Netrunner: Upgrades Incorporated, a Haas-Bioroid primer. (Part I)

Mandatoryupgradesnetrunner1

Upgrades Incorporated (UpInc) is a Haas-Bioroid archetype that eschews the traditional server-building of the faction in favour of rushing agendas by stacking upgrades like Red Herrings or Ash 2x3zb9cy. Fast, versatile and capable of scoring the powerful Mandatory Upgrades with ease, it’s one of the best corporation decks around. Here’s a full decklist:

IDENTITY: Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (49 cards)

Agenda (9)
Mandatory Upgrades (What Lies Ahead #11) x3
Project Vitruvius (Cyber Exodus #51) x3
Executive Retreat (Trace Amount #39) x2
Accelerated Beta Test (Core #55) x1

Asset (11)
Director Haas (Creation and Control #10) x2
Eve Campaign (Humanity’s Shadow #92) x3
Adonis Campaign (Core #56) x3
Encryption Protocol (Trace Amount #29) x3

ICE (18)
Tollbooth (Core #90) x3 ■■
Heimdall 1.0 (Core #61) x3
Viper (Cyber Exodus #52) x3
Wall of Static (Core #113) x3
Rototurret (Core #64) x3
Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus #56) x3 ■

Operation (5)
Green Level Clearance (A Study in Static #70) x3
Hedge Fund (Core #110) x2

Upgrade (6)
Ash 2X3ZB9CY (What Lies Ahead #13) x3
Red Herrings (Core #91) x3 ■■

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STRATEGIC OUTLINE

The goal of UpInc is to gain a strong advantage during the first turns of the game and ride it to victory by scoring Mandatory Upgrades, protecting an early Director Haas or simply gaining a quick economical advantage that allows you to drop threats at an increased rate. It’s a deck that ploughs through its weaknesses by raw power, getting stronger the better it’s doing and one that can easily crumble if it never manages to get strong enough.

During the first turns of the game your goal is to stabilize and gain enough money to build your first server. Drop the cheapest pieces of ICE you have on your centrals and use your available Green Level Cleareances and Hedge Funds to fund your first economic assets. Draw often and skimp on protection, just by playing your Adonis Campaign in the open you give the Runner a difficult choice: Stop your economic snowball from building up by bankrupting themselves or let you gain speed and keep playing normally.

Neither is an appealing choice and early Encryption Protocols can easily gain you a turn or make your defenses impenetrable later on but try not to waste your cards. Play them in batches or drop one every turn so the Runner can’t answer them all.

Your economical assets should have given enough money by turn 6-8 to allow you to score Mandatory Upgrades. Don’t gamble on it, it’s expensive and your upgrades are easily trashed. Ideally you should have two upgrades and two pieces of ICE protecting the server and enough money to rez them all. Since it’s very early in the game, chances are the Runner didn’t have enough time to play his breakers, get enough money to run through your upgrades or run twice and the agenda will be easily scored.

Once you have a scored Mandatory Upgrades on the table you are back to step one, but with an additional click! This means it’s now easier to keep the pressure. Draw cards often and drop more economy cards to fund better ICE for your centrals. The Runner will be ready to smash them and you’ll lose many games in this stage until you manage to master the archetype.

If you managed to keep your expansion going, it will be difficult for the Runner to beat you late-game but you must ALWAYS keep raising the pressure. If you have additional clicks and incredible economy you should be trying to win, not avoiding a game loss. Protect your upgrades by protecting your remote and R&D and eventually victory will be yours!

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THE NUANCES

Let’s be frank. You won’t always have it so easy and your Red Herrings will get trashed from your hand. The job of security agent is not easy and success in Haas-Bioroid won’t be had without some lateral thinking: If you didn’t draw Mandatory Upgrades, try to score a powerful Vitruvius and keep recycling your upgrades and if your Red Herrings get trashed, put all your Tollbooths into the same remote and play the game more honestly.  Power is great, but you won’t always have it, be prepared to improvise.

->Part II: The Card Choices
->Part III: Matchups


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