Criminal Adam (1st place SC, 4-0)

Sysp 1246

Oh, what a difference a card makes - Adam after Find the Truth really is a man (?) with a new lease on life.

This list is heavily based on the shell from Zeromus' Run Sometimes from Worlds 2016 which is the first really good published list to my knowledge that really optimized the Find the Truth/No ABR/Temüjin style.

Zeromus did an excellent writeup on the basics of the build so I suggest you start with that first if you are interested. Here are the main insights from his writeup together with what I've learned when trying to take it further and updating it for the SC 2017 meta over the last few months:

  • Starting without Always Be Running (ABR) gives you a much more stable early game. As with any runner, you actually want to do some setup before starting to waste even one click at the start of each turn running, let alone three if you are breaking something.

  • No ABR means that you can trigger the card draw from Safety First on the very first turn and pretty much every turn from there. Clickless draw from the start is quite good!

  • No ABR also reduces the chance of the mandatory trash from Neutralize All Threats to wreck your entire start by trashing the wrong thing and dipping too low on creds.

  • The transparency that Find the Truth gives is not equally valuable for both sides. Even if you don't see agendas off the top of RnD, you can deduce so much of the contents of the Corp's hand and unrezzed ice that it allows you to play a much better game of Netrunner. On the flip side, you are rarely hurt from what the Corp sees. Yes, there are times when it gets akward (Target Marketing, Salem's Hospitality etc) but in general, the information you are giving out is much less valuable than the one you are gaining.

  • The core of the build is only 11 influence - 3 Temüjin, 2 e3, 1 Inti, 3 Overmind and 2 Always Be Running, 3 Brain Chip. Together with the good neutral economy cards (Daily Casts, Sure Gamble, Dirty Laundry) that gives you your basic economy and breaker suite and locks down your first 23 cards. I've found this to be the very core of all of the builds I've tried and would strongly suggest to not change this core if you still want the deck to function like the Running Sometimes deck.

  • The rest (14 inf, 22 cards) are variable. There are definitely cards that are better in most builds than others. For draw, the 2 Drug Dealer (only ever install one) + Dr. Lovegood combo is amazing for only two influence. If you want even more synergestic draw and economy (and you usually do), adding 3 Career Fair and 1-3 Earthrise Hotel helps a lot with the extra benefit of Career Fair greatly increasing the chance of reducing your hand enough to let Safety First trigger right away. If you add this, you are left with about 9 inf and 13 cards. Most of the builds that have worked for me went this route.

  • For the rest, it's much more open. I've experimented with 3 Gang Sign being the last 9 influence. It's obviously great with the free HQ Interface from Neutralize All Threats but Aaron Marrón was just too good in the deck (like in every deck) to pass up in the end in the build I went with. Adding two Aarons leaves you at 5 inf. Adding 1 "Freedom Through Equality" has great synergy with Find the Truth and helps close out games in almost all matchups. After those adds, there are 10 cards left to pick.

  • Employee Strikes are great in almost every matchup, but you already knew that. Having an out to Scarcity of Resources (yikes) doesn't hurt either. The Turning Wheel is a solid plan if your Find the Truth gets trashed or you really need to assemble a big run to check the entire hand.

  • The rest is really playing the meta. For the SC I attended (and went 4-0 in), my calls weren't actually that great. In testing, I noticed that a single Net Shield together with all the clickless draw greatly improved the IG49/PU/RP Prison matchups so I went with that - and didn't face a single one :) Hunting Grounds was another add to combat Komainu/Brainstorm/Data Raven/IP Block/Toolbooth etc, didn't come up either. :) Luckily the core of the deck was good enough to carry through those dead cards. Councilman however is great in most matchups and also clears out of the hand really well to enable Safety First, might add more of those in the future.

  • For influence-free fillers, Armitage Codebusting is a good fallback when you are locked out with your Temüjin and is easy to drop to continue drawing, but 3 might be one too many. Kati Jones was a leftover from when I played Gang Sign and was pretty trash, will definitely cut that one.

  • Mad Dash from the upcoming Daedalus pack is a superb card for Adam, 1-2 might find their way into the deck as a complement or replacement to Freedom Through Equality.

Hope you liked the writeup format and the deck building insights, any feedback is appreciated! Adam isn't the most accessible of runners, but his starting abilities are terrifying and unique if you know how to put them to good use.

