Because We Built It Part 3

Because We Built It - Part 3: Executives and Exposes

13/08/15

Michael Coop

 

“Live from New Angeles, this is Lily Lockwell”

 

Once again, it’s Because We Built It! This month has been rather interesting for my deckbuilding journey, and more on this later.

 

Previously on BWBI Part 2...

 

In this article, we looked at how making minor deck changes caused huge shifts in playstyles and tactics.

 

Reading through the forums, everyone has their own views on swaps and what worked/didn’t work. Judging from some of the modifications, decks have changed from what they once were. Removing Haas and Mandatory Upgrades is causing some people to move their deck from Fast Advance to Glacier. We’ll talk about this change of style in today’s article.

 

 

EXPOSES – A lesson in building and identity crisis

 

So, what did I do for most of this month? Play Nisei Division. I enjoy the ID, and something about a kill deck really appeals to me. So I played it, talked with its creator (kudos to Kelf for this amazing deck), modified it, played it…and then I started disliking the deck.

 

No, wait! It’s not that this is a bad deck! The deck is awesome at what it does, and is a perfect Psi deck, but it’s not my style. My style is Fast Advance – the sweat dripping from my brow as I wonder when is the best time to start the Astrotrain. In short, I’m an NBN player – as much as I enjoy dipping into Jinteki from time-to-time, I really miss NBN cards.

 

Further, I’d like to share my experience of BWBI so far. I do TaeKwon Do in my spare time (and love it!). My instructor, Mr I, teaches that we go through 5 stages in perfecting a technique.

 

1.We make the basic shape (for instance, a punch)

2.We perfect the movement (making the punch look better, noticing and correcting mistakes)

3.We then use a pad and practice aiming (not intending to hit the pad with full force, just hitting the pad)

4.Work on force, perfecting the force of the movement (making the punch have impact)

5.Breaking techniques on material (by this stage, the movement is enough to start destruction techniques)

 

We can flit in between these 5 stages at any time, and even miss out stages. This is very important for BWBI – translating this into Netrunner, we get:

 

1.Netdeck something that you like and practice playing it

2.Make modifications to the deck in order to improve it. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, revert it.

3.Build your own deck, just aiming to win the game through agendas.

4.Refine the deck by adding alternate win conditions/meta calls

5.Take it to a tournament, refining at a tournament level.

 

My main point of this is that some people may find a netdeck, like to play it, and continue playing with it from now until the end of Netrunner…and that’s OK! Really, I have nothing against you if you find a good netdeck and modify it. That’s what I did this month, and I would have happily continued playing with Nisei Division. But NBN calls, and I must answer.

 

So, two lessons this week:

“It’s OK to stick with a netdeck. Deckbuilding can always wait until you have a good idea”

“Your new objective for a deck – SCORE AGENDAS”

 

For this article, we’ll concentrate on Corporation decks. Next month, we’ll look at Runner decks.

 

 

EXECUTIVES – How to build a corporation deck (BASIC)

 

So, you’re ready for stage 3? Got a good idea and you want to test it? Welcome to building a corporation deck!

 

Before we start, you have a new aim to any deck you’re going to build:

 

AIM 1 – Score agendas

 

I don’t care how cool Midseason – 2x Traffic Accident sounds, it won’t win the game with those agenda things in your deck. Or, to quote Monty Python:

 

“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”

 

In short, your deck needs to score agendas. All with me on this one? Good.

 

But…how do we score agendas?

 

There are 3 archetypes to scoring agendas and winning games. These are:

 

 

FAST ADVANCE – Score your agendas in 1-2 turns as quickly as possible

 

In your chosen faction, there are good tools to do this. Jinteki has Trick of Light (moving advancement tokens around), NBN has SanSan City Grid (Makes all agendas cheaper to score), HB haas [sic] Director Haas (more clicks for more advancing of agendas), and Weyland has…nothing. Sorry, Weyland, you can’t FA!

