With this stimhack league about to end, I’ve now played two leagues with one Noise deck that I think might interest some people. I’m no Nordrunner or Mediohxcore, but I’ve made 1600 elo in both stimhack leagues and that’s more than fine with me. Maybe the choices for some cards are interesting to people, but I mostly hope to show an example of why it may pay to play a second tier deck.
This is an anatomy of anarchy deck, and largely build with experience of playing samrs’s hemorrhage noise deck when Noise had to be reinvented in a post Jackson era. I thought that deck was amazing, loads of fun to play, so with upstalk coming out, the original idea was to test lamprey in an AoA deck. In the weeks after that this list came to be in a somewhat organic fashion which is a long story but mostly a boring one.
R&D / Stack
3x Account Siphon
3x Deja Vu
3x Gorman Drip v1
3x Plascrete Carapace
3x Data Leak Reversal
2x John Masanori
2x Joshua B.
3x Same Old Thing
At the time of building of this deck, corps were still desperate to find answers to siphon spam. Closed accounts was one way of doing that, that was appearing in more decks. Samrs’s list had Armitages to get himself out of such a hole. The goal with this list was to have one Scheherazade and/or one cyberfeeder up and operate largely in the 0-2 cred range. Nowadays that’s less of an issue, but the idea was to be able to play when poor, without having to click for creds too often.
The goal of this list was a bit more aggressive than Samrs’s one. Partially because I’m a Johnny, partially because the initial core of the deck leant itself to it, the goal of the deck wasn’t to win through accessing cards. It lacks the typical finisher in anarch, medium, for example. The goal was to keep the corp at zero creds. One can’t fast advance when poor, one can’t set up a remote. One can’t win with scorched. Ones traps won’t fire.
Having the two basic strategies in mind, there are a couple of cards, whether there or absent, that are going to raise question marks.
First up: Kraken. This was a later addition in the building of the list, having experienced that this deck could snowball games somewhat easily, locking out the corp player if he ever got to 0 creds. Having the stimhack article that win-more might not be a problem in netrunner in mind, kraken got tested. Given that this was a snowbally deck already, it felt fair to give that principle a test. Fewer rezzed ice on the board would be good for this deck anyway. But Kraken turned out to be so much more. Even in games that were about to slip away from this deck because the corp had figured out what was going on and was starting to lock it out, given the economic pressure this deck is trying to achieve, it is still going to have quite a couple of accesses. In addition to being a win more card, kraken turned out to be one of the more potent comeback cards this deck could wish for. Blowing up an ice of your choosing in a game where a low number of actually rezzed ice is expected, is really good, esspecially if one piece of ice can make all the difference for this deck.
Second: Lack of Grimoires. There’s only two programs in this deck that aren’t going to be trashed, those would be corroder and yog. Yog is a one-off, basically because it turned out to be the “best AI” that could be found and it was another card to draw in the faster matchups against the ETR code gates. It simply paid to have seven ways of dealing with quandary, in stead of six. Anyway, there was no way this deck ever needed five memory. Playing a three cost card (which is a lot!) just for another virus counter was pointless. Grimoire is good with Imp, but on parasite it was just trickery, on the other virusses it didn’t even make a noticable change.
Third: Lamprey! Don’t laugh, this card is amazing. This is the card that locks games down. If Noise ever has money to spend, maybe Joshua B. up, or HQ cleared of ice entirely, this goes from an innocent “just a one cost virus for Noise” to a card that you have to deal with sooner rather than later. However, it’s hardly ideal to scan when you are already under pressure. That’s the best case scenario, which to be fair, is your gameplan. It’s not that outlandish. But even outside of that, it’s still a card that helps you further said gameplan bring you closer to the previous mentioned best case scenario.
Fourth, perhaps: Sure gamble. This deck doesn’t plan to reach five credits. Often, you’d actually have to click up to get the money, then wouldn’t be able to use the money gained effectively. It was an early cut.
