NEXT best thing v1.2

Jashay 705

A continuation of my NEXT deck. The idea is to play 3-4 ice by the end of turn 1, score an early agenda (preferably ABT) and carry on from there. In theory, you can ice up quickly and cheaply enough to deny the runner almost any early game advantage.

I've dropped to 2 Caduceus, as whilst they are great, I found that linked runners just trundle through them with impunity. Wraparound is in there to slow AIs a bit.

Gila Hands is great for this deck, as are the Private Contracts. Installing them naked is a handy option that Adonis and Melange don't really give.

The Secretaries are there to occasionally reset their rig. I tried Project Ares for a similar effect, but you had to score far too highly for it to be of any use, I felt.


ICE: 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.

NEXT silver has replaced Wall of Static, a move of which there was never any doubt. The sentry suite needs work, but there are very few that end runs cheaply. I dropped Fenris for Mother Goddess'; same cost, higher STR, no BP, and can count as NEXT. The lack of BP has made me more comfortable putting in a NAPD.

Wotan, Heimdall and Janus are all potential ABT winners. Tollbooth, too, although the cost there is low enough that you could hard rez it. I am considering switching Janus for Ichi 2.0. Ichi is a bit trickier for e3 to get through, and has a low enough cost that I could hard rez it, too. However, it is within range of a dino'd mimic or a Knight.

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.

There used to be 3 MUs, but I kept finding myself saying 'I need any agenda but MU to win, now'. Now that Fenris is out, I felt comfortable with NAPD. A small change, but it has been significant.

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 other operation I think this deck could use is Power Shutdown, but space is so tight. I've put a single Archived Memories in there for emergencies; pulling an occasional agenda from the archives, or getting back Ash or PC

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 are more money, chosen because of the higher trash cost. Secretaries are for rig trashing if the runner starts being able to punch through.

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.

POSSIBLE CHANGES: I'm still going back and forth on changing Janus for Ichi 2.0, and the Archived Memories is something of a stopgap at the moment. Shipment from Mirrormorph is a possibility, as you will always have a hand full of ice, or the 3rd Ash is a strong contender. I might switch it back out for another bit of ice, but nothing is really leaping out at me as deficient. I'd love a decent ETR sentry option, though.

16 Aug 2014 helianthus_paradoxum

One thing in your writeup catches my attention. You write: "Beanstalks used to be GLC, but I never really needed the extra card".

That's intresting to me, cause when I play my variant of a NEXT Design: Guarding the Net rush deck I very often want to draw like a madman and close the game as fast as possible. There's nothing worse than having all means to score an agenda and not finding one.

So the decks seem to play very differently despite some similarities. Do you feel confident in the late game with this deck? When the Runner assembled a full rig, how do you score?

16 Aug 2014 Jashay

@helianthus_paradoxum: It's an issue, yes, particularly if the runner has managed to take two or three agendas already. The race for the last agenda can be pretty harrowing. However, the decision to use Beanstalks was based on early game economy over late game drawing.

You'll need three credits to score an agenda, and you will almost certainly have to rez a piece of ice to protect it. Almost all the ice is 4 or less, so that's 7 max. Groovy; GLC then installing an agenda will leave us with 7 and another action. The issue comes with the more aggressive runners (where you might need to rez 2 bits of ice), and things like Reina, Rook and Xanadu. The extra credit of Beanstalk might seem an insignificant thing to spend influence on, but it allows you a lot more flexibility in the first two turns. Just being able to install a second bit of ice with that extra credit has saved my bacon so many times.

Beanstalk is also slightly better at recovering from 0 credits. This deck never has enough money...

The late game is tricky with this deck; for defence you're pretty reliant on Ash to keep things shipshape. With ABT it's not difficult to get servers 3 or 4 deep, if needs be. Unless they're running Morningstar and Yog it can get pricey for them to access, particularly when the NEXT ICE starts to stack itself. Because this deck scores quickly runners will often feel pressured into running advancing things, and you can catch them with Aggressive Secretary in those times.

Also, if you've scored Mandatory Upgrades, you can score 80% of the agendas straight from hand.