Neal's Last Words
by Byron "Neal" Massey
Last week my agenda was liberated. An overzealous co-conspirator
against unlimited constructed-decks posted at least two-thirds of
my column on the Netrunner mailing list. The redistributed column
generated a flurry of responses, mostly negative, in response to
the idea. It also spawned a reprint policy.
In my area, constructed-deck tournaments are as rare as young loggers.
They have died out because there are no new cards for Netrunner,
and older players have long since learned the most unstoppable card
combinations. This makes constructed decks predictable and uniform,
two qualities that take away the fun in Netrunner.
This week's deck is designed to keep the fun in the game. It contains
many compromises because it contains no duplicates. It also contains
a truly dizzying number of card combinations. Barring an extremely
bad initial draw, you should be able to process agenda or kill the
Runner without duplicating the same pathway in dozens of games.
"This week's deck is designed to keep the fun in the game."
This deck can't stand up to Precision Bribery/Time to Collect.
It might be able to handle Bozomatic. The Short Stack could be beaten
if it was recognized early enough. TagMe decks will make several
of the cards obsolete, but a well-timed Closed Accounts can put
the game in reach. ICE Destruction/Taxman plans could be a real
problem, but Lisa Blight can slow these Runners down.
I included a lot of big ICE, one of the best weapons against Bartmoss
Memorial Icebreaker and decks fueled by Loan from Chiba or Drone
for a Day. There are also some nasty surprises provided by the trio
Don't be afraid to:
Take three bits ("working in the mailroom") if your forts
are secure and you are prepared to handle the next agenda you draw.
The game will move somewhat slowly.
Give up some points. Losing the Political Overthrow is generally
disaster. Other than that, losing an agenda may be a viable plan
for getting the Runner to spend his hard-earned bits.
Discard cards. There are tons of different ways to win, and new
resources are a draw away. You can always use the Off-Site Backups
if you really need a card in Archives.
17 Commons/4 Vitals/16 Uncommons/9 Rares
ICE (18) Agenda (6) Operations (7) Nodes (7) Upgrades (7)
Wall of Ice
On-Call Solo Team
Viral Breeding Ground
Audit of Call Records
BBS Whispering Campaign
Department of Truth Enhancement
South African Mining Corporation
Bizarre Encryption Scheme
Crystal Palace Station Grid
Washington, D.C., City Grid
You must think carefully to win with this deck. Sometimes unusual
plans are exactly what is called for. If a Runner is using Demolition
Run, don't be afraid to install Viral Breeding Ground in a large
fort and score it. If your bits are spilling away to the Taxman,
install Dr. Dreff in HQ and shut down. There should be a way out
of most problems, although it may not be obvious.
Most of all, have fun. Think of these cards as an opportunity to
play Netrunner at the highest level. Your brain is the key, the
deck is just a great set of tools to work with.
Did anyone else hear that dog barking?