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Kate Blitz: Who says only Criminals are aggressive?


#1

Okay, so currently Criminals reign supreme in tournament environments due to how quickly they get set up and start running, and their subterfuge. It’s a shame Shapers are more well-known for large rigs and heavy programs, but I don’t think that’s their most powerful archetype. Therefore, let’s discuss a more lightweight and aggressive Shaper build!

Kate Blitz (45 cards)

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker

Event (13)
3 Diesel
3 Dirty Laundry
2 Indexing
2 Quality Time
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (11)
2 Akamatsu Mem Chip
3 Clone Chip
2 Desperado
2 Plascrete Carapace
2 R&D Interface

Resource (5)
3 Daily Casts
2 Kati Jones

Icebreaker (9)
2 Atman
1 Corroder
2 Cyber-Cypher
1 Deus X
1 Femme Fatale
2 Sharpshooter

Program (7)
2 Datasucker
2 Parasite
3 Self-modifying Code

Swap the Femme for Mimic if you expect a lot of Jinteki, otherwise it’s good against Tollbooth and HB. Basically you run aggressively like a Criminal would. Your breaker suite would be Sharpshooter, Corroder, and Cyber Cypher. It’s been amazing for me thus far. Atman is a tool to help you overcome obstacles rather than a primary breaker, though it can do that as well in a pinch. Parasites for pesky ice such as Rototurret and Pop-Up. The Desperados are nice, but can be used for other things, so that’s 6 influence to play with.


Is expose ready for prime time... or what should I run?
[Kate] Redefining Shaper Control Decks
#2

That looks really solid. I will try it out and report back. Edit: You know what fits in 6 influence? 2x Keyhole… >_>

I’m also still interested in talking expose, though!


#3

You only really need 1x Keyhole in Kate since you can SMC it out. You can run 1x Sneakdoor, 1x Keyhole though and tutor for whatever is most useful at the time.


#4

I thought about that, but relying on it consumes a tutor in a deck that doesn’t want to add Test Run, and I wasn’t sure about 6c for Keyhole after cutting the Desperados (and Femme for Mimic). With all the draw (I added the third QT), I figure I have a good shot at drawing one naturally if I run two.

I’ll be testing this and Noise tonight at FFG, though.


#5

So I got games in with Kate and Noise tonight, as well as with TWIY*. Had a frustrating game with TWIY* where the bottom 5 cards in the deck were 2x Astro, 2x Beale, 1x SanSan. Lost that one to R&D dig even after firing my 3 Jacksons to refill R&D. I’m going to try something closer to Lysander’s list this week and see if I’m okay without the third Biotic.

With Noise, I milled a bunch but he topdecked the second Scorch he needed to kill me through my Plascrete. Should have drawn back up. Whoops. Need more reps with this deck, still not fully getting it.

Kate was fun, but it was really weird playing an aggressive deck with zero denial. Almost everyone iced R&D against me instantly and I had no way to punish them for leaving HQ open. This is why I like Siphon outside Criminal and Indexing outside Shaper.

I’m not sure the Keyholes really added enough to warrant the slot and occasional MU issues (I did add the third Akamatsu, but still). It’s tough to have a really full or flexible rig out with Keyhole, so it really only works as an early game play to steal easy points before R&D is fully locked down. R&D Interface has the advantage of not consuming MU.

I played a GRNDL player who iced every server 3 deep (except Archives, he had one Curtain Wall there). On a related note, Sharpshooter is an all-star. Love that guy. Breaks Archers all day long. I won that game after breaking an Oversighted Curtain Wall with Corroder, Ireress with my BP, Datapike with Cyber-Cypher, and Archer with Parasite/Datasucker on a very expensive Indexing run that also trashed 2/4 ice on the server and hit two 3/5 agendas. And won me the game, since it was third click and I had 10c left over for another run.

I could see dropping 2x Keyhole for 3x Lucky Find in a couple of weeks… but alas, not this week. Hmmmm, maybe Knight? I’ll think it over.

Didn’t try the Gabe deck, but still want to.


