[5 Point Eternal] Drugs, Guns and Quality Times

jove 8

Do you like trashing every card in r&d on turn 2?
Do you like taking double digit brain damage in one turn?
Do you feel netrunner would be a better game if the corp player wasn't involved?

This is a Salvaged Vanadis Armory deck that trades in the consistency of the Loup/Gnat versions for unmitigated speed. Turn 2 wins are possible with good draws, turn 3 is common. Even the slowest hands will make turn 5, but this is not a deck for cowards. You will have to put your faith in the heart of the cards and constantly play towards your outs. With good play you'll be able to mill all of r&d by turn 4 in about 90% of your games.

Opening turns:
Your only goal is to get set up for your combo, you want four things in descending order of importance:

20-30 cards remaining in the stack.
A few pieces of big draw like Quality time, Inject or I've Had Worse+Zer0 and some amped up. Enough that you will be able to draw into more draw events, Amped Ups and Deja Vus.
~20 credits (or ~10 if you've preinstalled shard).
An installed Titanium Ribs, Zer0 and SVA.

Don't be in any hurry at this stage, you can go off turn 3 or 4 even if you take your time. Playing 2 Day Job or Peace in our Time will get you the money, but Sure Gamble and Moshing work in a pinch. None of the goals other than cards in the stack are a hard requirement. You have a lot of flexibility to work around missing things. Try to play smaller draw events before the big ones in the hope of saving them for the combo turn and don't be afraid to click to draw with a Quality Time in your hand. Don't pay too much attention to your handsize when drawing, you should still try to install things to avoid having to hold/discard them but outside of your few installables at some point you'll have to pick the best 5 cards from the top half of your deck whatever you do.

The turn before:
When you see that your stack is approaching 25 cards you'll want to slow down your draw and prepare for the combo turn. It's rare that you'll have completed the entire list of goals but whatever your situation you'll usually want to go next turn. Waiting at this point doesn't improve things and just means you have less cards on the combo turn and you're more likely to have to discard important cards either to handsize or with maxx. When deciding what cards to keep in your hand, think about what's left in your stack. You are going to draw every card in there next turn and you need to keep the minimum of cards like sva/labor rights, so you have as much room as possible for amped up and draw.

The turn:
Start drawing with your big draw events. You want to draw as many cards in as few clicks as possible, using amped up to keep going, deja vu it back if you have to. This is the risky part where you can stall, but in the vast majority of cases your deck will give you the draw and amped ups that you need to make it to the bottom. Most of the time you'll make it with amped ups and deja vus to spare. Don't worry if you don't have any amped ups going into the turn, put your faith in the heart of the cards and play 2 quality times and click zer0 on I've had worse to draw 15. Take care not to spend your second last click trying to draw an amped up when you have a deja vu in hand and one in the heap.

Once your stack is empty, you'll want to play the rest of the amped ups in your hand, then start using labor rights to recur them, trashing all the extra cards you just drew to the brain damage. When you come towards the end of your labor rights start using and recurring SVAs, usually you'll be able to get the most mill by using 3 or 4 of them. Then run archives, steal 7 points and win. If everything goes perfectly, you get a good setup and your opponent has no ice on archives or assets in play it really is as simple as that. A common pattern is to play the first 2 labor rights for 3 amped ups, on the second amped up of the second labor rights start activating SVA, for the last labor rights get 2 amped ups and an SVA. If you managed to play all 3 amped ups before the first labor rights and clicked Zer0 this turn that's 42 cards from R&D and can be done from 2 clicks and 4 credits.

Most of the time it won't go as smoothly as that. You will be short on clicks, credits or cards, Maxx will have trashed a few important pieces or your opponent has iced archives and has Jackson. You need to take careful stock of what cards are in your hand how many clicks and credits you have and if you'll need Shard or Rumor Mill and think ahead to find a line for maximum mill. Resources can be tight but you have a lot of tools for converting between them or getting in extra damage or sva activations and it's not uncommon to win with 0 clicks, credits and cards in hand. Most importantly you need to be thinking ahead to this moment in prior turns. You know what cards are left in your stack so you can predict what cards you'll have in your hand at this point. Even if it all goes wrong so long as you make it to the bottom of your stack with a few credits you'll probably be able to put together a mill for at least 25 cards, the vast majority of games you can get their whole deck. Just remember you must finish with a hades shard or archives run or you will die to brain damage.

MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock really improves the deck's consistency. Her rarely trashing a few easily recurred pieces is a small price to pay for the draw. A game where maxx trashed 2 labor rights, 2 sva and a ribs ended in a turn 4 win, same with a game where she trashed two amped ups turn one. On the combo turn her draw makes it that much more likely that you'll be able to keep chaining draw and amped ups. Both of her abilities mean that your stack will be a little bit smaller and easier to hit the bottom of.

Salvaged Vanadis Armory is the win condition. Install the first one as soon as you can and try to hold onto others if you see them, but not above labor rights.

Amped Up is your only source of clicks and your main source of damage on your combo turn. Hold on to any that you see above all else and try to Deja Vu back any that Maxx has trashed before you go off.

Titanium Ribs is a vital combo piece and should be installed as soon as you see it. When you can you should reinstall the second copy while digging through your deck on the combo turn to get 2 extra damage and trigger 2 I've Had Worse drawing 6 in one click, the best draw the deck can get. If you don't find it until the combo turn it's usually correct to play it right away, even if you only have one I've Had Worse to trash, to prevent your amped ups hitting anything important. Though if your ability to make it to the bottom of the stack is in question, it's better to play bigger draw events and just trust in the heart of the brain damage.

Labor Rights is your big recursion piece, you will want to play 3 of these for amped ups and svas every game.

