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Subject: [Deck] Kate Efficiency - A Missing Piece rss

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Matt M
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Hello everyone. I've been a lurker on these boards for a while now, but I'm having a dilemma with my current Runner deck that I was hoping I could get some opinions on.

I've played this deck with little variation for a while now, and it's by far my favorite. The last change I made was swapping 3xSure Gamble for 3xUnderworld Contacts, which has worked out quite well. It's basically all about running the most efficient breaker suite possible inside the influence limits, and having an extremely lean and efficient economy.

Identity:
Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core)

Total Cards: (44)

Event: (19)
Diesel (Core) x3
Stimhack (Core) x2 ■
Test Run (Cyber Exodus) x3
Modded (Core) x3
Infiltration (Core) x3
The Maker's Eye (Core) x3
Special Order (Core) x2 ■■

Hardware: (10)
Rabbit Hole (Core) x2
The Personal Touch (Core) x3
The Toolbox (Core) x2
Dyson Mem Chip (Trace Amount) x3

Program: (12)
Gordian Blade (Core) x3
Femme Fatale (Core) x2 ■
Corroder (Core) x1 ■■
Ninja (Core) x1 ■■
Magnum Opus (Core) x3
Snowball (Trace Amount) x2

Resource: (3)
Underworld Contact (A Study in Static) x3

Influence Values Totals -
Anarch: 4
Criminal: 8
Shaper: 58

You might notice that something is missing - and therein lies my dilemma. I'm 1 card and 3 influence short of the minimum deck size. I've tried various cards to fill the last slot, but nothing seems to satisfy. Here's the run-down of what's occupied the last slot over time and what I feel the advantages and disadvantages of each one are. They're ordered in rough preference order (favorite to least favorite).

Sneakdoor Beta (Core)
Pros:
- Puts extreme pressure on the corp if I can drop it early game. The corp often just can't effectively defend 4 servers against my breaker suite/econ.
- Test-Run-Able.
- Surprise factor is high because Shapers often don't have any archive attack options (ime).
Cons:
- MU cost is crippling. I need 5 MU for my "full suite" and the two extra simply isn't available very often. I find myself using Test Run for Magnum Opus and Femme Fatale far more often.
- MU cost. Listed again because it's that crippling. I am ecstatic to draw this early game, but it's a dead card later on.

Medium (Core)
Pros:
- Heavy R&D attack is a good backup if the corp is running fast-advance or is stalling out.
- Can help cripple corp economy given Kate is usually rich enough to trash assets.
- Test-Run-Able.
Cons:
- Low surprise factor. Maker's Eye is quite expected so R&D is usually fairly defended. Lots of Shapers run Medium, as well.
- MU Cost can be difficult to justify given 6MU needed for full rig + Medium. Not nearly as bad as Sneakdoor, though.

Nerve Agent (Cyber Exodus)
Pros:
- HQ attack is a decent backup plan if the corp is running fast-advance or simply doesn't drop agendas very often.
- Test-Run-Able.
- Higher surprise factor than Medium.
Cons:
- MU Cost can be difficult to justify given 6MU needed for full rig + Nerve Agent. Not nearly as bad as Sneakdoor, though.
- Not as effective at stopping fast-advance as Medium, as Draw > Play > Score is possible without the card sitting in hand.

Ice Carver (Core)
Pros:
- Improves icebreaking efficiency drastically.
- No MU Cost.
Cons:
- NOT Test-Run-Able: non-searchable and one-off makes me nervous, because I'm likely to just never see it. Also, if it gets trashed, it's gone for good.

E3 Feedback Implants (Trace Amount)
Pros:
- Improves Bioroid breaking efficiency drastically.
- No MU Cost.
- Extremely cheap thanks to Kate's ability.
Cons:
- NOT Test-Run-Able: non-searchable and one-off makes me nervous, because I'm likely to just never see it.
- Extremely specific to Bioroid ICE, given it's no better than my breakers against other ICE.

Things I've thought about but not actually played:
- 3xCyberfeeder (Core) - nice econ, but no surprise
- 3xLemuria Codecracker (Core) - repeatable expose can be good, but duplicates are dead weight and I can't search for them.
- 1xDjinn (Core) - for test-run-able MU. Seems incredibly inefficient given I have no viruses and the only thing I want to host is MO.
- 3xCrescentus (A Study in Static) - Tutorable de-rez, though I'm not sure about the timing. Also occupies MU, but only temporarily.

