The way I see Geist, there are two builds that you generally have to eventually steer towards:
Siphon Geist, which likely wants some amount of Crescentus, even NACH, maybe Film Critic, pushing you more towards OCA. Even after the new criminal (Severn) console comes out, you might even want to keep Forger in this kind of build for the value. @kiv has been doing well with @josh01’s build, with some minor changes. (I have not found Crescentus to be very useful at all, to be honest. It’s almost a combo piece in Geist, needing a bunch of breakers + Siphon in hand to be worth it.) This version can more realistically play Medium, since it can sometimes guarantee R&D can’t be rezzed. Can attempt to control FA with Siphon recursion.
Non-Siphon Geist, which wants to eschew Crescentus altogether. It doesn’t need NACH, and probably wants to include the Severn console. This gains a few deck slots for things like Inside Job, Drive-by, etc. This deck wants to control FA with Legworks, Maker’s early on. Can probably fit Autoscripter/Savoir, but doesn’t generally need it, especially with OCA.
While there might be two directions of builds, I don’t think there is a better or worse version. I think both are good, and both work, fairly well.
More important are the variants to the builds that you fine folk have been discussing above – whether to include OCA and how many Connections are relevant to get value from it, whether to go with a more control-oriented build with Paricia/Scrubber, whether to include Underworld Contacts at all (working with OCA but a tempo hit). Whether to play Tech Writer, opting for slightly more programs over resources… etc. etc. So many choices, and I love that we’re on the verge of Geist’s very actual “zeit”. Here are some observations from piloting this deck below irl and online, and having tweaked it over and over this last weekend. Deck is based off @CodeMarvelous’s “Garbage Man”, but with some notable changes. Certainly, when Polyop comes out, we’ll fit that in here. First, the deck.
1 Inside Job
1 Levy AR Lab Access ●●●
1 Special Order
2 The Maker’s Eye ●●●●
1 Dyson Mem Chip
1 Security Chip ●
1 Corroder ●●
1 ZU.13 Key Master ●●
3 Daily Casts
3 Fall Guy
2 Same Old Thing
3 Street Peddler ●●●
2 Symmetrical Visage
3 Tech Trader
3 Technical Writer
Non-Siphon builds prefer real breakers (corroder/zu) to central only breakers. The deck plays remote-control more than HQ control with this style of deck. It Legworks when it can, and it Makers’ when it can. Having real breakers means we don’t have influence for OCA. I could cut a Maker’s and a Sec Chip (more on that later), but I don’t think my draw is that much impacted by OCA to warrant its inclusion here as I have only 9 connections (still good! but not quite enough).
Non-Siphon builds prefer Maker’s Eye to Medium. As we really have no way to leech off the opponent, our runs need to be big and impactful. Also, it’s cute to bin a Maker’s with a Peddler install and Maker’s when the Corp isn’t expecting it. The deck does tend to attack every server more-or-less equally.
Non-Siphon builds might want a single Security Chip. I tried the deck with two, but it’s so infrequently needed that I dropped it. Could be dropped altogether, and that wouldn’t dramatically impact the deck. The problem these kinds of decks run into is the Corp rushing out behind a Tollbooth or a Susanoo. Those are pretty tough to deal with. Chip basically counts as “having found another breaker” but doesn’t take up MU.
Not having OCA means we need compensation for draw: Symmetrical Visage. Such a great card here. We draw every single turn at least once, which means we always have a credit to install something. I’ve tried all of the versions above (except specifically Kiv’s version – I played Josh01’s, just don’t like the Source…)
If you’re not playing Alias (and who is?) you probably want to have two Mongeese. A smart opponent will stack sentries or code-gates.
Non-Siphon builds can probably get away with 1-2 SOT. I prefer 2, as I like to use one for recurring Legs or Makers, and keep one for Levy, if needed.
Technical Writer suffers from OCA problems: draw order sadness. I feel that you really don’t want too many of these kinds of cards in the deck. TW could be more reasonable sources of money to speed the deck up, but I like them in a version without OCA. On this note: Daily Casts + Visage have been realiable for speeding up my Geist.
One Inside Job can be anything else, even a third SOT.
I prefer non-Siphon builds of Geist, but I might be in the minority with this opinion. I’ve found that in Geist, as opposed to Gabe or Andy or even Leela, lining up a Siphon is extremely card-order dependent. It’s like trying to land a combo. I’m not knocking anyone who includes it, as it’s incredibly helpful, but when you have so many resources, it’s not even worth it half the time to click three times to gain 6. NACH mitigates that, and I would definitely play NACH in a Siphon build, but, again, it’s card-order dependent.
Is OCA needed? Maybe not if you have some other mitigating card-draw effects (Visage + a few more trashcan abilities). I might consider it after #droptheplop comes out. Hate losing real breakers!
Did I miss anything?