Trials of Vulcan 2.0

Jashay 705

I'm carrying on with The Foundry for a little bit, after a recent foray back into Stronger Together did not go so well.

The overall plan is to leverage the ID ability to set up hard-to-crack servers, but simultaneously work towards having a significant flatline threat. Overall, both factors combined should slow the Runner down long enough to generate a significant scoring window, and when they get incautious, you can often kill them.

I've made a few changes that seemed superficial at the time, but they have significantly improved how the deck plays.

Changes

Two Blacklist were dropped and replaced with Executive Boot Camp. I had fallen into a classic logical trap; because Blacklist is extremely strong in certain circumstances, I had regarded it as better than something less powerful, but more broadly applicable. Executive Boot Camp lets you trigger the ID ability far more reliably, and can help search out the other extremely helpful Assets. Whilst the deck is weaker against heavy recursion, it's a lot stronger in general play. Also, really messes with a lot of Leela builds, which seem fairly ubiquitous at the moment.

Two Grim were dropped for two Cortex Lock, with the influence coming from the grudging removal of two Sweeps Week. I really miss Sweeps Week, but Cortex Lock gives me an excellent, cheap, early game option. Between this and Architect the deck can punish early unprepared runners, where previously the early game had been a weak spot.

Those are definitely the significant changes, but the other ones were as follows:

-1 x Priority Requisition for 1 x Eden Fragment. A little better for setting up the towers, and I have Executive Boot Camp and Accelerated Beta Test for my-turn rezzing

-2 x Adonis Campaign for +2 x Blue Level Clearance... I feel dirty for doing this, but the deck seemed more efficient making fewer, bigger servers, and it was a little tricky to protect. I'm really not a fan of Blue Level Clearance, but since my other options are basically Peak Efficiency and Successful Demonstration... eh.

-2 x Sweeps Week for 2 x Green Level Clearance. Another poor switch, but I honestly feel the early game of Cortex Lock makes up for its loss.

How to Play

There's 11 early game ICE and 6 killer ICE. Get the early-game stuff down, and start stacking centrals. Putting down the killy ICE isn't bad, per se, but it is far more expensive. Use Executive Boot Camp to grab more ICE, particularly if the Runner isn't running much.

Set up servers using Merlin or NEXT Gold with The Twins, and rake in the money as much as possible. If they run the server, try to kill them. If they don't, score out. IT Department will help with the former, as a lot of the deck is concentrated at STR4, so you need to watch out for Atman

It's really that simple; keep your money up, and keep laying down ICE. Don't worry about ICE destruction; you've got recursion and tutoring everywhere.

Weaknesses?

Atman at 4. Haven't seen her much, recently, though. Your only out there is IT Department.

Resource denial can be a bugger, but the shift to Cortex Lock has helped more than I believed possible in that regard.

Massive drip econ will make it inordinately difficult to guard your agendas, but I guess that's true of every deck.

The Future

I feel like I need a second Ash 2X3ZB9CY. And I really need to find some better options for money-gaining operations, but this is apparently not HB's strength.

I think there might be scope to perhaps try Archer instead of Cortex Lock, but I still worry about the early game. I would also have to drop some things to make room for something like Domestic Sleepers, and I'm not sure what to drop. Enforcer 1.0 looked promising, but only two of its subroutines really benefit from repeated applications.

And there's always the question of Marcus Batty. Sure, only NEXT Gold is really powerful enough to warrant it, but that's a game-winning subroutine right there. I think I'd want another Destroyer before I did that, though.

Thanks for reading! As ever, comments, questions and criticisms are welcome!

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