That's what I've playtested so far, and my initial thoughts. I was hoping that the community could offer some thoughts and suggestions of their own, and hopefully help me plug the hole. Feel free to make suggestions that alter the base deck in order to make more room for your suggestion.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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James Finkle
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My suggestions:

-2 Snowball
-3 Gordian Blade
-3 Dyson Mem Chip
+3 ZU.13 Keymaster
+1 Corroder
+1 Rabbit Hole
+3 Helpful AI

Corroder is just tons more efficient than Snowball. Zu.13 is a little less efficient than Gordian, but comes down more cheaply and will disappear out of your memory when you have two link (which you want for Contacts anyways), which opens up space for Opus even without +MU. This also opens you up to losing the Dysons for Helpful AI, which is cheaper for the Link. Getting one out effectively gives you +1 memory by allowing you to have Zu.13 memory free, and duplicate copies can be used for their +strength boost. 3 Rabbit Hole is a must-have, there's absolutely no reason to be playing two. I might also consider this swap:

-1 Ninja
-2 Toolbox
+1 Corroder
+1 Femme Fatale
+2 Dinosaurus

This brings you to both your deck and influence totals. Ninja is a fine piece of machinery, but Femmasaurus is a way stronger combination. If we look at popular Sentries, here's the comparative costs for breaking using Ninja vs Femmasaurus:
Data Raven: Ninja - 4, Femme - 1
Archer: Ninja - 10, Femme - 8
Janus: Ninja - 10, Femme - 12 (the one place you lose out, but this is a likely target for her bypass which brings you down to 4)
Caduceus: Ninja - 5, Femme - 2
Shadow at 1-4: Ninja - 5, Femme - 2
Shadow at 5: Ninja - 5, Femme - 4
Shadow at 6: Ninja - 8, Femme - 6
Draco at 0: Ninja - 1, Femme - 1
Draco at 1-4: Ninja - 4, Femme - 1
Draco at 5: Ninja - 4, Femme - 3
Draco at 6: Ninja - 7, Femme - 5
Rototurret: Ninja - 2, Femme - 2
Ichi: Ninja - 6, Femme - 3
Neural Katana: Ninja - 4, Femme - 1
Uroboros: Ninja - 5, Femme - 2
Woodcutter advanced X times: Ninja - X+3, Femme - X

The only times you aren't getting a severe discount are against Ice at 8 or more strength, which is unusual outside of Corporate Troubleshooter. Playing Dino also brings the cost of your console WAY down. A case could be made for keeping a Ninja around for early breaks against feared Rotos or late breaks against feared CorpShooters, but Femme is miles better late.

Honestly though, if you want to go Magnum Opus BigRig, Chaos Theory is really the way to go. You get a more trim deck, never have any memory concerns, and and can run Personal Workshop over Underworld. If you want to build Kate, I'd suggest going for a Wyldside + Aesop's economy instead.
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Alex Rockwell
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Lynnwood
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Personal Workshop provides almost as many credits as underworld contacts, costs less, doesnt require link to get going, and lets you use stimhack for economy, lets you femme after seeing ice, etc.

Play both it AND underworld contacts!


Also, the thing the deck is missing is a win condition. Making runs on R&D or HQ for one card is a slow way to win the game, even if you have an efficient rig. The Sneakdoor and Medium ideas are good. Pressure is important, there is more to the game that being able to get to an agenda they place on the table. You also need strong pressure in order to beat strategies that will jsut fast advance out of hand.
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Lluluien
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Alexfrog wrote:
Personal Workshop provides almost as many credits as underworld contacts, costs less, doesnt require link to get going, and lets you use stimhack for economy, lets you femme after seeing ice, etc.

Play both it AND underworld contacts!


Also, the thing the deck is missing is a win condition. Making runs on R&D or HQ for one card is a slow way to win the game, even if you have an efficient rig. The Sneakdoor and Medium ideas are good. Pressure is important, there is more to the game that being able to get to an agenda they place on the table. You also need strong pressure in order to beat strategies that will jsut fast advance out of hand.


Agreed on all points. Alex gives you a pretty good roadmap here to making a top-of-the-line Shaper deck.
 
