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Refining the Process: Twins Foundry


#1

Summary

I spent most of SHL3 trying to get a competitive Foundry + Twins deck working. I’m throwing my findings - such as they are - open for discussion in the hope of “refining the process” (ahem). I enjoyed playing all the variations of the deck enormously and pulled out some good results but, even allowing for my rather erratic level of often sleep-deprived/screaming baby distracted play skill, I still don’t think Foundry is quite “there”.

Performance

I played 34 games in the league with variants of the deck below, plus casual games on top. My win rate started very high - when Order and Chaos was very new and runners were still generally the underdogs - but it fell as runners gained confidence and as I made some unsuccessful changes. It bottomed out at 55%.

Games generally went one of four ways:

  1. Win. Runner faceplants into Merlin plus the Twins for 8 net damage in the first few turns of the game.
  2. Win. I manage to get an Eve or Adonis to stick and either score out behind a combination of ASH and/or The Twins or the runner is pressurised into running a Twins server that wrecks their rig/economy or flat-lines them.
  3. Loss. The runner gets a strong economy start and trashes my economy assets on sight. I never get the economy to secure my servers.
  4. Loss. Set up a secure remote server and about to score out, but lose to multi-access - usually on R&D (and often because of dubious ICE placement on my part).

In terms of match-ups, the deck had a very strong record against PVP Kate (with something like an 8-2 win rate). The ability to lock Lady out of a server using multiple Galahads (especially in combination with The Twins) combined with being able to spam remote servers guarded by code gates allowed the deck to put a lot of pressure on Kate’s recursion, opening up scoring/flat-line windows. It also had a strong record against Reg-Arse MaxX (4-1 I think), but I attribute that primarily to people being new to the runner (and the brief inclusion of Cyberdex Virus Suite). Its worse match-up was Eater MaxX - with Eater and Wanton Destruction both being terrible news for a Grail deck. It never won that match-up.

The Deck Itself

So, the deck itself in its most successful form:

The Foundry: Refining the Process (The Spaces Between)

Agenda (8)
3x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
3x Priority Requisition (Core Set)
1x Project Vitruvius (Cyber Exodus)
1x Utopia Fragment (The Source)

Asset (9)
3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
3x Eve Campaign (Humanity’s Shadow)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••

Upgrade (6)
3x Ash 2X3ZB9CY (What Lies Ahead)
3x The Twins (Order and Chaos) •••

Operation (6)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
3x Restructure (Second Thoughts)

Barrier (6)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof)
3x Galahad (Upstalk) •••

Code Gate (8)
3x Enigma (Core Set)
2x IQ (First Contact)
3x Merlin (All That Remains) •••

Sentry (6)
3x Ichi 1.0 (Core Set) (But see below)
3x Lancelot (First Contact) •••

15 influence spent (maximum 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Order and Chaos

This is already very long, so I won’t dwell on individual choices too much.

At @SimonMoon’s suggestion I tried Corporate Troubleshooter instead of ASH. Although it scared the c**p out of people, I found having to spend the money earlier in the run meant firing it was very expensive relative to ASH. It also doesn’t in itself end the run which was often problematic with shapers and anarchs losing their breakers to lancelot, only to clone chip the relevant one back out and score. I would possibly include it as a one-off in a fixed-breaker heavy environment, but no more (to be revisited when NEXT Gold comes out). I also tried IT Department, but was unconvinced - the Foundry’s ever weakening R&D made spending turns pumping power counters feel unattractive.

The second sentry slot could be one of Ichi 1.0, Ichi 2.0, Architect or Janus 1.0. With Mimic everywhere Architect feels a little expensive in Foundry, where you don’t get the credit for installing on the opponent’s turn. Ichi 2.0 is stronger against Atman but weaker against D4V1D. Janus has a lot going for it - a second flat-line route, a massive tax if rez’d, increasing the threat of ABT/Pri Req. But getting to 17 credits is a long slog and having it in the deck exacerbates the economic weakness that is the biggest thing holding the deck back. On balance, Ichi’s reasonably priced 3 credit tax, plus moderate Twins threat, is probably the most consistent choice.

