Karma Police v2.2

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"This is what you get when you mess with us."

"Good morning and thank you all for joining us today on this EXCLUSIVE tour of the Cybernetics Division here at Haas Bioroid, part of our special partnership with Miranda Rhapsody in preparation for her upcoming masterpiece, and the most anticipated film of the century: "OZ: The Rejourneying". In a moment you will get to see first hand how the engineers here at Cybernetics Division have been working around the clock to create never before seen practical effects for the actors, along with an amazing cast of Bioroid characters to bring this classic to life as NEVER before. In fact, this will be the first film in decades to feature NO special effects. Everything you see and experience through your uplink will be 100% the result of bespoke enhancements for the actors, and specially-designed Bioroids... and yes, don't worry, we'll get to see the flying monkey prototypes before you leave."

"As you can see, despite what some of you may have read from less-than-reputable critics who, shall we say, share their fashion sense with dead French philosophers, we here at the Cybernetics Division actually strive to set a new standard in corporate openness. No scary "men in black" guarding secret rooms here, haha! So if you can all just sign the waivers my assistant is handing out, we can get started! Oh and please, do not under any circumstances leave the tour group or touch anything. The terms of our contract with Ms. Rhapsody are quite... specific. Lawyers! Right?"

Do you like instant gratification? Do you find it hard doing things like "installing ice" and "defending servers?" Is what you want out of Netrunner to feel like you're playing a degenerate game of Legacy Magic: The Gathering? Look no further! This deck takes all that messy defense out of the game and let's you focus on what is best in life. To wit, killing the runner out of nowhere after playing 12 cards cards in 1 turn.

This is the third draft of my second attempt at a Cybernetics Division deck (hence the version number), my first being a not-so-successful traditional deck that tried to chip away with brain damage and eventually hit them with Ronin. So I took a second look and noticed that CD has a 40 card minimum. Huh. I wonder why they did that? What is a small deck size good for? Low agenda density? Yeah, I guess. Consistency? Now we're talking. Attempting the batshit insane? DING!

The idea here is simple. Play a million operations to draw cards and quickly create a pile of money (none of which you are likely to spend rezzing ice) and then Punitive Counterstrike them off the face of the earth. But how does this insane machine work? Let's take a tour...

ID: Cybernetics Division: Humanity Upgraded gives us a couple of of advantages for our game plan, namely 1) small deck size for consistency, 2) starting the runner at 4 hand size so that a single brain damage, or careless turn-passing with a less than full hand means they die in 1 counterstrike (from a Vanity Project), and 3) hipster cred for playing an obscure ID.

Deck Size: Wha? We went with the low end of the deck size range? What gives? Well, the #1 goal of this deck is consistency. There are certain cards we want to see, and using the 40 card minimum size makes it most likely that we get to these as fast as possible. Remember, we're barely playing Netrunner here, it really is more like a Storm deck (which I actually loath) from Magic (if you are familiar). Plus, with only 5 agendas, we actually have a lower density than a 49 card deck running 9 agendas (12.5% vs. 18.3 something). Speaking of which...

Agendas: Since the kill shot is Punitive Counterstrike, we want high value agendas, and Vanity project is the highest we can go in HB (as much as I'd love Government Takeover). This DOES mean that both sides basically need 2 agendas to win, so be aware. If I could, it would be all Vanity Projects, but we need 6 more points, so the two Executive Retreats are our most useful 3/5s, as they give us burst draw. Which leads us to...

Giant pile of Operations: This is the core of the deck. Basically all you'll be doing every game is playing operations. The deck is 60% operations, which comes in handy with our first, and possibly best one...

Accelerated Diagnostics: This thing is an absolute BEAST. When your deck is 60% operations, you almost always hit at least one, and usually 2, sometimes 3. The Corp's big problem is lack of clicks, especially when our game plan involves killing the runner on a a very specific turn (the one after she steals an agenda) and this allows for big click compression, letting us dig through tons of cards and make tons of money (needed for our kill trace) in a single turn. Uses include: Subliminal Messaging (free click and credit), all the econ and card draw cards (burst money and more fuel after the diagnostics resolves, Archived Memories to just get the very same diagnostics BACK after playing it, and of course, glory dig for the winning Punitive Counterstrike and/or Neural EMP.

Hedge Fund, Green Level Clearance, Blue Level Clearance: These are the core of the economic burst economy. The Clearences also have the advantage of drawing us more cards (and Blue Level Clearance cost no clicks instead of two when you play it off Accelerated Diagnostics!).

Anonymous Tip: Ancestral Recall! I mean er... sorry, wrong game again. This is purely a smoothing card that lets us rip through our deck, making it more likely that we find what we need in the right time frame. Sort of like hitting one of those speed boosters on the track in Mario Kart...

