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Tower of Defense

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/tower-of-defense/

Discuss the latest StimHack article by @mediohxcore all about Glacier decks here.


I really like playing glacier decks. But in tournaments they often go to time.


I know, I was seriously considering RP for regionals and then last night played an hour long game and was like :-/


I definitely think RP and Tennin are the strongest Jinteki IDs right now (suck it PE flatline). The Future Perfect is awesome in RP but you’re right - I suppose Tennin is a more viable choice for a Tournament.

The fact that all but 7 of your ices die to parasite + 1 to 2 datasucker counters is a good reason not to take it to an event as well.

Agree with all points made, nice article.

Here’s my RP build. I’ve been doing quite well with it recently.

Have brought HB glacier decks to a couple of tournaments, I’ve had some time issues. Less to do with my play as corp, to be honest - my opponents just don’t always play that fast. Plus, I feel like in the early rounds an aim should be to conserve mental energy for later, which makes playing fast decks intrinsically good.

Good article as well - I’ve had some success recently playing a PE glacier style - I feel like the occasional net damage has a real impact, but maybe I’ve just got lucky with it so far…

Here’s my latest HB glacier build that has been doing really well for me - I’ve only lost a couple of games and have picked up a couple of tournaments with it.

HB Kicks Your Door Down v3

Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)

Agenda (8)
3x NAPD Contract (Double Time)
3x Priority Requisition (Core Set)
2x Project Wotan (Creation and Control)

Asset (9)
3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
3x Eve Campaign (Humanity’s Shadow)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••

Upgrade (2)
2x Ash 2X3ZB9CY (What Lies Ahead)

Operation (11)
2x Archived Memories (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
3x Punitive Counterstrike (True Colors) ••••• •
3x Restructure (Second Thoughts)

Barrier (8)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof)
2x Heimdall 2.0 (Creation and Control)
1x Wotan (Second Thoughts)
2x Wraparound (Fear and Loathing) ••

Code Gate (6)
2x Enigma (Core Set)
2x Tollbooth (Core Set) ••••
2x Viktor 2.0 (Creation and Control)

Sentry (5)
2x Ichi 1.0 (Core Set)
1x Janus 1.0 (What Lies Ahead)
2x Rototurret (Core Set)

15 influence spent (max 15)
21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Double Time

Decklist published on http://netrunnerdb.com.

The issue with glacier decks is that against an aggressive runner, in the early game they can just bleed random accesses. Punitives can help turn an early PriReq steal into a win for the corp, especially because nobody expects meat damage out of HB. The other great thing is that you can win the normal way by scoring agendas in a massive remote with Ash. I’ve found that I’ve won slightly more games this way than by flatline, and have won more than one game from being 6-0 down in turn 3 (from annoying random accesses). It allows for win-win scenarios - put a 3 pointer down in a server with Ash to bait the runner down. If they steal it you can blast them into the ground, and if they don’t you get to score a 3 pointer! Typically between Adonis, Eve, Hedge, Restructure and the HB ability you’re swimming in money and can reliably land Punitive/Ash traces as well as hard rezzing the big boys. One game I ended up with Wotan, Janus and Tollbooth on Archives (due to Keyhole), all rezzed the hard way, and plenty of money left over to win.

The main matchup I’ve had trouble with is Katman, as if they can establish an early or strong R&D lock it is difficult to pull out of. Low agenda density does help to mitigate this somewhat though.

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Datapike looks like a good piece of ICE for a deck that is trying to tax the runner, but you almost certainly don’t want to play 3 of them, as they’re totally worthless if the runner plays a Yog.0.
Nordrunner’s “Redcoats” HB EtF Glacier deck put Glacier on the map, competitively.

Had to laugh when I saw these lines together. Nordrunner uses 3 Datapike in the most recent build.


I normally never have games go to time. In CHI, in back-to-back games v. slow Katman, I won either HB Glacier after a 45 min. game by pushing a PriReq.