 

This deck requires you to find agendas, score them, and end the game before the runner can build a good rig and find all your agendas. It’s my favourite style to play for tournaments, and it’s very aggressive.

 

The problem with such a deck is those ‘nasty’ card people are making Clot, The Source, and other such things to stop you fast advancing. You can play some counters to it (Cyberdex Virus Suite for Clot etc.), but it’s best to have a backup. Bring in archetype #2…

 

GLACIER/PSI – Keep your agendas safe behind a lot of ICE or protection

 

This archetype is starting to see a wane in a rich runner meta (What’s that? You’re RICH? Whose funding you, Bruce Wayne?!) but is still good 66% of the time. This requires time to set up your ICE and a ‘scoring server’ (This is a well-protected server that houses all your ‘stop stealing’ toys and has good ICE). You put an agenda in this server, advance it until it’s ready, then show the runner your newly scored agenda. This strategy allows for a greater variety of agendas to be played, as you can spend time advancing them. Further, the runner can’t steal your agenda without a lot of credits. If they do, you now have a ‘scoring window’ – whilst they’re poor, score an agenda.

 

Jinteki is very good at this, thanks to Caprice Nisei and Marcus Batty. Weyland has Off the Grid and strong ICE, HB has Ash and strong ICE. NBN suffers in Glacial mode, as they require other faction cards to be a good glacier deck – hopefully, with Data & Destiny, this shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Problems with Glacier (besides rich runners) is that they make you poor in the mid-game, and requires a lot of money/time. If the runner attacks your central servers and trashes all your Glacier components (Caprice etc.), you can’t recover. Further, many Psi components are upgrades, so you’re at risk of having no Caprice to protect agendas.

 

KILL – If the runner starts to become too aggressive, kill them

 

This isn’t a score agendas thing as much as using agendas as a threat. Let’s say the runner steals your agenda – you have a way to kill them and win the game. If they don’t steal your agenda, you score it – catch 22!

 

Weyland and Jinteki are fantastic at this, using Scorched Earth, Neural EMP, Punitive Counterstrike…in order to kill ‘proactive’ runners. HB can do some things with brain damage, and NBN is passive, but this isn’t a main concept for them. Usually, Weyland and Jinteki have this as a secondary win condition, but it’s important to put it here to show a potential archetype.

 

Problems with kill decks are rife – a smart runner can beat them. It requires information, and non-aggressive runs. Put down a Plascrete, Feedback Filter, Net Shield…and the deck becomes soft and squishy, and reverts to Glacier to score their agendas.

 

So, chosen an archetype? Still not sure? Pick an ID. Pick your favourite ID, and that should help you build a deck to your playstyle.

 

It’s taken 2 months, but let’s build a deck. For my deck, I’m building using all sets up to Data & Destiny – this allows me to build based on the look of a card rather than “ooo, what if…”

 

My ID? New Angeles Sol. Why this ID? Besides the flavour text, allowing me to choose my ability during a game is very good.

 

For deckbuilding, I’ll be using Acoo, as it has all the cards from D&D and Universe of Tomorrow.

 

 

BUILDING A CORPORATION DECK – A.B.C (Always. Be. Current)

 

 

I’ve chosen my ID, now how do I want to win by scoring agendas? Fast Advance/Glacier seems very good. I try to FA my agendas, else I’ll Glacier if they try and stop me.

 

 

Decklist

 

ID – New Angeles Sol (Data & Destiny)

 

It’s at this point you look at your possible agendas. All good decks are built from the agenda suite, as they are always useful, never dull agendas.

