The value of The Personal Touch depends on how much you’re really planning on running through Eli and Chiyashi. Given that Blackstone holds its strength it will save you at most 3 credits per run. That’s great early, but late game it might only save you a handful of credits in very specific match ups (even assuming HB isn’t on NEXT). As a 1-of it’s unreliable in that way and it may be worth shoring up the SYNC match up at the expense of a economic hit vs. HB and Jinteki.
There’s also the point to be made that, relative to other break options, Blackstone isn’t that much more expensive. For the first Eli it only breaks for 2 more than Paperclip and 1 more than Corroder. Multiple Eli are gravy. For Chiyashi, again, it’s only 2 more than Paperclip and the same as Corroder. When you put it like that, it doesn’t look so bad even without The Personal Touch.
I don’t think that breaker suite is particularly ill-suited to SMC-and-Go. Blackstone has the same cost to install and gets you through that gear check just as well as Paperclip. Corroder is fine if you’re worried about the extra 2 credits to install, and Legwork could easily become a Corroder. I find the influence better spend on the Legwork, personally. If you’re running 2x Corroder then I don’t know where you’re getting the inf for the second from.
Getting rid of shuffle effects generally just means triggering Jacksons, which isn’t that hard, so Indexing is still solid. That said, I’ve been waning on Indexing/Mad Dash too. It’s amazing when it works but there are so many reasons to Film Critic agendas right now (Obokota, Midseasons, Hunter Seeker…) that Mad Dash isn’t as potent. Indexing loses some of its potency when you can’t combo it with Mad Dash as easily. It might be worth putting in Equivocation + 2x Interface. The Interfaces would make it more resilient to Crisium, as well, so you wouldn’t need Interdiction. You get an extra deck slot by trading out the Interdiction along with the Indexing package. This also increases single-run value on R&D which is nice as a stealth deck. It’s a more expensive package, but I find the econ to be pretty a-ok in the long game so it’s worth experimenting with.
Here’s the current iteration based on the changes I laid out based on our convo:
Ele “Smoke” Scovak: Cynosure of the Net (Intervention)
15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Free Mars
Deck built on NetrunnerDB.
I think it looks better with the second Beth and second NACH. It’s also nice to have straight R&D pressure. I’m really torn between keeping the Legwork and putting in 2x Employee Strike at the expense of some other card. If there were a better solution vs. Net Damage Jinteki then I’d drop the Levy in a heart beat.
Also, interesting to note, NACH and R&D Interface are the only rotating cards in this deck. R&DI is probably straight replaced by The Maker’s Eye here. NACH on the other hand… I fear SYNC after rotation. Dunno what to do other than slot a Misdirection and pray…
Edit: Just played a game with this list. Another great thing is Equivocation/R&D Interface don’t get stuffed by Nisei tokens. I think this is better R&D pressure in a Jinteki meta than Mad Lad Indexings. That said, I realize now that R&D Interface only has soft-synergy with Equivocation. Gets you only one card deeper over a turn of digs. Still good, but maybe not worth two in the slot (might go to one). Also, Levy saved my bacon when I couldn’t find my Film Critic. I think it stays solid in the deck. Sometimes just the card draw from it is nice…