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Smoke and Mirrors -- A Scovak Thread


That’s been my approach, too. Dai V is a great AI for this purpose. And the draft of the Smoke Mining Accident deck I’m working on is at 42 cards with 2 SacCons that I am seriously considering dropping (especially now that I dropped Clot). But man, I don’t know how I feel about that with Batty being so popular and no other recursion in my deck, and with Skorpios being popular and successful in the current meta.

Maybe I just need to learn to deal with it and live a little on the wild side, but Shaper’s in my blood and that Anarch-like mindset seems tough to get past when I’m building green decks.


I would highly recommend Dummy Box. It helps against all sorts of threats by itself, and can’t be Best Defense’d. It also works at protecting Net Mercur from Sea Source -> Trash, or any 0 cost card from Best Defense. I’ve survived facechecking into a Tithonium (vs Skorpios) with it. Every redundant card becomes useful. Doesn’t protect you against Navi Mumbai City Grid + Batty, but nothing does.


I didn’t run light on credits during my games but I might have had good draws (one game I had all three Daily Casts out by turn 3). There are 10 real credit cards (Dirty Laundry, Sure Gamble, Daily Casts and Beth). RNG Key is real money but not reliable. However, all your cards are quite cheap to play so that does help.

Feedback Filter was there because of Kakugo. I agree it is probably not need nor affordable. Misdirection was a tech card I had but cut it and kept Feedback. If you expect HHN I would take Misdirection.

If you do steal 2 agendas during a run you do have a backup breaker with Dai V. It is pretty bad but better than being locked out. As @EnderA mentioned, Dumy Box might be the better option. That way your SMCs and Dai V can protect your rig instead of being thrown away.

I did have The Gauntlet in an earlier version but cut it for more utility with TTW and Hunting Grounds. I think going back wit The Gauntlet is not a bad idea. It will free up two slots for Dummy Box.

I never used Mad Dash but I think Notoriety is probably the best option for the last point. The runs are cheap enough you should be able to build to a turn you can run all three centrals in the one turn.

I’ll re-visit my list tonight and see what I can come up with.


This does:



Touche. I suppose Interdiction + Political Operative also does, albeit limited use.


If I’m not mistaken, Councilman should also work because it isn’t actually a paid ability because of how it’s worded.


Yes, Councilman works too, although I prefer Interdiction because it can clear Scarcity.


these all seem like really reasonable points. I like equivocation + RNG key as a way to get something resembling R&D lock, though it’s potentially troublesome against Titan FA decks that want to draw a lot of FA pieces and Jinja decks that want to draw a lot of ICE (which is what I’ve been seeing a lot online).

At any rate, I think smoke is a solid meta choice at the moment because you can run FC as your restricted card, make a credible facsimile of R&D lock, and camp remotes. Being able to efficiently break fairchild 3.0 and mausolus is also pretty good.


This is the list I came up with. I’ll get a chance to try it out over the weekend. I removed all tech cards to see how the deck performs. I can then find what I need to put in and what I can cut for it.

Ele “Smoke” Scovak Cynosure of the Net
15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
41 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Revised Core Set
Event (20)
3x Deuces Wild ●●●
3x Diesel
3x Dirty Laundry
3x Mining Accident ●●●●● ●
1x Notoriety
1x Stimhack ●
3x Sure Gamble
3x The Maker’s Eye

Hardware (2)
2x The Gauntlet ●●

Resource (11)
1x Beth Kilrain-Chang
3x Daily Casts
2x Dummy Box
2x Film Critic :unicorn:
3x Net Mercur

Icebreaker (4)
1x Dagger
1x Dai V
1x Paperclip ●●●
1x Refractor

Program (4)
1x Cloak
3x Self-modifying Code

I decided to try out The Gauntlet because it is a solid card for pressuring both main centrals. RNG Key and Find The Truth have been replaced by Deuces Wild. This will give the deck more consistency and flexibility. Dummy Box is in to stop program trashing and can even allow you to float a tag for a turn (will the Corp try and trash something with Dummy Box out?) Lastly, Notoriety for the last point because we can no longer see the top card of R&D.


I actually disagree, having both played with and against the Gauntlet. I played it for a while in Smoke, thinking that it was a nice way to save on space by combining my console with a Legwork. I almost never wanted to install it, and when I did it never did much.

Ever since Siphon rotated out, while playing as Corp, I’ll try and just not ICE HQ for as long as I can, unless I have a TON of agendas after mulligan. Specifically against Shaper, I’ll try and rush out whatever agendas I score, because they’re almost always slow to set up, especially Smoke. Smoke not only needs her breakers, she needs a few stealth sources to really get going. So to exploit this, my second (and often third) ICE usually goes over my remote, and I start scoring. If they poke HQ and manage to grab an agenda, that’s still usually fine with me because now my hand is free and I can score whatever shows up next, just ICEing R&D and my scoring remote. If I do ICE HQ for some reason, I’ll still try and not rez it unless it looks like it’d be a good idea.

