[Startup] BluR+ (guide)

ThanosPKC 84

About
Archetype: Fast Advance(FA) - Find a window. Score Bellona. Fast Finish!

I originally wanted to make a Focus Group deck. I would use an Engram Flush "bad type call" to get a read on their hand and fast advance an agenda. When the combo landed, it felt awesome! However, the Focus Group clause "Play only if the Runner made a successful run during their last turn" limited my path to win too much.

Abandoning Focus Group, the deck became "unfocussed," hence the deck title BluR+. Blur also has a double meaning! It is still Fast Advance, and it can close out the game really fast.. and fast things are blurry... Ok, maybe it's not as clever as it sounds when I'm explaining it.

I enjoy the tense early game decisions that this deck forces on you. Piloting correctly to score an early Bellona is both challenging and exciting. There WILL be a window, through either the Runner's mistakes or my creative play. Reviewing replays have confirmed that it is a consistent opportunity.

First Bellona to Win
These are my main win conditions:

  1. Bellona + Gold Farmer/Tollbooth
    Scoring one early puts me in the position to score my last 2 agendas easily. Protected by Gold Farmer and/or Tollbooth, the 5 credit additional cost to steal is tough for the Runner to pay, especially during the early game where they are trying to get setup. It is very important that I find or create the window to score Bellona early (Digital Rights Management helps). If I am unable to score one by the time the runner is setup, it will be an uphill battle.

  2. Biotic Labor + SanSan City Grid
    Project Beale and Tomorrow's Headline are the agendas I finish with.
    7 Credits to score 1 agenda through Biotic Labor.
    8 Credits to score 1 agenda through SanSan City Grid.

Clot Considerations:
When Clot is a possibility (through Simulchip, Self-modifying Code, or Gachapon), remember to allow the runner to act when trying to score an Agenda.
SanSan City Grid - Install, Adv, Delay/ask for action, Adv, Rez, Score.
Biotic Labor - Install, Adv, Play Biotic, Adv, Delay/ask for action, Adv, Score.
When necessary, False Lead and Reversed Accounts can bait out a Clot prematurely. SanSan City Grid is the cheaper option when baiting. In some rare situations, I can also use Bellona to bait and threaten a win at the same time.

Absence of Common Cards
Daily Quest (DQ) - This deck wants speed and DQ's are much slower than Regolith Mining License. Regolith gives me +4 credits on the first turn I play it. The turn after, either +9 credits, or -7 credits for the Runner to trash behind a Gold Farmer. This aligns with the plan to score an early Bellona.

Funhouse - I used to have 3. They annoyed the Runner immensely. This ice forces a runner to decide between going "tag me" where they collect tags OR clearing the tags. The deck can't punish the "tag me" decision because card slots are dedicated to Fast Advance. When I made this realization, Tollbooth replaced all the slots as my large code gate and it delivers on the plan to score an early Bellona. I had one flexible ice slot, and I went with Enigma over a Funhouse because it's cheaper and has an "end the run" subroutine that allows F2P to stack above it nicely.

Psychographics - Because I no longer force the runner to go "tag me," I don't have to use up card slots for multi-tag punishment.

Public Trail + Retribution - As stated before, the fast advance tools require HQ storage so it's hard to justify these cards. Public Trail could be useful if it always drained runner credits. I can't punish the single tag without also including Retribution.

Why NBN: Reality Plus? - 44 card deck size makes the plan to score an early Bellona very consistent. After which, finding copies of Biotic is also easier. Ping acts like Vanilla+, a gear check that forces them to clear a tag, which is great early game tempo.

Influence and Agenda Notes
Snare! + Engram Flush - Engram Flush is a cheap efficient central ice that can be a liability if the runner decides to let go of their hand. Snare complicates that decision, and is relatively cheap with NBN: Reality Plus. Early iterations had influence spent on the very effective Manegarm Skunkworks. It could be the better include, but Snare has just been an absolute fun time. The minimum deck size allows Snare to fire at least once, and Spin Doctors can increase that number throughout the game.

