Before talking at length about this deck, I felt it was important to situate myself in the scope of net runner competition, what my mindset is playing and what I hope to achieve in tournaments.
Like most people, when I go to a tournament, I want to play well. My desired outcome is winning at least half my games. But I don’t just want to play the best decks, I have too much pride for that. I also deeply enjoy the aspect of building something uniquely mine that I test and I theory craft and I bounce ideas off of others to tune and make better even if it flies in the face of what homogenous standard decks are most successful and popular.
If it wasn’t enough that I don’t play the best decks and I have a desire to win at least half my games, my preparation leading up to tournaments is also lackluster compared to the amount of game knowledge I have accrued. Leading up to a tournament, I usually don’t play against a variety of meta decks and take those decks for test runs to know how they work and how people better than me might pilot them. And I surely don’t plan on playing them although I am aware that they are the ”best” options. I am stuck in this limbo of wanting to play something that is just competitive enough to win games, but has my flavor embedded in deck-DNA.
Perhaps I like the challenge when someone says “This card is bad,” as a personal opportunity to come up with something novel, exciting and synrgistic with existing cards. Though I am limited by my intermediate play, intermediate deck building ability and low levels of pre tournament preparation, I did successfully pilot this deck to a great showing at 2019 East Coast Championships, possibly my best showing (and closest to making a cut) I have had in my competitive Netrunner career.
Now that currents are irrevocably banned from all play for the foreseeable future, I felt that my fellow D2D derelicts would appreciate one final send off for Making News D2D, a most beloved (cough hated cough) archetype!
I’ll get two things out of the way:
As much as I commended myself about making idiosyncratic deck choices in the preamble, this deck is in no way an original idea. D2D Making News archetypes have been around for quite a long time, and I wouldn’t have known about it had I not run into several in the JNET casual lobby.
This deck can be absolutely miserable to play against. If you can ice centrals early, get a D2D up against a non-link runner, the game swings pretty quickly into your favor with the runner unable to compete with a 3c tax or tag each turn. That being said, this deck is highly reliant on the getting D2D up turn 1, and hoping the runner whiffs on agendas over the first few turns, doesn’t have link or strong burst Econ over their first few turns, or doesn’t have a countercurrent to play in response.
Luckily I only faced one link runner on the day, overall benefitting by the fact that none of the top tier anarchs were packing link. I faced: Freedom, Adam, Maxx, Valencia, and 419.
Honestly, a lot of games cruise on autopilot once you get D2D down. Once you can defend your centrals away from agenda snipes, you can start expanding your board state to an oppressive end. You mostly make remotes when you can afford ice rezzes defending your high priority assets and click for more credits while D2D drains your opponent. Obviously you don’t want to commit too many cards away from HQ if you have agendas in hand. There’s a big difference when the runner has one run to hit a 1 in 3 versus a 1 in 5. Hopefully once you get your DBS’s ticking, you can just commit most of your ice to HQ and remotes and even score your agendas behind ETRs when scoring windows open up. It’s always a tough assessment though, because losing an agenda means losing D2D and curbing the power of much of your ice. To get a more complete picture of the deck and all its components, I figured we could do a deep dive on the cards!
Couldn’t be much happier with the utility of the agenda suite here:
Global Food Initiative to ensure the game goes long and they have to steal 4 agendas giving D2D plenty of mileage.
Explode-A-Palooza to ensure that I get IPO tempo and have economic options after a steal. Not to mention it’s a damned if you do/damned if you don’t counter to film critic, since they don’t want to deny the 5c because D2D stays online.
Net Quarantine as long term econ + link + citadel protection. When scored, it creates an interesting win/win for the corp at start of turn D2D trace. If the runner boosts into the trace 3, I gain money, but if they don’t I gain money with Aryabhata’s. Usually you can trace 4 in these situations because you are getting refund no matter what and draining the runner’s econ.
15 Minutes as an easy agenda to eek out and to turn on EOI plays .
That being said, 8 of these agendas are difficult to score if you don’t have a certain game state as you have to install, advance them with only a single Reversed Accounts in the deck as a bluff. Usually I scored behind a News Hound or SYNC BRE with a current up if I got an economic advantage early. News Hound is the best rush ice in the deck but can easily fall apart if the runner snipes an agenda on centrals. Surprisingly, about half my games were scoring wins after the runner made a critical error and the economic advantage was forever in my favor.
Aryabhata Tech: Much as been written about Aryabhata Tech, it’s a staple card in the archetype and probably your most valuable. On start off turn D2D trace 3, having one rezzed no longer affords the runner to not just pay 3 and clear the tag later. It’s a constant economic pressure tool and can lead to blowouts when a runner runs it in combination with any of your trace ice (Macrophage being the worst).
Daily Business Show: The runner can’t turn off D2D if they can’t find your agendas in RnD or HQ. The earlier you can get them up and running the better. Whether you are bottoming agendas, drawing for your tag punishment, draining the runner of precious clicks and credits to trash them or just taking your pick of what you need in the moment, they are a luxury that make the deck sing.
Reversed Accounts: Singlehandedly kept me in my first game when I couldn’t find a D2D or Consulting Visit. Being able to proactively tamper with the runner’s econ and having a bluff tool to incentivize the runner expending valuable pieces before they are set up is a game changer. Let alone if they do get in hoping it’s an agenda, they might go for broke not even having enough to trash it or literally going broke to do so. One of the changes I would make to the list retrospectively adding a second copy.
