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[NEXT Design] Making It Work


#1

Edit: This started as a thread for my particular version of NEXT, but has become a general thread about making NEXT work. Feel free to experiment!

##Introduction##

I’ve been trying to make NEXT Design work for a while now, and I think I’ve finally gotten it to a good place. It’s a very strong identity, because it solves one of HB’s biggest weaknesses: dying to early centrals pressure. Up to six extra clicks on your first turn is an extremely powerful effect.

This version of the deck borrows heavily from @Nordrunner’s Red Coats deck, while stealing some concepts from Lluluien’s NBN Never Advance. I originally considered just presenting this as a Red Coats variant, but I think it’s different enough to warrant its own thread.

I’ve been having a lot of luck with the deck so far. It wins almost every casual game I play with it, and it went 5-1 at the recent Chicago regionals. Admittedly that was against middle-of-the-road competition, as my runner deck was terrible. But it took a game off the eventual second-place winner (our very own @Chill84), who was playing a very good Prepaid Kate deck.

##Decklist##

NEXT Design Never Advance (49 cards)

  • Next Design: Guarding the Net

Agenda (10)

  • 3 Accelerated Beta Test
  • 1 Mandatory Upgrades
  • 3 NAPD Contract
  • 3 Project Vitruvius

Asset (10)

  • 3 Adonis Campaign
  • 3 Eve Campaign
  • 2 Jackson Howard ••
  • 2 Snare! ••••

Upgrade (2)

  • 2 Ash 2X3ZB9CY

Operation (5)

  • 3 Hedge Fund
  • 2 Restructure

Barrier (8)

  • 3 Eli 1.0
  • 2 Heimdall 1.0
  • 2 Heimdall 2.0
  • 1 Wotan

Code Gate (7)

  • 2 Enigma
  • 2 Quandary
  • 1 Tollbooth ••
  • 2 Viktor 2.0

Sentry (7)

  • 2 Caduceus ••••
  • 2 Guard
  • 2 Ichi 2.0
  • 1 Rototurret

##Playstyle##

I generally play this very similarly to a typical HB glacier deck, though there is the potential for some early game rush in the right circumstances. A perfect first turn is three ice on R&D, HQ, and a remote, 1-2 transactions, and an Eve or Adonis in the remote. You can get out to ridiculous money leads if you make it hard for them to trash your money assets, and draw into your transactions at good times.

I generally end up with two or three iced remotes, one of which is my scoring remote. It’s fine to put Eves or especially Adonises in the scoring remote, but try to avoid blocking yourself out if you sense a scoring window coming up. Spend most of your time gaining money, building the big remote, and defending your centrals. If you have several pieces of drip economy going, there’s no shame in just clicking for credits or cards and building your economic lead.

Depending on the runner, you’ll start seeing scoring windows maybe 5-7 turns in, sometimes sooner. Ash lets you turn money advantages into a huge scoring window almost singlehandedly (though of course you’ll want to make the ice taxing enough that they can’t just run twice). Best case scenario, you’ve got a Jackson Howard out, and you can trigger an Accelerated Beta test. But if not, just taking points is good. Always take points if you have a window.

The fact that 6 of your agendas are 3/2s means that you can install them without advancing. This makes it hard for them to tell the difference between Adonis, Snare!, and an agenda. Oftentimes, you can score the first agenda without them noticing. Eventually they’ll catch on, which is the right time to start baiting out costly and fruitless runs. Watching someone stimhack into an Eve Campaign they can’t trash is always fun.

Obviously NAPD requires an advancement when you install it, but luckily it’s hard to steal anyway. Choosing between a 3/2 and an NAPD when both are in hand requires deciding whether surprise or cost is currently more important. An NAPD on an Ash can often be impossible to steal for a poor runner, even with relatively cheap ice.

Once you’ve gotten set up, you might just be able to spend a few turns doing nothing but installing and scoring agendas. (You can abandon the never advance game for chaining agendas as quickly as possible, if you feel safe enough. 3/2s mean you can score two agendas in three turns if you advance the first one at least once.) More likely, you’ll have to watch your timing, and make a move after the runner has temporarily exhausted their resources. Either way, score every chance you get.

If you let the game go too long, you may eventually get to the point where you have 4-6 points, but the runner can get into any server. Unless something’s gone really wrong, however, they won’t be able to do that more than ~once per turn. This is when I start playing the bluff game with Snare! (and just assets), and trying to get them in a hole for at least one turn. Once I even used an economy server as a second scoring server, making it so they could steal one agenda but not both. While this phase is definitely winnable, it is one of the deck’s weaker modes, so try to avoid getting here if possible. If they can’t really threaten your centrals, and aren’t just clicking MO every turn, prefer continuing to build up your remote and economy to bluffing.

