Trials of Vulcan 2.1

Jashay 705

The tweaking continues! This deck is performing well, but it still doesn't feel particularly polished.

I've slightly changed the overall aim of the deck with the inclusion of Executive Boot Camp in a previous version. The aim is to shore up R&D and HQ early with the cheap NEXT ICE, and create deadly servers to score out of using NEXT Gold, Merlin and The Twins.

How it plays

It's got a number of modes of play, and in unguarded moments I think it might suffer from being slightly caught in two worlds. Usually I think of it as flexible, though. My favourite method is to ICE the centrals 2- or 3-deep with the cheaper ICE, and then make a scoring/killing server with NEXT Gold and/or Merlin with The Twins. Simply start scoring. If you can overscore a Project Vitruvius by one or two, servers become cripplingly expensive to crack.

Of course, a kill server works best if the runner intends to run it. Depending on what you're facing, it's better to use the kill combo on the centrals.

The second mode is not as well supported, as it relies on IT Department. But with the exception of Merlin, you can simply play all the ICE in your deck and use IT Department to make them terrifying. I have found that once you go to 4 counters or beyond on an IT Department, the runner can have a really bad time. Merlin still works better holding ICE in hand.

Interestingly, it gives Leela a real kicking a lot of the time; Executive Boot Camp is pretty much her bane. The current Noise decks are a bit of a pain; even with all your recursion, and tutoring for most of that recursion, it's still almost luck of the draw. If you can score Hades Fragment, you can usually pull through.

Currently the most pressing problem is Atman at 4. IT Department is your main out there, with the Cyberdex Virus Suite to clear Datasuckers at the right moment.

Whatever you are playing against, a good starting hand will have money and at least one small ICE (NEXT Bronze, NEXT Silver, Eli 1.0, and Architect). Executive Boot Camp is always good to see, and if you can score an early Gila Hands Arcology you will probably be set for money thoughout.

The Twins behind a Merlin is always a good play at any stage, but putting it behind NEXT Gold works better later.

Don't trigger ABT if you've pulled more than 4-5 bits of ICE from the deck. From experience you'll whiff around 35+% of the time. Overscore Project Vitruvius if you can to keep your tricks available.

Changes

All of the changes have been motivated by money; I was using Green Level Clearance, Blue Level Clearance, Hedge Fund and Melange Mining Corp..

Hedge Fund has stayed, and I swapped BLC for Sweeps Week, switching Cortex Lock for Eli 1.0 to free up the influence. I miss Cortex Lock already, but good grief is Blue Level Clearance bad here.

I swapped two Green Level Clearance for Subliminal Messaging; GLC is effectively +1 card, +2 for 1. Depending how I use Subliminal Messaging's free click, it can either be +2 or +1 and a card draw, so it is only a little behind. Plus, it's multi-use.

I swapped out the Melange Mining Corp. and the remaining GLC for 3 Adonis Campaign. Melange Mining Corp. was brilliant in the early game, but later on with The Foundry you will start drawing Agendas fairly swiftly, so I needed the clicks to install things more than I needed the sudden money flow. I suspect I'll switch one of the Adonis Campaign back to a Melange Mining Corp..

The other changes were -1 The Twins for +1 Executive Boot Camp; they are incredible at almost any point in the game, and I only need The Twins later. The tutor ability makes me more comfortable going down to 1 IT Department, freeing up a slot for the second Ash 2X3ZB9CY.

Considerations?

I'm not sure if Eden Fragment is the best use of agenda points. The 5s can be pretty difficult to score, and offer no definitive advantage to me here. If I could find a card to cut, I might be better putting an a 4/2 3/1 pairing, such as Chronos Project and... what? Not sure. Efficiency Committee?

Is Eli 1.0 the best choice as my extra low-cost ICE? All it has is stopping power; would I be better off with something slightly more aggressive, such as Viktor 1.0, Rototurret, Markus 1.0, or even Lab Dog?

Do I need 3 Architect? I'm leery of cutting them, as they're excellent, but they're at the higher cost end of the 'early' ICE, and later they are usually accounted for by Mimic. That said, I've had a lot of good use from them.

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

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