20 Feb 2017 chex

GGs. This deck truly is a work of art.

Here's an image from my and Sysps stimulating 3h roadtrip to this SC image

20 Feb 2017 FreqKing

Great write up thanks!

21 Feb 2017 GeneralCake

Have you tried tophat with adam? I've been enjoying it since it compliments find the truth.

21 Feb 2017 AsteriskCGY

@GeneralCakeThat's pretty interesting. Turning sounds better in situations it can build up counters, but Top Hat at 0 install and FTT peak makes it a reasonable R&D interface like interaction. Turning though is the one solution to CI decks.

21 Feb 2017 Sysp

@GeneralCake``@AsteriskCGY Yeah, Turning is generally much better than Top Hat with this playstyle since I almost never run RnD. The only times I run RnD is: 1) I've seen an agenda or a real BETTER TRASH NOW card, 2) I fake that I saw an agenda to pop a Jackson, 3) FTT was trashed and I need to deep dig with Turning Wheel to win the game. Turning Wheel is mostly used for hitting HQ to find out if an agenda I saw earlier but couldn't steal is still in HQ or was just installed into a remote.

22 Feb 2017 AsteriskCGY

Just realized you don't have public sympathies. Hum, wonder if the tradeoff against Earthrise would be worth it. Get the Safety first draws earlier vs the speed of earthrise.

22 Feb 2017 Sysp

@AsteriskCGY That's the thing. I get the Safety First draws already from the first turn and after that very consistently. It's just making sure that the deck rotates out of hand well, so improving the quality of the deck makes Sympathies less important. If I'm blunt, I've found that Public Sympathies are a bit of a crutch. I started with them as well, but haven't played them for a month and are never missing them.

22 Feb 2017 Gdude1231

@Sysp could you explain to me why Inti and Overmind are seemingly always the breakers for Adam?

22 Feb 2017 Sysp

@Gdude1231 Well, it's mostly to save inf. The first Overmind (or Inti) is usually enough counters to give you your first steal and sometimes even two (if you check for opening hand agendas in HQ). Then e3 and Brain Chip kicks in so you have enough counters to threaten remotes while using FTT to find the agendas on top of RnD or see them go into HQ where you can run and steal them with Neutralize All Threats. Find the Truth basically allows you to run smartly instead of checking blindly. I rarely need the 3rd Overmind since I have ABR and/or Inti by then. There are other styles to Adam ofc (Faust etc) that runs centrals more aggressively but Overmind / Inti seems like a bargain for only 1 inf. I've tried adding Mimic as well but it usually doesn't provide enough to be worth the inf / mem.

23 Feb 2017 AsteriskCGY

I just felt salty playing against a HB Cybernetics Division with Enforced Curfew and a scored Self Destruct Chips.

23 Feb 2017 Stoned44

how about Injection Atack? It has super synergy with Overmind. How many Mad Dash would you put in ?

23 Feb 2017 Sysp

@AsteriskCGY Haha, yeah that is not great. :) If you can survive the early game vs Cybernetics Division, Brain Chip usually puts you well out of range of any kill they have. That said, I've voluntarily gone down from 9 hand size to 0 vs Brainstorm in one game to Temujin for free on Archives. Hand size is a crutch. ;)

@Stoned44 Injection Attack is really just an econ card and one that doesn't cycle out of hand that easily (which is crucial for Safety First). It's not a great one either, you basically need there to be two 2+ str ice on the same server that you aren't able to ignore or break with ABR for it to be as good as a Dirty Laundry and it's much less flexible. I rather have a more cycleable econ card like the shitty Armitage that helps you when your run econ gets stuck.

I would put 1-2 Mad Dash in, and then think long and hard about if I think that I'll be able to combine it with Freedom through Equality reliably or not. Only problem with Mad Dash is that it doesn't cycle out of hand (starting to see a pattern? ;) ) so you might want to limit the number in your deck, but 1-2 should be fine and very powerful with FTT.

23 Feb 2017 Stoned44

U have right. I havent seen this from this angle. THX.

25 Feb 2017 TeraBlitz

Noob question, do you ever run out of power counters on Overmind? 3 before your first steal sounds like not much.

25 Feb 2017 AsteriskCGY

@TeraBlitzit can get pulled out with an installed e3 and usually lasts long enough for Adam to get that early steal.