#6

You could always drop the two Keyholes and one of two Parasites to free up room for two Account Siphons. Typically I SMC Parasite anyways and recur it with Clone Chip.

Actually hell, I want to try that. Though Desperado is really good in this deck.

Other nice options:
Imp
Emergency Shutdown/Crescentus
Inside Job


#7

I like several of those ideas. The nicest benefit of Keyhole in this deck actually turned out to be its ability to trash cards that can’t normally be trashed; otherwise it didn’t have a large advantage over Indexing because Corp players are icing R&D heavily against me anyway – the advantage of running it in Andy is that nobody expects you to drop it turn 1 and Keyhole them immediately. Imp would be a very nice, lower memory, reusable method of trashing stuff while I’m still stuck on single access.

I also noticed that I only needed one Parasite, so one of those is definitely the cut I’d make to fit in 2x Siphon. I’ll have to think about that vs Imp.


#8

I feel like Keyhole is a really gross waste of influence in Shaper. I’ve already cut R&D interface from Kate before SC season started because 4 is a ton to play for a card like that, and it’s a better card in here than Keyhole, give memory and influence costs. The only 4c program I’d be glad to pay for is Sneakdoor beta, although I doubt the three leftover influence would be spent well enough to include it. Although one single desperado is still way better than the third Akamatsu Mem Chip. Emergency Shutdown is the Desperado replacement that interests me the most - it would be absolutely silly in this deck combined with parasites to stretch the corp thin.

And thanks for the idea of running Cyber Cypher in Kate - it hadn’t crossed my mind, but it’s exactly the code gate breaker this deck wants. I’m not sure two is right, but for anything Femme and Atman won’t get you past, Cypher is the best answer.


#9

With no Keyhole, I’m back down to two Akamatsus. I added the third Indexing and dropped the two R&DIs to test a couple of cards alongside Account Siphon. Right now I have one Blackmail and one Tinkering in those slots, just to see how I like them when they come up. Bad pub is all over my meta, so Blackmail seems like a great way to get into a remote unexpectedly.


#10

I ran this Kate list at my second SC yesterday and went 3-1. It absolutely should have been 4-0, but I made the mistake of not staying well fed throughout the tourney and made one of the worst blunder’s I’ve ever committed in this game at the end of round 3.

I was 6-2 overall (3-1 with TWIY* FA) and finished 5th of 22; if I’d gone 4-0 with Kate I would have made the top 4 elimination cut.

First, here’s the list. Still undecided on the name.

Macman (v1.0)

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)

Event (18)
2x Account Siphon (Core Set)••••• •••
2x Blackmail (Fear and Loathing)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
3x Indexing (Future Proof)
2x Quality Time (Humanity’s Shadow)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)

Hardware (7)
2x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)

Resource (5)
3x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
2x Kati Jones (Humanity’s Shadow)

Icebreaker (9)
2x Atman (Creation and Control)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
2x Cyber-Cypher (Creation and Control)
1x Deus X (A Study in Static)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
2x Sharpshooter (True Colors)

Program (6)
2x Datasucker (Core Set) ••
1x Parasite (Core Set) ••
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)

15 influence spent (max 15)

45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Fear and Loathing

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I felt very comfortable playing this deck, which is really a first for Runner decks in ANR for me. I’m still playing other Runner decks for fun and testing, but I’m sticking with this one or some version of it for next week’s SC. There is definitely room for some tinkering, though.

First, I’m not 100% sold on Account Siphon. It’s somewhat antisynergistic with how dependent the deck is on Daily Casts for the occasional boost of cash. I haven’t tested with Desperado, but I assume the economy is smoother with Desperado over Siphon. That said, Siphon is the deck’s only denial, and it was huge for me in a couple of my games. So if I cut Siphon, I want to keep some amount of denial – Imp, Emergency Shutdown, something like that.

Second, I put Blackmail in my two flex slots. There’s a ton of bad pub in my meta, and Blackmail did get me into a remote that had 5 ice on it when the Corp player was 100% certain that I wouldn’t be able to get in. But in other matchups it was just dead, and there were a couple of times when I had a Cyber-Cypher on R&D, but R&D access was still a problem because of large barriers or nasty sentries. I think two copies of Tinkering could be a very solid alternative.

