The other day I was looking at Toomin’s N.E.A.R.P.A.D.! deck and thought, “I wonder if this same sort of thing could work in HB? ETF gets money from installing vs. NEH getting card draws, so the two are broadly similar. And heck, no one digs trashed cards out of archives like HB.” It very quickly became apparent that the brilliant synergy of Dedicated Response Team and City Surveillance/Mid-Run Tagging was simply too costly in terms of influence for HB to pull off. However, you could accomplish something similar by replacing DRT and CS with Jinteki’s newest asset: Hostile Infrastructure. Instead of having DRT hunt you down for running while tagged, HI blasts you for daring to trash corp cards (any corp cards, anywhere: not just assets and not just installed cards, but cards in R&D or parasiting ice).
I’ve created a deck to illustrate the core concept, and I’ve done pretty well with it on OCTGN. However, I want to calibrate everyone’s expectations a bit and say that this deck is fun, and it’s fairly capable, but I’m confident a better expression of this deck concept is out there.
HB Weaponized Assets
Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)
- 2x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
- 2x Efficiency Committee (Creation and Control)
- 3x NAPD Contract (Double Time)
- 3x Project Vitruvius (Cyber Exodus)
- 3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
- 2x Executive Boot Camp (All That Remains) ••
- 3x Hostile Infrastructure (All That Remains) ••••• •
- 3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••
- 1x Levy University (Creation and Control)
- 3x PAD Campaign (Core Set)
- 3x Archived Memories (Core Set)
- 2x Enhanced Login Protocol (The Spaces Between)
- 3x Green Level Clearance (A Study in Static)
- 1x Interns (Mala Tempora)
Code Gate (2)
- 3x Architect (Up and Over)
- 1x Rainbow (Honor and Profit)
15 influence spent (max 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to All That Remains
Deck built on NetrunnerDB.
HB can’t ride the Astrotrain, so rather than attempt to go fast advance, I decided to go for a slower game with more work compression and taxation. In recognition of this slower pace, all the agendas are 2-pointers (so the runner can’t win without stealing 4 of 'em) and 3 of 'em are NAPDs to further slow things down. Also, maximum Jacksons to let you bury early agendas when you aren’t prepared to score or defend them.
This deck rests on two cards, the first of which is Hostile Infrastructure. You absolutely want two of those out, if not all three. Once they’re on the table, trashing your cards becomes a very painful action to take and most runners. Furthermore, trashing these cards is a very temporary victory since you’ll just dig the card out of archives and reinstall it (getting a free credit along the way). Runners will eventually say, “screw it” and leave your cards untrashed. Now, unlike NEARPAD’s DRT/Tagging combo, HI doesn’t hunt the runner down and punish them. They have to elect to trash something to get damaged, so we need another card to bring the pain to them. This is where the other pillar of the deck, Ash, comes in.
An Ash in a remote or protecting R&D makes it so the runner can only access Ash. Normally a runner simply trashes Ash and runs the server again, but now trashing that Ash will cost you three net damage. Hokusai Grid combos beautifully off of Ash, making it so a server with [Tax Ice] -> Ash + Hokusai + Agenda costs 2 clicks + 2x[Ice Tax] + 3 credits + 5 net damage to run… plus possibly another 4 credits if the agenda is NAPD. If Enhanced Login Protocol is up, then it’ll cost them a 3rd click as well. Every other card in the deck is there to let you get to this state faster and more reliably.
The ice is sparse but taxing. The single Wotan is meant to be the innermost ice of your scoring remote. Against a competent runner you will rarely, if ever, see Architect’s subs fire so he’s mainly there to be an unavoidable tax, but this deck is well-equipped to capitalize on it if any subs do go off. You want a Hokusai Grid on R&D to slow down the runner’s digging.
Adonis and Pad provide steady drip income. Combined with the money from your ID and the general inexpensiveness of your cards, you should have few money issues and be able to bounce back from denial attacks fairly quickly. Executive Boot Camp exists mainly to let you tutor your HIs since it’s so vital that you reach the 2-3 rezzed critical mass. However, they are a nice form of drip economy in their own right AND if you reach a comfortable building up point then they let you tutor Levy University. Make no mistake, an unsupported LU is a terrible card. But runners are less enthused to trash it wherever they find it when it’s gonna cost them a chunk of their deck. Getting it out allows you to spend a few turns digging the ice out of your deck and making your centrals and your scoring remote a real headache to run. It also solves the “75% of my ice is in the bottom 20% of my deck” problem.
ABT should be considered a blank 3/2 unless you’re desperate or have a Jackson ready to bail you out. Vitruivius is usually a blank 3/2 as well (nice because you can bluff 'em out Never Advance style), but if you have the option of over-advancing it, you’ll certainly be able to put those tokens to good use. I’ve found this deck has a lot it wants to do in a turn, especially when a scoring window opens up, and a scored Efficiency Committee enables that. The extra click or two needed to Jackson-draw for the next agenda, revive a trashed Ash, and install 'em means EC tokens are always appreciated.
