to play the I have more money than you game--leave that to Blue Sun.

ICE

It's been awhile since I have played so many three-ofs--I am a big believer of diversity in this regard, as ICE, more than any cards, feel like their value changes drastically in game. But with 3 Archers, you can often rely on the runner crapping in their cybernetic overalls as your Ice Walls and Enigmas (and Archers) mean do not pass go and collect the smoldering ash of your former breakers. Of any card in this deck, Archer feels the most consistently brutal. Trading an agenda, even a two pointer, for the tempo loss of installed programs is just nasty. I cannot count how often I have rezzed an Archer early in the game to hit a key breaker with a collateral program to boot. Plop an Oaktown behind one of these and watch the sparks fly. But you already knew this card was "tits," as they say.

So, yeah, the three Enigmas and Ice Walls alongside the 1 Meru Mati are cheap ETR. Enigma leeching a click when you may be able to turn that into a score or a kill is golden. The others being so damned cheap means you can press the tempo from the moment the game begins. In a meta or program recursion, Chronos removing their lost programs for good is a nice bonus as well.

Data Raven is the proverbial tagging jerk card dujour. Forget Sea Source. This bro is always better, meaning you can reinforce the beauty of the ID. A runner that plays "tag me" through this should not be breathing long, from my play experience. Between DRT Archer, Scorch, and Snare, there are enough threats to make this often equate being set ablaze. Use Raven on centrals, sure, but you can also set them up for questionable remote runs for the runner. Femme be damned, this card is definitely an all-star.

Hunter, Hunter, Hunter... I went back and forth on this card for so long. Ultimately, it is a cheap threat for centrals that often ends up taxing. Strength 4 means Mimic, by its lonesome, won't get the job done. Yes, bad pub, once again, rears its head, as they can often pay through, but this just means them landing an agenda or accessing something they would prefer to trash becomes exhaustive. Having 6 one-cost ICE is a good thing and the best means to push an early advantage. I tried Draco, wanting it to be the card, as it is a good counter to Siphon, but the 2 trace is just so weak. Shadow will be dead to a Parasite faster than it can say "trace 3." I simply wanted another cheap and occasional means to drop tags on the runner, and Hunter does this just fine.

The one Taurus is there for those who still play Plascrete, sure, but there are plenty of targets these days: Clone Chips, consoles, interfaces, you name it. I don't find myself using this card much, even with all of these flatlines that keep falling into my lap, but it is a nice tool in the box for a runner trying to make moves at the wrong time. As stated, I prefer having a facedown card protecting my server over yet another trashable in my deck/hand that I have to pay into and hope they bit.

So, this is pretty much it. I guess I was wrong, as I don't wanna stop playing this damned thing. Right now is a good time for Scorched Earth, esp. with people insisting Gang Sign is a thing--please, eat a Snare! The trick is to realize the runner will be choosing the lesser of two evils with regard to your ID. Reinforcing this with scare tactics and actual threats like Archer and Snare is a more than decent strategy.

Were I not to be in a booth peddling my wares at Gen Con, I would be playing this at Nationals 100%. Call me a sadist, call me an asshole, but there is just something so satisfying about wedging your opponent into a corner and then setting them on fire. If you do happen to play this deck, and they ask "why is it called Timberlake Scorcher," simply reply: "I'm bringing sexy back."

40 comments
27 Jul 2015 Yubinshan

I like your deck.

What are your thoughts about Checkpoint? And Exposé?

I was thinking of a 1x of each.

27 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Yubinshan I don't like Checkpoint at all, to be honest. It is more bad pub, D4v1d-prone, and a smart runner is going to know hot navigate this. Read one of the OPs comments on how this card was the first one he wanted to cut also. It just doesn't work.

As far as Expose, I really like this influence set. I would personally not change it.

The weaker cards are GRNDLs and maybe Taurus. This deck is like 3-5 cards away from being very good. I have been testing the hell out of this, and would recommend playing it as is before making cuts.

