The Canadian Destroyer

This article is going to cover how to play Accelerated Diagnostics Boom out of Near Earth Hub, or Railgun as it is also known. I wanted to document the basic combo but also what you need against various hate cards.

This may seem like a strange subject to write about, but I was bored and wanted to see what options there were for killing people who had hate cards. I don’t imagine that the options are anywhere near as interesting or challenging as in CI, but recently I played against a DLR Andromeda deck who packed a lot of hate cards, and I had to think long and hard about how / if it was possible to play around them. It would have been better if I had known what I required in advance.

The current deck list

Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center
1x 15 Minutes
1x AstroScript Pilot Program
3x Breaking News ★★★
3x Explode-a-palooza
1x Global Food Initiative ●
1x Project Beale
1x Restructured Datapool
3x Jackson Howard
3x Sensie Actors Union
2x Disposable HQ
2x 24/7 News Cycle
3x Accelerated Diagnostics ●●●
2x Anonymous Tip
2x BOOM! ●●●●● ●
1x Hatchet Job
3x Hedge Fund
1x Interns
2x Power Shutdown ●●●●
2x Special Report
1x Subliminal Messaging
3x Sweeps Week
2x Wraparound
2x Archangel
2x Little Engine
2x Quandary

There are definitely variations on this that you could play to assist with particular matchups, other cards to consider are Salem’s Hospitality, Best Defence and maybe even cards such as Foxfire.

The Basic Combo

You need to have a Breaking News scored and 3 credits if the runner has 4 cards in their Grip, or 5 credits if they don’t. For this combo you will need 1 Jackson Howard, 1 Power Shutdown, 1 Accelerated Diagnostics in hand.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – 24/7 News Cycle, Boom, and another card depending on what is needed. If you have 6 credits you don’t need any additional cards. If you have 5 credits you can add in a Subliminal Messaging for the extra credit, if you have 3 credits you can add Sweeps Week providing that the runner has 4 cards in Grip.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – This plays your economy card, 24/7 News Cycle giving the runner 2 tags and ignoring the additional cost of forfeiting an agenda, then Boom to kill them.

The Extended Combo

You need to have a Breaking News scored, credits are variable depending on what you need to achieve. For this combo you will need 1 Jackson Howard, 1 Power Shutdown, 2 Accelerated Diagnostics in hand.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Subliminal Messaging, Interns and part of the combo.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – Interns play a Jackson Howard from your Archives, Subliminal Messaging gain you a click and a credit. The final card is flexible.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards, and then play Accelerated Diagnostics.

The Extended Combo allows you to have 4 card slots for your combo instead of 3 in the normal one. This can be used in various ways, for example if you need to play 2 Boom because the runner has a Plascrete Carapace out (this requires 10 credits; 8 for the 2 Boom, then 1 for Acc Diagnostics and 1 for Power Shutdown). If you have the Extended Combo in hand this cost can be reduced by up to 4 by adding in a Sweeps Week to the Combo so you can potentially do this double Boom kill from 6 credits. (Remember the 2nd Accelerated Diagnostics is paid for by the credit that is gained from Subliminal Messaging)

The No Combo Kill

You need to have a Breaking News and any other agenda scored. You need to have 24/7 News Cycle and Boom in hand and 4 credits.

  • Play 24/7 News Cycle, sacrificing your non-Breaking News agenda to give the runner two tags
  • Play Boom

The No Jackson Combo

This combo requires some setup but allows you to combo with different cards. In hand you require Power Shutdown, Accelerated Diagnostics, 24/7 News Cycle and Boom.

You need to get the Boom and 24/7 to the bottom of your deck either using Disposable HQ or Sensie Actors Union, Disposable HQ is the easy way of doing it and also gives you the run that you need to trigger Power Shutdown.

  • Play Power Shutdown for all but 3 cards of your deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – This plays a mystery card, 24/7 News Cycle giving the runner 2 tags and ignoring the additional cost of forfeiting an agenda, then Boom to kill them.

These are your ‘basic’ kills and options that you will need to know if you are going to play this deck. Let’s now review common hate /tech cards that you are likely to see and how to beat them.

