Seeking Advice on the Present (En Passant) Val vs. (Friends in High Places) HB: EtF Match-Up

Hi, all.

I’ve been reading the Stimhack forums since I got into A:NR at the beginning of the SanSan Cycle, but have only just now made an account. A large part of the impetus for the decision is that I’ve only recently started to take a more serious approach to the competitive scene. Historically, I’ve been far more interested in brewing off-beat decks because–gosh darnit–I’m a special snowflake. I’m trying to find a middle ground. To that end, I’ve somewhat rejected Whizzard and Sifr. Does that actively hinder my competitive capabilities? Probably. But it also keeps me from getting bored with this beautiful, beautiful game.

Onto the topic at hand: I’ve been running a somewhat standard Obelus-Account Siphon-En Passant-Blackmail-DDoS Val as my main runner, though I’m still trying to make a non-Dyper Haley work, and–wouldn’t you know it?–I’ve been getting stomped on by EtF. In the Sifr meta it seems that many corps have eschewed ICE, but EtF players seem to have doubled down on ICE. It feels like they’re all running 18 ICE with x3 Friends in High Places, but the average is probably closer to 16 ICE and x3 FiHP. I can accept that it’s a bad match-up, but I also think that I’ve been using suboptimal tactics when playing it. Does anyone have any advice?



No advice, but I’ll offer solidarity as another weirdbrew Janklord who wants to win occasionally. Keep Netrunner Weird.


I heard breakers are useful against ICE. :stuck_out_tongue:

On a slightly more serious note: You won’t succeed on just spamming Blackmail + En Passant against EtF. They can force-rez ICE with ABT, and they can replace their trashed ICE with Friends. So, use your Blackmails wisely - each Blackmail/DDoS should have high impact.
Also, include cutlery, if you don’t have already. EtF builds still play some Biorids, and once they are rezzed you can you trash them with clicks + cutlery. Although I still think you can’t get away completely without breakers. As your main goal is probably trashing ICE, not breaking it cheaply over and over again, I would look into the Dumblefork classic Faust + D4v1d, combined with Parasites. And maybe Sifr + Yog.0. Sifr is already super good with Parasites, and Yog.0 means you can let a few code gates rezzed and alive.


Thanks for the reply. I run x3 Account Siphon, mostly because my data has shown that getting it in my opening hand dramatically effects my win rates, and this makes influence kind of tight. Faust, D4v1d, Yog.0, and Parasite are all tools I’d love to fit in, but, as the MWL is now, I can’t. You know what? I’m just going to post my list–should have done that initially:

Event (29)
±3 Account Siphon ●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​
±3 Blackmail
±1 Dirty Laundry
±3 Déjà Vu
±3 En Passant
±3 I’ve Had Worse
±3 Inject
±1 Knifed
±1 Rebirth ●​
±2 Rumor Mill
±3 Sure Gamble
±3 Vamp
Hardware (3)
±2 Obelus
±1 Plascrete Carapace
Program (11)
±1 Black Orchestra
±2 Datasucker
±1 Faust ★​
±1 MKUltra
±2 Medium
±2 Paperclip
±2 Trope
Resource (7)
±3 DDoS
±1 Hades Shard ●​
±3 Same Old Thing

Also, to your point about Sifr, I’m trying to avoid Sifr! =P


The problem with going to three Siphons in these lists is that it means you can’t run three Fausts. You need three Fausts because you need Faust to snowball your Obelus draws into more accesses.

Due to Friends and (to a lesser extent ABT) you’re probably going to have to break stuff against HB. That means you need some combination of cards in hand for Faust and money to use on your breakers. Liberated Accounts is great money for this kind of deck. I’d replace the Vamps with those, and consider finding room for at least two Day Jobs (I personally don’t like Dirty Laundry here, but it’s up to you).

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That deck looks to me to be designed to bully corps that don’t pack much ice, rendering them poor and helpless, using account siphon money to finance vamps, using blackmail for an easy remote lock and medium digging a helpless corp into oblivion. Your economy is pretty fragile if the corp actually gets any ice rezzed and you can’t land account siphons.

I think HB is always going to be a problem matchup for you because you won’t be able to strip away all of the ice and you’re not built to deal with it. HB can bluff agendas into remotes and play the never advance game. If you guess wrong, you burned a blackmail on an AAL. If you don’t keep the corp poor, biotic laboring 3/2s is going to start happening.