##Card Choices##

Agendas

I run all 2-pointers for a few reasons. The most important is that it puts a huge strain on your opponent if they can’t tell the difference between an agenda, an economy asset, and a Snare!. I think it gives me more flexibility and room for interesting plays. Runners are good at getting in if they really have to, with things like Stimhack, Femme Fatale and Inside Job. Make them make hard decisions about when to use their tricks.

A less important reason is that I feel it makes the deck more consistent. The runner will get some early accesses, no matter how well you ice up first turn. While the agenda point density is the same, the variance is lower, and I’d rather them have a slightly-more-likely two-pointer than a slightly-less-likely three-pointer. Especially in tournament play, I think consistency is king.

NAPD is my choice for the 4/2, because its ability is just ridiculous. I’ve won many games due to a poor runner not being able to steal one off R&D or HQ. Additionally, it gives you the ability for cheeky plays with Ash and taxing ice early game.

Mandatory Upgrades is obviously the wildcard, and I wouldn’t fault anyone who took it out. However, I find it useful. I’ve only actually installed it in a few games, but it felt great on those few occasions. Late-game Big Rig decks are a reasonably bad matchup, and having a way to punish the runner for giving up on early accesses is valuable.

Economy

Eve and Adonis are core parts of the deck. They give ridiculous amounts of money, and fit into the “never advance” strategy of forcing out runs. They’re also reasonably taxing to trash, especially when behind some ice. I often put Adonis behind two or even three ice early game, and turn that server into my scoring server a few turns later.

Hedge Fund and Restructure are mostly there to get you rolling early game. You can get in a pretty bad hole if you don’t have money to rez your drip economy and your early game ice. But you never mind seeing them lategame, either.

Jackson Howard

One of the best cards in the deck. It really should be running three, and I may still find a way to make that happen. Beyond the normal card draw and Noise-protection, JHow fulfills two important roles in the deck:

First, it’s a good solution to early agenda flood. The math of NEXT’s ability means that your opening hand will likely contain a couple agendas after you install and replace the ice, and more will build up over time. You’re not going to score them all right away, so toss them (or all but one) in archives and let the runner get fruitless HQ accesses.

Second, it lets you trigger Accelerated Beta Test. As I said above, I believe consistency is key to a good deck, so I generally don’t gamble on ABT’s ability. But if JHow is out, I can do it in safety, and it can win games single-handedly.

Ash 2X3ZB9CY

This is another card that maybe should be 3x. It turns money into agenda points.

I’ve often made the mistake of installing him with economy assets early game. Don’t do it! Keep him around for agendas.

Snare!

I feel like you need at least one trap in this deck, to avoid the terrible lategame fate of being locked in by a runner who can run anything you can put down. Snare! is a good choice because it doesn’t need to be advanced, and because it offers good R&D and HQ protection. The tempo hit on a surprised runner can often give you a lot of room to seal things up. Even just the psychological threat is powerful: I won one of my hardest regionals games due to my opponent freaking out after hitting his second Snare!, and choosing not to run the winning agenda.

I lean away from installing them early or mid game. They’re great in your hand for hand protection, and you will want them late game.

That said, I wish they were just a bit more punishing. Some runners can afford to run a big server, eat a Snare!, and run again just fine next turn. If I ever switched to running 3-point agendas, I might consider something like Aggressive Secretary instead.

Ice

You have to run a lot of ice in this deck. It makes your first turn consistent, improves your ABTs, and just gives you lots of options for becoming the giant glacier you want to become. I wouldn’t recommend going down by more than one ice, even though the deck is really hurting for card slots. I’d probably run more if I could.

The two splashes, Tollbooth and Caduceus, are both nuts in this deck. I’d run 3x of each if they were in faction. Tollbooth is a huge mid-to-late game tax, and Caduceus is great for protecting centrals. Depending on your priorities, you could plausibly go to 2x Tollbooth and 1x Caduceus, if you wanted to.

The rest of the ice is reasonably standard HB stuff. Eli 1.0 is amazing for centrals (and even remotes, with enough other ice), and the big bioroid ice make your scoring remote possible. I find Quandry and Enigma useful for sealing up centrals for the first few turns (or occasionally making cheeky remote plays), but you could reasonably replace them with more taxing ice if you preferred. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used Wotan, so you could probably make it Janus or a third Heimdall instead.

