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Fear and Loathing Set Review & Playtesting Guide

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/fear-and-loathing-set-review-playtesting-guide/

Discuss the latest StimHack article here, I think it is one of my favorite reviews yet.

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I just want to say, I really like the new review system. I think it is definitely worthwhile to point out which cards are harder to evaluate and why, and I am very keen to see if Hemorrhage and subliminal messaging pan out.

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I really want to see how Subliminal Messaging works out in a TWIY deck with Celebrity Gifts. My initial reaction was the deck slots could be better put to use elsewhere (I’m not hurting for money), and that some games are too short to benefit greatly from it. Still, it deserves testing.

BLC in my opinion is only for Cerebral Imaging and the rushiest HB decks.

You’re spot-on just about everything, as usual. The issue I have with Blackmail is that it’s no coincidence the faction that gives itself BP also has the answer to Blackmail (Oversight AI).

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Oh, and if fast advance ever declines and pushing 5-difficulty agendas in superservers is the norm (hey, it could happen), Quest Completed could be a tier-1 card.

But I’m doubtful the meta would diverge that drastically, at least anytime soon.

Currently I feel that this is my strongest corp deck.


Excellent review.

I’ve played against a Runner deploying x2 Hemorrhage in the early game, also using NBN FA.

There was certainly pressure against my HQ, but by leaning on my mandatory draw and Jackson Howard, I was able to tip-toe around the HQ, Purging every 3-4 turns, cycling agendas back into R&D, deploying just enough ICE to cover my centrals and hanging onto Biotic Labor to score the first Astroscript.

Once I scored the first Astroscript, Game was essentially over and I won 7-0. The MU issue makes Hemmorhage difficult to get out early while also deploying the necessary Datasuckers, Parasites and Breakers needed to get successful runs to fuel it, let alone deploy Keyhole or Mediums to establish R&D lock. If the runner is willing to give up R&D lock in order to reduce the Corp’s hand size by a couple of cards, NBN FA will probably accept that deal most of the time.

I also made one serious play error that reduced my opinion of Hemorrhage significantly, and that was putting a Pop-Up Window in front of a San San City grid. The runner trashed the San San and thus had a remote they could successfully run on whenever they wanted for 1 credit [and providing me a credit]. Despite being able to add simultaneous virus counters to x2 Hemorrhage for one click and one credit a turn, their Hemorrhages stalled out, Astroscript was scored by Biotic, and the Runner had invested so much energy in the early HQ pressure that they had no R&D lock answer for the mandatory draw, then purge/spend turn drawing/score agenda cycle.

With the open server, the they could run twice, fire Hemorrhage twice and I’d lose 2 cards of my choice and they’d be out of Virus Counters. My response to the runner doing that was just to draw more than two cards on my next turn. They could Run Three times, fire once to keep some virus counters, but then i could just purge. There was no situation where, as the corp, I couldn’t stay ahead simply by drawing, purging and scoring, and the Hemorrhage started seeming like a very weak card.

I don’t think it is actually a weak card, but it certainly was less scary than I thought it would be to face off against, even with a relatively open server to exploit.

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Alex you had a really different take on subliminal messaging than me, and since you have trounced me a few times before I respect your opinion enough to go test it out. Deck space is really really tight lately with all these great cards, but I’m gonna try a few of them tomorrow, see if I want to use them in the store championships.

Thanks for a good review article, I like the new formatting as far as review articles are concerned. Hemorrhage seems like a cool card.

Hope you can write some articles about some of your decks again in the future.

Great review, as always. The uncertainty variable makes a lot of sense for these early reviews - and gives you some leeway in case you were terribly wrong about something, which while not likely, can always come in handy :slight_smile:

While wraparound is a very good card, I think saying it might be the best ice since the core set is being a little too excited. It will definitely nudge the metagame a bit away from parasite katman, and perhaps force criminals to use all 3 Faeries or even a Sacrificial construct to protect their Corroder.

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One thing that was missed with Taille is that she might very well be useful against kill cards. Because you can trash her for drawing cards. You play a Neural EMP? Take a bad pub and let me draw a card. Maybe useful between two Punitives or even two Scorches if the corp had some bad pub on their own.


Dammit man, stop it! I came here to comment on exactly that :stuck_out_tongue:

I think @Alexfrog seriously underestimates Tallie’s utility - she’s just another tool in the anarch toolbox of very good counters to various corp strategies that might be difficult to handle. If you have a way of handling the “tag at inopportune time” problem (like, say, a NACH), it’s a very nice way of securing yourself against double- and triple-EMP followups to random Snares, double Punitives after a 3-pointer and similar other nonsense. Hell, she can actually make you survive a Cleaners-boosted double-Scorch. I’d say that’s plenty utility for a tutorable 2-cost.

