Crazy Train - NEH (Turtles all the way down)

I’ve been a fan of NBN for a long time, and while NEH gets a lot of flak for having 17 influence, a lot of people don’t play it for it’s unique style. They play it for it’s speed and its ability to get an astro chain going. And often, they try to play as little like an “NBN” deck as possible. Gotta throw in all that HB taxing ice or those HB fast advance cards. All in the name of getting astro scored. I’m not knocking it. Its a solid plan, but it’s barely a requirement for building an NBN deck.

Here’s my latest and greatest variant. On other sites I tend to post almost every brain-fart I have, but not for you guys. This is actually a good deck. It’s good enough that people who aren’t me are picking it up and beating me with it.

This isn’t going to be a primer unless you want it to be, but I think this deck is as good or better than astro-biotics. It’s far more interactive, but if it gets going it’s way harder to beat.

Here’s the deck. I’ll talk about it a little below and then we can have a conversation about the deck if you have questions or criticisms. You will note it is 54 cards. This may not be the optimum build, but it’s got a nice balance and you draw so much that the 54 never feels painful. I often win with about 10 cards left in the deck, though wins can come just as fast as fastro if the train happens early enough.

The more important thing is that this deck is harder to lock economically or via centrals.

Crazy Train

Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center (Upstalk)

Agenda (14)

Asset (17)

Upgrade (3)

Operation (3)

Barrier (4)

Code Gate (6)

Sentry (7)

17 influence spent (max 17)
22 agenda points (between 22 and 23)
54 cards (min 45)
Cards up to The Source

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I’ve opted for a lot of sentries that are true gear checks, things that can really mess a player up if they aren’t ready for them. The controversial agenda package supports Archer because the 1/1’s are good fodder for it. And more importantly the ice supports IT department, which is usually a mid-game play that takes the deck over the edge. Establishing the lock is rarely necessary, though its possible. It’s more about securing your position while other cards run.

I’d say the heart of the deck is really Turtlebacks & Daily Business Show. Between the two they provide consistancy & economy. But the rest of the deck is good too. IT enables remote scoring in a relatively ice-light deck. And the SanSans tend to get your train rolling just fine. What’s more, the license acquisition helps offset any early game trashing or bring’s back a sansan behind ice at an inopportune moment. Architect kind of seals it all back up. Once IT get’s up and running you can usually reverse any amount of trashing that’s occurred.

Smart runners kill Daily Business Show on sight. Fewer kill turtlebacks, though I think that will change.

I’m publishing this because I think its good. I want you to try it. I’d like to hear how you make it your own. This is a lot more fun to play than fastro-biotics or other NEH builds that I’ve tried (Even as much as I love TOL in nbn). Also, some of the feedback I’ve gotten confirms that it’s not just in my head. I tend to fall in love with janky decks that are tier 2 or 3. I don’t know that this is tier 1, but it seems to be doing far better than my other stuff.

So, have I struck gold?


got a couple of interesting aspects here. IT department and Archer are always killer daily business show is great.

I love turtle backs in blue Sun.

the first interesting aspect is the recursionwith license an architect. roto is a very nice compliment to Archer and architect.

you look slightlyecon lightbut other than that looks solid

12 econ cards. and turtle turns all of the remote creation into econ as well. most of the stuff is cheap anyways. aside from tollbooth.

its not as light as it looks.

17 ice in 54 cards leaves me worried, even with NEH draw.

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Why Sweeps Week over Diversified Protfolio? I mean, if there was ever a deck were DP would be good, this is it.

On a different note, if it were me I’d cut it down to 49 cards.

Why Sweeps Week over Diversified Protfolio? I mean, if there was ever a deck were DP would be good, this is it.

I’ve had to answer this question several times because it seems like an obvious place to make the switch. My reasoning has been that you want the money earlier than the point at which dp becomes a boon. And also the chance to hit Andromeda on turn one is hard to pass up.

Then there is also the chance you meet a runner who does trash everything. DP would be a coffin lid in that match up. A dead card. But there’s the chance sweeps could give you the stream to power post such a runner by getting IT up and running while they spend most of their clicks ignoring their board state.

The next answer to this is by the time DP becomes an option, your assets are pumping out so much money you don’t usually need it. Again everything is fairly cheap in this deck. SanSan and Tollbooth being the biggest setbacks. If turtle backs is up though, san san helps pay for itself & even astro chaining will pay for itself.

