High Assets - 1st Place SC, Red Castle Games, PDX, Oregon

johnnycreations 587

Introduction

I started working on an NEH Dedicated Response Team deck back in July 2014 while playing in the inaugural Stimhack League on OCTGN. It won a ton of games early on, and then after several losses I decided to try something else. Fast forward to December and after Nordrunner posts a similar deck online I start seeing this shit all over OCTGN - and it's pretty good! So, in December of last year I figure I’d go back to my old deck on (hosted on Meteor at the time) and revamp with all the new juicy goodness in the Lunar Cycle. Thus, this deck was born!

I recently went 8-1 at a Store Championship in the local Portland, Oregon meta I play in (5 rounds of Swiss and cut to Top 8), helping me win my first SC of the season. This deck also carried me to Top 4 in the Stimhack League 2 that ended in January 2015. I also recently beat @mediohxcore during his stream last week, during which he apparently talked shit about the deck being "silly" and "not as good as normal NEH". Well, I'm no World Champion, but this deck kicked his ass on stream, rocked some shit in the SHL2, and fucked all the boys to a Store Championship.

SERVED

Hope you enjoy the writeup!


Corporation decks can be built many different ways. Below are the categories you need to consider when building your deck: 1. Agendas 2. ICE 3. Economy 4. Utility 5. Win Condition/Flavor

We'll go through each category, talk about the card choices, and finally discuss some overall strategy and matchups.

Agendas

  • Astroscript Pilot Program (3)
  • Project Beale (3)
  • NAPD (3)
  • TGTBT (2)

Astroscript Pilot Program (APP)

Astroscript needs no introduction. The recent Chilo City Grudge Match tournament that limited Astrostript to a singleton in all NBN decks shows how important APP is to NBN and the entire game of Netrunner as well (spoiler: near no one played NBN at that tournament). The threat of the Astro-train immediately puts pressure on the runner and gives you an advantage right out of the gate. Let's use this advantage to our benefit instead of riding it to a coin flip victory like all those Astro-bullshit decks out there.

Project Beale

Project Beale is another necessary part of any NBN deck currently. Playing a tag-heavy Midseasons deck we also add even more pressure on the runner by threatening a Psycho-beale win (or Psycho-anything win). Bottom line: 3/2's are good.

NAPD

NAPD is a total rockstar. In a deck with limited ICE, an agenda that protects itself is so valuable. Don't even **think* about dropping NAPD to a two-of. Don't be an idiot.

TGTBT

The standard two single point agenda slots could really be Breaking News if you really want. I honesty haven't tried to test without the TGTBT so it could be the wrong call. My anecdotal experiences (and lots of winning) show that TGTBT accomplishes two things: 1. It turns on a surprise Dedicated Response Team or two (for the win or for huge tax); and, 2. It protects itself just like NAPD in the cost of clearing a tag instead of 4 credits (if the runner doesn’t clear the tag then they deserve to lose)

ICE

  • Eli 1.0 (3)
  • Pop-up Window (3)
  • Data Raven (2)
  • Wraparound (3)

Eli 1.0

Some have said Eli is the most powerful Corp card in the game. They might not be wrong. The only real counter to Eli is Lady (and Atman?), which will eventually run out of counters and only Shaper plays it. This deck craves cheap, taxing ICE that will stop the runner. Eli has these criterion in spades.

Pop-up Window

If you are looking for cheap, taxing ICE then look no further than Pop-up. It doesn't stop the run they are currently on, but you'll stop subsequent runs during the early and midgame with one or two of these guys. Parasite is a hard counter, but that card is played less and less and is probably overrated (troll).

Data Raven

The price of Data Raven hurts sometimes, but is another piece of ICE that will stop the runner cold, and is aruably the most taxing ICE in the deck (assuming they run through it). Femme is the obvious counter here, which continues to be less common as the datapacks pile up and is cost prohibitive when playing against a super credit-taxing deck like this one.

