NEXT best thing...

Jashay 705

Okay, so this is a NEXT design list I've been tinkering with for a while. I don't think it's quite there; it needs a more elegant solution for its money problems as it stands.

I chose a NEXT design deck because I don't like traditional rush strategies. I often find that a pure rush deck tends to be so finely tuned that minor disruptions can often lead to major problems. NEXT, by contrast, can be Iced up and ready to roll turn one. It is not uncommon for this deck to end the first turn with one ice on R&D, one on HQ, two on a remote, and an agenda installed. You can then often outright score that agenda whilst the runner is still finding their feet. You should then be able to use this early advantage to stay ahead, particularly if you scored a good ABT or Mandatory Upgrades.


ICE: Ice is the alpha and omega of this deck, so this took a bit of getting right. If I'm trying to score an early agenda, I need the runner to be stopped dead, and I need to be able to do so without crippling my early economy. Thus, all the ice has ETR except Janus, and over 2/3 of it costs 3 or less. Thus, if I get either of the economy operations, I should be able to rez at least two bits of ice and still score a 3pt agenda next turn, more or less.

When NEXT silver comes out, it will replace Wall of Static, no questions asked. The sentry suite needs work, but there are very few that end runs cheaply. Draco is a bit too porous.

Wotan, Heimdall and Janus are all potential ABT winners.

Agendas: ABT is a beast in this deck; add another layer to your centrals, start a new remote, whatever. Yes, you will dump an agenda (at least, I usually do) occasionally, but I took JH out of the deck because it didn't happen enough to worry me. Also, this deck can often overscore Vitruvius, so it's not always totally bleak. The Mandatory Upgrades used to be Efficiency Committees, but I kept finding that I wanted to advance cards with the extra clicks. I gave it a shot, and to be honest the MU's were only slightly harder to score than the Committees. If you can score one, then you can score 8 of the remaining 10 agendas out of hand. Gila Hands Arcology is, as yet, untested, but I'm hoping it will add some much needed economy to this deck

OPERATIONS: Get money. Beanstalks used to be GLC, but I never really needed the extra card, but I frequently need the extra credit. I tried Sweeps week, but found it a bit intermittent. The only non-operation I think this deck could use is Power Shutdown, but space is so tight.

ASSETS and UPGRADES: Ash, of course is groovy. I wish I could fit a third one in... this is the only change for which I would consider dropping ICE. PCs has been Melange and Adonis in its time; still not settled on which. Melange is better burst, but too easy to trash. Adonis is passive, but can only give me a limited amount a turn. Director Haas is a card that I either discard when I see it because the time isn't right, or use to win the game. The reward is easily worth the risk if you can protect her even vaguely well for a turn or two.

HOW I PLAY: Get four bits of ice down by the end of the first turn, with some money, and an agenda behind it. Turn two, score the agenda; ABT for preference. If you think your opponent might take more than 2 turns to set up, then think about MU. If you score that early you'll almost certainly win. Beyond that, keep an eye on your money, as it will be low. I rarely needed to set up more than one remote server, unless ABT made it seem attractive.

23 May 2014 Thike

Something I've been loving in my very similar deck is Hive. If you can plant it in front of that first turn agenda, its is extremely unlikely that they can stop you. Also, Inazuma. Great for reactivating rototurrets.

How has Haas been working? I'm currently running 1x Biotic Labour. Worth the risk?

23 May 2014 Jashay

Those are good suggestions! I especially like Inazuma... Worth including at least one. More than that and I'd worry about drawing them in the starting hand too often, where they are less useful. I avoided hive because of the cost; at 5, if I get it first turn, I can only rez that and score the agenda if I get a money operation, whereas normally I can rez 2 or sometimes 3. However, it would certainly be good for the follow-up agenda in the server, as it would still have 3-4 subroutines... Hmm. I'll have to give it a shot; I've talked myself round to it!

Haas is risky, no doubt. Against some runners, it's probably better to just dump her in archives where she is safe. But if you can get two turns use out of her, by putting her in a chunky server with Ash, she pays dividends in no time. I would say Biotic is lower risk, lower reward. It will work every time you get it. Haas will either need to be put aside, or give you a massive advantage for as long as you can keep her.

Also, sometimes ABT will let you drop and rez a server with, say, Wotan on turn 2. It would be rude not to have something good to put there!

24 May 2014 Thike

Something else I haven't tried but might be worth looking at: Successful Demonstration. With most runs ending in failure in the early game, it's a nice boost of credits. Doesn't help you first turn, of course.

Also, is Ice Wall a better splash than Wraparound? 1 more rez cost, for more hate on AI breakers, which can really mess with the rush.

