Pure Balance Foundry

Earth Red 971

Hi. I've been teching the Foundry ever since it came out. I've won several tournaments with the Foundry, I've given up with the Foundry, I've taken the Foundry back into my arms. We've had our fights, our ups and downs, but only now, through vigorous teching and theorycrafting, have I come up with a build I'm sure enough about, a build I'm finally ready to give out to you fine folks.

As always, I'll give a Tl;dr for those of you who don't want to read a ton of details and analysis.

Basic concepts, tl; dr:

  • Your main strengths as this deck are:
    • A stable entirety of efficiently and cogently pushing out strong icing and board states that stay strong throughout the game and will be a pain to keep up with.
    • A few selected, super cheap upgrades that will either win you the game or give you an immense edge, as long as you can handle psi games. And if nothing else, work as ways to scare off unwary runners that see a blind upgrade. (Marcus Batty + NEXT Gold is your biggest bread and butter synergy) Your upgrades also become a lot scarier since you have so much recursion to get them back over and over again if needed.
  • You usually should be making safe long-term plays up to the point where bluffs don't cost you your momentum. Making a new server with one NEXT ice and an asset is rarely a bad idea as long as you have the credits for it; it's either a surefire way of getting credits through Adonis Campaign, going wild with Executive Boot Camp, or having another NEXT ice rezzed. (or in some early game situations, getting an Architect proc)
  • Remember this entry from the FAQ. It gives you really safe Accelerated Beta Tests, and an immense tempo boost. At it's best, it can secure your board immensely. Also remember not to Executive Boot Camp an ice just before scoring Accelerated Beta Test, because you can proc your The Foundry: Refining the Process only once per turn.

If the Corp uses the ability on The Foundry during the resolution of an Accelerated Beta Test, what happens? Each piece of ice is installed and rezzed one at a time. So the Corp installs the first piece of ice and then uses The Foundry to search R&D for another copy. This results in shuffling the other two looked at cards into R&D (they neve actually leave R&D), preventing them from being installed or trashed.

Here's a breakdown for you:

You score ABT - You look at all three cards - You install and rez one ice - You choose to use the Foundry - Your Foundry ability happens, your deck is shuffled, thus nothing happens to the rest of the cards. You can't install them, and they aren't trashed.

Going deeper:

  • The main focus of this deck is strong and stable deck mathematics that emanates into strong and long-term effective board states that support key upgrades that raise you from the hell of being forced to otherwise bluff your way into victory against many decks. I've tried a lot of variants where my splash was burned up for tempo and cash, but after many tournaments I came to the decision that even though I could get insane tempo, a good runner having enough money to run at the right moments devastated me far too much.
  • There are certain elements of the board state you need to be able to read at all times if possible. Pay special attention to these aspects of the game.
    • Firstly, when to proc your foundry ability. Of course most of the time it's either forced, or just necessary to build up your board. But some times, you'll really need to really ponder, do you need the proc. Will it make you unnecessarily float cards in your hand? Will it make an Accelerated Beta Test you are going to score soon unsafer? Will it unnecessarily thin your deck? Can you efficiently install the ice soon enough? Or can it help you draw your last agendas to score, even if you didn't need the ice draw itself? On the other side of things, even if you have to float, usually searching for your small NEXT ice is top priority in terms of your long-term plans. Regardless, you should always be aware of how many ice you still have in your deck and generally how many cards you still have in your deck, to maintain the stability of your Accelerated Beta Tests.
    • Secondly, when to install your upgrades. Due to having a lot of recursion, you'll be able to spam your upgrades even early and mid game without losing a lot of late game potential, but at the same time if you aren't careful you'll end up having stuff trashed or wasted unnecessarily.
    • Thirdly, how to balance your icing. A common mistake people can make is overcommitting too much (which results in unnecessarily spending too much credits on installing), not knowing what central to protect (getting rekt by a well placed run event et cetera), or not realizing how to bait the runner getting more NEXT ice rezzed. Some times, you might want to leave a single ice in front of a central to get the runner to run, saving you both cash and giving you edge for your NEXT suite, both by their innate and your Foundry proc.
    • As an extra thing to think about, you can really do some gamechanging plays with Project Vitruvius counters. Be creative, and witness the power of Peak Efficiency as well.
  • Take the time to keep your board state safe, you shouldn't be pushing out agendas all the time! You should usually use your main scoring server for your Adonis Campaign.