 

Here’s a list of all the NBN/Neutral agendas available at http://www.acoo.net/netrunner-cards-list/ (filter by corp, NBN/Neutral, Agenda)

I want to FA…well, Astroscript is always good to FA, so 3 of those. Explode-a-Palooza gives me money for it being stolen, so 3 please. 3 Project Beale, and 3 QPM make all my agendas dangerous. As I’ll discuss later, QPM works with the ‘Buddy card’ for New Angeles Sol. My deck is is now:

 

Decklist

 

ID – New Angeles Sol (Data & Destiny)

 

AGENDAS

3 Astroscript Pilot Program

3 Project Beale

3 Explode-a-Palooza

3 Quantitative Predictive Method

 

Now, I’ll answer that QPM question. Every ID in Netrunner has a paired card – a ‘Buddy card’. This is a card that FFG think works well with the deck, and is usually included with the ID in the Datapack. This is called News Hound, and adds ETR to a piece of ICE, and gives them a tag. 3 of these in my deck are a good start.

 

For me, I want to put my win condition in the deck. Step forward…Psychographics?!

Yes, Psychographics – the best FA card out there. Why play SanSan and get it trashed, when I can play Psycho and make them clear tags – if they clear tags, they give me a nice window to score an agenda.

 

I don’t know how many I need at this point, so 3 please. Further, I’ll need some deterrent for agendas – best play a few Midseason Replacements. I also want economy – 3 Hedge Fund and 2/3 Sweeps Week is standard NBN currency

 

Decklist

 

ID – New Angeles Sol (Data & Destiny)

 

AGENDAS

3 Astroscript Pilot Program

3 Project Beale

3 Explode-a-Palooza

3 Quantitative Predictive Method

 

ICE

3 News Hound

 

OPERATIONS

2 Midseason Replacements

3 Psychographics

2 Sweeps Week

3 Hedge Fund

I’ll pause here and look at my deck. It wins by FAing or glacier. The FA component is tag-reliant, so they’ll need tags from somewhere – especially mid-run if they’re going to find my QPMs. The deck already tags with News Hound, so also needs glacial ICE – 15-17 ICE total in the deck.

 

Looking at NBN ICE, it lacks a lot of good ETR. Being FA, I want cheap ICE, but that’s strong enough to be in a glacier. Let’s take a standard ICE build for NBN:

 

2 Data Raven and 2 Gutenberg is enough tagging for non-ETR ICE. To save money, 2 Quandry and 2 Wraparound for cheap ETR ICE. Resistor makes a good piece of ICE if they’re taking tags, so 2 please. Archangel is 3, as it serves as the deck’s ‘Snare!’. Nobody likes reinstalling their rig, and it makes the runner poor. Finally, 3 Special Offer help me to gain money quickly.

 

Decklist

 

ID – New Angeles Sol (Data & Destiny)

 

AGENDAS

3 Astroscript Pilot Program

3 Project Beale

3 Explode-a-Palooza

3 Quantitative Predictive Method

 

ICE

3 News Hound

2 Data Raven

2 Gutenberg

2 Quandry

3 Archangel

2 Resistor

2 Wraparound

3 Special Offer

 

 

OPERATIONS

2 Midseason Replacements

3 Psychographics

2 Sweeps Week

3 Hedge Fund

 

I have 6 card slots left…and I haven’t even put in a current! Let’s look at the currents available:

 

Cerebral Static (stops runner abilities)

Defective Brainchips (Nope)

Enhanced Login Protocol (Spend a click to make a run)

Housekeeping (Trashing cards to install)

Lag Time (All ICE has +1 Strength)

Manhunt (Tracing for tags)

Predictive Algorithm (costs 2 to steal an agenda)

Surveillance Sweep (Runners trace first)

Targeted Marketing (10 credits if a runner installs something)

Media Blitz (Copy an agenda…nope)

 

Enhanced Login Protocol seems perfect – Replicating Perfection deck in NBN, brill!

I’ll use Predictive Algorithm only when they steal an agenda – costing them 2 to steal an agenda each time is expensive.

Cerebral Static is excellent for current runners, but it costs me 2 to play each time!

 

I can always change the deck later - I’ll put in Predictive Algorithm in for now.

