I just posted this decklist on NRDB so if you like it give me some love over there. Apparently this is called a “NEARPAD” type of deck, but I have to admit I never read about before. Of course, I’ve seen decks like this around and they influenced me, but I truly built this from scratch and a ton of playtesting. It just won a Store Champ and carried me to Top 4 in SHL2 (I was afraid of MaxX/Eater/Keyhole so abandoned it for the final tourney there).
Hope you enjoy!
I started working on an NEH Dedicated Response Team deck back in July 2014 while playing in the inaugural Stimhack League on OCTGN. It won a ton of games early on, and then after several losses I decided to try something else. Fast forward to December and after Nordrunner posts a similar deck online I start seeing this shit all over OCTGN - and it’s pretty good! So, in December of last year I figure I’d go back to my old deck on (hosted on Meteor at the time) and revamp with all the new juicy goodness in the Lunar Cycle. Thus, this deck was born!
I recently went 8-1 at a Store Championship in the local Portland, Oregon meta I play in (5 rounds of Swiss and cut to Top 8), helping me win my first SC of the season. This deck also carried me to Top 4 in the Stimhack League 2 that ended in January 2015. I also recently beat @mediohxcore during his stream last week, during which he apparently talked shit about the deck being “silly” and “not as good as normal NEH”. Well, I’m no World Champion, but this deck kicked his ass on stream, rocked some shit in the SHL2, and fucked all the boys to a Store Championship.
Hope you enjoy the writeup!
Corporation decks can be built many different ways. Below are the categories you need to consider when building your deck:
- Win Condition/Flavor
We’ll go through each category, talk about the card choices, and finally discuss some overall strategy and matchups.
- Astroscript Pilot Program (3)
- Project Beale (3)
- NAPD (3)
- TGTBT (2)
###Astroscript Pilot Program (APP)
Astroscript needs no introduction. The recent Chilo City Grudge Match tournament that limited Astrostript to a singleton in all NBN decks shows how important APP is to NBN and the entire game of Netrunner as well (spoiler: near no one played NBN at that tournament). The threat of the Astro-train immediately puts pressure on the runner and gives you an advantage right out of the gate. Let’s use this advantage to our benefit instead of riding it to a coin flip victory like all those Astro-bullshit decks out there.
Project Beale is another necessary part of any NBN deck currently. Playing a tag-heavy Midseasons deck we also add even more pressure on the runner by threatening a Psycho-beale win (or Psycho-anything win). Bottom line: 3/2’s are good.
NAPD is a total rockstar. In a deck with limited ICE, an agenda that protects itself is so valuable. Don’t even *think about dropping NAPD to a two-of. Don’t be an idiot.
The standard two single point agenda slots could really be Breaking News if you really want. I honesty haven’t tried to test without the TGTBT so it could be the wrong call. My anecdotal experiences (and lots of winning) show that TGTBT accomplishes two things:
- It turns on a surprise Dedicated Response Team or two (for the win or for huge tax); and,
- It protects itself just like NAPD in the cost of clearing a tag instead of 4 credits (if the runner doesn’t clear the tag then they deserve to lose)
- Eli 1.0 (3)
- Pop-up Window (3)
- Data Raven (2)
- Wraparound (3)
Some have said Eli is the most powerful Corp card in the game. They might not be wrong. The only real counter to Eli is Lady (and Atman?), which will eventually run out of counters and only Shaper plays it. This deck craves cheap, taxing ICE that will stop the runner. Eli has these criterion in spades.
If you are looking for cheap, taxing ICE then look no further than Pop-up. It doesn’t stop the run they are currently on, but you’ll stop subsequent runs during the early and midgame with one or two of these guys. Parasite is a hard counter, but that card is played less and less and is probably overrated (troll).
The price of Data Raven hurts sometimes, but is another piece of ICE that will stop the runner cold, and is aruably the most taxing ICE in the deck (assuming they run through it). Femme is the obvious counter here, which continues to be less common as the datapacks pile up and is cost prohibitive when playing against a super credit-taxing deck like this one.
Once Order & Chaos came out this deck had a problem. The ICE above was the only ICE I had, plus a singleton RSVP (which helped give Pop-up that ETR feature it lacked). O&C gave rise to Keyhole, which just wrecked this deck. I needed a solution and Wraparound was it. I went (-1) RSVP, (-1) Psychographics, and (-1) Marked Accounts to make room for (+3) Wraparound.