27 Jul 2015 Yubinshan

Do you typically install the DRT naked? Is it a strategy call when you install it, or do you just throw it down when it comes into your hand?

I've read the Panopticon and Flatline Guaranteed threads, but I can count the number of times I've played a Weyland deck on one hand, so some play advice would be appreciated.

27 Jul 2015 Letsaros

First of, props for mentioning my decklist. I am honored :)

Second, i like Oaktown Renovation in Argus but the problem is you have to get some late game ice because if you don't draw it early to rush some credits your servers are vulnerable in the late game so each Oaktown Renovation draw after mid game will mean you can't sneak it so it can be a dead card.

Hunter is nice but he stopped being nice the moment Changeling stopped being nice and that's when Net-Ready Eyes got released that made mimic only need 1 credit to break them and with 1x Hostile Takeover scored it means the mimic has that 1 free credit.

It's the reason i am now trying to make Flatline Guaranteed a bit more late game.

Enigma is awesome and was even awesomer when people stopped playing Yog.0 for a while but now that Net-Ready Eyes are here i've found Enigma a liability quite early.

Those are my two cents. Have fun playing!

27 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Yubinshan The deck has 17 ice, which is more than either of the aforementioned decks, so it can protect the DRT at times. I often throw them down naked. I am still not 100% on this card. I want it to work, but on the whole, it seems like it would be better in something like NEH where there are more tagging cards at your disposal. As far as tips, I think this game is so hard to discuss this way, as opening hands can set the pace of a game as much as topdecks--from both sides of the table.

@Letsaros Not a prob! Thanks for posting. As far as your comments, Oaktown funk ain't nuffin to funk with. In fact, I find the OPPOSITE to be true of what you said. I usually build a single strong remote from which I score. I think this ultimately comes down to timing. Play this after they eat a Snare, they blow a bunch of credits on a run, they just removed some tags. This card is the best way to get an Archer to sting. Knowing when to use this as bait and when to drop this reliably can be tough, sure.

With the deck being mostly sentries, I just lean on Archer to re-validate the early game ICE once they are mooted. Otherwise, what the hell do you play here? I guess Spiderweb? I agree Changeling is not a hot one now--nor did I really like him to begin with, to be honest--to much of an investment in terms of install, click to advance, etc. (dude ends up being like a fluid cost of 6-8).

27 Jul 2015 Sizer

Travis! Just wanted to say thanks for all the decklists and work you publish. I'm a newer player and reading a lot of your write ups and tips for piloting has really helped me get better. I've tinkered with Argus as well as I love Weyland and I'm glad to see you have lots of success with it. Being new, I'm not there yet, but it's nice to know this deck can be really good. I'll keep working on it. Thanks again!

27 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Sizer more than happy to oblige. If only I had the time to put more into these write-ups, but, alas, I sort of just turn my brain off and run in a straight line until it feels done. I put the work into testing. Maybe when things calm down I can stream some games so folks can get a better idea of how I pilot these things.

27 Jul 2015 hi_impact

Dedicated Response Team is an Argus conundrum that I used to hate on excessively, but recently I've appreciated the swings it can open. I would cut it instantly without 3x Snare! or Data Raven, but the ability to potentially 'just win' with a Snare! is hard to pass up. The BP makes trashing it a non-issue, and often its a 1-1 click trade with the Runner, but its utility as a neutral-at-worst facedown question is worth something in Argus. GRNDL Refinery is the right call I think too, over something slower but more consistent like Capital Investors.

This deck looks near perfect, and I'm curious what your opinion is on Casting Call and if it'll change the deck, probably removing the Ravens.

27 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@hi_impact Thanks! I played another 6 games today and won 5--losing only to a Maker's Eye for three agendas on turn 1 and me with no Scorches for like 10 draws.

