NBN Mutate (2nd place at DoK's Winter Tournament II)

Sanjay 2665

I built this deck because someone dared me to play NBN Mutate at a store tournament. It did very well, carrying me and my disastrous runner deck to second place in a 9 person tournament.

I toyed around with Making News and SYNC initially, hoping to make a hybrid Shoot the Moon/Mutate list before realizing one deck can only accommodate so many terrible cards. Alas.

Initially, the tournament was going to be pre-Kala Ghoda and pre-MWL, but the original tournament date got bumped to February because of the Eastern United States's recent snowpocalypse. All of a sudden I had access to Mutate's good friend: Heritage Committee. This meant, however, that influence would be extremely tight, especially since I planned on including the wanted card AstroScript Pilot Program.

And so I turned to that metagame bogeyman Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center. Not only was the 17 influence quite welcome, but the extra card draw was very nice since I was playing a combo deck.

The tournament went magically:

Match 1

Me vs. Whizzard: I had a very difficult time keeping Whizzard out of anything. I did manage to turn a diseased Little Engine protecting HQ into an Archer, but that just meant Whizzard went elsewhere and took all my agendas.

On the runner side, Exile lost horribly.

Everyone else in the tournament tied their matches, meaning I now had the worst record. Which meant...

Match 2


I went and got some FroYo.

This was the key to my success. The deck went undefeated after eating FroYo.

Match 3

Me vs. Valpocalypse

I got paired against my best friend!

Val is a rough matchup for a mutate deck, since you want rezzed ice to mutate and Val wants to keep your ice unrezzed so she can blackmail her way into servers. Even more disappointingly, Val at one point wantonly destroyed my hand hitting 2 Mutates and a Heritage Committee. The combo was not happening this game.

Luckily, I was able to leverage the very strong code gates I had (a weak point for my friend's Val deck) and the power of Astroscript Pilot Program into a game win.

On the runner side, Exile lost horribly.

Cut to top 4

The cut to top 4 was a little silly because the person I played Match 1 ended swiss with 10 prestige (five wins), one person had 7 prestige (three wins and a timed win), and everyone else in the tournament had 6 (three wins). But because I played the person with 10 prestige, my strength of schedule was better, so I made the cut, despite only winning 1 game in swiss.

Hopefully people weren't paying much attention because I was extremely undeserving!

Top 4 Game 1

Exile lost ESPECIALLY horribly, having his brain fried on turn 5.

Top 4 Game 2

Me vs. Whizzard: The Mutate-Heritage Committee shone like a diamond this game. I was able to turn a Pop-up Window into an Archer on my remote, and turn another Pop-up Window into a Wall of Thorns on HQ. The Wall of Thorns was enough of a deterrent to point the runner towards R&D, while I had five agendas in hand for most of the rest of the game.

Despite the low agenda density of R&D, I was lucky at how little the runner found from their multiple Keyhole runs.

My Little Engine + Archer remote was secure enough to score out an Astroscript and an overadvanced Beale, and I was able to fast advance another Astroscript for the win.

Special shoutout to 15 minutes, which was stolen 3 times this game.

Top 4 Game 3

Me vs. MaxX

The winner of this game got into the finals.

We were both a little more familiar with this matchup because after the MaxX player fried Exile in five turns, we played a friendly round of Mutate vs. Punk Rock.

This was a really cool list, leveraging DDoS to great effect.

I was able to mutate an Archer on R&D, really slowing the R&D assault. I got an Astroscript through behind two Tollbooths that the runner didn't challenge, and then fast advanced Astroscript, then Beale, then Breaking News to get 7 points.

Top 4 Game 4: The Finals

Exile lost horribly.


The tournament had double prize support, meaning second place was a very good place to be. In addition to the very cool door prizes (alt art Ice Wall and alt art Swordsman), I got an alt art Femme (my favorite killer), an alt art Corroder (my fourth favorite fracter), and my very first playmat!

I also won an Edward Kim deckbox which I will not be using because he is a cyber-racist.


I played three Mutate because I wanted to draw them as much as possible. The deck probably only actually wants two. But in the spirit of the dare, I didn't want anyone to question my commitment to Mutate.

An easy way to improve the deck, probably, would be to cut one Mutate and find something fun to do with the extra influence, just as long as you maintain your Jinteki alliance. SanSan City Grid would be really wonderful, as it usually is.

An easier way to improve the deck would be to abandon the concept and play a different list entirely.

P.S. I really wanted to blow someone up with Self-destruct but I never came remotely close to that happening.

22 Feb 2016 2sj

This deck screams to be tried out for laughs on jnet. Well done on your tournament placing and on the laughs in the deck and tournament description.

22 Feb 2016 Sanjay

@2sj Thank you!

If you are playing the deck for laughs on jnet, I'd probably keep the Self-Destruct. It's gotta happen eventually, right?