Green Level Clearance makes your deck faster, which is good because this deck can be kinda slow. Archived Memories makes your archives a revolving door, and Interns is simply AM #4.
Playing the Deck
Mulligan unless you have 2x cheap ice, or 1x and a draw accelerator (GLC, Jackson). Early game is you icing HQ and R&D then getting 2 or 3 HIs rezzed as fast as you can without letting the runner steal too many agendas. Mid game is you building up your economy and double- or triple-icing your centrals and scoring remote (possibly with the help of Levy). Late game is opening up scoring windows with a combination of No Advance baiting, net damage, and sheer taxation, then scoring your way to victory. This deck will only flatline very careless runners, but I have had a several end the game with an empty stack.
Snare: You know what’s worse than 3 net damage and a tag? 3 net damage and a tag from a card that you dare not trash, even for 0 credits. Trash that snare and suddenly it’s 5 or 6 net damage instead. Have Jackson shuffle the snare(s) back into R&D and suddenly your centrals become that much more dangerous to spelunk. I keep waffling between cutting 1x HI or 2x EBC to work in that one snare, but I’m currently leaning towards reliability over rare-but-devastating traps.
The Root/Eliza’s Toybox: With recursion and EBC, you can build a deck of tutoring up asset silver bullets. With the toybox, you could include more big, stompy bioroids to make your servers a nightmare to run (Heimdall 2.0, Janus 1.0), but it’s slow and makes your already weak early game weaker. The Root is a fantastic asset and would be very much at home in this deck (it’s basically a never-ending, superior-use Adonis) but there simply isn’t the influence to spare.
Daily Business Show: Clickless draw acceleration/agenda burying is lovely, and this deck likes low rez cost, high trash cost assets. I just found that these were competing with Jackson for influence, and Jackson is more useful early and late game (to help you bury or dig for agendas, respectively). Still, it’s a close thing.
Encryption Protocol: There were 3x of these in the early versions of this deck, but I found that once the HIs hit the table, assets go trashed rarely, if ever and their effect was minimal. Rather than adding more tax for the runner, I decided to cut 'em and include more economy/draw acceleration for the corp.
Alix T4LB07: A fragile asset that the runner suddenly doesn’t want to trash, that turns each click advancing your board position (and using your ID ability) into 2 credits. That sounds like an excellent fit, and I’m tempted to swap in one or two. Alix comes in a burst and I normally want a drip. It could be good sitting in the scoring remote during the mid game; if the runner leaves it then you’re rich and if they don’t then they’re poor and missing some cards.
Eve Campaign: Higher rez cost and slower pay off than Adonis makes it hard to find the space for. The higher trash cost isn’t as important in this deck. Could replace Pads but I’m unsure if +5 credits after 8 turns is worth an immediate +3 rez cost.
Haas Arcology AI: This would allow you to Fast Advance those 3/2s and No Advance the rest of your agendas. Really, it’s a slightly worse, 0-influence SanSan but it could work. I’d be tempted to include a Isabel McGuire in the deck to allow me to bounce it (and Adonis/Eve) and reinstall when empty.
Blue Level Clearance/Hedge Fund: More money and/or draw speed is nice. I found GLC hit the right balance and didn’t have the deck space for more.
Diversified Portfolio: I’ve had games where one of these would net me 12+ credits. However, it doesn’t usually reach Hedge Fund levels of efficiency until the mid game and just about all of my cards are about covering for early game weakness instead of exploiting late game strength. Still, if you’re less risk averse than I am, these would make a great replacement for GLC and/or Pad.
Reclamation Order: In combination with AM, you can recur cards infinitely (step 1: play AMs 1-3, step 2: RO the AMs, step 3: play AMs 1 and 2, step 4: AM the RO, goto step 2 and repeat). Of course, that’s way too slow, even though it would let you out-attrition a Netshielded Whizzard. The other use I had for it was to enable me to blaze through my EBCs. I used to have 3x EBCs in my deck and I’d use the first to tutor the second, the second to tutor the third, the third to tutor an asset I actually needed, and then I’d RO all three back into my hand. Now the assets in my deck were within easy reach. That frantic asset tutoring does work, but after I realized the silver bullet asset build wasn’t the way to go, I swapped an EBC for a third Jackson and cut the ROs entirely.
A Final Thought
This is a neat deck and with people cleverer than me improving and driving it, it could be a great deck. Just as this is similar to an NBN deck, you could do something like this in Jinteki or Weyland (especially RP and Blue Sun, respectively). But I feel like HB sits at the center of great economy, great ice, great recursion, and access to good tricks (ELP and Ash for work compression as well as a slew of fast advance options). Plus, you see a dozen NEH, RP, and BS decks in every thirteen games ya play, so doing something else is good for the meta, good for the game, and good for the soul.