Fixing the Body Lotto - The "Explodey" Deck

 NOTE: This was my first serious attempt at a deck strategy for the game. Through constant refining I have managed to score over 100 Ops Points in a single turn on at least 2 occassions. A "Fantasy" version of this strategy exists in the article Corporate Insurgency, and includes cards from Edge of Truth and Live & Direct.

Cyberpunk is very much the Corporations having the power of life and death over those in the street, even their own drones who slave away for a roof over their heads and a pre-pack of kibble in their cupboards. Building an army of disposable corporate drones then seemed not only appropriate for 'Fixing the Body Lotto', but also smacked of what made this genre great. Attitude and Style. This deck has both in liberal amounts.

As it stands this deck is a bomb waiting to go off, the proverbial Combat Zone on a Saturday night. Run a couple of simple cheap Ops, feel your opponent out, stack your hand with anti-runner cards, pull the pin and stand back. Sure it relies on some nasty combo's, but none of them are critical to a victory, they just speed the result up.

So what is the gameplan I hear you ask. Simple. Fixing the Body Lotto will give you 5 Ops points per runner that you name and can kill (up to a maximum of 4) before the start of your next turn. Burn 4 runners and you get a tidy 20 Ops points, play 2 Fixing the Body Lotto's, target the same 4 runners, and you get a crunching 40 Ops points. If by some miracle you can play 3, do the math! Hard to pull off? Maybe, but it's your supporting deck that can make this one turn coup de grace the thing your opponent least expects.

One thing that you should consider before putting a deck together, and this goes pretty much for any situation, it's nice to be able to design a deck that has a back door, a secondary victory condition that can be achieved if the first is locked out, but I have found that in nine cases out of ten, you fill valuable card slots with things that make this second avenue easier to achieve, thereby compromising your primary strategy. Others will say always, ALWAYS provide yourself with an alternative victory route if you expect to play an opponent several times. In a tournament its perhaps forgivable to stack all your eggs in one basket, especially when in this case the basket holds ten pounds of C6-flatfire, hence my deck philosophy here.

To this end, choosing a sponsor is relatively straight forward. You'll need cash and lots of it to give you the flexibility to draw and play multiple cards per turn. A Corporate deck with Corporate runners provides you with the funding you need, so your choice comes down to Arasaka, Biotechnica or Militech. Which provides the best sponsor related bonus? Considering there are no Solo's in this deck, Biotechnica is useless. Militech as you would expect is heavily offensive, and considering this deck is more defensive orientated, look closer at Arasaka. It has in my mind one of the most useful and underused abilities in the game, particularly in this scenario.

    //Damage Control. Use Arasaka to look at Opponents hand.

Information is Power, and knowing what your opponent has in store for you puts you at a distinct advantage (read the article Inside the Boardroom for a further elaboration on this and other Corporate abilities) especially when you are playing a heavily defense orientated deck.

Now we have our Sponsor, we need to expand on our financial prospects and look at some real estate. Mall's, Job Fair's, and Night Owl's are standard fair for any heavy Corporate aligned deck. Being able to chain them in a single turn (Sponsor - Night Owl - Mall - Job Fair) can be a devestating opening. Any card that can generate more Eb than it costs to play is a card you cannot do without, and all three of these can in this deck. Beyond these choices, your options are dependant on how you fine tune the deck. A Hospital or two will help in allowing you to defend your locations and recover any runners that end up in a body bag. Body Bank's will recover cyberwear only they're Eb production is poor for this deck (they're Street faction and produce only 2 Eb, whereas the cheapest card in this deck costs 3 Eb - but use it if card recovery is important, and use your Corp runners as the additional cash injectors). Lastly there are Cloning Center's which can be used to return dead runners to play, and 24-7's which generate enough cash to buy a cyber card each round and cannot be run and trashed by your opponent.

To complement our Arasaka sponsor we need a selection of Corporate drones to do our bidding. Corps have the added advantage of being able to be used to generate cash as well, plus they form the core of one of this decks nasty little surprises. The higher a Corp's Power, the more bonus points he is worth when targetted by a Disgruntled Employee. If you can eliminate one of your 4 targetted Corp runners with a Disgruntled Employee, your Ops points for running a Body Lotto can easily hit 30, or 50+ for a second. So which Corp runners do we hire, and who do we use as their boardroom support?

Corporate Recruiter is our first recruit, he's quite cheap and has some nice additional abilities as a Fixer to be able to recover Cyberwear from the trash as well as lower the cost of running an opponents Location or Operation by his relatively high Power of 7. Next come's one of the jewel's, The Gekko. Not only can he martyr himself and save one of his teammates, but a simple Torso Plate will send him cyberpsycho making him an easy Body Lotto target. Arasaka Junior Executives are next on our payroll followed by a couple of Jigsaw Murphy's. To round our personnel out we have 3 additional jewels - Milo Stevenson, Clone and Old Man Arasaka. In this deck Milo has a dual purpose, he can use his Cop skills to bust your opponents netrunners, hurting their chances of being able to complete operations, and he can use his Nomad skills to boost your Corp target for that Disgruntled Employee. The Clone's offer a wonderful versatility to any deck, and in my humble opinion no deck should be without at least 2. In this deck they can become Milo's, Jigsaw's, Gekko's, a prime runner owned by your opponent (everyone can use a Zane Red or a Morgan Blackhand), or the last card in our team - Old Man Arasaka. The Old Man is a great card drawing engine, can provide a healthy cash injection from all those billions in his swiss bank account, or can be the major mojo for that Disgruntled Employee. With a Milo in play, an In My Element in your hand, and an Old Man Arasaka sitting in the boardroom, a Disgruntled Employee can whack him for 19 Ops points. If he's marked down on your Body Lotto and you can kill off the other three drones as well, you're looking at serious Ops points.

