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[Highlander] Spaas Bioroid - And yet it is competitive

Hey guys,

over the last weeks I’ve been testing and tweaking a Highlander Haas-Bioroid deck and took it to tournament on saturday, where it went 3-1, only losing (closely) against its worst matchup Noise (as only 1 Jackson is a serious restriction). I’ve been posting this deck to netrunnerdb.com and BGG, but there was not really any feedback, so I thought I might give it a try here and see, what you think about it.

Obviously, a Highlander deck cannot consistently follow one and the same game plan. However, it has two serious advantages over decks that consist of multiple copies of, say, 20 to 25 cards. The first one is, that I deny the runner information. Against a “conventional” deck, a runner sees an ICE (either rezzed or accessed) and rightly assumes, that it is very likely one of multiple copies. So he has an idea of what might await him in future runs and allows him to pack the right tools. Against this deck, this assumption is wrong and might even lead to a little more carelessness on the runner side. Or to an exaggerated fear of what those unrezzed pieces of ICE might be.
The second advantage I noticed, is that especially the ICE distribution, but also some assets, enable you to build problems, that the runner does not have an answer for. The runner’s cards are always face-up, so you get to know quite early what your opponent’s deck tries to do. Your cards are face-down and so you can do your secret work and do whatever it takes
to pose problems for the runner.

Here is the decklist, with comments on each card:

aHaas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)

Agenda (9)
1x Accelerated Beta Test - a solid 3/2, auto-include
1x Priority Requisition - has juicy targets and decreases density
1x Project Vitruvius - a solid 3/2, auto-include
1x Corporate War - likely the worst agenda in the mix. Maybe Mandatory Upgrades?
1x Efficiency Committee - one of the better 4/2. Good synergies with Melange, Purge or Eliza’s Toybox
1x NAPD Contract - at least it’s harder to steal
1x Eden Fragment - actually quite nice if scored, However, will be substituted by Utopia Fragment as soon as I get hands on that card :smile:
1x Chronos Project - If scored great against Noise-Cache-recursion and stuff
1x Hades Fragment - MVP against Noise, but, as all 5/3, harder to score.

Asset (8)
1x Adonis Campaign - solid asset eco
1x Melange Mining Corp. - must-trash for the runner, good behind taxing ICE
1x PAD Campaign - nice drip eco
1x Eve Campaign - another solid asset eco
1x Jackson Howard - no justification required.
1x Eliza’s Toybox - has juicy targets, high trash cost, must-trash for the runner
1x Daily Business Show - woah, consistency!!!
1x Executive Boot Camp - nice eco card. Messes with Leela and Nasir

Upgrade (3)
1x Corporate Troubleshooter - has many great targets. Wins me games.
1x Ash 2X3ZB9CY - Who would not play Ash…
1x Strongbox - might look weird, but has some synergies with Janus/Wotan/Enhanced Login Protocol. Won me a game at the tournament.

Operation (13)
1x Archived Memories - with only one Jackson, this is a must
1x Biotic Labor - not as many targets as usual, but can also score a 4/2 when already installed.
1x Hedge Fund - complementing asset eco
1x Green Level Clearance - complementing asset eco
1x Bioroid Efficiency Research - has two really juice targets. Opens up early scoring windows
1x Successful Demonstration - fires very often
1x Restructure - complementing asset eco
1x Interns - yay, recursion
1x Blue Level Clearance - complementing asset eco
1x Subliminal Messaging - great card. Nets many credits, really.
1x Enhanced Login Protocol - Best current in game and in faction
1x Lag Time - makes runs even more taxing!
1x Peak Efficiency - awesome late game economy. Synergy with Exec Boot Camp and Toybox

Barrier (3)
1x Wall of Static - Cheap ETR. Not so good late game
1x Eli 1.0 - still taxing
1x Wotan - you wouldn’t believe how often this guy sees play and gets rezzed. Awesome card.

