Fake News (8th place US Nationals)

Stonar 302

Pictured here: The unsuspecting runner, back from a successful run.

Pictured here: The unsuspecting runner, back from a successful run.

Welcome to my dream deck, my secret tech, and my Netrunner project over the last year. It all started when FFG released Aryabhata Tech. I love that card. So, this deck is all about econ denial, tagging the runner, then closing the game as quickly as humanly possible. I managed to go 6-0 at US Nationals, and close out 8th place. (My runner did much less well, but it's a really cool deck - shout out to Sunlight!)

The core:

NBN: Making News: This card makes any card that says Trace on it better. It gives you a fighting chance against runners with 1 link, because your lowest trace is 4. This deck is about econ denial, and making the runner pay 2 more credits every time you land a trace is key.

Restructured Datapool: This card says Trace on it. That is very, very valuable. If you score one of these bad boys, the runner is in serious trouble. If not...

Media Blitz: This sets up the lock. If the runner steals Restructured, you nail them with Media Blitz, and start tagging anyway.

Consulting Visit: This card is ALSO incredible. Pick an operation you like, and play it. You have 6 credits and the runner has 2 tags? This card says "win the game." You have 5 credits, the runner ran last turn, and has fewer than 6? Give them 4 tags. I can't stress how absolutely vital this card is. And if you include Archived Memories, every operation in R&D or heap is live. Always.

The spice:

News Team: As it turns out, when your agendas are worth 3 points to the runner, the number of times they get one too many lucky accesses gets really frustrating. News Team slows the runner down, makes them think, and ultimately gives them -1 point to balance the Datapools.

BOOM!: If the runner has 2 tags, you win. This card is great.

Hard-Hitting News, Closed Accounts, and The All-Seeing I: All of these slow the runner down so you can finish tagging them and kill them.

Psychographics: Sometimes Boom! gets removed from the game.

Hunter Seeker: I think this card really brings this deck into its own. People rarely see it coming, it punishes people for stealing your agendas (And since you want the runner to steal Datapool, this is very convenient for you.)

Net Quarantine: The reason I cut Aryabhata Tech. Unlike Arya, Net Quarantine gives you value when the runner BEATS the trace. Remember, at its core, this deck is an econ denial deck. When the runner pays through a trace, this gives you money, which lets you leverage harder traces. I promise, it's really good.

The meta calls:

So, the best part about this deck is that at its core, it's "Consulting Visit, Archived Memories, Datapool, Media Blitz, and operations that suck to run against." I've run many, many iterations of it, and there are a LOT of good cards to slot here. A lot. I've tried pretty much all of them, and many of them work. I'll go over what I currently have, and my top choices for what to put there instead, if the meta changes.

Ark Lockdown: Mostly I'm including this for conspiracy breakers, but occasionally it's useful for siphon spam, or steve, or spy cameras, or whatever. It's a nice trick to pull out.

Best Defense: There are a lot of good 0-cost targets out there - Sac con, street peddler, misdirection, and once you start tagging them, you can remove whatever kill protection they have - probably Plascrete, though you can kill an Obelus in a pinch, as well.

Foxfire: This one's a weird one, but I really like it. I'm always worried about link runners, and this kills Dyson Mem Chips and a couple other popular options (though lots of cards that should be Link... aren't.) It also surprises people with DDoS and Net Mercur, which is a pretty wonderful bonus.

Character Assassination: If it's not clear by now, I think it's really important that the agendas in this deck DO something when they're scored. Make the runner think long and hard about running, because that HHN is always around the corner. But if they don't, Assassination gets rid of a lot of problematic things, like Aaron, econ resources, DLR through Fall Guys, etc.

Stuff to consider instead in other metas:

Enforcing Loyalty, Hatchet Job, [Observe and Destroy](/en/card/11056, SEA Source Midseason Replacements, Snatch and Grab can all be really good in the right circumstances.


I get a lot of questions about this deck. It's weird. I'll try to explain it, best I can:

Really? I know, right? Undefeated at US Nationals, how crazy is that? AND I've only been beaten by that crazy Bay Area Ayla deck once, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader to figure out why that is.

54 cards? Yeah. I think it's the right call. You want 3 Datapool, so all you need is 1 agenda point to get you up to 22 anyway, and 15 minutes basically doesn't count, ESPECIALLY since it turns on hunter seeker. The density is still low, and it gives 5 more slots to cram more operations into without sacrificing a decent ice spread. Older versions of this deck ran slimmer, with only 2 Consulting Visit and no alliance. I think that's viable, but worse.