So now we come across the problem with The Gauntlet, especially in Shaper. I’d say that most people aren’t heavily ICEing their HQ against Shapers, probably just committing a single ICE, if any. Now you have to install this cumbersome thing at 5c, but it doesn’t do anything other than provide MU. If it was one of those situations where I did rez ICE on HQ, my next ICE is going back over HQ to wipe out all rezzed ICE, and I’ll just never rez it. Now in the best possible situation, it did something one time (when you installed it and ran HQ against someone that already had ICE rezed), and now is going to be useless the rest of the game.

It’s boring, but this is why everyone runs Astrolabe in their Shaper decks. It occasionally draws cards, it gives you one MU, which is usually all you want anyhow, and it only costs a buck. In a deck as poor as a non-Peace, non-Tapwrm Smoke is going to be, that’s a gigantic difference.


The only exception I can think of is CI, where they like to store agendas in HQ, but there are probably better tech cards for the CI matchup.


You know, that’s an interesting perspective. I definitely think that once the Corp sees Gauntlet they tend to ice HQ or rez HQ ice less often. I think the trick is to wait to install it until they have already iced and rezzed at least 1 ice, then it’s a huge gain. Permanent Legwork every run is incredibly powerful and almost always relevant unless they are running a ton of FA and/or deck filtering cards.


Trying to re-live RICH ASS SMOKE days, I put this dumb thing together:

Smoke Mk 2

Ele “Smoke” Scovak: Cynosure of the Net (Intervention)

Event (10)

Hardware (3)

Resource (18)

Icebreaker (4)

Program (5)

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Random thoughts:

Loved The Dummy Box idea. I sure would like to fit in a Same Old Thing, though. Also, I’m terrified of IT Department Ag (secretly best deck!? Srsly tho, with D4v1d under-performing due to multi-subs and the extreme spikiness of new ice, it’s incredibly frightening) so I put in a PolOp. Due to card slots had to go from 2 Peace in Our Time to 1 Liberated + 1 PolOp (had an extra inf) to fit it. I’m also worried about not having a Notoriety/“Freedom Through Equality”… Feel like I need the Feedback Filter to not just die to Kakugo. Ugh, deckbuilding is hard, too much tech to have. :cry:

Ooh, maybe I drop the Legwork and Maker’s for two The Turning Wheel to grab a deckslot back!? Then I probably don’t even need the Same Old Thing! Decisions decisions…

Anyways, looking to share/for random feedback, I guess? Maybe someone to tell me to let go of the real money dream and play the Mining Accident disruption hotness :wink:

Although, what do you do if they just lose the 5 instead of giving you the badpub econ? :scream:


Enjoyable thread. I’ve played almost entirely Smoke as my runner since Core 2, and didn’t even know about the Mining Accident hotness. Will have to try it.

Anyway thoughts on the above deck: I love Proco as a card and I’ve tried it in Smoke, but I don’t think it works for her very well. Smoke is very efficient at making runs, and should be doing so as much as possible from midgame onwards, especially against low ice decks, where a run on a naked server turns Mercur into a Desperado for stealth credits. There are also a bunch of cards often played in Smoke decks that add value to runs; Turning Wheel, Equivocation, RNG key, Maw are a few. I think she wants to be running for value more than mashing Proco. I always found Proco better in passive Shaper decks that build up and make deep digs occasionally with R&D interface or legwork. I feel similarly about Liberated, which is click intensive and also competes with Proco. Liberated gives you 10 credits for 5 clicks - those same 5 clicks could have given you 5 credits and 5 cards with Proco.

I find burstier econ with PioT and Dirty Laundry better for Smoke. Laundry synergises with Mercur and PioT gives you the big money you need to get setup and get your Mercur engine going. It’s also better at playing through scarcity, which your deck is vulnerable to. Tapwrm is also ridiculous for getting real money, but that’s a slightly different kind of deck now that it’s restricted.

Great to see so many different approaches to Smoke in this thread!


I’ve played around with a few different lists post MWL 2.1, and I’d say this one has been the most reliable:

Smoke tap

Ele “Smoke” Scovak: Cynosure of the Net

Event (17)
3x Diesel
3x Dirty Laundry
2x Indexing
1x Mad Dash
1x On the Lam ●●
3x Peace in Our Time ●●●
1x Scavenge
3x Sure Gamble

Hardware (3)
2x Astrolabe
1x Feedback Filter

Resource (9)
1x Beth Kilrain-Chang
3x Net Mercur
3x Sacrificial Construct
1x Same Old Thing
1x The Turning Wheel ●

Icebreaker (4)
1x Dagger
1x Dai V
1x Paperclip ●●●
1x Refractor

Program (7)
1x Cloak
1x Clot ●●
3x Self-modifying Code
2x Tapwrm ●●●●

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Going to 2 tapwrms has made it more consistent, and lets you save SMCs for getting breakers more often. With Scavenge and even same old Scavenge occasionally, you can waste a bunch of corp clicks over the course of a game, while having a way of getting back a breaker if something goes wrong. Deck feels pretty lean and has well rounded matchups, though the lack of a Film Critic can occasionally cause problems against more grindy Jinteki decks.

