By David Kempe
What Lies Ahead, the first data pack to Android: Netrunner, focuses on tracing. Because of this focus, the two factions that get the biggest boost are NBN and Shaper. Most of the factions get some boost: Weyland and Jinteki get 3 for 2 Agendas that help their speed, but Haas Bioroid lacks the boost it didn’t need. We’re going to focus on NBN and Shaper because they are the Tracing faction and the Link faction, respectively.
Shaper got the biggest Runner boost from WLA. With all the tracing effects (like TMI, Restructured Datapool, and Ash 2X3ZB9CY) and Link tricks (like ZU.13 Key Master and Spinal Modem), Rabbit Hole becomes a real monster. Shaper still has the same downsides, though: they don’t have any early game. So, here’s a deck designed to fix that problem.
We’re making a Shaper deck, and the only Shaper we have is Kate “Mac” McCaffrey, so the identity is pretty easy.
Let’s continue with Events, because they are where we are going to get most of our speed:
2 Inside Job (6)
3 Sure Gamble
3 The Maker’s Eye
2 Stimhack (2)
This little trick I learned at BGG Con: Tinkering on the innermost Ice of a 2 ICE deep remote server, then Inside Job to get in. With just one Icebreaker, most servers are not safe. The rest of the Events are pretty standard with a few staples missing. Infiltration has been dropped to keep Kate running fast; she can’t afford to take an action to scout for traps. Run often and keep a full hand. Modded is also missing because we are running a total of 3 cards that come into play for more than 3 before Kate’s discount; keeping a full hand is difficult when you play 2 cards at once. We have used 8 influence so far.
Programs are next:
2 ZU.13 Key Master
2 Battering Ram
2 Magnum Opus
Pipeline is still as terrible as it always has been, but it will protect you from rampant Rototurrets, and card like The Personal Touch and The Helpful AI can mitigate to cost to boost. Ninja and Mimic don’t make an appearance because the deck is very tight on influence. Crypsis is here as a backup for when Archer ruins your day.
Next we have Hardware:
3 Cyberfeeder (3)
2 Spinal Modem (4)
2 Plascrete Carapace
3 Rabbit Hole
3 The Personal Touch
Plascrete Carapace makes an appearance because Scorched Earth is still a good card. Spinal Modem replaces Toolbox because we’re going to average 4 link and running the new Codegate breaker means we will only need 5 MU to install all of our programs. This hardware fills out our influence at 15.
Last but most certainly not least, we have resources:
3 Armitage Codebusting
2 The Helpful AI
2 Sacrificial Construct
Aesop’s Pawnshop is absent because we want to keep all our Hardware in play. Using Spinal Modem means we cannot sacrifice link. If you aren’t afraid of Scorched Earth, you will save money by not playing Plascrete Carapace at all, rather than installing it. Most importantly, since we’re lacking Wyldside, we don’t have to worry about needing to trash something that has worn out its use.
So, that’s my new Shaper deck for What Lies Ahead. After testing it several times, it runs about 2 to 3 turns faster than the Core Shaper did which should win games.
Since these data packs are coming out very quickly, this article is a double-header: I’m going to talk about building a WLA Corp deck as well!
NBN has always been pretty tricksy. The problem NBN had in the Core was a lack of real stopping power; most of my influence with just the core was spent on “End the run” Ice.With the addition of Draco and TMI, NBN has become a beast with real stopping power.
We’ll be using NBN’s “Making News” identity for lack of a better choice, but it is my hope that the 2 credits you get each turn will be used about half the time.
The easiest start for a Corp deck is the Agendas:
3 AstroScript Pilot Program
3 Breaking News
3 Private Security Force
2 Restructured Datapool
Priority Requisition gets dropped because the only pieces of Ice that benefit from being rezzed for free are Tollbooth and Archer, and Archer is going to be much more effective as a surprise.
Speaking of Archer, let’s talk about Ice:
3 Wall of Static
2 Archer (4)
3 Data Raven
TMI and Draco really help even out our Ice, letting us pack at least 6 of each type of Ice just in case the Runner finds an answer. We have only used 4 influence so far.
Next is Operations:
2 Closed Accounts
3 Hedge Fund
3 Beanstalk Royalties (3)
2 Scorched Earth (8)
Operations are where NBN is the strongest. Now that the Ice is squared away, there’s room to really punish the Runner for keeping a tag with 2 Scorched Earth. Everything else is the same as from before WLA. We have filled out our influence here; adding 11 influence worth of cards brings us to 15.
I’m putting Assets and Upgrades because there are so few here:
3 Melange Mining Corp
2 SanSan City Grid
2 Red Herrings
Melange, SanSan, and Red Herrings are all still great. You could make a decent argument for dropping Scorched Earth in favor of Adonis Campaigns or Corporate Troubleshooters but both cards thrive in a slower deck, and NBN wants speed.
What Lies Ahead really changes the environment. I expect NBN to make a real splash in local tournaments, causing Kate to show up more often as well. Looking ahead, I’m excited with where the game is going, and can’t wait to sink my teeth into Jinteki’s new Identity.