Two knives and a paintbrush

tiedyedvortex 4560

A little over a year ago, Heartthrob posted a deck called Killing me softly (a paintbrush and a dagger). Between then and now, two things have happened which inspired this deck. 1) Nasir was released, and 2) Switchblade was released.

It seems like a match match in heaven. Paintbrush/ Dagger needs lots of recurring credits to work. Nasir loves recurring credits. Paintbrush/ Dagger needs someone willing to aggressively facecheck ice. Nasir loves facechecking ice. And Switchblade is just a meatier, nastier version of Dagger .

The original Kate build used Atmans as a supplemental breaker. For Nasir, though, I went a different route: Alpha. I honestly can't believe no one has ever used Alpha in Nasir before. Seriously, it's great; if there's an unrezzed piece of ice on the outside of a server, you can facecheck it with impunity, because nine times out of ten the rez cost of the ice gives you enough to break it. In most other cases, you can break even with just one or two recurring credits from Cyberfeeder or Cloak. Of course, if it's just an End the Run ice, you might just let yourself bounce and collect your free money.

Once you've facechecked all the ice you possibly can, that's when you install your Dagger or Switchblade and Paintbrush. Given the option, install the Dagger first and naked; it's a weaker breaker, but needs fewer stealth credits to function, and is just as good or better for cheap ice. Eventually, though, you're going to want to set up your Switchbladesaurus. This is a ridiculous combination: for two stealth credits, you can cut through any ice in the game. Ashigaru, Janus 1.0, Wormhole, all die for pocket change, once they've been appropriately paintbrushed.

The economy is pretty much Nasir standard: Personal Workshop/Stimhack, Order of Sol all give you the funds you need to set up your rig, and after that you just collect money from facechecking ice with stealth credits. Armitage Codebusting is a backup plan, and a way to hoard credits if you can't find your Workshop. Replicator lets you spam out your Silencers and Mem Chips as quickly as possible-you'll need all three if you want to have the full rig of Switchbladesaurus+naked dagger+paintbrush+Alpha+3x Cloak.

This deck has known vulnerabilities. You will always lose traces if they happen: SEA Source and Midseason Replacements are nightmares. Tag removal sucks, especially early on: you will frequently have to click for credits twice and clear the tag, which is a problem if you aren't running first click. Inazuma is the least facecheck-able ice in the game, and Swordsman kills your Alpha if you haven't got your Dagger down yet. Assets Pay-to-steal agendas like NAPD Contract can be tricky, but remember that you can use Ghost Runner credits to steal agendas and trash assets in a pinch (since they are technically "during a run").

Still, this is one of the most fun deck's I've played recently, and I encourage everyone to give it a shot.

10 Apr 2015 Positron

Looks fun. How do you deal with scorched earth and kill decks in general?

10 Apr 2015 tiedyedvortex

Simply put, you don't. Like I mentioned, any non-Ice trace (SEA Source, Punitive Counterstrike, Midseasons) will always succeed, because Nasir typically operates with 0 or 1 credit floating in his pool. Meaning Sea source+Scorched Earth is a perpetual threat.

Tag n' Bag Weyland is out of style in my local meta, so I decided to just give up on the Plascretes entirely. If that's something you are afraid of, then you could probably drop either 2x Tinkering or 1x Tinkering, 1x Sacrificial Construct to put in 2 Placretes.

Murder-Jinteki is actually surprisingly easy to deal with; most of these decks rely on Komainu or Tsurugi to rack up a lethal amount of damage, and Switchbladesaurus absolutely murders these. Just be careful and you'll be fine.

10 Apr 2015 Somberbrero

I am absolutely livid that I have been trying to make Stealth Nasir work for months and I never came close to making anything this good.

11 Apr 2015 AkAnderson

Looks sweet! I never thought of trying the idea with Nasir, we'll have to mess around with it and see how it goes! I personally know that Heartthrob loves Nasir so I'm sure he'll be excited.

11 Apr 2015 Lupus Yonderboi

Not sure if your deck need improvement, but consider All-Nighter. It's a great support for Paintbrush.

11 Apr 2015 Heartthrob

Two of my ex-loves packaged into a new beauty - Paintbrush and Nasir! I'm really excited to try this build. Well thought out and very creative. How has Armitage been? One issue I ran into with Paintbrush was not enough clicks, so I might try some less click-intensive Econ. I also second an inclusion of All-nighter over tinkering.

11 Apr 2015 tiedyedvortex

@Lupus Yonderboi Oh man, I hadn't even though about All-Nighter. That's way better than Tinkering here: the Tinkering was basically a hail-mary for if they managed to get a scary piece of unrezzed ice on the inside of a server, but All-nighter can get you into that deep-stacked server.

