(With apologies for being part of the problem.)
NEH Fastro is still stupid-good post-MWL. What I didn't expect was how fun this deck is to play. It's fast and loose, risky and rewarding. It forces the runner to waste time trashing your stuff and giving you money at the expense of building their board state, while you build the Fastro inevitability with a flood of options.
This deck was 5-0 for 1st Place at the Petrie's Store Champs in Colorado Springs, also taking 2nd at the Collectormania SC, with Hayley Pawnshop as the runner for both. A special shout-out to kiv for the inspiration for this build.
In some ways, it plays like any other NEH: first click is an install-draw, and you flood the board with naked servers while you work towards the Astro-train. What's different is that you also make money from the runner running, which happens in three ways:
Running through Special Offer. It can easily put you into safe Biotic range on your 2nd turn. It's also a great way to make them think twice about running, or about continuing a run when in front of unrezzed ICE, as it can open up an inconvenient Archangel. Also great value in front of must-trash assets/upgrades. 9-10 swing to trash a SanSan? Be my guest.
Face-planting into Explode-a. If I draw one with no other econ, I'll sometimes feed it to the runner first click to get the tempo rolling. It's risky, but usually worth it (and can fake them out into thinking you're on Midseason, so they do nothing but click for credits). If they never run it, you can Biotic/Astro it later, though I don't think that's ever happened.
Efficient ICE rezzes with Mumba Temple. Free Wraparound, Enigma for 1, Archangel for 2, 5 profit on a Special Offer, etc; if they don't run, free PAD, free DBS, SanSan for 4 (or less), the list goes on. If the runner can afford to trash stuff, I often ICE the first Mumba if I can; if they run it, I get a cheap ICE rez and immediate value, perfect for a SanSan server later.
Mumba Temple: Perhaps the best card in the deck. Try to find ways to trigger it as often as possible; if they run it and you've got a hidden PAD/DBS on the board, it's worth sacrificing the click tax for a cheap rez and immediate value before it's trashed. (If you see this card as a runner, trash on sight. The threat is so subtle and insidious, it's easy to overlook.)
If you're planning on a SanSan fast-advance on your turn, rez it with Mumba on the runner's turn, to maximize value. With some board states, it can be worth rezzing the SanSan for 4 or 2 before you've even found an agenda.
Daily Business Show: 2nd best card. The deck usually has good money, so a last-minute swap of 3rd PAD for 3rd DBS was worth it; if you need money, it helps you find your money cards anyway. Only downside is that it helps Medium dig; if you're playing against Anarch, just be aware of the threat, either putting 2-3 ICE on R&D, rushing to Fastro ASAP, or praying that 2x CVS saves you.
Team Sponsorship: Most runners know to trash these, and it's a win-win whether they do or not. In addition to recurring trashed assets or ICE, this card enables all sorts of scoring jank; if you have at least two fast-advance tricks at your disposal, it's feasible to score two agendas in one turn. (I pulled this off during a finals round with Jason Niehoff, using a 2/1 to score a milled Beale using a SanSan and 2 astro counters.)
PAD Campaign: Supplemental income, often at no cost to rez. They're usually so busy trashing the other stuff that these get to live.
Cyberdex Virus Suite: Your one and only answer to Clot; minimum 2 is vital, and depending on the meta, finding room for a 3rd is justified. With 2, I usually find one when I need it. I've yet to face off against Clot+SacCon, which I suspect largely shuts down this deck; the only answer would be to brute-force through them with multiple purges/CVS's, or to transition into being a shitty rush/glacier deck and hope for the best.
Against non-Clot decks, it's a great answer to Imp, and even against no-virus decks, you can throw it down naked for a card and to tax a click when they check. (Also fun: bluffing it as a Crisium by installing on HQ, or a SanSan by installing on top of a protected asset.)
Fast Track: I want to find room for a 2nd, but nearly always, one has been enough. (The biggest downside of extra Fast Tracks is that they aren't more assets.) In practice, having 3x DBS tends to feed you what you want when you want it. Even so, the solo Fast Track has been used on probably half the games I've played, often for the win.
Sweeps Week: The advantage of bouncing up from low credits is worth the risk of it getting stuck in hand when the runner keeps a low card count. Don't hesitate to play it for 3, and occasionally even for 2.
Archangel: Definitely the best ICE in the deck. The only downside is that it's worthless before the runner has started installing good cards, and can even backfire if the runner's only cards are things they want bounced, like Cache or D4v1d. (Note that the effect is mandatory.) But it's hugely taxing, and can create an effective ETR in front of a Wraparound or Enigma. I've almost never triggered the trap effect, but it's a nice bonus, and causes the runner to think twice about running your hand once they access it off a central.
