Mindless Mind (inspired by Xanatos Gambit/Credible Threat )

Penance 481

Do you like playing Poker? Then this deck is for you. For basic strategy you can read the description of the original decks this is inspired from (Xanatos Gambit, Credible Threat) but here is a brief explanation.

We only protect R%D and slightly HQ (against syphon decks mostly). We install everything unprotected, and try and advance the same turn we install. 50% chance the runner with run on a trap and kill/cripple him/herself.

Example 1: Install trap (Cerebral Overwriter/Project Junebug), advance, advance = 2 Brain damage or 4 Net damage. Example 2: Mushin No Shin trap, advance = 4 Brain damage or 8 Net damage.

Now, we can also Mushin No Shin/install advance, advance an agenda. If it is a Mandatory Upgrades and the runner doesn't run, we just got ourselves a 4th click. If it is a Project Vitruvius, we have the option to over-advance for extra 3, which enables more combos later on, or just score it. If it is an Accelerated Beta Test, paired with Jackson Howard, we fire it; without Jackson Howard we just score next turn, unless we have unspent counters on a previously scored Project Vitruvius.

Against unsuspecting runners it is best to start with a trap. Don't worry, if the runner doesn't run on our traps; we have tons of money to make with Back Channels: 4x3=12 credits. If we manage to advance for another turn, it will be 7x3=21 credits. Back Channels can also trash an agenda, if we need the credits more than scoring (I have done that many times).

At any rate, this build feels more "solid" in its plan, as we only need to mandatory draw, then gain credits, set ICE or Mushin No Shin traps and patiently win by locking R&D away from the runner. We "turtle", play slowly and click for credits most of the time. We need to set Jackson Howards as soon as possible and protect ourselves by filtering Agendas, until the runner "chickens out" and we start scoring.

This build runs traps at a 5:9 ratio, so it has plenty of ways to punish reckless runners, and this makes it more solid against runners that take our bluffs. The original posted decks had the problem that once you understood what were you up against, you were able to make an estimated guess more easily and win by taking bluffs.

We don't really need the extra click, it is there to add insult to injury, not our main plan. 50% of the time, the runner will die as a result of a bad run. We win "drunken style", by making our plays unpredictable.

The above is why I prefer Back Channels to Media Blitz. You see, Media Blitz is unstable in this deck, as currents will not stick as much as needed; you will "sacrifice" agendas to the opponent. For that reason, Melange Mining Corp. is also hit and miss. I prefer to make a stable amount of credits and Biotic Labor my fast advance plan. Plus, money making allows us to install better, more expensive ICE to really shut down R&D locks. This is a problem I noticed both original decks suffer from, hence a more aggressive ICE approach. We "glacier", not "tempo" R&D.

All in all, credit goes to the original creators of the decks. This is just a more personalised version which I enjoy better. I just post it to demonstrate a different plan. Still, I mention both decks for you to read and pick up strategies, as well as read comments.

16 Feb 2016 mostlysmart

Have you seen much success with this kind of deck?

16 Feb 2016 GrantZilla1979

I find this deck type works better IRL if your 'yomi' is decent. I've been running one for a while now and I just can't part with Media Blitz in it. It's too good with that card, though the Biotic out of hand is also solid.

I removed a great deal of the NEXT ICE suite from mine, as it still is highly vulnerable to Parasite - which is such a great card even in the post-MWL world that Anarchs and others still find room for it.

Markus 1.0 is a passable trade for Eli 1.0 if you're looking to free up an influence for another Junebug.

16 Feb 2016 FuzzySim

What about some Archived Memories to get the Mushins back as often as possible?

16 Feb 2016 x3r0h0ur

Media Blitz is the true xanatos part of the gambit, and archived memories is too good to give up. I'd do no less than 2 AM and 2 Media.

16 Feb 2016 GrantZilla1979

Back Channels does give them some Account Siphon recovery options IF the card with the advancements is still on the table - which against a deck like this it probably won't be if they smash you to 0, which is the first thing I would do against it being that I play it so much.

Having Media Blitz up or successfully Mushin No Shin out at Mandatory Upgrades gives you the ability to install and use Melange Mining Corp. in the same turn - plus there's the Shell Corporation "failed trap insurance" play, which is to date the only reason i have ever voluntarily rezzed a Cerebral Overwriter.

16 Feb 2016 Penance

OK, first of all, thank you everyone for your overwhelming support. I really appreciate it, and all your comments. To answer a few questions and provide a playing guide, continue reading below.

