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Smoke and Mirrors -- A Scovak Thread


By itself yes.

Behind 1-3 Sac Cons it is going to be quite a big tempo hit to clear a tapwrm. Trope lets you recycle the pieces to replay it and force the corp to give up on combating the drip or give you plenty of cash.


Shieeeeet. I forgot about Trope. I’m dumping Clone Chips and back on Film Critic, baby!


I have really come around on Trope. It lets you have some hope against damage decks, gets you the critical pieces back and MU isn’t quite the premium it used to be due to branching out to new consoles.


Having no idea what the meta was going to be like, seeing as I just moved to Italy around a month ago, I decided to bring my Smoke deck to the Slovakian Nationals in Bratislava, where I got 6th place. I could have easily placed higher if I didn’t have a couple corp games with pretty dismal back luck, but let it never be said that the only luck is good luck =)

Overall, I only lost to Mordequi’s new NEH Prison deck (Lockshop, on NRDB) with Smoke, because I never found my Slums, and I didn’t realize how I should be running against it until I was already in a losing spiral and it was too late. It was still a really fun game, and I love losing to interesting stuff.

Here’s the list I played!

I went back and forth a lot between Clone Chip and Film Critic, and had Clone Chip in the deck until about 5 mins before turning my deck list in where I figured I’d have more of a chance losing to not having FC than losing because I never found my 1-of CC. It so happens that almost everyone was playing some sort of Obokata-based Jinteki (including me, it turns out), so Film Critic was the card of the day, and I leaned on it heavily every game except against the one CI player I faced (and beat. Fuck CI).

Feedback Filter sucks. On a day where I faced almost nothing but Jinteki, I never installed it, even when I drew it. It turns out the best answer to Kakugo is to just run better and not take extraneous net damage from bad runs… and to play Film Critic, so that net damage doesn’t haunt you when you see an Obokaka :wink:

Slums would have almost won the game on the spot vs that NEH prison deck I faced, but I never found it. It was pretty dead the rest of the time, so maybe there’s a better option for the influence? Trope might have been sick on some games to just recycle some econ, even midway through the game, but memory is almost always so tight that maybe it would have actually been terrible, so never mind. I leaned hard on Tapwrm, which was amazing, Clot won my my CI game because it just gave me enough turns that I was able to slow him down enough to find the agendas, and Equivocation is an amazing R&D pressure tool that also won me a several games.

I think maybe because I’m running Switchblade, I should be running a Ghost Runner or two. It would enable me to be more aggressively poised earlier in the game, especially in a Jinteki meta, where you really can’t poke around too much without being able to break both Sentries and Code Gates, and that requires at least 2 Stealth Creds to be online.

Overall, though, Smoke feels fairly powerful. It was a great choice for the day.


Nice to get some results from the first post rotation big scale event (as far as I can tell? I mean I know there have been some big gnks but this is different…). Seems like hayleys did really well at the event, too? Looking forward to perusing lists as they come up.


Yeah, there was a lot of Shaper, and Hayley was a great choice as well. Most I think were on Mopus builds that just take money and shut you out. People were like “This feels oppressive,” which is hilarious because the new “oppressive” is money and breakers. OoooOoOOOO. Spooky.

Also, just to add, apparently they saw a decent uptick in attendee numbers compared to last year, which is the first time in a long time that I’ve heard of a major Netrunner tournament drawing more people than a previous year. Rotation, Core 2, and the new MWL seem to have people reinvigorated =)


“Money and Breakers” has always been kind of oppressive (especially high power money (ie. MOpus)), which is the reason Caprice was printed in the first place. I think it’s kind of funny, because I think people forgot when there were all these side-stepping strategies like Butcher-Shop and Bio-locks.

I think we need to get back to the “money and breakers means at least a decent game vs. the field”, and I’m sure that’s what the MWL 2.0 and Core 2.0 are attempting to achieve, in conjunction with rotation, but we’re going to have some growing pains while the meta re-establishes its self. Corp players need to reevaluate the existing protective assets/upgrades that exist (ie. reevaluate things like Fractal Threat Matrix now that the obvious best Caprice is gone) and FFG need to possible print some new, less crazy-like-Caprice stuff that fills that role. The design space is wide open, now. There are surprisingly few options for protective upgrades, let alone effective ones (at least before someone figures out a nice combo with existing cards).


I love this :slight_smile:

It definitely feels like we’re back to "real netrunner"TM


Updated list. At the end of the day, Astrolabe is still the best console.

Event (17)
3 Diesel
2 Dirty Laundry
3 Indexing
1 Mad Dash
3 Peace in Our Time ●​●​●​
1 Scavenge
3 Sure Gamble
1 Test Run
Hardware (2)
2 Astrolabe
Program (10)
1 Cloak
1 Clot ●​●​
1 Dagger
1 Dai V
1 Misdirection
1 Paperclip ●​●​●​
1 Refractor
2 Self-modifying Code
1 Tapwrm ●​●​
Resource (12)
2 Film Critic :unicorn:
3 Net Mercur
3 Sacrificial Construct
2 Salsette Slums ●​●​●​●​
1 Same Old Thing
1 The Turning Wheel ●​

Besides D2D Making News I don’t think this deck has bad matchups. Slums and Labe are all you need vs Gagarin and Neh, Film Critic improves significantly the winning percentages vs Jinteki agendas (bye bye Obokata) and the lack of clone chip is somehow mitigated by test run and scavenge to speed up your set up or cycle back clot and tapwrm.
Dai V is the go-to breaker vs Gagarin (breaks Tour Guide and Hive), some variants of CI (Ashigaru) and Aginfusion (breaks Excalibur). The only card I am missing is Beth, but I can cut 1 cloak or 1 same old thing.
All in all I am very satisfied with this deck


If I was going to make a list at this point I think it would be extremely similar to yours. I never find I need more than the one extra memory and, since I can’t use Desperado anymore, Astrolabe seems like the obvious choice. Mirror and The Gauntlet end up feeling too expensive with the econ as it is, now. I’m also of the mind to go back to Indexing/Mad Dash with Jackson gone. I’d drop an Indexing from this list, maybe, to grab an Interdiction as a counter-current and Crisium-beater. I’d want a second SoT if I did that, though.


