Tempo NEH - 1st Singapore Nationals - 5-1

mendax 983

INTRODUCTION

Going into nationals I’d been playing this deck casually on jnet and enjoying it, and if there’s any overriding lessons to take from my success in the event it’s to play decks you like to play even if they’re not the “best”. In my opinion the best corp deck right now is hands down Drago R+, but unfortunately it’s also where fun goes to die. After that there is a wide range of good tier 1.5 decks available - e.g. Sports, PD, 6Mari, Rush Ob - and I think NEH fits in this band also.

In general here are some broad pros:

Has a solid matchup spread with no bad matchups across all commonly played runners Has some very good matchups e.g. vs Wu Is largely not being teched for at all You get to find 1 asset you like, throw in 20 others, and call it tempo.

And cons:

Strong card draw can cause you to agenda flood more quickly Weak central defense can cause random game losses from R&D accesses Vulnerable to tech if you happen to run into it

SPECIFIC CARDS OF NOTE

Bladderwort - The midnight sun that holds everything together. Good tempo for you, often negative tempo for the runner. Replacing a damaged card is usually worth about a click from the runner, and when you’re installing 2 - 3 servers per turn that’s time that’s hard to find. It can be an added bonus if it takes out a key card, but this is not a prison deck and never will be.

ARES - this is by far the most important agenda in the deck. Without it, Freedom will definitely smash your board and Hosh has a good chance to also. 1 Ares scored means that your board is very taxing before they find their Citadel Sanctuary, even with Freedom’s ability, and this gives you a good window to set up. 2+ Ares scored and pretty much nothing is being trashed unless the runner has gone tag-me. Ares can also put tag-me Zahya in an awkward spot where trashing key assets gives them so many tags they can’t afford the counter surveillance.

Lady Liberty - in many ways this is the 4th SanSan City Grid, but it is both cheaper to use and beats clot as the agendas are not scored. The only agenda affect you’re actually losing out on is the tag from Tomorrow’s Headline as you save 5 credits on Bellona from not having to spend time and money advancing the thing. Even with Tomorrow's Headline, if it’s the only 3/2 in hand and Lady Liberty is on 2 counters then it’s pretty much always worth scoring anyway.

Mavirus - Don’t forget that this can do damage, especially if you’ve pinged the runner’s hand away with Bladderwort. This is also usually worth doing if you’re trying to dump credits to get back into Bladderwort range.

NASX - When you gain credits from Bladderwort you may use NASX’s ability before the game checks to see if you’re at 4. I’ll leave the implications there.

Note that the following are not included in this deck: Drago, Hard Hitting News, Boom!, Self Growth Program, Market Forces. Every piece of punishment you include means you have less tempo, and I strongly believe that including them is a mistake. 1x Psychographics is sufficient for tag punishment when you have 3x Project Beale and you draw at least 2 cards per turn without even trying.

OPENING HANDS & GAMEPLAY

In pretty much all of your games you’re looking for at least 2 installable econ pieces. This is any of Rashida, Marilyn Campaign, NASX, Pad Campaign, or Bladderwort. You also want to see either one of your small ice (i.e. other than Endless Eula) or more assets for positive tempo. SSCG and Lady Liberty are not important to have at the start - you won’t be able to afford them for a while anyway. Your first turn should always be 3x installs, and ideally your second also.

In most games, your small ice goes on centrals and your EULAs protect a scoring remote, ideally with a SSCG at the bottom of it. This will also be the server that Spins, Rashida and Mavirus go in through the midgame a large proportion of the time to act as additional tax. However, if you’re playing against a deck that tunnels on a single server e.g. Tag-me Zahya on R&D then covering that server with a EULA is sensible too. Archives is usually open unless there’s a reason from the runner for it not to be i.e. Alice, Leech, Sable.

GAMES ON THE DAY

Round 1 vs Ghost00 on Alice (Win)

NEH’s passive draw means that discarding a card to Alice is a lot less disruptive than other corps might find it, and incidentally the same logic means that you can usually discard from hand into sabotage without really caring. Additionally, playing a 50 card runner into a fast corp is always going to be tricksy. 6 remotes installed in the first two turns of which 1 was an ARES scored on turn 3 was a strong start, and the game flowed smoothly from there.

