I spent several hours today with a good friend playing ANR, and I spent the vast majority testing many NEXT Design builds. It’s fascinating how many directions and decisions are involved in building NEXT decks, which is instantly obvious with the diversity of the decks posted in this thread. Ultimately, I think it boils down to the following question:
Do I want to use NEXT’s ability to force through agendas quickly, or do I want a head start in building large taxing servers?
This basically answers all further questions you may ask. The former choice means binary ice, operation econ, etc; whereas the latter gives you much better ABTs and sacrifices a bit of early aggression for a more sturdy foundation past midgame. I see users such as @Apo, @bayushi_david, @Crunchums, and @xerxes have elected the former, whereas @peterbb and @PeekaySK have elected to go a more taxing route not completely dissimilar to Red Coats.
Both routes have some considerable strengths. My concern is that due to the prevalence of both Shaper and Criminal, both also have gaping weaknesses. What I want to ask is, is there a way to combine the two? If we can have enough burst economy and cheap ice to sufficiently protect us early game, while being able to prevent an R&D lock and chain ABTs later on, I think we’ll have the ideal NEXT deck.
On a somewhat related note, here’s the deck I had the most success with today against Gabe, Andy, and Kate. Interestingly, it attempts to incorporate elements from both archetypes, though it’s only in the initial stages of development.
NEXT Design: Guarding the Net (Creation and Control)
2x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
3x Efficiency Committee (Creation and Control)
2x NAPD Contract (Double Time)
3x Project Vitruvius (Cyber Exodus)
2x Melange Mining Corp. (Core Set)
2x Biotic Labor (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
1x Reclamation Order (Double Time)
3x Shipment from SanSan (Second Thoughts) •••
3x Successful Demonstration (Creation and Control)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof)
1x Heimdall 1.0 (Core Set)
2x Paper Wall (Mala Tempora)
2x Wall of Static (Core Set)
Code Gate (8)
3x NEXT Bronze (Opening Moves)
3x Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus) •••
2x Viktor 2.0 (Creation and Control)
3x Caduceus (What Lies Ahead) ••••••
1x Guard (Honor and Profit)
2x Ichi 2.0 (Creation and Control)
3x Chimera (Cyber Exodus)
12 influence spent (max 12)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Honor and Profit
25 Ice. @PeekaySK, you’re spot-on about early agenda floods. No matter how many or few agendas, it’s not uncommon to have 6+ AP in HQ by the end of turn one. My best solution has been to drop an ABT in favor of a NAPD, and to attempt to rush out an agenda early so it doesn’t sit in HQ. Jackson and Rework weren’t as efficient as I had hoped in resolving this problem. This deck’s primary focus is to score an Efficiency Committee as quickly as possible behind 2-3 ice (or a double overscored Vitruvius if EC isn’t available). Only initiate ABT if you have an overscored Vitruvius. 3 Hedge Fund and 3 Successful Demonstration are the perfect amount of early econ, coupled with Caduceus and Pop-Up Windows. Finally, Melange and taxing ice assist in shoring up R&D defense.