Stronger Together: Hungry Hungry Bioroids

akonnick 2050

Stronger Together has been a passion project of mine since I started playing Netrunner shortly after its release. While the ability can be great as I will discuss, Stronger Together has always suffered from the age old "better in Engineering the Future" comparison. After two plus years of playing both IDs extensively, I can honestly say this comparison is justified. Most Stronger Together builds can switch a few cards and gain incremental consistency just by switching the ID. I honestly think the biggest mistake FFG made with this ID was not making Architect a bioroid. If you had an ice that powerful that was out of Mimic range and was unclickable, I honestly think it would have brought this ID back into relevance all by itself. But this is a fantasyland dream and we have to deal with the card pool we are dealt. The decklist I'm posting is admittedly Tier 2, but is honestly the best Stronger Together deck I've ever played in all the time I've been tuning it. There are some bad matchups and you will be vulnerable in the early game relative to other corps. While many may immediately run from a non-Tier 1 deck, I think you can win a lot of games with it, so don't be turned off and give it a shot if you love jamming bioroids as I do.

The draw to the deck is that it takes a few of the best ice in the game (namely Eli 1.0 and Ichi 1.0) and makes them even better. It also propels otherwise marginal/just good ice (Heimdall 1.0 and Viktor 1.0) into monsters. The ice suite is the definition of taxing once you get off the ground. Once you get even two ice rezzed on a server, very few runner rigs can consistently make runs through them without stopping to focus on econ. This creates enough time to get your upgrades in a remote and score with tempo while the runner is rebuilding credits. I'll offer some key thoughts on the build as the HB glacier build is pretty tried and true at this point. I'm happy to answer questions or read any suggestions of additions/changes, so feel free to post.

-The addition of Global Food Initiative is the best thing to ever happen to Stronger Together. It is so much better than any other 5/3 ever available (I'm looking at you Project Wotan) it isn't even funny.The biggest way I used to lose the game was giving up a 3 pointer early and then struggling to shut the runner out the rest of the game. Now you effectively put the runner in a position where you have to score 3 agendas to win while your opponent has to score 4. Stronger Together owns the long game, so having more time to get there is huge. ABT gets you free bioroids and is HB's best agenda by far. NAPD is great in this deck and I've always played 3 as runners will go broke trying to get through your pumped up bioroids to the point that it protects itself.

-Brain-Taping Warehouse is an excellent economy card, but good runners can play around it. You usually want to play these behind ice early. The normal play pattern is that you force the runner to run through it early in their turn as they expect to have to click through it. You can use this to your advantage to get the discounted rez on the ice protecting it. This is a fine trade as you get free ice and the runner has to spend their entire turn and 4 credits. Adonis campaign is also key because you can bluff it as an Accelerated Beta Test in your scoring remote and force runners to waste time and money running through your remotes. Melange and Daily Business Show round out the draw and economy and are my typical targets for Interns. The runner will usually run low on money and stop running these once you recur them. Sticking either of these puts you very far ahead.

-Caprice and Heinlein Grid are key to scoring with this deck. Heinlein Grid keeps runners honest and forces them to pay full price to get through your servers, which is why you played Stronger Together to begin with. If the runner goes to zero credits, they can't afford to play the psi game with Caprice, guaranteeing a score. Heinlein Grid has been much better than Ash for me in this deck as you are typically not as rich as Engineering the Future, making it difficult to invest much into an Ash trace. Caprice/Heinlein gives you a reliable way to score out and is the best combination I've tested.

-The ice suite pretty much builds itself to be honest. Stronger Together wants to play the best of the cheap bioroids and doesn't benefit from playing the big boys like Wotan and Janus (those are better in Foundry or Engineering the Future). In order, the best bioroids in the deck in my opinion are: Eli 1.0, Ichi 1.0, Heimdall 1.0, Viktor 1.0, Viktor 2.0 and Markus 1.0. The numbers of each reflect the relative value I place on each of them. Architect is key to the deck because you want to be able to take advantage of the runner's assumption that every ice in your deck will be a clickable bioroid. If you can land an early Architect trigger (as we've all experienced), you are very far ahead. Your end game will usually have 3 ice servers all around. While this won't always shut your opponent out, it will slow them down enough for you to win.

4 Nov 2015 michaeln

Interesting deck! I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

Two questions I could almost always ask:

  • Is there anything special to say about what you mulligan for?
  • What are its match-ups like?
4 Nov 2015 akonnick

@michaeln good questions. Opening hands to look for ideally are your traditional two ice and a hedge fund or green level clearance. Being able to install two ice and threaten a rez is very helpful to stabilizing early and it is fine if you have to click up for credits. Brain-Taping early is also very nice so that would be the other card I look for. You don't need to upgrades early as this isn't really a deck that can rush well since all your ice can be clicked through. I would honestly keep nearly any hand with two ice and one or less agendas.

In terms of matchups, you do a lot of damage to Shapers playing Lady/Mimic rigs. They can't keep up with the number of barrier subroutines typically and are very vulnerable to Ichi. You need to take your time and shore up your centrals to not die to an early Maker's Eye or something like that. Anarch w/ parasite/fixed breakers or Eater is good as the extra strength really helps. Early game against criminal with siphon is tough as good players will blind siphon and pressure you to keep you in the early game. If you can not lose to an early Legwork, you can usually turn the corner as they run out of money quickly. The worst matchup has actually proven to be Apex. Apocalypse has wrecked me and having E3 feedback implants played against you is rough. Caprice on a central server is important to give you a chance to prevent Apocalypse.

