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Smoke and Mirrors -- A Scovak Thread


I’ve been playing ProCo in Smoke for a while now and just wanted to say I agree with your assessment. It helps with set up in the early game and once the rig is set up I’m still not running 4 clicks a turn so ProCo is a good way to keep the cards and credits flowing.

The other big selling point about ProCo to me is one that should be familiar to everyone in this thread: slots. It’s a draw engine and econ. This may be heresy but I cut Diesel for it. Between ProCo, Astrolabe, and Net Mercur I find that I have a pretty good flow of cards / credits (if you’re not on Astrolabe then this may not apply).

Give it a try. I was skeptical at first but it works out pretty well IME. Also Career Fair is sort of like Peace if you squint.


Played some with the deck! A few tweaks going in. I took out The Turning Wheels. I just had to wait too long to get good multi-access on. I switched back to 2 The Maker’s Eye for use with Equivocation. I also swapped into The Gauntlet for HQ multi-access. Since there’s almost no asset spam going on around here I don’t get a huge value from Astrolabe’s draw. I was OK on econ for many of the games I was playing, but some beefy servers were just troublesome and I did feel like I needed more burst. I got rid of the Liberated Accounts and threw in a couple of Peace in Our Time and a Stimhack. Should have even more cash potential, now. I also swapped out Feedback Filter for Caldera because I had the influence to spend and it plays well with Career Fair.

I’m at 41 cards right now and I really have no idea what to take out. I haven’t played with the changes yet, but I’m hoping I can figure out what needs to go when I do. And goodness, I do kinda wish I could get to 3 Self-Modifyings too.

Smoke Mk 2

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

Event (13)

Hardware (2)

Resource (17)

Icebreaker (4)

Program (5)

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

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


Someone missed my post on why The Gauntlet isn’t actually Multiaccess!

Anyhow, question. What does Dummy Box do here? Are you afraid of resource trashing?


Protects The Source, protects Film Critic, can protect Programs (Batty is still a thing). Really, it’s a placeholder for until Reclaim comes out. I think some of the inefficiencies I’ve been feelin’ in this deck will fell a lot better once that is out there. For instance, being able to get an early SMC back from the heap is going to be huge, imo. For the moment I’m considering removing them, but I feel bad going down to 2x considering when I actually need it, I need it early. That may be playing it too safe, though.

Second, I don’t disagree with you on The Gauntlet, but I think forcing HQ to remain undefended (allowing for cheap/free single accesses) is not without value its self. Especially when value runs on Mercur charges are nice to have. That said, I am in experimental mode with the multi-access/run value booster cards, so I’m keeping an eagle-eye on the value I feel from it. 100% concerned that the 5 install cost is going to hit too hard and that card is what I will be paying attention to in testing, in particular. I’ve been hot/cold on it in the past.


In a deck without Clot/Tapwrm (where you really want SacCon), Dummy Box serves dual-function to protect key Resources from e.g. Sea Source shenanigans/Voter Intimidation/“oops I’m still tagged”, and Programs from Batty/Trojan Horse/Hunter Seeker (if you didn’t FC the agenda)/Best Defense. It also isn’t easily removed by Best Defense.


Yeah, that makes sense, although with Smoke’s limited selection of programs, I’m willing to bet that Skorp would still be an issue, were itnot for Film Critic. It still seems like kind of a weak slot, but @Kopiok says it’s just a placeholder til the better card gets here anyhow. I was trying to identify the 41st card, and I think that if you’re running 2x Film Critic, you probably only really need 1x Dummy Box.


That’s where I am leaning as well.


After several frustrating times, I have come to the conclusion that 2 SMC is not enough SMC and 3 is required. Now to find the slot. :confused:


Getting my rig set up is one of my biggest challenges with Smoke. I agree that three is the right number.


So it seems at this point everyone is running Film Critic as their restricted card in Smoke, but I’m wondering if anyone had tried out any of the others recently?

Mostly I’m thinking of Employee Strike since I feel like I already need counter-currents and I’m not super happy with Interdiction. It also helps in some of the same matchups as critic (Aginf, Skorpios, etc), while also being useful in others like Azmari, Titan, etc. Obviously this is a meta-related question, but with a lot of Val lists recently making the switch I thought I’d bring it up.

I’ve tried Clone Chip a bit and while it helps setup time it isn’t really worth the slot without Tapwrm/Clot.

Levy is another one I’ve tried with the idea that I could just cycle through all my burst Econ again and turns out I just don’t hit the end of the deck often enough for it to be worth it.

Anyone else? Or should I just slot critic and be done with it?


I think the Critic is still a solid choice. I slot Freedom Through Equality as my current and it seems to work well for clearing theirs as well as closing out the game.


How is Smoke positioned right now against the various Corps?


Are there other decks that need to be taken into account?


EStrike has the downside of requiring influence, which depending on your build might not be available, but it’s definitely a strong card. Obokata (PU and/or behind Data Loop), Punitive Counterstrike, Hunter Seeker, and now Degree Mill are all difficult to deal with without Film Critic.

On the other hand, EStrike helps with Titan, CI, PU, Gagarin, and lots of others. EStrike doesn’t actually help against Skorp - we’re not running any recursion, Film Critic is infinitely better. I think it’s a meta call.