Explaining card and splash choices:

  • I chose The Foundry: Refining the Process as my identity because it brings a lot of safety, speed and stability to my NEXT based board setup, gives us the safest Accelerated Beta Tests out there, and enables some really synergy rich plays such as going wild with with Executive Boot Camp.
  • The NAPD Contracts are there to tax and slow the runner more. That four credits can mean a lot.
  • One-offs:
    • I took a one-off of Caprice Nisei because (even though I feel like she could fit almost any deck) she brings a lot of extra kick for the influence and card slot, especially given we have a lot of recursion. I tried various builds, spending my leftover influence for cards like Wormhole, Pop-up Window and Sweeps Week, but in the end noticed that I literally get the most stable bang for my buck out of Caprice. It works whenever I draw it. I don't have to wait to try to get semi-expensive conditional benefits out of it. If I had the influence, I'd run more of it, but Marcus Batty is even more important, due to it being a strong multi-use winning condition for me.
    • I took one Mandatory Upgrades because I had one open agenda slot, didn't want to shift my deck math for the worse with a 5/3 or two 3/1s (making it easier for the runner to win) and saw some good use in it. Since this deck is able to force agenda scoring with your upgrades or a good Accelerated Beta Test, I decided to include this one-off Mandatory Upgrades to give me some new outs for winning. I've tested a lot of different agendas for this last slot, up from fragments to Gila, but ended up with this.
    • Biotic Labor is there as a finishing touch to resolve some tougher endgame situations. I doubt I have to explain its inclusion any more.

Match ups:

  • Against both rush and control matchups, you need to keep slower pace and pay special attention to setting up your board as safely as possible, to minimize your losses from getting hit hard and remove risks of having a too slow recovery time after being hit too hard. If your ice is trashed, Interns is your best friend.
  • In tempo and midrange matchups, try to get your opponent off their feet by doing a lot of plays that reaction and cost the runner momentum in some form. Against the best players, this is usually achieved with your upgrades and aggressively pushing out assents behind ice.
  • Against the combo and turtle runners, don't forget that most of them can still make some reactive runs, so don't pop a wheelie with your agenda installs. Your role will most likely be that of a wannabe tempo deck.

Tips for beginners:

  • Your main focus should be learning how to keep your board state safe and efficient, and calculating your decks mathematics a few turns ahead, especially if holding a Peak Efficiency, your ultimate recovery tool after your early game. I've seen people lending my decks do weird over-, and undercommitting, to centrals, causing them to either slow their game pace down by a lot or losing to being barraged on an aspect of the board they've ignored.
  • Remember that Ichi is a ghetto Gold for Marcus Batty. That could be of use.
  • Until you learn this deck inside out and can analyze your hands by more than a few thumb rules, you should prioritize having the following in a good starting hand:

Avoid too many agendas in your starting hand.

All in all, I hope you like this deck! I've put an immense amount of effort into the Foundry, and it has really paid off, at least in terms of the number of Netrunner playmats I own . :D I really love teching identities I enjoy to create new competitive builds, it's probably the biggest joy I get out of Netrunner. Anything I forgot to add in these notes? Drop a comment below! I'd love to hear feedback and ideas. Thanks for reading. :)

27 Sep 2015 Bronth

Very enjoyable write up. Could you explain the ABT Foundry synergy a bit more. Do you see all 3 cards before deciding what to do?

28 Sep 2015 Earth Red

@Bronth Thanks! :) Here's a breakdown for you:

You score ABT - You look at all three cards - You install and rez one ice - You choose to use the Foundry - Your Foundry ability happens, your deck is shuffled, thus nothing happens to the rest of the cards. You can't install them, and they aren't trashed.