Of all the elements of the deck, this is probably the place where the most experimentation is possible. I definitely need to do more testing with other ice compositions. This set has been working fairly well for me, though.

##Conclusion##

The existing ETF glacier decks are ridiculously strong, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for just continuing to play them. But if you’re looking for something that plays just a little bit different, while still hitting many of the same strengths, I think this is a worthy alternative. Let me know if you try it out!


NEXT King of England
#2

Why not Psychic Field, since it uses up less influence?


#3

Snare! does double duty as HQ/R&D protection, which I think is useful. It’s probably worth trying, though!


#4

You are going to have to explain psychic field to me, I think it’s probably great in nbn, but in HB how do you beat that surprise tag? If someone clicks through your bioroids to access your hand r&d or remote with snare in it, getting all of your resources blown up the next turn seems worse than just MAYBE losing your grip.

It has a chance to flatline someone, and they may be able to recover from losing their grip (unless it had key cards in it, which snare also has a chance to hit) but some criminals are only running 1 pro co, kati, mr li etc. Losing something like that is pretty much gg.


#5

Honestly, I was only speaking from an influence standpoint; I agree Snare is probably the better card. I especially like the potential interaction with a Legwork. Still, outside of a deck like Supermodernism, I’m always hesitant to bring in Snare, due to the variable nature in the timing of hitting it.


#6

Au contraire, the first thing that came to my mind is that you need to add 2 copies of Fast Track to properly leverage your ManUp.

Scoring windows for ManUp don’t come around often, and you definitely don’t want multiples sitting in your hands. But if you can get it scored it’s mostly gg. Hence, one ManUp and two Fast Track.

(It’s also a good play since you run snares)

Edit: personally, I’d drop the restructures for fast track. Those are dead turn 1 (unless you do hedge/credit/restructure), won’t be getting played for a while after the runner’s first turn, and later on aren’t all that essential anyway (because adonis and eve).


#7

I really like the look of this. It’s a concept I have been playing around with for a couple of weeks, building on lessons learnt from my “Paper Wall” NEXT rush/fast advance deck. I particularly like your never advance approach and using the snares to open windows and create doubt in the runner’s mind.

First up, I think one of the big strengths the identity gives you is the ability to rush an ABT in the first few turns. If you can pull it off then, with the number of ICE you run, you should be straight into the mid-game and you’ve just saved yourself a whole bunch of credits. Fast Track is obviously very good for enabling this, but it is also strong for baiting runs by tutoring for an agenda and then installing an economy card or trap.

Secondly, I think the economy feels a little too geared towards ETF, primarily Restructure. You need a Hedge Fund and to click for a credit to play it first turn. You want to be rezing ICE and economy cards early to take advantage of the head start the ID gives you, but this further slows down playing Restructure. As far as alternatives go, Succesful Demonstration and the Clearances are very powerful cards out of NEXT rush but I don’t think they are so useful here. Spending some influence on Sweeps Week or Celebrity Gift is a decent option but obviously weakens your ICE. Submiliminal Messaging is a good option, as NEXT is quite effective at detering runs.

Thirdly, a few thoughts on the ICE. I found Guard to be overcosted in my rush build. There are two very common cards that bypass ICE and it does nothing at all against the second of them (Femme). I think it has little utility in a deck that isn’t trying to rush and already runs Sentry ETRs in Roto and Caeduceus. I would suggest taking up the slot with something cheaper or more taxing (or both). For a simliar reason I would suggest Viper over Enigma - Viper is just more taxing in the medium term.

Personally, I really dislike Wotan, for an ICE that costs so much money a determined runner can just walk through him and a runner who meets him unexpectedly can just ETR without any negative consequences. Janus at least does a brain damage and ends the runner’s turn when enountered for the first time (thus scaring the runner if they see it in HQ or R&D), but to be honest I would probably just up the Ichi count by adding a 1.0 or two.

Finally, is it worth putting in a single Biotic Labour? as you say, sooner or later the runner gets through and is able to break in wherever they like. Being able to fast advance out the final 2 points to secure the win is a useful string to your bow and if the runner sees a Biotic they are likely to make more costly and risky runs, opening scoring windows for you. I’m doing that unhelpful thing of suggesting additions without reductions though!


#8

I played a game with two fast tracks and it was pretty hilarious. I drew into the manup, so I fast tracked an NAPD and my opponent spent 2 turns gaining credits while I scored it.


#9

Some really good thoughts in here. Thanks, all! I’m going to have to try the Fast Tracks.