Gagarin, CtM and PU are the other three decks I can think of. Gagarin is next to impossible unless you’re running, say, 2x Security Testing (and draw one), regardless of what restricted card you’re running. PU is helped either way, but I think EStrike is much worse than Film Critic unless you’re also running Feedback Filter. EStrike helps more than FC vs CtM, but FC still helps vs QPM.


Agree with all your reasoning. Anarch can counter Skorp with E. Strike because they don’t care if Trash Program subs fire since their breakers recur themselves. Smoke doesn’t really have that luxury, so even with E. Strike out you’d need Sac Cons/Dummy Box to protect yourself and at that point you may have upwards of 6 card slots dedicated to silver bullets. Film Critic covers all your bases and typically only costs you two slots.

Honestly, the only matchup where I think E. Strike would be advantageous is against AgInfusion, because it isn’t usually a big deal to steal their Obokatas the hard way and their ID ability is really bad for you. Other matchups where you might want the Strike would include asset ID’s like CtM, IG, and Gagarin, but Smoke doesn’t really have the cash to contest the assets even with the ID ability turned off, so it’s kind of a moot point.


While I realize counterplay is a thing, so many of those matchups feel like they come down to tech cards.

Palana: Critic, FBF
Skorp: Critic, Strike, Interdiction, Sac Con
Azmari: Critic (for the punitive one), Misdirection/OTL/etc for the taggy one
CI/Titan: Slot the Clot.
AgInfusion: Actually I really like this one. Most builds aren’t all in on Obokata damage so you can steal it without critic if you are careful. Your breakers line up well against a lot of their big ice although Excalibur does force you to find your AI. I feel like Smoke is slightly favored but a lot of it will come down to gameplay.


I have really been struggling with all of my runner decks lately with economy, particularly against decks that focus on creating and leveraging a credit differential (like Azmari with SEA Source).

Smoke feels good to me primarily because I have played stealth Shaper decks for so long, and it certainly helps to break annoying ice with lots of subs (looking at you, Tour Guide, meet my Switchblade). But I have a hard time with money. I’m not sure if I just need to figure out how to add more, or if I’m playing it wrong, or if that’s just a normal expectation in this meta.

Can I get some feedback on my list and ideas on how to improve it?

Smoke Stealth

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

Event (19)

Hardware (2)

Resource (8)

Icebreaker (4)

Program (7)

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

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


Nah, I don’t think it’s you. It’s really hard to get enough economy in Smoke decks these days, ever since Tapwrm went on the MWL. I do feel that you will get better economy out of using Daily Casts over Dirty Laundry, but that’s just a total of 6 more credits in the entire deck. I was playing Liberated Accounts in Smoke for a bit to try that out, but Smoke is already a little slow to get going, and Lib is not a fast card at all. Right now I’ve put away Smoke in favor of Capt. Hook Hayley, mainly because that deck gives even less of a damn about money for accesses than Smoke.


I have been asked if my Smoke deck runs Daily Casts or Armitage, and my answer is… both.

I am occasionally flush with money but other times I still feel pinched so I have no real answer for you. Smoke just seems to run on fumes (appropriate, I guess?).

On a side note, good luck getting credit advantage as a Runner now that NGO is in the game. That card is nuts and I expect to see it everywhere (recent league experience is already bearing this out).


Someone in my meta iirc runs 2x Security Testing (and 1-2 Find the Truth + RNG Key) to make money in a lot of matchups, and does quite well with it. Net Mercur functions as a kind of limited Desperado, comboing with SecTest. The downside is it takes up quite a bit of influence, which generally means spending other influence on bare bones. Often even if they ice Archives you can make a profit off one run a turn (and get to peek at the top card of R&D, which even if they have Miraju lets you know what they’re drawing.) It’s especially important against asset spam, which is a nightmare otherwise.

I think Interdiction is critical in Smoke, whether it’s for Ash, Bio Vault, NGO, Batty, miscellaneous assets like Sandburg, or currents like Scarcity of Resources. 2x seems about right since you can wait for the right moment to pop it. I also like having 1x Notoriety to finish games off. A lot of corp decks plan on leaving you at 6 points, whether it’s Azmari with 6 3-pointers, or a deck with 2-pointers and GFI.

If you want single-influence cards, Stimhack, Hunting Grounds, and Turning Wheel are all great value.

Here’s an example build:

SecTest Smoke

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

Event (14)
3x Diesel (Revised Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Indexing (Revised Core Set)
2x Interdiction (Martial Law)
1x Notoriety (Revised Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Revised Core Set)

Hardware (2)
2x Astrolabe (Up and Over)

Resource (13)
1x Beth Kilrain-Chang (Blood Money)
2x Film Critic (Old Hollywood) :unicorn:
1x Find the Truth (Escalation) ●●●
3x Net Mercur (Escalation)
1x Patron (Salsette Island)
2x Sacrificial Construct (Revised Core Set)
2x Security Testing (Honor and Profit) ●●●●● ●
1x The Turning Wheel (The Liberated Mind)

Icebreaker (4)
1x Dagger (Creation and Control)
1x Dai V (23 Seconds)
1x Paperclip (Blood Money) ●●●
1x Refractor (First Contact)

Program (7)
1x Cloak (Creation and Control)
1x Clot (The Valley) ●●
1x Misdirection (Martial Law)
1x RNG Key (Down the White Nile)
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)
15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Down the White Nile

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

All that being said, Pirate Hayley is probably better right now.