Hope this helps and enjoy!

5 Nov 2015 Sarakhan

Very nice deck

As a new player i am learning a lot about where to put ice and why with this Can you give some examples for optimal placement in RND and scoring server configurations?

5 Nov 2015 akonnick

@Sarakhan welcome to netrunner! Glad to hear the deck has been helpful. The good thing about it is that most of your bioroids are functionally similar (end run plus do something bad), so you don't need to overthink which ones you play with the possible exception of when/where you place ichi and architect. Ichi will win you the game if he lands, so you really want to place them where you think the runner really wants to go. He is a great part of your remote ice as he forced tough choices when you also have Heinlein grid.

You're main thought process is where to prioritize your 2md piece of ice for your centrals. You generally want to just think about the is on the other side of the table (i.e. I will ice hq more against criminal to protect against siphon or get something like architect on archives against noise). Against shaper, you want to be careful not to stack too many code gates on a single server as gordian blade makes it much cheaper for them to run since it maintains strength. The same would be true for battering ram but it sees less play. Hope that helps and feel free to post if there's anything else I can do to assist.

5 Nov 2015 the_eigensheep

Looks great! I was making the shell of a Stronger Together deck for Worlds this weekend, and I was thinking about Heinlein and Caprice. I hope you don't mind, but I think I'm going to snag this list for the tournament this weekend!

5 Nov 2015 akonnick

@the_eigensheep please do and let me know how it goes. Good luck and have fun at worlds!

8 Nov 2015 Vimes

I like how no-nonsense this is, despite using an ID that most people forgets even exists. I imagine I can improve my general corp play with this.

Do you ever put Heinlein Grid protecting a central server, or is it generally for the remote combo with Caprice Nisei? I guess there is a situation for everything, such as making them unable to click through during an early Account Siphon, but in general it is rather telegraphed. How many remote servers do you usually protect with ice? Daily Business Show tends to need protection I feel, but it isn't powerful enough to force a runner to go through your scoring server to trash it, whereas I feel Adonis and Melange can be stuffed in there as you play for the lategame.

How do you feel about other click-intensive or bioroid focused cards like Enhanced Login Protocol? For not the strongest identity text out there, I still feel like I'd be vulnerable to Employee Strike here. I tend to think too much about Silver Bullets, but could a Cyberdex Virus Suite fit in here? It'd synergize with putting your ice out of reach of fixed strength breakers.

8 Nov 2015 akonnick

@Vimes glad you like it and agree that it is a very fundamentals focused deck. To answer your question, Heinlein in a central is not uncommon at all. In the early game, your upgrades should go in the places that are more likely to be run. Heinlein and caprice have the effect of draining runner money, which helps your assets stick to the board and gain an economy lead. There are many times with this deck that you don't need upgrades in the remote to score because you know that the runner can't pay to get trough when they go low in credits. Even when my opponent knows the deck, they always have to wonder whether the install advance advance is an napd that they may not be able to steal. In many cases, you can use these windows to score a global food uncontested. Late game It is not uncommon to have a Heinlein on both the scoring server and one with caprice in r&d to keep you From losing to one all in multi access run.

Dbs is usually unprotected and Adonis is once you get enough ice rezzed. While the first one usually gets trashed, you will be surprised how many times you can interns them back over the course of a game. Runners can't pay to trash these forever otherwise they are too broke to go after agendas.

I dislike elp because it doesn't really cost the runner anything to trash and you can't recur it on demand as easily as with Heinlein. Cvs is always nice to have but the ice strength in this deck is so high that it is unnecessary. If the runner has lots of data suckers early, you just clear once and that is usually the last time you'll see them

9 Nov 2015 Vimes

Thank you for the reply @akonnick! I've been thinking about ST lately but since you seem to have a great handle on it I was wondering if you could give my idea a quick run-through?

Considering making a variation on this deck that utilizes Oaktown Grid and the 6str Hudson 1.0 to really make your primary remote hell for the runner. Oaktown makes Adonis, Brain, and even Melange a Pain. I think Hudson combos well not just to tax those multi-access R&D runs you mentioned, but it would appear to have some synergy with the Upgrades you are already running. Unless the runner pays the Hudson tax, they cannot both steal an agenda and scrap the Caprice/Heinlein, and if Oaktown fits it puts a major tax on multiple runs through your Strong bioroids.

I'm sure you have considered Hudson, so I'd like your thoughts on this idea.

10 Nov 2015 akonnick

@Vimes absolutely - I think Hudson is actually pretty good. I played him at a regional a year or so ago and he was great. He is less good against a meta that is heavy on makers eye/legwork and better against one with medium and r&d interface. I mainly it him from this build because prepaid Kate and legwork out of faction is so popular, but depends on what people are playing. The reason i say this is because you will find that runners will simply click through Hudson and break everything else when they need to land a big multi access run. He could also work well on a remote with upgrades as it could force the runner to choose between accessing an agenda and leaving the upgrades. I do think you Would want to probably only play 1 and swap a Markus or a victor 2 for him. Be careful about not stacking up took his code gates otherwise gordian blade will really hurt you.

Oaktown grid is a card that seems ok, but don't know what you would cut to make room for it. Since you Are not etf, you need to play more economy and I'm not sure Where else you could cut. Feel free to let me know what ideas you have about what you would change to include and have fun building.