I guess it’s not as much of a surprise, but 3x imp is a must, esspecially in the NEH matchup. It’s a fine idea to have asset economy to deal with siphon, but assets still cost money. As long as they are trashed soon, assets actually don’t help the corp out of the hole this deck is trying to put it in. Even outside siphon, one pays two to rez PAD campaign and a click to play it. This gives one cred. Yes, it costs the runner more resources to trash it, but if the corps sole goal is to get a comfortable bank again, assets may not always be it’s friends. An extreme example, occasionally there have been people who rez Eve’s when siphon was about to hit. That’s about as close as you can get to helping this deck further it’s gameplan as long as there’s a way available to trash eve afterwards.
There were a couple of things that happened in the meta at that time. For one, NEH became the corp to beat. A corp that worked with asset economy, planned to fast advance agendas out (fast advancing, if not with astro, costs 7-8 credits) and which drew on it’s own through the deck, speeding the game up, esspecially when trying to make money. Up front, there are worse matchups imaginable. Throughout the leagues, the winrate of this deck vs NEH has not disappointed and I don’t think that’s off the skill of my play.
Second, the next set, cache came out and all the toys people wished for to “counter” siphon. Remember sealed vault and targeted marketing? Those would solve our siphon problems. And maybe they did, but probably that had already set in with honor and profit when criminal got so many nice toys that required them to go tag free. Regardless, the meta moved completely away from this deck. Every Noise was milling with cache and most Andys started to like raking in money better than raking in tags. Siphon wasn’t the threat anymore. Given that this deck tries to put you at zero creds and never let you get away from there anymore, what better meta could it wish for than one where people stopped worrying as much about HQ threats and certainly not from Noise?
The Jinteki’s became solid threats after H&P as well and tbf, RP is a pain. This Noise runs without any solution to their sentries and it took some time (and pain) to learn how to play around komainu, though it is possible. Cards are to be used in this matchup, you shouldn’t love them. The key card is sundew. If that stays up, it is going to be a bad day. That’s basically the whole game against RP and usually, if the corp knows what is going on, the corp will just manage to win before R&D runs out. But it’s a playable affair, and really, with the central pressure, I don’t even know if this deck is particulary worse against RP than other decks around. It’s just a good corp. Just like with the NEH matchup, it helps a lot if the corp doesn’t know what is going on and this deck gets a head start.
PE though, is practically unlosable. Traps don’t work when you have no money and PE doesn’t have the ice to keep you out of HQ, nor the economy to keep up with your threats. Fetal is the only real threat, apart from the singleton scorched they all run.
With the datapack up and over, the little meta-valhalla stopped being as perfect as it had been. Blue sun arrived and Blue Sun doesn’t do poor. Blue Sun also doesn’t care about non instant parasites and laughs about knights. It looks at your deck, says: “go home Noise, you are drunk, you forgot your cache and your wyldside” then chooses which way it wants to end the game. D4v1d might have ameliorated the matchup, but it’s still not going to be really winnable after that and D4v1d is useless in every other matchup.
Up and over also saw the coming of the architect. God bless that the majority of the NEH players were fawning over Eli, a card which simply isn’t as stellar in this matchup. After that, too often the architect ended up on R&D, which is pretty much the server this deck is least interested in. But an architect over HQ is going to make this deck very sad. That that didn’t happen too often is easily describable to lack of knowledge of the matchup. With that data pack, this deck started it’s walk towards the grave. For AoA decks, there are some toys in O&C, but for this particular deck BS will stay a pain, I suspect. Odds are people are going to play quite a bit of BS with all the new weyland cards.
I’ve talked a little of what the goal of the deck is and why I think it worked for the time it did, but in the end I mostly hoped it could inspire people to brew some fun decks. This deck wasn’t planned to work out, it just happened to not do too poorly even though it’s obviously not perfect. I hoped to show that there’s some value in being that odd deck out there, that it sometimes pays to look at “obvious includes” and see if they are actually worth it. That maybe there’s in the (by now, rather big) card pool that one silly card that does exactly what you need in your deck. That maybe there are multiple angles to deal with the then dominant corp. Usually, it’s a lot of fun thinking up and testing such decks and occasionally, one even works!