1 Aug 2015 Sizer

Travis! I continue my push on Argus and Weyland in general. I'm loving the green cards right now. I think the play style just meshes for me. Much better win rate than with my runners ATM. I went 4-1 with this last night at my FLGS. 3 flatlines, 1 score out, and the one loss was to an Ed Kim deck who went full tag me on like turn 3 with Medium and won on the top 3 of R&D and killing the 2nd Scorched I needed to flatline him. One of the flat lines was a turn 1 Snare + DRT with an ice less hand after a mulligan. Great deck and very fun. I love that there are enough ways to tag without needing SEA Source or Midseasons. Hopefully Film Critic doesn't destroy Argus completely, but it looks bad. Maybe going to need Contract Killer just for that?

2 Aug 2015 travisrchance

@Sizer Thanks! Not sure about Critic. The issue is the deck is already trim on ICE, meaning you are gonna have to cut econ or DRTs to make room for anything else. I tried Killer about a dozen games and it killed a Kati and a runner once--and I had to work to make it happen. The issue is the deck, other than if you play Shattered Remains, has no real advanceable traps, so they just anything you advance.

15 Aug 2015 michaeln

With Back Channels available, what do you think about putting in some advance-able traps (Shattered Remains, Plan B, Ghost Branch)? You could drop GRNDL Refinerys to make room...

15 Aug 2015 Sizer

Travis,

Just an update. I'm now 9-1 with this deck in person play. It is great fun watching runners squirm with difficult choices. Once the Hostile hits the board every facedown piece of ICE becomes an Archer.

I haven't seen much Film Critic yet. Weirdly, DRT has been the card that hasn't really done anything for me. It gets trashed too easily and I have a hard time finding the ICE to get it to stick.

With the new Weyland options coming (Back Channels, Public Support), do you think it's worth swapping them out for something else?

Or do you have some better tips for using the DRT?

I'm thinking like -3 DRT, + 2 Contract Killer, +1 Shattered Remains.

Oddly, I find GRNDL to be pretty clutch by dragging the runne throughly Archer(s) or netting me a bunch of credits.

Thanks in advance! And thanks again for an awesome deck list!

16 Aug 2015 travisrchance

@michaeln I am not really a fan. It is just a consolation to a failed endeavor in a way, taking up multiple slots in the deck. To play even one copy of Back Channels I would want like 4-5 traps/GRNDL, and that just isn't this deck. Like momma says, a coupon ain't cash.

@Sizer I tried Contract Killer, it just doesn't work. It is a tempo hit to set up, and this deck is all about tempo, and once they suss out that you have nothing scary for them (with GRNDLs and the sole Cleaners) they will not hesitate to smash these up. The deck just isn't an advanceable deck like that, though I do agree that DRT is usually a dead end--seems better in something like NEH.

My feeling on Back Channels can be found above and Public Support would require protection, which the deck is at average ice count.

I am somewhat baffled by the love for Film Critic. I understand the role it CAN serve, but it is a dead ass draw in a lot of matches. Them playing it and using it is damn near the same as eating a tag and removing it. To that end, please, play and use this card :)

I agree on GRNDL. It is good in this deck. I am not sure what the hell needs to come in over the DRT. They are a juicy ass head fake most of the time, but they ain't killing no one 9.9/10.

19 Aug 2015 travisrchance

Alright, I tried some changes to the deck and like them so far. I am 25 games in and wanted to share:

PROBLEM: -1 Cleaners: I have played 148 games with this deck on Jinteki, losing 22 games. 16 of those losses are from someone hitting a Cleaners. Sure, it helps to elevate the ID and pairs with DRT, but it is just too slow and too much of a liability even as a one off. Global Food Initiative could be a thing, but at the price of a Jackson???

SOLUTION: +1 Private Security Force and +1 Chronos Project: The deck needs another tag punisher and way to set up Scorch kills. I have been very happy with PSF thus far. A third Chronos means I can munch greedy Faust and recursion decks more reliably.

PROBLEM: -3 Dedicated Response Team: This card just doesn't work in Weyland. I don't have enough ice, or, at least, not strong enough ice. After a buttload of games, I think it is time to give up the ghost. I think this card is just better served in some kind of NEH Butchershop build where making tags stick is easier.