Long, grinding games, with no downtime between rounds. A severe side-effect of glacier play competitively.

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@mediohxcore Nice article, you do a great job of hitting on some of the finer points of how to play it, and the philosophy behind it. Great job and thank you for writing this!

@spags This. I have never gone to time, but the games can be really intense and sometimes long. So I would say you have to be really mentally prepared to play it game after game in a tourney.

@willlt DP is one of the best cards at achieving one of the points in the article. That is, forcing the runner to trash econ cards before they are ready to do so. It has the ability to blow the early game wide open faster than any other ICE imo. Datapike has the same durability vs Yog as a high number of other code gates, but the mandatory 2 subroutines for non-yog decks is significant. It’s not the first time @mediohxcore and I have disagreed on ICE, which is really why its a neat build. There are so many ways to make it work as long as you play it according to your play style and strategy. Each card slot indicates a slightly different approach to a game, and as long as you can understand these nuances, the flexibility is quite vast.


A pretty good article!

As someone who won a Chronos with HB Glacier I think there are several bad ICE choices in these lists.
The three key ICE in HB decks imo are Wall of Static (over Eli), Viper (over enigma/datapike) and Rototurret (over Caduceus).
If you are running them you can almost always shut all your centrals very early to deny runners early advantage.
You can then fill the deck up with expensive ICE of your choice (I prefer Tollbooth, Heimdall 1.0 and Ichi 1.0).

The reason you run Wall of Static over Eli 1.0 is that otherwise you don’t get enough early binary ICE which enables Siphons/Makers Eye as well as keeping a strength 3 ICE for good ICE spread. Viper is awesome so long as the Yog/datasucker meta is still around, combined with Tollbooth you can create so much pressure on those datasucker tokens to make Andromeda cry. Rototurret is very good in the Katman match-up to force either a Atman 0 or deny the runner Parasites on your expensive ICE. While these are not as taxing as other options, they all try to minimize the earlygame for runners by forcing a full rig while making it harder for criminals to apply Siphon/Shutdown tactics for economypressure.

While “bad” might be a bit harsch, my opinion is that those choices really increases the weakness this type of deck has in the earlygame as well as against some of the strongest and most played runner archetypes while only somewhat helps your already very strong lategame. Also I assume we are talking decks that strive to be contenders for a high place in tournaments in this forum, “bad” is equal to “subpar choice” for me.

While the metagame is in a shift after Honor & Profit you still have to build against the really strong decks and those include Datasucker Andromeda and Katman among others.


@Ilza I think straight up calling certain ICE “bad” decisions is maybe a little short sided. Like I said, I think there are many different effective ways to play this deck, and each ICE you described as “better” than others, I could counter with just as equal of a reason why the ICE I chose is good or better depending on how you try to use it. My or Medio’s ICE decisions might be bad for your play style, but the copious amounts of games I have played with my Red Coats deck tells me the ICE is working great, for me.


Honestly, with regard to Datapike, I think that it’s a mistake unless a large majority of the players in your meta are not playing Yog.0. It’s almost certainly the 2nd best small code gate, and if everyone is on shaper, it’s going to be better than Quandary, (harder to parasite, harder to break). However, I find that against criminal, being able to actually protect your asset economy early is far too crucial and Datapike is much more likely to fall short at allowing you to both protect and rez an Eve Campaign. The flexibility afforded by only having to pay 1 is also important in the early game, where you credits are usually harder to come by than the runner’s, (however, the core HB ability naturally benefits from slowing down the game).

I didn’t mean to say that Datapike is universally bad, I just meant that as a meta consideration, you shouldn’t play a full set of 3 of them, as you don’t want more than 3 Yoggable code gates in any taxing deck, and more often than not Quandary is going to be better early. Quandary is also better for defending against inside job, even after a Yog is installed. I maintain that 3 Datapike is wrong, though I don’t think the card is bad. I’m currently playing none in all of my glacier decks, but playing 1-2 of them in HB is totally reasonable.