The final reason is that the deck becomes very click greedy in the midgame. Do you pump IT? Do you install more stuff? Do you flush your hand with jackson? ETC. Having another card that wants to be played/used during this time is actually not something the deck needs, imo.

However, take the deck for a spin. Perhaps I’m wrong. Let me know.

17 ice in 54 cards leaves me worried, even with NEH draw.

On ice, this is not a glacier deck. 17 feels like the right number so far. Any more and you’d sacrifice the Deck’s engine. 54 becomes equivalent to 49 after 5 activations of NEH, or three NEH and one Architect, when considering Ice density.

The real threat to this deck right now is agenda flood-density. That’s how I lose most of my games. The original version of this deck got away with only 8 ice and it still won most of its games.

On a different note, if it were me I’d cut it down to 49 cards.

I’m sure 49 is possible. I’m open to hearing your ideas. But like bblum said in another thread recently, the Archer package makes the deck bigger. It’s really the one pointers that are causing inflation here, IMO. But losing archer means losing IT and roto and ago of a sudden it’s a less threatening deck…

Agree about the agenda flooding (and sweep just too lazy to type it).

The thing is one you have itd established you theoretically can score a two turn agenda.

But you only have 3 beale. Perhaps -1 nap -1 license +1 executive retreat? +1 fastrack or…

I like ER as after scoring itd removes the necessity of
protecting hq. Good for itd.

Just throwing ideas out. Deck looks solid

While I enjoy looking at new decks, I highly doubt this deck can live up to your statement “but I think this deck is as good or better than astro-biotics”. TLDR: I would probably stick to Turtlebacks or IT-department, trying to run both shells in the deck creates some big weaknessess to fit everything in. Especially if you are measuring against Astrobiotics.

Considering your lack of burst economy (Sure Gamble really should be in the deck just to give you a more reliable turn one) you have 12 ICE you can rez turn one in a 54 card deck which is inconsistent at best. This will also make your anarch match-up worse if they have early parasites.

Contrary to your belief running with additional one-pointers is not very controversial in NBN but a reasonable choice even if you are not running Archers. 54 cards on the other hand (Mediohxcore linked a really good article in the MaxX thread on why this is bad) is controversial but cut 2 one-pointers (with Archers you should probably run 3x Breaking News) 1 ICE (Tollbooth or Wraparound would be my choice) and 2 Assets and it should play more consistent.

The economy in the deck seems to be betting heavily on the runner not trashing economy assets since 6 out of 12 economycards won’t give profit the turn they are played. While your meta might allow that, it seems to me that is only from the opponents thinking this is regular Astrobiotics.

For last we have the IT department shell (with the program trashing ICE) and while I don’t think it’s bad, you get some extra early-game weaknesses from your ICE choices that should give you a worse match-up against aggressive decks than regular Astrobiotics. I haven’t playtested enough to know if the IT department plan gives you a better lategame than the fast tracks, but sitting and putting counters on IT-department has no synergy with the rest of your asset plan since you wont trigger NEH or Turtlebacks that way.


I’m trying to figure out if you played the deck; mostly because what you’re saying doesn’t jive at all with my experience. This deck doesn’t want burst economy. The reason I believe this deck is better than astro-biotics is because it’s not as susceptible to siphon and because it’s got a better record at finding and scoring astro during my tests, and at keeping a sansan up and running since it can afford to protect it.

54 cards is bad because it means your tricks are “harder to find.” It’s an argument about consistancy. There’s one card in your deck that’s worse than all the other cards. If you just remove it, your deck will get better.

I believe this is the article you’re talking about:

ChannelFireball: For The Best Card Game Content - ChannelFireball - Magic: The Gathering Strategy, Singles, Cards, Decks

It is unfortunately the quaility of the card choices that lead me here. Were I to get rid of anything, it’d be the NAPDs which are the worst card in the deck by far; but I need at least 1 of them. That means I’d actually have to cut 4 other cards. While you seem to think IT Department isn’t worth its slot, I disagree. It’s very much worth it’s slot. It’s usually the card that tips the game over. Daily Business Show is the card that usually seals my victory, speeding it up and making the card count less obtrusive. Jackson howard mitigates agenda density issues. Marked, Pad, & Turtle all fuel the fun. SanSan is essential for scoring. License Acquisition is essential for breaking the runner’s back. Sweeps week is a necessary econ boost to grease the wheels.

