by David Kempe
Regionals are here. They’ll be stretched out across the release of 2 data packs, so I can only make guesses as to the best decks to build for mine (which will be after Humanity’s Shadow and could be before or after Future Proof). However, I can make some pretty good assumptions before then. Right now, the game skews toward the Runner. To explain why, I’m going to split the game into three stages.
During the first stage both players are relatively poor; the Corp can put out cheap ice to stop the Runner and try to score a quick agenda; the Runner can run on most ice with impunity, knowing that Net damage is the worst that can happen. The Runner has an advantage during the first stage because all the pressure is on the Corp to play ice and rez it to stop the Runner from scoring lucky agendas.
During the second stage, the Corp has iced HQ, R&D, and at least one other server depending on the Corp/ match-up, and the Runner does not have the proper breakers out to deal with all the ice that’s out. This is the moment where the Corp shines because he can be pretty confident that his servers won’t let him down while he scores agendas. Unfortunately, this stage is the shortest by far. With cards like Inside Job and Tinkering the Runner has tools to hack into otherwise safe servers before she gets her rig up; cards like Special Order and Test Run, she can end this phase faster than the Corp could possibly want it to end.
The last stage is all about money. The Corp will have been building up money all game for the big ice he’s trying to rez. The Runner’s economy is up now to run on servers blind with the knowledge that all servers are crackable provided she has the cash. This phase goes to the Runner because of 2 cards that I believe should be in every deck: Magnum Opus and Stimhack. The Runner has a much better economy than the Corp and it shows when she can run with impunity on deep servers. The Corp has no cards that compare to these, so the Runner should be outproducing the Corp 2 creds to 1.
So, in building my Corp deck all I can think about is keeping Stage Two alive, so all I can think about is program trashing. The effect of trashing a program is arguably the most powerful Corp effect in the game behind Brain Damage, and Haas Bioroid has it (along with Brain Damage). I’m going to try not to harp too much on the fact that HB is the best Corp by entirely too much, but I will be harping a little because anyone reading this probably already knows.
A savvy reader could argue that if the Corp can win by stage two, the Corp won’t need to worry about the Runner’s rig. You can achieve this with a fast advance deck or a Scorched Earth deck. In the interest of variety I will make a Scorched Earth deck next. I have not found fast advance to be consistent enough for tournament play.
I’m playing the Core identity because it’s difficult to argue with the economy that it gives. As always, I’m starting with agendas.
3 Project Vitruvius
3 Accelerated Beta Test
2 Mandatory Upgrades
2 Private Security Force
HB’s agenda lineup hasn’t changed recently. If/when Haas gets its own 5 for 3 agenda or something to replace PSF. Next is ice.
3 Ice Wall (3 Influence)
2 Hadrian’s Wall (6 Influence)
2 Wall of Static
3 Tollbooth (6 influence)
3 Ichi 1.0
2 Janus 1.0
E3 Feedback Implants is a fantastic card. It hurts to have a bunch of bioroids broken through much faster than expected. To deal with overzealous Runners, I’m keeping the Bioroids to a minimum. I try to have a good selection of very cheap and very expensive ice so I can protect my servers during every stage of the game.
3 Melange Mining Corp
3 Adonis Campaign
3 Aggressive Secretary
2 Corporate Troubleshooter
3 Biotic Labor
3 Archived Memories
This is everything else. Funny enough, HB’s good cards are still good several expansions into the game. Aggressive Secretary and Corporate Troubleshooter are going to be the keys to our program trashing strategy along with Rototurret.
It pains me to say that, despite all the new strategies the Runner has gotten from the expansions, Haas’s strategy remains the same: cheat ice into play and trash the Runner’s rig.
Scorched Earth Weyland has gotten bunches of toys. An economy built around transactions means Weyland can focus on the early game and a single server without needing to worry about assets. Playing with Weyland’s Core identity is pretty much a no-brainer since money is good. I start the real deckbuilding with agendas.
2 False Lead
3 Posted Bounty
3 Project Atlas
2 Government Contracts
1 Priority Requisition
This deck has no early game. Because there is an extra agenda in the deck, icing R&D is top priority except against criminal. I’m going to hold off on talking about ice for a moment in favor of Operations, as they are going to make up the heart of this deck.
3 Beanstalk Royalties
3 Hedge Fund
3 Green Level Clearance (3 Influence)
3 Scorched Earth
2 SEA Source (4 Influence)
2 Archived Memories (4 Influence)
3 Oversight AI
The goal is SEA Source or Posted Bounty into double Scorched, and the agenda lineup should only help that goal. Oversight AI rezzes Archers that protect your Bounties before the Runner can find her answer.
3 Hadrian’s Wall
3 Ice Wall
3 Wall of Static
2 Viper (2 Influence)
2 Rototurret (2 Influence)
After figuring out the Operations, ice is much easier since all of our ice must have an End the Run subroutine.
Both of these decks are pretty standard and boring, but consistent. In Netrunner, consistency has to be top priority for Corp because of how consistent your Runner matchups can be, no matter what they are running.