NEXT Design: A Rush of Efficiency (Post NAPD List)

akonnick 2017

I've wanted to post this list for a while as I have a lot of fun playing this deck and it fares pretty well against a range of Runner decks. That being said, the deck was horribly matched against Prepaid Kate to the point where I really didn't feel like I had much of a chance in the matchup outside of some blind luck. Between SMC/Parasite to challenge a turn 1 remote, Clot to hamper your fast advance plans and the overall setup speed, Kate just seemed to have all the answers.

Fast forward to today, that deck is a shell of what it used to be in the sense that you can have some of those tools, but not all of them. I'm especially seeing a lot of Kate lists cutting Parasite, which gives me hope that this deck can compete again.

General Strategy

This deck is probably the fastest I've ever played in terms of how quickly it is trying to score out maybe with the only competition coming from NEH (I won't acknowledge GRNDL...). The goal of the deck is simple, you want to ice up all 3 servers with ice that can be rezzed on turn 1, play an econ card and set up a turn 2 score. Your first target is Efficiency Committee as it is the most important card in the deck. A scored Efficiency Committee on turn 2 usually wins you the game. The reason it is so powerful is because it sets up fast advance plays with Shipment from SanSan that let you throw agendas into your score area as fast as you can draw them. The entire deck is built around maximizing the chance that you can set up this play and it works more often than you'd think. A common turn 1 is to set up your free 3 ice installs with an end run ice on the remote, draw up to 5, mandatory draw a 6th card, play a Hedge Fund or Green Level Clearance, install Efficiency Committee and advance it. The Runner either has the answer at the point in their next 4 clicks or they don't.

Mind you, this isn't all in on a turn 2 Efficiency Committee score to the point where you can't win if it doens't work - it's just hard to lose when it does much in the same way where an AstroScript Pilot Program snuck out behind a Wraparound tends to win the game for NEH more often than not. If you don't have an Efficiency Committee in your opening hand after drawing up, Accelerated Beta Test is the next best thing. With the 22 ice count in the deck, you're going to hit at least 2 ice off a scored ABT pretty often. You should always trigger ABT on turn 2 if you score it. Don't even hesitate. Believe in the Beta Test and it will believe in you.

Regardless of how the turn 2 score plan goes, your next plan is fairly straightforward: Continue drawing cards and making money, place ice to force the Runner to get all their breakers, aggressively score out from your remote if the Runner can't pass the gear check and Biotic Labor or Efficiency Committee/Shipment from SanSan score even if they can. Pretty simple.

Agenda Choices

This deck is built for speed - that's it. You want stuff you can score ASAP, but also want to get added value when you do. I've already discussed what Efficiency Committee and Accelerated Beta Test offer to the deck. Project Vitruvius is often a blank 3/2, but I highly recommend overadvancing it when you have the opportunity. A Vitruvius counter represents an extra Biotic Labor or Shipment from SanSan at instant speed, which can often win you the game. Bifrost Array is amazing in this deck as it can either load 3 more counters on a scored Efficiency Committee or retrigger a scored Accelerated Beta Test. Both of these abilities are very strong and I've found this agenda much more effective than the other 3/1s (The Future is Now is probably the next best option at the moment).

Economy/Draw Engine

With all the ice and agendas in the deck, you only have so much room for economy. There are many cards I would like to include like Melange Mining Corp and Successful Demonstration, but any NEXT Design deck is challenged with the task of including a high enough density of ice to make the turn 1 ability work and get you at least 2 ice. As a result, Hedge fund and the Clearances are clear choices. Hedge Fund and Green Level Clearance are key because they are the best at helping set up the turn 2 score since you can play them on click 1, install an agenda and advance it. Sweeps Week would also be nice here, but influence is more important elsewhere. Blue Level Clearance is ideally your follow up play after your first scored agenda as it loads up your hand and gives you enough money to score your next agenda. Jackson Howard is mainly here to protect against agenda flood, draw into your agendas/Biotics/Shipments and cycle them back into your deck. Again, all of these cards are chosen to make the deck run faster.

Ice Choices

The most important and hotly debated topic about NEXT Design seems to be: How many ice should I put in my deck? This is an important question and honestly one with no easy answers. Even with 30 ice, you will have games where you get no ice/1 ice in your opening hand are are pissed off at life - it happens. While I'll stop short of saying that I have the magic answer to this age old question, I can tell you that 22 was the critical mass for me where I felt like I was getting enough value out of the ID to consistently execute my gameplan yet have the economy to close out the game quickly.

