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Hearts of Frost - Support Group for Glacier Players

As many of you know I have been a long time glacier archetype enthusiast. We have gained some interesting cards like sandburg, but lost the security of ash, caprice and many others.

My question is how do we build glacier for a meta where defensive upgrades can be blanked?


Let’s define our terms first.
When you say “Glacier”, I assume you’re talking about a deck that builds a taxing remote and makes it infeasable for the runner to enter? Or are we just talking slow decks without flatline?

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Ash and Caprice were already released when I started playing, so I never really played before them. What worked before then? never-advancing? advanceable traps? Or was runner econ just poor enough that you could make remotes taxing enough on the basis of a single run and upgrades that require repeated runs were not necessary? Or maybe glacier just wasn’t good.

For what it’s worth, I cannot actually provide any contribution as to how to revitalize glacier, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with Research Grants.


The first thing that springs to my mind is Replicating Perfection. Already a home to taxing ICE like Assassin, Tollbooth and even Inazuma, you can:
a) play your own powerful current in ELP
b) tax clicks tremendously.
c) use Nisei MK2 to score safely.

All the while, you’re not giving up playing Caprice/Batty for the matchups where they matter.


I’ve been messing about with Hard Hitting News, Prisec and Closed Accounts in HB - the latter can make pretty huge scoring windows for HB remotes, and you can usually surprise people with HHN or Prisec (running the remote last click against HB is a not uncommon behaviour). But it’s probably only good against people who don’t know what you’re doing, and once you’re putting all that in your deck, it’s very hard to justify not just building an NBN deck instead.

I’m pretty glum, to be honest: unless we get some new non unique defensive upgrade(s), I just don’t think glacier is going to be a competitive archetype.


Old Hollywood Grid is a defensive upgrade that doesn’t get blanked.


So, Foodcoats was the posterchild for glacier. It did very well at Worlds 2015

It had:

  • Good in-faction ICE in Eli 1.0 and Architect
  • Good in-faction cash with Breaker Bay and Adonis/Eve Campaign
  • A great never-advance agenda suite that asked the runner to think "Is this a 3/2 in the remote, or just another campaign?
  • In faction protection in Ash and enough other in faction tools listed above to import 8 influence of Caprice.

So, in summary, 3 of the 4 of the parts that made the deck tick can’t exist or they at least can’t co-exist thanks to MWL, new cards, etc, etc.

How do you even build glacier today? Sure the suite of 3/2s helps a lot because the only trick you’ve got is asking the runner to evaluate if they can get it this time and also get the next card if they fail. But everything else is a non-starter in NETRUNNER 2016. Glacier hasn’t been viable for a long time and certainly isn’t any more so today.

Crisium Grid is already strong in the current meta-game, and Off the Grid is not hit by Rumor Mill. Crisium will be on HQ by default in that deck, so Political Operative is hard to play as well. That’s the direction I’ll be testing Blue Sun Glacier in the coming future, but it’s not very viable for the other factions.


I was going to mention Off The Grid. Depending on how taxing HQ is, sometimes Crisium isn’t even necessary, and most HB Glacier run Breaker Bay already which combos well with OTG.

Corporate Troubleshooter is a good in faction option as long as you have a non-Bioroid on the remote and enough cash to leverage it.

Red Herrings and Old Hollywood Grid might be worth considering too.

I’m a big proponent of Aggressive Secretary.


I wonder if an aggressive taxing strategy doesn’t work better now. For instance if we can’t rely on upgrades like Caprice and Ash to protect our servers, maybe PriSec Closed Accounts can help punish the runner. Or Psychic Field (I love this card). ETF has even more good ice recently with the release of ELIs 4 - 6 (Ravana 1.0) and Sherlock or Fairchild for certain high impact rezzes. The new ID will provide a good rush component to your ice rezzing and also turns on ice like Ravana a little quicker.

I’d be interested in turning the Caprice into some tag and punish options. Maybe splash in Sea Source EOI?


Mushin no Grid is definitely an alternative, if we even run Mushin. Excalibur is super-sweet now that not everyone is running AI.

Blue Sun in general is pretty good at glacier, at least if you’re packing Scorches to force the runner to money up more than necessary. Just be careful of Criminals with Sneakdoor, and you should be able to make it work.

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Does tag punishment give us the tools we need to create scoring windows without unique upgrades?

Absolutely! My CtM deck is very taxing, and regularly scores out behind a Tollbooth after having used Closed Accounts.

