NEH mutually assured psychobeale [Startup]

AceEmpress 69

published by
This came second in the Leisure Games Midnight Sun startup GNK (which was really fun, massive thanks to Tamijo and to the staff for being really cool and making this happen), going 3-1 along with my runner which also went 3-1 (undeservedly - I won the last game on time just as I lost my breaker suite while 5 points up).
The four games it played were:

Losing to Esa "take as much core damage as humanly possible", piloted by Tamijo

Winning vs Scarlett's Hoshiko following some tense setup turns and a Chekist Scion who went untrashed to "make me do it myself". I promptly did via MAD and though the extra tag didn't matter it was quite funny.

Winning vs Tim's skateboard tricks Az - R&D pressure off Twinning was scary but eventually my Daily Business Shows found an agenda, and it turned into points.

Winning vs Finnbar's medium Aesop's Lat - Aesops is cool if slow, and the 5 points I got from an unprotected SanSan certainly helped, (as well as using your first two simulchips for cash despite knowing what deck I was on, and then not seeing the third all game, thanks babe :p) but it was a very tense game given how much of it they spent on 6 points before the final Beale appeared. (Although they also had a HQ access that saved them on 1 in 4 odds a lot earlier, which I was mildly irked about because it would have been my first Beale for more than 3 points all tournament)

The idea of the deck is pretty simple - throw out as many assets as possible, land a Mutually Assured Destruction for 6 to 8 tags or so, and Psychographics your way to victory. As a bonus, sometimes the runner will let you sneak out a few points either just on board or through a SanSan earlier, which saves you credits on that later psychographics.

Overall, the deck did really well, only losing to TamiJo's sabotage Anarch, not so much through the sabotage itself as through good early plays and a Bellona I couldn't get anywhere else early (though I do think the sabotage matchup in general is bad - as well as any kind of combo destruction or sustained/significant R&D pressure). In every other game, I landed the Mutually Assured and Psychographics'd my way to a win, though by fast advancing Bellonas as often as making a Beale big.

I've seen suggestions that this deck should be on Mavirus, and I personally disagree for a few reasons:
First, this deck struggles with money - it's often the limiting factor in your ability to land psychographics, and is a deciding factor on when you should hit the big red button more than the number of tags you inflict. (Though if you can, have a psychographics in hand as well, it does a lot of work).
Second, and linked to the first, influence is tight and we need those campaigns to improve our economy - which helps in all matchups not just the shaper one.
Third, it's easier to bait out the clot than to try and have a Mavirus in hand for the combo turn - HQ is often open both pre and post Mutually Assured Destruction-ing, and if they want to be sure they're stopping you scoring out they have to bring out clot whenever you install a card while they're tagged. Given 35 cards in this deck are installables, this isn't great odds for them, while using Mavirus means needing to keep it from being trashed and having an extra three credits on the combo turn.

TL;DR this combo's really cool, and I might be turning to the dark side of asset spam for a bit in startup - sorry other Warwick players :p (I think misdirection absolutely shreds this deck in standard, fwiw, so much so that I just wouldn't play it there - though I'm sure someone smarter than me can make it work.)

6 Oct 2022 Crowphie

2 months and 3 continentals later, nobody smarter has yet made it work in Standard