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Criminal answers to Blue Sun?


#1

In testing several variations on Criminal decks (mainly Andromeda, some Leela) since Blue Sun has become relatively prevalent both on OCTGN and in my local NYC meta, I’m wondering are we being forced to re-include, or at least increase the slots dedicated, to some of the older staple cards such as Sneakdoor, Inside Job, and Shutdown?

The issue to me is that there is no good way to quickly break a S10 Curtain Wall that is OAI early game, and getting passed it even to setup a Shutdown later s double-digit credits for a Corroder. Shutting down the Ice, either before the Corp can get the money for it on their next turn, or simply forcing the derez and hard-rez to offset the cost later on, seem like the only real response for Criminals at the moment.

Otherwise, threatening HQ by alternative entry, i.e. Sneakdoor, seem like the only other avenue we have. Has anyone else noticed the Blue Sun match in particular, regardless of Scorch or Glacier, to be rather challenging for “standard fare” Criminal decks?


#2

Yeah, Shutdown seems to be a smart choice unless you want your deck 100% tuned for NEH. I added two back in my deck. It wrecks Corps like Blue Sun. Other than that Kati Jones is a really important long term econ engine for slower Corps like Blue Sun (again, you’re giving up a little bit vs NEH, though). Those are the answers I use for glacier, though cards like Sneakdoor, Inside Job, Feint vs Crisium Grid are all solid. As long as you include some of these answers and play slow + make smart, efficient runs, Blue Sun is definitely able to be beaten.


#3

Feint is really good against Blue Sun as an E. Shutdown enabler, but it’s dead in a lot of match-ups, and it’s a hard card to find space for.


#4

I have been having a ton of trouble against Blue Sun in the Stimhack league. I can usually get to 5-6 points, but Blue Sun is just swimming in money by the end game. Beating SEA is out of the question. You can force them hard rez their Curtain Walls, but they are still going to make the money back somehow. You can’t even safely face-check everything, thanks to Grim and Archer once they have anything scored. I would consider it a hard match-up. You can Kati up all you like, but you have to pull those credits eventually, and as you said, even 30c doesn’t go far versus Blue Sun. Off the Grid is even tougher, because it’ll hurt you more in the late game if you allow Crisium Grid/OTG to stay on the board. Honestly, Shutdown isn’t like some dagger-in-the-heart to Blue Sun. 9 times out of 10, they can afford the re-rez, and won’t be much worse off without it. This is a deck that plays 9 great economy cards and WILL recur them with Jackson over the course of the game. That’s not even counting versions that use Adonis, or tricks like AIZ (which I have seen) and The Root. I would consider it a tough match-up, but then again all I’ve been doing is losing so perhaps I am just very bad.


#5

Breach is good vs central curtain wall. Shutdown is really good vs Blue Sun in general (as is crescentus but that seems better in shaper). The best options for Curtain Wall other than D4V1D are in criminal - there aren’t many good answers but it is a 14 cost piece of ICE.

Inside Job and Emergency Shutdown are good cards. It’s tough because you probably don’t want them vs NEH. Though shutting down a 3-4 cost piece of ICE is better value than you think. If you can get a Tollbooth then you’re really winning.

Utopia Shard is a good alternate answer to the SEA-scorch play - Criminal are the faction most likely to go Tag Me and Plascrete is a good idea in that case anyway.


#6

I agree, Shutdown isn’t the silver bullet, but it helps delay the late game if you hit one mid-game and can reassert pressure on a central.

I think Sneakdoor and HQI is better than Legwork vs. them. They won’t likely get 3x Curtains up on all 3 of the Centrals, and if they do the Remote suffers. I’ve definitely found it to be a hard match though, probably the toughest right now.


#7

I should maybe find a slot for Utopia in my Leela list. You’re right; it definitely helps disrupt the hand and potential kills.

I think it’d be helpful to see some great players like @bblum and @mediohxcore playing versus Blue Sun. I know Dan expressed interest in streaming with bblum some time; I vote that at least one of you plays Blue Sun so I can learn how the good players deal with it. :smile:


#8

I don’t think its that there necessarily needs to be a silver bullet card, to me its an adjustment in playstyle that makes the biggest difference. Making them rez ICE has been a traditional response to a rich corp, and that isn’t the case with Blue Sun. So remove those early game runs that are all about peeking at cards and making the corp waste credits, because those credits aren’t wasted in Blue Sun.