SOLUTIONL +1 Subliminal Messaging and +1 Meru Mati: The deck needs more ice. Playing 3 Archer, and doing so aggressively, means I can make things like Enigma and Ice Wall stay relevant. The one Meru Mati was something I was always happy to see, so I figure, why not add another. At the worst, it is just another Ice Wall in a pinch--kinda.

The Sub Messaging was an attempt to put the runner on wanting to keep making non-equitable runs. It works... sometimes. I have in fact ended up having this tip the runner into killing themselves, but I would have prob won these games anyway. This card could be anything really. Another Shattered Dreams? Whatever. I tried Assassin also, and it was okay when I didn't have 2 bad pub.

PROBLEM: -1 Taurus: D4V1D is a thing, so this poor moo cow just doesn't hit most of the time. Plus we are giving them bad pub, so...

SOLUTION: +1 Shattered Remains: This is a pretty obv swap, and one that I have made a few times now. I quite like this with the extra PSF in the mix, as it gives them reason enough to think it could be an agenda or a GRNDL.

I am still killing folks as regularly scheduled, so I am not missing the DRTs at all.

Thoughts?

19 Aug 2015 Sizer

Well, you've done a lot more testing than I have so I'll defer to your advice.

My recent changes were just to change the 3x DRT to 2x Housekeeping and 1x Shattered Remains.

My one loss in person was also due to the Cleaners being stolen. I think that changing it out seems okay if we're dropping the DRT.

After playing with the DRT. I think they a really made for a more horizontal deck where you can leave them on the board alone for a bit. They way I've played this build I really just build a scoring remote with 1x Archer and 1 other ETR ice while icing up HQ and R£D. So any remote other than. The scoring one would get hit immediately to trash the DRT. Granted I did get one kill once putting out a naked Snare! And dropping the DRT into my scoring remote, but more often than not that doesn't work.

Since Weyland right now seems to be all about the tempo, I thought the Housekeeping might be a good way to further slow down the runner while gaining tempo yourself. However as I said you've actually tested these changes out. So I may try them and see how it goes.

Thanks for the thoughts Travis!

19 Aug 2015 travisrchance

@Sizer 13 agendas and currents = nonbo in my book. Odds of it lasting are pretty low making it prob a break even tempo hit more often are not

20 Aug 2015 Sizer

Yeah. The Housekeeping was a thought before dropping The Cleaners and even then it wasn't the best thing. I was just searching for something else to fill the gap. I like your suggestions much better and of course you've actually had the chance to test them quite a bit. I wish I had more time to play so maybe I could actually help give you some better data! Thanks for the work and suggestions though! I really do appreciate it!

25 Aug 2015 travisrchance

Won a little local event with this and my Geistbuster list, not losing a game, and not having the other side score more than 4 points. Def liking these changes quite a bit, with Sub Messaging still in the fence.

29 Aug 2015 mmychal

Playing the version without the DRT and Taurus right now. So far my only loss has been to a Reina that got lucky and drew a ton of econ early and did a Medium deep dig on the turn she would have been flatlined for the loss. Small sample space so far and have not played Kate, MaxX or much Noise (one matchup where he conceded on turn 5)

I put in a second Shattered Remains instead of the Subliminal. It has been helpful against the Gang Sign decks.

29 Aug 2015 travisrchance

@mmychal I put in a single copy of shattered remains over Taurus. I don't know if you saw my revisions. I definitely would not play two copies of shattered remains while having 13 agendas, as they will just be blowing through your deck to find points

30 Aug 2015 mmychal

You said regarding Subliminal: " This card could be anything really. Another Shattered Dreams? Whatever." I tried a version without the Subliminal. I am considering Snatch and Grab or Contract Killer. Currently I am -1 Sublimina and +1 Shattered Remains. My other 48 are identical. I am 7-2 so far.

3 Sep 2015 michaeln

Totally agree about ditching The Cleaners from the initial list. I played a version last night against a Noise deck with Darwin, Hivemind and all that virus pain. It really made me wish for both Cyberdex Virus Suite and Swordsman. Maybe even Power Shutdown to kill the Progenitor. He didn't even recur that much in the way of Parasites, but I didn't score a single Chronos Project so it did feel as if I needed more anti-Noise tech.