28 Sep 2015 RogueNite

Surely there's anti-synergy between NEXT, Peak Efficiency and Mother Goddess? You want to be rezzing lots of ice, having Mother Goddess discourages you from doing that. Also, how consistent is the economy in this deck? It seems with only 9 economy cards, 3 of which are late game, you might experience fairly consistent trouble.

28 Sep 2015 Earth Red

@RogueNite Mother Goddess is there to buff NEXT ice, since it gains the NEXT subtype as well.

I haven't had trouble with my economy. This deck contains 11 economy cards (you forgot Executive Boot Camp), 7 of my agendas give me or can be used for economic consistency, you can use part of your recursive pool on your economy, not to mention that my spending flow is quite low. Also since you rarely need to draw cards through clicks, you can spend a lot of your spare clicks for credits. It's true that Peak Efficiency is useless early on, but after a few rezzes at it's worst it'll be a Beanstalk Royalties if need be.

28 Sep 2015 Saan

It seems like maybe 1 of the Gold could be something else, since I'd imagine you'll almost never rez more than 1. I suppose with 3 Batty in the deck, finding one early-ish is a pretty nice thing, though, so I could maybe see the 3 for consistency. Have you tried it with just 2 before?

28 Sep 2015 Earth Red

@Saan I've tried several builds with two of Gold, but ended up with three to get better consistency, late game plays and Beta Tests. Naturally drawing them earlier is good, even though getting them rezzed can be a pain in some situations if you're being pressured a lot. Even if I never rez all three, having all installed gives some more flexibility and options for me. I've won several games with bluffs consisting of two Golds one after another, and being able to pull that off without going all-in with my pool of Golds (rendering Batty wins more controllable) is something I prefer. If I get off a really good Peak Efficiency or fair well otherwise, rezzing two or three is nothing impossible, since usually at such points I'm able to maintain my high credit pool with recurring Peak Efficiencies. I usually tend to not search for the third with my Foundry, and that does give a small tell of what should be removed if I something needed to be removed, but it rarely is a completely dead draw in and of itself unless I'm being pressured a lot. The NEXT suite gives me a lot of anti-pressure potential as long as I'm careful enough of siphons, and thus I take the risk to increase the number of both annoying and game winning possibilities in the number of plays I can make on the long run.

Not to say, though, that playing only two wouldn't be possible. The gain we get from the shift from two to three is small enough to justify other uses for the slot, but I'm just the kind of guy who prefers this kind of consistency.

30 Sep 2015 Boova

@Earth Red Thanks for making this fun deck.
I've only run it ~6 times, but it gets me more wins than my usual.

By no means am I an expert, but from my PoV, the economy is barely enough to get by - you make it work, but it is tight!

My assets get regularly wrecked (which is probably why my eco is tight), but that could be a me problem.

Our savior, Jackson Howard, was missed. I only truly needed him in 1 game (vs. Laramy Fisk: Savvy Investor), but when you need him, you really need him. In my other games, he was more of a nice to have.

I felt dirty after using Caprice Nisei and Marcus Batty to defend the same remote from multiple runs for multiple scores...

Thanks again for your sharing your work!

30 Sep 2015 Earth Red

@Boova Thanks for enjoying my deck, friend. ^^

The deck is quite tight in deed in terms of economy management. It's manageable, but tight, and as I wrote before, requires a lot of long-term thinking. Try to think a few turns ahead with your assets. Put an ICE or two in front if possible. Leave R&D ice unrezzed for one turn if you get the chance, if that gives you the money to get Adonis Campaign both up and protected. The risks you take should be those that give you longevity. Some times, it doesn't even matter if your opponent steals an agenda while you setup the rest of your game. Things like this will pay out on the long term and help you get yourself in a safe situation. Hope this helps. :)

Jackson Howard is the kind of a card (when thinking about including him) that truly fits the description "When you need him, you really need him." Your natural draw pace and ability to make safer scoring windows with your upgrades (thus one not being completely 100% rekt by agenda flooding) makes him quite useless otherwise except for his remove from the game ability... But boy when you would need that.

