S.O.L. 2.0-Pandemonium 2016 Regionals 6th Place

Bakashinobi 218

I Made it to the top 8 cut of the 2016 Regionals at Pandemonium Books and Games Cambridge, MA going 7-1 for 4 rounds of swiss after using a first round bye (netting me a 9-1 for swiss and top seed). I then lost in the third round of double elimination, but the this deck lost only 1 game for the day (A legwork+HQ run hit a 4 card hand of nothing but agendas).

This is a fun deck that leverages tags is ways beyond just 'kill the runner' (though it does run a scorch to not pass up that opportunity.) I’m exceptionally proud of this deck not just for performance but also for how often my opponents mention how much fun it was to play against.

The deck aims for three ways to win: fast advance; either by Astro train or Sansans, psychobeale with midseasons (a minimum of 26 credits for 13 tags+13 advancements), or in a distant third, kill a runner low on cards. The normal game plan all start the same way though, and that’s make as much money as possible as fast as possible. Operations are good for that, though if you can melange, melange for money and play operations on turns that you need to do other things.

As for gendas, Astro is in the deck because it’s astro, Beale is in for psychobeale goodness, Exploda is great for setting up a good midseasons, and Global Food for extra slots but still forcing 4 steals for maximum midseason opportunities.

Almost all the ice in the deck is super cheap to help rushing for money with melange or an early astro. I’m more than happy to pitch cards to keep getting a money advantage with melange. News Hound, Wraparound, and resistor are 3 great pieces of cheap rush ice and Pop-up is great for a deck this money hungry. Information overload is the outsider as it’s mostly there to cripple the runner after a big midseasons and as an emergency rez if things are looking bad (though if you can use it to stick a tag last click and scorch the runner for a kill, that’s always gravy!). Put if on R&D as most runners know the clock is ticking after a big midseasons and will first hit R&D.

Targeted marketing is account siphon defence first, making the runner not want to play power cards second (Wyldside, Faust, Parasite etc.), and econ last. Paywall plays second fiddle to targeted marketing but it still a good way to discourage runner with desperado for endlessly running. The currents exist to turn on news hounds first and provide benefit second, so I don’t want any currently that cost money. That said, targeted marketing does make chameleon decks funny to play against.

Lily Lockwell is a slow, but good way to pull up the one off operations after the runner has been hit with a tagstom and draw on rez is also very helpful as I often draw aggressively playing this deck. You can get a kill if the runner is open, pull up psychographics to get ready for psychobeale, pull up a current if you need to switch or overwrite the runner’s current, or just get a money card. It’s helpful though I wouldn’t say it’s critical to the deck. If I did replace it with anything though, it would be card draw as I do draw aggressively when playing this deck. Daily Business show is a top contender to replace lilly lockwell.

All in all, it’s a deck that makes good use of tags in ways most runners aren’t expecting with some interesting surprises and tricks that makes it super fun to play. It served me well this store championship season, helping me first in a 26 person tournament and 8th in a 42 person tournament.

10 Apr 2016 bubbathegoat

Having played against this deck, I just want to point out that it is explosive. This is the opposite of IG grind, it bursts and wins rapidly after a modest set-up in the early game. The best runner strategy is econ denial. Unfortunately, the corp is usually able to find a Targeted Marketing and call for Vamp and/or Account Siphon.

Once the deck is ready to roll, the corp will start scoring agendas off of a SSCG. He won't necessarily bother to Fast Advance, if he has the cash he'll score an agenda and install another agenda back on top of the SSCG. This corp wants to Midseason Replacements the runner.

The tagstorm is aimed at scoring a Beale worth 5-7 points with Psychographics, but it's worth pointing out that kicking off an AstroScript Pilot Program train puts some powerful pressure on the runner as well. In this Faust-heavy meta, a flatline via the lone Scorched Earth is also likely, particularly since it can be tutored, drawn, and played all in a single turn if the runner starts their turn low on cards.

This deck does a lot of unexpected things, and it wins a lot of games. It was the top seed in the Cambridge regionals, which had a pretty strong field.

10 Apr 2016 bracketbot

Very cool deck! Did you manage any blowouts with Information Overload? I always found that card to be a bit win-more -- it is so expensive to rez, and only works after a midseasons. Any consideration for something like Assassin in its place?

10 Apr 2016 bracketbot

I'd also consider running Sea Source over Snatch and Grab. It's obviously a lot less efficient when you're dealing with something like Film Critic, and requires a run, but on the flip side, it turns on Scorch and allows you to trash important non-connection resources (like Wyldside) in matchups where S&G would be dead.

10 Apr 2016 Bakashinobi

@bracketbot I didn't have any blowouts this tourament, but I was often winning quickly anyways. I have gotten blowouts like that in the past and they've guaranteed the win from there. It's also very helpful against any tag-me deck, particularly Maxx, as I don't run crisium for keyhole protection. Assassin is 5 to deal with for eater while information overload becomes worse the more tags they have.

