Pay Interest!

Deck of the Week by Tristan Barback

Idea

Loan from Chiba gains you 12 bits. For one card and one action. This is better than any other bit gainer in the game by far. Of course it has a couple of nasty disadvantages.
  1. Lose one bit a turn.
    Possible solution: Play with breakers that cost 0 to break subroutines and clowns. Never spend bits on anything but installing cards. This way you can end most of your turns on 0 bits.
  2. If Corp trashes pay 10.
    Possible solution: Play with the biggest 0 cost link in the game, and pay for it with a loan. And hope the corp deck doesn't have many tag cards.

Strategy

Run a bit early on. Try to force the corp to spend some money rezzing ice. Don't worry too much about losing cards, there are plenty of duplicates and a reasonable draw engine. Then start drawing cards, putting down loans action 1 or 2, and then installing cards with the money. Draw more cards and repeat. If Dropp come up install it and run a bit, just to surprise the corp. If you don't draw a breaker suite use a Temple, otherwise get an extra clown or a Dropp. Once you have the breaker suite and 2 clowns, run again to slow the corp down further. Use Wilson to keep running while you build up to 3 clowns. Then either Virus or Pirate broadcast your way to victory, if the game isn't over already. The prime method of gaining bits is to use loans. It is rarely worth using actions, draw a card instead. Be willing to discard if you have to. Try to end your turns with as few bits as possible, to reduce the number that go to the loans.

Possible problems

  1. Fast Corp deck
    Very fast decks (Tycho, Corp War etc.) can easily win before you get the full suite down. Running with Forwards Legacy and one Clown can be a bit of a lottery, but remember, losing a Forwards is not a total tragedy. It's worth it to make him spend the bits. A fast score deck needs lots.
  2. City Surveillance
    Solution: Cry. Whine that City Surveillance is broken. Point out that you are playing a "fun" deck and it is going to have a weakness.
    Seriously, City Surveillance is a major pain, since it gives you tags. If you can get a Loan down every turn you draw cards you can pay the bits for City Surveillance, but this is far from optimal. If you see one, trash it! But I would say vs a deck with 6 or so City Surveillance this deck doesn't work. No one I play with has that many though, so I haven't tried it.
  3. Kill decks
    Look on the bright side. All his meat damage cards are completely useless :). Use the Wilsons and Fall guys to prevent tags and hope you draw The Deck. However, the presence of cards like ESC and ID doner in the set mean that a simple tag'n'bag deck won't come up very often. A net damage deck is a pain, but it will have fewer tag cards in, reducing the danger of loans getting trashed.
  4. Big ice decks
    A big problem, but not as bad as it looks. If you can get Dropp down you can force him to rez the big ice. Then you have time to put 4 or 5 clowns down. Unless he transmutes something or uses Antiquated Interface Routines or similar you can break everything. Ignore any forts you can't break and concentrate on HQ or R&D.
  5. Viral breeding Ground
    If he installs it, let him blow his fort up unless it wins him the game or you have spare Loans in hand. Obviously you have to guess its coming. The best bet is probably to hit R&D and HQ

Design note

A Microtech interface would be nice, but I don't have one. Similar for a couple of other good rares. Ideas I rejected were using Time to Collect to protect the Loans, using Hidden resorce bit gainers and brokers to provide bits, and using Lockjaws (both too slow). Maybe a couple more viruses would be nice. Speed trap is in there because of Experimental AI and Pattel Antibodies. But so would cutting the deck down to 45 cards. The nice thing is, none of the cards are too hard to get hold of, so anyone with a reasonably large number of cards can build the deck. Getting 8 Loans is tricky, but most people will happily trade them. I'm not sure this deck would actually work at tournament level, I haven't played it but a very good player borrowed it because he'd lost his decks, and only managed 2 wins from 5 games. However he thought it got much better once he figured out how to play it, and he did run up against two tag decks.
In the final analysis though, I think this deck is worth playing with just for the look on the corps face when you put down Forwards Legacy, Tinweasel, Wrecking ball and 2 clowns in 2 turns, changing 90% of his ice into coasters.

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