And then all of the ice, as I’ve been told is necessary. I could lose a marked accounts or possibly 2, but very little else.


If you think Astrobiotics is vulnerable to Siphon you are likely playing it wrong, and if you run it in a siphon-heavy meta you even add Shipment from SanSan (in Astrobiotics) for scoring pressure on 0 credits.

What I said about IT-department in specific started with “while I don’t think it’s bad”.
My opinion is that trying to fit in so many assets to support Turtlebacks gives a more inconsistent deck that doesn’t really have a great synergy with IT-department. That would also be a way to cut down to 49 cards which will help you find your IT-department (as well as free up influence for the third copy) if you don’t get a Daily Business Show to stick.

While you question my playtesting, your comments really makes me doubt what opponents you have been playing this deck against. Pretty much every deck will win if you can get a Daily Business Show to stick as the card is that strong, and in the case of this deck it really shouldn’t until you have a IT-department with several counters since almost all your ICE is binary and creates almost no tax. Same with Turtlebacks (and any money assets really since this deck never should be having loads of credits), any opponent that just let it sit on the board is generally making a bad choice.

Most of the comments in my previous post where centered around the first few turns where this deck is really weak and likely operating on close to 0 credits while having trouble rezzing your assets or ICE as you wish. Adding additional burst is good for a couple of things but most important in this deck might be to help you rezzing your third ICE and first asset/agenda by improving your odds of drawing one burst card the first or second turn (which you often will seeing 9 cards by turn 2 if you run 6 burst-cards in a 49-card deck).

The reason why NAPD is not your worst agenda is that it acts as a asset by creating tax while freeing up a deckslot, and if the problem is cutting down to 49 cards then deckslots are really valuable. On the other hand I don’t think License Aquisition is that needed in the deck but I really haven’t played enough to come to any conclusions about that yet.


never advance a license acquisition after a sansan has been trashed. or get it off a sansan when you have a second in hand. can also bring back dbs or turtle.

the beginning of the game is the weakest point. if you have to choose, guard hq. remote installations will find you ice you can use. it is unlikely you will need tons of money in the opener, i like to float between three and eight credits. if you expect siphon the math changes, as does what you put where.

i haven’t found a runner who can proactively respond to the asset spam, keep their economy going, and get breakers. Thats why it is valuable.

if they pick money and assets, score behind binary. also good it moment since it’ll force time into finding breakers.
if they pick money and breakers, never advance. then force them to trash things like it, since it threatens a central lock
if they pick asetts and breakers, it will likely get out of range or tax to the point that they cant trash everything. this is usually a weak play for a runner to make

a runner who trashes everything i’ve yet to meet. while maintaining cash. anarch with imp?

What makes this The ‘Real’ NEH? For some reason that thread title irks me.

It seems like an alright deck. Though it seems to me the runner should be able to abuse your ITD counters without too much effort. If you spend them on ETR ICE and the runner bounces, that’s at best a tie, if not a win for the runner. If you can trade clicks evenly with the corp, you win. You have more than they do. There’s more scope than many decks for faceplanting into an Archer. Though not that much more.

If you can get a business show to stick, the runner is doing it wrong. Business Show is outrageous. Turtlebacks seem slightly worse than PAD, though closer than in most corp decks I suppose. I’m in the play the minimum deck size (or 4 cards more to lower agenda density) camp I’m afraid.

It’s a sideways playing deck. The only other popular NEH deck that attempts this runs dedicated response team. Is the name nearpad? Astro-Biotics likes the extra card-draw and the extra influence, but it doesn’t embrace them. That’s a biotic labor deck more than an NEH deck. The entire focus is on FA, directly from hand with little room for trying to do anything else. And as a one trick pony it’s easier to tech against, and is far more likely lose out once clot hits the meta.

Playing IT Department poorly would be a bad way to play the game. I agree.

[quote=“gumOnShoe, post:1, topic:2698”]
Smart runners kill Daily Business Show on sight. Fewer kill turtlebacks, though I think that will change.[/quote]

DBS rarely sticks for more than a turn or two until you’ve taxed the hell out of the runner with all of the must-trash stuff you’re playing. Once you start recurring with IT->Architect/License Acquisition a lot of runners give up, hoping to lock a central.

