Zetatech - Deny Everything - The "Denial" Deck

 This was an article written to coincide with the release of Chrome & Kilobytes and as such refers to many cards that were due in that release. with a distinct focus on the Netrunner, and the card milling effect of the Sponsor, this strategy was touted by myself and Matt Dreger to be an devastating one half of a Team tournament with the other player using NCPD.

The primary objective with Zetatech is to run your opponent out of cards, it's that simple. Trouble is you can only mill a single card from each deck per turn. That means your most effective strategy, all factors considered will require you to survive 9-10 rounds to win. Your opponent will draw 4 + 3 on their first turn, then an additional 3 per turn. With your milling of one, that means 9 rounds at 4 cards per turn - assuming of course they draw only from their Runs Deck, which of course is highly unlikely.

So, what tactics will we need to look at in order to make this a viable strategy. Firstly lets look at the Zetatech Sponsor and assess its value.


Produces: X

// X is equal to the number of cards in your hand. // At the beginning of your turn, choose any number of players. All those players put the top card of all their decks into their trash. // Your cost to play decks is reduced by 7 (minimum 1).

The first thing to motice about the card is that it does not require its "Use" to effect the ability to mill cards. That's extremely dangerous because every other Sponsor with an ability must be used in order to get the benefit from that ability. Secondly it can produce a significant number of Euro each turn, depending on how many cards you have in your hand. Lastly it reduces the cost to 1 of every deck in the game.

Now in order to get as close to a 9 turn win, you need to focus on trying to force your opponent to stick to his Runs Deck. That's not too hard, as long as you can kill the Runners he puts into play, and trash the Locations he is using for money. Lastly if he does put an Operation into play, you want to make it impossible for him to actually run it. This makes cards like Assassin and Burning Down the House extremely valuable when used in conjunction with If At First You Don't succeed. Add in to the mix four copies of cyber Oracle and you have an effective core for a denial/destruction deck.

Another great card in a situation like this is the almost forgotten Media Spotlight. This common card will allow you to keep tabs on what your opponent holds, helping you assess when best to use your Oracles and your If At Firsts. Nano Plague is another useful Runner killer, but only if your opponent uses Cyber. Similarly a card like Nothing Left ot Live For can be put to great use if you are willing to sacrifice a lowly Runner to take out one of your opponents Juggernauts.

The obvious tactic beginning to emerge here is to fill your Gear Deck with Events, and pretty much nothing else. There are some great new Equipment cards in C&K; that could be useful though in a variant denial deck. The most important of these is System Wide Upgrade. Although it attaches to your Stash, it boosts the defence of your Locations and your opponents Operations by +5 E-Sec. Coupled with a Satellite Launch Facility it can quickly create an impentrable barrier for your opponent, and give you much needed turns to effect your victory. Speed Bump is another great card as it not only provides more defence, but it also allows you to remove it from the game to draw a Gear Deck card. The great thing about loading your Stash in this way with defensive cards is that it provides a big enough carrot to your opponent to hit it, and open himself up to the classic Nothing Left to Live For disaster.

That leaves Runners and Operations. The choice of Runners is fairly simple. In order to be able to use the Cyber Oracle's and the Media Spotlights we need Netrunners and Media. Building this deck around Netrunners also enables you to consistently keep your opponent honest. As he lowers E-Sec, you simply bust using Pixel, or use your own Netrunners to raise the E-Sec back to its printed value. Some of the Runners in C&K; provide excellent fodder also for your Nothing Left ot Live For as they are cheap at 5 Eb (their restriction at only being able to raise E-Sec hardly hurts you here). Remember though that you will need at least a couple of Netrunners that can do the legwork in order to run your few Operations. Some High Fives will give them a much needed boost.

So, those Operations. Again we resort to ones that kill Runners or destroy Locations. as we are not going for an Ops Point Victory, we can be very specialised. Demolition for its obvious effect to destroy any Location in play with an M-Sec under 10, it's also cheap and once E-Sec is removed by your Netrunners, only requires 20 SR to score it, and Defection, a cheap way of further thinning out your opponents Runs Deck.

At the end of the day, the deck list to the left is incomplete and untested. This article though should have provided the core information to build a great denial deck using Zetatech. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, used in conjunction with Cops it can create a devastating team combo. While you mill your opponents' cards away, your team mate uses his Cops to bust any runner trying to recover them. Nasty.

On a side note, Matt and I considered playing 2 Zetatech decks. While the rules for Team Competition at that time clearly indicated that in order for you to win, both players needed to complete their Victory conditions. That would have required each of us to effect the final mill on our opponents, however there is a way around this. Remember that if an opponent cannot draw a Card, you gain 5 Ops Points! At 15 Ops Points a turn, you're guaranteed victory aren't you through an Ops Victory?

:: Strategy Deck ::


  • 3x Defection
  • 2x Demolition
  • 4x Job Fair
  • 4x Mall
  • 4x 24-7
  • 3x Short Circuit
  • 2x Satellite Launch Facility
  • 2x Zetatech Service Center
  • 4x Net Security Expert
  • 4x NetWatch Surveyor
  • 4x Neon
  • 4x NetMedia
  • 3x Pixel
  • 4x If at First You Don't Succeed
  • 4x Assassin
  • 4x Cyber Oracle
  • 4x Burning Down the House
  • 4x Nothing Left to Live For
  • 3x In My Element
  • 3x Media Spotlight
  • 3x High Five
  • 3x Zetatech Software Upgrade
  • 3x Target Swap
  • 4x System Wide Upgrades
  • 4x Speed Bumps

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