There is something about the plastic smell of new netrunner cards, fresh out of the pack that makes you want to just fry them up and serve them on a plate garnished with decorative celery sticks with a side of ranch dipping sauce.
And at first glance that’s all that the new cards from Kala Ghoda would be good for, so when Chicago’s Asher Stuhlman aka LSK served them up to us this week in a pile of 54 corp cards, we couldn’t help but take notice.
|Industrial Genomics – Growing Solutions|
2x Fetal AI
3x Global Food Initiative •••
3x The Future Perfect
2x AshigaruBlack Angus Steaks (1)
|15 influence spent (max 15)
22 agenda points (between 22 and 23)
54 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Kala Ghoda
Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to try and click draw for shocks before you get siphon-medium’d into the ground? Does playing “find the jackson” while your opponent mercilessly beats you over the head with viruses sound appetizing?
Then you’re in luck because I’ve got just the jank you ordered! Let’s hear what the internet is saying about LSK’s TGI Friday’s Endless Appetizers:
“I was told there would be potato skins” — Ben Torell of Peachhack
“I’m a modern renaissance man: game designer, dancer, scholar, warrior, and philosopher.” — Damon Stone
“I like to think of myself as a rational guy but when I saw that they’d given me room 420 at the hotel I was pretty sure that was a sign I’d repeat.” — Dan D’argenio, World Champion
“Cats were once my thing, now I’m too busy eating sadness” — Dien, SHL Champion
“The restaurant is disappointing and the deck is boring” — Samrs
“PROTATOS” — Steve Brule, Doctor
“Isn’t TGI Friday’s just another version of Applebee’s?” — Skyler Bush, Noob
“The last time scorched earth ever killed anyone outside of NBN, dinosaurs still walked the earth.” — bblum
“Fill me with cheese until there’s no more room for sadness” — ItJustGotRielle
“For me, when I’m on a first date, I like to make it perfectly clear that I’m not looking for a friend, I’m looking for a sexual partner.” — Nordrunner
And Me? When I think of the stereotypical suburban happy place, I don’t think of TGI Fridays, my mind wanders to the one place where all of my troubles melt away:
Liquor island is my personal oasis of joy rising virtuously above the ruins of a Piggly Wiggly near my apartment. It’s a magical place where bliss is sold for $14 a bottle and no one ever checks your ID. It’s the place I go whenever I have to play a deck of the week that runs 2 jacksons in 54 cards and only 7 ICE.
I’m only human, how else am I supposed to get by when I have such travesties of deck building thrust upon me? As I sleeve up this 54 card behemoth and shuffle up for my first games I can at least know that my crippling alcoholism will see me safely through each game.
And that’s fine too, because Damon knows I’ve got plenty to say about netrunner. Regular readers know that every new deck is just a thinly veiled vehicle for me to rant about something or other, and this week is no different.
What can we learn from this week’s deck of the week? That you can hoodwink people into upvoting your decks if you include a few cards from the latest set and an overly confident deck description? Or is it just that the people so desperately want to believe that Santa is real and you can trick people into flatlining themselves.
That’s the Jinteki dream in a nutshell. Through your own superior implementation of bluffs and trickery, you expertly maneuver your opponents to randomly access your snares and 4 advanced overwriters. That you can win games through psychology and mind control. Each time someone dives into archives to trash your Ronin, it’s a matter of supreme skill that you can trick them into running on your 4 advanced overwriter instead.
Suddenly, holly misteltoe and klaxxons as your opponent checks your trap and flatlines themselves. Not through luck or chance, but M I N D G A M E S.
In reality, players can run carefully respecting all of your plays. Siphon you to 0 before defusing your traps, keyhole the beejesus out of R&D or take a few net damage from archives before trashing your key assets at wholesale prices.
It’s a respect check. Before you even draw your opening hand the game is decided for you, by your opponent. Will your opponent choose to play carelessly and die, or will they respect your decks potential plays and dismantle you slowly in a protracted battle of card attrition.
