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Why Did Professional Contacts Fall Out Of Favor?


#1

On the date of writing, the top 4 decklists on the tournament winning decklists page are Kate decks that run Diesel and Quality time instead of ProCo. There’s also a Chaos Theory deck down a few notches that does the same. Magnum Opus is usually in these decks, but not always (in the case of Prepaid decks)

I figured that this is the place to ask, as it is the home of Alexfrog’s famous article about why ProCo is inherently better than Magnum Opus: why has ProCo seem to have fallen out of favor in comparison to Diesel/QT + Magnum Opus?


#2

It’s really fragile. not much else to say about it

‘Score breaking news, trash your proco’ is about the worst thing you can hear in a game.


#3

While I can’t say with full certainty, I’d say it has to do with the rise of glacier. Pro Con provides an efficient means of sustained economy, but on a much smaller scale than MO. Against glacier, you need more raw credits than Pro Con can comfortably provide. Thus the return to MO.


#4

Prepaids have become a thing, and they’re much less of a tempo hit than getting out ProCo. Contacts are efficient, but they’re not fast - which is also why I think that Alex’ argument that ProCon is inherently better is wrong. I’ve no idea if he still is of that opinion, anyway.

Shapers have plenty of ways to get the cards they need; Diesel, QT, SMC, Clone Chip, etc. But there aren’t a lot of sustainable ways to get credits fast. ProCo set you back a bunch of clicks until they provide a net benefit; MO gets you back its install cost a lot faster. And in the late game, you’ll want 6 credits a lot more often than you want 3 credits and 3 cards to prep for a run.


#5

You want to bring out Professional Contacts early, but if you do that against a rushy corp, you’re usually giving them a free scoring window.

It’s still good against slow corps, and amazing against Jinteki PE.


#6

You need to draw 8 cards to recoup the tempo loss from playing ProCon. Against slower corp decks like CI, HB Glacier or Jinteki RP it’s usually OK but against a fast NBN deck, it will usually means a free astroscript for them if not two and it isn’t a situation you can afford when you’re trying to build a competitive deck.


#7

It still crops up in shaper from time to time, and truth be told I’ve always hated proco no matter what the math suggests–I play it when I don’t have more deckspace than 3 Sure Gambles/3 X econ card (and MO is out of my MU budget)–but anarch and criminals are both tag-me right now, and shaper often follows suit as well with account siphons, making resource that costs more than 2 a liability, let alone 5


#8

I wouldn’t be totally surprised to see it make a comeback as Jinteki moves up the list. When playing Jinteki glacier it is the single card I most fear seeing.


#9

Then again, there’s always Cerebral Cast if ProCon returns to prominence :slight_smile:


#10

Between NAPD Contract and decks that spam economy assets, there are more credit sinks for the Runner than ever. MO can keep on top of that in a way that ProCo can’t unless you get lucky and draw a lot of economy cards with it. And you have to keep on top or you lose inevitability.

I also agree that it’s really bad against NBN which is a large part of the meta. Even beyond losing ProCo to Breaking News (Fall Guy is fine against this), you can’t just indefinitely gain money and trash SanSans until they run out like you can with MO.


#11

I never found ProCon to be a very good card. In the right deck, it can be utilized well, but I am typically happy to see my opponents play it, as I know I will have plenty of time to score while they click it 2-3 times a turn for the next 5 or 6 turns.


#12

That’s been my viewpoint on it as well. I view it as a HUGE tempo hit financially, as it takes six clicks on it to get back in the black. Sure, you’re getting cards at the same time, and it’s decent work compression. However, the few times I’ve played it I found myself often simply clicking for a credit instead of utilizing ProContacts, as I didn’t want to be over hand limit at the end of the turn, and actually regretted installing it. I actually think it’s better out-of-faction, as Anarchs and Criminals have traditionally had worse card draw effects.

Perhaps in certain decks it’s superior, but I never really bought the argument that it was flat-out better than Opus…

In Summary:


#13

There were reasonably competitive (but underplayed) Opus decks for a long time. I don’t think that’s changed very much, (though opus tends to be better vs NBN, which got a lot more popular since last year’s GenCon). The major player in the fall of Pro Contacts, aside from NBN just being generally good against it, capitalizing on tags to trash and scoring windows for Astro rushing, is Prepaid VoicePAD. In decks that previously might have gone with Pro Contacts, Kati Jones, Daily Casts, etc, most likely because of memory issues with Opus, you can now just spend 6 inf on lucky finds and you’re basically done. You don’t need RDI or basically any econ resources, can float tags if you feel like it, and never take a gigantic tempo hit for economy. You tend to draw through your deck much faster, and maybe most importantly, if you don’t have prepaid on turn 1, it isn’t as awful as if you miss your Pro Contacts and have to choose whether to interact with the Corp or to keep above 5 credits in case you ever actually draw it. Once you get going, you can Same Old Lucky Find and it’s like you had an Opus in play anyway.

TL;DR, Prepaid also uses no memory, and it is more efficient, consistent, and tag-resistant.


#14

@mediohxcore : Damn straight. Couldn’t have said it better myself!


#15

Yeah, people switched from ProCo to Prepaid. Its less vulnerable to tags, which is a good thing when the #1 corp is NBN. Prepaid makes you want Quality Time.