After going undefeated at the FFG Center tournament tonight, a couple people asked me to post this nasty Argus deck I’ve been winning a lot of games with lately. It evolved considerably throughout the 2015 Store Championship season, and the current incarnation has only lost two games ever. It usually scores out with a flatline in hand. Card choice details and strategy after the list.
Argus Security: Protection Guaranteed (Order and Chaos)
Code Gate (3)
15 influence spent (max 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Order and Chaos
Deck built on NetrunnerDB.
First things first, understand that this deck LIVES AND DIES by False Lead (well, actually, the runner is usually the one doing the dying). If I score False Lead, I am going to win. I can’t stress this enough, which is why this is getting its own blurb here. False Lead will either enable a flatline or score you a 3-pointer for the win. False Lead and Beanstalk means getting to 8 credits basically nullifies Account Siphon. Despite the dramatic bold text in the first sentence, this deck packs enough tricks to win without it. That said, prioritize scoring False Lead as soon as you can.
The first thing most people notice when looking at this deck is the two copies of Invasion of Privacy. This is mainly here for I’ve Had Worse, which it absolutely wrecks, but it’s surprisingly versatile. Against any resource- or event-heavy runner, it can get you a Punitive flatline from an Atlas or even a 1-pointer. Nobody ever sees it coming. This was originally a couple of Snoops, but I could never get them to work right against IHW. Invasion hasn’t failed me yet. That said, I am considering cutting one for a second Snare! and a Ghost Branch.
The lack of SEA Source is intentional. Every runner plays around it and expects it, and a lot of runners get careless when they have a credit lead. That’s not how this deck tags runners. False Lead is how this deck lands tags. The best way to ensure this is Data Raven into Snare!, but a double Data Raven server works just as well. There’s also an emergency Posted Bounty.
Economy is a bit light, but it’s rare I rez more than 3-4 pieces of ice in any given game, and only the lone Taurus costs more than 4c. Taxing is the name of the game here, and everything but the Enigmas do that. The Enigmas are mostly just there to prevent early Siphon nonsense, and maybe get a quick False Lead out, but Archer works better for that. Just make sure you always have 4 credits to pop the Snare!
Don’t be afraid of BP! I usually end most games with 2-4. While this may seem at odds with all the taxing, I’ve found that runners with BP to use focus less on other economy, leaving them with fewer credits to pay for traces. Even if this doesn’t end up happening, a couple BP won’t make much difference. Between Archers, Data Ravens, and Checkpoint; they will be paying a lot to get in. Argus does a good enough job of discouraging multi-access that they will be paying to get in a lot more often.
Plascrete is no big deal. IAA a Shattered Remains and they WILL run it. Taurus is mean, especially if they’re relying on Mimic/Sharpshooter/D4V1D to get past sentries. On top of that, you’d be shocked how many people take the Argus tax damage off the Plascrete just to save a click and two credits. Even if that fails, it’s generally no trouble to just Scorch/Punitive right through them and recycle with Jackson. Utopia Shard is probably the best defense you’ll actually see, but it’s not rare for me to have a hand full of Scorch/Punitive/Invasion; and my kill combo is generally two cards instead of three. City Hall could be problematic, but only if they’re really dedicated to it as their Scorch defense. I have yet to see one, but I’d probably just install a few 1-pointers to clear them out.
Get Atlas counters whenever possible. In most situations, a scored Atlas counter is worth a lot more than the two agenda points. Not only does it make your flatline that much easier, it does a great job of shutting down stupid Utopia Shard.
Above all else, be patient and calm and wait for your openings. If you score a False Lead, your Data Ravens will eventually carry you to victory.
I might replace the GRNDL Refineries with Contract Killers whenever that pack eventually comes out, and I may switch out an Invasion for a Ghost Branch and Snare! Otherwise, this is likely what I’m taking to Regionals.
I welcome any and all questions and criticisms. Thanks for looking!