Saraswati: Endless IA

ptc 74

This is my take on rusefus' excellent deck.

The basic idea is to set up a taxing remote protected by some combination of Anansi, DNA Tracker, Kakugo, and Data Raven then bait runs and mess with the runner's head as much as possible by using your ID ability's click compression to IA something every turn. Be it a 4/2, Reversed Accounts, Bio Vault, Gene Splicer or yes, even NeoTokyo Grid, NGO Front or Rashida Jaheem.

Losing an NGO can hurt, but if it baits a run for 1c (or free with NeoTokyo Grid), then it's usually worth it. Plus if they don’t run it, you save a click and 2c (with NeoTokyo) on it. If you're really hurting for cash, you can just IAA it the regular way, but this deck generally runs pretty rich anyway.

Some fun turns are:
IA, 2nd adv Bio, ICE/Hedge/IPO
IA Bio, A, IA agenda (yes you can use the ID ability multiple times a turn)
Fast Track, IA (agenda or otherwise), ICE/Hedge/IPO
Fast Track GFI, IA, A
Celebrity Gift (showing an agenda plus other advanceable), IA

The agendas are pretty straight-forward. Corporate Sales Team and Nisei MK II are self explanatory. Timely Public Release effectively acts as a third Border Control if you have one in archives or a surprise ETR from HQ. GFI means the runner has to steal 4 to win, but it does create an obvious exception to the "IA everything" rule meaning the runner will likely know it's an agenda. Use some combination of Nisei tokens, BC, Reversed Accounts, and Bio-Vault to score it out. Gene Splicer acts as a 7th point if you don't see a GFI or aren't able to score one.

As I said earlier, this deck generally doesn't hurt for cash, so if I was going to change anything agenda-wise, it'd be a CST. Another potentially strong option pointed out by boreira is the newly released Vulnerability Audit. It fits into the whole IA thing very nicely, although it does potentially mean one less steal required for a runner win.

I've personally never seen NeoTokyo Grid played before but decided to throw one in after coming across it while looking for potential IA targets. I quickly added a second after playing a game with it. It saves a TON of creds and the runner likely won't realise how strong it is until it's too late. The 5c trash cost means a nice tempo hit if they do decide to trash it.

The ICE suite is the only thing I'm not 100% on. The original deck didn't have any Kakugo in it but getting 2 on the remote can add a really nice extra tax in the way of net damage. The risk of losing a key Levy or something can really deter a runner. I used a couple of leftover inf on a Data Raven to add another annoying tax. I think Mirāju is underrated as a one-of as it can turn some runners off HQ completely for the low, low price of 2c, but I could see cutting it for something else.

If I were to switch up the GFI for Vulnerability Audit, I'd probably use the free unicorn slot to swap out Data Raven and a couple IP Blocks for some Surveyors for increased tax and either an extra Thimblerig for ICE maneuverability, or a Swordsman if those pesky turts are giving you grief.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated!

18 Apr 2019 boreira

Vulnerability Audit would fit in endless IA

19 Apr 2019 ptc

@boreiraOh yeah that's true. It would mean the runner could win off 3 steals though. Hmm tough call.

19 Apr 2019 deleriad

Played a version of this at Pubrunner last night. Swapped out the GFIs for 3 Medical Breakthroughs. That freed up influence for a 3rd Border Control. Changed the ICE influence to an Afshar and Architect due to all the Stabby Maxx. Also added a Crick because it is a substantial tax.

Lost both times but put up a good fight against Stabby Maxx and Nexus 419. It runs out of gas a little. What it really needs is a new card like Gene Splicer - an advanceable trap that can trash itself for a useful effect if it doesn't get sprung.

19 Apr 2019 rusefus

@CutthroatFinch Hi, thanks for the shoutout! NeoTokyo is a next level galaxy brain include :D. Hope you're having fun, Saraswati was always a blast to play for me.

19 Apr 2019 ptc

@rusefusThanks for the inspiration! I messed around with a few Sara decks when it came out but could never get it to quite work until I found yours. I’ve been having heaps of fun with it :)

@deleriadMedical Breakthrough could definitely work and I like Architect if there’s a lot of ice destruction in your meta.
There are 2 Gene Splicer in this list already :P Though trying to use it as a trap is a bit meh IMO. Runners rarely run with 2 cards in hand against Jinteki and if it doesn’t get a flatline, you’ve pretty much wasted a full turn and 3c.

20 Apr 2019 gilesdavis

Can confirm, the endless IA definitely wears you down, just let me hammer R&D in peace like a good shaper :D The good feels of killing an unrezzable NGO bluff only kinda make up for running the sixth straight IA lol

Definitely a ton of ice destruction around at the moment, hard to find inf for Afshar/Architect though.

21 Apr 2019 ptc

@gilesdavisswapping out D-Rave for Architect is easy enough but Afshar could be a little trickier to squeeze in. Maybe drop two IP for one and a Swordsman or something? IP is just such great/cheap turtle hate and decently taxing against reg breakers too.

That said, you have to play against this more than most so I’m not sure if I should be taking your advice :P