24 May 2014 Jashay

Successful demonstration is a sod to use. More power to you if you can get it to work, (I couldn't) but it only has a limited window of viability. As you say, it is no use first turn, but I have used it between about turns 2-4. After that point, they've scoped out the ice enough that they just bide their time and pick their runs. The deck doesn't have the tricks to foil them. I'll take the +3 of Beanstalk over the very situational +5 of SD.

Wraparound is one I'm on the fence (barrier?) about. It really does mess with AI breakers, but I'm seeing less and less of them. Between this and Swordsman people always have a backup these days. Of course, making them go find their backup is golden as it gives you more time.

That said, Ice wall transitions better into the late game, as you can boost it to make runs a bit more taxing. I certainly wouldn't drop them entirely. I think I'd be more inclined to drop a Caduceus and a wall of Static to put two in

27 May 2014 Thike

So I've been working on my version more, and while the ICE package never feels quite right, a few things I've found to be great:

-1x of each Junebug and Aggressive Secretary. Win, reset, or scare your opponent.

-Vitruvius => Project Ares. Given that I rarely over-scored Vitruvius unless I was waiting on other agendas anyways, I decided to give this a shot. Oh wow, is it good. With two different ETR ICE on the rush-score server, you score this like you would a ManUp. Trash two cards, reset the rush. Bad Pub hasn't been an issue yet.

-I've been trying without Hive, and while I can rez more ICE, I'm missing the stopping power. Currently waffling between 1x and 2x.

-Inazuma is still gold.

27 May 2014 Jashay

An earlier version of this deck did have aggressive secretaries in it, but I could never get people to run them. What would you drop from this version to accommodate them?

Ooh, I like that idea. I was just thinking the other day that it was strange I'd never tried Ares. I'll try swapping out the Vitruvii, see how that goes, but I do like being able to play and score Vitruvius in one turn if I've got Haas or MU around. But being able to trash their rig might be handier...

I swapped Caduceus for Hive. It did the job most of the time, but I've often scored one or two agendas so quickly I couldn't really see it as an advantage over Ice Wall. That said, it totally saved my ass when I had a super-slow start, so I'm going to keep at least one in until I've got some more games under my belt with it.

I'm not having much luck with Inazuma, to be honest! I keep getting it in my starting hand, which is annoying. But even apart from that, most ice it triggers into is just ETR. Janus and Heimdall are rarely rezzed outside of ABT, and apart from them it's just Rototurret and Fenris that are punishing. As with Hive, I'll keep trying with it, as it has had some successes. Mostly, I'm loving that it's Yogproof.

27 May 2014 Thike

Once your running the two big agendas, you start spending more time slowly advancing things. Especially once they've seen a MU or PA its rather believable. I'm also only running 1x of each, so they're always a surprise. Also, having a an runner see Junebug, then be too scared to run an Ares while you over advance it is great.

When Inazuma is in my opening hand, I usually just settle for two ice, then put it on a Paper Wall or Roto or Wraparound for a solid scoring server.

Honestly, I'd drop the Haas. The reason why I'm OK with losing the FA strategy is that it just felt too binary. Either I'd get a MU or amazing early ABT, or I'd be struggling. This makes it Mich more attrition-y.

Also, I finally sucked it up and put some influence into Beanstalks. I'm only running two, but they are worth it. Good call. I'll do some more testing tonight then post my list.

27 May 2014 Jashay

Okay, having tried with the Project Ares and the Aggressive Secretary, I think I can see how your deck differs from mine, in that scoring has to be spread over the turns. I'm going to hazard that your ice is a bit beefier than mine too; I had a hard time keeping people out late game trying to get enough counters on the PA for it to be worth it.

Also, I turned out to be super-sucky that they get to choose what to trash, and that it can be any installed card. I suspect I'll stick to the Vitruvius for now.

I was quite impressed with the Secretary, though. The other thing I tried was the Haas Arcology AI, which was a better choice than Director Haas herself, I think. I also tried Project Junebug a couple of times, but it didn't come up in the games.

27 May 2014 Thike

Yeah, the difference in strategy is fair. I was mostly being frustrated by the randomness, and was looking for ways to mitigate that. Hive and Ares are testaments to that. Slow starts are where they shine. I often let people get access to R&D or HQ for a bit, if only to distract them from getting out all the breakers. That way, when I pop Ares, there is less for them to trash. Even if they mostly ditch resources that's a big tempo hit, and running this much ICE isn't cheap.

I just posted my deck (here: ) so you can take a look. I don't think our ICE packages are all that different, other than the bigger sentries. It might just be a matter of style. I'm probably going to give a more FA-like version a go, just to compare the two after doing all this testing.