3 Oct 2015 Kasusfactus

Have you considered Team Sponsorships? Instead of interns? Cant wait to give this a whirl. Looks like a whole lot of fun

3 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@Kasusfactus Thanks! :) Can't really consider Team Sponsorship since it's super unstable and risky when compared to Interns.

3 Oct 2015 Bigguyforyou518

Peak Efficiency seems like a card that will clog your hand until it comes online, have you considered playing less than 3 of them? Consider that even with a whole 4 ice rezzed (I've gone entire games without rezzing 4 ice) it's only the equivalent of a Beanstalk Royalties, which is frowny face in my book.

In a deck that plays off of cards like Peak Efficiency, Diversified Portfolio, or Commercialization, I usually still don't play 3 of them, because I don't want to see them early.

4 Oct 2015 mendax

I note you've tagged this as doing well in a store champs, which seems strange since it has cards up to the Underway which came out in July.

4 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@mendax A variant of this without Marcus Batty. If it bothers you (or is against NDB policy) I can switch it to something up to date.

4 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@Bigguyforyou518 Well, there is the downside of sometimes being clogged by it (though I've only lost to it once in a casual game when I drew all three after taking a mulligan) and if having one floating as a dead card for 4-5 turns is something you want to avoid, then I see no problem in running 2.

The upside to having three is far more usually having it available as a card that gives you immense recovery from almost nothing mid game, and having more of them late game. Since your economy is just a bit on the edge, I've been able to win a lot of games by having that instant recovery to safe money at hand. Seeing as this deck is quite tolerant of doing a lot of sitting around, it's not even far fetched. But, as expected, I see this as a tit for tat exchange, up to personal preference really. What credit card where you thinking of putting in the slot? A one off Subliminal Messaging?

4 Oct 2015 mendax

Batty is kinda key to the deck, no? You've got no real threat without it.

4 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@mendax It is, because I shifted my splashes to fixate on him. I got top 4 with a build very similar to this (worse, but quite similar), having the splash used for cash, having 1x Ash and 2x WotW, and having two biotic labors. If that's too much I'll just update the tournament to kit tournament status.

4 Oct 2015 dmartel

Nice deck @Earth Red! Can you show us the initial version with WotW et al? Interested in seeing what you had as cash. Thx!

4 Oct 2015 Shishu

This is the kind of HB NEXT I've really wanted to play, but I haven't had a lot of luck with the Foundry. How do you deal with heavy Parasite recursion? I'm assuming you hold off on using Executive Boot Camp, but I can't see much more than that. Interns would be for Batty and Caprice...

Seems fun, though. Might give it shot.

4 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@dmartel Well, some day maybe, but right now I don't have the time to go digging my old lists.

@Shishu Your Foundry ability mitigates having to naturally draw new ice, so that helps. In most dire situations you might end up using one Interns, at least in some games I've had to. It's really hard to know when it's a good idea (long-term wise) to spend your recursion on ice, though.

4 Oct 2015 Earth Red

Oh, and thanks! @dmartel and @Shishu Almost forgot :D

5 Oct 2015 AKirkland

This is exactly the sort of Foundry deck I've been hoping will show up for a while! Looks really exciting to play, I'm definitely going to give it a shot. Don't think I'd be comfortable taking it to a tournament without any Jackson Howards, though, given the volume of Noise players you see in the current meta.

5 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@AKirkland Thanks! Though not impossible, it's stressful to beat mill decks without him. Will have to test how much we lose by substituting Executive Boot Camps with the otherwise quite useless (for this deck) Jacksons, if suspecting a 50% Noise: that little Pig tournament.

5 Oct 2015 voltorocks

I can attest to the strength of this deck (ran something very similar at nationals, it did quite well, except...) but one thing I have to point out is that the noise matchup is brutal. No Jackson means milling hurts a lot more. He can play/recur parasite 8 times or so without breaking a sweat (which Hurts NEXT, as well as bootcamp). Faust tears through most all your ice so early rushes will be tough (and rig wipes easily recovered from.)

