🔥 Thousand Bats™ (WORLDS 2020 - 28th of 294)


🔥 Thousand Bats™ Argus 🔥

Could also be named 'This Awful Argus Deck', 'Non-Standard Argus', 'Prison Argus' (not really, but its victims sometimes say so). However, this deck is named after 'Thousand Knives' because of the constant pressure on the runner's mortality. I like to explain that it's similar to 'Thousand Knives', but instead, these are bats™ because:

  • they're not very subtle...
  • and I'm proactively doing it to the runner.

The bat™ name idea was derived from Wake Up Call bat™. Thank yous go to all the Seattle crew for helping me find the literally perfect name, and all while getting batted™ by it over and over again. ❤️

The inspiration for this deck actually came from a deck (aptly named 'The Panopticon') that I played against a long time ago on jnet playing a bunch of hurtful cards... Thank you as well to its author Dead Drop (and the beautiful write-up & GIF)! https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/48006/the-panopticon

The strategy is to fork the runner with bats™ until you rush them out or until you bat™ them into the ground. Key aspects:

  • the agenda suite. Half of them MAKE you credits; the other half deliver you more bats™.

  • build a treacherous remote bat™ with typically 2-3x ICE to play slam and jam with your bats™. This also works on R&D against Stargate, just remember to protect the ICE from Hippo and anarch will cringe against the rest.

  • all of the ICE hurts to encounter and most have high strength. The rest are Border Control bats™.

  • Paperclip is in every color of runner deck, so who needs barriers? Plus, it's more fun when the wall is spiky.

  • the runner will assume you have Hard Hitting News bats™ (unless you're in a tourney cut). Too bad for them. Go fast and put them in a tourniquet. 🤕

🔥 When I first played against 'The Panopticon', I gleefully copied the list as close as I could recall, and have played it very regularly since. Over the months, the deck's theme has mostly stayed the same, but there were plenty of intriguing card choices (bats™) that are not in this current version. This deck certainly has some history:

  • Bryan Stinson & Economic Warfare bat™ - ugh... I know... money...

  • Chiyashi bat™ - with all that Bryan Stinson money, what else do you want? Also, great AI bat™ and tremendous barrier bat-check™ back in the day (especially out of Weyland, king of 'End the run.'). When I became more hungry for influence and less rich, I instead employed Conundrum bat™ for a bit. #freetheturtle 🐢

  • Show of Force bat™ - prior to Broad Daylight bat™, this was (other than just another way to bat™ the runner) a great way to secure a flatline alongside an Urban Renewal bat™ or other bats™.

  • Corporate Town bat™ - runner has lots of friends? Oops... they just got the bat™.

  • Formicary bat™ - the ability to rez this when and where you want to can create terrible situations for the runner. I KNOW there's something out there that this could do even more work with, but until it's dug up, the best consistent use I've found for it is piling them underneath the Surveyor bats™ (without having to pay for the install and meanwhile guarding something else).

  • Roughneck Repair Squad - for a while, I tried playing with some tools that could remove bad pub because some runners dealt with the pain and just kept coming. I couldn't justify anything quite efficient enough to slot. This was the closest thing since it makes money as well.

  • Assassin bat™ - the sudden large threat of being both a Destroyer bat™ and an AP bat™ can create lots of opportunities. The unique aspect of the sentries (and all ICE) in this deck is they're not order-dependant much. When Assassin bat™ is the innermost, it still poses a threat to flatlines.

  • False Lead bat™ - ever since it came back into rotation, I played with at least 1x. Fear of Hard-Hitting News bat™ alone is great, but also amazing when combined with all of the other bats™ in this lineup to create lots of various flatline opportunities. Not to mention, another 1-pointer for the Argus bat™.

  • Standoff bat™ - the deck traditionally has had 1-2x as another opportunity to jam something in your nasty remote bat™ (or even in Archives). If they steal, you get an Argus bat™ trigger for 0AP. If you score, you get a pseudo-Green Level Clearance or have a standoff and they bat™ their own stuff (and as a result, now they have less Fairchild 3.0 bat™ fodder), AND either way you will now rez an Archer bat™!

  • Anansi bat™ - during testing for Worlds, I swapped a couple for my Fairchild 3.0 bats™. This led to LOTS of new exciting flatline opportunities with the other bats™ (most specifically the Ganked! bat™ and Snare! bat™... or if they Boomerang or Inside Job it).

