Nineteen Eighty-Four v1.4

paddosan 3351

I always though that the tag n bag archetype was a bit stagnant, and while Bad Times was a welcome news, it was only with the release of Shoot the Moon that it felt something different was possible.

At the moment, there's plenty of Near-Earth Hub tag n bag decks, but to me the real TnB NBN identity remains Making News. Those two credits are enormusly useful, given how a lot of NBN ice does have traces, and can make the difference when you need to play Midseason Replacements.

The deck obviously uses a lot of big ice, that should be rezzed mostly with Shoot the Moon, and some cheap options as well, to allow for some protection in early game.

  • Troll is the latest trick of NBN, an ice nobody can break because it has no subroutine at all, but rather a quite annoying when encountered effect. With the 2 recurring trace credits from the identity, it can work quite efficiently even against runners with 1 base Link.
  • TMI is much better than Eli 1.0 for a number of reasons, if you ask me. First you don't need to spend influence, secondly it has a higher strength for the same rez cost. Sure, it only has 1 subroutine, but Cerberus "Lady" H1 can break 2 for 1 power counter, so an higher strength is better since they will have to pay more and still spend the power counter. With Corroder the price they pay is the same as versus Eli 1.0 anyway. Wraparound would be cheaper, but it's not reliable at all, in mid/late game.
  • Information Overload can easily be a game changer if rezzed at the right time, after a Midseason Replacements. You can wipe their side of the table clean with it, but you shouldn't probably rez it for free with Shoot the Moon, so as to preserve the surprise effect.
  • Architect is here mainly to recycle Bernice Mai, which is sort of a key card of the deck. It can also help in reducing the expense for added layers of protection on your servers. All in all, well worth the 2 influence points.
  • Archer is still, two years after this game release, one of the strongest pieces of ice. Being able to rez it without sacrificing an Agenda is something you just have to try!
  • Heimdall 1.0 and Heimdall 2.0 are some of the most taxing pieces of ice, in my opinion, and even if they can be passed by spending clicks, they kinda work nicely with Troll and can be a way to make the runner waste its time away.

Concerning the name of this deck, which is obviously an homage to the immortal dystopian novel by George Orwell, it was chosen because of one card: Big Brother (which also directly references 1984 in its flavor text).

Always loved the idea of that card, and always wanted to use it effectively.

Now, the idea here is that you don't really need a ton of Tags on the runner, to effectively use Shoot the Moon. A few are enough, since even one can make you save up to 11 credits, in this deck. If you place Bernice Mai on your scoring server, that's basically a guaranteed Tag for the runner. If you try to score a TGTBT when you know he can access, and he does, that's 2 Tags. If there's a Data Raven protecting the server, he'll take 3.

It is important to give the runner more than one Tag to prevent them from clearing them all before the end of their turn. If you succeed in giving them one single Tag they can't remove in time, you can multiply it with Big Brother and then rez up to 3 pieces of ice with Shoot the Moon. Not bad at all.

The thing is, as soon as a player sees you're playing Making News, he'll know you have Midseason, so you might actually be able to score one or two agendas easily, before he even starts trying to steal them, for fear of a tag storm. I actually won more than one game, even without being able to give a lasting Tag, just out of fear and concern for a card that could destroy them (because Information Overload is a problem). There's also AstroScript Pilot Program, so even if it's not a pure fast advance deck, it can still be used to make them feel the need to run, hopefully when they shouldn't.

The other option to give a Tag is the Restructured Datapool, but in all honesty, it's here just because I needed a 5/3 to not have too many agendas. If I could, I'd rather go with 3 Breaking News as well, but it would raise agenda density too much, and I'd have to remove cards that I'd rather keep.

This deck has been tested in different versions against a good amount of different decks, and Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist is possibly the worst opponent when you wanna try Shoot the Moon. Nasir Meidan: Cyber Explorer, on the other hand, is a rather easy target since it hardly has money for traces and once you get him some tags, Information Overload will take care of the rest.

All in all, I'm quite content with how the deck works, and I love a good alternative to the omnipresent Scorched Earth. Which, by the way, your opponent will fear until he notices you can't possibly have it with all the influence you spent on your ice... That also means it's kind of a surprise deck, but even if they know how it works, sooner or later they will get a tag (unless Decoy or NACH)!

5 comments
25 Dec 2014 Wolf88

I'd strongly consider Flare too in this deck. Heimdall 1.0 doesn't convince me too much but the 2.0 one is very good. Maybe you could exchange one archer and Heimdall 1.0 for another heimdall 2.0 or Janus.

25 Dec 2014 paddosan

I like Flare, but I'm not so fond of big ice with just one subroutine, now that D4v1d is a problem with anything strength 5 or more. I did have it in a previous version of the deck, however, but it didn't have an impact on the game that made me think it was really worth the inclusion.

The ice selection is the trickiest part here... Janus 1.0 could be great as well, but it doesn't stop the runner and given how there's plenty of ways to increase the hand size, now... not sure about it either.

4 Jan 2015 Roz

I really like the non-Scorched Earth tag deck idea. I guess the punishment comes in ICE-form but I sure do want to slap in some Closed Accounts to make sure they lose the next few traces. That or some Primary Transmission Dishes.

Argh, too many good cards.

5 Feb 2015 Pyjam

Very fine deck. Congrats. Have you considered Ashigaru in lieu of Heimdall 2.0 ? It's also a beast, not bioroid, hard to bypassed, and not a target for D4v1d.

7 Feb 2015 paddosan

Not being a target for D4v1d is a good point, I've seen plenty of those recently and they are quite annoying. Ashigaru might indeed be a viable option in this deck... ;)