FF offers some tech against Jinteki, On the Lam is mainly for tag decks but is a nice card in general and good against decks that play traps. I’m debating whether Clot is needed in this list, but the mini outbreak of Titan on Jnet has persuaded me to hold onto it for now. In some metas this might just want to be a third Tapwrm - card is honestly bonkers in how much money it makes you some games.


My counter-points are thus:

Note: I ended up writing, like, a whole treatise on Smoke. I didn’t intend to, starting out, but it was kind of fun! My disclaimer here is that I’m not pretending to be some kind of god-tier expert on Smoke, or card evaluation, or anything. This is just a lot of what makes sense to me. I could very well be way off base (I just put this together on the spot) and I’m sure many will disagree. I’m not trying to criticize anyone or call any individual out, I just enjoy having in-depth mechanical discussions. Ok, with that out of the way, here is this crazy rambling:

ProCo is not exclusive to making mid-game runs. In fact, I find that it improves Smoke’s ability to make those mid-game runs while maintaining a robust deck structure. In order to explain this, I think I need to go into a little bit about why PiOT-Tapwrm is actually amazing and why the MWL is the worst for it:

Mercur, while phenomenal, is only a Stealth-Desperado for as long as you have recurring stealth to spend (so, up to twice per turn for this deck). It’s also much more rare these days to face a Corp with undefended servers. Besides all of that, ice is generally more expensive to break now (through subroutines) and you won’t be able to sustain your economy completely through mid-game runs. Most Smoke decks pack burst-econ to counter this and get through the mid-game. The problem is that runner burst econ is a bit on the weak side at the moment and, conversely, their sustain econ is a bit on the great side. Thus, Smoke needs to pair some sustain econ with that burst in order to make it through to the late game without running out of steam. Tapwrm has been the go-to choice for this, with Peace in Our Time, and that has been working out great! She gets plenty of burst to float through the mid game and it also lets Tapwrm give her enough to close it out.

This plan isn’t without its own downsides, however. Burst econ is single-use. If you are relying on it for your early economy then you have to dedicate many cards to it, which begins to make Smoke’s deck slots tight. Tapwrm requires support in the form of Sacrificial Construct, tightening the deck slots even more. Burst economy is also draw-intensive. You have to then dedicate deck slots to draw cards in order to make that economy more efficient. Now you can barely fit in your breakers, multi-access, and tech cards.

Now, in the past, these drawbacks have generally been manageable. You can squeeze in your breakers. You have enough money to win. You’re able to get the most important tech cards in there. That last bit is where it all falls apart with the new MWL.

The most important cards in your Smoke deck are the cards that let you deal with stealing Obokata Protocol in the early-mid game. These cards could be: Levy (a solid choice if you want to recycle all of that burst, trashed Tapwrms, etc…) or Film Critic (just nab it, baby) combined with Feedback Filter. With the econ package available to Smoke you absolutely cannot lose too many of your cards. You need those burst cards to sustain your econ and if you lose them then you can’t make it through the mid game. You need the SacCons to power your sustain through the late game. A Corp that forces you to contest Obokata early can get you into a situation where you are forced to drop many very important resources to get it, and Smoke’s reliance on each and every card in her tiny deck makes that a tearful trade. Levy brings those cards back, Film Critic prevents you from losing them in the first place. Most notably, both of these cards are restricted. By including the Tapwrm econ package you are now unable to slot those tech cards and now you have a much, much more difficult time dealing with net damage Jinteki. Which, as it turns out, is a strong and popular choice. I don’t think Smoke can survive the Jinteki net-damage-pocalypse without at least one of those (preferable Film Critic).

So, this whole experiment flows from the idea that we cannot include Tapwrm anymore because we can’t afford to lose Film Critic. Tapwrm remains phenomenal against the rest of the field but Jinteki becomes our worst nightmare, and that is unacceptable. We need a new sustained economy to go with our burst package.

One option presented in this thread: Mining Accident. Mining Accident allows you to potentially force the Corp to take Bad Publicity. This can be considered equivalent to the sustain econ by giving you a drip per BP every time you run. Incredibly synergistic with Net Mercur. Vulnerable to a monied Corp and a non-bo with PiOT. Have to drop PiOT now and replace a lot of burst with other cards. Experiments with RNG Key and Deuces and Stimhack abound! I want to see how those work out, they look fun and interesting!