Another option is to put in Same Old Thing to recur Indexing or put the two R&D Interfaces back in. There were times when I really wanted another Indexing and didn’t get one for quite a while, but I won those games anyway. So I lean strongly toward testing with 2x Tinkering.

A copy of Levy could be nice, but only once I’m out of Clone Chips. But on the subject of Clone Chips, those things border on being overleveraged in the deck – they’re really the linchpin, and with only three of them I get a little paranoid about using them. I can’t think of another decent way to recur stuff (Test Run is too pricey), though, and it hasn’t actually been a problem – I’ve always had enough tutor/recursion to get where I want to go as long as I have enough money. So for now I think if it isn’t broken, I won’t try to fix it, unless some really nice recursion cards come out in the near future.

So, the error. I was up 6-2 on a Weyland player. He had a 5 ice scoring remote that I’d previously Blackmailed into. I had a full rig, Clone Chips, and plenty of cash. He played something in the remote and took money.

I ran it with one card in hand. >_<

I was thinking the entire time that it was likely to be a Snare, but I was starving and not thinking clearly at all. I paused during the run and again before the access, but never for long enough to actually think through what I was doing and realize how stupid it was. Sure enough, it was a Snare. Flatline, gg. Ugh.

On the plus side, it was a clear lesson that I need to take better care of myself during tournaments. Bring snacks, stay hydrated, etc. My decision-making ability plummets when I get hungry. Making such a huge error and having it translate directly to missing the top 4 cut by one game means it’s a lesson I won’t soon forget!


SanSan Cycle Spoilers
#11

Damn that sucks; I’ve been in the same boat in a previous tournament.

If you do stick with Siphon, swap your Daily Casts for Armitage. I don’t care for blackmail since good Weyland opponents will Oversight AI something in a remote just in case. However, Emergency Shutdown has nice utility here.

Ultimately though I’d go with Tinkering. A lone Same Old Thing could be nice and can be used as Siphon, Indexing, or Tinkering.

So my proposed changes in line with what you want for this deck:

-2 Blackmail
-2 Kati Jones
-3 Daily Casts
-1 Femme Fatale
+2 Tinkering
+3 Armitage Codebusting
+2 Same Old Thing
+1 Mimic

I feel as though Tinkering fulfills the crux of Femme’s role for much cheaper, making Mimic the ideal candidate.

Edit: it just occurred to me, are you removing your Siphon tags? I was thinking you were going tag-me. If you are removing tags, disregard my resource alterations, though tag-me would make your deck much faster.


#12

Armitage is a natural choice if I keep Siphon. Good call. I like those changes a lot, although I want to make sure that the econ is still OK with the loss of Kati on top of Casts. The Siphon vs Casts/Kati tension didn’t hurt me much at all yesterday, but I agree that Armitage over casts would make things smoother. I might also do one less SOT to fit in the Test Run.

I’ll test the revised deck out on Monday at FFG and report back. Thanks a lot for the list and all the input so far!


#13

No problem! I predict you’ll find that you can remove Kati if and only if you fully commit to Siphoning often, which means running 3x SoT and using them primarily for that purpose.


#14

Just saw your edit from earlier. I’ve been deciding whether to go tag-me or not depending on the matchup and what I draw, which is why the Siphon tags didn’t hurt me too much – I didn’t clear them unless I was facing Scorch or wanted to play Kati/Casts. I almost never cleared them immediately, since I usually wanted to follow up my Siphon hit with more runs. I only went tag-me in a test game where I drew both Siphons in my opening hand and used them both within the first three turns. That’s atypical; in this deck I prefer to use Siphon as a surprise hit that opens up running windows for me. If I can Index after a Siphon hit, that’s a huge opportunity.

What I might do is drop Casts for Armitage but keep Kati. Siphon/Casts has more tension than Siphon/Kati, since Kati is slower and more situational. That leaves me the option of clearing Siphon tags if I need Kati, or going tag-me if I don’t need her and don’t fear Scorch.