TLDR the only wins I've ever had vs. a modern noise were lucky next gold flatline hijinks, and those were only enabled by a combo of perfect ABTs and dedicated Jackson stalling-without him it seems a quick trip to a loss versus that deck.

11 Oct 2015 fredrikc

Continuing the discussion about Noise and Parasite recursion, how would you make room for two or three Jacksons. My first thought was cutting 1x Markus Batty, 1x Interns and 1x Archived Memories but maybe cutting one Ichi would be better than the Interns, I assume that you would cut Caprice before Batty. How many of your wins are due to Batty compared to Caprice?

14 Oct 2015 Earth Red

Well, I guess long-term wise Marcus Batty is better, while as if you want some random strong early and mid game plays, Caprice Nisei is the card for you. I tend to get a lot of my wins due to playing three Battys in the same deck, so I'm really super hesitant when thinking about removing one.

Making your ice base smaller is always risky, but of course Jacksons tend to mitigate a good bit off of the risk. If I'd have to remove one ice, it'd be Turing, since having 1x of something other than ice like mother goddess brings some antisynergy (which isn't very good.) In the event of having three Jacksons, having only two Turings is still stable enough that you should still be drawing it if you need it. Now this is all based on a meta where most AI decks have a good fork of ways to deal with Turing. If you really win games by spamming it, then the story will be, of course, different... But lets be honest, when will you have enough credits early enough to have enough Turings + other ice for running three to make a difference? And in non-AI matchups, it's the slightest bit sub-par in many matchups.

14 Oct 2015 Earth Red

Oh, forgot to tag @fredrikc.

I should also add that I can't stress enough how sub-par a splash Jackson is in non-mill heavy metas.

19 Oct 2015 voltorocks

"I should also add that I can't stress enough how sub-par a splash Jackson is in non-mill heavy metas."

I think this may be the source of confusion for many people on the decision to cut jackson; I'm interested what people are playing around you, but around here, and from what I gather in most places (definitely on jinteki.net, though I can't speak to OCTGN), Faust Noise is the deck to beat.

21 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@voltorocks Well around here the meta is very varied, at least within the cities in a 200km radius. We have a lot of competitive players who like to tech a lot, and some who prefer to play only a few identities, so most tournaments the only recurring theme is NEH. That's not to say that we wouldn't have mill decks as well, but it's just not very polarized. Also, this deck has a lot of longevity since cards that could substitute existing cards would come at a slow pace (I doubt HB will be getting better recursion, though I suspect the ice base will shift at some point when we get a new ice that synergizes better with the foundry and this deck,) so I wanted to post it in its purest form. Need Jacksons, put them in, but mill won't be 60% of most tournament metas forever.

21 Oct 2015 EnderA

Have you considered The Twins? It can be amazing with The Foundry + Ichi 1.0/NEXT Gold/Architect. (Rez Architect, grab another Architect, then redo Architect, installing the second Architect from archives, plus another top-5 look/install.) It would considerably increase the number of cards you have to combo with, and can even work together. What's worse than Marcus Batty + NEXT Gold? Batty + 2x Gold.

Replacing Caprice Nisei with some combination of Jackson Howard + Twins would help shore up the Noise or Keyhole matchup, in addition to all the normal benefits of Jackson. If you add Jacksons, they could fill the role of Interns as well if you're just using it for ICE, since your own ability already helps you get ICE out of your deck.

23 Oct 2015 Earth Red

@EnderA The Twins is a valid and nice choice for certain Foundry builds (Twins builds), but I really wouldn't consider it for builds not built around it. The reason is that The Twins are far more splash efficient with an ICE base that actually synergizes with, while as builds such as this really wouldn't do wonders with it except in very very rare situations. You are right that it'd let you make some cool plays, there's no denying that, but how often would you pull them, when comparing to one single Caprice Nisei being able to win games.

22 Dec 2015 tiedyedvortex

Given the release of Film Critic and Global Food Initiative since you posted this deck, would you consider revising your agenda spread? Or does the influence cost on GFI make it not worth including it over Caprice Nisei or Marcus Batty?