Swordsman: Near-mandatory in the current meta. I've probably blown up a Faust in half the Anarch games I've played, and it bought me the time I needed to build and/or score out. (I think it's a huge mistake to pack only one Mimic in Faust decks, unless you have SMC.) Against non-Faust, a single net damage will often deter central runs in the early game, until the runner finds a killer or gets desperate.
Mother Goddess: I put one of these in almost every Corp deck. Hard ETR for 4 that typically taxes two cards or three credits is good value. Now and again, I rez it with no other subtypes and rush an Astro against a non-Anarch before they can get Atman/Femme/etc (and some decks don't have an answer to it at all). If I'm worried about Inside Job, Special Offer over a Mother Goddess works nicely.
Tollbooth: I don't usually need it, but it's a godsend when I do.
The rest of the ICE is cheap ETRs as gear-checks. Only thing I'm unsure of 3x Wraparound vs. 2x Wraparound and 1x Resistor; the latter has an anti-synergy with Mumba and a weaker Faust game, but Resistor has been a solid card in many match-ups, so I'm happy with it; it severely punishes runners who go tag-me, which is satisfying.
Global Food Initiative: Costs influence, and too hard to score. The tempo boost from the runner hitting Explode-a is worth the increased density, and every once in a while you actually score one.
Little Engine: I've seen a lot of Fastro running Little Engine, and while it's deeply taxing most of the time, the possibility of a backfire feels too high. Cyber-Cypher breaks for free, and D4v1d nets full profit and still has a counter left for Archangel/Tollbooth. Great against Faust, but too risky for an already high-risk deck, in my opinion.
Datapike: More taxing than Enigma, but the extra rez cost stings, and the loss of a single click the first few turns can make a big difference to overwhelming their board state. Been on the fence between these two, as Datapike is better against Faust.
Noise: The matchup I fear most, but I usually do better than I expect. You need to just rush, and hope you hit 7 before Noise does. Try to use CVS to clear their Imps and prevent trashes. ICE Archives if you have to, but if you're able to chain your fast-advances, sometimes it's better to just race Noise to the win.
Whizzard: Another tough matchup, but shockingly, it's quite possible to install assets faster than Whizzard can trash. The focus becomes on taxing clicks rather than taxing credits, or forcing Whizzard to run through ICE (and Special Offers) in order to trash. Expect severe ICE destruction; unless you've got a clear path to victory, it may be a good idea to double-ICE centrals. If your Sponsorships trigger, use them to rescue ICE if you can't chain agendas.
Also, when playing any Anarch, there's a high probability of Turntable. If you don't find the 2nd Astro, it's often worth using an Astro token to score a Beale to make sure the token doesn't get spun away. The deck has enough other fast-advance tricks to get you the final score.
Shaper: If they're not packing Clot, you almost certainly win. But you've got to respect the threat; plan A is to get the first Astro out the door before they find an SMC, even if it means going to zero credits. Once the threat's online, you can get around it by stashing CVS in your best-protected central. Or, you can bait the clot with a 2/1 or an Explode-a, and purge the hard way.
Leela: Leela's bounces can undo your board state as you score, as she Maker's into another bounce and then Siphons you to oblivion. So try to take the time to throw up extra layers of ICE if you can, or build a cash reserve before fast-advancing. Also try to rez at every opportunity, to reduce bounce targets (remember that Inside Job does not actually prevent a rez!).
The biggest Leela threat I've encountered is Gang Sign + HQ Interface (lost me the finals to Matt Dawkins @ Collectormania), which always seems to go off at the worst possible time, and can't even be dodged by Sponsorship thanks to the Leela trigger. If Gang Sign is out, it can be worth either keeping a "scoring remote" for fast-advancing, or installing an agenda over an asset, to avoid triggering the NEH draw at the wrong time. If you're flooded, your only out is to flush with Jackson and try again.
Criminal: As always, mission #1 is to block Siphon. It's not the craziest idea to double-ice HQ and leave R&D open. If the Siphon lands, try to spend all your money on assets, even if it means wasting Mumba for the turn. You also won't be able to stop Security Testing money, so it's best to let it go and just fast-out as quickly as possible.
This deck is broken, disgusting, fun as hell, and it wins games. Enjoy.
(Memo to my Shapers: Slot the Clot.)
9 Mar 2016 lopert
9 Mar 2016 lopert
9 Mar 2016 lukifer
11 Mar 2016 HuskerDu
11 Mar 2016 lukifer