[Standard 23.09] Hush! I'm Eavesdropping (Thimbledrop v2)

james123lui 162


Introducing Thimbledrop: dropping Thimblerig + Eavesdrop down a column of scaffolding ICE = causing a 5c swing per encounter unless they go tag-me.

Dies to Hush, beware Hippo.

Probably the last echoes of trace decks (RIP Rutherford Grid).

For a more fun and interactive experience (though subjectively weaker), see the other version with remote.

Deck idea

(It's a deck I've been brewing across a few rotations. Want to send a message that there are still new ideas with old cards!)

The whole deck revolves around Thimblerig and Eavesdrop. By hosting Eavesdrop on Thimblerig and swapping Thimblerig with the inner ICE after they pass, each time the runner encounters Thimblerig again they must also resolve Eavesdrop's trace. This creates a massive credit cost (3c if linkless + 1c to break Thimblerig) regardless of the ICEbreakers for just 3 credit from the Corp. Oh, and matching traces counts as spending credits for GameNET: Where Dreams are Real, so in total it's a 5c swing per encounter.

Deck building (core):

  1. The gimmick wants tall servers to house Thimbledrop.
  2. How to build scaffolding? Jinja City Grid.
  3. How to fuel the construction? Draw compression with Spin Doctor, Predictive Planogram and Attitude Adjustment.
  4. Drawing many cards? Your Digital Life.

About NBN fast advance:

As we want to stack ICE as tall as possible, protecting 3 servers (HQ, R&D and Remote) means 33% shorter scaffold than protecting just 2. The ideal is radical: no remotes, only score from hand. However, NBN FA is very reliant on a remote server using SanSan City Grid and/or Arella Salvatore since the Downfall of Astro train (which was replaced by Remastered Edition and as a 4/2 is tricky to kickstart FA). Therefore we must find more funky angles.

Deck building (fast-advance):

  1. How to condense ICE to go taller? No remotes, fast advance (shoutout to Silent Arbiter's iteration).
  2. How to fast advance? Biotic Labor + 3/2 agendas.
  3. Not enough influence? Focus Group.
  4. Need runner grip intel? Standard Procedure.
  5. Runner not running? Subliminal Messaging as well as Post-Truth Dividend for psychological pressure.

Standard Procedure and Focus Group goes hand in hand: the former gives you intel and credits while the latter uses them for fast advance. Guess 2 cards right and it's 1c cheaper than Biotic Labor while being in-faction. See 3-of-a-kind and we can immediately commit to score a 3/2 in the same turn. This is all we ask for since it's nigh impossible to FA a Bellona... or is it?

For the ICE suite, everything serves to be scaffolds - sturdy and cheap:

  1. Early game we want ETR ICE: Ping, Wraparound and Thimblerig.
  2. Or ICE that refunds via GameNET: Pop-up Window (3c swing for 0!), Rime, Virtual Service Agent and F2P.
  3. AI, mostly Aumakua, makes Rime really sad. Therefore we have Wraparound, Virtual Service Agent and F2P to fend off turtle decks.

Piloting the deck

Before finding the Thimbledrop combo, use cheap ICE to maintain tempo.

Slightly paradoxical, but look for Jinja City Grid and protect it with ICE, despite its high trash cost. This is a very binary deck with or without Jinja. Think of it as [3 clicks and 1+2+3 credits] leading to a 4-tall server. Also concealing information about the first protecting ICE is a plus.

Aside from Thimblerig, F2P is also a good Eavesdrop target.

Draw aggressively to find/feed Jinja, as we have Attitude Adjustment and Spin Doctor to unjam HQ and Your Digital Life also benefits.

Don't fire Focus Group blind, always survey with Standard Procedure first. Unlike Biotic Labor, you must first lay down the agenda to have advancement target and if you miss, it's free points for the runner unless you trample it with a Spin Doctor. It takes skill to gauge what's in the runner's grip, and alas, it's rare interaction with the runner for this despicable deck, so don't mess it up.

Sometimes it's good to leave a server (usually Archives) taxing but not discouraging to run, just to bait successful runs for the conditions of Standard Procedure and Focus Group.

Against Anarchs it's prudent to assume Hippo is just round the corner - don't be too greedy and place Thimbledrop one behind the outermost.


It's a shame that NSG has decided to phase out Traces, and NBN has moved more towards tags in terms of tempo and punishment. The first Corp decks I built revolved around Surveillance Sweep deck in New Angeles Sol: Your News and I still have fond memories about it.

This deck doesn't play very fun Netrunner for the runner, as it turns a game about bluffing and hidden information into a boring game of math and optimization: Jinja reveals all ICE info, and that is all the info on the board when we build no remotes. The deck wins solely through incredulous rez-break ratios and cycling through the deck for the FA tools. But still, it's a potent showcase of the trace mechanics and Condition operations. I hope the new Expendables do something similar, it's trojan themed expansion after all.

Other spicy techs experimented (see also the version with remotes):

  • Valentão + Increased Drop Rates: a face-check of 5-credit swing pays for itself, and 6 STR "ETR" is fantastic especially with Rime. 3-influence is quite demanding, but is a great backup should Thimbledrop yields to, say, Chisel.
  • Jua: Cheaper but worse F2P in many ways. Could hinder Arissana by a bit but the Runner can install cards on approach before encountering.
  • Oppo Research: When the runner overextends to steal Bellona this is good. But the deck is more about honest credit wars and less about tag punishment. Could be fun with Market Forces or Retribution to shoot down decoders, or Backroom Machinations to replace the kitty we lost.
  • Remastered Edition: Maybe exerts greater psychological pressure on the runner similar to Project Atlas counters. But to FA this, one must blindly land a 3-of-a-kind Focus Group, which is very risky. Alternatively, one uses Biotic Labor + 2-hit Focus Group, which in the end it's the same amount of FA tools expended.
  • NGO Front: In the version with remotes, this is fantastic in baiting runs through the Thimbledrop'd tall remote, setting up for a proper agenda score or forcing the runner to go tag-me to keep up.
13 Nov 2023 peterparkerrbu

word) search OE allows for an unlimited number of editions to be minted within a limited time frame, determined by the artist.

13 Nov 2023 peterparkerrbu

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13 Nov 2023 xiaat

Have you tested Peeping Tom, Starlit Knight or Replanting?

13 Nov 2023 james123lui


Peeping Tom yes, but it's far inferior compared to Standard Procedure: both requires the runner to run, Peeping Tom is 4c reveal the grip only on one server run and (almost) do nothing, while Standard Procedure is 0c to play on any successful run.

Starlit Knight no, because my vision of giving out tags (via Eavesdrop) is simply means to an end of credit tax, but not the focus of the deck that we have follow up for. Therefore it and Peeping Tom are less attractive compared to more impactful subroutines like F2P, which is also a high-strength sentry. Feel free to try out though!

As for Replanting, I'm not sure what its purpose is..? Did you mean to reuse Eavesdrop on different ICE, or to help stack the servers taller? For the latter purpose I think Jinja works better for 1 influence less and better click economy. In my testing HQ is quite flooded to wait for 1 operation + 2 ICE to install, so Jinja is more attractive as there will not be dead cards in hand. Reinstalling Eavesdrop is not that attractive, as I would rather use the influence to add one more Thimblerig, which is Eavesdrop's final destination so we don't have to Replant.

16 Nov 2023 Zoehope

This was really fun to play against! Thimble Drop is a great idea and I am here to stan it.