Wraparound

Once Order & Chaos came out this deck had a problem. The ICE above was the only ICE I had, plus a singleton RSVP (which helped give Pop-up that ETR feature it lacked). O&C gave rise to Keyhole, which just wrecked this deck. I needed a solution and Wraparound was it. I went (-1) RSVP, (-1) Psychographics, and (-1) Marked Accounts to make room for (+3) Wraparound.

Since I made this change the deck has proved more consistent, more resilient to ICE destruction, and helps eat up those Lady counters against Shaper (pretty big deal as Shaper is this deck's worst matchup).

Economy

Economy is so important and is one of this deck's best features. Not because it's the richest deck in the world (it's not), but because of how it accomplishes its credits. Here's the package:

  • PAD Campaign (3)
  • Marked Accounts (1)
  • Diversified Portfolio (3)
  • Pop-up Window (3)

PAD Campaign

Core set giving us some love here with one of the best Asset economy options in the game. Good runners will always trash PAD and leave Marked for later. However, with all the other Assets/Upgrades that the runner has to deal with, only Imp-recursion decks give PAD a problem.

Marked Accounts

Marked started as a three-of back in December '14. It's now only a one-of. We just talked about above how we lost one to Wraparound and we'll talk below where we lost our second to.

Marked Accounts is a great card. It's a card-free consistent Beanstalk Royalties that will pay out over three turns. Only Imp or super-rich runners will trash it. Its downside is the click-intensive nature. Brilliant card design, but worse than PAD.

Diversified Portfolio

MVP of the deck and soul-crushing to the runner. You give up early game economy for the best midgame and endgame economy in the game. We'll discuss playstyle later, but use these cards wisely. Sometimes you'll need to Diversified for a net gain of 3 or 4, but more often it's better to wait to gain at least 5 or 6. The soul-crushing occurs when you hit Diversified to go from 3 credits to 15, or from 9 to 18.

One of my favorite plays it to bait the runner into stealing an agenda where you are around the same number of credits as you do. They think they are safe, but then you Diversified to Midseasons for the lolz and the rektz.

Pop-up Window

Honorary mention here because your 3 Pop-ups will provide about 4 to 5 credits a game at a minimum. Not a huge economy engine, but helpful as you build up your remotes to a sizable amount pre-Diversifieds.

Utility

Currently the first three categories have only eaten up 29 of our 49 card slots. This gives us a ton of space for Utility and Flavor. Here are the choices for Utility:

  • Daily Business Show (3)
  • Jackson Howard (3)
  • San San City Grid (3)
  • Cyberdex Virus Suite (1)
  • Closed Accounts (1)

Daily Business Show

I'm assuming you are a DBS believer. If you aren't, then you probably suck at Netrunner. Daily Business allows you to get the cards you need to setup your remotes, either draw or hide agendas depending on the gamestate, and provides another must-trash asset that the runner can't deal with. This card also allows you to crush less-experienced players in a tournament setting to make sure you win early on and get that Strength of Schedule needed to make the Cut.

Jackson Howard

So important for so many reasons that so many other people have already mentioned.

San San City Grid

Yet another must-trash that lets you score from hand. Not much to say here. This deck is all about putting pressure on the runner and San San does a great job.

Cyberdex Virus Suite

This is the other card that took out a Marked Accounts. In my Store Championship win it saved my ass in one game (sitting in Archives against Datasucker/Parasite), but was pretty much dead in all the other matches... EXCEPT it's another asset that will divert wasted runs into remotes and powers Diversified.

Now, you might be saying, "Don't give me that shit, JohnnyCreations, that's the wrong call for the deck." If you are saying that, well, you're right. I threw it in last minute before the SC tournament for two reasons:

  1. In case some schmuk was going to play Hivemind/Chakana bullshit (love that deck, btw); and,
  2. To see how often I cared that it was a dead card in unneeded matchups (to prepare for Clot)

After my test in the tournament I'd say a Marked Accounts would be a marginally better pick in the current meta, but it doesn't break the deck to have it in. This gives me hope I can continue to win during the San San Cycle.

