Guide to Run: Nero Severn

The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.

Tom Clancy

*This week, our blue runner, Iriphil, brings to us the perfect start to start playing the newest criminal in the game: Nero Severn. Interested on discover the power of knowledge? Don’t jack out now, take your Spy Camera and welcome to The Flatline! 

When the first Data Pack of the Mumbad Cycle was released, Criminals struggled already hard in the current meta. They were the at least played and successful of the large Runner factions. Dumblefork-Whizzard was on the rise and Shaper could reach promising tournament position with certain Hayley and Kate builds which were able to deal with fast advance. Criminal had a bad stand. Only Leela did not fall behind too much, while some Geist decks appeared on the horizon which were able to make use out of new Mumbad cards like Tech Trader. But one cards widely stayed out of the focus yet – the new Criminal ID Nero Severn. This article unfortunately will not give you an advice to bring Criminals back on the top lists of tournament play but it may introduce you to the underworlds of India, the dark sides of business, and explosive information brokered behind the scene. By this guide to Nero Severn I will show up new pathways of playing blue and bring up new ideas for running with the coolest faction in the game.

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“I’m on a need-to-know basis. I need to know everything”

Why should I play Nero Severn? The quickest answer is because he is new. Yeah, maybe such an explanation don’t lead far. But let’s try it another way. Nero is one of the IDs interacting with ice. He plays in the same league as Quetzal and Rielle “Kit” Peddler. By spoilering Null FFG showed that they also have future plans for such kind of Ids. I disagree with players that complain about Nero’s ability against Quetzal’s. At first I would argue that Nero is well designed in comparison to the others. The anarch breaks through the wall, the shaper transforms ice in her favour and the criminal collects information about the ice and disappears before the situation becomes critical. This ability brings back the face checking time of the old core box. At second this is favourable for the Runner because he can face check nearly everything with no or – in case of Jinteki – with small disadvantages. Nero forces to rezz and goes on peeking into another server in the early game. In the late game the ability is still strong because it helps you to avoid Archers and Assassins. Of cause the run ends if you jack out but Nero ability enables you to up constant pressure on glaciers while Shapers and Anarchs need more time for preparation. Nevertheless it has to be stated that ICE reactive IDs have also strategic minuses when they encounter iceless decks like IG or decks with few ICE like several fast advance decks.

Knowledge is Power

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Every deck needs an engine. Here I intent to show two ways. One is connected to the reveal effects. Combo cards for this are Reflection, giving one link and a reveal effect when jacking out. This could be combined with Au Revoir, Snitch and probably Underworld Contacts and Jak Sinclair. Such an engine give a solid income and information when a run on HQ is worth to undertake. If this engine is set up the deck’s economy can rely on it completely. The downside lays in the time to set up this engine. The current meta seems to be so fast that additional card draw is indispensable. My version tries to fix this with Earthrise Hotel. Here is the list:

 

Knowledge is Power:

Nero Severn: Information Broker

Event (14)

3x Account Siphon

3x Career Fair

2x Legwork

3x Special Order

3x Sure Gamble

Hardware (6)

1x Plascrete Carapace

2x R&D Interface   ••••

3x Reflection

Resource (15)

3x Daily Casts

3x Drug Dealer

3x Earthrise Hotel

1x Film Critic   •

1x Jak Sinclair   ••

1x Political Operative

3x Underworld Contact

Icebreaker (5)

1x Faust   ••

1x GS Sherman M3   ••

1x GS Shrike M2   ••

1x Mongoose

1x ZU.13 Key Master   ••

Program (5)

3x Au Revoir

2x Snitch

15 influence spent (max 15)

45 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Democracy and Dogma

 

The basic method used to make money is running when you acquired the second Au Revoir. While no Snitch is available yet, you may run R&D and HQ in order to check the ice there. If hard etf ice is layed out, you may run archives. By this method you distract the corp player from building a proper remote. At mid game one of the Snitch should be available which is not required if you play against asset spam decks.