Subliminal Messaging: Oh man, this little guy is so much better than he seems. In the opening hand it basically means you start the game with 6 credits, which is small, but nice. Any other time, its free credit bump, and when you hit one off of Accelerated Diagnostics, it has the effect of basically making the whole Diagnotics click-free! And then there's the random upside of getting it back if the runner is wise enough to be wary of whatever nonsense you appear to be doing.

Archived Memories: It's free (credit-wise), which is nice. But most importantly, it acts as a pseudo Punitive Counterstrike #s 4-5. I say "pseudo" because it doesn't make it more likely that you find your FIRST Counterstrike, but it DOES increase the frequency of effectively having the second strike (in the case where they haven't taken brain damage and decline to offer their throat by passing the turn with 3 or fewer cards in hand). And the backup scenario is that you burn it to reuse whatever else you need most (likely an Accelerated Diagnostics).

Punitive Counterstrike: Since when does Scorched Earth cost only 2 influence? This is the primary win condition of the deck. Two in a turn will usually kill and a single one will sometimes get it done if they've gone down in cards or foolishly hit a Cerebral Overwriter that you bluffed out. This is also the primary reason we have all our agenda points condensed into 3 and 4 pointers. Finally, it should be noted that since it is a trace, you need an economic lead on the Runner. Usually this shouldn't be a problem, since they will theoretically have installed some things and you will be doing nothing but drawing cards and making money in the first turn or two.

Neural EMP: This is sort of a hedge against not having a second Punitive Counterstrike or Archived Memories. It finishes them off when you hit them with a single Punitive (assuming it was off a Vanity Project). These are actually the slots that I'm still the most unsure on. In particular, I am looking forward to Election Day later in the Mumbad Cycle, which I think could make for a more "all in" version of the deck.

Cerebral Overwriter: When you play your agendas, you usually do them naked anyway, so this can be a fun little surprise which makes it so that only a single Punitive is required.

Ryon Knight: This guy can land a quick brain damage (again, putting them in single Punitive range), though I'm probably more on the fence about him than I am about any other card. He does combo well with Viktor, since most people will click through it after he rezzes, hoping to catch you "unprepared". But I suspect that getting him to land damage consistently enough might not be worth it, so he is first on the chopping block in future iterations.


Wait, what does ICE do again? This is more for show than anything. While the deck really just wants to play solitaire as quickly as possible and then bait the Runner into stealing a fatal Vanity Project, there ARE some very nasty things that can happen early when you have zero ice. I'm looking at YOU Account Syphon. Not so much because it keeps us poor (we can recover), but because it makes the Runner rich enough to fight our Punitive trace. All the ice basically serves two purposes: First, just the presence of unrezzed ice can direct the runner to the unprotected servers (since our whole goal is to manipulate them into stealing an agenda at the right time). Second, it deters nasty HQ events, as noted. Finally, to the extent that the Runner is willing to face-check your ice, all 3 pieces we have are capable of either brain damage or virtual brain damage. Gyri Labyrinth puts them at two cards for your next turn, Viktor 1.0 can catch them for a brain damage if they really want to get in OR can turn on Ryon Knight, and Fenris both lands brain damage and stops them (the bad pub will be meaningless in our eventual Punitive trace).

General Strategy [salutes]: Make a bunch of money. Draw a bunch of cards (to find Punitive(s)). Then they either hit an agenda in HQ or R&D, or your play and advance one to tempt them. If they are coy about it, then hell, just score the sucker. The main challenge is manipulating the timing of when they hit the agenda, since the super condensed point values mean you don't get a second shot once they steal the first one. If they hit one before you have exactly what you need, you can always try the "glory turn" and try to ride the Accelerated Diagnostics train all the way to combo town (it's an express stop).

There are two main scenarios for flatlining: 1) you have scored one or more brain damage OR the runner foolishly ended an agenda-stealing turn with 3 or fewer cards in their hand; 2) they are wise to your shenanigans and stay at 4 until they steal the agenda. In the case of 1), you only need to land a single Punitive (unless they've got a plascrete). In the case of 2), you need to have one Punitive and EITHER a second Punitive or an Archived Memories. Or you can just fire Punitive #1 and then Yell "YOLO!" ironically while trying to chain Accelerated Diagnostics. On second thought, never yell "YOLO!" Not even ironically.