Tech Cards

Anti kill / tagging cards you are likely to see:

  • Plascrete Carapace
  • Citadel Sanctuary
  • Hades Shard
  • New Angeles City Hall
  • On the Lam
  • Aaron Marron
  • Sports Hopper
  • I’ve Had Worse
  • Rumour Mill

I’ve Had Worse and Aaron Marron (Without getting to 7 card hand size)

On their own the I’ve Had Worse and Aaron Marron (without counters) don’t necessarily cause any problems to the combo and the Basic Combo will still kill through these. I’ve Had Worse doesn’t trigger as all 7 damage is dealt at the same time so the runner is flatlined, and Aaron cannot be used to remove tags as there is no paid ability window. However both of these cards can cause problems when mixed with other tech cards, which we will review later.

Plascrete Carapace, Sports Hopper, Citadel Sanctuary and Aaron Marron (with enough counters to take them to 7 cards)

Runners with these cards are also able to be killed by the Basic Combo, it needs to include 24/7 News Cycle and both Booms, therefore these cannot be in hand and the combo requires 10 credits.

You can also use the Extended Combo, using the extra card this gives you as a Sweeps Week or Hedge Fund to complete this with 6 credits.

On The Lam

This is quite a good card against Railgun as it is very versatile, protecting them from tags and meat damage (providing them keep 4 cards in hand). However it can be beaten using the Extended Combo, as always you will need a Breaking News scored, here is how it works:

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Subliminal Messaging, Interns and 24/7 News Cycle.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – Interns into play a Jackson Howard from your Archives, Subliminal Messaging gain you a click and a credit, then 24/7 News Cycle.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards, and then play Accelerated Diagnostics.

What 3 cards you shuffle in depends what the runner does with On The Lam: if they avoid the tags you can add in 24/7 and Boom to kill them, if they keep the tags then double Boom kills them, you’ll also have a free slot for an economy card if needed. You need the extended combo because depending on what they do you need to react, and once you have committed cards in the Basic Combo you cannot adapt based on their decision.

New Angeles City Hall

This is a challenging hate card to work around, that is luckily not common in the current meta. Unless they also have Film Critic or Fall Guy installed it is possible to get rid of this card by feeding them an agenda, this is often easier than comboing through. It is possible to beat it using the Basic Combo, however there is a challenging additional requirement.
As always you will need a Breaking News scored before using this combo, you will also need a minimum of 8 credits plus the amount of credits plus Link that the runner has -4.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
    Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – 24/7 News Cycle, Boom, Hatchet Job
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – First play Hatchet Job, boosting the trace as necessary to win and return New Angeles City Hall to Grip, then 24/7 and Boom as normal.

Hades Shard

This card causes problems as it prevents you from using Power Shutdown (as they can then use Hades Shard to access all of the agendas in Archives and this normally guarantees their victory). There are a few ways to get around this card, firstly you can do the No Combo Kill as this doesn’t require you to use Power Shutdown. Secondly you can score two agendas, one of which is a Breaking News, and then play 24/ News Cycle to tag the runner and trash Hades Shard. The final option if this card is becoming a big problem is to play Foxfire in a tech slot; you still need to draw this normally and kill it by winning the trace and this seems a poor use of a card slot in my opinion.

Rumour Mill

You will need to score an agenda to get rid of this in order to perform the Basic or Extended Combo, however both the No Combo Kill and No Jackson Combo will work as normal.

Playing through multiple Tech / Hate cards

Aaron Marron and Off The Lam (and Plascrete/Sports Hopper)

It is possible to deal with this combination of cards with the Extended Combo and a credit lead.

You will need a Breaking News scored before using this combo, you will also need a minimum of 8 (12 if you need to double Boom) credits plus the amount of credits plus Link that the runner has -4.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Subliminal Messaging, Interns and Hatchet Job.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – Interns for a Jackson Howard from your Archives, Subliminal Messaging gains you a click and a credit, Hatchet Job should return the resource hosting On The Lam to hand.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 24/7, Boom and either an economy card or a second Boom, and then play Accelerated Diagnostics. The second Boom is needed if they also have a Plascrete Carapace or Sports Hopper or enough Aaron counters to get to 7 cards.

Plascrete Carapace and Two I’ve Had Worse

This combo of cards can prevent a Basic Combo that uses double Boom from killing them. It is possible to deal with this combination of cards with the Basic Combo and a credit lead.

You will need a Breaking News scored before using this combo, you will also need a minimum of 8 credits plus the amount of credits plus Link that the runner has -4.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – 24/7 News Cycle, Boom, Hatchet Job
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – First play Hatchet Job, boosting the trace as necessary to win and return Plascrete Carapace to Grip, then 24/7 and Boom as normal.

