The Cake Meta
It is a truth universally accepted that a faust in want of cards, is a faust in want of cakes. Faust is undoubtedly the most broken card in netrunner right now. It can get through all but 2 ice in the game. And it can do it for a whole of only 3 credits ever spent. This is important because it pretty much breaks netrunner. At a base strength of 2, it is actually efficient. You don’t have to worry about ice type. And whether its multi sub or high strength the tax of any taxing ice is relevantly equivalent. 3-4 cards max to get past any one thing.
Add in that its only 2 influence and we’ve seen it in a myriad of decks. Add in that it closes early game scores moving us straight from the early game to the end game and you start to understand why its gross. And then, you realize that it’s in orange perhaps the best faction for card draw in the game.
Maybe on its own with no card advantage Faust would just be a novelty. A risky proposition that made you just auto lose to kill decks. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world with Cake.
Wyldside + Chronotype as long been known to go well with faust. It’s also a risk because you’re probably going to run out of cards and then faust runs out of food. So there’s this interesting tension about how much you should use faust, but at the end of the day with all of that anarch pressure you’re probably still winning anyways.
This makes us immediately think Levy. And if you’re thinking Levy & Anarch & Card Draw then maybe you make the logical leap to MaxX as well. And if you at all test this you quickly come to the two conclusions:
- This archetype is broken
- You need two Levy
This brings us to the new archetype that every runner and corp should be aware of. Devil’s Food Cake. It comes in a myriad of flavors. There’s L4Cakes. There’s RegCakes. There’s CrumbCake and DirtyCakes. But what it really comes down to is that there’s a new tier 1 core, not deck, but core. We haven’t seen this since Andromeda dominated the meta and became the one true deck. This new core comes in a variety of flavors, which is pretty cool, but I think it might be more dominant.
There are 3 decks that have won tournaments in the last few weeks that use this model.
M0arCakes aka When The Levy Breaks by /u/phette23
This was the first published, supremely good deck that understood that what you really wanted was 3 faust, 3 wyldside, and 2 chronotype in a MaxX build. It takes its roots from Reg anarch MaxX and makes the cognitive leap that one should also use 2 Levy. It has decent economy and a nice event based multiaccess package. Its pretty cool. This deck is entirely reasonable even if some of its cards are less than necessary. Scavenge, Trope, Kati Jones, E3, Inject, Day Job. Lessons learned after playing many of these and consulting with top Reg Ass MaxX players led to a more balanced deck which you’ll find posted at the end here. I’m going to deviate into L4Cakes first.
L4Cakes aka Blueberry Pancakes by gumOnShoe aka me
Simultaneously I was doing something similar, but my build was 55 cards, included Hard @ Work, and it was pretty visually crap even though it managed to win more than half of its games. I saw When The Levy Breaks (M04RC4k3 from here on out), and realized that I could probably do better. So I consulted with Kenny, Ran, Josh and several other extremely good MaxX players while hiding the fact that I was talking about putting wyldside in MaxX. Wyldside in MaxX is/was considered to be a mistake of the highest order for Real^TM MaxX players, so I had to trick them into making a good deck. The deck that ultimately came out of that discussion is down below, but I realized that what I had before someone managed to polish that one into a tier 1 winner wasn’t helping me in the glaciery meta I was used to. So, I took a look at the wooley spags lists and decided to go L4J instead.
The deck can just do the faust thing, but it also can ante up into a full on breaker suite and support package that invalidates nearly any thing the corporation would ever drop against you. This is known technology, but hey, its really really good and it made some sense that if big ice decks were being a problem having this option (which we could just eat) was probably pretty good.
It also made a lot of sense to go 1x on each cutlery with access to same old thing and deja vu. Kept the price of faust down just a bit and let that medium really dig in. Also, by moving away from the event package I got back parasite which is pretty damn cool.
You’re a wooley harry. If you like L4J, you might transition to the best core in netrunner by starting here. I understand if you don’t want to play nerve agent & demo run (I like it anyways).
Game Play from Kiv
(Win a tournament with a slimmed down L4J MaxX and send me your NRDB page first and I’ll add you to this topic and sing your praises)
RegCakes - Maximum Punk Bach by podoboyz99
While I was off on L4J, podoboys99 was obsessing over the intermediary event list I’d dropped off on Stimhack. He took it to the next level bring RegCakes to likely tier 1 status. It goes in on scrubber for the asset matchups. Its got decent econ. It sticks close to the high impact events that. It doesn’t compromise any faust bits. It doubles down on SoT so that it can recur those high impact run events. All around its a very good deck. Its so good that /u/calc3, aka mediohxcore, aka Dan D’ Argenio, aka Don D’Dongenio, Aka 2 Time Netrunner World Champ gave it his seal of approval, probably because its just so damn similar to his loved RegMaxx deck anyways, but also becuase he’s a sucker for really powerful decks that are totally unfair and annihilate the other player without giving them so much as a chance to pretend to play a game of netrunner.
I can’t talk this list up enough. Its good. Maybe not better than an L4J variant in all matchups, like say glacier, but its definately faster and harder hitting vs NBN and some other fast decks you do have to worry about. Its just a really solid deck and if you liked “RegAss” its a great place to start with the new core.
Game Play from CJFM
L4Cake 2.0 by Mittens
He calls it L4Cake, but maybe its just a RegCake deck. I couldn’t tell you. This deck hasn’t won a tournament, yet. But I’m pretty sure it could. It’s a nice splice of the things that make L4J great and the things that make RegCakes great. Event based stuff, parasites. It’s got most of it and its still being tuned so I think we’re going to see something special here.
The point is this. I am here by declaring that the best decks in netrunner play both faust and wyldside, and probably think about doing it in MaxX. The new Andromeda is here, officially. Tier 2 decks will be faust decks in green and blue that try a lot harder to do what you can do almost free in anarch. You might be able to win with other decks. But you’ll be doing it knowing you’re playing suboptimally and probably with a lower win rate.
Faust is utterly broken. Its a really good card and if you want to win games you should play it.
Welcome to the new meta. The Devil’s Food Cake Meta.
Let’s also just consider these faust decks:
Notorius B.A.G. :
ApocalypseMaxX - aka Fury Road - Siphon Faust with a splash of Papalips :
Val DLR - Worlds Winner and Faust Deck :
Noise - Secretly a Faust Deck wrapped in viruses :
Adam - Only competitive with Faust :
Faust is the meta, DevilCakeMaxX is the top.