I’ve been playing world tree wu quite a bit on Jnet casual, and a few folks have been curious about how the deck works efficiently, so I thought I’d talk through how to play the deck real quick. But first, a skippable but (imo) interesting pedagogical note:
Deckbuilding in Reverse:
One tip I give to players who are playing and building corp decks is to visualize what the end state of your deck looks like, and how you get there. Often that’s an agenda suite (2 two pointers and a GFI for Precision Design, 2 3-pointers and an echo chamber for 6-agenda azmari, etc). It might be a win condition, say flatlining through net damage in Jinteki or through negative hand size in Thule. Or it might be a board state, like a Trieste guarded by a Loki in Aginfusion or a runner too poor to steal Degree Mill/Bellona in R+. Once you have that aim in mind, work backwards and try to figure out the most effective way to get to that goal. If you’re running reality plus, trying to rush out that degree mill might look like the best move, but does it actually bring you closer to a winning state? Try to predict what your opponent might try to do, and find the line that gets you closer to your winning state and the runner further from theirs. I would argue that his approach to play is critical to winning with Wu.
If you have buzzsaw, cleaver, echelon, and turbine installed, you will get into almost any server for pennies. Against many corps, you may need an added tech card. Simulchip and Clot lock out FA decks, Citadel keeps tag-based decks from becoming too strong and blocks MAD combo, T400 keeps you safe against Thule and PE, and pinhole keeps you from banging your head too much against Anoetic Void. Finally, Endurance is an acceptable tech card (!!!!) against Chiyashi, Tyr, and DNA Tracker. Honestly, the lock can be so strong that the multiaccess (1 copy of maker’s eye, 1 copy of conduit), can feel like a courtesy at times. I’d say about 80% of my wins have been before a single multiaccess card was installed. That is the lock.
While having this end game in sight is useful, you cannot ignore the corp. PD can rush out in 7 turns, Issuaq even fewer. If you let NBN/NEH/R+ score an ARES, the game becomes way more miserable. That goes double for Drago. The reason world tree is so good is that, once set up, you are able to build your set up toward that lock state WHILE contesting the server. The ideal turn in the midgame is:
Click 1: Install Mayfly or Harbinger Click 2: Run/Pinhole the most important server End of Run: Trash Mayfly/Harbinger, Install Echelon/Cleaver/Buzzsaw Click 3: Draw Event Click 4: Econ Event
You have two different tools in the midgame to pressure servers before you’re set up: Virgin Endurance and Chad Mayfly. Which you prioritize depends on a few factors:
Mulligan for econ and draw. You can’t use world tree to tutor cards you draw, so you really don’t want to see programs in your opening hand (this, by the way, is why the deck improves as it gets bigger). In order to use Worldtree, we have to install it without punished for dropping too low on credits. The ideal turn 1 to install world tree is
Click 1: Wu out Harbinger (0c) Click 2: Wu out Self-Modifying Code (0c) Click 3: Overclock an empty server, mid-run trash smc to install world tree, on success trash harbinger to install reaver. (-4c) Click 4: Creative commission (+4c)
At the end of this “dream turn”, you will be at 5 credits, with a reaver, world tree, and facedown harbinger installed. This is great! However, rushing a world tree can be incorrect for a large number a reasons:
1: You don’t have overclock
2: Your opponent has HHN or another strong punishment card.
3: Your opponent is threatening a Rashida turn 1 and you want to use pinhole to trash it.
4: Your opponent is threatening a Drago turn 1 and you don’t want world tree to be SGP’d.
5: You have an Aesop in hand which you want to install, so the combo is more efficient turn 2. 6: You have a Flameout in hand which you want to install, so the combo is more efficient turn 2.
I would guess I install world tree on turn 1 in 20% of games, turn 2 40%, and turn 3 or later 40% of games. The big takeaway is play Netrunner before you play world tree. Eventually there will be a threat you feel safe ignoring, and world tree will be there.
This deck runs 5 economic resources. Beth is a great drip econ card. It’s great if you have it, not back breaking if you don’t. Never really worth tutoring for. Nuka and Telework are both econ cards that you click several times and leave at the last “click” to tutor your most key resources: Aesops and Daily Casts. Aesops allows you to trash the face-down harbingers you’re creating as you build your rig. You want it out as soon as possible — ideally from hand, but tutoring it is fine too. Daily Casts is money; your deck actually has very little drip besides cyberdelia, so it does you well. Once the rig is installed and I’m hitting end game, I’ll usually sell Aesop to the world tree for a daily casts — otherwise I get…tempted. Another line I have tried is to trash the world tree with Aesop, and then trash the memory cards which were supporting world tree with Aesop. I’ve generally found this is a losing line, as the daily casts is about the same amount of money, and world tree often can come in clutch more often than you think it will.
The most prohibitive part of World Tree is not its cost, but its memory. After getting world tree and reaver out, you have a single mu left to build the rest of your rig. Andrej gave Cyberdelia a hard time during our game, but it is massive here — it’s free mu when tutored and it gives you enough money to keep tempo going. In almost every matchup, I will make sure I have a cyberdelia early game (ideally by feeding a simulchip to world tree, but installing one is fine) before I get a single breaker out. This allows me to get a mayfly on call, which I can trash for a regular breaker. I’ll usually then try to get another cyberdelia (or, if I have the money, an endurance) so I can keep the pressure going. You REALLY want to be able to call a mayfly whenever you want — that way they can never safely install anything while you’re assembling the rig. Finally, remember that you cannot upgrade a cyberdelia to an endurance when your rig is full — you’d have to trash one of your programs in the interim.
DZMZ doesn’t work, most of your programs are free with world tree anyways.
I’ve tried Aniccam before, and it’s fine, but the +1 mu makes me sad.
Spec Work is basically only playable turn 1 — in a 65 card deck that’s not great
Hippocampic Mechanocytes looks like a free hardware with a reasonable ability, but the meat damage is not an insignificant cost. T400 and Citadel are much more consistent tech cards.
Stoneship Chartroom and No Free Lunch are good, but they can’t be fed to world tree, so they’re inflexible compared to Nuka or Telework. If I had 1 extra inf I’d put in 1 No Free Lunch.
Rigging Up is a good tool in case you draw important cards, but it’s unreliable, and it feels really bad as a three-of.
Playing Against the Deck
Most opponents who know the deck will try to get every server protected by an ICE as soon as possible. This is almost always the right move, but it’s still a tempo hit for them, and you can use mayfly or endurance to get through any ICE.
R+ is (I think) the only matchup at less than 50%. Your biggest tool is flameout. Don’t install anything that doesn’t give you money, and set up your mayfly when your opponent threatens the Drago. Once you’re at 20-30 credits, you can start setting up world tree/endurance. It will be a VERY tough game though.
Asset Spam is not a great matchup. Again, play slow, build money. Get paricia (remember you can always use an smc as a tutor, which is free) once a must trash asset is installed (pretty much only urban renewal in Ob in the current meta). Remember that you have misdirection, so as long as you end your turn at 3c you can clear out a hard hitting news while avoiding econ warfare.
FA Sports is tricky — prioritize getting clot out sooner than you think you’ll need it (I often will get it instead of reaver on the world tree turn). You can take 1 core damage from nightmare archives, but you really don't want to turn ontological into a 2/2.
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