So there you have it. Just to be clear, this probably isn't the most consistent deck in the world and it is definitely still a crazy work in progress. So if you're looking for the deck that "totally won firsteenth million'th place at every tournament evarrr", then you may be disappointed. It is, however, hilarious to play, which is my primary goal. I would also LOVE any feedback, suggestions etc on how to hone this madness even further. In fact, here are a few thoughts I've had, but not tried yet:

Biotic Labor: hitting this on an Accelerated Diagnostics has got to just feel GREAT. It is a little expensive, but it is 1) an operation and 2) in faction. Might have to try it.

Jackson Howard: Not exactly secret new tech, but since influence is so tight, any card that carries a cost has to be justified. I can see taking out the Anonymous Tips for two Jacksons. While he isn't an operation, this is certainly a deck that wouldn't mind clicking to draw 6 cards. Agendas can be dumped into Archives until there are up to 4 of them, while simultaneously assembling the right kill cards in hand. If they run archives, you can remove Jackson and have them only get the single Vanity Project you want. Seems good.

Weyland Consortium: Building a Better World: Total ID change? Why the hell not!? But in all seriousness, the influance actually comes out about the same importing the clearances and diagnostics. Though it would mean less synergistic ICE, you would gain free Beanstalk Royalties and access to Contract Killer in place of Cerebral Overwriter, which is arguably more consistent as a supplemental source of damage. I dunno, I would have to do a thorough comparison.

Going up to 44 Cards: It would reduce agenda density even further, though it would also reduce the chances of drawing Punitive Counterstrike with any given draw. Not sure where I come down on this one.

So yeah, please let me know what you think. And if you have a chance to give it a try (games are pretty short, I promise :) ) then let me know how it works out.

22 Feb 2016 RubbishyUsername

Sooo, why not Global Food Initiative over Anonymous Tip? Sure, it doesn't work with Punitive, but your opponent doesn't win if they find a 3 pointer before you have the kill ready. In fact; if they steal it, it basically doesn't matter. Less likely to randomly lose to hitting an agenda on a Accelerated Diagnostics. What do you do about Film Critic? Might Snatch and Grab be a good idea? How about Cybernetics Court to let you hold more pieces/ trick them into spending a pile of money? And as the biggest pile of jank, what about 1x Panic Button? If they try to run HQ at any point - expecting Crisium Grid, no doubt - you can basically draw until you can kill.

22 Feb 2016 RubbishyUsername

Also, I forgot to mention I think that this deck is really, really cool.

22 Feb 2016 syntaxbad

@RubbishyUsername: I definitely can see the merit of GFI to give me two bites at the apple, so to speak. Film Critic is definitely a problem and it may be that I want some number of Snatch and Grab to deal with that. Though in general, I suspect that the path to really making this work consistently is to make it as fast/efficient as possible so that it usually can "go off" before there's something troubling on the board.

Cybernetics Court is something I've considered and might actually be a good replacement for the 2 Ryon Knights.

Now Panic Button button is just the sort of insane jank that I love. I've had great fun with it in the past in my Cerebral Imaging: Infinite Frontiers deck, but I can certainly see it's application here.

I will definitely be rapidly iterating this deck, since testing it is usually pretty quick. Much like the degenerate Magic decks it was inspired by, it either wins or it doesn't. There usually aren't long drawn out games.

23 Feb 2016 Tadhog

I do appreciate that the games are short.

23 Feb 2016 RubbishyUsername

I've played a couple of games now and I really want to ask when I'm supposed to fire Accelerated Diagnostics. Mostly seems to hit ice and agendas for me, or operations I can't use.

23 Feb 2016 lolpaca

Is what you want out of Netrunner to feel like you're playing a degenerate game of Legacy Magic: The Gathering?

I chuckled long and hard

23 Feb 2016 syntaxbad

@RubbishyUsername: Huh, at 60% operations, you should hit an average of 1-2 operations per diagnostics (could be bad luck in your few games). Generally I save them for the two scenarios: 1) I've run out of useful things to do on my turn (no money/card draw cards). 2) the Runner has hit an agenda last turn and it is go time! If you have at least 1 Punitive, I would fire that first, then fire off the diagnostics for the chance to get to another or a punitive.

As I've said, this is definitely still work in progress and I appreciate any feedback from anyone who's tried it out. My current thinking is that adding Jacksons in place of Anonymous Tip and adding some Biotic labor. I am also thinking that going up to 44 cards and putting in cybernetics courts as well.

20 Jun 2016 OuterCrow

Election Day is here, and I thought immediately of this deck!

20 Jun 2016 OuterCrow

Possibly Consulting Visit also, which would be influence free with the 3xPunitive Counterstrike, 3xElection Day.

20 Jun 2016 syntaxbad

Why @OuterCrow, I'm glad you asked! I have indeed been working on an update, inspired by exactly the cards you mention! Have a look :)