World Cup NEXT [42nd, 6-2 @ Worlds; 4-1 @ KoS]

lukifer 634

Grail

I did it: I built a good NEXT deck. It's stupid-fast and fun to pilot... for the seven minutes it'll take you to score out. #influenceisacrutch

For extra style points: when the runner face-checks your ICE without a full rig, reply "You have chosen, dramatic pause, flip, [...wisely/...poorly]".

The Plan

Turn 1 is vital: your entire ID (and three of your influence) is spent on starting with 1-2 turns (4-6 clicks) of free tempo, and you want to put your opponent on the back foot immediately. Mull any hand with less than 2 ICE: you have only a 6% chance of drawing none. Luckily, you also have a 36% chance of drawing three, which feels amazing. Remote is top priority, with HQ second (your hand may be dense first turn). Odds are decent you'll draw into R&D ICE when you refill.

Obviously, you're going to be exploiting the most broken legal card in Netrunner. What makes this deck so crazy-fast is that you'll likely be using it on the first turn, behind ICE, with full credits and centrals iced. It's satisfying watching a three-click runner chase MCA and face-check Architect or a Turing they can't click through.

Then you burst a Field Test out of hand, stacking a tower of power 3+ deep on your remote at no cost, and clicklessly installing maybe-Vitruvius-maybe-Marilyn. By now your runner has probably seen a grail, and is loathe to run without a full rig; or they haven't, and the trap lies waiting to snipe cards and slow tempo more.

Meanwhile, you've snuck a Jeeves on the board, making them waste 1 of 3 clicks to check it, only they haven't had time to get econ rolling, so the 5 seems too hefty to trash. "I'll get to it later", they think. Suddenly that never-advanced Vit is in the score area, with a counter on it.

The runner finally gets some money and half a rig; you painfully drag them through your remote once or twice, only to see an Assembly and a Campaign. Every install threatens a win, and they can't risk another MCA sticking. Suddenly, it's Biotic-counter-Biotic-Jeeves-Food, gg.

The Cards

Successful Field Test: MVP. I wouldn't trade it for ABT if I could. This deck maximizes installables (gonna try to cut Hedge on the next iteration), and with 20 ICE to maximize NEXT, and 14 assets/upgrades, you have plenty of targets. If you have enough money, you can easily windmill the next agenda, or get cheeky and put one on the table.

MCA Austerity Policy: Tilts tempo in your favor and bursts big agendas out of hand, all in one card. It should probably be Restricted, and I feel appropriately guilty about playing it. (Neat trick if you can pull it off: score SFT with MCA and Jeeves, spam a new MCA and use it, putting the runner on two clicks.)

Grail: Your secret weapon, ready to threaten cards they like if they run without a full rig. You won't get to blow up things as often as you'd like, but it does work sometimes, even if just to tax them on reinstalling disposables, or expending Clone Chips, or burning precious clicks to draw back up. I actually want to experiment with other ICE suites, but the grails do work, even if Merlins are way too expensive, and first-turn Lancelots lack teeth.

Advanced Assembly Lines: A more subtle secret weapon, strong even without the 2 free ETF credits. Uses are numerous: bait runs, hide credits to fire ICE while the runner thinks they're safe, spam Campaigns, block the run after Indexing, install Ash in response to a breaker, instant-drop a Jeeves to boost a Biotic. Even if the runner checks naked AAL and trashes it, forcing them to waste a scarce click and a credit while you still get paid is good value. Only downside is how they easily they trash from centrals.

Architect: As punishing a face-check as it's ever been, now influence-free. (Note: it is never correct to intentionally trigger Architect, even to kill MCA).

Jeeves Model Bioroids: It's not a required win-con; 2x is fine. Lets you conserve FA resources when scoring, and is like a Titan/Atlas combo for Vitruvius. It is a mistake for runners not to trash these; but it's so painful you don't mind much if they do. This deck often makes 2 iced remotes, and it's worth icing Jeeves once the runner economy is set up. Hard purges hurt less, which helps with Turtles and Clot. Triple-draw-install is a strong move when you have a window and need to find an agenda, and it puts more grail in hand too.

Macrophage: Slotted in late instead of the third Vanilla to make Turtles and Tapwrm sad, and occasionally kill a Clone-Clot threat. Underwhelming in the rare case you draw it as your only ICE, but it blew out Turtle rigs in at least three games.

Biotic Labor: Because, obviously. 2x Biotic, 1x Archived Memories is also fine, but I like ensuring they're available; I've also triple-Biotic'd a Food to win more than once. Used as often for never-advancing SFT/Food as much as for fast advances.

Campaigns: Marilyn gets trashed by runners approximately never, giving you 6 credits for a click; and after seeing it, the runner will dread to check never-advances. Can also break R&D lock when you need to find an agenda. The Launch was a last-minute addition to smooth out the economy; it's a flex slot, and could easily be an Archived, a 3rd Jeeves, a Fast Track, or a Lockdown.

Food: I've tried running Elective Upgrade, but it tends to make the deck too fragile on centrals, and we don't really want FC3 anyway (too pricy to rez).