It's essentially the only piece of late game ice and with all the rush ice I need something like that. newshound is great ice, but eventually I need something to stop the runner hard and information overload is the best R&D defence for post-midseasons. After all, pre-midseasons, the runner isn't pressured and can sit back and wait for me to try to score or just hit my HQ. After midseasons, the runner KNOWS that a timer is on and almost always runs R&D ASAP. Information punishes that play while keeping R&D secure as that's the main place I can lose after midseasons. I'm not trying to make taxing servers, I'm mostly going for binary servers; either the runner can't get in or the runner can get in and I'm trying to get them to steal or go broke trashing Sansans.

As for snatch and grab, it's also good for killing Kati in addition to film critic. I prefer it over SEA source as snatch and grab doesn't need a successful run and paywall can discourage a successful run. Also, the scorch is a 1 off mostly to kill runner who are open rather than being a combo plan; two 1-off cards is too unreliable in my opinion. I'm more likely to be able to get a tag off news hound or information overload and kill with a scorch that way than finding Sea-Scorch without Lily Lockwell tutoring.

Part of my mindset for this come comes from how I played a Haarp kill that would use profiteering to burst up on money and then dare the runner to steal my naked agendas. I follow a similar aggressive plan with this deck. I use the pile of money to make the runner second guess if they want to steal early and information overload to lock them out of R&D late game while I'm putting together the psychobeale or just working to fast advance out.

All that said, it's always best to play the game as it develops. I've used psychographics to just get an astro out of my hand and start an astro train. I've clicked up to 5 credits to just 5-point beale against a tag-me Maxx who overwrote my targeted marketing to siphon me because I had a scored Astro and could fast advance out on my next 3/2. The deck is best when it sticks to the psychobeale plan but it's still flexible enough to work when any part of the plan fails.

10 Apr 2016 bracketbot

Cool, thanks for the explanations

20 Apr 2016 Rhaplanca1001

Why is this deck Sol rather than SYNC? Is the protection Targeted Marketing offers (and News Hound) more useful than the tag-removal tax?

20 Apr 2016 bubbathegoat

The tags usually go on all at once from a massive Midseason Replacements, which most runners normally react to as 'well, now I'm tagged for the rest of the game.' Removing tags is rarely a focus, except to prevent the all-in-one Project Beale from being FA'd.

In addition, yes, News Hound and unbrekable Targeted Marketing are worth it. News Hound as a 2-rez 2-sub ETR sentry is a very solid piece of ICE. Econ denial is a power move against this deck, but TM turns it off. Tagstorm is expensive, so getting cash up is important; getting paid for the runner installing Wyldside helps.

20 Apr 2016 Bakashinobi

@Rhaplanca1001as @bubbathegoat said, those are two very stong parts of the deck. New Hound is the best rush ice in the game in my opinion (once a current is out) and this deck plays with a rush plan (though it rushes money rather than agendas usually).

Targeted marking is very important for keeping the money advantage as the deck either wants to land that big misdseason and psychobeale+information overload for the win or start fast advancing off sansans. Without Targeted marketing, you need either crisium or better ice to protect your credits. Not to mention you can get the runner to not play cards you don't want to see (RDI on a personal workshop) or to pay you when they play cards they HAVE to play (Wyldside, Faust, etc).

Also, Sync works best when you're constantly taxing the runner with a tag here and there with things like data raven. This deck only has one source of tags and that's the big midseasons play. Most people don't bother trying to clear 10+ tags and just go for broke, so SYNC would really only add the ability to kill resources cheaper. If I was going to do something like this in sync, I'd want to use tags to keep taxing the runner until they decide to just keep the tags and go from there.

17 May 2016 tzeentchling

I find Melange a bit odd in this all-Whizzard-all-the-time meta. The runner seems to have no issues checking any remote you make and it's trivial to trash, either in play or on R&D. Normally I'm all for it - especially in a deck that needs to have more money than the runner - but might Restructure be better here?

17 May 2016 Bakashinobi

@tzeentchlingMost people trash melange whenever they see it regardless if they're whizzard or not. Restructure might be nice, but I'm often hitting melgange often early in the game to get my credit lead. Targeted marketing means that I can often call for what they would need to kill melgange getting me ahead either way. It's only good early, yes, but that's when I want it anyways. Late game I've got them tagged and just want to assemble my psychobeale to win.

18 May 2016 tzeentchling

I've found in similar decks that if the runner is able to get to 6 points, it becomes very hard to win out, especially if any of those stolen agendas were Astros. With no Breaking News to bluff, this becomes even harder. Any thoughts on a singleton SEA Source or something similar, to at least give a chance of salvaging a Scorch win?

Also, this may be crazy, but I might consider dropping the two Paywalls for a Biotic Labor. It does lower the Current count, but I find very few runners are as actively running as Paywall might want. Biotic gives you another way to score, at least. Could also be another Scorch, I suppose, if you wanted to go all-in on that plan too.

21 May 2016 Smattc

Came 4th at Melbourne Australia Regionals today with this deck. Took our 1 Cyberdex for a Fast Track. That was the only change. Have been playing Sol a bit and liked your build. Fast track won me a game so pretty happy with that change. Also Melange is great and in the Whizzard Meta. An early melange behind a news hound is priceless... Also against a Criminal player Paywall was gold.

21 May 2016 Bakashinobi

@smattc Congratulations on doing so well! I'm happy to see other people being able to have success with this list.