Getting a little back on track…here is my current version of the non-combo Val (AKA “Val’s Pals”):
Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe (Order and Chaos)
1x Déjà Vu (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
1x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
1x Quest Completed (Fear and Loathing)
3x Blackmail (Fear and Loathing)
3x I’ve Had Worse (Order and Chaos)
1x Wanton Destruction (Order and Chaos)
3x Desperado (Core Set) ••••• ••••
3x Kati Jones (Humanity’s Shadow)
3x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
3x Earthrise Hotel (The Source)
3x Investigative Journalism (Order and Chaos)
3x Paige Piper (The Valley)
3x Corroder (Core Set)
3x Mimic (Core Set)
3x ZU.13 Key Master (What Lies Ahead) ••••• •
3x Datasucker (Core Set)
2x Medium (Core Set)
3x Parasite (Core Set)
2x Progenitor (Order and Chaos)
The Progenitors have been great. They give you extra memory, and slotting a sucker on one has helped me a couple times now to ensure passage past Cortex Locks, and eased my mind with respect to Ichi1.0 (i.e. corp cannot purge away that 1 vital sucker counter).
I replaced the Gordians with Zu’s because I keep thinking that NEH is gonna come storming back and I think 3 Zu beats 2 Gordian in that matchup. Empirically though I haven’t come up against any NEH lately, and paying 1 extra for code gates (Lotus Field especially) hurts a little. The Progenitors often make double suckers possible though, so that can help with everyting but LF. Paying 3 less for your decoder, and getting it out there earlier is nice.
I slotted a single Wanton in there and it has saved me in one game by milling a Scorch. Not sure how great it is, but it replaced Tallie, who, though she was a pal, did not usually thrill me when she arrived in hand.
I’m going 3X Investigative Journalism here. Most here seem to be cutting down on them, but I’ve found a second BP plus Desperado to be really great. The 3X gets one early, and with Paige you can throw others away. Myself I usually only toss 1, as getting 3 BP, if the opportunity presents itself, is bonkers.