I never miss recursion with Project Vitruvius/Jackson Howard. You don't rely on Mushin No Shin for your gambles alone. There are times you set traps and agendas manually and simply advance twice. So, Archived Memories not so important in the end, at least to my playstyle.

If you only wait for Mushin No Shin to push forward your plan, you start becoming predictable, and predictable is bad for our gambles. Most times the runners run on traps is when you advance them manually, and that gains us tempo. If they "chicken", that gives us insight; or credits; or death, as I tend to advance stuff I leave parked on a remote a few rounds after; some people ignore agendas that way, others run recklesly on traps.

You NEED to be unpredictable with your plays, that is the only thing that matters in this deck. For that, you 1) may "offer" agendas to the runner 2) lose a few from runs on your centrals. That means that you can't have a current that won't stick, like currents in Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions decks do. So, once you play Media Blitz, you have unecessary pressure on yourself to rush agendas. This can be done manually with extra credits and Biotic Labor, so if your traps provide you with the credits necessary, you do the same, with less pressure.

The essence of this deck is this: The more "fluid" is your play, the better freedom of choice it provides you. So, the less you rely on particular card combos, the better your gambles. To do that we simply need two things. 1) a good trap ratio 2) credits. The runner needs to fear that no matter how many traps he/she see there are always more. Or bet against us having one, only to lose that bet along with the game.

Here comes the beauty of Back Channels. The credit ratio it provides is nuts. It so much punishes the runner for delaying and force him/her to rush at traps. If he/she doesn't bite, you have a money making machine for as long as you can last with your centrals being protected. Once the runner starts having access there, you gain huge chunk of credits and raise something like a Heimdall 2.0 and a couple of NEXT Silver/NEXT Bronze and protect you for a few more rounds. If the runner is lucky, he/she might hit a few agendas. If not, you set them up manually or with Mushin No Shin. rince and repeat. The credits provided are better than Shell Corporation, and you can play it from your Archives with Project Vitruvius. The credits provided are less risky than Melange Mining Corp. and do not rely on a 4th click. In other words, it is a"sure gamble" pun intended. With the above tactic, I managed to have 6-8 REZZED ICE protecting R&D almost every game. You dilute that if you need to protect yourself against Account Siphon, but still it becomes increasingly difficult to get through.

All it takes to pilot this deck is patience and different gambles each time. Sometimes I never draw cards, other times I draw like crazy, just to force the runner to waste runs on my HQ. Other times I discard traps for the runner to check, then risk running on a remote with yet another trap. Times that I set a card without counters just to fool runners I am stupidly handling them agendas, only to make them reckless against me. Everything depends on how I evaluate the oponent's playstyle. There are times, with Jackson Howard installed, that I trash an overadvanced agenda with Back Channels just because I need credits more than two points, at that particular stage of the game. Every move made, is to make the runner understand he/she won't find a pattern. At least not one that I am not willingly providing him/her to gain something out of his/her play.

I hope this covers the basic tactic behind this particular build. You NEED to be good with bluffs and master your fears as those are tells for the runner. Of course past experience with games like Poker will greatly improve your ability to pilot this deck.

Lastly, I need to clarify, as I do with all the decks that I post, cards are tools. They are not absolute truth. Cards don't win games, plays do. So if you feel that a different suite suits your playstyle better, by all means, change whatever you feel like. That is the beauty of Netrunner, that it does not rely that much on decks, as it does on correct play. So, every deck posted, I expect it to be heavily altered, and that is quite frankly, the healthy thing to do; the proper netdeck is the altered one. ;)

I hope this covers more ground on how to play this deck. Thanks again, everyone. Like the original decks if you haven't already as they deserve it more than I do, I merely tweak their masterwork. :)

17 Feb 2016 Tempus

This is awesome! I just ended up sleeving this monster! I had tried the original deck and I thought it was good but lacking economy, good ice and the current doesn't really work. Back channels is the beast. The amount of bluff it's so good. Nothing stops you from advancing that trap.

Do you ever feel the need to project anything else than the centrals? Jackson Howard, mandatory upgrades, a trap? Or you just ice up every central and screw remote protection?

17 Feb 2016 Penance

@Tempus :) Thank you.

I never ICE remotes. There is really no need, we don't have any asset worth protecting and agendas/traps are part of our bluff tactic. When the runner understands what he/she is up against, the correct play is to never bother with remotes and spam R&D and HQ, with the occasional check on Archives (That is how I tackle this deck as a runner). But that requires precision and a good amount of luck, as there wont be many chances this deck will allow you to do that successfully, and that is the beauty of this deck.