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(49 cards)
Blue Sun: Powering the Future
– agenda (10 cards)
2 Global Food Initiative
2 Hostile Takeover
3 Oaktown Renovation
3 Project Atlas
– asset (3 cards)
3 Jackson Howard
– ice (16 cards)
1 Archer
1 Cobra
2 Curtain Wall
3 Enigma
2 Hive
2 Ice Wall
1 Orion
3 Tollbooth
1 Wall of Thorns
– operation (14 cards)
3 Consulting Visit
3 Hedge Fund
3 Oversight AI
2 Restructure
3 Targeted Marketing
– upgrade (6 cards)
3 Crisium Grid
3 Off the Grid

I’ve been running this recently to decent effect. Good things that aren’t typical - targeted marketing! Out of BS with CV it is wonderful. Sure, recur that employee strike. Yeah, get that David. Siphon me. Do it. Also, CV allows you to get OAI early or when you see an opportunity and I love it. But that is typical (as is the stupid money levels).

Also, all the TBs. The usual “find the TB” game with BS becomes comical when they are everywhere.

PolyOp and Councilman are serious problems. As soon as a runner sees that you are running OTG, you can almost guarantee a dig for it. Councilman in particular - just eat a 6 credit hit. It does win games though, especially for that critical to six / GFI score.

Also, Beth. I hate that card. I think that it is a huge hit to BS. 5 click runner. All the time.

So excited for that new code gate…

Admittedly I’m new enough to the game that I haven’t played a whole lot with glacier strategies of days past. What my understanding of the glacier strategy is that you want to 1) make stealing agendas out of remotes taxing so they can’t just take them at will and 2) make the runs less valuable by ending them prematurely (caprice) or robbing them of accesses (ash).

The second point has become much much harder with the introduction of Political Operative, Councilman, and much more importantly Rumor Mill. The options are to shift to different less effective defensive upgrades (most suggestions are core set cards or relatively old ones at least) or use different strategies to tax the runner enough to blast open a scoring window or facilitate scoring.

These are ideas I can see having some validity (depending on your influence they may be more/less viable).

  1. Sea Source, Closed Accounts, Install.
    This can be an effective counter to runners who have enough econ to keep pressuring but not enough to beat the trace. Nuke their money and never advance.

  2. Ambush
    Snare, Psychic Field, PriSec. This can be a way to bluff out early runs while not losing tempo. I especially like PriSec because if they want to keep running they have to trash that as well.

  3. Fast Advance
    I think this is what everyone’s been doing with their HB glacier. Score 2 - 5 points the hard way and/or find a way to score the remaining with Biotic, Jeves, or both. I think EoI sorta falls in this column though it’s got different moving parts that don’t necessarily work with the rest of the fast advance close-out strategy.

  4. Rig Descruction?
    I really like Aggressive Secretary. Is it worth running here? Will-o is also valid for when the problem cards are Paperclip or Clone Chip instead.

A lot of the popular decks use non-standard means to get past big ice (D4v1d, Datasucker, Panchatantra/Sharpshooter, etc.). Is Navi Mumbad City Grid a good splash?

Off the Grid HB

Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)

Agenda (9)

Asset (9)

Upgrade (9)

Operation (5)

Barrier (4)

Code Gate (6)

Sentry (7)

13 influence spent (max 15-2★=13, available 0)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Blood Money

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Standardish Foodcoats with Off the Grid instead of Caprice. Left Ash in because you aren’t going to face Rumor Mill every match. Threw in a Biotic for closing out the game. Will test after work.

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Omar is coming.

And he will crush those plans, with an archive run or an hq run, whatever is the cheapest.

Future t1 id imho. He starts games like an Anarch Andy somehow, and have an ability that will last the whole game.

I’m not sure how needed the third OtG is, I always felt solid in just two of them. And without Adonis or some other asset money I’m not sure that feels like enough money, although I suppose you’re not tracing them.

Here is my (as of yet untested) version:

Blue Sun: Powering the Future

Agenda (8)
1x Corporate Sales Team
3x Government Contracts
1x Government Takeover
3x Posted Bounty

Asset (6)
1x Adonis Campaign ●●
1x Elizabeth Mills
1x Executive Boot Camp
3x Jackson Howard ●●●

Upgrade (5)
3x Crisium Grid
2x Off the Grid

Operation (16)
2x Consulting Visit
1x Enforcing Loyalty ●
1x Hard-Hitting News ●●
3x Hedge Fund
1x Housekeeping
3x Oversight AI
3x Scorched Earth
1x SEA Source ●●
1x Snatch and Grab

Barrier (6)
1x Curtain Wall
3x Hive
2x Spiderweb

Code Gate (1)
1x Wormhole

Sentry (5)
2x Assassin
1x Data Raven ●●
1x Janus 1.0 ●●●
1x Taurus

Multi (2)
2x Orion

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Blood Money