I have a significantly similar list, but I’ve been taking your advice to get there.

I am on 1x Legwork, which can help close a game when the corp is locked up.

I am also on CC over FC. I think this is probably the wrong call, because against Smoke as AgIn, FC is usually the main decider of those matches. I just like the utility of CC more than FC in the non-Jinteki matchups.


That’s my feeling too. However, because of that, my Smoke deck has never had room for all of these utility programs. How are you doing that? I always feel like I need to get 2 Cloak down for stealth credits, so I just have that and breakers. None of this Trope, Misdirection, etc. (although using Trope to reduce dependence on Clone Chip is a fantastic idea.)


I’ve only ever needed a single cloak, even when running Blackstone. Runs that charge Mercur and nothing else aren’t terrible investments.


Ultimately Clone Chip vs Film Critic is a meta call, but I think CC is better.

Film Critic is good primarily in the Jinteki matchup, for stealing Obokatas and The Future Perfects. It also has benefits versus NBN (QPM), Weyland (Hunter Seeker), and even HB (Lakshmi Smartfabrics or Punitive Counterstrike if they’re going that way.) It’s a safe, defensive card. All good things, it’s a silver bullet, and it works. However…

Clone Chip is a multi-tool. It accelerates you by doubling your SMC’s and keeping Tapwrm in play. That’s the most important part in this meta IMO. Corps are going to go fast, and anything that helps you keep up with that is extremely valuable. Test Run + Scavenge can do this, but takes 2 cards to accomplish it, taking deck slots, diluting your draws, and slowing you down. CC also helps you maintain Clot Lock, alongside SacCons. In the matchup that Film Critic matters the most - Jinteki - Clone Chip still gets back valuable programs you’ve lost to net damage, if you care. Every other card is either unique or non-critical. The only matchup they’re close to dead in is Skorpios, (and they can still only remove 1 card from the game each turn, and can’t target end of turn discards.) If I’m running Clone Chip, I’ll never drop below 3x, because it’s always good.

Furthermore, I think it’s important to practice the matchups you’re using FC for without FC because otherwise you won’t learn how to play around the threats represented. Things like using the cards in your hand as a disposable resource, maintaining credit parity to beat a trace, reconnaissance for threats to play around, playing to your outs, etc. are important skills to develop. And the more developed they are, the less important FC becomes. The same is true of all silver bullets.

Lastly, I’d note that a possible alternative, if necessary, is Imp. Fetchable at instant speed with SMC, recurrable with CC (although requires overinstallation,) useful in a variety of matchups, the main disadvantages are taking memory and the heavy influence cost. Without Jackson Howard, agendas in Archives are likely to stay there for quite a while.


Is there any other card or strategy for working around Hunter Seeker to block the rigshooting strategy if you aren’t running Sacrificial Construct?

I think SacCon + CC is a great combo for decks running Tapwrm and Clot, and I’ll try it out. Just wondering because in decks that don’t run Tapwrm or Clot, I often run Magnum Opus or Film Critic, and in those decks I feel like SacCon is not a particularly helpful card in most matchups other than Skorpios.


I am on 2x cloak, but I’m thinking of cutting to 1 because of how strong Net Mercur is.

It is important to trigger Net Mercur on every run, and it is important to make as many runs as possible as an excuse to trigger net mercur.

Smoke should be checking remotes (even if she isn’t trashing) and making runs on unprotected archives.

Smoke is a very aggressive ID with Net Mercur. In my opinion, only Kit has a more aggressive early game than Smoke.Run everything and get a big pile of credits on Net Mercur.

I agree with @Kopiok here, I just wanted to emphasize that these runs aren’t just passively not bad, but actively an important part of your game plan as Smoke.


Do you run 2 or 3 Net Mercur?

I hate running 3 because it feels like a wasted deck slot, but I really do appreciate the consistency and hate seeing Net Mercur late.

Also, has anyone experimented with System Seizure as a counter-current option? 0 credits, and seems like it would work great with stealth rigs to save you the stealth credits.


It’s probably the most important card in your deck, so I think 3 is necessary. I like a x1 System Seizure, especially if you’re already playing Same Old Thing.


I run 3, it is the most important card in my deck, and it is important to get it online (mercur installed + icebreaker) as early as possible.

It is not a wasted slot to get net mercur online by turn 2. It is 5 wasted turns (or likely a game loss) to not get it online until turn 7.


I’ve played as and against Smoke a fair amount and I don’t think I’ve ever seen 2 Cloaks in her rig before.

It’s usually superfluous. A single Cloak + Net Mercur and your ID will carry you through essentially any piece of problematic ICE and if you’re ever at a serious risk of getting locked out because you don’t have enough stealth credits you can usually farm some up by making runs on unprotected remotes/archives and pumping Dagger/Refractor on the way to load Net Mercur.

Personally, I really like the 2MU consoles on Smoke. Cloak + your breaker suite hogs up 4, and the other 2 can hold your utility programs; Tapwrm, Equivocation, Misdirection, Clot, Dai V etc. Maw and Gauntlet both add solid HQ pressure which is something Smoke usually lacks so I could see a case for playing either of them.