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Shadowrun: Crossfire» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Deck Archtypes: Face Combo rss

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So having played a bunch of Shadowrun we've started noticing certain things. First, there's definitely deck archtypes and you're not guaranteed to see one. This is cool! You can't just trust your deck to be the same every game, you'll see cards become premium one game and drop back to trash the next. So today, I'm going to discuss Combo Red, a deck that we discovered when we happened to get a number of Negotiates.



Yes, I know, Negotiation is a good card. Next I'll be telling you water is wet. But there's ways to maximize even Negotiation. You can of course use it as a nice damage boost and to let the Mage buy something, but there's ways to turn that into a combo. Specifically what you need to see is:

1) An early negotiate. Always worth buying anyway
2) Press the Advantage to pop
3) Black Market Contacts

You'll want to wait to draw the negotiate, then buy the second negotiate and Black Market Contacts. This is easy. People will thank you for cycling those damn Black Market Contacts out of the deck.

But here's where it gets interesting:



Press the Advantage? It guarantees two red cards, making it fundamental to this deck. You can often buy it for $2 with Negotiate, or even $0 if you're going off, and it does RR to boot. Plus sometimes you get lucky. Meanwhile Black Market Contacts does the same thing if you're buying cheap reds (free with Negotiate). It can even snag you a negotiate for free that then lets you buy something else for cheap/free.

Basic idea is simple. Buy everything red with negotiate every single time you can. So you play some combo of Negotiate and Press the Advantage followed by a few reds and buy expensive spells for nothing.

But Black Ops is where this deck goes from "I buy cheap reds" to "oh my god". Namely Heart of the Team and Powerball. Heart of the team adds a second, cheaper Press the Advantage (only draws you one card period, but better icons) that can occasionally do cool things off the other split cards. And Powerball. Wow. Buy hero move for $2 and do damage that even the mage has to look on with respect.

This works best in longer missions (we probably got the full comboriffic "I buy $50 worth of stuff by end game" in the zombie plague mission which is very long) but its proven successful in base crossfire.

And hey, there's many other default roles for the face. This one just turns them into secondary mages that have enormous utility for the team.

P.S. The cheap mage cyclers like Guiding Spirit are also excellent here as they get you into the combo and power up Press the Advantage. While I've seen Face/Mages focus on Mage primarily a lot (and that is the way you have to go at times), it's possible to build a very consistent red-primary deck that does good damage with a lot higher team utility.

Remember, Red cards are weak because Negotiate is just that damn good. And there's three in the deck! Don't judge cards like Press the Advantage, Black Market Contacts or Hero move when you buy them full price, judge them if you're buying them for $0-$3 because you don't have to pay more.
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BT Carpenter
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I'm curious where you're getting your card images, because they don't match the actual printing of the game.

When you say Black Ops do you mean the High Calibre Ops expansion?

The "Press the Advantage" assumption that you'll always get two red cards is flawed. That assumption is really only valid if you are the generic "Face" role and have only been purchasing red cards. Regardless, remember that the second card of a duplicate color is not drawn, so there's no way to "draw 2 red cards" with PTA. At most you'll draw one additional Red card.

When I play the Face, which is pretty often because everyone else tends to prefer the Samurai, Mage and Decker roles, I prefer a large mix of cards, usually with assist abilities on them. Being able to help out on other player's turns is crucial, and you don't want to interfere with the Decker's constant damage role, the Mage's deck cycling bursts or the Samurai's Katana/Remington/Whip manipulations. As a Face, I often end up with the most varied deck colors, because I'm vacuuming up the garbage from the Black Market so the other players get different options.

I will often prefer the Mage or Samurai get Press the Advantage, they need to be able to cycle their decks quickly, and the card draws help with that.
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It appears to be the bootleg Russian printing, but hey they put high quality card images online for us and the publisher didn't so what can you do? I wish companies would admit that they're not really protecting anything by not putting this stuff out there, and god it makes discussing it easier for fans.


Quote:
The "Press the Advantage" assumption that you'll always get two red cards is flawed. That assumption is really only valid if you are the generic "Face" role and have only been purchasing red cards. Regardless, remember that the second card of a duplicate color is not drawn, so there's no way to "draw 2 red cards" with PTA. At most you'll draw one additional Red card.