25 Feb 2017 GooberMan

I ran with a modified version of this deck at a SC. My changes were:

My thoughts on the deck like that are:

  • You only need two Temüjin Contracts. Money is not this deck's problem.
  • Uninstall is super useful in early game scenarios, and even late game if you just can't get your Brain Chip out in time
  • The extra Hunting Grounds was pointless for this SC since I didn't see a single Tollbooth or any other "on encountered" ice. Having said that, there were a few Jinteki: Replicating Perfection decks at the SC that I didn't play against.
  • The efficiency of Overmind is just too good compared to Always Be Running with the ice I was facing and the cash I was swimming in. I'm going to throw in some Special Orders thanks to one match having all my Overminds and Always Be Runnings at the bottom of the deck. Tutoring will speed the deck up, and extra shuffling helps avoid bad situations like that.
  • Cerebral Imaging: Infinite Frontiers demands a third Employee Strike. As soon as you let their hand size get out of control, it's very hard to bring the game back in your favor thanks to fast advance tricks.
  • I never got much use out of The Turning Wheel. Mostly because of CI nonsense. Clot is going to be the more useful card for me there, but then I'd need to find MU for it...
  • I don't know what to drop, but finding a spot for On the Lam or New Angeles City Hall is going to be required in the local meta. Aaron's counters are useless in an Accelerated Diagnostics play.

But overall, man, Adam is fun to run. Tools to deal with fast advance and power shutdown would have made my day easier. The core of this deck won't rotate out in six months either, and as such it really seems he's going to be more powerful very soon (especially after replacing "Freedom Through Equality" with Mad Dash for zero influence).

25 Feb 2017 GooberMan

(Derp. Freedom is zero influence anyway. Nevermind that last bit.)

26 Feb 2017 Cyberzack

This deck seems really cool. Awesome to see it performed nice as well. Im curious about the intended playstyle with Find The Truth. Do you try to trigger Find The Truth every turn if able? like, do you make a decent number of runs just for the trigger and no other purpose? (I understand once you get your contracts up this becomes a non-issue) Or do you feel like the deck plays better with more of a setup and tempo efficiency focus, with find the truth firing on runs you need to make throughout the game?

27 Feb 2017 Sysp

@GooberMan Adam represent! Can't agree with Uninstall (never needed in my opinion) and 2 Temujin. Totally agree on the NACH though, if you can fit it and its warranted by the meta it's a great choice. I had NACH before I added Aaron which shores up regular tagging quite well but if you expect a lot of AD > 24/7 combo (i.e Railgun), you kinda need NACH. NACH is also quite nice vs IP Block.'

@Cyberzack Great question. It's always a judgement call unless the choice is obvious (free Dirty Laundry, Temujin, trashing run you are making anyways, open HQ etc). If I am set up properly to get into RnD if I see something (Overmind with 3 counters and cash / ABR with e3), I definitely do the run for nothing more than the info most of the time, especially if I can still keep the draw from Safety First going even if I sacrifice a click to run.

If I can't get into RnD that also means I can't get into remotes, which is quite bad. In that case, I usually draw / play stuff / Armitage more aggressively so I can find an Overmind / ABR / e3 / Inti as fast as possible and end up in a position where I threaten remotes and RnD. If you get stuck on cards in hand that doesn't rotate (extra copies of Aaron, Lovegood, ABR etc), it's sometimes the right call to spend a turn to overdraw and sac that dead weight even if it turns off Safety First for one turn.

Also, don't disregard the possibility of doing a slightly more expensive HQ run to get an FTT if you suspect agendas in there (especially opening hand cards that you haven't seen through FTT). This will also give you a FTT peek which could yield anything from a double score to 3 cards worth of information (2 from hand, 1 from RnD) which is not to be underestimated.

27 Feb 2017 locusshifter

I ran this list over the weekend, my only change being swapping Freedom for a Mad Dash. That's definitely a great change.

Otherwise, any changes to the econ that others have mentioned do not help in the face of glacier, or outpacing a kill.

3 Mar 2017 ogrillion

Great writeup! It does better than I have ever seen at pointing out where you can very for your local meta. I'll be running this Adam skeleton for a while now- its a total blast!

24 Feb 2018 eristotle