You have 15 ICE in the deck. You usually try to keep a hand with economy (as always). If you happen to have a hand with no ICE, a trap and Mushin No Shin and Back Channels, you keep it, install, advance and wait for it. You sacrifice initial HQ check and risk R&D but it is worth it, as it can net you 18-24 credits within the first 2-3 turns. If the above is paired with an ICE, you protect R&D, NOT rez until you gain credits, then rez and follow up a normal game.

Note that the same can be a achieved with an unchecked Project Vitruvius, and a Hedge Fund. You advance it for a couple of turns, then you score it and spam Hedge Fund whenever you feel the need for credits.

Against Account Siphon there is a trick. First, you protect HQ, you rez when they run, you keep an empty pool of credits while rezzing R&D and still have a trap set to advance ocasionaly. This is your "bank investment"; when you feel you need the money, crack it with a Back Channels, usually followed up by rezzing big ICE like Heimdall 2.0 and NEXT Gold

Another trick in the deck in general is to unload the risk from HQ by not drawing unless needed (having a Jackson Howard down, or having scored an overadvanced Project Vitruvius). This leaves all agendas in R&D. Now with the money you make, you are able to have a big glacier protecting R&D. Imagine a server with 4-5 NEXT ICE, 1 Mother Goddess, 1 Heimdall 2.0 and 1 Eli 1.0. Sounds extreme put it is very plausible with this deck. Try passing through that. How many times can you do it? To have a server like that means remotes stay unprotected.

Now pair the above turtling/money-making strategy with the 3 Biotic Labors in the deck. Having scored a Mandatory Upgrades, each one, allows us another draw that we can make during our turn and still score. There is the extreme scenario that I managed to do once: l8 credits, 3 Biotic Labor, 1 Mandatory Upgrades in hand, and a scored Mandatory Upgrades... connect the dots. This is not a goal you aim for, but it is most definitely an "achievement unlocked" moment. :) In all seriousnes, however, Biotic Labor paired with credits is your backup plan to score. You bluff a couple of times, then you score the rest with the credits gained and Biotic Labors.

So to answer your original question, unless you really depend on Jackson Howard, you never protect anything else besides the two important centrals (3 if you play against Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire and/or Keyhole decks).

17 Feb 2016 lolpaca

Very nice. I've been having a lot of fun with Beale or No Beale out of Sync and this looks even better :D

17 Feb 2016 Saan

I guess the only real issue I have with the deck is there's 6 econ cards total, and 3 of them rely on you having advanced something the runner didn't run on. Heimdall and Gold seem like a distant wish unless you can land a strong Back Channels, and even then, you're probably broke again. Cerebral is rough too, since it requires 3c to fire off. R&D digs are always how I lose with this kinda deck. Not enough money to protect 2 servers at once.

17 Feb 2016 Penance

@Saan My only "on and off" in this deck is NEXT Gold as it is to expensive for what it offers if you are not running Marcus Batty. I would probably change it for an Assassin, Vikram 1.0 or Markus 1.0. Probably the second Rototurret is also redundant as once there is a killer in play, it becomes really "nerfed"

Money wise, things are not that much problematic, if you know which hands to keep, that is. And yes, R&D must be protected at all costs, as this is where we "bleed out" usually. But you will see after a couple of games, that you will be able to consistently rez huge batches of ICE if you utilize even a single Back Channels properly. You just need not being afraid to trash agendas as well ;) If you time your gambles right, money is not a problem. I have more than thrice rezzed not one but two Heimdall 2.0 outside R&D without problem. ;)

One variation I have used as well, is this: -1 Jackson Howard, +1 Eli 1.0, -1 Rototurret or NEXT Gold, +1 Blue Level Clearance. You could also remove both a Rototurret and a NEXT Gold for 2 Blue Level Clearance. Whatever floats your boat, if that will make you feel more secure financialy. :)

28 Feb 2016 SourSweet

-2 Project Junebug + 3 Plan B +1 Media Blitz

Awesome !

1 Mar 2016 Penance

I like Plan B, it seems a nice idea to try, but not at the expene of a trap, as this way, the runner will start running on cards in remotes, which we don't want to happen that much. We want to intimidate him/her. If we only run 3 traps, the runner will run. 5 traps, it starts to get dangerous. So, I will try to find a way to fit 1-2 Plan B in somehow, in order to test. Thanks!