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Draft Strategy [Overdrive]

I’ve played in a few Overdrive drafts now, and wanted to share some advice for those who are doing similar. Without further ado, here are some tips:

-Don’t draft agendas as Corp. The only agenda I would consider drafting is The Future Perfect. I found that players who drafted smaller agendas tended to have lots of trouble with consistency (you can’t reliably draft enough agendas to have a consistent plan), and further had weaker cards in their deck as a whole because they gave up high-priority picks to take agenda cards.

If you happen to see very strong agendas early, it may be worth trying, but keep in mind that this is a risky play.

-NEXT and Grail ICE are both very strong with the reduced decksizes allowed by draft play. If you notice that people don’t seem to be drafting these, going for them may be a smart move. I managed to draft 4 NEXT Bronze and 3 NEXT Silver in my last game and it proved a very strong defense.

-Many mediocre economy cards are much more valuable in draft play. Tri-Maf Contact is an excellent card for Runners, for instance.

I’d love to hear other tips from people who have been playing draft recently!

I just took 1st in a 3 round, 6 player draft this past weekend.

I disagree on the Agenda drafting. I love lower cost ones. My spread:

-3 Nisei MK II
-1 ABT
-1 Efficiency Commitee
-1 Eden Shard
-1 Breaking News

Hit everyone with Closed Accounts, whether from BN or SEA. I don’t think there’s enough tag punishment (2 Scorch in 240 cards), but Closed was worth it.

Strong ICE can’t be overrated. Took 1 Curtain Wall on a lark, but the Runner NEVER went through that server again. Even got one on an ABT.

Currents are good. Run around 2. The NBN one was gold every time. Always named Sure Gamble; 1 Runner said, “F it.”, and fired anyway. The Weyland and HB are strong, as well.

Found Runner to be harder to draft from Corp. Everyone agreed. Breakers are in short supply. I mainly got by on Alpha and Omega. Retrieval Run is good. Econ for both sides can’t be stressed enough. I ran Tri Maf, but my I split my first match (only loss) by both killing my opponent and dying to a lost Tri Maf. Be careful.

I managed to get a Rachel Beckman; really strong. Also had 1 R&D and 2 HQ Interface. Like IRL, they paid dividends.

I loved the format. Seems like they really improved upon the first draft set. Lots of neat strategies. Saw someone have a 2 Archer, 1 Curtain Wall server one game (Hello, Toybox), and 3 Remotes and 3 Centrals guarded by 8 NEXT ICE the next. Fun times.


In the first draft I played, it seemed like Runner was disadvantaged; in the second, though, Runners were quite strong. I think there’s some element of “luck of the draw” there, as well as people being more experienced the second time and knowing what to draft.

One other thing that held true in both cases was that stealth breakers were quite strong. Cloak and Ghost Runner are very high picks.

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The Stealth breakers are about all one has. Reusable breakers like Battering Ram or Garrote are uncommons or rares. The Cerberus or stealth breakers are more common. I made the mistake of drafting ZERO extra MUs, and my typical rig was usually Alpha/Omega, Datasucker/Cloak, and the stealth Decoder. Overmind was surprisingly terrible for me, no surprise. Most people found if they didn’t get it early, it didn’t matter.

2 people got Atman. Game changer in this format.

I don’t agree with this at all. Drafting agendas was definitely strong and I would advise it. Drafting agendas makes your deck more consistent, which is especially good in this format because it favors Corps. I have found that Glacier style strategies are very effective in Overdrive thus far. The Runners definitely have the weaker card pool.

I do agree that the Grail ice is quite good. I flatlined someone on turn one with Merlins at the last Overdrive draft. Grail ice seems like it is at it’s strongest in draft formats.

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How does drafting agendas make your deck more consistent? If your strategy is “score two 5/3s,” that’s quite consistent regardless of what agendas you draw. If you have a mix of 4/2s, a few 3/2s, a 3/1 or two, and perhaps a 5/3, that’s quite inconsistent.

Across all the drafts I’ve played, I’ve noticed people who drafted agendas falling down. I even encountered someone who had managed to draft what I would consider a very strong agenda suite, with multiple Niseis and other strong cards-- but the fact that he’d used high priority picks on agendas meant that he didn’t have enough ICE, and the deck didn’t really come together.