The ice choices are fairly simple - you pretty much want ice that ends the run if the Runner can't break/kill/evade it. Once someone has played against this deck enough, a good Runner is going to face check your remote ice on click 1. It is the reason why Eli 1.0 and Turing, while great ice in most decks, just don't cut it here as they don't force the Runner to have an answer other than available clicks.

Wraparound is critical because it presents some reasonable AI hate and keeps you from getting remote camped throughout the game by Faust. While the Runner may be able to steal your turn 1 installed agenda if they have Faust opening hand, that plan typically won't work long term once you install the 2nd ice on your remote. A double Wraparound remote is often all you need against AI-centric breaker suites and it is well worth the 3 influence to make sure you have early access to the card.

Pop-up Window is similarly important because you can install it on a central server in your opening install, rez it for free and let the Runner give you free money as they run. I've played this deck with and without Pop-up and it is way more consistent with it in the deck.

The NEXT ice suite is really the all-star of the deck as it scales well into the mid-game if you get there. The Bronze, Silver and Mother Goddess are self-explanatory, but the Gold has been a good include as it has occasionally gotten me some free wins. Again, Prepaid Kate was the bane of the NEXT suite's existence, so her nerfing gives these cards a chance to be relevant again. Ditto for Rototurret as the two subroutines it has could not be more relevant in a NEXT Design deck at punishing a desperate Runner.

I haven't seen any ice other than Vanilla in the Mumbad cycle for suitable upgrades, but welcome any suggestions.

Overall, while NEXT Design will likely always live in the shadow of big brother Engineering the Future, the deck is a lot of fun and hopefully has a new outlook on life following the NAPD Most Wanted List. The deck is very easy to learn and play and will ensure that your Corp game finishes quickly (I'm only half joking as that can actually be very valuable if you want to bring a slower Runner deck and are worried about going to time in an event). As always, comments and questions are welcomed and thanks for reading.

27 comments
24 Jan 2016 Tbone6963

Under general strategy, you say ice all 3 servers. Do you mean all 3 centrals or HQ, R&D, and remote? Or does it depend on the ice you have in hand/match up you're facing?

I could see the merits of either I was just curious as to your thoughts. Great looking deck! I'm to give this a spin today I think.

24 Jan 2016 akonnick

@Tbone6963 Great question and I should have clarified. I almost always ice HQ, R&D and remote with the first 3 ice. If I only get 2 ice from the ability, I will usually ice the remote and whichever central server has a higher likelihood of giving up points if I leave open for a turn. You really want to play aggressively with this deck and don't mind giving up a couple of agendas much like an NBN deck. The ice is all so easy to rez, the you will be able to protect yourself again pretty quickly. If you get an Efficiency Committee scored, you can close out the game pretty quick from there. A scored ABT usually also gives you 2 more ice that I would add to the remote in many cases and then start jamming out agendas in the remote. Good luck with your plays and let me know what you think!

24 Jan 2016 musingly

This looks super fun. I can't wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

25 Jan 2016 Everynone

I dig the idea behind this deck. I'll definitely try it for myself, but I have a lot of trouble believing that Paper Wall is ever a good call. A replace by Vanilla is the most obvious fix and one that you point out but even like Wall of Static or Enigma? Would the extra 6 credits really push this deck over the edge? I don't know.

25 Jan 2016 GrantZilla1979

I tested this out a few times on Jinteki.net. It's been a bad week for me luck-wise. Out of about a half-dozen scored ABT's across my plays I managed to get one Paper Wall up and rezzed.

I also set a personal record for rolling hot one's in a Pathfinder session this weekend, so I must have angered the luck gods somehow.

25 Jan 2016 gumonshoe

I played this a bit and some of the fundamentals are strong. I think some of the ice is over the top and unnecessary though. For instance, you shouldn't ever rez a next gold. It shouldn't even be in the deck.

I also found that the deck tended towards HQ flood. A savvy runner whose up and up on the deck is likely going to nail you with some HQ accesses and then it'll be a race to see who can win on R&D.

That's not a bad proposition, but it's also not particularly amazing. I think faust puts enough pressure on the deck that I wouldn't compete with this.

26 Jan 2016 say200426

Would you swap Paper Wall into Vanilla?

26 Jan 2016 akonnick

@musingly Absolutely - hope you like it and let me know what you think.

