Titan Trainsnational (1st @ Starlit Citadel SC)

aDumbBrick 170

Titan Trainsnational, named for both the Atlas train you wish to ride to victory and the Little Engine you hope will get you there.

This is the deck that more or less I played through the SC season and it probably went 8-2 over 3 SCs. Generally it wins between turns 6 & 9. A big part of its success likely comes down to the unpopularity of clot right now (in my local meta and online at least), but I think it can still fight decks with clot.

The game plan with this deck is very simple, score out; ideally well before turn 10 (7-8 are very possible). Project Atlas is potentially the most powerful tutor in the game & this deck abuses it to simply try to score out quickly. You are all in on rush and FA, with no punishment as well.

With that in mind lets go to Card Choices.

The Agendas:

An important fact about the agenda suite is that nearly every one of them also doubles as econ. Since you are trying to go so fast this double purpose is crucial to being able to afford rezzing the ~2 ice you will want to rez each game.

3x Oaktown and 1x Corporate Sales Team -- These are your 4x 4/2's, they are often easier to FA than they appear to be at first glance. Additionally rushing an Oaktown behind an ICE T1 often will offset the cost of rezzing the ice protecting it.

3x Hostile Takeover -- Always find room for 3 of these fantastic agendas, you want to be as flexible as possible in your scoring plan and the 3rd only opens up more options. Additionally it lessens the chance of the runner being able to steal them all if you just need 1 final point.

3x Project Atlas-- I don't know what I can even say about this card. I think it is the most powerful 3/2 in the game particularly when in combination with the ID. The entire consistency of this deck comes from the ability to "train" these agendas by using the counter to fetch either another copy when you already have some FA, or a to fetch a FA piece to score one you've already found. With a couple of counters you open up many paths to FA your bigger agendas.

1x SSL Endorsement -- While this used to be a GFI changes to the MWL forced me to go to a real 3 pointer. I really like having a 3 pointer in my FA decks, some times you will find an opportunity to just use an atlas counter for this and jam it in a remote and score it out the hard way, other games you will be able to find a path to FA it out. In both cases it helps close out some games early. It does have a VERY real cost of loosing you some games when it gets stolen and the runner only needs 3 instead of 4.

The Ice:

All of the ice choices are basically tech against some popular decks, typically I find I score 1 or 2 agendas behind a piece of ice and these are the ones I've found that hold up the best in those critical early turns.

3x Little Engine -- The star of the show, this ice isn't just a gear check but it is also an econ check. In general it costs about 12 credits to be able to break the first time. It does have a few weaknesses mainly D4v1d & Grappling hook, it also can become a late game liability against some shaper builds (Atman & Study Guide can start farming it for credits). In general though there is little Ice I feel protects an early agenda as well as this one.

3x Mother Goddess -- The Second Star, Powerful enough that it feels like an easy choice for a restricted card. This ice is also very difficult for most runners to break in early turns. Given the new Shaper resource breakers it isn't quite as unassailable during the first few turns as it used to be but it presents a very strong challenge for most runners. The limitation of being able to rez "only" one ice is also rarely relevant if you can keep the game short enough.

3x Guard -- A cheap enough ETR in a less common ETR subtype. Very good against criminals who are looking to use inside job to bypass early ice, and better than Rototurret against our turtle friend.

3x Spiderweb -- Previously this was firewall for its slightly superior taxing of paperclip but the resource breakers and Adam made me desire a few more subroutines on my barriers.

2x Hortum -- The least interesting ice. It works well against decks that are leaning too heavily into AI & is still a Code gate ETR. If you want to start playing with the ice here is where I would start.

The Econ:

You are going to be leaning heavily on your agendas for some of your credits but clicking for credits always sucks, Beanstalk used to be IPO but I found that often I would play games where I never needed to be above 5-6 credits and Beanstalk is helpful to recover after you go to 0 from FA or rushing.

3x Illegal Arms Factory -- is a perfect card for a deck like this. I can't even count the games I've won because the second card down on my deck was the agenda that I needed. It is also invaluable to get FA pieces into your hand faster. Try to put some ice in front of this to dissuade trashing if you have time but typically only a few triggers are needed.

The Fast Advance:

This is where the deck shines, everything leads up to this

2x Biotic Labor -- The simplest FA tool, 1 extra click means 1 extra advancement, an important note is that to score out a Oak Town with double Biotic you only need 7 credits and it only costs 4 overall.

2x Audacity -- This one is a bit more complicated to use, not only is it 2 advancements for a click but it also saves you money. You can FA an atlas on 1 credit with one of these or a Hostile from 0. I think it is important to the strategy to understand that sometimes you will need to pitch agendas with this to use it but remember it doesn't matter how many the runner gets as long as you get to 7 first.

3x Reconstruction Contract + 3x Dedication Ceremony -- While at first this may look like something that is too cute to be good I assure you that it is very powerful. If you manage to have a Reconstruction Contract on the table when the turn begins you can FA a 4/2 by Install, Advance, Dedicate and move 3 counters. With out the two cards in hand it represents 3 advancements for 2 credits and 2 clicks which is still enough to score an atlas (even on just 2 credits).

The Anti FA Anti Tech:

You do need a plan for clot and in general I've found NGO Front to be invaluable to bait it early if you can't protect the remote properly, What previously was 2 cyberdex was changed to one and a reversed infection to help bring the number of trashables down slightly. If they do get a clot down AND still have the money \ power to contest your remote the game will be difficult as you loose tempo managing it. I find my self lucky to not end up in this situation very often at all however.

Conclusions:

One thing I find endlessly amusing with this deck is checking whether or not runners get their investment (2c) back from Mining accident when I just take the bad pub. Ideally you are going so fast that I've found they often just break even by the time you've won.

Usually I find I only need to rez 1 or two pieces of ice, one on the remote and 1 on RnD, but some games you can forgo RnD entirely and just rely on it holding for the few turns that they will be able to check it.

Hopefully you enjoyed my far too complicated write up for a pretty basic deck. Throw caution to the wind, go fast & score. Ride that train straight to 7!

3 comments
11 Mar 2018 Lancezh

Just played against this. Holy. Damn.

12 Mar 2018 aDumbBrick

It is a real monster against any deck that isn't prepared for it.

12 Mar 2018 Alpha

Nasty deck, and nicely done!

Note: never play Fisk Investment Seminar against this deck.