Round 2 vs Vale on Freedom (Loss)

Flood can happen to any corp, but when you’re seeing a lot of cards quickly it can quickly get very unpleasant. Turn 1 was install Spins, Plano for credits, click for a credit, discard 2 agendas (leaving 4 points still in hand) and against Freedom’s ability it didn’t get much better from there. With no econ even 2 early ARES scores didn’t have enough of an effect as Vale got set up and pillaged centrals. Good access RNG for me in HQ kept the game going for longer than it deserved to, but sensible play was enough to close out 7 -2.

Round 3 vs Motionblur on 419 (Win)

419 was actually one of the IDs I was not wanting to play against, as there are often copies of Miss Bones in 419 decks. Additionally, this deck does not have enough spare econ to reliably pay the 419 tax and the information gained about what installs are where is not negligible.

Early doors we traded ARES, both scoring 1, but an early Citadel Sanctuary install largely negated that.I had very little econ drawn early and with the runner able to trash remotes on a regular basis I was forced into clicking for credits a bunch. Eventually I managed to get enough rezzed to afford an Endless EULA and start properly taxing with a never-advance game, but by this time the agenda density in centrals was a bit scary.

Frankly, I think this was the luckiest game of the day for me - I suspect that Motionblur had enough single accesses that the odds should have been in his favour (I’ve not done the maths, but it felt like it) but somehow it all held together and I was able to squeak it out. The game went to 21 turns, a number far, far too large for my liking, and that really goes to show the pressure I was under.

Round 4 vs NTan33 on Zahya (Win)

This game was one of those where the corp giving out tags left Zahya without enough money to actually use the counter-surveillance, though it was very close. 3 econ assets down by turn 2 meant I could go very quickly, and ice was piled up on R&D. Despite this, by the turn that I was threatening the win he was only a couple of credits short, and had it landed he would have undoubtedly taken enough points to win. However, without that the Zahya deck is largely unthreatening and a failed counter-surveillance is incredibly punishing.

Cut round 1 vs Palliu on Zahya (Win)

The mulligan included econ, Psychographics, and Project Beale - perfect against a tag-me deck. A few turns later that Beale was scored as a 7/4, and the game followed very quickly before Zahya had properly got going. In some sense it’s fortunate to have had the 1x tag punishment card for the matchup in the opening hand, but then I’d not found it at all in the previous game so I felt like it all balanced itself out.

Cut round 2 vs Vale on Freedom (Win)

The first 5 turns were 13 new remotes and a 2x Planogram for credits. Whilst Vale was able to keep the remotes largely in check, and find the hidden ARES, it came at a cost to his tempo. An early Stargate found a Project Beale and Mad Dash brought him to 4 points, but a net damage ping of Yusuf made it much harder for him to leverage Freedom’s ability and the board started to run away. Daily Business show bottoming Bellona made the open R&D surprisingly safe and once I’d managed to ICE R&D with a EULA I felt a lot happier, despite still being behind in terms of Agenda points. The econ gap slowly grew as Freedom without his ability can’t keep up with the board, and I was able to score out relatively safely in the end.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and I hope it sparked joy, inspiration, or if I’m really lucky both. My thanks to Ghost00 for organising, all my opponents for a great day (morning really - the first round started at 6AM for me) of netrunner, for Baa Ram Wu for letting me bounce ideas off him whilst I was refining the deck, the Drop Bears for welcoming me and being an excellent community, and Jakuza for the deck name. I’ll be publishing my runner deck (Sable) soon once I’ve done the writeup for that, but this has taken me almost 2 hours and it’s time to go to bed.

4 comments
21 Nov 2022 Melyr

I love NEH, good job on first place!

23 Nov 2022 Jakuza

<3

24 Nov 2022 Diogene

Best quote : "where fun goes to die". What would your opinion of the Loki AgInfusion deck?

Great write-up. I especially like the inclusion of Lady Liberty, which is an underplayed card.

Thanks for sharing!

24 Nov 2022 mendax

That Ag deck doesn't complete games in a reasonable time, and I have absolutely no patience with the idea that asking your opponents to hurry from early because of your deck building decisions is in any way acceptable.

If you're willing to be the heel that plays Ag then all power to you, but it's not the kind of player I want to be.