This weeks Testing Ground is brought to you by the letter Q for Quetzal. This is one of those runners that I have always thought about building a deck for but just never seem to have quite had the time to do so. I was therefore delighted to get the chance to try out her particular brand if in ID breaking with this unusual take on her revolving around Always Be Running (ABR) and ice destruction.
I played this deck 5 times winning 3 times, once by my opponent conceding, and 2 losses.
My opponent in this game either didn’t see any Ice or just didn’t have any and I had a Medium early on. It’s a card I haven’t played with in a while and I had sort of forgotten how strong it is. The win came reasonably quickly though it could have been quicker if I had timed my Employee Strike better.
An ID I haven’t played against a lot this one. I scored a Hades Shard out early and used a combination of Knifed and Immolation Script to effect some pretty sneaky accesses. Unfortunately my opponent had some well timed Power Shutdowns that kept ridding me of my E3 Feedback Implants and eventually locked me out of a scoring server. Loss.
vs. HB:Engineering The Future
I actually played two games against this chap and won both. He conceded the first and the second was a long drawn out affair. I didn’t realise till the second game that he was running some monstrous 280 card deck, madness. In the initial game Medium had me winning again and in the second I just picked away until I got what I wanted. Win.
vs. Chronos Protocol
Seeing a few of these rig shooter decks about at the moment so I had a better idea of what to expect. I scored a Medical Breakthrough and a House of Knives early on but my inability to turn off ABR cost me some tempo and I was effectively locked out of a couple of severs with Rototurret and Cortex Lock. I didn’t see a single Parasite and I will definitely be upping that to 3 in my own version of this deck. Loss.
This ended fairly quickly as I slammed into R&D and killed Sundews left, right and centre. Win.
I have always enjoyed decks that go about getting the win in an unconventional manner and the idea of building around ABR and Ice Destruction is interesting. Although it’s tempting to transport the core idea of the deck to Adam, I think it probably belongs in Anarch and Quetzal.
I really liked the combos you could get off with the cutlery cards and Immolation Script but I feel that the later is probably better in a deck revolving around discarding cards from R&D, maybe Keyhole or just good old fashioned Noise. Certainly a lot of people are running multiple copies of Ice these days so it can come in very handy and it doesn’t stop you digging through the rest of Archives for the occasional tasty agenda.
The inability to turn off ABR could become a problem but it certainly teaches you to run very aggressively. I always felt I was keeping the pressure up on the Corp, but that occasionally I would find my economy not quite keeping up pace with my assault, something I’ll be looking to fix in my own version.
Human First actually netted me some money but I do feel you need 3 of it to see it early if you are going to use it at all. I would also be looking to add in another Parasite and Datasuckers in my own build to boost the ability of the deck to wreck Ice.
I had a lot of fun playing this deck and the Anarch faction is definitely one I am going to have to revisit after spending so much time in Shaper land.