Remember “Hate Bear” and its ensuing Val variants were a meta call to beat down yellow decks that don’t have much ice. I think you’ve doubled down on the strategy by replacing the Fausts with the last account siphon, requiring you to find the right combination of breakers in a 50-card deck if the corp draws enough ice, which can be slow. I think your problem with EtF is a deckbuilding issue – you’re not build to interact with ice and will struggle if you have to.

In games against EtF, your build’s best strategy aside from the econ denial stuff is probably to find medium and blackmail R&D over and over again.



Yeah, my concession to Dirty Laundry is to help with naked remotes, but that clearly isn’t the archetype I’m having trouble against. It should probably go. Thanks!


That is a very sound assessment. I think you may be correct, that I may be clinging to a strategy not suited for HB: EtF. I blame my CtM-PTSD for such myopia.

Do you have any suggestions for something that has a solid chance against HB: EtF and isn’t a flavor of Whizzard? As I said, I have a pet Hayley build that isn’t quit cutting it, but I also have a Kate Sifr deck that works pretty well. My issue with leaning on Sifr essentially boils down to the look on my opponent’s face when I Clone Chip into Parasite. Some of my more competitive friends can take it in stride, but others at my gaming store can get pretty crestfallen.

I think a big improvement would simply be remove the shard for another faust. Unless it is integral to the strategy, I’m not sure. But that would give you more chances at one of the best breakers in the game.

With more faust, cutlery becomes more powerful because you can actually break and remove ice on pretty low money, and don’t have to worry as much about never rez zing ice anywhere.


The Hades Shard is there to combo with Obelus, allowing for insane draw. But that might be leaning too heavily on a best-case-scenario.

HB can struggle mightily against Smoke. Smoke laughs at your big code gates. Of course she’s not great against horizontal decks or she’d be the consensus top runner right now. Code Marvelous has some good builds that are worth checking on on netrunnerdb if you want to give her a spin.

In my opinion, Andromeda is the second-best runner right now after temujin-Whizzard/Dumblefork. The Andy strikes back list is the most popular and for good reason. I think she matches up pretty well with most of the field, except for anything with Batty in it. The HB matchup usually takes a little more finesse than some because the corp isn’t going to let you go to town on open servers with temujin, and next ice can be awful by the end of the game. But my Andy builds have held up well against HB builds that don’t have Batty. The key is to keep the pressure on.

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-1 Siphon
+1 Planned Assault
+2 Faust
-2 cards-that-are-not-Faust (Tropes, 2nd clippy, Datasuckers, Vamps all look like weak slots to me)

While you can’t always PA into a turn one siphon (e.g. if you don’t have DDOS yet), it helps your consistency while freeing up two influence you can use on the cards you really need, which is Faust I think. The first siphon is by far the most important one because it turns six other cards in your deck into siphons; this accomplishes the same thing without spending influence unnecessarily.

That’d be my main advice. ETF is definitely a tough matchup. Try to contest their econ early, e.g. clicking through Turing turn one to trash Adonis is fine. The econ gets out of control eventually due to Friends but early on it’s a vulnerability, especially since many lists have few burst econ cards (sometimes not even a Hedge Fund). Archives Interface is an OK tech include against Friends, and 3rd Medium also helps you snowball a brief early advantage into a W.


I’ve been playing a similar deck to this one for a while, although similar to what others have said here I have only 2 account siphon so I can keep the faust. One tech I really like here is incubator, as it lets you build up a lot of medium pressure that they need an answer for. CVS is obviously a problem but you can blackmail your way in to any servers you think might have it and then slowly build up the counters again. Incubator only needs like 4-5 counters to be high impact on a medium, and then if it isn’t enough to win the game you can install another one and try again.

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Thanks for the feedback. I’ve never had too much fun playing Andy, but it’s possible I haven’t given Smoke a fair shot yet.

Do you know if any successful Noise lists surfaced from Store Championship season?


This is reasonable, much as I loathe Planned Assault.

I also think that, beyond deck building, I’m scared to use Faust early because I’m more uncertain of which cards to toss. Money cards are more important early in the game and the deck doesn’t have a lot of duplicates or situationally useless cards.


That’s dastardly. I may just take that.