Caduceus is certainly better than Rototurret, I think. The only thing that should keep you from playing 3 is the influence cost. If you’re trying to force an atman on 0, you can just play Quandaries. Either one of them is vulnerable to Parasite, so you might as well play the cheaper one. Wall of static is fine, (though I perfer Bastion in most cases), but I wouldn’t play any of them before jamming 3 Elis. I don’t really build corp decks without 3 Elis, acutally. The card is completely amazing. It’s the only effective early game ICE that stays extremely potent versus basically every deck for the entire duration of the game, (unless they playing Morning Star).


I’ve actually been working on a Weyland Fortress deck. Ice Wall, Caduceus, and Chimeras for early game binary ice, and Archer, Grim, Tollbooth, and Curtain Wall for superserver/taxing ice. Hive keeps tempting me, but with a bunch of 3-point agendas it becomes less useful quickly. Abuse Oversight AI to get Curtain Walls up quickly, use JH to get the OAI’s back and Interns the ice you want. Troubleshooters and Ash’s help keep servers safer. I’m using BABW and operation econ instead of assets, but my agendas also give me money so I don’t need the assets as much - I’m usually rolling in enough cash midgame to hardrez a Curtain Wall if I need to. I would love to play this with the soon-to-come Blue Sun identity though.

DP does get counterfeited by yog, but that’s not a reason to not play 3. I am so heavily built to shut out yog on the 5 strength code gates that yog is honestly not a worry for me, unless it’s hoisted on a dino, but that an entirely different story.

There’s not a better card for them to faceplant turn 1-3 (except maybe cad) that I can afford to rez. And ya, I think my meta is leaning shaper where yog is less prevalent.

I honestly think you’re letting yog dictate to many decisions. Just have a bunch of 5 strength code gates and do a virus purge and call it a day. I think its worth noting i think that people are way too reluctanct to purge viruses. In my regional there was a key point in a game where i purged four turns in a row as he was running to get suckers in archives, i was collecting money on eve every turn and he was breaking even. Got me to a point where i could rez and shut him out with big ice and it won me the game. I am generally relieved to see yog over a big rig shaper with torch or gordian and a ton of money. I literally cannot stop that, yog, I can.


It’s hard to consider Viktor 2.0 super good against Yog, IMO. You just click through it and gain a sucker counter. Don’t get me wrong, I like playing Viktor 2s, and Tollbooths and other large ICE to choke the runner’s sucker counters, but 3 Tollbooth 3 Viktor 2.0s is not a reason to throw a party when the runner plays a Yog. Virus scans are definitely a helpful tool against runners who stockpile too many sucker counters, but good ones will do everything they can not to make it too appealing at any given point. I don’t believe a datapike facecheck is super awesome against criminals or anarchs (Yog decks). They’re down $2 and you’re down $3 vs if it were a quandary. It’s only even potentially better if you end up forcing them to click for credits when they otherwise wouldn’t have had to.

A shaper who plays a deck like yours, with Torch and Femme-o-saurus and stuff like that, is definitely more troublesome than a Yog deck for Red Coats, but I don’t think that means you should soften yourself to it by playing >4 Yoggable ICE when there are tons of reasonable non-code gate cheap-ICE options in Wall of Static, Bastion, and Rototurret.

Datapike is so significantly better against Shapers, though, that I would agree with you that playing 3 can be a reasonable call. It’s pretty meta-dependent. If 40% of the meta is criminals, I think a Quandary/Datapike split is most likely correct. I just really hate the situations where you don’t have early hedge fund, you need ICE to protect an Asset, and you’re choked for money to the point that you have to wait an extra turn. That’s basically the reverse of forcing the runner to click for credits off the Datapike facecheck.


Saw your recent video of your RP deck and curious why you decided to switch to datapike? Was this just for testing purposes or is there some other factor?

A little of both. In decks I have been playing 2 Quandary I’ve switched to 1 Quandary 1 Datapike on the assumption that Yog will be less prevalent because of Lotus Field.