Closed Accounts

One of the best cards in the game that no one can fit into their decks. Usually most decks have around 39 cards in the first three categories and not 29, which make deck slots hard to find and Closed Accounts usually gets cut. I get to use it and it's brutal. So good!

Win Condition/Flavor

We are now up to 40 cards, which give us a whopping 9 to seal the win and make the runner shoot themselves in the face (the ultimate goal).

  • Dedicated Response Team (3)
  • Snare (2)
  • Midseasons (2)
  • Psychographics (1)
  • Psychic Field (1)

Dedicated Response Team

Another must-trash asset in the worst way. In fact, this is the only true must-trash in the deck. If you don't trash it, you lose. Once they see a DRT most runners will also slow-the-fuck-down, which let you get your ~10 remotes needed to close out the game.

Snare

Such a good card and amazing HQ protection. General plan is to never install a Snare in a remote and bait the Legwork FTW. First three rounds of the Store Championship ended in flatlines by Legworking an HQ with at least one Snare and multiple DRTs out on the board. Most good runner decks have Legwork the Snare/DBS combo (to make sure you put agendas on bottom and Snares in hand) is a hard counter to Legwork.

Midseasons

With all the other shit this deck does, most good runners don't expect Midseasons. This strategy works with the deck because:

  1. A runner is usually fairly poor due to all the trashing of remotes; and,
  2. You can burst up in money very quickly with Diversified Portfolio

Once Midseasons hits the game will be over soon. The runner will start suicide-running and either win in R&D or die trying (usually the latter).

Psychographics

Round 4 of the SC tournament was won with a 13-point Beale. However, that's very rare. Instead, it's usually scoring APP with no San San or Astro-token help, or even Psycho-NAPD for the win like in the final game of Elimination against the prestigious @bluebird503. This used to be a two-of, which is a nice luxury, but Wraparound is much better replacement and it's probably better as a singleton.

Psychic Field

Do you dream about making the runner lose all hope of winning the game with a single Psi game? Then play Psychic Field! It gives you all the same benefits of your NEH ability/Diversifieds/Wasted runner clicks checking and the ultimate trap. Runners usually save up their multi-access cards against you to try and surprise you (hint: see that shit coming). Instead, they lose their hand. Brilliant.

How Do I Play This Mother Fucker?

I'll try to give you some tips after playing 200+ games with this deck and winning a shit-ton of them.

Take It Easy Early

Please don't try to rush out an Astro early in a remote, unless you are super agenda flooded and there aren’t any other options. It's just not worth it! Early game you want to ICE your centrals (Archives against Gabe and Noise only) and start installing remotes like nobody's business.

Install Like a Madman

Don’t wait and stare at your cards before you do something. Just play fast and loose. It will take lots of practice, but the only way to not telegraph agenda flooding or agenda top-decking at the wrong time is to play fast. A normal turn should go like this:

  1. Mandatory Draw (take your PADs, DBS, whatever)
  2. Install a Remote
  3. Draw an NEH card
  4. Install a new remote
  5. Install a new remote (or install ICE, load Marked, or take a credit)
  6. Pass

The steps above should take about 5-10 seconds. This will take a ton of practice to get down, but will be worth it for when you do want to install an agenda to your suite of remotes.

TGBT in Archives is Boss

You really want the runner to score one (preferably two) TGBTs. The best way to ensure the runner hits one is when it's in archives. Note here you only want this to happen if you have some Dedicated Response Teams in your remotes.

Bait the Legwork

If you can get out of the early game without being Agenda flooded then use Daily Business Show and Jackson to never draw or keep an Agenda in HQ. Instead, you want your HQ full of Snares and TGTBTs and a couple Dedicated Response Teams out on the board. Then start ICE-ing HQ like you are super scared and keep your HQ down to 3 or cards or so. Then laugh in their face when you kill them. BAIT THE LEGWORK (it's coming whether you like it or not).