As discussed above, one of the possible changes to the deck is to include Salem’s Hospitality, this card removes the need for you to match the runners credit pool plus link and allows you to do the Extended Combo (1st pile is Subliminal Messaging, Interns for Jackson Howard, and Salem’s Hospitality. The 2nd pile is 24/7 and double Boom).

Plascrete Carapace and Citadel Sanctuary

It is possible to deal with this combination of cards with the Extended Combo and a credit lead.

You will need a Breaking News scored before using this combo, you will also need a minimum of 12 credits plus the amount of credits plus Link that the runner has -4.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Subliminal Messaging, Interns and Hatchet Job.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – Interns play a Jackson Howard from your Archives, Subliminal Messaging gains you a click and a credit, Hatchet Job should return Citadel Sanctuary to Grip.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 24/7, Boom and either an economy card or a second Boom, and then play Accelerated Diagnostics. The second Boom is needed if they also have a Plascrete Carapace or Sports Hopper or enough Aaron counters to get to 7 cards.

Other Options

Scoring Out

There will be times that the runner stops running because they fear death, they will often wait until they have sufficient hate/ tech cards until they run. Pressuring them to run by scoring agendas is the best thing to do; it may make them go earlier than they want. However the deck does have an option to score out using the Extended Combo, though you need to be on match point.

Instead of the normal Breaking News you need to have scored, in this instance you need to have your 1 of Astroscript Pilot Program scored, and have 5 points scored in total. For this combo you will need 1 Jackson Howard, 1 Power Shutdown, 2 Accelerated Diagnostics in hand.

  • Install Jackson Howard (Where possible install in an existing remote so that the NEH draw doesn’t give you a card that needs to be in your combo and now can’t be)
  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Subliminal Messaging, Interns and 24/7 News Cycle.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics – Interns play a Jackson Howard from your Archives, Subliminal Messaging gains you a click and a credit, the 24/7 will add a counter to Astroscript.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in two 24/7 News Cycle and an Interns, play Accelerated Diagnostics.
  • Then two 24/7 add counters to Astroscript, and the Interns install an agenda. You can score Project Beale using the three tokens on Astro, or Exploda-Palooza if there was already a counter on Astro.

Note – If Jackson Howard is already installed this gives you an additional click, this could potentially mean that you could score a 5/3 agenda if you complete this combo and still have the original Astro counter.

Reducing the Number of Combo Pieces

There are a few ways to get around needing all of the combo pieces, the number of credits you need or the problem of having some combo pieces in hand. These are as follows:

If you have Jackson in play you can play an economy card in hand or 24/7 News Cycle if you have a 2nd agenda scored, this can greatly assist the Basic Combo (or Extended Combo) allowing you to get up to the number of credits needed earlier or add in an extra combo piece without needing to do the Extended Combo in some cases. For Example when playing against On The Lam it allows you to 24/7 and see how they react before doing the basic Combo and putting in either 2 24/7 News Cycles or 2 Boom, or alternatively, you can triple Boom!

For Example:

  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Interns for Jackson Howard, 24/7 and Boom.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 24/7 or an economy card, Boom and a second Boom, and then play Accelerated Diagnostics.

Triple Boom costs 12 credits! This may seem excessive but could be needed against a runner with both Plascrete Carapace and Citadel Sanctuary, and more credits than you so Hatchet Job isn’t achievable.

By having two Jackson Howards in play you can save both a click and a card slot during the Extended Combo or two card slots. Similar to the above this allows you to play an economy card or a 24/7 News Cycle from hand, it also means you don’t need to play the Interns during the first pile, allowing you to add another card, this could be another Boom, allowing for a triple or quadruple Boom play or additional economy cards to get up into range.

For Example

  • Play Power Shutdown for your whole deck (Always remember that the runner needs to have made a run last turn before this card can be played)
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 3 cards – The three cards should be Subliminal Messaging or Boom, 24/7 and Boom.
  • Play Accelerated Diagnostics. If you used Subliminal Messaging you also have a spare click to use to play a card from hand.
  • Use Jackson Howard to shuffle in 24/7 or an economy card, Boom and a second Boom, and then play Accelerated Diagnostics.

Quadruple Boom costs 15-19 credits!

Thanks to Dan/Phoenix, Mark/CacoethesVictor, and my hero, the one and only Dien Tran for proofreading this!