 

2 Predictive Algorithm

 

6 slots for…

 

2 News Team, 2 Keegan Lane, 2 Shannon Claire. This allows me to find agendas and save them for later, gives them tags, and Keegan Lane to trash their programs and keep me FAing for longer. This seems too much, so I’ll remove a Midseasons and a Sweeps Week.

 

 

Decklist

 

ID – New Angeles Sol (Data & Destiny)

 

AGENDAS

3 Astroscript Pilot Program

3 Project Beale

3 Explode-a-Palooza

3 Quantitative Predictive Method

 

ICE

3 News Hound

2 Data Raven

2 Gutenberg

2 Quandry

3 Archangel

2 Resistor

3 Special Offer

2 Wraparound

 

ASSETS/UPGRADES

2 News Team

2 Keegan Lane

2 Shannon Claire

 

OPERATIONS

2 Midseason Replacements

3 Psychographics

2 Sweeps Week

3 Hedge Fund

2 Predictive Algorithm

 

It’s at this point I’ll show you a good deck rule of thumb – 15-20 ICE, 10-12 Agendas should be good enough.

I can now start to modify parts of the deck to make it a bit better – almost like stage 4 of building, but our main aim here is to look at the likelihood of a card being used.

 

AGENDAS – Let’s keep these the same. I really hope QPM works!

ICE – 3 Special Offer might be too much. 1 should be fine. -2 Special Offer

ASSETS/UPGRADES – News Team looks temperamental, Shannon Claire is the deck’s Jackson Howard.

OPERATIONS – Depending on how good Glacier works with this, Psychographics can go down.

 

So, I have 2 spare slots? Best get Jackson Howard out of retirement for Newsround.

 

My final decklist is below:

 

A.B.C (Always. Be. Current.)

 

ID – New Angeles Sol (Data & Destiny)

 

AGENDAS (12)

3 Astroscript Pilot Program

3 Project Beale

3 Explode-a-Palooza

3 Quantitative Predictive Method

 

ICE (17)

3 News Hound

2 Data Raven

2 Gutenberg

2 Quandry

3 Archangel

2 Resistor

1 Special Offer

2 Wraparound

 

ASSETS/UPGRADES (8)

2 News Team

2 Keegan Lane

2 Shannon Claire

2 Jackson Howard

 

OPERATIONS (12)

2 Midseason Replacements

3 Psychographics

2 Sweeps Week

3 Hedge Fund

2 Predictive Algorithm

 

Before you say it, I know:

 

“YOU’VE SPENT NO INFLUENCE?! ARE YOU MAD?!”

 

Nope, quite sane. I’ll cover influence as we go along – in short, I don’t think the deck needs it for now. I’d like to see if the deck works without confusing it with influence. If the deck wins half of its games with no influence, think how well it will do once we experiment with influence. Agreed that a few HB transactions could be useful, and Predictive Algorithm can be removed for better currents, and the ICE can have an influence upgrade…but later.

 

For now, in your corp deck, feel free to use influence – as long as it helps with your deck’s strategy. Each card should be good on its own, without a ‘combo’ to make it seem better than it is. If you draw the card on its own, are you happy to see it? In my deck, most of the cards I would like to see 

 

Final point of the article – this deck isn’t perfect. It’s taken me about 2 hours to build, and yet it has more holes in it than swiss cheese. However, I like where the deck is going, and I’ll modify it as I go along. Welcome to deckbuilding – your work is never done! (Talking about this in 2 month’s time!)

 

Let me know what you think of it on the forums, and I’ll see you next month to talk about runner decks.

 

 

HOMEWORK – MONTH 3

 

•If you wish, try building a basic corporation deck. Remember to have 10-12 agendas and at least 15 ICE. Make sure each card is good on its own, and remember to use your ID ability!

 

•Otherwise, keep playing your favourite deck, because that’s awesome too!

 

 

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