Code Gate (5)
1x Chum - cheap pseudo-ETR
1x Tollbooth - tax tax tax
1x Viktor 2.0 - also taxing.
1x Inazuma - you have the MImic for Roto? I see you have no decoder :smile:
1x Lotus Field - great for only one influence

Sentry (8)
1x Ichi 1.0 - taxing and can be a bad surprise on late-click runs.
1x Rototurret - solid ICE, and even ETR
1x Neural Katana - this hits often, as no one expects it. Actually, it flatlined a runner in the tournament :smiley:
1x Archer - yes please!!!
1x Janus 1.0 - see Archer
1x Swordsman - You’d be amazed how great this is to protect early agendas. Crims getting out their Crypsis and try to pound through.
1x Pup - yay, another tax :smile:
1x Architect - and yet another tax

Yes, this is a completely serious deck. It wins on OCTGN and in live games and is just a hell lot of fun to play :smile:

runner’s weakness. Is it against Criminals, who fall flat if they can’t start running? Shut down centrals with taxing ICE and just wait.
Without their economic engine of running (Desperado, Security Testing, John Masanori, Datasucker, Dirty Laundry) they fall behind fast.
Leela is a bit harder to play, but the othes (including Andromeda) are actually quite straight-forward to play against.
Against Shapers, you are the one who needs to play fast. Don’t let them build up their rig. Score early to enforce pressure.
When at game point, have one taxing remote and install assets at the right time. They have to run and spend resources without end.
You will win that race.
Against Anarch? Play solid, remember their tricks. Whizzard can be nasty as he nullifies your asset eco. Worst matchup of them all
is Noise. Pray for Jackson. Pray for Chronos Project. Pray for your big ICE and Eliza’s Toybox. Nothing else you can do.

This deck is powerful. And with a smarter agenda distribution even better (just put in all the 3/2 and be happy).
There are a few cards I am looking forward to. First, Utopia Fragment. It just seems a lot better than Eden Fragment.
Then I might try Self-Destruct. Probably instead of PAD Campaign. You are usually rich and I can imagine this card to
be very powerful. It protects agendas when the runner is at matchpoint and will certainly win you the one or other game.

What suggestions do you have? Any card that you think might be worth including? Any card in the current deck, that appears
very very weird to you?

1 Like

You can call it competitive all you want, but all I see is lack of consistency. But I will try it out the next few days and come back to you


Highlander is not an actual format, so no competitive player is going to be interested in trying to optimize this deck.

It’s fine to play a bunch of singleton ICE for surprise but you’re just handicapping yourself to not play 3 Jackson, 3 Hedge and multiples of your good agendas.

For the purposes of showing off, the deck is fine as-is. The five cards I’d chop first are Strongbox, Toybox, Peak Efficiency, Lag Time, and Subliminal - I would try to add some other economy and a couple more barriers.

1 Like

Four game tourney is not stringent enough to call a deck competitive.

Pretty sure I played against this on OCTGN a few days ago (I was Gabe).

I’m all for having fun with your decks but this deck would be objectively better if it wasn’t restricted to one of everything. Most notably, 2 DBS, 3 Jackson, 3 Hedge Fund, 3 Eli at a minimum. I wouldn’t call it competitive for that reason - it doesn’t aim to be as competitive as it can be.

As for comments: it’s lacking a Quandary, I feel (otherwise you’ll be Siphoned click one by Criminals). Janus and Archer are misplaced in this deck (paying 15 for some brain damage which doesn’t contribute towards a wincon is a bad deal), and there may be missing a few ICE - I’d try to aim for 18.

I don’t understand all the nay saying. A highlander deck isn’t as good as a proper constructed deck. But because of the nature of netrunner (piloting>deck construction) you can win games playing one. I think the OPs list is pretty good. It beat some of the jank that I was playing for fun on OCTGN. What it does show to me is that we’re not far from a card pool that supports decent Highlander lists. Highlander could become a format in the not too distant future. That seems pretty cool to me.