That aside, it has been a very enjoyable deck to play, even with occasional losses. (Losing to Noise always sucks, but otherwise the losses have been OK too.)

3 Sep 2015 mmychal

@michaeln Check out the Polish National champion deck on Stimhack (or it may be here too). It has all of the cards you mention and is still very similar to Travis' build. One interesting aspect of that deck is Melange Mining Corp. Since many times, this deck uses a no-advance strategy, Melange might be a better fit than GRNDL Refinery. I am not goign to make any modifications until I play more, however.

3 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@michaeln Noise is like PE: sometimes they just win on the back of their ability. Hivemind/Progenitor, in my humble opinion, is the least threatening and competitive Noise out there, so I certainly would not be amending the list for it. Archer is your program kill and is waaaaaay better than something like Swordsman or Power Shutdown--you are playing 13 agendas here, so this card literally helps Noise unless you luck into all of your Jacksons.

I can't speak to your level of exp. with the deck, or play style, but Noise should be an easier matchup. I can't count the times I have dropped ice wall and the plopped down an Oaktown on my first turn against them. This particular Noise is slow to set up, so you have to exploit the early game.

Further, Jackson and Raven are so important to this deck. Swordsman, though he has a neat promo card, just is not a great option these days: Faust decks play parasites to kill it off and not so many dedicated Atman or Crypsis decks making waves like 2 years ago.

@mmychal I don't want easier to trash cards in the deck. You should pop off a Hostile on average, so giving them a free card to kill to get deeper into your already dense agenda count is a liability. Even the 1 additional credit for GRNDL plays into the strength of the ID ability, whereas Melange just is an always trash and often for free.

I have played this deck religiously since posting it and, as I keep records of my games, have lost 6 more times since I posted the updates. I very much think this deck is top notch with 1 single card wiggle room in the Sub Messaging, which still manages to work out, as some runners will amp up the aggression just to deny me the 1 free credit, sometimes setting themselves up for trouble in the process.

4 Sep 2015 michaeln

@travisrchance Thanks for the continuing updates/dialogue! I'd never use the Power Shutdown except to kill Progenitor, which, I'll admit, is silver-bullet teching at its worst. If I was going to drop anything, I agree it wouldn't be Jackson or Raven; my little thought experiment saw me drop a Snare! instead.

Is the updated version of the deck still running 17 pieces of ICE? (Your update above says +1 Meru Mati, but -1 Taurus.) And if you draw an opening hand with one barrier ICE and the Oaktown (against Noise, say), would you mulligan, or would you put the Oaktown down behind the ICE, leaving your centrals alone?

@mmychal I did see that Polish deck; thanks. It's interesting! I played it last night on OCTGN against a slow Andromeda deck and lost in extremely frustrating fashion. I had a token on Raven and a Scorched in hand, but I just couldn't find the other Scorches, and then he eventually set up his Keyhole runs, binned two Scorches, my last Jackson, and my other Archers. The rest of the ICE in that deck was so weak that (what with his Desperado and the BP) he wasn't losing any money on his R&D runs. I wouldn't dismiss the deck on the basis of that experience! (And I almost certainly played it sub-optimally.)

4 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@michaeln Snare remains one of THE absolute most awesome cards for a corp that can pay the 4 credits. It single-handedly deals with one of the most obnoxious things for a corp player: muli-access. Let's say they choose to take 2 dmg when stealing an agenda and the next card is Snare... if they are not dead then and there, if you have a Scorch, well... It blows out their hand AND tags them, doing both sides of your ID and then some. It is a massive bluff when threatening match point that if they take the bait, almost always affords you the tempo to play the last point. It wards off errant HQ runs in matches where there is no worry of Siphons, etc. It is one of the best cards in the deck, hands down. Snare plays to the strengths of the deck. Power Shutdown plays to its weaknesses--esp. against such an edge case that is prob an 80%'er in your favor if you know the match and they don't just hit vital cards on the random.

