Since I won a Store Champs last week, it freed me up to play around with some more experimental builds. This was one of the first things I came up with, and it’s definitely been the most fun so far:
Rielle “Kit” Peddler: Transhuman (Creation and Control)
2x Apocalypse (Data and Destiny) [color=undefined]••••• •[/color]
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Indexing (Future Proof)
1x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
2x The Maker’s Eye (Core Set)
3x Astrolabe (Up and Over)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control) [color=#32CD32]☆☆☆[/color]
3x Aesop’s Pawnshop (Core Set)
2x Armitage Codebusting (Core Set)
3x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
1x Atman (Creation and Control)
1x Cerberus “Lady” H1 (All That Remains) [color=#32CD32]☆[/color]
2x Cyber-Cypher (Creation and Control)
1x Inti (Creation and Control)
2x ZU.13 Key Master (What Lies Ahead)
3x Hyperdriver (The Underway)
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)
6 influence spent (max 10-4☆=6)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Data and Destiny
Deck built on NetrunnerDB.
It’s got some real problems, but it’s also fun as balls to play. General gameplan is to make money in the early game and scout the central ice without worrying too much about accesses. Against anyone but NBN FA (more on that in a minute) agendas will start to pile up in HQ because they’re worried about building a super-duper-Kit-proof remote. Once you smell an agenda hit the table, the plan is to Apoc – an ideal turn looks something like popping Hyperdriver, eating your Astrolabe with Aesop’s, running the three centrals (with a Dirty Laundry/Maker’s thrown in if possible!), playing Apoc, reinstalling a fresh Astrolabe and Aesop’s from hand, and… twiddling thumbs? In any case, that ideal setup never actually happens, but it gives you a sense of what you’re looking for. More realistically, you’re probably going to spend at least one or two of those extra clicks getting the necessary breakers installed or dealing with unexpected complications. Having an SMC in the heap and a Clone Chip or two on the table can help a lot with click compression, and, provided you’ve got enough cash available means that the Hyperdriver won’t even be necessary. I’d say in about 30% of games you need to wash-rinse-repeat this whole process before closing out, and in maybe 50% of those double Apoc games (so 15% total) you need the Levy.
If you are playing against NBNFA, you’re still in pretty good shape. Apoc isn’t going to be a priority here, but it’s still often more efficient than actually trashing a SanSan! Instead, focus on using Kit’s speed to keep them under heavy early pressure, and work those Indexing/Maker’s as hard as possible. If you do go for the Apoc, it’s usually worth hitting HQ a few times to clear out any Beales that might be hiding out there.
So that’s the theory, but here are the very real problems, and they all stem from the 10 influence issue:
- Failure to find an Apoc. The bulk of the time, you’ll find one before you need it, but the corp has a strong start and both copies are in the bottom 25 cards, things might spiral out of control before you can get a handle on them. Earthrise Hotel might be a good option, but it would take some getting used to the rhythm of this thing to make sure you weren’t Apoc’ing them away with 1-2 counters left on a regular basis.
- No Mimic. In fact, Atman is the only way to break Sentries apart from Kit’s ability. Most Sentries aren’t a huge deal for you – you generally don’t care too much about Architect firing on the turn you’re going to Apoc, for example – but those with ETRs (Tour Guide, Rototurret) or big enough consequences (Assassin) have to be dealt with. Atman can usually handle the ETRs for the same price as Pipeline, although you could run into some issues if a corp knows the list (or gets lucky) and arranges some very specific ice configurations. I’ve thought about adding a Deus X/Sharpshooter to deal with some of the bigger ice, but I’m not sure what I’d cut.
- No Clot. If Kit had 12 influence, this would be my first addition. I hate to say it, but this alone might make it worth rethinking this whole thing as a Kate deck. The win chance against FA would probably go up at least 40%.
- Cash. Ironically, you often have more money after an Apoc, particularly if you’ve got an Aesop’s in hand when you play it. But getting that first Apoc off – especially if the corp draws a balanced mix of ICE and is able to stack them on centrals – can be expensive. Unfortunately, Shaper’s main econ option (Mopus) is really, really poorly suited to an Apoc deck. When I consider problems 1 and 2 in conjunction with this, I’ve even thought about adding Quality Times, more programs, and Freelance Coding Contracts… but past experience suggests that this is a fool’s errand.
The last thing I’ll say is that it’s not worth fixating on Apocalypse. I’ve lost more than a few games because I had tunnel vision on “making the deck work,” while Maker’s Eyes sit in my hand unused and the corp scores out. There’s a tricky balance here between trying to keep yourself in a position to Apoc and playing the board state. E.g. I suggested above that you Apoc the first agenda, but if you’re playing against a Titan Rush that tries to get cheeky by scoring behind a single piece of ice, install your Zu/CyCy and call their bluff. OTOH, Kit will absolutely allow you to pull off some early power turns (say turn 2 Indexing with a Maker’s chaser) by bankrupting yourself, but getting to 5 points and stalling out usually isn’t worth it.