26 Jan 2016 akonnick

@Everynone I understand your point, but let me present a common turn 1 situation to present a counter argument You have 3 ice in your opening hand: NEXT Silver, Paper Wall and Quandary. I put the Silver on the remote, Quandary on R&D and the Paper Wall on HQ (this depends on the matchup, but generally would be the case). If I Hedge Fund click one, install Efficiency Committee and advance, I have 8 credits to protect myself with next turn. A smart runner will challenge the remote, forcing me down to 5 then try to take that opportunity to hammer my centrals assuming I either have to 1. Protect myself and forego scoring the agenda next turn or 2. Take a chance that their multi-access run/whatever won't do too much damage. If you play Paper Wall, you get to score the Efficiency Committee AND protect all of your centrals. A Wall of Static or Enigma would result in you not having the credits to do both. Over a long enough game, the Runner will have enough money and breakers to access your remotes - that is a given. By that point, the marginal difference between and Quandary and an Enigma barely makes a difference, so you may as well play ice that maximizes your early game advantage as that is what this ID is all about. If you get the turn 2 score - you barely even need to worry about the quality of your ice as you just need an agenda to score and a Shipment from SanSan/Biotic Labor. All you want is enough to force the runner to get a breaker. I think you could certainly change the ice suite around a little and have success, but hope that at least helps give some additional clarification over why I play something as admittedly puny as Paper Wall. Thanks again for the comment and checking out the deck!

26 Jan 2016 akonnick

@say200426 I plan to make the switch when it is released. I don't think having the 1 extra strength to fade the turn 1 parasite is more valuable than having ice that sticks around. Main reason is because with the Rototurrets and NEXT Gold, there is a chance you can get a program trash and turn your lowly Vanilla back into a brick wall for the runner. I think that situation comes up more than the Paper Wall saving your butt from the extra 1 strength, but the decision is pretty close. Hope this helps and let me know what you think.

26 Jan 2016 akonnick

@GrantZilla1979 I'm about to pour one out for you although I can certainly say I've been there myself a time or two. You live by the Beta Test, you die by the Beta Test. Keep scoring those Beta Tests, and your free NEXT Gold will come...

26 Jan 2016 akonnick

@gumonshoe thanks for the comment and feedback on your experience playing it. I hear your point on NEXT Gold, but I'd be curious on what other ice you didn't think fit the deck. I've been back and forth on the Gold, but ultimately went with it for two reasons. First, it gives you something big to hit off a Beta Test (of which it is not uncommon to fire two in a game). Two, there are games where the Runner just assumes I have all end run ice and assumes they can face check with impunity. Gold gives you something that keeps them honest and can end the game on the spot either with the damage or just putting them so far behind if you snipe two breakers.

I understand your point on the HQ flood, but I never found that the deck was experiencing that any more than NEH as your are drawing roughly similar numbers of cards with an identical agenda count in the deck. The big advantage that NBN will always have over HB in the fast advance department is the fact that AstroScript Pilot Program is a 3/2 while Efficiency Committee (our fast advance equivalent agenda) is a 4/2. It is a significant advantage (along with the 5 extra influence for whatever crazy reason) that I doubt will ever be overcome.

While I think you could certainly compete with this deck and have success, you need look no further than the Spark Agency deck I posted to see what I'm taking to battle in a tournament for that very reason. If nothing else, hopefully everyone gets some direction and success playing an ID that has long been in many a card binder. Thanks again for the comments and please do let me know if you have other specific thoughts on the ice suite - it is greatly appreciated.

26 Jan 2016 lukesim3

I'm curious what the strategy here is vs. runners who can tutor and recur Clot. There's no scoring upgrades like Ash or Caprice, and every FA tactic requires a telegraph (either playing Biotic or hitting Efficiency Committee), so how do you close out games? Are you managing to get three gear check ICE on the remote and push out 7 points before they get their rig out?

26 Jan 2016 akonnick

@lukesim3 That is pretty much it. The clot recursion threat typically only comes out of Shaper in my experience. Pre NAPD as I mentioned, this matchup was awful as they had 3 Clone Chips and Clot and Parasite. Post NAPD, you are seeing a lot of cuts to 2 Clone Chip and 0 Parasite. This makes it tougher to establish a Clot "lock", but your plan B is to just gear check them and install behind a remote with different subtypes. Everyone assumes that Runners have all the answers, but if you play this deck aggressively, you will often find that they can only do so much. You will still have games where things don't work out, but that is the downfall of rush strategies in Netrunner in general. If they play Clot when you need to fast advance, just clear it and make them have the Clone Chip. Hope that helps and thanks for the comment!

27 Jan 2016 onibaku06

What are your thoughts on switching Bifrost with Gila Hands? I think with that, you could have a more stable econ throughout the game.