What if the runner plays Aaron? Aaron is an anti-"Take a tag or two" card. Aaron can't weather the tagstorm this puts out. He helps, and is a high priority target, but he's not the hard counter he is to breaking news. The answer is the same for NACH. Just keep hitting them.

What if the runner plays Film Critic? Restructured Datapool getting stuck on Film Critic is the worst thing. Get it off as fast as humanly possible. If you have access to Character Assassination and Hunter Seeker, install-advance it in a naked remote. If the runner moves datapool, you can blitz it, if they steal assassination, you can hunter seeker film critic, and if they don't run, you can assassinate film critic. But yeah, film critic is priority one if the runner knows to leave datapool on it (which, whoops, now they do!)

What about current wars? Employee Strike is the worst, because you don't always get your credits back when you clear it. But with 2 blitz, 3 consulting, 2 archived, 3 jackson, you can play a LOT of media blitz. I played it probably 7 or 8 times against a siphon spam whiz and felt fine the whole time. If you get into a war, try to trace as many times as possible when you play it - draining 6 credits is better than 4. But it can certainly be done.

Are you the one playing Door to Door and Aryabhata Tech? No, that's the other guy. On D2D - it's a good card, but I found it too expensive and too constricting. It's good turn one, but after that, it gets less and less valuable as the game goes on.

Why isn't there more trace ice? Most of the ice in this deck is "End the run + another tax." Frankly, what you need is to threaten scores early. Once you've put up a convincing scoring server to rush out your first agenda, your ice is largely irrelevant. It can't stand up late game (except SYNC BRE, which can be beaten with econ,) and is there to get you to your end game. Trace ice is a trap, because subroutines fire so rarely past the first rez. It's not worth it.

A final note about this deck, and the weirdest play I find myself doing all the time: Install, advance, advance Restructured Datapool. I don't care if you need to do it naked. JUST DO IT. The worst way to play this deck is to durdle. You cannot win the late game on this one, you have to strike fast and make the runner make bad decisions. You HAVE to keep them off their game, or you lose. If you can do that, though, you can rack up a lot of dead runners.

6 Jun 2017 scd

Glorious write up and a fun looking deck. Congrats!

6 Jun 2017 Murphy

Excellent job Cory. This deck is very triggering.

6 Jun 2017 Ver

Combination of name and ID: 10/10

6 Jun 2017 Kelfecil

Gotta always love a Making News deck. Congrats on 8th place and awesome deck / write-up!

7 Jun 2017 zmb

Awesome write up :) What would a good and a bad start hand be?

7 Jun 2017 Stonar

You're usually looking for some kind of ice or agenda. Normally, Restructured Datapool is key to have early and I have no qualms mulling for it. If I'm playing against any runner likely to be on a link-heavy plan (Kate, Andy, Geist, or Sunny, usually,) Net Quarantine is a prime start. After that, ice. People expect Wrap/IP Block/Resistor, so the code gates are usually the best to try to score behind early, but wrap/IP block are also really nice to stop the various AI plans rolling around, depending on matchup. (And expecting a barrier only matters if you can fetch a fracter.) If I can't have any of that, Consulting Visit and 2 ice/1 ice and econ is usually a keep, as well.

12 Jun 2017 MazeBerlin

What do you think about Paper Trail instead of Character Assassination?

12 Jun 2017 Stonar

It's largely a meta call. For Paper Trail to be worth it, it needs to regularly be killing 2-3 things, and with Temujin losing popularity, most decks are running 2 or 3 in their deck, let alone having them all out at once. It's a lot more situational, since you have to win the trace, but of course, if you're staring down Beth, Aaron, and Film Critic, it's really sick. In the field I was playing against, it was a no-brainer to go with Character Assassination. But there's a meta where that's not true, for sure.

16 Jun 2017 thecodetroll

only thing I'd maybe swap around is the Datapike for Archangel? Thoughts?

4 Jul 2017 zmb

Escalate Vitriol seems like a good include to support your Psychographics

4 Jul 2017 Stonar

The big problem with Escalate Vitriol is that if you've been able to tag the runner enough that it's worth it, you should just win. Yes, it can help you go from 3 to 7 a bit easier, but I'd much rather keep Net Quarantine and Character Assassination. Remember that Psycho's a backup plan - Boom is almost always going to be the easier way to win.