Since I made this change the deck has proved more consistent, more resilient to ICE destruction, and helps eat up those Lady counters against Shaper (pretty big deal as Shaper is this deck’s worst matchup).
Economy is so important and is one of this deck’s best features. Not because it’s the richest deck in the world (it’s not), but because of how it accomplishes its credits. Here’s the package:
- PAD Campaign (3)
- Marked Accounts (1)
- Diversified Portfolio (3)
- Pop-up Window (3)
Core set giving us some love here with one of the best Asset economy options in the game. Good runners will always trash PAD and leave Marked for later. However, with all the other Assets/Upgrades that the runner has to deal with, only Imp-recursion decks give PAD a problem.
Marked started as a three-of back in December '14. It’s now only a one-of. We just talked about above how we lost one to Wraparound and we’ll talk below where we lost our second to.
Marked Accounts is a great card. It’s a card-free consistent Beanstalk Royalties that will pay out over three turns. Only Imp or super-rich runners will trash it. Its downside is the click-intensive nature. Brilliant card design, but worse than PAD.
MVP of the deck and soul-crushing to the runner. You give up early game economy for the best midgame and endgame economy in the game. We’ll discuss playstyle later, but use these cards wisely. Sometimes you’ll need to Diversified for a net gain of 3 or 4, but more often it’s better to wait to gain at least 5 or 6. The soul-crushing occurs when you hit Diversified to go from 3 credits to 15, or from 9 to 18.
One of my favorite plays it to bait the runner into stealing an agenda where you are around the same number of credits as you do. They think they are safe, but then you Diversified to Midseasons for the lolz and the rektz.
Honorary mention here because your 3 Pop-ups will provide about 4 to 5 credits a game at a minimum. Not a huge economy engine, but helpful as you build up your remotes to a sizable amount pre-Diversifieds.
Currently the first three categories have only eaten up 29 of our 49 card slots. This gives us a ton of space for Utility and Flavor. Here are the choices for Utility:
- Daily Business Show (3)
- Jackson Howard (3)
- San San City Grid (3)
- Cyberdex Virus Suite (1)
- Closed Accounts (1)
###Daily Business Show
I’m assuming you are a DBS believer. If you aren’t, then you probably suck at Netrunner. Daily Business allows you to get the cards you need to setup your remotes, either draw or hide agendas depending on the gamestate, and provides another must-trash asset that the runner can’t deal with. This card also allows you to crush less-experienced players in a tournament setting to make sure you win early on and get that Strength of Schedule needed to make the Cut.
So important for so many reasons that so many other people have already mentioned.
###San San City Grid
Yet another must-trash that lets you score from hand. Not much to say here. This deck is all about putting pressure on the runner and San San does a great job.
###Cyberdex Virus Suite
This is the other card that took out a Marked Accounts. In my Store Championship win it saved my ass in one game (sitting in Archives against Datasucker/Parasite), but was pretty much dead in all the other matches… EXCEPT it’s another asset that will divert wasted runs into remotes and powers Diversified.
Now, you might be saying, “Don’t give me that shit, JohnnyCreations, that’s the wrong call for the deck.” If you are saying that, well, you’re right. I threw it in last minute before the SC tournament for two reasons:
- In case some schmuk was going to play Hivemind/Chakana bullshit (love that deck, btw); and,
- To see how often I cared that it was a dead card in unneeded matchups (to prepare for Clot)
After my test in the tournament I’d say a Marked Accounts would be a marginally better pick in the current meta, but it doesn’t break the deck to have it in. This gives me hope I can continue to win during the San San Cycle.
One of the best cards in the game that no one can fit into their decks. Usually most decks have around 39 cards in the first three categories and not 29, which make deck slots hard to find and Closed Accounts usually gets cut. I get to use it and it’s brutal. So good!
We are now up to 40 cards, which give us a whopping 9 to seal the win and make the runner shoot themselves in the face (the ultimate goal).
- Dedicated Response Team (3)
- Snare (2)
- Midseasons (2)
- Psychographics (1)
- Psychic Field (1)
###Dedicated Response Team
Another must-trash asset in the worst way. In fact, this is the only true must-trash in the deck. If you don’t trash it, you lose. Once they see a DRT most runners will also slow-the-fuck-down, which let you get your ~10 remotes needed to close out the game.
Such a good card and amazing HQ protection. General plan is to never install a Snare in a remote and bait the Legwork FTW. First three rounds of the Store Championship ended in flatlines by Legworking an HQ with at least one Snare and multiple DRTs out on the board. Most good runner decks have Legwork the Snare/DBS combo (to make sure you put agendas on bottom and Snares in hand) is a hard counter to Legwork.
