Will the REAL Skiptracer please stand up?

herbo4 10

This is my response to the rash of Sunny players I've seen recently. I felt like Sunny's 2 was nice at first, but using it with other + cards left me realizing most of the time I had 2 more than I needed; between Rabbit Hole and Security Nexus you easily get 4 , meaning you pay 1 to match the base Trace5 to use your Nexus. Add a Maxwell James and a Sports Hopper, and you're now using the Runner version of Door to Door (A card this deck WRECKS by the way) -not to mention the beautiful trace from Power Tap- but I'm getting ahead of myself. First things should come first, and the first thing is...

RUNNING

When you run with this deck, you want to be watching your combined and comparing it to the Corp's + the base Trace. Some examples of good times to make a run bare minimum, of one of the following:

  • Nexus and at least 4 , with at least X where X is the Corp's +1
  • A server protected by Tracer ICE (SUCK IT BIRD) and at least as much and as you need to break it
  • A server protected by something that gives you tags while Citadel Sanctuary is out
  • Servers protected by Net damage or tags while No One Home (NOH)is out*
  • While you have icebreakers in your hand and you know you can pass at least one ice safely (free / cheap ice installs for 0 , cheap ICE beware!)
  • Any iceless server, particularly RND early game and remotes late game
  • Any server you can safely pass while Jak Sinclair and Security Testing are out together
  • Late game I like to focus on HQ, using Rip Deal if I need to recover any trashed breakers I need or else to polish that armor up by grabbing NOH, Feedback Filter, or Citadel Sanctuary.

Essentially, it boils down to leveraging your as permanent , since most of the game's economy will revolve around traces and how much money you can bleed the Corp for with them. This deck is strong against trace decks obviously, but don't be overconfident; NBN's cheap ice decks can make up for this with agenda manipulation, and tags are still dangerous from them during runs, before Citadel will clear one for you.

*Timing on NOH is arguably the most complex the meta gets here, since it only triggers the first time you take tags or damage and only blocks one of the two against cards like Snare! (unless you have 2 out, in which case you may avoid both if both traces are unsuccessful).

ICEBREAKING

This deck works like you'd expect a Sunny deck to work, but it's main icebreakers are primarily Cloud and all trashers: Shiv, Crowbar, and Spike all feed off of each other for STR and are all low cost, synergizing very well with Khan + Nexus. Aside from the cloud breakers we have the central server suite of Alias, Breach, and Passport, partially for running but also, and this is key, for cheap icebreakers to bump up the trashables, whose strength relies on Icebreaker count. It also adds a nice safe-play route for those situations when there are no good remotes to run, or when you want Security Testing to go off without a hitch while probing server ice. Then, of course, there is Security Nexus; the gift from FFG to runners everywhere, turning the tables on the Corp's cred pool and kicking down servers with only one ice like they were just n00bs. Make sure you've gotten your link to at least 4 before firing this baby or you'll end up with a tag and a bad run. Which leads me on to...

DURABILITY

In order to get anywhere against the tidal wave of poorly balanced scrub strats out there you are going to have to be able to absorb net damage like Apex absorbs... well, everything. Pretty sure he can assimilate anything...

ANYWAYS: this is where NOH and Citadel Sanctuary come in. You don't have a ton of defense against brain damage, just Feedback Filter, but as long as you have one of these down you should be able to take any hits you are dealt if you play smart.

Rip Deal adds a recovery Element that synergizes well with HQ Interface, I try to hold on to RIP as padding to the grip until I have all 3 interfaces out to maximize recovery, but that isn't more important than a good run when you need one; use RIP if you have to when you know that agenda is about to be scored - remember....

Feedback Filter, or alternatively Caldera can be used, helps against net damage when you run out of NOHs. I like the fact that it costs 2 and can be trashed to prevent brain damage, I don't think this deck can reliably generate the revenue Caldera would require unless against a tracer Corp, and I don't really need a net damage preventative as much as a brain damage preventative. In that regard, Feedback filter is very efficient, but if someone is playing a brain damage centered deck you'll want to save this for a big hitter.

ECONOMY

Two Underworld Contacts serve as reliable income for cheap.

Security Testing for a few reasons. First, I liked it thematically as a counterpoint to Sunny (You aren't the only one that can hold down an InfoSec job you!), and it really does feel like auditing the corp for security reasons. I love how it feels a little like I'm a real white hat. Second, it reminds me I should be running all the time. Paired with Jak Sinclair and one weak server it's nearly reliable income, and when you don't have Jak I like think of as soft income added to my pool for having a good running presence.

Power Tap for obvious reasons; you have tons of trace opportunity in this deck.

SHOULD I MULLIGAN?

A good starting hand for this deck includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Any cards that give you +
  • Any number of Tapwrms
  • Jak and Security Testing
  • Rabbit Hole and Underworld Contact
  • Nexus and Power Tap / Nexus and Citadel / por que no los tres?
  • Multiple No One Homes with either + cards or

These are just suggestions for a good start, I have a bias towards building economy and draw first if possible. I could see a lot of acceptable hands, but hands you do not want look like:

  • Both Nexus consoles are present
  • Multiple HQ interfaces present
  • Multiple Rabbit Holes present (you definitely want to use the install ability so you don't waste drawing them)

*This is a hard start to pay for at 10 creds, and it doesn't really pay off soon, but there are situation that could warrant it. Use your brain

WEAKNESSES

  • Lots of Brain Damage
  • Lots of Strong Ice Everywhere, or as I abbreviate it, le sigh
  • Lots of Meat Damage
  • Corps that can gain a cred advantage will make bleeding them through traces difficult, try to mitigate this by deliberately losing Nexus traces while Citadel or NOH are out.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I don't know if this deck is done or not yet, I'm pretty sure I'll keep tweaking. At one point I ran The Archivist and it paid off big when a Corp tried to Sauron my shiz. It helped a lot with runs too, but at 4 influence Max was a better choice more in keeping with bypassing and trying to reduce the Corp pool. Sure Gamble could definitely work here, along with any other compact, low influence draw or econ combos that help get Runners .

2 comments
22 Mar 2018 Xh4rx4d

Hello, I have played Khan and raised her close to Tier 2 level, but I've put her aside until Diversion of Funds comes out, since she is too slow to set up and loses to everything except slow glacier. How do you set up your massive rig with no econ card? This needs at least 3x Credit Kiting, 3x The Supplier, 3x Daily Casts and 3x Career Fair at bare minimum and also a lot of drawing power. In its current state you'll be clicking for cards all game long.

23 Mar 2018 herbo4

You're right; I posted this version of the deck after a really successful game against a tracer, and I'd removed my Sure Gamble x3. I'm still playing around with this one, but I've been happy with Khan's ability to drop the cheap ice for so cheap, and making runs is something you can be bold with so you save a lot on ice.