I’m really happy with how my ice performed throughout the day. My main goal was to have as many cheap ice face check + ETR options as I could to limit accesses or have the runner pay through the nose with or without the right breaker to get singles. I did initially play around with Caduceus to get up to my 6 Weyland includes, but found it generally underwhelming.
IP Block: The most ubiquitous NBN ice that is made even better by Making News’s ability. In one of my games where I couldn’t find a D2D early, a runner ran into it without a breaker and suddenly was dealing with a trace 5 sub for a tag and ETR. With your ability the ice becomes even better, not to mention if D2D is triggering it’s a hard ETR.
Resistor: Another pseudo gear check that is bolstered by your Making News bucks. No face check penalty, but keeping the runner out without a breaker or putting an additional tax on your asset servers at no cost to you is a welcome sight.
Macrophage: Game winning if it fires off one or two Aryabhata’s. All of a sudden, the runner is losing 3, you are gaining 3 and you can probably pay into the final trace to keep them out and continue to sap their money. Slot Machine: My only non-gearcheck ice that is a long term economic option that’s good for me and bad for the runner. Not a bad ice to defend your DBS’s or Aryabhata’s in a pinch either.
News Hound: Probably the most important ice in the deck that can function as my HQ gear check early game if I’m getting flooded, and can help me score out in a remote as well. Utterly brutal when a current is up (extra benefit if your opponent is playing counter currents) and still gives mileage to your Making News bucks as a tag delivery system.
SYNC BRE: An underplayed ice across the board but an essential include in this deck. Flexibility to keep the runner off accesses in centrals or to defend your high priority assets or help you score out your early agendas. I opted for this over Data Raven because of the pseudo anti access tech against single snipes, have a meaningful punishing first subroutine, and give more targets for my Aryabhata’s to fire. Also good luck breaking a strength 6 sentry.
This is the one spot that I believe the deck has room for opportunity. I didn’t EOI anyone, (mostly because I either didn’t need to or I never had a window.) but every other card saw it’s time in the light.
Beanstalk Royalties: A cheap way to get your Consulting Visit influence back was not the only utility this little gem had in my deck. In my brief testing, I found that your first 3 turns with D2D up were some of the most tumultuous and variable turns if you didn’t have the economy to support an aggressive start. Often you don’t see D2D in your opening, which is where Consulting Visit comes in to ensure you start putting the pressure on turn 1. At 5c and 2 clicks, this is a big investment and no card helps you bounce back better than Beanstalk Royalties. If you don’t see any agendas in your opening, you can commit one of your low cost ice to RnD, play D2D and click for a credit. If the runner forces a rez, putting you on no money, then Beanstalk shines. It allows you to install an ICE, gain 3 with beanstalk and click for a credit turn 2 and be able to rez any ice on HQ. Now you have your 3c tax ticking every turn, your centrals iced up and you are in the driver’s seat. Ensuring that consistent start was the logic behind including 3x Beanstalk. Additionally, in your mid game, it’s always a card you can play after just clicking for credits to keep from discarding tag punishment pieces you will need later and keeping your maximum hand size to counter 1 in 5 HQ potshots.
BOOM!: Pretty self explanatory, eventually runners just go tag me and you can win from there.
Closed Accounts: Mostly combined with SEA Source or HHN where runners float a single tag to punish them to the fullest and ensure that D2D continues ticking. Probably would swap this for an additional Reversed Accounts.
Consulting Visit: Flexible option to fetch your D2D early putting the pressure on, but also an option to fetch many of your other tag punishment pieces.
Door to Door: The lynchpin of the deck, turning an underplayed ID into an economic pressure machine. Trace 1 ain’t nothing. Trace 3 hurts.
Exchange of Information: Like I said, it’s in there for the GFI switcheroo if I had a tough early game start and had to claw back in the mid/late game. Did not use all day, though; up for debate.
Hard-Hitting News: Standard run based tag punishment that gets further mileage with your ID and Aryabhata tech.
SEA Source: Sometimes just an economic option when you have Aryabhata’s up and running to leverage credit disparities or Close accounts.
Hedge Fund/IPO: Keeping your money up while the runner struggles to maintain theirs ensures that when they finally slip up, you have the money necessary to punish them heavily for it. Not crazy about having 4 terminals in the deck as your hand can get kind of clogged up with your situational operations and your terminals, but it didn’t bite me all weekend thankfully.
Preemptive Action: Being able to recycle your high priority win conditions (BOOM! Aryabhata Tech, Door to Door) makes this an invaluable and flexible include.
Big change I would make would be swapping a closed accounts for a second Reversed Accounts. Any runner who is able to withstand the D2D tax for 4 or 5 turns while they build to a pivotal HQ run while trashing your assets needs to be kept in check. Additionally if you don’t see D2D early, you need to have a way to proactively keep the economic disparity slim.
Overall, the deck only dropped one game which was a 2 for 1 in which I got runner the final round to try and make the cut. We did play the second game, and in a resounding finale, got a flatline by turn 4 or 5. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading, I don’t publish deck lists very often, but will make a point to do so more to contribute what limited knowledge about the game I have to those who know less and hopefully spurn conversation from those who know more.