Your match against Andy is more emblematic of a bad beat than a weakness of the deck. What you are describing, how does anyone pull out of this? Sometimes you just lose. And sometimes the other guy won because he was better, more lucky, or went to church for the last 10 years without fail.

A big mistake I see people make when deck-building, and I pride myself on deck-building, is that they don't play through the paces to actually see what works and what doesn't. Most people see a list and immediately start making what they deem as revisions, without playing a single game. Or they have a bad experience, which is often user error, and chalk it up to problems with the deck. You never get any better if you always assume you know something someone else doesn't. I have played, no joke, 168 games on Jinteki,net with this deck and lost less than 20. There is something to this beyond me just knowing the deck. I have taken the time to actually learn HOW to play the deck, when to push, to pull, to be patient. When people are half-testing a handful of decks they will rarely see the kind of results they could if they showed a modicum of dedication.

I am making some assumptions here, sure, but I mean no offense. I have been posting decks, not just for this game but also for Magic (I used to be the content manager of MTGO Academy, which was my actual job), for a long-ass time. I can't count the times I would post a deck, offer a very thorough explanation, and the first comments I get would be "I would cut this, that, this, that, this." I could win a top level event and provide stats for the deck's performance and/or video footage of them in action and there is always this desire to "improve." I dunno, I am going off the rails here a little, and for that I apologize. Just felt like commenting on this type of mentality, which I have encountered more often than not in gaming. I am by no means Odin's gift to Netrunner. But I ain't no slouch either ;)

Glad you are enjoying the deck and the conversation. I truly hope to share what I have discovered and hope it can be of use to others.

4 Sep 2015 michaeln

@travisrchance Again, thanks for the conversation! I'm well aware that I am prone to exactly the problem you've described (and eloquently, at that). I also know that I'm

  1. a relatively inexperienced player of decks
  2. extremely inexperienced when it comes to deck-building

You've varied your deck a small amount (as per comment above), and explained why, so it's natural for someone like me to imagine that they might be able to come up with interesting variations too.

And then, this is why this conversation is so valuable. Rather than vary the deck, and then attempt to play it the hundreds of times to see if the variation is any good, I (and others here) can just make dumb suggestions in a comment box, and you can explain just why they are so dumb.

So, thanks for being so patient with us all.

(Final note: I may not have been clear in what I wrote earlier, but the "bad beat" game vs Andy wasn't with your deck, but the Polish Nationals one.)

4 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@michaeln Ah. Indeed, I did miss that--though I now remember reading it (about it being the Polish deck). I def am not trying to flex any mind muscles here; this was just meant to be a bit of perspective on something I deem as a rampant issue in gaming in general. The real irony is those who want to be an innovator THAT performs well in a competitive environment. I see this in my own league, wherein someone wants to string together a dozen cards for a menial benefit, they lose, but don't grasp that this game is about action economy. So playing a bunch of cards to build some cumbersome and particular engine is not the fastest and most direct path to victory oftentimes.

I myself ALWAYS look to see what other people are doing in the game these days, as I have not been able to play in top events since my big run of events in 2013. I have a 1 year old and I make games for a living (Action Phase Games), so there is only so much time to be had. I do make time for this game though, as I love it. I am so grateful jinteki.net exists so I can keep up my edge. I def suggest playing the shit out of any deck though, be it on a virtual platform or otherwise.

I will spew one last anecdote and then shut the hell up. In the Plugged-In event I won, I had a match where I was playing HB "Fast Advance," which is the slowest f'ing deck ever. I was playing my wonky Exile deck, which I played as a control deck. So we have 10 mins left in the round when we start this game, and I am thinking. There is no way in hell I can win this. So I just decide, I have to be active, not reactive, which is not how I EVER played the deck. I probe and push and go breakneck and win on like turn 7. I play ANOTHER HB FA deck in the same situation, where it took me 50 mins to win with my corp deck, and I repeat this approach and win in 5 turns. And then I realized, I was playing this deck the wrong way, or, at least, only ONE way the entire time. The next day I took a single loss and placed 4th in another Plugged-In event, playing the deck as an aggro build henceforth that COULD play control.