This deck uses its MU for Au Revoir and Snitch while integrating cloud breakers for hacking servers. An addition here is a Faust. This breaker functions as back up in case the corp tries to rush. In case of sentries the Mongoose carries out most of the working tasks in early and mid-game. In the late game GS Shrike M2 takes over the work or even earlier if the deck encounters a Tour Guide. While setting up resources support coming into the match. They single copies of Political Operative and Film Critic give tactical options against Caprice and Kill decks.

Obviously deck space becomes very tight. That is also the reason why Hostages find no slots here. Events are also limited. Only Account Siphon stays as control tool, the rest are basic events commonly played. 3 Special Order ensure to play Faust early if needed. I prefer Legwork over HQ InterfacesHQ Interface in order to conduct a sudden strike against HQ.

This deck is strong against slower decks. You can build up peace by peace and gain information about important servers. More complicated are Fast Advance and Rush decks. Faust and Legwork may help here to put early pressure on them. Nevertheless you have to draw cards aggressively in order to build up your rig quick.

 
Time is money

Beside the Au Revoir engine there is a second way to make use of Nero’s ability. It is the direct approach: Run, run, run. Like back in core box times you may just run every server furiously. You may run without severe punishment. Barriers just end the run. Code gates may have negative effects like Enigma or Yagura, but ice that really hurts – sentries – can’t hit you. Nothing feels better than running into an Architect or a Komainu, seeing the corp spending their whole starting money and just jacking out. Of course, you have the same effect with a Faerie, but just once. With Nero you can run aggressively up to four times a turn.

 

Time is Money

Nero Severn: Information Broker

Event (28)

1x “Freedom Through Equality”

3x Account Siphon

3x Dirty Laundry

3x Easy Mark

6x Exclusive Party

2x Legwork

1x Levy AR Lab Access   •••

3x Special Order

3x Sure Gamble

3x The Maker’s Eye   ••••• •

Hardware (5)

2x Desperado ☆☆

3x Sports Hopper

Resource (4)

1x Political Operative

3x Same Old Thing

Icebreaker (8)

1x Breach

1x Corroder   ••

2x Faerie

2x Mongoose

1x Passport

1x ZU.13 Key Master   ••

13 influence spent (max 15-2☆=13)

45 cards (min 45)

Cards up to Salsette Island

 

In difference to sly criminal decks which use technical events like Emergency Shutdown, Bribery or the new High-stakes Job, CBI Raid here you run like hell and prolong early game (mainly by repeated Account Siphons) so that the corp isn’t able to core agendas. You may adept your strategy using Legwork, The Maker’s Eye and Account Siphon according to the ice placement the corp plays. If your opponent ices up HQ heavily you can hit R&D effectively with The Maker’s Eye and Same old Thing.

The fast pace of this deck is fired by burst economy. Especially Exclusive Party enables a high seed. This deck doesn’t have a draw engine but the Exclusive Party replaces itself. The great advantage with such and economy is that you are able to go tag me. Account siphons are much more effective if you don’t have to care about the tags. While tagged the three Sports Hoppers keeping you alive. They are very efficient against Argus which loses its thread potential if even three Scorched Earth are enough to kill the runner.

As special cards in the list are one Political Operative who can be seen as a silver bullet against glaciers and the “Freedom Through Equality” which could be played prior a Legwork or The Maker’s Eye as additional points. Such a play gives you an advantage against Fast Advance decks replacing the fourth agenda on the way to victory. Further the current can be used as countermeasures against corp control currents like Enhanced Login Protocol or Paywall Implementation.

Summing up, Nero is a new ID which enriches the kaleidoscope of variants inside the faction. In my opinion his advantages are flashing up most in aggressive decks, which put pressure on the corp every turn. With such a play Nero perfectly complements Leela and Geist which need more time for preparation. Nevertheless his power level lays behind Andy or Leela. Until more support cards with jack out effects are published Nero can’t match tier 1 decks. But playing Nero is a lot of fun. You are in a position to play with the puzzled corp player forcing him or her to miscalculations while rezzing ice. Playing Nero is like having a grab bag for the corp. Read its play and you can exploit the situation.

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