Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Temujin Contract - Bring on the Khannage!

Temujin Contract - Bring on the Khannage

Sometimes when evaluating cards, its easy to fall into the trap of thinking about it theoretically instead of practically. When Rumor Mill was spoiled, I was super excited despite not having played the card. When Temujin Contract was spoiled, I was like "This is good", but not as excited. Boy, was I wrong.

Something for the corps to fear

As it turns out, good economy is very important in Netrunner, and Temujin is crazy levels of good economy. The more and more I play with the Khantract, the more I am starting to believe that any reasonable deck with 3 copies of it is Tier 1 (or maybe Tier 1.5?). This might be Criminal's time to shine.

The raw numbers on Temujin are fairly easy to understand. It's essentially a slightly cheaper Liberated Accounts with one extra pile of money on it to take. Net gain from using it is 16 credits over 6 clicks (1 to install, 5 to take), meaning 2.666 credits a click. An added bonus is that this doesn't replace accesses. Set up an early Temujin on HQ and you can get early pressure for stealing some agendas. It also combos super well with a bunch of already good cards, like Dirty Laundry, Security Testing, Desperado, Datasucker and Gabe, among others. In a best case scenario, you might have Security Testing on HQ with Gabe and Desperado. You can install a Temujin Contract on HQ and run 3 times, gaining 9 credits for the first run (4 from Temujin, 2 from Gabe, 2 from Security Testing, 1 from Desperado) and 5 for the next 2 runs (4 from Temujin and 1 from Desperado), giving you 19 credits for a 4 install cost in a single turn (15 credits gained net) and allowing you 2 accesses, hopefully for agendas.

Of course, there are limitations. Like Security Testing, you need an open server to gain the money easily. Unlike Security Testing, you can't change the server once installed. Temujin is a unique card, meaning you can install another copy to overwrite a previous one, but ideally you would prefer not to do that. This means the strength of Temujin relies heavily on what corps are doing with their ice, so the strength of Temujin relies on a meta-analysis of the current competitive deck pool.

Reading the meta is a difficult skill, and right now is at an even more tumultuous place than ever due to recent releases of the MWL1.1, as well as new data packs rapidly being released with several incredibly high impact cards (Controlling the Message, Hard Hitting News, Sandburg, Rumor Mill, Temujin itself, Paperclip, Beth). 

So what are the hot corp decks right now? This is hard to tell exactly, but I'm making this analysis based on what seemed to have stabilised before Blood Money came out. Unfortunately, it's likely that the existence of cards like Rumor Mill and Temujin Contract may well shake this up further.
  • Controlling the Message : Low ice
  • Hot Tub Time Machine (Gagarin) : Low ice
  • NEH Fast Advance : Low ice
  • Sync : Low ice
  • IG prison : Low Ice
  • Hinkes IG : Low ice
  • CI7 : Low ice (but also no remotes.. probably still good)
  • Argus Rush : Low-medium ice, but requires few on centrals for rush to be viable.
  • EtF Glacier : High ice
  • Palana Glacier : High ice

Its also worth noting that for some of these builds, they rely on the threat of Hard Hitting News as a replacement for ice. Temujin completely shuts this down, as they are unable to keep the credit lead required for this to be a threat.

RIP you obnoxious card
This meta analysis shows that Temujin Contract is strong against most of the common decks now, except anything glacier. Fortunately for Temujin, they've just printed the other card that completely hoses glacier (Rumor Mill). It is quite possible that Temujin's weakness will be covered by herd immunity caused by Rumor Mill being present (or at least expected), however if you want to cover all bases, you can instead try a deck with both cards.

This is a trial deck based on this concept. I use MaxX to combo with the new Paperclip, and Temujin Contract (alongside other economy cards) to set up strong econ. Rumor Mill is present to hate on glacier decks, covering the main weakness to Temujin. With 3x Temujin you should have reasonable chances to see one in your opening hand, and ideally you can mulligan for one. Its also possible to use Deja Vu for a Temujin Contract, which is probably the only economy card in the game where you would actually consider that.

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