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William Frank
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Lose the triple Blades. Between Special Order, Test Run, and Diesel, you don't need three copies, period. I agree with the shift to ZU, because you're playing a Link game.

A third Femme Fatale wouldn't hurt, but now you're still a bit short on cards.

Medium, given Maker's Eye, might be useful, I agree--and Sneakdoor could really catch them off guard.

What about All-Nighters?
 
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Grant Cain
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Out of the options you give, I'd say Sneakdoor is the best and here is why:
1. If you draw it early and need the memory later, just replace it. By that time, they have probably dropped a couple decent ice there and that's ice that's not in front of anything else.

2 If you DO draw it later (when corps who shell tend to have an extra agenda in their hand), then you should have your mem chips up to host it and then it's a huge surprise late game that could net you the win.
 
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Dirk Tebben
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One thing to keep in mind about breakers is you don't necessarily need a full suite on the table at any given time. Sneakdoor or TR->Sneakdoor early is such a powerful move that it's probably worth doing anytime you draw either card. Then judge which breakers to play by what kind of deck the corp seems to be playing and, obviously, what ice he's played already.

Personal Workshop also gives you more flexibility in that regard, since you can put breakers on it that you don't need right now in order to reduce their future cost (although this is giving up a significant amount of info, which may or may not be worth it, situationally).

If you're playing Stimhack in this deck, I'd say PW is almost mandatory, and vice-versa.
 
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James Finkle
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If you're going to go the Personal Workshop route, I highly suggest switching over to Chaos Theory. Both PW and Test Run will install things without paying their cost, which circumvents Kate's cost reduction trigger, but still triggers it, causing it to be wasted for that turn. The advantages of CT's bonus memory (letting you still run the slightly more powerful Gordian Blade) and reduced deck size are going to outweigh Mac's single Link and often-wasted cost reduction.
 
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David Jensen
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Alexfrog wrote:
Personal Workshop provides almost as many credits as underworld contacts, costs less, doesnt require link to get going, and lets you use stimhack for economy, lets you femme after seeing ice, etc.

Play both it AND underworld contacts!


Also, the thing the deck is missing is a win condition. Making runs on R&D or HQ for one card is a slow way to win the game, even if you have an efficient rig. The Sneakdoor and Medium ideas are good. Pressure is important, there is more to the game that being able to get to an agenda they place on the table. You also need strong pressure in order to beat strategies that will jsut fast advance out of hand.


Alex your advice is too good. Please give others a chance =) hehe. Well done sir.

... To all
I'm working on a chart that measures the true value of Underworld Contacts. ... Until an identity gives two link, I'm not sure it's the way to go.

Kate: Rabbit Holex1 + Underworld Contacts = five turn pay off*; the nice thing is you don't waste clicks in future turns. But with a five turn pay off - is it worth it? ... I'm not convinced. It still needs the support of other economic avenues which tend to me more lucrative. If link is heavy in a particular meta then perhaps yes. And if you invest too heavily in Underworld Contacts then the deck has suffered slightly.

*Five Turns = 2 Clicks (install each) + 1c Rabbit Hole (minus Kate), +2 Credits Underworld Contacts.
 
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Matt M
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A ton of thanks to everyone who commented. I have a lot of thinking to do...

The next chance I get to try out some of the suggestions, I will try to report back

I think my first effort will be to replace 3xGordian Blade with 2xZu.l3 + Rabbit Hole. Then slot in Sneakdoor Beta and see if the memory concerns are alleviated. If not, I will run Medium. I like the idea of being able to rig up without needing to draw into Dyson/Toolbox - with those cards being good for "turning on" Underworld Contacts and letting me put down my "extra" cards in the form of Femme Fatale, Medium, or Sneakdoor.

I know Personal Workshop is a very nice piece of kit, but I feel like it's anti-synergy with Kate and her ability. I'm also a big fan of bluffing with my Icebreakers, and PW kinda gives away the game ahead of time. I may consider switching to Chaos Theory if my deckbuilding process warrants it, though. I think that's a totally different deck, though, as it seems harder to accumulate 2 Link for Underworld or Zu.13 unless I slot in a lot of Helpful AIs and Rabbit Hole.

Anyway, I will report back after my first swap.
 
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Frederic Bush
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2x Rabbit Hole makes Fetal AI cry. Run 3x or none.
 
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