Cerebral Giraffes (Vienna Store Champs First Place)

PeekaySK 7788

This is the decklist I took first place with at the Damage Unlimited Store Championship in Vienna (2014/03/22). I went 2-2 with the deck there. One of the losses were to an Indexing/Siphon Chaos Theory build much like my own runner deck, the other was just plain and simple bad luck (5 agendas left in 40 cards RnD, 3 of them were in the top 4 cards... gg).

Yep, this is yet another Celebrity Imaging build. I feel like Blue-level Clearance massively helped the identity, with Subliminal Messaging possibly helping a ton as well (but I didn't manage to squeeze those in). Nothing super-shocking here, so I'll just give a short overview of how to play it and then cover the differences from other the various CI builds.

What to mulligan for:

  • 1 piece of ICE and some playable econ (i.e. not Celeb Gift or Restructure)
  • failing that, some econ and Blue/Green Level Clearance (so you'll hopefully draw into ICE)

Your game plan is:

  • ICE up HQ
  • Draw up, farm up credits
  • wait until you have Efficiency Commitee, 2 Biotic Labors and 12 credits to spare
  • score EC from hand
  • wait until you have Priority Requisition and 2 Shipments from SanSan in hand, score them with EC counters (bonus points if you get a free Wotan out of the deal)
  • Grab one of the Biotics with Archived Memories, score Vitruvius out of hand... done.

You most probably don't want to deviate from the plan at all, unless the runner is especially inept and you're flooded with ICE (yeah, right). The only remote I usually ever get is a Jackson that is going down to draw 4 cards and recur 3 econ operations afterwards.

The one thing you need to always keep in mind: have a sufficient credit reserve that you don't have to discard if you get siphoned and have to rez all your ICE. Remember, your handsize is your best defense.

The deck mostly plays itself, and is very resistant to economic pressure as well. You'll sometimes lose to random RnD accesses (and Indexing is your worst enemy), but if you manage to get most of your agendas into hand, you're solid. If you take it to a tournament, though, you need to take a really fast runner deck (like I did), otherwise you may very well end up going to time, which would be bad becase you usually don't have any points scored right up until the last 4 turns :)

One thing that might seem weird is the single copy of Datapike and Rototurret. These are in so that I have one hard ETR of each type (well ok, the barrier one is Wotan, but still :P ). They always go on HQ, and they did work rather well in the tournament.

The biggest difference between this CI build and the other most common one is agenda composition (and by extension, scoring plan). Most people I've seen are running just 1- and 2-pointers, aiming to either biotic out of hand, or possibly get a SanSan rezzed and rolling. I like my version better for 4 reasons:

  • No remotes, less trashables
  • Lower agenda density in RnD
  • Possibly fewer credits to score out 7 points, depending on the amount of Shipments from SanSan involved
  • FREE WOTAN!!!111!11!!

After the tournament, I don't really feel like any changes are necessary. I'd really like to squeeze in 3x Subliminal Messaging, but I don't see anything to cut. The most likely candidates would probably be the Jacksons, actually... and they're still more useful than 3-5 free credits, as they'll net a whole lot of more by recurring Celebrity Gifts.

17 comments
24 Mar 2014 Alsciende

Congrats on your victory!

Will you play Hive once DT is out?

Would Panic Button fit in the deck?

24 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

Thanks!

Will you play Hive once DT is out?

I'll definitely try a version where I drop a Celebrity Gift and a Jackson to fit in two Hives and see how I like it. But, the thing is, with the release of Hive (and the stable popularity of Eli) I'm expecting to see a whole lot more Morningstars, so I'm a bit wary there.

Would Panic Button fit in the deck?

I've seen other people play Teh Button in CI, but I don't like it. It's guaranteed to trash on the first access and sometimes even won't make it into my hand. It increases the porosity of my RnD, and what benefit can I expect to get from it? Install and rez for 1 to draw maybe 5-6 cards and lose 5-6 credits? I'd almost always rather have a safer money buffer, as the easiest way to defeat CI is definitely to make them ditch all those cards they've been drawing all game.

Also, it would have to be slotted in place of an econ card, only worsening the whole problem. For those reasons, I prefer to let other people panic :P

24 Mar 2014 CrimsonWraith

Before I derail prozz's decklist further... I love this deck, Peekay! I adopted your 9-agenda distribution and the goal of scoring a Priority Req, while switching over to some of my usual Cerebral trademarks (I'm running 16 ice in mine). It's playing splendidly in my playtesting thus far, a vast improvement over my last SfSS iteration. Oh, and Reclamation Order is fantastic in this deck. =D

24 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

Thanks! I've actually had this shelved for a while, and it worked reasonably well ever since Second Thoughts, when Restructure came out, but I really feel like BLC is the card that really makes CI sing.

Oh, and Reclamation Order is fantastic in this deck. =D

Definitely. Now the only question becomes: do you run 'em instead of Archived Memories, or in addition to? The idea of Reclaiming 3x Archived Memories amuses me to no end (and it could be amazingly flexible), I just don't know what to cut.

At this point, the most convincing candidate for a cut could easily become Green Level Clearance, but I'm a bit wary of dropping econ...

24 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

(damn you Alsciende, we need that edit button)

After thinking about it, the way to go might be to actually try the version with two Hives (dropping a Giraffe and a Jackson), then dropping Rototurret and Datapike for 2x Reclamation Order. Presumably you won't be needing 3 of those anyway, two should be fine.