  • 3x Broad Daylight bats™ - for a while, I was leaning harder into the bad pub and the flatline options. More bad pub = more death by Daylight bats™, so enjoy some more; play Too Big to Fail to bat™ harder and faster.

🔥 There are lots of ways to turn other cards into bats™ with this beautiful machine. Once you've harnessed the bats™, you'll never want to play softball again.

Thousand Bats™ lost 2 games at Worlds 2020:

  • YukonCornelius's Gnat Fear The Masses mill deck. I got milled after rush-scoring 5 points and drawing 25 cards into my deck with all 3x Rashidas and not finding a third agenda to score.

  • 3Jane's Sunny good stuff deck who dodged my Wake Up Call bat™ prior to me using it on their Security Nexus as a test subject by playing White Hat.

🏆 The Thousand Bats™ play of the day: Hoshiko suffers 4 meat damage from Wake Up Call bat™ to keep their Citadel Sanctuary alive. I then score a Broad Daylight bat™ and relentlessly drain those bat™ tokens every turn. Prior to the final turn, Hoshiko plays a card out of hand with their fully loaded Poemu going to 1 card in hand. I then Broad Daylight bat™ forcing the use of Citadel Sanctuary. Hoshiko thinks they're safe until they find out that I have a Neural EMP bat™ waiting for them.

Additionally, Thousand Bats™ scored out against another Hoshiko, scored out against an Apocalypse mill Fisk, earned my runner a 241 win against good stuff Leela by scoring out, and also earned a 241 win from my runner.

Leading up to Worlds, I made a lot of last-minute revisions due to Leela being so meta-strong, tough to beat, technical issues (looking at you Formicary bat™ for telling the runner you were hiding somewhere unrezzed), and flex-bat™ slots:

  • removed Formicary bat™ for unsportsmanlike conduct with the runner. (If you didn't already know, jnet ability window has been notifying the runner that you're making a decision to potentially rez a Formicary bat™)

  • replaced the 1x Standoff bat™, 1x False Lead bat™, and 1x Broad Daylight bat™ with 1x Global Food Initiative bat™ to reduce agenda-density against Leela.

  • took out Assassin bat™ for another Surveyor bat™. (Cheaper to rez and maintaining low number of tracers)

  • took out additional Wake Up Call bats™ because criminal often doesn't install much these days. (If it was an anarch/shaper meta, I'd pack 2-3x)

  • added a High-Profile Target bat™ due to now having 8 tagging bats™ (up until very recently, there were only 4 tagging bats™). Believe it or not, Thousand Bats™ is successful without the threat of Hard-Hitting News bat™ and BOOM! bat™ / High-Profile Target bat™.


  • Neural EMP bat™ following up a Wake Up Call bat™ or Urban Renewal bat™ (or any other flatline options). ⚾️

  • Using Helheim Servers bat™ on HQ to give them the Snare! bat™ or Ganked! bat™. ⚾️

  • Using Wake Up Call bat™ to bat™ their console... and also programs. ⚾️

  • Using Wake Up Call bat™ to bat™ their Citadel Sanctuary (or other flatline protection options) (ahhh the days of Film Critic getting the bat™). ⚾️

  • Using Border Control bat™ to stop an Urban Renewal bat™ trash and then also following it up with a Neural EMP bat™. ⚾️

  • Using Fairchild 3.0 bat-check™ to deliver a brain damage instead of ETR (causing even more fear of bats™) and then watching the runner jack out on their own. ⚾️

  • Using Trebuchet bat™ to deny steal/trash, and then allowing the runner to suffer from accessing Snare! bat™ or Ganked! bat™. ⚾️

  • #1 HOME-RUN PLAY: rez 3x Archer bats™ and ETR for the remainder of the game watching the runner play credit clicker. 💸

16 Oct 2020 koga

I never play Argus but this... this is something else. Also, description is clearly 10/10. Congrats for being the best Argus this year!

19 Oct 2020 xFWx FIREBIRD

Thanks @koga! I'll claim that title gleefully 😊

10 Nov 2020 Sanjay

This write-up is SO DANG good.

I don't think it got the attention it deserved.

10 Nov 2020 xFWx FIREBIRD

Haha thanks @Sanjay! It probably didn't help that I tried to keep it off the radar until the tournament 😋