I wouldn’t run more than 1 of her, though. Not unless I was doing some crazy “Raymond and his Girlfriend” nonsense.

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My issue with Wraparound is that if an NBN FA deck isn’t running Ice Wall, I’m not sure what piece of ice should be pulled to put it in.

Say you’re running Bastion and Chimera instead.

Cutting the Chimera doesn’t make sense because Wraparound doesn’t to the same job. Chimera is there to attempt to force the Runner to either play multiple breakers or a less efficient, less flexible AI.

Cutting the Bastion makes sense because Wraparound covers Chimera’s weakness to early AI breakers - but that’s a job that Bastion’s 4 strength can often be “good enough” to handle. Bastion also has an additional purpose in that kind of deck, which is to put a 3 credit per run tax on Corroder - a job Wraparound cannot do.

So for two credits more than Wraparound you can have a piece of ice that can play a similar role in the early game without becoming useless when Corroder is deployed. A 7 strength barrier is much more dramatic than a 4 strength barrier, but it is tough to add “specialist” ice into a deck where card slots are at a premium and at some point become something of a dead draw.

Some other random comments after reading the review:

Cybersolutions Mem Chip - it might actually be very very awesome in Noise, too. Imagine not having to pawn/overwrite all those viruses you installed to mill. Also makes Caissa better, because now you can have the insta-skip utility of Deep Red and an actual, proper Anarch rig, with Mediums and Nerve Agents and Imps (without dedicating insane amounts of deckspace to mem chips).

Strongbox - I see pretty decent potential here. I’m just thinking about it like an Ash that is guaranteed to connect once, but shows the cards in the server (and is easily trashable). Probably not a replacement for Ash, but if you wish you could play 6 of him (Jin:RP?), it’s most definitely nice.

(dammit, unexpected visitors, will add more later)

Why would Noise ever want to pay 4 for 2 memory? He can instead pay 2 for 2 memory and infinite Virus tutoring (Djinn), or pay 3 for 2 memory and an extra virus counter.

Most Noise decks that need more memory should run Djinn if they aren’t already. If your deck has 3 Grimoire and 3 Djinn and it still needs more memory, it’s probably just bad IMO.

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This was actually what leapt out at me about her first thing; but I think overall she’s still a bit player in an increasingly long list of awesome NPC resources. That tag, man, that tag :).

Is there such a deck :wink: :).

Because maybe he doesn’t want to be 1-advanced AggSec’s little bitch? Or maybe the player doesn’t want to be limited in the order of bringing his stuff into play? Maybe you need to field multiple active Parasites, which you can’t put into Djinn? There are quite a few reasons :wink:

Djinn’s virus tutoring is at its most useful when you don’t run that many viruses in the first place. If I’m running a Noise that has multiples of all the relevant virii, I can see myself possibly wanting a chip’s flexibility over a Djinn’s tutoring.

My point is: Having a full breaker suite, some datasuckers and two mediums on the table (with memory to spare for a parasite) is super-harsh to play against, and with Djinn it’s both more vulnerable and more conditional to set up. With CsMC it can sorta just happen as a byproduct of milling, which is definitely added value for Noise.

(Grimoire isn’t an alternative, it’s pretty much assumed it’ll hit the table at some point - I was talking about a situation where Noise wants more than 6 memory, obviously)

i assume you are joking, but many variants would rather spend the 3 influence on 3 GLCs, 3 Beanstalks, 3 Rototurrets, 2 Caduceuses, 1 Biotic Labor - and with TWIY variants specifically there’s 3 less influence to work with.

Oh, and one more thing re: Tallie that I just realized - her ability is optional. The text pretty clearly states “Whenever a gray ops or black ops operation is trashed after resolving, you may give the Corp 1 bad publicity and take 1 tag.”, you don’t have to trigger it.

That basically means that most of Alex’s reasoning for why she shouldn’t be played outside of tag-me is completely void, and if nothing else, you can consider her a Deus X-like counter to Cleaner Scorching, double-Punitives and multi-EMP. Using her to stop Subliminals will still require more of a dedicated build, though.

the review specifically says “The runner might not even choose to activate Tallie!” so i’m pretty sure the analysis is taking all that into account.

In that case, the verdict is even more disjointed from the preceeding analysis…

My point still stands - it’s a great counter to kill strategies that rely on playing two of the same grey/black ops (do the math :slight_smile: ). This would not have been the case, had the ability been mandatory.