Neat things like this result from sticking with a deck.

22 Sep 2015 michaeln

An update from the trenches

I've played (the updated version version of) this deck 28 times since the above, and won 17 times. It definitely feels worth sticking with. Over the weekend, I played at a 14 person GNK event that was four rounds of Swiss, followed by a cut-to 4 for double elimination. I finished 2nd after the Swiss, with 4 wins as corp (i.e., no losses), and 2 wins as runner. My two games in the finals were both as Corp, and I lost both of these.

There are perhaps a couple of cards I feel a little doubtful about. I.e., these are the cards that you go meh at when they appear in your hand. Top of the list is Shattered Remains, which almost always seems like a dead draw. Once I had it completely wipe out a runner's stealth hardware, and this felt glorious, but I don't think I've ever even installed it otherwise. I could perhaps be more aggressive about putting it out and baiting runs.

I'm a bit down on GRNDL Refinery as well. If I'm wanting to charge through my agendas as fast as possible, devoting a turn or more to the economic advantage it gives me, seems slow. On the other hand, 8c from four clicks isn't outright bad.

I'm not rushing to any conclusions though; I'll play the deck as is a few more times yet.

I suppose I can also add that the cards I least want to see appear out of the runner's hand are Faust and Film Critic. They're not game-enders, but if they don't show up, I'm usually happier than if they do.

22 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@michaeln Well, I just spent 30 mins typing out a thorough reply, and then got an error, and the message was lost. I will try and condense my thoughts, as it is late.

1.) I agree on Shattered Remains. It has not done much to anything for me. OUT! 2.) Refinery is insane. It is so versatile. Baits runners into Ravens and Archers. It has helped to win me many games. As far as it not being a tempo card, well, when you are wanting an agenda, only an agenda or a card that gets you an agenda really works, right? Fast Track is not really great in a deck with Atlas and that plays this many agendas, in my opinion. I quite love this card. I played in the ANRPC Champs event on Sunday and lost a single, and ABSURDLY close, game with this deck. Many compliments were given on the inclusion of GRNDL Refinery, which helped to win me two of these games.

3.) Faust, in my experience, only helps this deck. It is just more taxing on them. Finesse wins the day over brute strength. With Snare in the deck, they can easily wipe their hand on a bad call/random access. Baiting them into Archer is just beautiful, esp. on a head fake like Refinery or Jackson. These create scoring windows where there is often great certainty. And with 3 Chronos Project, let them ditch cards. Remove their heap and watch them sink in their chair.

4.) Film Critic is better taxing than if they just eat a tag 9/10. It is as if they are HELPING you to make their turns marginal. Assuming they have some kind of stable econ, they are down a click by using this card: 1 click to run, 2 clicks to place the agenda in their score area vs. 1 click to run and 1 to remove the tag.

5.) I don't know what to do in terms of revisions right now. The ICE bugs me in some ways--I kinda wanna play Quandary over Enigma to have nine 1 cost ice--the click loss just never happens in a meaningful manner. I have a Cyberdex Virus Suite in here as a one of, but it feels meh. Something needs to come out to make a difference, but, at the moment, I have racked my brain to no avail.

22 Sep 2015 michaeln

Thanks for the reply! (Sorry, it's the condensed version, of course, but still.) I totally agree about the great value in CP; I fired it twice vs a MaxX deck and that was just great.

The tempo gain from them using Film Critic is certainly very nice; I just have to keep telling myself this.

The situations I found painful with Faust were typically those where I had a reasonable scoring server, but couldn't dare install in it because breaking Archer was only going to cost them 3 cards and 3c (they'd couple with e3 Feedback Implants), and if the other ICE was a Raven and an Ice Wall, that's only another 3 cards. For example, my second loss was vs someone using 3xOrigami in prepaid Kate to get a huge hand size, and then using Diesel, Quality Time or Game Day (all of which were three-ofs I think) to quickly get up to size. I should have used GRNDLs to bait runs, and perhaps thereby open a scoring window I suppose. In the actual game, I got them to run on a Snare! in the remote (they weren't showing much interest in my terribly flooded HQ), and even that didn't seem to slow them down.