Punishing Blue Sun is about denying the deck’s ID ability, which starts with being smarter about how you interact with its ICE. Keep their assets off the table, run remotes, and run archives (hopefully with something with a bit of sting, even a datasucker will force them to ICE it up. Get their ICE thin, and then DON’T RUN ON IT. Not only does that stop them from investing their credits there, but it stops them from fluidly moving and rearranging their ICE, try and get facedown ICE where they won’t want it for the rest of the game. As a criminal, and/or against Crisium Grid, you want to threaten R&D heavily, so that HQ is porous enough for when you NEED to get it, resist the urge to hit HQ just to land an account siphon.


#9

I disagree. To me it’s less different to normal netrunner than it initially appears. Rezzed ICE can be liquidated by Blue Sun, but it’s still a less liquid asset than credits and it’s an asset than can be attacked using derezzing tech or parasite and a boat load of sucker tokens. Using BS ability to uninstall ICE is not cost free. At the very least it costs a click to reinstall the ICE - midgame the reinstall likely costs 1 or more credits too. Don’t get me wrong, having a bank of credits on the table is disconcerting, but it’s still better for the runner than if the corp has those credits in hand.

That sounds wrong. If you can profit from Siphon, you should do so. Just because BS can recover better than most, you’re still leaving them down 5 and yourself up 10. If you can follow up with a Shutdown (Genesis Gabe Trix) you’re laughing!


#11

ES is your best friend. Currently I’m running 2 IJs and a feint to help turn them on in my Leela deck, but I think I’m going to change the Feint and one other card to Sneakdoors since my deck really hates Caprice on HQ. That’s going to require a little fiddling though, since I also run Garrote.

Basically, if you can land an early ES against Blue Sun, they are suddenly in a very bad way. I don’t like ES much in Andromeda right now since it’s so weak vs NEH, but it’s great in Leela as her ability forces NEH to slow down or risk getting Siphoned/ Legged into oblivion, meaning you can devote more slots that don’t do much against them.


#12

I actually have problems losing against BS. My Ken with PrePaid, Maker’s Eye, Legwork, Inside Job and especially Breach deals nice against him (in octgn tournament I broke oversighted Curtain Wall on turn 1). I don’t need to run every turn and usually three agenda is enough for the win.
The worst are probably scorched BS, but I’m such a lousy player against flatline decks.


#13

Honestly, replacing Corroder with Breach doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea in this meta. The best decks IMO are RP, PE, NEH, and BS, and out of all of those, the only one that will really ever barrier remotes is BS.

I’ve been playing your Leela list exclusively in the Stimhack league, to no success, mostly through fault of my own. I have to say, even when I do see an ES early (which isn’t often; I think there are 2 in your original Brannigan’s Law list), all the Blue Sun I have played defend HQ way before RND. They will leave RND undefended for the first couple turns if necessary, while they OAI Curtain Walls on HQ. The singleton Feint is a nice trick sometimes, but I don’t find myself able to reliably land ES on Blue Sun, early game. Even when I have, and get an early ES followed by Legwork, I am whiffing a lot of the time. Many of these BS lists are playing such few agendas that they don’t have much to lose from early HQ runs, ES/Legwork included. Perhaps I am getting unlucky, but I’d like to see the creator pilot Leela against Blue Sun so I can learn where I am going wrong. I have tried both strategies: building up board state through early game; and keeping ICE thin and BS economy somewhat in check by early aggression. The former usually ends with me losing on match point, while they latter ends with me being Punitive’d or triple-Scorched after they pull back some big ICE. Maintaining pressure costs money, and that means you’re out of luck when that SEA comes out.


#14

I had 3 ES in there since when I first made it and I think 3 is a must because it’s your only tool for fighting big ICE and your best tool for stopping Blue Sun’s OAI economy.

I don’t really use OCTGN that often, but @hhooo is my roommate and he plays the deck sometimes, so if you see him online, drop into the game and see what he’s playing. I would like to do videos (I very much doubt I can stream with the hardware I have at hand) but I don’t really know where to start. Maybe I’ll be able to figure it out sometime soon and post something.