Been playing variations of a Steve Skeleton that IMO is reasonably strong. What varies are a couple of tricks and the breaker suite. But, can’t seem to hone in on a single construction that fares well in most matchups. Builds that beat Jinteki decks are disasterous against the others, and vice versa. The bones consist of 29 cards and 7 influence. This leaves room for
16 17 cards with 8 remaining influence…so there’s reasonable room for different breakers and tricks. Three packages options are listed further down. Here are the skeletal elements:
Corp gotta address. Steve turns the annoyance up to 11. Interesting decisions about when to cut off Corp econ assets like Commercial Bankers.
All criminals need cards without going broke or falling behind. This is a plain way to sorta do it.
Necessary tech. Crash Space is better than Citadel for most of these Value SEA Source decks. But I like Citadel better for HHN and Zealous Judge response where saving the click is key: Peace. Remove 3 tags. Fire Citadel.
Corp gonna ICE up HQ. So getting attack value out of a Steve recursion run is important. If Corp’s flooded, they often won’t even rez cheap ICE. Seminars seem reliably good IMO. They give draw that usually leads to Earthrise to set off an early draw engine. Also, it makes dealing with the Tapwrms more annoying cause, rather than purge, Corp would rather deal with flood or too many cards they don’t want to discard. Corp decisions after a Seminar give clues to what is in HQ. Steve often recurs Seminars to play in sequential turns to close out with Gauntlet runs. (Tried doubling down on this with a Syn Attack…but didn’t like the play cost or the wasted slot.) Turning Wheel gets at least some pressure on R&D and can be really impactful if you get it early.
Below are several packages I’ve been testing in this skeleton. I prefer to play the recursion package. Of course there’s plenty of
bad for ANR recursion hate out right now. But it can still win against those. But it struggles the most against Jinteki IDs. The Reg package does well against glacier and okay against spam, but it falls to fast advance…even with 2 clots. It just takes to much time to set up the suite and simultaneously keep clots protected. The Safe package seems to do the trick against Jinteki and FA, but it’s much worse against everything else. Not printed here is a Baba Yaga + Rosetta package that #actually-aint-that-bad, but requires ditching a couple of cards from the skeleton.
####Option 1: Recursion Package
Clone chip turns Steve into a recursion machine. A Tapwrm in the bin is as good as one in the grip. Steve recur those saccons. Faerie fits well with Steve, Peaceworm, and Clone Chip cause it’s downside is mitigated. Deva is not a good card, but it is better than Mammon for Mythic ICE, it deals with trap ICE, and it can sometimes be cheaper to break single-sub barriers than other criminal fracters.
It’s also a reasonable backup breaker for Rigshooter Skorp. Tithonium should be a sentry. Use Spear Phishing early or late game.
####Option 2: Reg Package
Spear Phishing and Maxwell James combo well will Inversificator: send nasty code gates get sent to inner ICE on remotes. Clot is not reliable…but it can at least slow FA down a bit with saccon. If both get trashed, recur with Steve. Phishing is important in this deck cause it takes longer to set up.
####Option 3: Safe Package
Do what criminals do best. Get early pressure on HQ with these cheap centrals-only breakers while Film Critic and Equivocation help save your ass.