Taking Your Meds - Recycling Drugs

We've all read those video game warnings in the 80's when the Cyberpunk RPG was in its prime that only losers use drugs, well in the real world that may be, but in the Cyberpunk CCG, it's most definitely not the case. At present there are only a small number of drug cards in the game, but the canvas is relatively empty and the future looks bright with the possibility of combat drugs, power boosts, and skill/keyword amplifiers, as well as the much awaited EMP booster.

The first, and most important factor with drug cards at present is that with a couple of Med-Techs in play, most of them can be recycled once they've been used. How far this recycling can go is left pretty much up to the imagination of the player, and ultimately the design of the deck. With the right combination of cards in play, it's possible to recycle the card and boost your combat veterans to obscene amounts of SR. Will we see the rise of the Drugged Out Militech deck? At a cost of only 5 and 6 for Black Lace and Red Rage respectively, they certainly offer a tempting bonus. With 5-6 Med-Tech's in play at one time, it's possible to boost a Solo to well over 70SR by himself. Why you ask, well that's where Militech come in!

This again highlights one of the underlying factors of the game, that players in general are less inclined to use Med-Tech's, Fixer's and to a lesser degree regular Tech's as the core for their decks, simply because the current meta-game is heavily focused on combat, and attempting to overpower your opponent with brute force and superiority of numbers. Curiously enough, and perhaps this is yet another indication of how closely the RPG has converted to a card game, the same was true in the RPG. So, I decided to put down some ideas here for others to explore with regard to a deck that has Med-Tech's and Drugs as its core. I called it Take Your Med's.

With 3 Corp and 1 Street Drug cards currently available, and the potential to satisfy the Militech Special Victory of 120SR in play, there is no other choice except going with Militech as your sponsor. The extra Eb your sponsor provides negates any concern that more than half your deck's Med-Tech's are not Corporate faction runners. Remember, you also need the extra cash levels to be able to recycle your Drugs as many times as possible.

Your choice of runner's is of course straight forward, you need Med-Tech's to recycle your Drug's, and a few Solo's or Nomads to shoot up! Trauma Team Medic's are the number one choice, they're Corporate so cost only 5 Eb, plus they have the highest SR of all the Med Tech's currently in the game (can't wait for Makkai!) which is what you need to fulfill the Militech Special Victory. Badge Bandager, Surgeon, Nomad Healer, and even the good old Ripper Doc are useful as all have the required Power levels to recycle the Drug cards by themselves. As for support Solo's and Nomads, Zane Red would certainly have to be considered a nice choice, but even though your Corporate sponsor can afford him easily, you have to consider the fact he can't attach Cyber as a drawback, afterall you need to be able to add a fair bit to provide the additional SR boost. If you elect to Cyber up your Med-Tech's though, this hurdle may seemingly be overcome. To support Zane, I would opt for a couple of additional runners such as Y.T, or Milo (with the added bonus of being able to bust and lend his Power to Zane, he is a great support character in any deck). There is always a place in my deck's for a Clone or two as well. In a deck like this, if your opponent pulls out a Zane before you or even a Morgan Blackhand, wouldn't you want to turn that in your favor?

If you tune your deck solely with the Special Victory in mind, you can do away with Operations altogether, thus increasing both your number of runner's and your ability to pay for the Drugs. If you must put in Operations I would elect to include only 4 I Want that Prototype. You only need to run one in order to get your Red Rage and set your deck up for the overdose!

Locations should be Corporate focused to reduce their cost as much as possible, but they should also be able to purchase single cards by themselves. One of the worst things you can do when tuning a deck is rely too heavily on cards that require more than one Location to purchase, no matter what Sponsor you play. Job Fairs, Malls and Braindance Arcades are standard fare as is the Night Owl, but the must have card in this deck is the Shooting Range which can add +3SR to a runner when used.

The Gear Deck is also fairly straight forward, with few surprises. 4 Red Rage, 4 Stim Patch, and 2 each of Black Lace and Prime, coupled with enough weaponry to provide a healthy additional boost. You don't need any vehicles, and could probably do without the Cyber as well which suits Zane perfectly. Your main concern is obviously someone attempting to destroy your Locations or assassinate your runners. The Events then are aimed at negating your opponents attempts (4 I Don't Think So and 4 A Fool's Errand might be useful). The rest of the cards should be aimed at more of a delaying tactic, although it's wise to pack a couple of Cyber Oracle's so you have the flexibility to get that missing combo card when you most need it.

The deck play strategy is simple enough. You need to get as many Med-Tech's in play as quickly as possible, and at least one location per runner. After a couple of rounds of drawing from your Runs Deck, you can switch focus to the Gear deck in order to start collecting your critical SR boosters. After a couple of rounds of this I would start to pull 2 Gear and 1 Runs. You have to remain focused on defending with your Events until you are ready to release your drugged out Solo's onto the streets. A well timed deck might take about 8-10 rounds to do it, but with a heavy defensive capability you can pull out 120SR fairly easily as long as everything else is in play. Load up your Med-Tech's with their own gear, and make sure you can get a Stim Patch on a couple to be able to re-use them to recycle the Red Rage. A Zane Red with a decent sidearm, a supporting Milo, and 7-8 Med-Tech's will give you what you need. Use Milo to boost Zane's Power, then recycle the Red Rage about 8 times giving you a hefty Solo with around 90SR - the accumulated SR on the Med-Tech's should push you over the 120 line. All you need to do then is hit your opponents stash to win, and let's face it, who's going to stand in the way of a drugged out Zane Red ready to explode?

So, far from losers doing drugs in the Cyberpunk CCG, it would seem that with the right support cards, winners are the one's doing the drugs.

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