With all the other shit this deck does, most good runners don’t expect Midseasons. This strategy works with the deck because:
- A runner is usually fairly poor due to all the trashing of remotes; and,
- You can burst up in money very quickly with Diversified Portfolio
Once Midseasons hits the game will be over soon. The runner will start suicide-running and either win in R&D or die trying (usually the latter).
Round 4 of the SC tournament was won with a 13-point Beale. However, that’s very rare. Instead, it’s usually scoring APP with no San San or Astro-token help, or even Psycho-NAPD for the win like in the final game of Elimination against the prestigious @bluebird503. This used to be a two-of, which is a nice luxury, but Wraparound is much better replacement and it’s probably better as a singleton.
Do you dream about making the runner lose all hope of winning the game with a single Psi game? Then play Psychic Field! It gives you all the same benefits of your NEH ability/Diversifieds/Wasted runner clicks checking and the ultimate trap. Runners usually save up their multi-access cards against you to try and surprise you (hint: see that shit coming). Instead, they lose their hand. Brilliant.
#How Do I Play This Mother Fucker?
I’ll try to give you some tips after playing 200+ games with this deck and winning a shit-ton of them.
###Take It Easy Early
Please don’t try to rush out an Astro early in a remote, unless you are super agenda flooded and there aren’t any other options. It’s just not worth it! Early game you want to ICE your centrals (Archives against Gabe and Noise only) and start installing remotes like nobody’s business.
###Install Like a Madman
Don’t wait and stare at your cards before you do something. Just play fast and loose. It will take lots of practice, but the only way to not telegraph agenda flooding or agenda top-decking at the wrong time is to play fast. A normal turn should go like this:
- Mandatory Draw (take your PADs, DBS, whatever)
- Install a Remote
- Draw an NEH card
- Install a new remote
- Install a new remote (or install ICE, load Marked, or take a credit)
The steps above should take about 5-10 seconds. This will take a ton of practice to get down, but will be worth it for when you do want to install an agenda to your suite of remotes.
###TGBT in Archives is Boss
You really want the runner to score one (preferably two) TGBTs. The best way to ensure the runner hits one is when it’s in archives. Note here you only want this to happen if you have some Dedicated Response Teams in your remotes.
###Bait the Legwork
If you can get out of the early game without being Agenda flooded then use Daily Business Show and Jackson to never draw or keep an Agenda in HQ. Instead, you want your HQ full of Snares and TGTBTs and a couple Dedicated Response Teams out on the board. Then start ICE-ing HQ like you are super scared and keep your HQ down to 3 or cards or so. Then laugh in their face when you kill them. BAIT THE LEGWORK (it’s coming whether you like it or not).
###Don’t Stop Installing Remotes
In case I haven’t been clear you should install remotes in the early/midgame no matter what. I don’t care if that Shaper bitch installed an Astrolabe turn 1: INSTALL! In fact, you can force the runner with Astrolabe into a kind of pickle by making them draw 2 or 3 cards on your turn. Now the runner starts with 7 or 8 cards on their turn and needs to (1) check your new remotes and discard the cards they drew, or (2) leave your remotes alone and install/play the cards they drew (meaning they aren’t poking at your centrals for random accesses). Either way it’s good for you.
###Don’t Give Up Points
Maybe it’s just me, but I always have this propensity to let the runner take a point or two, here or there, thinking it won’t matter much. I tell myself, “Hey, I’m up 4 to 1 and I’m setup for the win. No big deal if they steal that NAPD or Beale.” Let me tell you, it’s a big fucking deal. Random accesses have been and will always be the bane of NBN and you are no exception. Only time to let the runner steal if you are going to hit a Midseasons fairly early on for all the tags or a TGTBT with Dedicated Response Team shenanigans.
While I recognize this isn’t the most original idea in the world, I did come up with it independently of other popular decks. I’d also argue I’m one of the most proficient players of this style of deck in the world. I’d also argue that those “other” decks with City Surveillance are shit. I’d also warn you that you’ll probably play this deck and lose a bunch. Don’t blame me, blame yourself. I’ve beaten some of the best Netrunner players on the planet with it. Not because I’m one of the best, but because I know this deck. This deck wins in unique ways that are not obvious to the best runners out there. Once you know your winning lines the runner is at a huge disadvantage.
Thanks for reading, please upvote if you like it and good luck!