Otherwise I think the choices are broadly self-selecting. NEXT Ice is too vulnerable to parasite for my liking, although I will revisit that when Gold comes out - Enigma and IQ are both decent replacements.

Play

You are looking to get an economy asset ticking over, or score when the runner is broke from trashing your economy. This isn’t ETF, you can’t get away with rezzing naked Eves and expect them to stick so expect to be rezzing stuff to keep them around. Think very hard about your early ICE placement - this will have profound impacts on the game later. A Twins plus Merlin server should go down as early as possible - you’ll be amazed how many people will kill themselves on it - but hold the other Merlins if you can. Then build a scoring remote whilst defending the “problem” central (R&D for Shaper, HQ for Criminal, for Anarch it depends on the build). Be aggressive, especially whilst they are rig building. Your late game is poor because of Foundry’s drain on your R&D, but your mid-game is brutal if set up properly.

Variants

Two variants that I didn’t get a chance to fully try:

@Calimsha suggested a more rush-based build, with a more operation focused game and a 2/2/2/1 agenda scheme. This is something I’m primarily looking into trying when NEXT Gold comes out. Prior to that, this is the build I came up with.

I also tried a Blue Sun build, using the synergy between Blue Sun and Grail ICE to remove one of the decks bigger weaknesses - having to play ICE in sub-optimal positions when you would rather keep them in hand. Notably mostly for actually winning games due to Levy University, but I was not convinced it had the consistency to be viable.


#2

Did you ever happen to try this with Twins/Komainu by any chance? Or is that going to be pretty impossible to land?


#3

That should almost certainly only be attempted in Jinteki; maybe that’s what you meant.


#4

Is 20 ice a normal amount to be playing in Foundry? I’m playing an EtF glacier at the moment with only 19, and I thought one of the big points of the Foundry was being able to play less ice and free up deckslots. For example, you could drop the 2x IQ and play two extra economy cards instead.

Did I suggest subliminal messaging after we played? Can’t remember if it was you or somebody else, but it sounds like the kind of thing I’d suggest =P With the runner afraid of your grail ice and twin tricks, you could make a good amount of money off it.


#5

you might need more since Twins trashes stuff, plus Grail considerations


#6

No I meant in Foundry. Unless I am misunderstanding the Twins/Komainu interaction, if Twins forces the Runner the encounter Komainu again after having already encountered and gained subroutines, Komainu’s “on encounter” effects should trigger again meaning it would gain more subroutines.


#7

Yes I understand how it works, but Komainu is 4 influence per copy.


#8

I mean, you can run 2 Komainu, 3 Jackson, and 3 Twins and still have 1 influence left if you really wanted to go that route.


#9

why not go the OAI/Bioroid rezzer(dont remember the event name) with Janus as your killer? Having 3 Janus, i dont think the runner is able to continue running after a janus UNLESS he has too much money(or a david).
And u can always use archived memories and vitruvius to get it back for another run.
Did u try a version like that? going more event based? I think you might be wasting too much inf going for king arthur ice.


#10

I’m not sure there’s really any need. Komainu is fantastic as tax–but if they hit your twins combo without adequate preparation, there are more influence-lite ICE that can land a OHKO–Neural Katana and Merlin, to name a few.


#11

but janus and komainu are the only ones that can kill even if they hv breakers from the sheer ammount of money required


#12

If I was going to try it, I think it would be out of Jinteki simply because the influence cost. Instant speed parasites can already be problematic for The Twins. Investing 8/12 influence when Grimoire/Datasucker plus parasite just drops it feels like exacerbating that weakness to me.