#15

Very interesting, I’ve played the Siphon version of this deck before and never would have thought Kati had a place. Thanks, I think I’ll see how it works for me.


#16

Got some games in at FFG. Armitage was 100% the right call over Casts with Siphon, no surprise there.

Tinkering was absolutely amazeballs. It acted as a pseudo-Inside Job that lets you “skip” whichever ice you want and get somewhere the Corp didn’t expect. Mimic was helpful as well, since it’s cheaper than Atman with X = 3.

Kati was fine, and her econ was definitely needed. I went tag-me in one game after taking her credits to land a Siphon and running through a Matrix Analyzer. I ended up with something like 16 tags – however many tag tokens there are is the number I had. I just discarded the second Kati when I drew it from a Quality Time. No problem. But I’m used to playing 2x Kati in Andy as well (and 3x Casts, for that matter), so I’m pretty comfortable with the tension between Kati and Siphon and knowing when to favour one over the other.

I think the best way to describe the deck right now is “stuffed to the gills.” The Clone Chips are leveraged pretty heavily, and MU can get a little snug on occasion, but it works. My current list is your last proposed changes, except I kept 2x Kati and didn’t add the 2x SOT. I’m pretty happy with it as it stands.

I also played a game with expose Gabe. Boy, it is not easy to get Snitch + Blackguard out, even as Gabe. But it certainly didn’t help that the HB ETF player scored two Accelerated Beta Tests and got some ice rezzes out of it.


#17

Do you ever find yourself wishing you had R&D Interface? Is Tinkering useful primarily early game, or is it just as good late? Right now my deck is nearly identical to yours except it has 2 RDI and 3 SOT with no Kati Jones. I definitely think I can drop one SOT for a Tinkering for added versatility, but only if I get mileage out of it if drawn late. I also think even having just one R&D Interface in the deck makes it better, but perhaps I’m being narrow-minded.

Also if I’m planning to Siphon less vigorously in favor of Kati, I’m tempted to replace one of them with 2 Emergency Shutdown. Damn it’s amazing how much goodstuff this deck can hold while still being competitive.


#18

I find that once R&D is iced, I mainly run it when I’m Indexing. Otherwise I focus on the scoring remote or HQ unless it’s TWIY*. I’ve considered R&DI, but people ice R&D so heavily against me that the tax to get in just doesn’t seem worth it. I haven’t tried it, though, so maybe I should.

So far I’ve seen Tinkering in the early game and the midgame, not the late game. What I like about it is that I can be more free with my Cyber-Cypher installs, since if I really need to get into a server other than the one I’ve Cyphered and it’s still early-mid game, Tinkering + Corroder usually gets the job done. I’ve used that to land Siphon hits that the Corp didn’t see coming and opened up and Indexing window.

Late game, I think it would mainly be useful against ice tower remotes, which I’ve seen in a couple of games and was previously handling with the more situational Blackmail. I do like Tinkering more than Blackmail, but I’d still say that’s the primary flex slot and I want to play more games with it to test. So far, though, I like it a lot.

I’ve coveted Emergency Shutdown in a couple of games, but not enough to go down to a lone Siphon and lose that economy boost. If you do test with it, I’ll be curious to hear how well it works.

I agree that it’s very cool how readily adaptable the deck is while staying good. The flexibility of tons of draw plus tutors plus recursion means you can usually get whatever you need.


#19

Okay, 2 Tinkering is pretty awesome. I’ve been trying out 1 Siphon, 2 Shutdown but I can’t tell if the deck improves by doing so.

Here’s something though. Cut one Armitage and one Atman. I’ve found that 3 Armitage is more than I ever need since it’s so click-intensive, and Atman only gets installed mid to late game, which I’ve usually drawn my only copy by that point, I don’t have the MU, or I simply don’t need it. This frees up two slots for your build and when I made the cuts the deck performed more consistently.


#20

Also, @SneakySly may I be a pain in the ass and ask that you split this topic off into a new one and put the Shaper-related discussion in there? I really think it could benefit building of a strong Shaper archetype, but it’s hiding in the middle of an expose thread (really it’s my fault and I apologize @Ajar for derailing it so much).