Welcome your new new overlord mulch! (8th@ATM 9th@UK nats)

AugustusCaesar 1088

aksu's masterpiece

UPDATE AFTER UK NATS

I took this deck to uk nats, with the only change of -1 ltf, +1 wheels. And the deck went 3-1, loosing only to RotomAppliance's PD in a close cut game. It also won a friendly match played as i got to ID town. The hypothesis that Engolo improves the jinteki matchup did not get tested, my oponents were generally low on sentries and high on assets, so it did not do a lot of painting. \</update>

Mulch is incredible, on all angles, fun, powerful, massively flexible to any meta, what isn't there to love. It is also incredibly easy to mold to one's playstyle so many widely diverging versions of the deck are bound to surface and all be great for their pilots, this is my current frontrunner for "mulch that does best for me"

This deck only went 2-2 at the AMT, loosing to 2 NBN decks against which the proposed changes would be fairly irrelevant either way. But it convincingly took down the other two games where the new cards did great work.

MULCHMULCHMULCH

The core of this deck is intact from JanTuno's incredible original list. The non-influence related changes are:

  • -3 raindrops, -1 dirty laundry: i was unconvinced by the raindrops with no bankhar, it feels like it does too little very often. And cutting them gives us more space to put in cards that assemble our engine faster in a more consistent fashion. I will stand by my comment that Sure Fund is better than raindrops in this slot, but turns out running neither is what worked best for me.

  • +1 Knobkierie, +1 Cookbook, +1 Audrey: the most straightforward way to draw your engine parts faster is to just have more of them. This does make it slighly less likely that you'll have a Lago or Moshing, but if that is a tradeoff for more turn 1's that include Cookbook/Knobkierie + Fermenter, I think that is a fine tradeoff.

  • +3 Gachapon: I was surprised to not see this in the original list given the mass of targets for it we have. And having the flexibility to install a Botulus to get into a remote or a Fermenter for econ is incredible. Because it can't hit Knobkierie or Lago, it is noticeably worse than The Price, but it still more than carries its weight in the deck.

  • +1 Imp, +1 Leech: The deck didn't have enough skateboard tricks for me, so I added some more. And these two in particular are important against NBN decks. I was very concerned that we only have 1 answer in the whole deck for a VSA, so hush was an obvious include to have more options into that. Imp is a specific call of both NEH variants, most concerningly KANEHL can be a massive problem for the deck, it doesnt have a robust enough econ to consistently pay 4 to trash important assets, and an Amani on Knobkierie is game-winning. With Imp, we no longer need to worry about paying real money for such things. And Imp also runs double duty in trashing agendas to make sure we avoid costs and also keep threat at a nice and manageable zero. Imp is also great against kill NEH, which improves an already pretty decent matchup.

  • +1 Ice Carver, still not convinced about this last include. A big part of it was that it looked sad to have a 51 card deck. But it is also very good at dealing with all the 1 str ice that appear all over the place. It is usually worse than leech, but has the very good advantage that it doesn't consume MU (relevant in endgames where you need a hush and bot lying around). And it also combines decently enough with a leech in cases where centrals are well defended.

THE KILLER PROBLEM

Mulch has no problems trivializing almost any ice, be it a 10 strength Pharos that gets easily passed with a botulus, or a rainbow server out of PD that gets eaten up by Audrey. The one thing the deck can significantly struggle against sentry spam. Anarch doesn't have in faction tools to deal with sentries well. It is left as an exercise for the reader to confirm that Odore never works, the other two options have very exploitable flaws. That means that the influence that the deck is left with after the mandatory cards, should most likely be spent on a solution to this problem, there are many candidates for out of faction solutions, here are their pros and cons:

  • Revolver: the original solution, it is incredibly synergistic and pretty clearly the best solution generically in my eyes. Against most decks where you can mix and match breaking annoying sentries with audrey or Revolver, it does incredible work. However, it does very little for the key problem of sentry spam, if you have to use revolver to get through a saisentan over an over again, it isn't a workable solution. I even theorize that the observed weakness of mulch to jinteki decks is largely caused by revolver, rather than net damage being inherently unsolvable for the deck. (citation needed)
  • Reg Stuff: other factions have decent solutions to sentries, and they cost only small amounts of influence. They solve the issue decently, but fall into the problem that most decks are prepared to abuse these breakers ([Carmen} specifically, and Na'Not'K gets hit by collateral from people expecting Echelon as well as being generally bad). Out of these two Na'Not'K is the one i think has most promise, since it works best in the exact situation where the opponent is trying to overtax your botulus, and it is the least influence. However, I did not test much with it because I was very unsure what the extra influence could be spent on. And i settled pretty early on in the last option...

  • Killer? Who Needs a Killer? Certainly not me: No matter which of the above options you like best, one thing remains fairly constant, your go-to answer to sentries are always Audrey and Botulus, and the killer is only used if the opponent is playing to make those options unfeasable. So what if we don't run a killer at all and save ourselves a slot by using a decoder that can break a sentry in those cases. And this deck is already built to maximize Engolo value, with Botulus and Audrey as solutions to stacks of ice, it is incredibly rare that the once per turn restriction on Engolo can get successfully abused by a corp, and a lategame Knobkierie+Ferementer engine prints so much money that Engolo is great in that situation. We even have leech and ice carver to eliminate tough matchups for engolo like magnet.

    One slight issue with Engolo is that it costs 1 more influence than Revolver, so we must turn the DJ into another Labor Rights. But I believe that the downgrade is fairly minor (it even gives us more total simulchips in a very theoretical max endgame). One consideration to adress this would be to use recently unbanned Laamb instead, but i really didnt want to give up a Cleaver.

TAI BREAKERS REPRESENT

A million thanks for to my testing team, the TAI Breakers, for all the work we put in before and even after worlds to test and iterate on decks, you are all incredible. Special congratulations to Baa Ram Wu who won the AMT with a different iteration of mulch

5 comments
31 Oct 2023 jan tuno

this is an incredible list! happy to see a lot of versions of mulch that tailor the deck to the pilot's preferences. good job at AMT

1 Nov 2023 HaverOfFun

Wooooooo go TAI Breakers!!!!

6 Nov 2023 Cyclopanda

Got any tips what to shuffle around and where to use the extra influence in the Laamb version of the list?

6 Nov 2023 AugustusCaesar

@Cyclopanda I played around with a double laamb version of this. If you want to be on single laamb things you could get in there are DJ (and go back to 2 labor rights), Buffer Drive, another pinhole, or some Bahia Bands

18 Dec 2023 HermanFrench

Do you have any suggestions for what to change and where to apply the additional influence in the Laamb version of the list? scratch games