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How to play NEH Astrobiotics? Please helpe me with strategy 101

I would like to understand better how to play NEH Astrobiotics. A lot of people say stuff like:

“Every idiot can win with Astrobiotics. Boring. It is so easy to play it on autopilot.”

Now, let us assume that while I might snatch some victories with it I am far from really getting it. What is easy to understand for me is that I would like to get the Astrotrain. But that’s about it.

There are so many things, I am not certain about. For example:

In general: Do I wait for an Astroscript in order to start scoring or is it ok to start with scoring other agendas? (Someone told me that when playing RP I should wait for the Nisei – maybe regarding NEH Astrobiotics I should wait for the Astroscript?)

What is better: installing a PAD campaign this turn without triggering my ID ability or waiting for the install till next turn because then my ability triggers? (More general point: how important is it to maximize the triggering if my ID ability?)

Do I try to make a scoring remote or do I want to fast advance everything?

How do I take into account clot?

More general: What are the pillars of the game plan?

Questions like these bother me. I would be truly thankful if you can share your thoughts on the overall strategy for playing NEH Astrobiotics. It might be not that difficult, as a lot of people suggest (then I can learn it pretty fast – splendid). I invite you to talk about your strategy when playing this kind of deck.

Since it might be sensible to have a specific deck list to start with, I am referring to bblum’s regional winning deck list. That is the list I will use as a starting point for learning how to play NEH.


P.S. I might have missed the topic where my question has been already discussed. Then I am happy if you can direct to that place.


It depends. If you have fast advance tools (Biotic,SanSan, Astro token) on the board/in hand, you want to install the pad and start making money, because if you top deck an Astro you can score it immediately, and you will still get the draw (if using Biotic/Astro token) AND you will have a pad making you money in the process. If you have no fast advance tools, it is better to keep the pad in hand and use it next turn to try and draw into your said fast advance tools.

“It depends” is the answer to a lot of your questions, and that can be frustrating. However, installing a first turn naked Astro is always a good play :wink:

Think of it this way: It’s not primarily a Fast-Advance deck, it’s primarily a rush deck that wants to use FA to close out the game. The main difference is that your two primary fast-ad tools (chained Astros and rezzed SanSans) both persist through multiple agendas unless handled by the runner somehow. So, in a way, the “closing out the game” stage can very well begin once you score your second agenda, sometimes even first.

Don’t wait for fast-ad tools to score, that just makes you waay too slow. Definitely rush an agenda as soon as you have a piece of ICE or two. Whether to rush an Astro, a Beale or an NAPD depends on how you estimate the chances of them getting in and what board position they’ll be left after getting in. If you’re completely certain they’ll get in, but have a feeling you can break them by baiting them in, slap in a SanSan or a Jackson. SanSan with enough money is particularly good for this, as it’s a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” (less so now that Clot exists, but still).

As for the draw-related part of your questions… that depends. What do you need more, that card already being installed when you take your next turn, or an extra card drawn because you’re fishing for something? Do you need to slow the runner by baiting runs and wasting cash?

Firstly, you don’t need to start the game with an astro. You should expect to be able to win games without scoring a single astro (I remember having to do so to win a sc event, not fun).

Anyway your plan is to make money, and score out. You should expect that your opponent may get a good number of accesses on hq and r&d, and most of your ice should go there, unless you find a window to put an etr ice on the remote and can with some certainty put an agenda behind it without fear of losing it before next turn.

You don’t need to hold onto pad campaigns etc just because you can’t trigger the NEH ability that turn, more remotes means more stuff for the runner to check or keep track of. And of course if they don’t run, seak out an agenda.

The most important stuff I have found is that you do need to ice centrals when you can, ideally etr on hq v criminals early, pop up or architect on R&D, but then more taxing ice on R&D as the game goes on. In the meantime you want to make a lot of money. And then you want to start scoring.

The beauty of the agenda suite is that 2/3s are easy to score out, but then you add sansans and biotics, and as long as you have a lot of money you can easily score agendas you’d never expect to be able to score if you have a sansan up and an astro token for example. Learning to maximise the use of your fast advance tools is half the battle.

Against clot, if you can score two agendas really early, then do it. If clot comes out and you are already on 4 or 5 points you should be fine. Just set up your ice and drip econ, purge, and lure out clot with assets that you play into your sansan server. At regionals there were a number of games where I sacrificed early hq and r&d accesses to score an astro on turn 2 behind etr ice on a remote against kate players, banking on slow starts.

Against Leela, play more ice. Stack an extra piece of ice or two on your servers, and also ice R&D (you should do this v a number of runners anyway).

Your success with the deck, as with many corp decks, will partly depend on you being able to read your opponent to understand when you might find unorthodox opportunities to score, and when you can risk 2 accesses on R&D which gives you a window to score something from HQ. You will almost always be racing, so a lot of games might end with 7-5 or 7-4 or 7-6 your way, but that’s fine. That’s as it should be

also, watch some vids, including vids from worlds last year. Against Andy players you can probably try to sneak out an agenda naked on turn 1. I did it to the only Andy player I have played in a few events, and it worked a treat. That being said, good andy players will prob be wary of this

While Astrobiotics was pretty easy to play some time ago, with the way the meta has changed to adapt to new releases I think it’s actually a quite tricky deck to pilot correctly against strong runners. And you need to be able to adapt your gameplan according to the deck you are facing as well as the boardstate. This doesn’t take into account the bluffing you have to deal with against Kate with Clot.

One thing I see newer Astrobiotic players do often is try to play safe early. While in some match-ups that might be correct play, I think you are often better served foregoing defenses and go for aggressive scoring early. Don’t spend resources scoring NAPDs unless you have a healthy amount of credits.

Any agenda you can score early is great, but I think you shouldn’t waste a biotic on a Beale if it is your first agenda and instead try to sneak it through. If you get a chance to have 2-ICE remote early trying for a 3-point Beale is often worth it.


Not exactly 101, but I think important part of the strategy now also involves that the runner doesn’t know from start if you’re butchershop or fa. How do we best use that to our advantage?

How I play NEH FA: