Trials of Vulcan 1.2

Jashay 705

Some small tweaks to the previous deck

The basic plan remains the same; use synergy between The Twins and The Foundry's ID ability to generate kill opportunities. The overall aim is not so much the kill with these opportunities, as using the threat of the kill to generate scoring windows. However, it is perfectly capably of killing.

Changes

The econ is much better than it was, and Melange Mining Corp. is holding its own as a replacement for Adonis Campaign, so I'll stick with it a while longer. However, having recently encountered some ridiculous Virus-based shenanigans and had a bad run against an Eater-Keyhole combo, I have dropped a single Melange Mining Corp. and, grudgingly, one of The Twins for a single Cyberdex Virus Suite and a Crisium Grid. I'm not sure a single Crisium Grid is enough to help, but I'll give it a go at least.

The Agendas

3x Accelerated Beta Test, as they are a 3/2 agenda with an ability that has almost no downside in The Foundry. (You can trigger the ID ability to shuffle cards back into the deck, negating the possibility of discarding valuable agendas). 3x Project Vitruvius; not only are they a 3/2, if you overscore them you can use them to trigger The Twins as many times as you have tokens. (The Twins trigger in Step 3.2 of the run, and discarding sends the runner back to Step 3. There is then a Paid Abilities window in 3.1, wherein you can use a Project Vitruvius token to return the discarded ICE. At Step 3.2, The Twins trigger again, and the dance continues!)

Beyond that, Hades Fragment offers the chance to replenish the tutorable ICE, discarded agendas, or what have you. Eden Fragment could help with building ICE towers, and Priority Requisition is a nice way to save some money and trigger the ability. Mostly they were just 5/3s to keep the count low.

The ICE

Triplicates of everything except Grim. NEXT Bronze and NEXT Silver are early ETR ICE that self-improve, and Architect is helpful for setup and taxation, and is also conveniently indestructible.

NEXT Gold and Merlin are for stabbing. Merlin on its own can cause 4 net damage when you tutor one into your hand, and kill with The Twins when you discard that tutored one. NEXT Gold can kill, and can reset rigs. Sure, no-one runs without some sort of destroyer protection, but with the possibility of The Twins... are they running two at the same time?

Grim comes in as a replacement, giving me a solid Destroyer that is super-nasty with The Twins. Only two of them, though; I needed the space.

The Support

The Twins are just so good in The Foundry due to its ability to search out the redundant ICE. Whilst you can use it with Bronze and Silver, I would only do so in a pinch ( i.e. when it saved me from a massive R&D dig, Account Siphon, 3-pt agenda steal, etc.). It works best with the more powerful ICE, particualrly if it would be prohibitively expensive to rez 3 of them.

Corporate Troubleshooter seemed vital, as both of the primary attackers, ICE-wise, are STR 4. Troublesome, but not insurmountable. Also a prime Atman spot. Landing a single NEXT Gold can win the whole game, so making sure it lands is paramount. An interesting one was boosting Architect in some cases; I could often reinstall the trashed Corporate Troubleshooter for free, and get another install in the process.

Ash 2X3ZB9CY is there because the aim of the deck is still to score out. Ash works to protect agendas, but until revealed it can also be The Twins or a Corporate Troubleshooter meaning the runner has to step carefully. Also hilarious when they cannot trash your Twins after running the gauntlet.

Jackson Howard draws cards, protects fallen agendas, and can shuffle Twinned ICE back into the deck for more delicious stabbing.

Blacklist is a relatively new addition, and it's certainly pulling its weight. It invalidates a large number of common cards, like Deja Vu, Clone Chip, and Same Old Thing, and ensures that anything you break, stays broken. It also obliterates MaxX fairly single-handedly. As an knock-on effect from the cards it Silver Bullets, it makes Shaper Sharpshooter or Deus X recursion nigh-impossible, removing some of their best tools for dealing with this deck. It also gives Lady recursion a severe kick in the teeth, especially since NEXT Silver will frequently require 2-3 tokens to break.

Crisium Grid and Cyberdex Virus Suite have been slotted in to help against specific matchups. The Eater one was a particular pain, but I'm not sure 1 Crisium Grid will be enough.

Everything else is money.

How to Run

Your starting hand should include one of either low-grade NEXT ICE if at all possible. Architect is a nice bonus. Money is essential.

A bold starting hand would involve Merlin, money, and The Twins. First turn kill combo, if they're daft enough to run it. But for the start of a longer game you want to churn out the smaller NEXT ICE, so that when you do rez a NEXT Gold it's already super scary.

Then you need to get your combos set up to the best of your ability, and really rack up the money. Merlin-Twins needs 8, NEXT Gold needs 10, so make sure you have enough. You'll also need even more for Corporate Troubleshooter and Ash 2X3ZB9CY.

Whenever possible, stab the runner, especially if you have a scoring server set up. If you can hit them for 4 damage, and they spend a turn drawing up, that's a turn you can score in. If you trash even 1 or 2 programs, that's another window.

Don't be afraid to fling assets and upgrades down for fear of them being trashed; with the ICE-tutor ability and a bit of card draw you'll soon see the next copy. Also, triple Architect and Project Vitruvius with Hades Fragment means nothing really stays gone.

Bluffing with the Upgrades can work incredibly well. Is that a Crisium Grid? The Twins? Corporate Troubleshooter? The broad range of available options there forces the runner to eb prepared for a large amount of things.

Issues?

If the runner can perpetually out-econ you, you will likely be in trouble, as the combos are high-cost. I don't know if it's worth including Snatch and Grab as an anti-Kati mechanism, but it seems a little too limited in scope.

The ICE-thinning ability will mean that the deck is slightly more vulnerable to R&D digs than normal. Take this into account with your defences in the later game.

ICE destruction affects the NEXT ICE badly, but there's a whole bunch of recursion here, so it's not too much of an issue. ICE destruction suffers if they cannot recur Parasite or use Same Old Thing on their Cutlery, so play Blacklist.

Grim could almost certainly be Ichi 2.0; I want to avoid another ICE at 4 for Atman-based reasons, so Ichi 1.0 is out, and Ichi 2.0 might just be slightly too expensive. I'll give it a run out at some point, for sure.

It's almost impossible to say how begrudgingly I dropped a Twin for the Crisium Grid. I am considering swapping a Sweeps Week for a Beanstalk Royalties to get the influence back, and possibly going down to 2 Green Level Clearance, so that I can get thet 3rd The Twins back in.

Thanks for reading! Comments, criticisms and suggestions are always welcome!

3 comments
21 May 2015 FarCryFromHuman

I'm not sure Blacklist stops Same Old Thing, as the card never leaves the heap, the event is just played from the heap. There might be an FAQ on this, I haven't checked.

21 May 2015 Jashay

There is indeed such a thing:

twitter.com

To go into a bit more detail: playing an event entails placing it face up in the play area. Since it cannot leave the heap to get to said play area, it cannot be played. Blacklist really is excellent!

10 Dec 2015 CTclone

"You can trigger the ID ability to shuffle cards back into the deck, negating the possibility of discarding valuable agendas" I do not understand what you mean here. How does the Foundry ability prevent you from drawing agendas when you ABT, or allow you to shuffle them back after doing so?