[Startup] Play it, Steve

Oddball 1233


“It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.”

-As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld)

“Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake."

The decks central premise is that Concerto is better than we have been giving it credit for (pun intended). Everything here costs creds except for a few copies of No Free Lunch and other copies of Concerto. So if you’re running an asset, upgrade or just want to break in somewhere, play Concerto. No matter what you’re drawing a card and often you’re paying for some of the costs of your run.

It also features two classic FFG Netrunner cards: Femme Fatale and Test Run. Femme is not really in favor right now, but thanks to Test Run and Concerto Femme is going to have her time to shine again.

How? By turning Concerto into NSG Stimhack! Often you won’t get lucky and find a Femme off the top with Concerto, but thanks to Test Run we can guarantee it. After we use Femme to sneak into a server she returns to the top of the deck. Now your Concerto gives you 9 stinking credits and no core damage. You’re getting into that server.

”Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

With the rotation of Ashes out of Startup, rig shooter is back in town. Test run is the way we’re going to counter this. Early on, Test Run will find you a Femme or your key breaker to break into a server. Not to mention let you sneakily Test Run our Sneakdoor Beta at the right moment (and set up a four cred Concerto). Later it can bring back a trashed program. With Steve’s ability we can play Test Run multiple times too thanks to our built in recursion!

Remember: When you install a program, you can trash any of your currently installed programs (even if you’re under your MU limit). This is the way you’re going to get copies of Femme back in the Heap in order to Test Run them back into play.

”Here's looking at you, kid.

The other package we’ve crammed in is multi access courtesy of WAKE Implant v2A-JRJ and The Twinning. The former rewards us for what Steve already wants to do, hit HQ. The latter relies on Cezve and Prepaid VoicePAD to fuel its multi-access.

Cezve is what we need to keep getting into HQ and the other centrals and probably doesn’t need much explanation, but PPVP definitely has a place here. Nearly all of our events costs creds, so the discount will add up, especially if you can start playing your Test Runs for 1 credit.

Finally we have another System Update card: Legwork. It's not as popular right now, but being able to see most of HQ (or all of it thanks to the Twinning) is what we need to make the run count and find any hidden agendas.

Renault: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

We also have a lot of fun Criminal tricks: Inside Job, Femme Fatale, Pinhole Threading and Reprise. Inside Job and Femme (thanks to Test Run) are going to let us sneak into servers with tricks we didn’t deserve to get in. It also delivers some nice tech to get around annoying on encounter effects of ice like Anvil and Tollbooth. Femme also “blanks” ZATO City Grid on a specific ice since our encounter effects happen first!

Pinhole Threading feels like a must right now, with all the powerful defensive upgrades Corps have access too. Don’t forget that you can spend your remaining Cezve creds on the card you access on your Pinhole!

Finally on Reprise: it’s usefulness can be argued, but when you can play it to unlock another server, or return an agenda to hand that you then can steal… it’s magic. Plus I felt that I had to have it in a deck with Concerto.

”Round up the usual suspects.”

After chatting with Marbles, this was the Crim econ package she suggested: run based events backed up by Pennyshaver. With our recursion courtesy of our ID, we can keep playing econ events. No Free Lunch can be used for econ, or to dodge tags if you suspect they are using Drago Ivanov, or your opponent is NBN. I avoided Career Fair (it costs 0) and ran lighter on resources, but feel free to make the deck your own.

“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. “

You might not always get to pull off the Concerto-hack, but when the stars align it’s one of the most amazing feelings in NSG era Netrunner! Give the deck a spin and please give me some feedback. I’d love to hear what you think.

Finally, special thanks to Thrazznos for always being willing to listen to my rantings and ravings about Netrunner and for Marbles for chatting deck ideas.

TIL: Not once in Casablanca do any characters say “Play it again, Sam.” Earlier in the film Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, says the line I quoted above and later in the film Humphrey Bogart's Rick barks out “Play it, Sam”. Apparently this is known as the Mendela effect, when many people collectively misremember something… Its just like the misconstrued line which we all incorrectly say: “Luke, I am your Father”, instead of the correct line: “No. I am your father”. Maybe it was the Woody Allen film, “Play it Again, Sam” that corrupted everyone’s memory? Anyway, now you know!

27 Jan 2023 NyXy

What a delightful write-up, great job. I'm definitely going to try this out as it looks like heaps of fun.

27 Jan 2023 Oddball

@NyXy Thanks for your kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think after you get some games in!

Also, a silly thing I've discovered: once you pull off a 4, 5, or 9 cred Concerto... The corp will remove Concerto from the game instead of the econ or utility pick when you use Steve's ability! Like I pick Dirty Laundry and Concerto, they let me take the guaranteed money. It's a great dilemma to put the Corp in.

28 Jan 2023 FAC3L355

I'm playing this simply because of the writeup. Casablanca is a big favorite of mine.


28 Jan 2023 Oddball

@FAC3L355It's such a classic and still a wonderful film. I had to watch it again after I wrote this.

5 Jul 2023 Tak

I keep finding all these fun looking decklists only to see that, once again, @Oddball is the one behind it. 👏👏👏 Nice work. I have some catching up to do.

23 Jul 2023 Baxder

This is just a joy to play! Went 2-0 at a local meetup, then got to 6 points in the GLC Startup League vs. NEH before dying to Snare > EotL. Never drew a Test Run in that last one, but it wasn't really needed against the asset spam, either. But you were right, when that combo fires it feels like gold.

24 Jul 2023 Baxder

Made it Neo. Prognostic Q-Loop, anyone? netrunnerdb.com

28 Jul 2023 wafflesatdawn

This is the worst deck I've ever played. FF is always a brick in hand. I've seen Test Run only once. The fracter is always at the bottom of the deck; or else it's the decoder.

For meme spice only