Alternatively, go even further in and drop Jacksons altogether, in order to fit in a third Hive, then fill the slot with the third Reclamation Order. Then you're running a bit heavy on ICE though, and I'd be tempted to drop the Wotans for two Subliminals.

24 Mar 2014 CrimsonWraith

Yeah, I've been playing the 11-agenda version of this since Restructure came out. It's much more consistent (if not quite as fun and jaw-dropping) than the one-turn combo.

I dropped Archived Memories for Reclamation Orders, however it's very tempting to fit both in. It's entertaining to think of using Archived Memories to recur the Reclamation Orders and bring back 2-3 copies of economy cards. It may be worth the 1 credit and 3 clicks to bring back 2-3 copies of a key card. I won one game last night by Reclamation Ordering two Biotic Labors back for the out-of-hand score and win on the next turn.

I've already dropped one Celebrity Gift to fit in Tollbooth and Wall of Thorns. I'm debating dropping Tollbooth, Wall of Thorns, and one Jackson for two Hives now.

25 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

It's entertaining to think of using Archived Memories to recur the Reclamation Orders and bring back 2-3 copies of economy cards.

Here's what I came up with in my analysis:

These are the cards that you'll often find 2-3 copies of in my archives, about midway through the game:

  • Hedge Fund
  • Biotic Labor
  • Archived Memories (if I'm getting hosed on draws and need to recur Restructure to get some money)
  • Celebrity Gift

Those all are worth Reclaiming... now the question becomes whether the "Reclaim the Archiveds" and the added flexibility that provides is worth the deck space :)

I'm debating dropping Tollbooth, Wall of Thorns, and one Jackson for two Hives now.

This is most certainly the right call.

25 Mar 2014 ellonellanfair

"Alternatively, go even further in and drop Jacksons altogether,"

If you have Noise in your meta, dropping Jackson is such a deadly proposition. The weakness of the deck is in siphons and multiple HQ hacks during phase 3. I'm currently trying Caprice instead of CG. What's your thought on Caprice Peekay?

25 Mar 2014 ellonellanfair

With Caprice out on HQ, I drop Wotan at RnD. Only weakness is Sneakdoor, but you should know to ice Archives when fighting gabe, prof or an Andy with MU solution.

26 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

If you have Noise in your meta, dropping Jackson is such a deadly proposition.

In a deck that's running three copies of Archived Memories and (in the case of a Jacksonless variant) three copies of Reclamation Order? Dunno, that seems like plenty recursion to me. Remember, I don't have enough ICE to make a remote, so I'm not able to insta-Jackson agendas away as it is, he's already a "during your turn" kind of deal, or a "sits on the table until the runner's first click" deal, at best.

I'm currently trying Caprice instead of CG. What's your thought on Caprice Peekay?

Well, first of all, Caprice is awesome. She has been ever since the original Android boardgame, and was pretty much the only saving grace of that ill-paced "Strange Flesh" book. But that's not what you're asking, is it? :P

Caprice will definitely be very strong in combination with some nicely taxing ICE. There's some Jinteki builds I have where I can't wait to get my hands on her. The opportunity cost here is very high though - Celebrity Gift is pretty much the best Siphon recovery tool there is for this deck, so losing it can really hurt. Also, Gift is 3 inf, Caprice is 4... so you're not even able to trade them 1-for-1, you need something else. If you do get her on the table, she's definitely a very strong disincentive to run, but she's rather unreliable - it might or might not work. She's a very Jinteki card in that regard, her true strength is fear.

If I could run her in addition to Giraffes, I'd definitely go for it. As it stands now, I don't think it's worth it. Maybe if we got some more transactions that play well with CI (much like BLC), I'd give it a shot.

27 Mar 2014 Masterkira

"wait until you have Priority Requisition and 2 Shipments from SanSan in hand, score them with EC counters (bonus points if you get a free Wotan out of the deal)"

how can i score Priority requisition with EC, if EC says "You cannot advance cards for the remainder of this turn." ?

27 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

how can i score Priority requisition with EC, if EC says "You cannot advance cards for the remainder of this turn." ?

Because EC only forbids you from taking the default action "pay a click and a credit to advance a card". Shipment from SanSan, Shipment from Kaguya and Trick of Light are all "placing advancement counters", which is a different thing - so you just play the PriReq (click one), advance it manually once (click two), the use click three to get clicks four and five, use clicks four and five to get clicks six through nine, and then use those four clicks to play two Shipments from SanSan. PriReq now has 5 counters and can be scored.

27 Mar 2014 Masterkira

PeekaySK thanks for fast-answer :)

29 Mar 2014 rnark

Hi. I tried this today on OCTGN with a friend in my goal to sample lots of corp archetypes. I was a little bit strapped for cash, but I never had to discard, and it got the job done (exactly as you suggested) in 13 turns. Thanks for posting! Celebrity Gift is hilarious when you have 9 agenda points in hand and don't have to show any.

29 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

@rnark: Glad you like it!

Glory to the Giraffe!

14 Apr 2014 calt

This deck is just great! Ran 4-1 in our Store Championship. Was only defeated by a very aggresive Gabe and a lack of ICE. 4x Account Siphon realy hurts this deck ;) but still managed to rezz a Wotan. Very fun and solid to play.

27 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

@calt: Thanks! Make sure to check out the later incarnations as well, they play differently enough to be worth the effort :)