Cyber Exploder - 1st place Uppsala SC 2016-02-21

emlun 477

Disclaimer: This is not a tier 1 deck. This is pure, steaming jank insanity.

I took this deck to first place in the Fantasia Store Championship in Uppsala, Sweden, 2016-02-21. I had this crazy idea on Thursday night before store champs weekend, and couldn't resist trying it. I hadn't practiced anything else than Nasir for a couple of months, and this was so far out of the current meta that it just might work.

I did pretty poorly in the Swiss: 2 losses and 2 timed wins, and just barely made the top 4 cut on the second tiebreaker. After that, however, I managed 2 wins out of 3 games in the top 4 - one of which was the grand final game against the winners' bracket winner. In some of the games I won my opponent knew what was coming, so there's at least some anecdote supporting that it doesn't rely completely on surprise.

The main players of the deck are Apocalypse, Faust and Bookmark, accompanied by a ton of card draw. It should probably have a decoder for Turing, but embarrassingly enough I forgot about that. I was lucky my Hyperdrivers could act as stand-ins a few times.

My corp deck, which was undefeated and what really carried me to first place, was Accelerated Sponsorships.

In depth

Update 2016-02-22: Some people have requested a better explanation of how the deck works, so here goes!

Conception and design

Obviously, the main idea is that Nasir should be able to benefit more than most runners from Apocalypse due to resetting ice rezzes. The whole deck is built towards landing a late midgame Apocalypse and capitalising on the crippled corp as much as possible. With this as our starting point, we immediately know that we'll prefer consumables over permanents since we plan to lose any permanents to Apocalypse anyway. That means no Personal Workshop or Order of Sol, because we don't want to install things!

More conventional Nasir decks might play recurring credits and/or Stealth to counter handing so much control over the economy over to the corp, but then you can't expect to make 3 successful runs in one turn. It also means installing a lot of cards. Our solution to both problems is of course Faust, which is a 1-card rig and doesn't care about credits. Bookmark enables the one-turn Faust rampage we need for the Apocalypse - and as a bonus helps us keep our Apocalypse and LARLA safe from damage and ourself from flatlines. Diesel, Quality Time and Earthrise Hotel give us cards to pressure servers or dump on the Bookmark, and the latter two are also good credit sinks for Nasir. Hyperdriver gives us 3 or 6 extra clicks for the Apocalypse turn, and for that we need Leprechaun - and with three of those we might as well put in Collective Consciousness to help us benefit even more from ice rezzes. Of course, there's SMC to find Faust early or a Hyperdriver late, Mimic to deal with Swordsman and Inti for Wraparound (there should be a decoder for Turing as well, probably Cyber-Cypher, but I forgot about that). Finally, an Easy Mark on the Bookmark means we need at most 2 clicks to go from 0 credits to Apocalypse.

Then there's some utility to help us keep some pressure on in the early game. Armitage Codebusting helps trash remotes and steal NAPD Contract and The Future Perfect, and play Quality Time and Earthrise when the corp is refusing to rez. Indexing and The Maker's Eye help either find agendas or force the corp to rez ice, both of which are good, but we don't really want to make too many early runs (because Faust is hungry) so we leave it at one Indexing to save deck slots. Both are also great to put on Bookmark to make the most of the early post-Apocalypse, and unlike R&D Interface we don't have to install them. Plascrete Carapace in case of murder threats before we're safe behind the Bookmark.

Finally, some things that help ourself recover from the Apocalypse. Independent Thinking puts facedown cards into the heap for Clone Chip and LARLA, and draws us some cards to boot. SMC gets the second Faust if it's still in the stack, and a Clone Chip in hand (remember - don't install it before the Apocalypse!) gets it if it's in the heap. And of course LARLA lets us do all this again (less a Hyperdriver or two) if necessary.

Playing it

So how do we play this beast? Let's start with what starting hands to keep. I would probably keep any hand containing at least one of the following:

  • SMC and Earthrise Hotel. Then I can slap down the SMC, run R&D on the second click and probably break whatever's on there with Faust. Whether they rez or not, I can probably install Earthrise afterwards.
  • Bookmark and some card draw. Bookmark is the single most important card to find, and having it early lets us tear through the deck even faster to find what we need right now without worrying about discarding.
  • Faust and The Maker's Eye
  • Faust and Collective Consciousness

I probably wouldn't keep a hand containing both Apocalypse and LARLA - those will just clog up my hand until I find a Bookmark.

