I'm pleased to see more aggressive Shapers out there, but now that Spin Cycle is coming to a close and Corporations are more menacing than ever, Runners need to be able to take control once the Corp fends off the initial onslaught.
In my Kate Blitz thread, I sought a means of sustaining pressure with lightweight breakers. However, recent contributions to the thread demonstrated another possibility: what if we work backwards and instead focus on the ideal control rig, with the objective of getting it online as quickly as possible? A tall order, as Corps are now as quick as they are powerful. Let's delve further!
Shaper control rigs come in two flavors. We have beefy, MU-hogging programs, and we have Atman. The best means of installing the former is cheating it into play, either via Stimhack/Workshop, or Test Run/Scavenge. I think Atman is the better option, for three reasons:
- It's less influence and MU-intensive, allowing more flexibility elsewhere
- It doesn't rely on a combo to cheat into play, increasing consistency
- It can be modeled after The Collective, the most successful Shaper archetype to date.
Let's start building. I build very methodically, likening the components to human anatomy.
Organ System. The identity and core components. I think Kate is far and away the best Shaper identity, especially for our goal in mind. I'll assume we've decided Atman is going to be the linchpin, so moving on.
Skeletal System. A program and hardware suite will help provide structure and act as springboard for the rest of the deck. For Katman, Datasucker is essential. Other considerations include but are not limited to SMC, Clone Chip, Inti, Mimic, Sharpshooter, Deus X
Muscular System. We need an economic engine capable of supporting the deck against both fast advance and glaciers. I have found this very challenging as of late. To address fast advance, event economy and Armitage Codebusting are our top contenders; and against glacier decks, we need sustained economy provided by Kati Jones or Magnum Opus.
Nervous System. Multiaccess, subterfuge, and hat tricks to give us an edge. Indexing or R&D Interface? Account Siphon, Imp, Parasite, De-Rez? Let's remember, we want to come out of the gate swinging. Parasite is a no-brainer due to synergy with Datasucker and Atman. The other variables will determine the deck's relative pressure in each stage of the game, and emphasis should be placed on making our worst games/matchups better, rather than extending a sizable lead.
Now to assemble the pieces.
In the spirit of The Collective, I think we should focus on speed and efficiency. In this vein, I think we should move away from Magnum Opus and Armitage, and even Kati Jones; and towards an event-driven economy. We need to draw into our core components and economy rapidly, and Prepaid VoicePAD should aid us immensely. (Thank you @spags for revisiting this economic alternative!)
I'm going against the grain and public opinion by electing Indexing rather than R&D Interface. Indexing allows us to apply pressure early, collects more intel, avoids traps, and synergizes with the cheap runs Atman provides. I am, however, open to slotting one R&D Interface if deckspace allows, to double R&D efficiency and lightly lock down R&D.
For special cards, we want to hit the ground running, and have options to pressure fast advance. Knight seems like a fantastic candidate. It will help us if locked out of centrals after a virus purge, forces the Corp to ice the remote two-deep, and frees up deckspace that would otherwise be devoted to Inti (for Wraparound).
Here's the deck I've been playing and tweaking for the past couple weeks, with great success:
Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
1x Escher (Creation and Control)
3x Indexing (Future Proof)
1x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Lucky Find (Double Time) •• •• ••
3x Quality Time (Humanity's Shadow)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
2x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
3x Prepaid VoicePAD (Second Thoughts)
1x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
3x Atman (Creation and Control)
1x Deus X (A Study in Static)
2x Knight (Mala Tempora) •• ••
1x Pipeline (Core Set)
3x Datasucker (Core Set) • • •
1x Parasite (Core Set) ••
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)
Does anyone have any suggestions or questions in regards to this deck, or a proposed alternate solution to finding a fast, efficient Shaper control rig?
Special thanks to those that contributed to the Kate Blitz thread. Hopefully this will get as much if not more discussion!