#10

@bayushi_david, lots of good feedback there. Thank you! I’m surprised everyone dislikes Restructure, but I can definitely see the point.

I think the Biotic Labor idea is a very good one, and I’ve definitely thought about it. It does seem like it could end a lot of games. The problem, as you say, is what to cut for it.


#11

One of your pieces of ICE, actually. The whole suite needs a bit of re-thinking in my opinion (which was totally not stolen from David!).


#12

22 ice with NEXT Design is already pushing it in my opinion.


#13

Here’s the thing - I’d rather have 2 ICE and something reasonable to do with that 1-turn advantage, than 3 ICE that I can’t rez and a deck full of ICE that isn’t getting me anywhere, winning-wise.


#14

I agree, you want to drop 3 ice consistently with this ID or you might as well just play NA or Red Coats. At 22 ice using the stat trek hypergeometric calculator, you’re 3 icing 40% of the time (64% with mulligan).

at 19 ICE you get to 3 ice 29% of the time (50% with mulligan)

If you think 2 ice will make you happy you can have it 65% (88%) of the time.

With this ID you should always mulligan for 3 ice… not liking the ice you draw can be fixed by changing the ice in your deck (hb barriers other than eli seem too porous for their cost) if you mull away cards you like to start with, don’y worry about it because you will draw them on turn 1 anyway.


#15

That’s fair. Ultimately I just have a hard time believing that NEXT is worth it over ETF here.


#16

I’m not entirely sure the most appropriate way of comparing ETF to Next Design is to weigh their abilities side by side. Instead, humor me for a second and look at the bigger picture:

What are HB’s strengths and weaknesses? I think most would agree that HB takes a bit longer to set up and get its economic engine rolling in order to Biotic agendas or rez expensive ice. This makes HB susceptible to Criminal aggression and Shaper’s efficient inevitability.

Next Design focuses all of its ability on the early game, where HB needs the most help, whereas ETF is a steady flow throughout the game. If you seek to troubleshoot your deck’s weaknesses (which is essential as a deckbuilding process) Next Design seems to be a better choice.

And thus you have the premise of my deckbuilding article (800 words done and not even halfway finished :/)


#17

I understand that thought process, but a small reduction of a deck’s weakness is not necessarily worth a large reduction of its strength.


#18

Fair enough. I still agree ETF as a whole is a better choice right now, as NEXT’s problem isn’t installing ice, but actually rezzing them. Hopefully NEXT Silver and Gold will fix this.


#19

We might not need to wait until NEXT Gold. Mother Godness (on the other thread) is an absolute monster out of Next Design. She’s unbreakable except for AIs in the first couple of turns and then goes on to power up Next Bronze and Next Silver later in the game. I’m starting to think that this might have legs once those two cards are out.

EDIT: Missed the Unique mark (if I have one complaint about this game it’s that it’s so hard to spot the unique diamond). She’s still amazingly good out of Next and I think worth a couple of slots. But my excitement has been reduced a bit.


#20

For NEXT (for any deck really, but this applies to NEXT in particular because of how frontloaded you are), I think there are two ways to build your ICE, and two ways to build your win/con (which are somewhat interchangeable). In either case, the most important thing to remember is that NEXT gets weaker every single turn, like GRNDL, in exchange for a massive head start out the gate.

So when building your ICE, you can either take a rush package, with plenty of gear-check ICE and strong early game ICE. Usually with this ICE, your goal is to rush for at least 4 points, allowing you to use the pressure of being at match point to try and squeeze a scoring window in.

I’ve found it very hard to reliably score more than that without the perfect spread of ICE on the table, but if you can score a 5/3 in one of those early agendas, you should only need to score 1-2 more 3/2 agendas to take the W. You can opt to switch to FA from here, and try to get those agendas scored out of hand. The other thing you could do is keep the pressure up, install in your remote(s), and go for the flatline with Punitive Counterstrike.

Your other build option is to leverage the massive economic advantage you can get with big ICE and using ABT and Priority Requisitions along with Bioroid Efficiency and Oversight AI to just get behemoth ICE rezzed for cheap. In this sense, I think you straddle the line between a rush deck and a glacier deck, the way that I see you already gearing toward, and just make the runner play Netrunner.

I think NEXT will really appreciate Fast Track, allowing you to more reliably get early ABT’s scored, and possibly even chain them out 1 after the other, which will just be brutal. If you know that there is no way the runner is getting through your towers in the next 2 turns, you could even opt to pull your Man Up and try to get him scored.