The other loss was to a Geist deck with amazing drip econ (Underworld Contact and Data Folding both I think) and the cloud breakers on Scheherazade. What with Crescentus also installed, I felt pretty reluctant to even rez the Archers. There was no Faust in that deck, and this was the one that felt like even more of a beat down (my win was going to have to come from playing fast, but I didn't manage it for whatever reason). So fixating on Faust is clearly just a bit irrational.

I'm certainly interested to hear what you think might replace the Remains. Things I've wondered about include: Crisium Grid to hinder Siphons; The Twins to get a one-off double Archer; one more ICE (Ireress?, Caduceus?); Patch; Elizabeth Mills...

22 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@michaeln Sometimes you just have to outplay them--which sounds a bit ridic as I type this. No single deck has all the answers, but this one is very good at controlling the tempo of the game.

As far as what to put in, hmmm. This is the rub. I have looked through all my cards and the truth is, nothing in Weyland excites me. If anything, I wish I had more influence. 2 Ravens could work, but I am not sure I would go this route.

Crisium: Siphon me, pls. And float tags.

The Twins: meh

Ireress/Caduceus: low impact, esp. the latter with bad pub

Patch: this is a tempo loss

Mills: also meh

22 Sep 2015 mmychal

I have actually only failed to have the runner run into a Shattered Remains once. I use it aggressively and IAA-ing it when you are on 4 points is something they almost have to respect as a possible "1-of" 5/3 (I also think Global Food Initiative inclusion in the future makes this a better play).

Contract Killer might be worth trying again.

I have also tried versions with -1 Data Raven to buy some influence back. With that influence I've tried things like Wraparound (very good vs eater/faust), Chum (meh - it gave them another excuse to run Atman at 4), Swordsman (meh).

22 Sep 2015 michaeln

Heh. I was desperate for my Ravens to show up last night when I was playing someone with a Rachel Beckman installed... Same guy refused to run Shattered Remains as well, so the gods hated me that game :)

23 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@michaelnI decided, against better judgment, to try:

-1 Shattered Remains -1 Data Raven + 2 Eli

So far, I kinda dig it, as most people will not float tags ever anyway.

24 Sep 2015 michaeln

Ooh, interesting. I'll have to give it a go too. Thanks.

25 Jan 2016 darwindeez

hi @travisrchance, thanks for sharing the deck! I wanted to share my version of it and ask what's the latest with yours?

netrunner.meteor.com

Fast Track for the mid-game to ensure you are able to keep pressing the tempo. I lost a game--after a strong opening--to an agenda drought. I'm trying The Future is Now over the more situational Chronos (leaning less on the Archers). I used one Future proc to get an Oaktown on turn 2. Then I Fast Tracked for another Oaktown. Hey, if you're revealing the agenda with Fast Track, it might as well go face-up right? Excalibur for Medium defense and also for the final Fast-Track-and-hold-a-Hostile-Takeover play, borrowing this idea from Marsellus's Titan 1441 list. Excalibur would have been a win over Archer in a game vs Whizzard who happened into my Cleaners on his 2nd HQ run. Cleaners is out now :) Curious where your list is at now. Cheers!

26 Jan 2016 travisrchance

@darwindeez I could see that. I played with Fast Track and didn't enjoy it at all. The deck can rush, but it can also be scary as shit to try and run on at most points in the game.

Since MWL hit, I dropped the Elis, went back to 3 Ravens, dropped a Hunter and put in a Subliminal Messaging, which has been a decent little one.

2 Feb 2016 travisrchance

With MWL happening, I had to make a few changes. Needless to say, the meta is a little shaken up for some, so I decided to take a stab at revising this deck. Please check out the new digs here: netrunnerdb.com