Decks to Beat – NBN Making News Advance (Plugged-In/Opening Moves)

In the last of our Netrunner Decks to Beat for the Opening Moves environment (what was played on the Plugged In Tour), we’ve got NBN Making News. Not just any Making News, however. At least two strands have won Plugged In events, but the more common one, and the one we’re looking at today, is trying to win through ‘normal’ Agenda advancement (to the extent that SanSan/AscroScript is normal, anyway), and is using tags just to fuel things like Closed Accounts (as opposed to, say, trying to win through Scorched Earth or a massive Midseason Replacements/Psychographics dump). And

As always for Decks to Beat, what we’re doing here is identifying a common, successful deck archetype, and examining decklists to craft a “typical” deck of that type, which is what you want for playtesting against. As such, these are not intended to be optimized decks for you to just pick up and play (although they are, one would think, not too terribly far off of something you should be willing to play). To get there, we’ll look at what’s essentially an “average” deck of the archetype, and then tweak it if necessary to smooth that average into what your likely to see.

Identity: NBN – Making News

Agendas (~12)

3x AstroScript Pilot Program
3x Project Beale
3x Breaking News
2x Character Assassination
1x Gila Hands Arcology

Pretty standard stuff here, AstroScript, Beale, and Breaking News are part of the heart of this deck. The remaining agenda points can be messed with, but this is the most common lineup.

Assets (~4)

3x Jackson Howard
1x Melange Mining Corp

Here’s where the ‘smoothing out’ comes in. Everything has triple Jackson. No Melange is the standard, but when it shows up it shows up in multiples, so it averages to one. Look for those to go away in our final gauntlet deck.

Upgrades (~5)

3x SanSan City Grid
2x Bernice Mai

Ah, SanSan. The other part of the heart of this deck, letting you kick off that chain of AstroScript Pilot Programs. No pertinent variability here.

Operations (~12)

3x Hedge Fund
3x Green Level Clearance
2x Closed Accounts
2x Beanstalk Royalties
1x Freelancer
1x ???

Hedge Fund and Green Level Clearance are always-includes here, with the other cards having some variance – Closed Accounts from 1-3, Freelancer from 0-2, and Beanstalk as either a 0 or 3. There’s typically 12 Operations, but no ‘typical’ choice to round this out, but the third Beanstalk is a likely choice because it’s usually in the deck and usually a triple.

Barrier (~5)

2x Ice Wall
1x Bastion
1x TMI
1x Wall of Static

Ice Wall is pretty much always a 2x here. Bastion is more common than TMI is more common than Wall of Static, but rounding leaves them all as singletons. You could arguably dump the single Wall of Static for a second Bastion to test against.

Code Gate (~5)

3x Pop-Up Window
2x Enigma

The Code Gate package is tight, as this has used up our Code Gate slots, but we’re still left wanting a single Tollbooth.

Sentry (~7)

3x Caduceus
2x Draco
1x Rototurret
1x ???

As with the Operations, our numbers don’t quite work out evenly here, but we the third Draco is clearly next in line for a ‘standard’ deck to test against, rather than a singleton Archer or Shadow or such.

We’ll want to cut a smidge for our final decklist, because what we’ve got above adds up to 50. The fourth Asset is the clear loser. As noted above, though, Tollbooth really should be in here somewhere. So I’m going to drop the mystery seventh Sentry in favor of the Tollbooth. I’m using the third Beanstalk to round out the Operations, so that could potentially be something to remove instead of Sentry #7 (which would be a Draco), but I think you want to maintain the ICE count for the gauntlet testing.

Identity: NBN – Making News

Agendas (12)

3x AstroScript Pilot Program
3x Project Beale
3x Breaking News
2x Character Assassination
1x Gila Hands Arcology

Assets (3)

3x Jackson Howard

Upgrades (5)

3x SanSan City Grid
2x Bernice Mai

Operations (12)

3x Hedge Fund
3x Green Level Clearance *
3x Beanstalk Royalties *
2x Closed Accounts
1x Freelancer

Barrier (5)

2x Ice Wall *
1x Bastion
1x TMI
1x Wall of Static

Code Gate (6)

3x Pop-Up Window
2x Enigma
1x Tollbooth

Sentry (6)

3x Caduceus **
2x Draco
1x Rototurret *

As before, I’ll note that the influence here adds up to 15, but that isn’t really pertinent for these purposes. For example, if you wanted to add the seventh Sentry as Shadow or Archer, instead of the single Tollbooth, then you’ll go over the influence count. Don’t worry about it. Getting a good simulation of typical is what we’re aiming for here, not tournament precision.

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