Don't Stop Installing Remotes

In case I haven't been clear you should install remotes in the early/midgame no matter what. I don't care if that Shaper bitch installed an Astrolabe turn 1: INSTALL! In fact, you can force the runner with Astrolabe into a kind of pickle by making them draw 2 or 3 cards on your turn. Now the runner starts with 7 or 8 cards on their turn and needs to (1) check your new remotes and discard the cards they drew, or (2) leave your remotes alone and install/play the cards they drew (meaning they aren’t poking at your centrals for random accesses). Either way it's good for you.

Don't Give Up Points

Maybe it's just me, but I always have this propensity to let the runner take a point or two, here or there, thinking it won't matter much. I tell myself, "Hey, I'm up 4 to 1 and I'm setup for the win. No big deal if they steal that NAPD or Beale." Let me tell you, it's a big fucking deal. Random accesses have been and will always be the bane of NBN and you are no exception. Only time to let the runner steal if you are going to hit a Midseasons fairly early on for all the tags or a TGTBT with Dedicated Response Team shenanigans.

Final Thoughts

While I recognize this isn't the most original idea in the world, I did come up with it independently of other popular decks. I'd also argue I'm one of the most proficient players of this style of deck in the world. I'd also argue that those "other" decks with City Surveillance are shit. I'd also warn you that you'll probably play this deck and lose a bunch. Don't blame me, blame yourself. I've beaten some of the best Netrunner players on the planet with it. Not because I'm one of the best, but because I know this deck. This deck wins in unique ways that are not obvious to the best runners out there. Once you know your winning lines the runner is at a huge disadvantage.

Thanks for reading, please upvote if you like it and good luck!

*JohnnyCreations

34 comments
22 Feb 2015 S4MS0N

Is there a link to the video of you beating Dan? :)

22 Feb 2015 bluebird503

Best deck

22 Feb 2015 Karnek

I tried this out against a friend of mine and I had 3 DRTs installed when he legworked into HQ and I had a snare in hand. Oh the fun that was had.

What was your reasoning for 2 data ravens with 3 wraparound vs switching those around? I would think the mandatory tag from raven would always trump a 1 credit to break wraparound once corroder hits the table. Especially since they can end up in a situation where they can't afford to run on the remote since it might kill them.

A few things I had success with in a deck like this in the past would be bernice mai where they have a trace 5 for a tag, and the new trap ice behind a data raven that makes the runner empty their credit pool.

23 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

@S4MS0N Here's the link: www.twitch.tv - it's the first game of the stream.

Thanks, @bluebird503! :D

@Karnek - Everytime I've tested 3 Data Ravens it's all bad. Once I hit a Midseasons Data Raven is dead and it's the most expensive piece of ICE in the deck as well pre-Diversifieds. I'm not afraid of Corroder decks because they will need to be checking my shitload of remotes (if they don't I probably win).

Bernice Mai is a great card, but I would need to cut something else and don't feel she is worth it. Universal Connectivity Fee is a cool card, but a bit too combo-ey for me in an already combo-ey deck. I just want my ICE to work. No games on the ICE side.

23 Feb 2015 ItJustGotRielle

For several weeks, in the back of my head, I'm thinking to myself about how to get this type of deck to be "actually competitive". The last couple of days I try a variety of things, but every build feels like it has too much of x, not enough of y. Suddenly, like a shining beam of light from above, comes a deck that contains every individual piece of the NEH DRT-style deck that I love, put together, and in the proper ratios. The first time I played it, every card I wished I had was already installed in a remote, and with as clunky as it looked the speed of NBN demanded that the runner come and deal with me NOW, which is exactly what is missing from most decks of this sort. @johnnycreations is an American Hero and I endorse him; thank you for sharing this, and godspeed.

23 Feb 2015 grogboxer

needs more burke bugs

23 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

@ItJustGotRielle - I'm assuming you are trolling me, and for that I thank you wholeheartedly. I just hope you actually played the deck and it made your day just a little bit better.

@grogboxer - just no.