Grail ICE can rack up 15 subroutines in a single encounter if you set the combos up right. That normally decides the game. But I picked them because they are generally strong and give you a powerful early game rather than going all in on kill strategies that are a problem for the runner, but which can be played around (Deus Ex makes even double Komainu/Janus survivable). I agree Janus is worth considering - and has been in and out of the deck. Bioroid efficiency feels like it would make the deck even more comby unless I were to go down a more heavy bioroid approach.

[quote=“RotomAppliance, post:4, topic:3280, full:true”]
Is 20 ice a normal amount to be playing in Foundry? I’m playing an EtF glacier at the moment with only 19, and I thought one of the big points of the Foundry was being able to play less ice and free up deckslots. [/quote]

It would be nice. Sadly I spend so much time not drawing ICE early game that I feel compelled to play 20 in pretty much everything glacier shaped!

I don’t think you suggested Subliminal to me. If I was going to go down to 18 ICE it’s something I’d try. My concern would be that it increases the vulnerability to runners who get rich early and run on your assets relentlessly.


#13

I really think that with Foundry a faster deck is the way to go. It’s advantage of getting you more ICE early (and the absurd risk-free ABT play) lets you set up faster, and its disadvantage of thinning RnD makes it much weaker in the late game than most corps. Not being ETF doesn’t help in that either.

Pre-O&C I was running Grail Foundry fast advance for a while, with Biotics and the EffComm/SfSS combo. As we all know by now, the Grail suite makes its early game even better, and can still net you Merlin flatlines even without the Twins. I was running all operation econ. When the deck saw money early it was really, really fast. When it didn’t it would tend to get out to 4-6 points and then either lose to a fully set-up runner while it was digging for it’s last fast advance pieces, or find them and win. I was running Domestic Sleepers as my 1 pointer and loved it. Means you only really have to score 3 agendas. It was a strong, consistent deck for a while.

Unfortunately O&C came with a 1-card hard counter to Grail - Eater. Grail says ‘go spend at least a couple turns setting up your rig’. Eater says ‘Boo! 1 click spent - me here and me eating. Om nom nom nom nom.’ On top of that, Eater decks invariably run Keyhole as a win condition, which really bones Foundry’s thinned RnD. Because of this, and the greater presence of Anarch generally, I don’t think Grail Foundry is competitive right now. Clot is also going to be a problem.


#14

Clot is only a problem if you go FA like you. There is a reason most people are slowly getting back to old HB-like glacier style decks


#15

Right, but I don’t think Foundry can do Glacier well enough. All its strength is in the early game. It needs to be quick - whether that means fast advance or not is another matter, but at the very least Clot constrains your options somewhat.


#16

I’m surprised it does so well vs PPVP Kate. If I was playing you with the galahads, I’d break the two damaging subs with 1 lady token and let it bounce me out. Then, end of your turn, I’m parasiting it. I see the recursion in Kate being used mainly on these parasites against this deck.

Then again, I haven’t played against this deck - so let me know if you wanna show me the error of my thinking!


#17

OAI/Bioroid Efficiency Research won’t work with the twins, the ice either gets trashed or derezzed before the twins will fire. It could work with Awakening Center though.


#18

Trying to land a Janus would be nice, but I don’t think it is really feasible. The Ichis are probably better targets. Grim, Sagittarius could also be nice. Maybe time for sherlock & Gyri to shine?


#19

[quote=“CobraBubbles, post:13, topic:3280”]
absurd risk-free ABT play[/quote]
It’s worth noting though, that you still need to have enough ICE in your deck for this to be the case. Foundry’s ability reduces the risk of ABT, sure, but at the same time, the deck thinning can drastically work against you when you fire the agenda. Especially since a lot of people run 16-17 ICE lists. As usual, being aware of your remaining deck content is key, but it’s something I know I’m too optimistic about in too many cases.


#20

So was I. Of course 10 games or so (plus a few casuals) isn’t an enormous sample size.

My experience was that Galahad generally got me the space to score the 5/3. Using multiple code gate remotes got me the rest of the points by creating windows in which they didn’t have the recursion to switch cyber-cypher around. IQ being variable strength was key because it could dodge Atman.