• Preferred Scoring Order: Bellona, Tomorrow's Headline, Project Beale.
• If the runner is poor: Bellona, Bellona, Any.
I have to include a single 1 pointer to meet the deck requirement. NOT a 2 pointer because that would increase situations the Runner wins with 3 agendas stolen. I don't want to score the 1 pointer unless I'm desperate. Of the options, I went with False Lead because the Runner has to play around it (and may also wonder about the deck if they steal it). Superconducting Hub could be better. License Acquisition is another option, but I've found that if I'm forced to score the 1 pointer, I'm doing it with an already rezzed SanSan City Grid.

Timeline
Opening Hand
Best: Econ card, Remote Ice, Digital Rights Management/Bellona.
Good: Econ card, Ice.

Early Game: Bellona, Bellona, Bellona
I want Gold Farmer or Tollbooth on the remote, and just enough money to jam a Bellona (5 to adv + 3/8 for ice). If Regolith Mining License is my early econ card, I prioritize being able to install, click for creds, click for creds behind remote ice. The leftover 9 could be sacrificed if I see a window to score Bellona.
I pay attention to the Runner's turns, understand their need to setup, and know the cost of their early access tools (Boomerang, Inside Job, Botulus, Self-modifying Code into a program, etc). The remote is the priority, but I'll ice R&D/HQ as necessary. Icing HQ to protect Regolith (only econ in hand) can be common. If there is an early game Snare! trigger, I have to remember to keep enough creds for Bellona.

Mid Game: Fast Advance Time?
Hopefully I've scored a Bellona - I can decide to score a second Bellona if the runner is poor, or start looking for economy to pay for my Fast Advance tools and protect R&D/HQ. Putting a Ping, Engram Flush, or Enigma on Archives can also frustrate runners who rely on an open server. I also consider scoring normally through the remote. Spin Doctors can cycle back in Fast Advance tools, Economy, and Snare's.
If I have not scored a Bellona - I need to find more economy to pay for more ice. Hopefully I can tax out the Runner, and find that window to score Bellona.

Late Game: Not so fast!
Must be a rough game. Reversed Accounts is a tool that I can use to both handle Clot and open a window to score. If the runner is low on cards, Snare! becomes a possible win condition.

Ice
Gold Farmer, Tollbooth - Remote FIRST!!!, R&D and HQ after Bellona - Primary remote defense.
Ping - HQ, R&D, Archives, Remote desperation - Cheap gear-check that also causes the runner to clear a tag.
Engram Flush - R&D, HQ, Archives - Preferably R&D, but great on any central.
F2P - R&D, HQ, Remote desperation - I only slotted two because it works best as 2nd layer ice on R&D or HQ.
Enigma - HQ, Archives, Remote desperation - As mentioned above, the "end the run" can be important, which makes it more useful than Funhouse or Whitespace.
Note: The runner does not require a Killer icebreaker. If I was to change the Ice suite, I'd consider adding a meaningful sentry. Rototurret may be worth the spash.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading =)

5 comments
21 Jul 2021 aunthemod

Great Writeup! Love the synergy between Engram Flush & Snare! I wish there was another sentry available to NBN besides F2P & Tithe!

22 Jul 2021 napalm900

Fantastic game with you earlier! The Snares (and threat of) did a lot of work, slowing me down considerably. Just watch out for those Imps and your Bellonas!

22 Jul 2021 ThanosPKC

@aunthemod Me too! I edited the write up to include the Rototurret as a suggestion for a potential splash. All the other's are higher influence =(

@napalm900 That game was super fun. I hope you checked the replay out where you Docklands accessed with 2 Snare's in HQ! Soon after I ended up with a Bellona that had no where to go, and it was tricky keeping it away from you. Good times!

24 Jul 2021 Diogene

Fastest game with this deck : 1 minute, 1 turn. Snare! did it again!

24 Jul 2021 ThanosPKC

@Diogene Haha! Not the intended early win condition but definitely possible when you can't get any respect from runners! =)