@Heartthrob Thanks for figuring Paintbrush out in the first place! Armitage isn't a perfect solution, but it's the best I could come up with. This deck wants to operate at extremely low credit thresholds to make facechecking as profitable as possible and make Order of Sol pay out on both players' turns. That means that playing high up-front costs for Liberated Account, Sure Gamble, Professional Contacts isn't really feasible. Similarly, Daily Casts gives you money when you may not be able to get rid of it. Armitage is the best on-demand economy card in the game for someone keeping 1 or 2 credits in their pool; but, Day Job is a very close second, and is definitely worth considering. You would need to swap out some mix of Stimhacks and Cyberfeeders to squeeze them in, though.

This is still very much a deck in progress. I'm considering trying to find some way to get a couple R&D Interfaces in here, and maybe switching from 3x Akamatsu Mem Chip to 2x CyberSolutions Mem Chip to free up an extra memory and an extra card slot. I might also swap out 1x Alpha for 1x ZU.13 Key Master; once you have a knife up, you only have to fear a few specific code gates, and Zu might be useful late-game as well as early.

11 Apr 2015 Heartthrob

Totally see your point on armitage. Order of Sol is amazing in Nasir and you want to get max utility. Might be worth swapping one for a Symmetrical Visage? I also thought the same thing about Day Job...hard to slot though. RDI was always an MVP in my Nasir builds, especially when corps are hesitant to rez R&D. I'll test this a bit too.

12 Apr 2015 tiedyedvortex

Symmetrical Visage is an interesting idea. This deck is starved for card draw, even with the 3x Diesel, and finds itself clicking for cards nearly every turn. Trading one Order for one Visage does remove one dead draw from the deck, and means that I could potentially have both of them running at the same time...but for Nasir, Order of Sol pays off way faster than Visage ever could, and going down to one copy means that one average I see Order 8 cards later than I would with both in the deck. I'll have to think this one through, but I'll probably just end up with just my two Order of Sol.

12 Apr 2015 Heartthrob

Just tested Visage in my new Exile build and it was stellar. Not sure I'd cut Order for it though in this Nasir...what about cutting a Tinkering for it? I'm going to try Net celebrity in for Cyberfeeders and see if a Day Job can fit.

12 Apr 2015 tiedyedvortex

Well, I've updated this deck a little bit so the Tinkerings had both already been replaced by All-Nighters. I need to do more playtesting to see how important Paintbrush is. It's essential if you ever need to Paintbrush 4 times on a single server, but if I trade 1x Alpha for 1x Refractor, that should be enough to handle any server with less than 4 barriers. Then it might work to take out an All-Nighter for a one-of Visage.

I considered Net Celebrity, but I think that since I'm already running Replicator it makes more sense to stick with the hardware. But then again, Net Celeb is just a "during a run" credit, which is way more useful to Nasir than simply icebreaker credits, especially in a stealth rig.

13 Apr 2015 whuppo

Im digging this deck, too.

I took both cyberfeeders out and put 2x net celeb in and... you can call me crazy but..

now there's Expert Schedule Analyzer in this deck.

20 Apr 2015 lajcik

I really love the idea but I'm wondering how do you close out games. The corp can just drop a 4-5 pieces of ice on a server and make you unable to run. No multiaccess also feels like a big hurdle, you're going to be spending a full turn to run R&D to see 1 card. That is not efficient use of your stealth rig.

20 Apr 2015 tiedyedvortex

@lajcik: You are correct, that was a problem with this build. I've since swapped out -1 Armitage, -1 Sacrificial Construct to put in +2 R&D Interfaces. The Replicator helps make sure I get both out, and once I do, I only have to make it into R&D once every 2 or 3 turns to maintain a lock. The corp can't score agendas if they don't have any in hand.

21 May 2015 knives369

@tiedyedvortex So, I was stalking the Natman forum for a while trying to make the replicator/3xAtman suite work but this looks like a lot more fun with paint brush. I have no idea how you would find the influence for it (you'd have to dump the Cyberfeeders and the Stimhacks if you wanted two of them), but hot damn is Rook devastating in any Nasir Meidan: Cyber Explorer deck.

21 May 2015 tiedyedvortex

@knives369 Rook is excellent in Nasir, sure, but I'm not sure it's really the best call in this case. The Stimhacks are super useful; being able to SMC+Stimhack into an Alpha is super nice. I could potentially see dropping the Cyberfeeders in favor of Net Celebrity and a Rook, but memory is already pretty tight in this deck, even after Replicating your Akamatsu Mem Chips and setting up Switchbladeasaurus.

One thing I'm going to be testing is the new Tyson Observatory. It would be easy to swap out one Dino and one Replicator for two Tysons--it would be a lot more consistent, but also a lot slower, and I'm not sure that would work the best here.

21 May 2015 knives369

@tiedyedvortex Ah I wasn't thinking of the memory problem as I run the deck with The Toolbox instead of Dinosaurus. Though I see now that the Dino saves you a stealth specific cred on a lot of low end ICE.

However, I was considering running Underworld Contact in conjunction with the toolbox as well as maybe The Helpful AI and The Personal Touch to synergize across the board all of what I have. Plus it means that during any given moment midgame you would be rocking 4 link, and making money from it. Then you could swap that Alpha for that ZU.13 Key Master and save memory.

Not having cards is the biggest obstacle for me at this point. :(