(The part about my actual thought process):

My deck’s solution: Professional Contacts. ProCon is neat because it offers you solid drip right at the beginning of the game. I am loathe to give the Corp extra credits, even in Smoke, so I drop PiOT. ProCo is highly synergistic with Career Fair (opening hand dream) and so are Daily Casts and Net Mercur! It’s an obvious choice to include. I’m replacing Tapwrm with an in-faction card so now I have influence to spend. I still have econ missing from PiOT and influence to spend. What is good econ that cost influence? Well, Liberated Account is pretty good. OH HEY, I ALREADY HAVE CAREER FAIR! Lets throw it in. Liberated Account takes more clicks than the standard burst econ package, but ProCon drips more early credits than other sustain econ packages (while drawing into other econ cards), so I feel like that balances out and you end up with a similar economic flow. ProCon greatly increases the value proposition of spending clicks on draw, so I can drop my other draw cards (Diesel). That also frees up a ton of card slots… It’s tech city now, bois!

I have tech cards available for just about every problematic match up I’ve run into as Smoke. Film Critic is… well, Film Critic. Dummy Box becomes my new favorite card I hadn’t thought of until someone brought it up. PolOp and Interdiction helps deal with some very pesky upgrades and assets. Interdiction also helps as a counter-current. Misdirection saves you against early HHNs and protects your econ when you simply must run multi-Raven’d servers or are vs. Sync.

Ultimately, I have ProCon providing me a base amount of econ to use to install the cards I draw, my burst econ (basically Career Fair and Sure Gamble) to push me through the mid-game, and hybrid econ (Daily Casts, Liberated) to fill in the gaps. I can use the constant economy flow to run at least once per turn to get value from Mercur, Equivocation, and The Turning Wheel (this writeup has convinced me to drop the Maker’s/Legwork and go with the 2 Turning Wheel + something else). I don’t have to be drawing 4x per turn, nor should I be running 4x per turn. Runs and ProCon draw can be balanced well. I have tech cards for any matchup (except fast advance, I guess… ugh. Perhaps The Source is in order!? Dummy Box :heart_eyes:).

Now, that said, Dirty Laundry is still a good card for this deck and if I had the slots I’d totally slot it.

Conclusion: I’m going to drop the Maker’s and Legwork and throw in the 2 The Turning Wheel, it just makes sense. Need to figure out what to do with the extra slot. Same Old Thing doesn’t make sense once the rest are dropped. A second Interdiction to better combat Scarcity (which would be devastating played early) is probably where I will go. Considering dropping a Liberated for a The Source. Dummy Box opens up so many interesting options… hnng.

Whew. Well, that was a fun write up. God bless you, whoever reads it.


The Proco thing was largely based on feel when I tried subbing it in for my 3 Diesels - it just felt like I’d slowed the deck down and not gained a lot. I’ll try your deck on Jnet and see what I think. I still don’t agree with Liberated - to me you want to pair Proco with single click econ, not something that takes 5 clicks to fully empty, but maybe ingame it’ll be different.


I am not 100% sold on Liberated, myself. I don’t think it’s necessary for using Career Fair since there are so many other good targets for it. I’d replace them with Lucky Finds in a heartbeat if they still existed. I just can’t think of another even psuedo-bursty econ to include. I do like them a bit better than Dirty Laundry, though.

EDIT: Dummy Box + a billion Resources with redundancy makes Tri-maf Contact an interesting consideration. Perhaps not as nice with ProCon, but maybe worth a thought for other Dummy Box decks!


I played two games of The Gauntlet Smoke I posted above over the weekend. And those two scenarios were spot on.

My first game was against CI who heavily ICE’d HQ. They were on match point with an Elective Upgrade scored (so pretty much my last turn). I ran HQ seeing 4 cards and stole 3 agendas for the win.

My second game was against a non-CI HB build. They ICE’d HQ with an Enigma (I found out through Deuces Wild) but it was never worth their effort to rez it especially since I had 2 bad pub. So I never installed The Gauntlet and just ran HQ building Net Mercer counters for single accesses.

I know two games is not enough to make a definitive conclusion on The Gauntlet. I will play some more games and see if it does make a positive difference or if Astrolabe is just better.


I just wanted to say that I totally support The Gauntlet out of Smoke. It is a supremely fun console and combos well with what she wants to do. I’ve had success in previous Smoke decks. The only thing about it is that it is expensive to install, and she really kind of needs the memory so it’s hard to wait on it.

(Now I’m considering dropping the two Liberated I have left, going to 2 Gauntlet over Astro, and dropping in 2 Tri-Maf. Ugh so many choices!)