If you happen to see very good agendas at the start of an early pack that doesn’t have much else, I would consider drafting them-- but as it stands drafting agendas seems like a serious liability in most cases, and the people I’ve seen who have done so agree.

On another point, I’ve noticed that Punitive Counterstrike is very weak, but seems to get picked early regardless. If you’re going 5/3s, you need to have Punitive Counterstrike (and probably other damage cards too) in hand when you lose your first agenda, which is unreliable; if you aren’t going 5/3s, Punitive doesn’t do enough damage.

Running nothing but 5/3s makes Runner accesses higher variance. Therefore a superior agenda package reduces variance on access.

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Variance on access is not clearly negative for the Corp, especially when it comes with reduced variance for your normal scoring plan.

If the only way for the Runner to win is by getting lucky, then I think it is a clear negative for the Corp. I think that the format is such that a competent Corp deck should not lose baring such situations.

Also, the Agendas included do not have terribly great abilities. Nisei MK II? Game winning, or at least econ back-breaking. ABT and Breaking News did great work, as well.

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I thought this at first as well, but further experience indicated that Runners were substantially better than expected. In the last draft I played, I actually won after going undefeated as Runner, though one of my games was very close.

I played in my first Overdrive draft here in Portland the other day. Ignore balance for the rest of my post, since I’ve only played 1 draft, i can’t speak much too balance.

Not to much to say on strategy other than that I really messed up some picks in my first go around. For instance pretty sure I passed on Tri Maf Contact two separate times, as well as a security testing pick or two, and in retrospect those cards seem very good at sustained economy even with their drawbacks.

I ended up with 2 elizas toybox and drafted around that, in the games where I didn’t lose in the first few turns I won with my 2 archers + tollbooths + curtain wall. It was pretty sweet, toybox is really powerful, and doing powerful stuff is fun. It’s much more exciting then the previous format where I tried to bait people into servers and hope they used all of their crypsis stuff. I also had half of a “Grail” strategy. I found that I didn’t take enough early game ice since I was too excited about all of my toybox plan lol, In the last draft you could get cheaper ice like wall of static and such as late as 5-7th pick, but most of the stuff I saw at that range were much more expensive ice picks.

The format was fun, and might I mention, fun. I really think that this draft format stands out as a format I would love to repeat play, and not just because its draft. I liked the previous draft format, it was okay. One of my most memorable games was against Sneaky Sly in the format. But it still lacked something, mostly because Magnum Opus + Crypsis was boring, and some of the other cards were dry, and just seemed vanilla. Wall of static, Ice Wall, Enigma etc are all solid cards, but they are fairly boring. Crypsis? Okay you can break everything. New format has all sorts of stuff going on. The runner side could use a little more improvement maybe. Since decks are so small(30 cards) and we need breakers and $, I still don’t see enough draftable runner archetypes.

I could just be crazy though, maybe after all the new cards lose their “Newness” factor the format won’t be exciting anymore, but hey! Maybe there will be some new draft format out for next cycle. As of right now, I am ready to draft again already, and I just did it on Saturday. Really excited to draft some more Upstalk in the future.

I am hoping we can run some tournament sometime with 3 rounds of overdrive draft, 3 rounds of constructed, and then just see where the swiss results land, would be pretty great.


I came in first several weeks ago in a draft here in Orlando and I don’t have the memory for everything I drafted, but I know Niseii was an MVP for me. Usually people were blowing all there money to get in to a server only for me to pop the counter and it let me score the 2nd one. The money always seemed tight in all the games for both the runner and the corp, so this was huge for me. I also drafted a Hostile Takeover which was great to finish off the game with after scoring a 3 pointer in one of those windows. Granted in most of my games I saw the Nisei and what I needed early in the match so there was definitely some luck involved. I also grabbed Next ice and 2 GRNDL refineries which were huge for me with Mushin no Shin. I wish I could remember the rest of what I drafted but I can’t.

I’ve now played two drafts, one each in the older and newer draft packs, and I much preferred the new. Part of it was seeing the new cards I’m sure, but it also seemed to mesh together much better.

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Can anyone tell me what cards the Overdrive draft starter contains? I haven’t been able to google it.

2x Hedge Fund
3x Executive Retreat
1x Eden Fragment
1x Hades Fragment
1x Utopia Fragment

2x Sure Gamble
2x Overmind

And the identities.

I can’t believe I wasn’t able to google it…