Déjà Vu is a great all around card. It can be used to recur amped ups/quality times and help you get to the bottom of your stack. It can recur svas/amped ups/labor rights to help get in extra mill. It can be played early to get back something maxx trashed. It can be good to hold one in hand if you only have 1 amped up going into the combo turn.

Peace in Our Time is very card efficient economy. It's a full half of the money we're likely to spend during the game and playing one on turn 1 or 2 is great. Think carefully before playing one on the combo turn. You're using a very important click that you could be using to draw to the bottom of your deck and it's another card you won't be able to discard to damage later. If there's no ice on archives and you don't have shard installed don't be tempted by it. Between the loss of cards in your hand and the extra cost of having to install shard you're getting almost nothing and you're spending a critical draw click.

Day Job is more card efficient economy. Mostly it's just a bad Peace in our Time that takes your whole turn but it's still worth playing turns 1-3. It does have the advantage that in rare cases where money is very tight but you have a lot of clicks it can be played during the combo turn, usually to help you install a shard. Like all things on the combo turn you must plan ahead and play it early or you may find you can't get the clicks and credits to get it out and keep going.

Sure Gamble is a few extra credits. Most games you won't play it but it's good during setup if you can't find 2 of the big economy cards. Usually a much better choice than Day Job on the combo turn if you want to install a shard. Just remember to plan ahead.

Quality Time is premium draw. Try to save it for the combo turn, throwing out a few of these all but guarantees you find what you need to keep going.

Inject is the smaller cheaper cousin, but 4 cards in one click is still great.

I've Had Worse is yet more draw, combined with Zer0 it's 5 cards and a credit for a click and you should try to save one for the combo turn if you have Zer0 installed. Otherwise it's smaller draw and tends to be used in the early turns, often as part of installing ribs. Beware it won't trigger from amped up brain damage. Ribs, respirocytes and zer0 are the only ways to trigger it.

Diesel is even more small draw, usually played on the earlier turns. Occasionally you will want to play it right after labor rights to save you a click of drawing in return for the card in your hand, the same goes for the rest of your draw cards but diesel is the best at this being free.

Zer0 turns any of your cards into build script and I've Had Worse into a quality time that makes you money. Even better it's an extra damage for armory. Hopefully you'll have one installed going into the combo turn but if not it's usually better to leave it in your hand until you're sure you can clear your stack then use it for the last few cards. Installing it before clicking it is 5 cards for 2 clicks and is one of your worst options when digging for your life.

Moshing is best played in the early turns to help make a bit of cash and get you deeper into your deck but it can also be used as a draw piece and economy on the combo turn. Usually you'd prefer to play a card like diesel, so you have more cards in your hand for damage later, but sometimes the 3 credits will be invaluable. You need to think ahead about how many credits you'll need and try to play it early before your stack is empty so you still get the full benefit of the draw.

Rumor Mill is your counter to Jackson Howard and Spin Doctor. You will usually lose to these cards if you don't play it, so take the time to recur it before you start popping armories if they have any unrezzed assets in play.

Hades Shard is your counter to ice on archives. Install it before the combo turn if you can. Getting the free install is nice but don't be tempted into making runs if you at all suspect Power Shutdown.

Respirocytes can do a meat damage for free, mostly you'll just discard it to brain damage but occasionally you can use one to sneak out some more mill. Sometimes you should play one to trigger an I've Had Worse while drawing on the combo turn as it's 1c cheaper and gives you an extra damage, though leaves you with 1 less card in hand at the end.

Just kidding. The corp is not relevant.

In conclusion, Salvaged Vanadis Armory is completely busted and probably needs to be banned. Maybe corp players will prove me wrong and find some way to combat it, but as it stands it's almost impossible to meaningfully interact with it outside of very niche tech cards and it just reaches over the table and throws your deck into the trash on turn 3.

16 Jul 2021 callforjudgement

I think this deck has at least one bad matchup: Haarpsichord Studios: Entertainment Unleashed. It's hard to see how it could lose to anything that doesn't counter it with its identity or agenda suite, though.

(It has got me seriously thinking about what sort of deck could make use of a 40-card identity, three Global Food Initiative and three Project Vacheron, though! That agenda suite seems like a good counter to a range of Runner combo decks, but it's unclear what you'd do to actually win.)

16 Jul 2021 jove

Yeah, there are tech cards like haarpsichord that just cause instant concession. In haarps case before the game even starts, but they are very niche. They usually don't even hit the other SVA decks. Blacklist is another one that is unbeatable for this deck. Skorpios Defense Systems: Persuasive Power and Jinteki: Personal Evolution are relevant as well, but they can still be won. Vacheron doesn't trigger from archives so it's no help. Cards like Obokata Protocol and Bellona do matter, you will sometimes finish your combo turn with few extra resources to pay for them but the majority of games you'll be able to find the resources for 1-2 of them while still hitting their whole deck and the others you can probably still find a 25+ card mill. If Vach did trigger from archives that would be enough for you to be 100% against this deck. It's going to steal all 6 of your points and then die to brain damage.

You can start teching for these things. Taking a leaf from the other SVA decks and replacing Hades Shard with Eden Shard to avoid having to steal anything works. Replacing Zer0 with Employee Strike is an option for the IDs as well but I wouldn't advise either of these things unless the tech cards start having a serious place in the meta and then I'd probably just go eden over estike. It means that you now absolutely must mill their whole deck if there's ice on archives so you will lose to yourself a little more often. Same with removing Zer0, you'll be more likely to stall, but I'd guess in both cases you're still above 85% to get there.

Honestly I'm hoping none of that will be relevant and changes will be made to the points to kill this version of the deck. It's just too uninteractive. As much as you can totally hose it with haarp, conceding as soon as you see the wrong ID and playing solitaire the rest of the time still isn't interactive fun netrunner.