The Cuts

Helheim Servers: This deck started life as a rigshooter with Helheim instead of Batty; but I found that while it's hypothetically good, I almost never used it. (Although blocking an Atman-0 with a 2-strength Vanilla is deeply satisfying.) There's also an anti-synergy with Grail, as there's no way to gain the subs from a Grail you pitch (post-encounter, the runner can break before you have a window to boost); and if you try for full value by triggering Helheim on the outer ICE, they can often let the run end and go again. Boring old Ash turns out to be a better use of the slot.

The Matchups

Maw Anarch: Maw makes this deck sad. You'll need to just race them, and jam agendas before they get Maw rolling. If they're on Bhagat, do your damnedest to land a Vit token or two; they're your only recursion. Your grail rigshooting won't work as well thanks to the conspiracy suit, but it might kill a Turtle or slow them down. On the upside, scoring an SFT becomes even more epic, when you install literally every card in your hand for free: WHERE IS YOUR MAW GOD NOW?

Maw Leela: Even stronger than the Anarch match: Leela punishes you if you go fast, Gang Signs punishes you if you don't. Use your click surplus to play around Leela's ability, and try to keep Jeeves safe. Luckily didn't make a showing at Worlds.

Smoke: Hardest to tax. You have to just race them on finding breakers, and tax regular econ on trashes. Clone Chip flavors are toughest; often you can bait them to burn Chips on breakers or Cloaks rather than Clot; or, bait SMC/Clot to slow them down on fetching a breaker. If SFT fires, you might be able to briefly tax out stealth before Net Mercur builds up, but don't count on it. Just go fast and force them to react to your board, even if you have to eat an Indexing or feed them an agenda.

Hayley/Kit: Shapers that just sit back and make money actually do have a shot, but you're generally favored as long as you find three agendas. Hayley's Clot-game is strong, but you can play around it. (Satisfying: "Install, advance, action?", to bait a Clot because they think you're on Tennin, when you were planning to jam-advance regardless.) Kit turns off your face-checks, but can still be taxed on clicks and baiting runs. Unless you need to chew through SacCons for Clot, don't bother purging against Tapwrm; try to run on low credits and just jam instead.

Geist: Absolutely wrecks this deck, especially if it has regular breakers, PolOp to turn off MCA, and Dean Lister to make Turtles invincible. If their tempo gets rolling early with Off-Campus, it snowballs and goes way faster than you. Possibly winnable; I've still only played one match with it and got steamrolled (hats off to my opponent Heinzel, who piloted expertly).

MaxX: Also a tempo race. Luckily much of your ICE is taxing for her breakers (especially Turing, and 3-sub grail).

Sunny: Your best matchup. The late game becomes very challenging once her economy is rolling, though. Gotta Go Fast.

The Wrap

Over Worlds' weekend (paired with an okayish Opus Kit), the deck's final record was 12-4 (should have been 13-3 and Undefeated @ King of Servers; the win was in hand and I botched the math). Every game was close and fun (okay: the Geist trainwreck wasn't close).

It's fast. It's fun. Most importantly: it's Real Netrunner [tm], a deck that rewards risk-taking and creative play from Corp and Runner alike.

6 comments
8 Nov 2017 PureFlight

This feels incredibly poor sometimes. Do you find that you often click for creds during those first 3 turns to be able to score out?

8 Nov 2017 rubyvr00m

Love it! I was paired against you in round 3 I think. I was the guy on Smoke/IG.

You have no idea how low my heart sank when you got that turn 2 SFT. I'm going to have to take this for a spin.

Congrats on your placement with unconventional ID's, you definitely earned it.

8 Nov 2017 whirrun

Have you considered Corporate slaes team? Possibly for vitruvious to give more econ while scoring? Seems like the deck could be poor.

8 Nov 2017 esutter479

Fellow NEXT player, just wanted to say that this looks really kickass! I'm trying one too; no Grail or Assets (except Marilyn, but gotta run 3x her), but it seems solid so far. :)

9 Nov 2017 lukifer

@PureFlight The econ definitely runs lean; but all ICE other than Merlin costs 4 or less, and I let single accesses on centrals go unless I can trigger a hit. This deck definitely clicks for credits (including putting Jeeves in Gila Hands Mode); but clicks tend to be compressed via Campaigns and MCA, so it doesn't slow you down. Our greatest expense is Biotic, which only get used when drowning in money, or for the final winning agenda.

The last-minute Launch did the trick on lowering the econ variance, and I never had money problems after that, even when paying off Mining Accidents. It doesn't hurt that Peace in Our Time is popular right now. :) Staying low on credits is also good for playing around a Tapwrm-heavy meta; we're going too fast to hard-purge unless it's the only out vs. Clot. The one matchup where I struggled for credits was Geist, who repeatedly derezzed Turings with Maxwell James, and had the money to trash every campaign.

@whirrun Corporate Sales Team is definitely a good fit for the deck; but the tempo advantage is generally stronger than SFT, and we can't cut Vitruvius. Cutting 1x Food for it wouldn't be the worst idea, but I hate not having access to a Food when I need one. Might make sense if I found room for 1-2 Fast Track, which I think the deck really needs.

@rubyvr00m Howdy, and thanks! It was nice to meet you, and those were truly great games. :)

@esutter479 Thanks! Crick in NEXT is a fascinating idea, I'll have to experiment with that!

9 Nov 2017 esutter479

I may be biting off more than I can chew with Crick in my deck, but maybe not if I come up against some Maw/Bhagat/Alice tactics. I'd sure regret dropping it then, lol.