I sat down a couple of days ago and decided to build a Titan Transnational deck. My goal was to create something that embraces the idea of speed to a maximum. I played this deck a lot on OCTGN in the last days (unfortunately I cannot play on real tables, as I am in Turkey until end of September and there is no Netrunner here), and with a lot I mean approximately 50 plays. The overall record is 28:18, which might not seem incredibly great, however you need to consider two things. One is, it appears to have no particular weakness against specific Runners. It is not a deck that loses everytime you play against Kate, or MaxX, or Noise or whoever. Second and more importantly: It is a deck with a potentially high variance. Now if a deck that has a high variance on average already wins 60%, what will happen to it, if you are lucky that day in a tournament? Yup, you have awesome chances of making it to the top.
Concerning variance, please, please read the awesome article about it, written by David Sutcliffe:
It helps you understand why this deck actually works. Now, enough for the pre-blabla, here is the list:
1441 - no frills
Titan Transnational: Investing In Your Future (Order and Chaos)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) [color=#FF8C00]•••[/color]
1x Archived Memories (Core Set) [color=#8A2BE2]••[/color]
3x Beanstalk Royalties (Core Set)
3x Biotic Labor (Core Set) [color=#8A2BE2]••••• ••••• ••[/color]
3x Fast Track (Honor and Profit)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
2x Interns (Mala Tempora)
3x Punitive Counterstrike (True Colors)
3x Restructure (Second Thoughts)
Code Gate (2)
2x Quandary (Double Time)
2x Grim (Opening Moves)
17 influence spent (max 17)
21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Breaker Bay
Deck built on NetrunnerDB
I am pretty sure, many of you are thinking that this can never work. Only 11 ICE? Million ways of dealing Bad Pub? Government Takeover? What the actual fish?! So let me start with your game plan:
You want to win as fast as possible by agenda points using either of these two agenda compositions:
[A] 3x Project Atlas, 1x Hostile Takeover
[B] 2x Project Atlas, 3x Hostile Takeover
And when I say fast, I mean fast. Don’t give the runner time to set up his rig. Play the runner balls to the walls. Force him to make mistakes. Do things like ICE HQ, Hedge Fund, Fast Track Project Atlas if you have Biotic Labor in your starting hand. Don’t hesitate to score Hostile Takeover as your starting move. The Bad Pub is such a minor issue and the economic burst is great.
Don’t be too afraid of an unprotected R&D. There are only few agendas in there and you are Fast Tracking them out, such that the density decreases even further. Do not worry if they steal The Cleaners. Stealing either Hostile Takeover or Project Atlas is ok, too (stealing both is a little problematic, though ). Stealing Government Takeover wins you the game as often as it loses it to you, as you are principally rich and have great chances to have Punitive Counterstrike in hand, and if not, you are likely to have an Atlas token.
I am pretty sure, that for what this deck is supposed to do, the agenda composition is optimal:
You of course want 3x Project Atlas and in order to be able to win when one of them gets stolen, you also want 3x Hostile Takeover. Because those are the only agendas you actually want to score, it makes sense to put in as few additional agendas as possible. Luckily, Weyland can take over the one or other Government. The remaining 6 points are filled by 2x The Cleaners. It could be any 5/3 in theory, but in practice, The Cleaners are the best for two reasons: If the runner steals them, they might get the impression of a nice Scorched Earth deck. So they might run more cautiously or take more time and resources setting up Plascrete Carapace or similar.
The second reason is, that The Cleaners ability actually won me a game - not because of me actually dealing the meat damage, but because of the threat of doing so. Story was:
I was filthy rich and my Noise opponent poor. I had Punitive Counterstrike and Archived Memories in hand. Unluckily, Noise had scored both an Atlas a Takeover before, so either of my two main win-conditions were impossible to reach. So all I could do is IAA The Cleaners. If he scores them, I have great chances of killing him,
if he doesn’t, I am back in the game. He didn’t and in the turn after I scored them, he was still poor, I was still rich so I could install an Atlas in an unprotected Remote, thanks to The Cleaners allowing the double punitive flatline now as well.
So, that’s it for the agenda composition. Next important part of the deck is ICE. Let’s go.
11 ICE seems extremely low for any deck that is not Jinteki:Personal Evoliution. Let me explain you why 11 ICE are enough. Keep in mind that your game plan is to win as fast as possible. All your ICE is supposed to do, is to cheaply stop the Runner in the early game. You have no late game. You do not play a Glacier deck that wants to protect each central server with three to four layers of ICE. You want to force the runner to get out an incomplete rig and hit a Grim because they didn’t have the time to find a sentry breaker. You want the runner to put in a lot of effort and Special Order their Corroder, just to send it to the bottom with Will’o’the Wisp. You are in the drivers seat and all your ICE shall do is buy you a little time in the beginning. That is all you need.
3x Ice Wall is awesome, 2x Meru Mati as well. 2x Wall of Static is better early game against Parasite decks. Quandary stops the runner for one credit and forces him to get another breaker. 2x Grim threats a huge tempo hit if it fires. And it regularly does. You realize I play a lot more barriers than sentries or code gates.
One of the main reasons for this is the abundance of Lady in the Meta. Lady does not like an R&D with three stacked barriers. She really doesn’t.
So that’s it for agendas and ICE, let’s head for assets and upgrades. Former is 3x Jackson. Our Lord and Saviour. Gets rid of Government Takeover when it either wins the runner the game or when you don’t have Punitive in Hand. Helps you draw into Biotic Labor, Hostile Takeover or Punitive Counterstrile. JHow is an All-Star, nothing new.
Upgrades: 3x Cyberdex Virus Suite is absolutely necessary. I mostly use it to kill Clot when Kate summons him. But Cyberdex is also a nice Medium deep-dig protection and it can also kill an Imp when your opponent prepares to snipe Biotic Labor out of your hand. Furthermore, I play 2x Will’o’the Wisp because this card is an awesome tempo hit against Anarchs and Criminals. Anarchs have the hardest time getting back their Corroder from the bottom of the stack. Criminals can still Special Order it back, but you still gain time, particularly because Grim is not as effective against Criminals due to Switchblade or Faerie.
So what is left, is Operations. First, Economy: 3 each of Beanstalk Royalties, Hedge Fund and Restructure. Also 3 each of Fast Track, Biotic Labor and Punitiv Counterstrike. Add one Archived Memory for Biotic Labor and Punitive Counterstrike and two Interns for JHow and Cyberdex or Will’o’the Wisp.
Here we go. That’s the deck. It can be incredibly fast and brutal. I won a fair amount of games by agenda points in less than 10 turns (record is 6). Approximately 15% of all games were won by Punitive Counterstrike. Just as many games were lost because Government Takeover was scored as second agenda.
I am fairly certain that this deck can make it to the top-cut in tournaments regularly. Not only because its variance is higher, but also because it is extremely fast, such that you either have more time to play your runner well or to have an extra ten minutes recovery time between rounds. This can be very important.
I have checked netrunnerDB for similar decks, but found none that was sufficiently similar. So I truly believe that this deck is original and powerful, so if you want to talk about it, name it “1441”.
The one who finds out the reason for that name will get a free beer if I should meet him or her
Please feel free to leave comments also on netrunnerDB:
Looking forward to your comments!