In the early game, we have 4 objectives:

  • Find a Bookmark.
  • Find a Faust or SMC.
  • Force the corp to rez some ice, for information as well as income. Seasoned Nasir players like myself will need to learn to be okay with not always spending every last credit in response to an ice rez.
  • Dump credits:
    • By building board state: Earthrise, Armitage, Leprechaun, Collective Consciousness, Hyperdriver
    • By threatening servers: Quality Time, The Maker's Eye and trashing important assets/upgrades

Once we have the Bookmark, we can start drawing even more aggressively and dump any surplus on it. Transitioning into midgame, we shift our attention to assembling the last pieces of the Apocalypse machinery. Get the second Hyperdriver for safety, have enough cards on Bookmark (probably 12+) to break everything we need (we may not need to break Architect and Ichi on the last central server) and have an SMC ready for Faust hate. Then we pop a Hyperdriver or two depending on the amount of uncertainty (i.e. unrezzed central ice) and go wild. Mind the order of runs - we try to front-load uncertainty but still end up with 3+ credits after making the central runs. A stashed Easy Mark could help seal the deal.

After the Apocalypse lands, we try to make the most of the time before the corp can ice back up. This will depend on whether they had rezzed Architects and whether there's a threat of meat damage flatline, because we're vulnerable to both. For this we should try to keep a Faust or Clone Chip and Independent Thinking in hand, and a Plascrete in case of kill threat. At this point there's not so much a plan as just getting whatever accesses you can to close the game out.

Notable Weaknesses

  • Crisium Grid or Caprice Nisei on a stacked central could simply be a showstopper, depending on circumstances.
  • As could Resistor if you get yourself buried in tags.
  • Fastro decks might be too fast, especially SanSan City Grid behind cheap ice could win the game before you can deal with it. Clot is probably necessary.
  • As always for Nasir, you often end up accessing NAPD Contract broke with little you can do about it.
  • Power Shutdown can straight up nuke your Bookmark if you don't have a sacrificial one or an SMC prepared.
  • Will-o-the-Wisp could wreck your Apocalypse turn if you don't have an SMC ready.
  • As could Nisei Mk. II if you forget it can be used on central runs.

There are probably more I haven't yet thought of.

In closing, this deck is crazy and great fun to play - on the runner side of the table, at least. Happy exploding!

22 Feb 2016 Aesynil

I'm curious - What exactly do you use the bookmark for? I'm not exactly sure what the jank is with that! For that matter..without workshop or mid-run install, how do you use nasir reliably? Why not do this out of Kate?

22 Feb 2016 musingly

@Aesynil I imagine the Bookmark is to use the turn before an Apocalypse, or at least that's all I can think of. Sadly, if your opponent knows the deck, this just advertises your intentions.

22 Feb 2016 TonyStellato

I love you

22 Feb 2016 emlun

@Aesynil @musingly yes, I draw a ton of cards and dump them on the Bookmark, then pick 12 or so up (during a run if necessary) at once when I need them for breaking all 3 centrals at once with Faust. Incidentally, it also makes a safe haven (except Power Shutdown xD) for Apocalypse and LARLA until I need them. Amusingly, the final game in the top 4 was against net damage kill IG, and the Bookmark was an MVP there as well even though I never played Apocalypse in that game.

The deck does indeed at some point start to telegraph what's about to happen, but piloted correctly there'll be little the corp can do to stop you once you decide the time has come. I didn't get to face any NBN at all on the day, however, so I don't know how well it does against fastro.

@Aesynil I usually managed to dump most of the money on Earthrise Hotels and Quality Times before running, and the occasional Mid-run SMC install. My other Nasir decks until now have all tried to squeeze the maximum value out of every last credit, but this one doesn't really care actually. You don't need that much money to keep it running, but I like Nasir as a way to profit from forcing rezzes. The issue is iced remotes with high-priority targets (i.e.SanSan and Museum) Kate or Hayley could very well be better choices if you're expecting a lot of cheap ice rather than mid-range to expensive ones. Then again, Nasir ensures that as long as you have Mimic pre-installed or have 5c when approaching ice, you'll never be surprised by a Swordsman rez.

22 Feb 2016 emlun

Oh yeah, also Crisium Grid on 3-icw R&D slowed me down a lot in my first top 4 game, which I lost.

22 Feb 2016 kollapse

This is a weird ass deck and deck idea, as I got to witness on a SC the day before with a earlier iteration of this deck. Congrats on the win, Emil!

22 Feb 2016 Windave

This is wonderful. Made me cry. 11/10 would cry again