Did I just mushin an agenda? Of course not. Unless I did. Tee-Hee.
That’s my brief take on the state of “trap” decks, for the other side of the argument look forward to an upcoming guest article from King Beale himself, Ehill
but that’s enough deep fried net damage for now, let’s get these little plates out of here…
The Jack Daniels Covered Main Course
Let’s sort this heap out, because deep down in this oversized pile there might be a card or two worth talking about. 1 Caprice really? You know these aren’t MWL right? You get these for free Asher. Aaaaannd 3 Shi-Kyus, nope, Sergio we need to go deeper. A little side lesson kids at home, if you are going to play an oversized deck make sure you max-out on good cards before you start sleeving up bad ones.
Jackson Howard is pretty good I hear. When you are at 49 cards you can make a few reasonable arguments against common deck building tropes like 3 jacksons and 3 caprices depending on the rest of your stack. At 54? All bets are off. Sorry, heritage committee and museum are not Jackson replacements.
Aha! Found it. Here’s the gem of this deck folks:
Heritage Committee allows you to draw 3 cards and choose your favorite 2 for 1 credit and… holy shit this card sucks never mind.
There we go.
What a harmless looking card, and the entire reason you are struggling to shuffle right now. At 2 influence per card, there is no situation that you would ever run it in a 49 card deck.
Napkin math: if you are using a 15 influence ID with 49 cards each card is worth .31 influence points – meaning adding 5 extra cards to your deck is the same as losing 1.5 points of influence. It will never be an efficient use of your IDs influence to lose 2 points of inf for a single copy of museum let alone multiples.
What’s the big deal with museum? I sat down at our local TGI Fridays with Buffalo Chicken Wing Enthusiast and Deck Builder Asher Stuhlman to get the real story:
“It was the card that impressed me most from Kala Ghoda power-level wise, because the normal problem corps have in the long game is that eventually their deck runs out. A runner who can force corps to play the long game has an advantage, because they can just get the corp’s cards stuck in HQ or R&D and then clear out one or the other.
Museum of History just subverts that totally; if you can keep one out, you can delay that indefinitely.
Still, a runner’s eventually going to trash it, so the question becomes – how do you win the game in the meanwhile? And so I built this deck to slowly win the game by running the runner out of cards with lots of ways to kill over a long game.”
Unfortunately Damon hasn’t banned viruses yet, so until that magical day when the damage decks can roam freely without being bullied by imps and lampreys I think we need to send Asher’s endless apps back to the kitchen. Waitress. My Jacksons are pink on the inside.
Before You Sleeve Up
I know this is a bit lazy, but just play a PE deck. If you are looking to play a respect-check deck that allows you to kill fools, I think PE offers you more options, and isn’t forced to fold when it can’t protect archives. Check out Cranked’s PE deck for a list that racked up a high kill count at a recent competition.
Despite all of this, I firmly believe that Asher’s assessment of Museum was spot on. Changing the math on R&D accesses to suit your own purposes is a power that we’ve only previously seen by Jacksoning operations back into R&D before accesses. Granted that is the only thing it does, and it does that slowly — it is still worth building around.
If the card text on museum simply stated “If this is rezzed you can’t lose to noise” it would still be good enough to run in the current environment. As an anti-noise silver bullet, Museum succeeds. The fact that it can also have other applications is something to take interest in.
Netrunner is a game in which Runners have inevitability built into the mechanics of the game, all of the action takes place in the clicks that each player has before R&D runs out – it is a game fundamentally built on tempo and timing — Museum of History breaks that fundamental rule and I believe the drawbacks can be mitigated in the current card pool.
As far as the next big thing in jank goes, I’m sure those nerds at the FusionHaa Corporate test kitchen can cook up something tastier than microwaved artichoke dip. Meanwhile, I will be on liquor island washing this taste out of my mouth.
Ruining the game,