Yes, this is intended to be a Face deck. Negotiate really only can go in the Face or the expansion Face/Mage deck, since it's not a great card without the mass of Street Smarts you need to make it work, unless you intend to use it as assist only (which its still a decent assister)

But I think you're missing the fundamental combo part of Press the Advantage - it is always 2 red cards, because it always counts itself. And in this deck your density of non-Skill cards is so so low that you'll virtually never hit two of the same color in the same flip (even if you have one guiding spirit you have to have the top two cards of your deck be that spirit and your singleton mana - a situation that's fairly easy to dodge with deck management).

Quote:

When I play the Face, which is pretty often because everyone else tends to prefer the Samurai, Mage and Decker roles, I prefer a large mix of cards, usually with assist abilities on them. Being able to help out on other player's turns is crucial, and you don't want to interfere with the Decker's constant damage role, the Mage's deck cycling bursts or the Samurai's Katana/Remington/Whip manipulations. As a Face, I often end up with the most varied deck colors, because I'm vacuuming up the garbage from the Black Market so the other players get different options.


That's the standard Face deck, and it certainly is very effective.

What I presented was an alternative deck option for when you get an early negotiate and can chain that into cheap skill cards and future negotiates. Especially with expansion cards it can turn Face into a high utility pseudo-mage. While it limits your ability to buy all the Covering Fire and Backdoors (although certainly the deck can handle one of each with no hiccups), it offloads a portion of that utility deck responsibility to the other classes in exchange for enormous combo potential. It works especially well with the dual Skill/Spell cards introduced in the expansion. By using Black Market Contacts with Negotiate you can spread the Negotiate discount over multiple buys in the same turn, which can quickly yank high priority cards out of the black market. I've seen Doc Wagon and Hero Move be bought for a combined total of 3 nuyen. That's a bit silly.
 
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BT Carpenter
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I don't think that the diversified Face deck is the standard, it's something good Face players learn to make happen. A solid red deck can actually be a detriment to the team, especially if Red obstacles aren't making an appearance.

I find that the Face has to get out of their color zone in order to have a chance of doing off color damage with any consistency. The Samurai and Mage both have the ability to do complete 'levels' of damage with some of their cards (Lightning Bolt, Fireball, Sniper Rifle), and the Hacker has multiple off-color options to draw from.

Press the Advantage can help with color diversity, since if you draw any non-SKILL cards they're going to be off color, but with too concentrated of a Face deck (aka all SKILL cards of various flavors), the Advantage of Press the Advantage is reduced to only the ability to get an additional Skill card and the multi-color chance is reduced.

Further, with only 2 of them in the deck of 60 cards (base set only) it often won't even make an appearance. The chance to see a PTA drops further to 2/90 if HCO is added in, though HCO also introduces a lot more Black Market Churn in various forms.

Red/Blue cards introduced in HCO help get off-red, since they count as SKILL cards for discount purposes but do SPELL damage. If I have a Negotiation discount and have to pick between PTA, Powerball, Heart of the Team or better, Double Double, I'm probably not picking PTA.

I like the analysis. The more people that play this game the better. I'm just offering the opinion that perhaps a Face deck that is too focused on Red Colored Damage may paint themselves into a corner for the third scene.
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HCO introduces better cards for this, like Heart of the Team (cheaper, can help teammates too). PTA is still worth picking up if there's a drought of red and you can get it for $1-2, but in HCO it loses some value. However since you're mostly using it to double dip on Negotiate you don't mind if you hit a double card instantly (normally dual color cards mess with PTA hard).

There's no question high damage red offloads some utility needs onto other players. But the flexibility is the fun! We played a game of the Pandemic Mission once where not a single good mage payload card came up during scene 1 and most of scene 2 - and that mission has long, long scenes. We had every weapon and skill on the planet, but we saw nothing but Guiding Spirit and Clairvoyance and the like. The Street Samurai ended up with power black combos (multiple Katanas and Roomsweepers) and we ended up with him having a xenophobic black deck that would go off with Katanas and Roomsweepers. Meanwhile the Face and Mage were probably tanking the most damage since we desperately wanted the Samurai to hit his Katana+Katana into Roomsweeper turn. it was ugly, but we managed to squeak out a win. If we'd let the Samurai tank as much as possible and just hope that blue cards might someday show up to burst down the obstacles we'd have certainly lost. And we could have blamed a poor shuffle (and it was statistically unlikely) but we made the cards work somehow (although I'll happily admit a single bad draw at the right time could have wrecked us that run)
 
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