Trials of Vulcan 1.3

Jashay 705

My Foundry binge continues!

The basic plan is to use The Foundry and The Twins in conjunction with spiky ICE to generate scoring windows. If the runner slips up, you can wound or even flatline them. This forces them to be careful.

A facet of this that I hadn't realised until recently is that people seem to run my guarded remotes less later in the game; I assume that this is to do with the fact that until proven otherwise, anything could be The Twins or a Corporate Troubleshooter. However, once there's multiple things in the remote, people run it more often, presumably thinking it's a scoring remote. The large number of assets, upgrades, and 3-cost agendas means you can play a bluffing never-advance game quite effectively.

Changes

The single Crisium Grid wasn't enough, leaving me with a choice to either go whole-hog on them or just leave them out. I've chosen to drop them and go back up to 3 Twins. I've shifted the econ a bit, adding in 2 Adonis Campaign at the cost of 2 Green Level Clearance. Seems to be working so far.

I've gone down to one Ash 2X3ZB9CY, although I might drop the last Green Level Clearance to go back up to 2. I did this so that I could swap Eden Fragment for 2 Self-Destruct Chips.

The Agendas

3x ABT, 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 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. 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 new addition is Self-Destruct Chips. Whilst slightly anti-synergistic with Sweeps Week, it makes all my ICE that little bit more dangerous, and is pretty easy to score.

The ICE

Triplicates of everything except Grim. NEXT Bronze and NEXT Silver are early ETR ICE that self-improve, and Architect is just so damn great. Getting 3 of these out is a complete pain for runners, although perhaps something to outfox the now-ubiquitous Mimic is needed

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. Whilst a lot of people will not run without a Killer, there's a good deal of popularity for one-shots like Faerie or Deus X. I have found it quite easy to chew through any recursion they might have, and Blacklist helps them stay dead.

Grim is a solid, no-frills Destroyer, and it has really pulled its weight so far. The BP is annoying, but it's absolutely worth it for the times I trash 2 breakers.

The Support

The Twins are what makes the deck so dangerous, and I really had to go back up to 3.

Corporate Troubleshooter continues to be hilarious and vital. Apart from the smaller NEXT ICE, there isn't anything a runner wants to fire, and Corporate Troubleshooter continues to deny them.

Ash 2X3ZB9CY is now a singlet; I can often score without him, and I needed the space. Cyberdex Virus Suite is a singlet to counter particularly annoying viruses. Funny in Archives.

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

Blacklist is great, ensuring 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.

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 also great. Money is essential.

A bold starting hand would involve Merlin, money, and The Twins. If they run it, rez both and kill them. 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, and 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. Drop Blacklist if you see important stuff in their heap.

Score when you can, as it will incline them to run your remotes more. Hopefully, this will lead to them getting stabbed.

Bluff things in remotes, where possible. Set up kill servers and try to force them to run. If they trash things, it's no big deal; triple Jackson Howard, Architect, and Project Vitruvius, plus a Hades Fragment, means things rarely stay dead.

Issues?

If the runner can keep ahead on econ, then it could be a problem as your combos are expensive. That said, your ICE can be extremely taxing, so with the exception of Atman at 4 with loads of Datasucker tokens, I've not found it much of an issue.

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.

The Eater matchup is still a bugger, but a lot of those decks have very poor remote accesing capabilities, so use that to your advantage.

Noise mill is super annoying; they don't run, which negates your abilities for the most part. Blacklist gives him such a kicking, though, and there is so much potential recursion in the deck.

Considerations?

Could I be making more of a bluffing game? Things like Edge of World or Cerebral Overwriter would be devastating for the runner when used in conjunction with all the murder-ICE, but it is tricky to ensure the runner goes for them.

Is it worth putting in something to attack the runner's econ? Snatch and Grab? Some tagging and Closed Accounts? It seems like it would detract from the aim of the deck, but the runner who is ahead on econ is a scary one...

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

3 comments
30 May 2015 WardOfTheWoods

Immolation Script seems like it would be really rough against this deck. How fast do you usually recur the ICE in this deck?

30 May 2015 WardOfTheWoods

Also, have you considered using Quicksand with The Twins?

31 May 2015 Jashay

Thankfully, I guess, I've yet to face Immolation Script. I'd have to see how the deck plays against it before I made any definitive statements, but my hope it that I can avoid the worst of it. After all, I would only be discarding ICE after I've used it to hit them... that said, it would make Noise mill even more vicious. But yes, that card could be a right pain.

The speed of recursion is difficult to gauge; it basically boils down to 'if you have a Jackson Howard, you're fine' in this case, and getting the Architects down is such a powerful play.

I haven't tried Quicksand; I'm not sure what benefit it would offer over NEXT Silver? Care to elaborate?

Also, can you think of a counter-play to Immolation Script? I'm racking my brains here, but most efforts would undermine the core thrust of the deck.