Snakes on an AstroTrain

alientoyshop 863

Enough is enough! I think I owe everyone a proper write up of this deck.

I've made a lot of janky Making News decks. It's an ID I frequently come back to, but rarely have success with. This deck however somehow hit all the right notes and ended up being way better than I thought it would.

It started its life with a simple concept. Make the runner play your trace game, and make use of the awesome 2 recurring trace creds. I also wanted to include some cards I rarely used and figure out just how useful or not useful they were.

What it turned into was a taxing denial monster.


TMI : Let's start with an interesting one. One of the big things about the deck is keeping the runner poor, and forcing them into bad decisions. Consider what happens when the runner facechecks a Wall of Static. Without the proper breaker, the just bounce. There was no opportunity to drain credits from the runner. With TMI though, the runner can pay to derez it, even if it might cripple their economy. This is good. This opens up scoring windows. It's also a great way to punish poor runners.

Wraparound : Can't complain with a cheap ETR barrier that can do a lot of work against AI.

Viper : A total champ. Four strength for three creds is a great deal, and the traces both start at 3, which is pretty nasty.

Pop-up Window : Just a nice thing to have, especially as archives protection.

Tollbooth : The big daddy. Likes to sit in front of Melange. Can also lock down any particularly lucrative central server. Dislikes Femme and Emergency Shutdown though.

Caduceus : Such a great piece of ICE for Making News. Facechecking is going to either lose the runner some cash, or end up being a free rez (or both). After Mimic hits the table, it's still a tax of 2. I usually pump each subroutine once.

Uroboros : An uncommon piece of ICE, but a great one if the runner is relying on Mimic. A fun surprise, but a tad expensive.


Jackson Howard : Just two Jacksons. Blasphemy I know.

Melange Mining Corp. : This is a big economy piece. The runner will possibly go broke trying to shut it down, which can open up a scoring window for an Astro.


Ash 2X3ZB9CY : The punisher of poor runners.

Red Herrings : A backup/complement for Ash.


Closed Accounts : I've since dropped this and am looking at replacements like Invasion of Privacy.

Hedge Fund : Move along nothing to see here.

Sweeps Week : Oh how I love thee.

Targeted Marketing : This is a very underappreciated card. The skill ceiling on this card is very high, and it's very powerful in the right hands. I'm still trying to figure out all the best cards to name against certain archetypes, although Parasite, Self-Modifying Code, and Account Siphon are all great targets. Catching a deck that wants to Levy can be hilarious too.

Snatch and Grab : Did you know this card is amazing? It's amazing. I've killed so many Kati Jones with it (sorry Kati, love ya). Professional Contacts cries. The Supplier weeps. Aesop has to close up shop. Are these all cards that you see all the time always? Yes.

So there you go. Tax the runner, find scoring windows, apply lots of pressure, and deny them all of their favorite cards.

6 Apr 2015 dogstew

This looks like a lot of fun. May test it tomorrow. One question, how has TMI worked for you? It seems somewhat unreliable, but I've not used it before.

6 Apr 2015 frankyanderson

I LOVE the ice in this list! Viper is something I'm putting in my making news deck today for sure. Have you thought about Targeted Marketing instead of NAPD Contract? In this post o&c meta Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe and that bad pub makes it hard to score, while Targeted Marketing is a 4/3 while the runner is tagged!

6 Apr 2015 Cryoclasm

@frankyanderson, you mean Market Research, don't you?

6 Apr 2015 frankyanderson

@Cryoclasm YES!! haha my bad...

6 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@dogstew It's on the chopping block, but I'm trying it out. Sometimes you're weirdly ok with the running paying to shut it down. If they didn't have a breaker, they'd end the run, but if they can pay 3-4 to shut it down, that's an ok trade sometimes.

6 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@frankyanderson It's a taxing deck, so I do want the NAPD tax, even if I take a hit against Valencia. If anything you could swap it out for Character Assassination, which is a pretty fun tempo swing when you score it.

6 Apr 2015 frankyanderson

@alientoyshop Fo sho! Another great NBN agenda. Thanks for your input!

6 Apr 2015 umby

What do you see as the benefits for running Viper over Enigma? The two extra strength is nice against Yog.0, but I'm not sure it's worth the three influence.

6 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@umby The two strength is good against anyone who wants to get into your servers (everyone). Breaking Viper with Gordian Blade cost 4, and breaking with ZU.13 Key Master is 5. Refractor needs a stealth cred to break it. Plus, you can get the runner to pay through a Viper by beating the trace (which can be a good thing), whereas they would normally just bounce if they didn't have the right breaker.

6 Apr 2015 skydivingninja

Should've named it "SNAKE DECK SNAKE DECK SNAKE DECK!" ;) Looks like fun!

6 Apr 2015 poorhaus

Uroboros seems like a rare choice, yes? How have you found it? Was anything else in contention for the slop?

6 Apr 2015 skaterforsale

@skydivingninja all it's missing is mamba ;]

6 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@poorhaus Uroboros is a solid solid piece of ice if you have the money for it. It's out of Mimic range and the trace 4 is very hard to get through. I'd consider it remote server ice for the most part.