22 Feb 2016 Saan

Proof that NBN can just play whatever the fuck cards it wants and still win =P

On a more serious note, awesome job on the tournament placement! Looks like a fun deck.

22 Feb 2016 Saan

Also, kinda funny that you completely bombed the first of 3 rounds, and the bye got you in the top 4 cut anyhow. How big was this thing?

22 Feb 2016 Sanjay

@Saan You aren't wrong. Astroscript almost seems better post-MWL because a lot less people are slotting the clotâ„¢. Maybe I just got lucky and nobody had it when they needed it, but I feel like the increased influence cost of Clone Chip makes it a lot less of an appealing card for Anarchs.

There were nine players, so we did three rounds of swiss and a cut to top 4. There were so many splits this tournament which that made the cut really weird, and I got ridiculously lucky.

22 Feb 2016 Reutan

By the way, the MaXx deck was d1en's THE FUN ENDS HERE with an additional Inject instead of Femme. Many regrets, I think, as Turing would have been well enough handled by Force of Nature instead of Yog. My major failing was probably not aiming for a Wanton after the start of the Astro-train, but not having any agenda touches to swap away your token hurt badly.

22 Feb 2016 forktines

I tried out the Mutate/Heritage Committee combo for a second before I remembered that Eliza's Toybox was a card. To your mind, is there an advantage to Mutate/Heritage a committee over Eliza's Toybox that goes beyond the fun of the jank? In my albeit limited experience with it, I found that at best, I was able to set up and fire the combo twice per game, and it took so much time that it was just not a viable option for the core competency of a deck. Obviously you had some success with it, though. Congrats.

22 Feb 2016 HuskerDu

'I went and got some FroYo.

This was the key to my success. The deck went undefeated after eating FroYo.'

This killed me

22 Feb 2016 Sanjay

@Teveran I thought your line was very reasonable. You saw a lot of cards on R&D. Finding an agenda there would have been a great way to stop the train. There were so many things that went my way Sunday, and that was one of them.

Things worked out so ludicrously favorably for me yesterday. It's not lost on me that in our friendly game it was definitely looking like you would come away with a win.

A Wanton Destruction might have been good. I had a Little Engine on HQ (behind a Pop-up Window) so it would have been hard to get in but of course not impossible. I had two or three agendas in hand.

Thank you for pointing me to the list, and good games! I really liked both of your decks.

22 Feb 2016 Reutan

Good games to you too. It's interesting that you say that you thought I would have won the casual game, because I felt that I was losing a lot of momentum.

Interestingly, with Eater, Little Engine only costs a net of 2 credits as long as I have at least seven. That would have probably been a much more productive use of the twelve or so I had, rather than blowing it on a single keyhole run through the Archer.

22 Feb 2016 Sanjay

@HuskerDu Thank you! It was strawberry, for what it's worth.

@forktines Thank you for this question! I am in love with rezzing stuff for free and I have given this a lot of thought.

I don't think either Eliza's Toybox or Mutate is strictly better. Toybox is probably the better thing to do, but both have their relative strengths:

In favor of Mutate

The Mutate-Heritage combo is a lot more flexible from a click perspective. Having a spare click the turn you combo can be really nice. By contrast, when I play Toxbox, I find myself starved for clicks. It feels like there's not enough time to put things down, rez them, and protect everything I need to protect.

Since they are operations, Mutate-Heritage is a little harder to disrupt.

You get to play Heritage Committee, which is a fun card whether you are comboing off or not.

This is only a fringe benefit, but with Mutate, even without the combo, you can replace ice that for some reason you don't want anymore. Data Raven after the runner has decided to go tag me? Parasited ice on its last legs. Breath new life into it with Mutate.

In favor of Eliza's Toybox

Toybox lets you play your ice before you've decided whether you want to rez it with credits or rez it with Toybox. If you want to rez an Archer with Mutate, it means you can't place it in a server before hand.

Related to this, in addition to Mutates and Heritage Committees clogging up your hand, the ice you are hopping to rez for free can clog up your hand too. HQ is only so big! (Or is it?????)

Mutate-Heritage committee is a ridiculous influence requirement out of faction.

Toybox is repeated use. I think your estimate that you only Mutate about once or twice a game is not wrong. In the games I won, those Mutates were quite meaningful, though that is a very low sample size.

You need rezzed ice for Mutate.

Toybox can rez non-ice like Corporate Town.

All in all, the flexibility is probably the biggest thing in favor of Mutate. Sometimes I just feel really contrained trying to bet Toybox to work on the table.

At some point, I wouldn't mind jamming them both together in a CI deck. I really love free Janus 1.0s and Wotans.

22 Feb 2016 Ino209

@Sanjay "Since they are operations, Mutate-Heritage is a little harder to disrupt."

Cyber-racists ruin everybody's fun.