23 Feb 2015 ItJustGotRielle

@johnnycreations Nope I love this deck. I have no idea how to use it (99% of the hundreds of games i've played the last couple years have been Weyland) and I'm 3 - 1 with it on octgn, which is downright silly. The draw speed is hilarious and with no econ I somehow always have enough credits to Midseason and pay for Snare. It makes no sense but I'm not complaining, because people keep dying :P

23 Feb 2015 Sojourne

hm what are your thoughts on somehow jiggling the influence around to accommodate Architect?

23 Feb 2015 SSniper050

@johnnycreations Congrats on the win man, my horizontal NEH deck is quite similar to this, save for mine is packing sweep weeks, which I find quite solid to help get things rolling just that bit faster. What is your take on Sweeps Week?

23 Feb 2015 Glitch

Congrats on your win! Always great to see another NEARPAD variant do so well. This style of NEH has quickly become my favourite style of deck and is a lot more powerful than people give it credit.

23 Feb 2015 mmychal

On the turns where you do your 5-10 second install/install/do something turn ... if you did install an agenda somewhere and they didn't run it, are you scoring it immediately on your next turn most of the time?

I guess a better thing to ask is - how are you usually scoring your points? Naked agenda installs that they didn't run? Fast advance through San San? Psychographics? Or does it vary a lot from game to game?

23 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

@ItJustGotRielle - I hope you keep winning!

@SSniper050 - Sweeps Week is a great card, but you are losing way too much burst and kill potential by not having Diversifieds. Now, if you have both cards in your deck...I'd assume you care cutting remote assets, which make your Diversifieds worse and relieves pressure from the runner.

Thanks, @Glitch!

@mmychal - I rarely score an agenda right away that I just installed naked. Unless I'm extremely agenda-flooded. I've found that if you ignore your remotes and just play your hand and R&D then the runner will do the same.

It's so hard to say how I usually win. It's honestly every which-way and that's why the deck is so fun/hard to play. You'll rarely win the same way twice and you are usually super close to losing. :P

23 Feb 2015 SSniper050

I do run both, 3 sweeps, 2 DPoLio, I may try it without sweeps, just such a good turn 1 vs Andy, who's already a tough match vs this deck and getting ahead of her helps alot.

23 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

You definitely have a better econ, but you also have to cut 2 ICE/Assets/Tricks, which may hurt your late game.

24 Feb 2015 TechnoZ

Hey johnnycreations, congrats on the win! I really love NEARPAD variants and this list is no different but I did have a couple of questions.

  1. How often did SanSan help you FA out some points? Most people keep SanSan out of heavy assets + snare because you can simply lay down an astro and they often won't run it for fear of it being a snare that instantly loses the game. SanSan is also extremely expensive and I was just wondering if you would change how many you include (or the inclusion altogether)

  2. Did you feel that Midseasons was more successful than say...City surveillance would be? Considering I can't image you are firing Midseasons every game and CS is cheaper.

24 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

Taking San San City Grids out (or reducing them) would be a horrible idea.

Taking Midseason Replacements out and replacing with City Surveillance would be an even worse decision. Midseasons might be more expensive (assuming you boost), but the payoff is way better.

24 Feb 2015 TechnoZ

You ignored the actual questions completely, how often were SanSanCG and Midseasons useful in the tournament?

24 Feb 2015 Saan

As a dude who lost to midseasons in that very tourney, I can tell you it worked at least once =P

25 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

San San and Midseason and essential win-conditions for the deck.

26 Feb 2015 Glitch

Have you considered, or already tested, Information Overload in this deck?

26 Feb 2015 PaxCecilia

I love seeing no Hedge Fund in this deck, Diversified Portfolio is stupidly good. I've played a decent amount of Toomin's N.E.A.R.P.A.D. deck, and while I think that City Surveillance's effectiveness can certainly be argued against, I can intuitively see the strengths of this deck.

The point you made about playing your turn quickly so as to not telegraph your moves: you're 100% correct. If you take even 2-3 seconds more than your recommendation to play your turn, it gives everything away, whether you're flooded or not. This might not be true against all opponents, but personally people in my area are very talented at reading tells and it will lose you games.