So now we need to know what other Run Deck cards fill out this half of our deck. Obviously we are going to need 4 of this deck's reason d'etre, Fixing the Body Lotto. To stick with the theme of being able to recycle dead or dying runners (Cloning Center, Hospital, etc) Bring Him Back is an essential addition. It's a corporate faction card that costs 6 Eb (a single Mall), is relatively easy to complete for a Corp orientated deck (total of 26 SR required), provides a reasonable 10 Ops points, and allows you to recover a dead runner and put him back in your hand. Because of the limited SR available to its core runners, it is unwise to include any Ops which require more than 30 SR in total, therefore your options become severely restricted. I find the perfect combination to be Arms Race. A standard ploy would be to pile your stash with cyberwear until such time as you are able to run a couple of Fixing the Body Lotto's, then add the Plates, Arms and Legs to reduce your runners EMP from your stash. If things don't go according to plan, you can play an Arms Race to get Ops credit for everything already in there.

Now we come to the heart of the build, the Gear Deck. This has 2 primary objectives - slow your opponent down, and maximise your chances of speeding up your victory.

The advantage with this is that many of the cards you will be using to slow down or stop your opponent will also be cards that you can use to execute your own victory. The key then is versatility. Assassin, Wake Up!..Time to Die, and I Used to be a Bozo are versatile cards, as is Nothing Left to Live For. One key aspect is to be able to target a runner whose removal will effectively trash the entire team. Other events crucial to this build are those already mentioned above, Disgruntled Employee and In My Element, with another jewel being If at First You Don't Succeed, which provides a means to recycle any of your key events, and this deck is event heavy. The last card worth mentioning is Information Leak. The temptation is there to play a 43 card Gear deck in order to include a second one of these. With one primary objective being to prevent your opponent running Operations, if you can get him to buy one, then stop him from running it, Information Leak and all your Corporate cash should be able to lower any electronic security to virtually zero, meaning your Corp drones can run it with ease and score some bonus Ops points.

Due to the limited number of slots left for either equipment or cyberwear, these cards also have to provide at least a dual purpose. There are several that should be looked at that are in keeping with the decks primary goals. Business Cards adds +2 Power to a Corp, but In My Element is like a double shot of cards, so this Toy is only a maybe. Red Rage is a must have. it's essentially a suicide pill for your Body Lotto targets. It also gives a huge +8 SR boost for a round, allowing you to run a Bring Him Back, but ensuring he is burnt at the end of the turn. Rage can be played early and left until needed. Black Lace is another -2 EMP card that offers options when stacking EMP loss or needing a quick SR boost.

The last component is the cyberwear. A healthy dose is needed in order to use it to send your runners over the edge. The advantage with a lot of the cyberwear cards in this deck is that once they come into play, they offer a free draw. The cost to EMP loss ratio becomes important here as well so cards like Wolvers, Linear Frame and Torso Plate are important, as well as the Cyber Arms and Legs that produce the free draw. One thing to note is that Linear Frame's may exclude addition of Legs and Arms.

The deck is fairly easy to run, as long as you remember to avoid distractions, and focus on your primary objective - running a couple of Fixing the Body Lotto's and snaring as much in the way of Ops points as you can get. Dropping cyberwear into your stash, although risky, allows you to max out your spending each turn and get yourself ready for either a Lotto or an Arms Race. By using your sponsor smartly you will know how many cards in your stash constitutes a safe amount that cannot be run (each card in the stash adds essentially 15 SR to its security value). You'll need to get around 6-7 runners in play or have access to that many but should begin drawing from your Gear Deck straight away. The quicker you can accumulate events that hinder your opponent or help you, the safer you will feel drawing from your Runs Deck for those Fixing the Body Lotto's or Arms Race.

If you like this strategy and give it a go, I'm interested in hearing what your biggest bang is. I believe it's possible to hit 100 Ops points in a single round. At present my record stands at 77.

Corpse Lotto

4x Fixing the Body Lotto

3x Bring Him Back

3x Arms Race

4x Job Fair

4x Mall

4x Night Owl

2x 24-7

2x Cloning Center

4x Gekko

4x Milo Stevenson

3x Corporate Recruiter

3x Clone

1x Jigsaw Murphy

1x Old Man Arasaka

4x In My Element

4x Disgruntled Employee

4x If at First You Don't Succeed

3x Assassin

2x Wake Up! Time to Die

2x A Fool's Errand

2x Nothing Left to Live For

2x I Used to be a Bozo

1x Information Leak

4x Red Rage

4x Cyber Arms

4x Cyber Legs

4x Torso Plate

1x Wolvers

1x Micro-Missile Launcher

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