6 Apr 2015 Larro

Cool deck concept, but definitely missing a few key components. No SanSan? Only 2 Jackson? Dig the 1-of Closed and Snatch and Grab however.

6 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@Larro Our Lord and Savior Jackson Howard is a crutch! : D

6 Apr 2015 taegunv

I've been testing this with -2x Jackson Howard, and +2 Anonymous Tip to success. Jackson sits in my RP deck, so I need an alternative, works great. Also tried the Character Assassin over NAPD Contract and that can really cripple some criminal decks.

7 Apr 2015 Dydra

great deck, great idea :)

7 Apr 2015 TheBjorn

Love the concept and it is very interactive. Totally copying this and trying this weekend =)

7 Apr 2015 RedV

This deck is actually more robust that it looks. It could do the ETR route or tax the runners to pay tons of money. It takes a bit of skill to pilot though as you have to able to spot the few scoring windows for the Astro.

@alientoyshop Overall, its a good deck! :)

7 Apr 2015 SlayerCNV
8 Apr 2015 Matthias

I tested the deck as well. It works fine until you encounter a runner, that has a lot of economy (for example the "deck of the week" Supplier-Quetzal). I still like it a lot and will tinker it a little bit. Thank you!

8 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@Fearamus The more dependent on resources the runner is, the better this deck tends to do. The one I'm trying to figure out right now is Prepaid Kate decks, because it's hard to turn off their economy.

8 Apr 2015 Nickrunner

Samuel Jackson is pleased with this deck... XD

9 Apr 2015 tuism

Did you put in Uroboros just for the Snakes or are they actually useful? :)

9 Apr 2015 tuism

Also, it feels like... Melange, doesn't that make your stuff a bit porous? And you don't have San Sans in a get rich with a remote plan?

9 Apr 2015 Giraffe

How about trying ChiLo City Grid? The snake ice and some tag punishment make it a super strong, and surprising, card

9 Apr 2015 TheAntsAreBack

Could you explain please - what's the primary objective for the deck? Presumably it's still to fast advance when possible, while making things expensive for the runner, but is there more to it than that? I want to check I'm not missing anything obvious. Cheers.

11 Apr 2015 chowyunbrent

ITS TIME FOR Gingerbread!!!

11 Apr 2015 Bigguyforyou518

Caduceus - "I usually pump each subroutine once."

You actually want to pump the first subroutine twice. The first reason for this is that if the first subroutine goes off successfully, then you can immediately put that credit back into the second trace (and have 2 left over!). The second reason is that runners' works on both subroutines, so spreading out your trace credits works to their benefit, not yours.

11 Apr 2015 alientoyshop

@Bigguyforyou518 You're not wrong, but the thing is that you only need to spend as much on a trace as you need to make it happen. If the runner is facechecking early, a trace 4 is usually enough that they'll let you have your 3 real creds. After that you'll have 1 fake trace cred left over to pump the second routine. It does depend on the situation though, and if the runner has any link.

12 Apr 2015 Bantozai

@Fearamus what's the deck that u mention?

12 Apr 2015 ccie8020

Thoughts on swapping 2- Edge of World for ash and bumping to 3 - Red Herrings?

12 Apr 2015 Larro

Why would you do that? This isn't a kill deck, and Ash not only helps you score out in a world post Clot, but it has natural synergy with Making News. Doesn't seem to really fit IMO.

12 Apr 2015 ccie8020

2 reasons. 1st to punish the runner if they have the stronger econ and 2nd because it's my favorite card that I've never been able to fit into a deck effectively. ;)

Ash definitely has better natural synergies.

13 Apr 2015 Skillet_135

I have played about 5 games with this on Thanks for the fun deck! In my most recent game I played a Shaper running The Toolbox and it absolutely destroyed this deck. My vipers and Caduceus became worthless. TIM was impossible to Rez. Ash didn't do much for me. It was a tough game.

13 Apr 2015 voltorocks

@ccie8020 off topic but if you're interested in making edge of the world work check out

probably the only ID that can build an ICE tower high enough quickly enough to actually land it. This deck isn't the place for it, though.

back on topic, love the deck, very fun take on back-to-basics NBN: Making News. Currently running -3 Targeted Marketing, +3 Daily Business Show. TM is a cute trick but it falters a lot for me b/c of the porous R &D and runner's ability to play around it. DBS speeds the deck up quite a bit and helps get those melanges out of the deck and safely into a remote (the main challenge of this deck, imho).

13 Apr 2015 Bigguyforyou518

@Skillet_135 That runner was me :D (thehunter518). Yeah, decks with built-in, while not exactly common, will bend Making News over a barrel, unless the corp isn't really relying on their traces.

My deck was Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker with:

I've also seen Chaos Theory and Andromeda run this econ engine, so watch out.


Only calling TMI TIM from now on.

Also, did you update this with more Snatch and Grab? I just saw you playing it and you dropped two in a row over a couple turns.