26 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

@Glitch - I think I may have played a few games with it months ago. Basically, you don't want to have to combo with your ICE in this deck, it just needs to work. RSVP was in the deck for a while and even that was too combo-ey. So, yes - I have considered and tested with it and it doesn't seem worth it.

27 Feb 2015 ccie8020

ANR Newb here. I've been using an NEH "Astro-bullshit" deck to learn on just long enough to know I hate it. This deck seems to keep everything I like about it and fix the things I loathe (like being defenseless when the runner has the tempo.) I also have a naturally tendency to build out lots of remotes with NEH which this deck just amplifies. I can't wait to start playing it.

Your instructions on how to pilot it are awesome but I was wondering if you could do an "icing strategy for newbs" specific to this build. Do you ice any of the remotes or is it all for the centrals? Are there any specific assets you try and protect if they are trashing Pads, Jacksons, or DBS... Thanks!

27 Feb 2015 johnnycreations

@ccie8020 - General ICEing strategy is to ICE your centrals and not your remotes. If you ever protect assets it will be San San or DRT. Hope this helps!

28 Feb 2015 ccie8020

This deck is hysterical! Only played 4 times and have already hit a 13 point Beale and then flipped 3 DRTs after they decided it was OK to float the tags on a siphon and run HQ again. It's funny, the sheer number of servers just wears them down.

The other two times I hit imp recursion decks and didn't fair so well. Any suggestion on these?

28 Feb 2015 Kroen
  1. What should I swap Psychic Field for if I don't like traps?
  2. And what about Cyberdex if I don't have O&C?
28 Feb 2015 ccie8020

I went the other direction. This deck is a monster but the key seems to be getting as many servers out as possible. If they don't check every server, they are toast. So I tried the following:

-3 Eli (best breaker but frees up influence) +1 Quandry +2 Wall of static -1 Marked (they wait till you click then trash it) -1 SanSan City Grid (this card is the 2nd best in the deck, but need to punish) -1 Cyberdex +1 Plan B +1 Cerebral Overwriter +1 Project Junebug

So far once they see one or two of these along with the snares and Psychic they seem to focus back on R&D and let you do your thing.

8 Mar 2015 rojazu

Testing this deck out now.... Its a lot of fun to play. Have a few ideas you may have looked at already?

Psychic field vs traffic accident. I havent had anyone faceplant into the field yet and by late game they are normally going tagme. Wonder if it might be a better choice.

Messing around with the influence spread, by dropping psychic field and the 3 eli for some neutral barriers/enigma and 2 hostile infrastructure. I just love the flavour of that card. Not sure if it work because so far ive seen runners are not trashing anyway because they are too poor.

9 Mar 2015 johnnycreations

@ccie8020 @rogedavi - Both of you guys suggest getting rid of Eli's, which seems like a bad decision, but worth testing I guess?

I haven't tested Traffic Accident yet, but it seems good. The problem is the card does just a "little" damage and takes deckslots. In my experience, really good runners will check all your remotes, so in that case Psychic Field is way better than Traffic Accident.

Once they hit a Psychic Field they will have to slow down on your remotes.

9 Mar 2015 rojazu

Eli is amazing, but its a question of influence. I was looking at rainbow which is the closest comparative ice for zero influence, and taxes most breakers 3 (eli is 4). So i thought a slight weakening there could open up 3 influence and fund another hellish asset. Dropping the psychic field opens up space for 2 hostile infrastructure which would be a great counter to any imp/keyhole shenanigans and makes DRTs harder to trash.

10 Mar 2015 PaxCecilia

Don't forget to consider the credit cost of swapping out Psychic Fields with a 5 asset!

10 Mar 2015 rojazu

@PaxCecilia this is exactly what i found. with even more assets/upgrades and the reliance on Div Portfolio meant that we have great late game econ and virtually no early game econ in the Hostile Infrastructure version. im going to try adding in a couple of sweeps to see if this alleviates the problem.

29 Mar 2015 johnnycreations

See new 1.1 version that went 7-1 yesterday at a store champ. :)