27 Jan 2016 GrantZilla1979

I ran this the other night, swapping out the Paper Wall for Quicksand and shuffling around to get 2x Guard. A single Mother Goddess on the remote kept the runner out most of the game but - I got horribly agenda flooded vs. Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist.

My takeaway was that I liked the Agenda/ICE distribution but the initial headstart is just not as valuable as Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future's ability over the whole of a game.

28 Jan 2016 Veste

I like this deck, the rush is real and I love this ID, thanks for posting! I've had a lot of success with this deck in testing.

BE AGGRESSIVE BE BE AGGRESSIVE!

29 Jan 2016 agrajag

I'm hitting Faust EVERYWHERE. What do you think of swapping out one or both Rototurrets for Turing? Gives it a little bit of AI hate at the same cost/influence.

29 Jan 2016 akonnick

@onibaku06 I tried it at some point in the past with Gila Hands. What I most often found is anytime I was getting to the point in the game where I'd used it enough to get real value from it, I was playing too slow and would fall behind. I think Bifrost Array has more explosiveness in terms of what it allows you to do. If you want to play with it, I would try a 1/1 split between it and Bifrost as you're often drawing enough to have some selection and can just choose to score that instead. Overall, both are great agendas, I just think you'll find that Bifrost can put you ahead where Gila Hands just provides steady, but slow value.

29 Jan 2016 akonnick

@GrantZilla1979 I fully agree that this ID is not as good as ETF on balance although I will say that NEXT Design is the 2nd best pure rush ID after Near Earth Hub. ETF just provides such amazing long term consistency and guarantees value if you just play the cards in your deck, while NEXT trades all of that for the opportunity to get in front fast and leverage that into a fast win.

2x Guard is not a bad idea at all with the increase in Security Nexus, which is a big reason I have it in the deck. What did you think of Quicksand? It is an ice I keep looking at as a potential contender, but I just can't convince myself to add more barriers or replace anything that I already have.

29 Jan 2016 akonnick

@Veste Absolutely and thanks for the kind words. I think you summed up best by demanding that people have to play this deck aggressive. This deck wasn't in my wheelhouse when I started, but it really helped me start to play more aggressively and make the runner have answers. What you quickly learn is that Corps sometimes are afraid based on assumptions that the Runner has an answer to what they are about to do, when if they just made an aggressive play, the Runner would be helpless. Best of luck as you continue to play the deck and thank you for the feedback.

29 Jan 2016 akonnick

@agrajag I think that is a totally reasonable swap and you could honestly swap both if you wanted. The barriers and code gates (and Mother Goddess/Chimera) are what I consider the "staple" ice in the deck as they are cheap and serve the primary goal of the deck of keeping the runner out and forcing them to find a breaker. The sentries are really more the meta call cards and have rotated the most within the deck over time. If you need more AI hate, don't be afraid to load up. Also, if you need to get a remote 2 ice deep before trying to score, that is also perfectly reasonable. Hope that helps and let me know what you think when you make the switch. Thanks for the feedback.

3 Feb 2016 RS14

Looks fun. I played a similar deck for a bit, and found Profiteering to be very strong. It's a safer turn 1 gambit that can fuel a very aggressive start, and you can biotic it out midgame for money.

7 Mar 2016 cspieker

I have been trying a similar deck lately to middling success. Have you considered swapping out the Pop-ups and Wraps for 3x Special Offer. The Special Offers are basically Hedge Funds in ICE form, which makes them great for NEXT.

8 Nov 2016 FightingWalloon

Someone said to learn the game I should play a rush NEXT, so I picked this deck up. The problem I have consistently is getting enough credits to sustain the rush. Do you ever have that problem or any ideas what kind of play best avoids that?

12 Nov 2016 FightingWalloon

Been having some fun with this deck. Started 0-4 with it but then started to figure out what I was doing and went 4-0 in last 4 games. My only change to the deck is using 3 Vanilla and 2 Wraparound. I find these days that Wraparound is almost always 0 because decks don't run breakerless AI very much.

One small tweak I'm thinking about is putting in a copy of Excalibur for its ability to restrict repeated runs on a key server.

Thanks for the deck.

12 Nov 2016 akonnick

@FightingWalloonWelcome to Netrunner and glad you are having success with the deck after some additional games. The decklist was created before the release of Vanilla, but I totally agree that it is an auto 3-of. The core of the deck is really the agendas and operations. The ice just needs to end the run and be as cheap as possible. Vanilla, Paper Wall and Quandary just make it that much more consistent to get early scores while keeping your credits available for scoring agendas. I haven't tried Excalibur, but think it would be an easy swap with something like the Chimera or Guard. Would love to hear what you think when you try it.