Turtle backs seems slightly worse until you consider playing more than one asset a turn, something an NEH deck like this wants to do, getting architect to fire with it on the board.

I’m normally in that camp as well, and I’m sure its possible to tune this more. I’m just no tsure what I’m willing to lose from the deck yet.

Want to find the real NEH? Build a time machine, go back a few years, get a job in FFG’s design department, and add the text “You may not include cards from Haas Bioroid” to NEH’s identity. We’d then see a lot more experimenting with super asset spam (like your deck), net damage, and meat damage in NBN, plus we’d get Making News and TWIY back in the competitive meta.

Lunar’ s almost over and I’m still baffled by NEH’s 17 influence and ETF-esque ability. #waitingforclot


While the fast advance archetype using the NEH identity has certainly exploded in popularity, for obvious reasons, I disagree that it is the root cause of its dominance of NBN gameplay. Rather, there simply aren’t enough diverse NBN cards in the card-pool. It remains the only faction to not get a large expansion box, so A) I would argue that this is one reason why you haven’t seen a whole lot of divergence in NBN play styles and B) hope it will expand further as the card-pool for NBN grows. Hopefully they will add more depth to the faction is more cards are released.

Edit: Guttenburg (sp?) is an example of a new piece of ice that was spoiled that I think will help NBN become more diverse.

NBN midseasons is still a tier 2 deck and NBN has always had a second strategy with the tags. I feel Astrobiotics popularity is simply because it is a too good deck and overshadows other NBN strategies. TWiY Astrobiotics and various Making News decks used to be quite equal in power level until Fast Track, NEH and other cards came out. Even big box might not change this. I felt Honor&Profit was a bit design fail for Criminals because it didn’t really create new decks (apart from Ian which can be debated) but just added couple of cards for the old criminal decks. I think we just have to wait for Clot to be printed which I hope would come as soon as possible.


I (obviously) also think fastrobiotics is a problematic trump archetype that has spurned a lot of creative deck building. Right now I think there are a lot of interesting, tag-based strategies available to NBN that are pushed out of the competitive meta because NEH Fastrobullshit. I lost pretty hopelessly to an NEH Dedicated Response Team deck twice on OCTGN. I still fear Midseasons decks. Back in Spin I used to play, with some success, a taggy/taxxy Making News deck that spammed Bernice Mai and relied on Caducues and Closed accounts for survival. I guess it was a version of Never Advance.

Never Advance is dead. Midseasons decks are rare in tournaments. There are few nurtured NBN threads about new archetypes (and here I am shitting on this one). It’s striking because a lot of non fastrobiotic NBN decks aren’t any worse that builds like shutdown PE, Tennen, most Haas builds, and even Cambridge PE.

NEH Fastrobiotics’ effects are felt even more notably on the runners. My reading is that Kate PPVP is primarily a reaction to Fastrobiotics. Shapers and Anarchs don’t have the built in economy to keep up with Fastro, but Kate stood a chance with a heavy event econ build, and with that build, voila, a marginal card like PPVP now competes with neutral benchmarks like sure gamble and daily casts. It’s a great innovation, but Shapers really want to save influence for high impact programs like D4v1d, etc. I don’t think shapers flourish when forced to criminal levels of aggression. At one point calimsha’s build had 3 legworks and 3 makers eye in it. That’s a lot of deck space to ensure early aggression.

Shapers on drugs like a CT Stimshop is also an effective innovation, but I don’t think any of these got them to 50% again NEH fastro, and it hurts them in a lot of other matchups where their shaperness could help them. Through all of this I just keep thinking SMC/ clone chip and Clot will allow shapers to go back to magnum and proco econs. Clot is 1 card at 1 influence. Lucky Finds and levy are 4 cards at 6 influence. Once clot is released I predict we’re going to see a lot less splashing for econ, and a lot more splashing for interesting attack vectors


I play Shaper and Legwork is 70% of the time used to seal games. These events promote early agression, sure, but they are far more valuable in the late game, where you cannot afford to pay 8 credits or more to get into a central for just 1 measly random access…

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NBN could have had som great builds if most trace cards wasn’t so weak. In general base traces are all really underwhelming.


Yep, I’m a big fan of splashing Legwork in Shaper. When I include 3 of a card, though, it’s to increase the odds of drawing it early. 2 Legwork seems reasonable and 1 functional in most Shaper builds.