Scourge of Esa (56th @ Worlds 2023; 6-2 in Swiss)

Pyrefly 9

Despite not being much of a Jinteki player, I decided to take this tower-building A Teia deck I'd been playing around with to Worlds. The game plan is simple - build a big scary remote, have a transient secondary for utility and put big ice on centrals. I ended up being the highest placing A Teia of the event!

Overall Idea

To make use of the ability, the deck has a few good options to get a free double install AND keep stacking on the big remote. Adrian and Vovo can be installed into the spare server and then moved into it, NGO and Spin are both instant speed tempo enablers, and even scoring out a Hybrid Release can get you an install. One of my favourite plays was: install Hybrid Release in spare server to install a 4th piece of ice on the big remote, over-installing an ice I wanted on centrals. Advance advance, score Hybrid and install the face down ice I just trashed to HQ.

A last minute include was Rime. Very cheap, makes Bankhar sad, and can pump your ice to unfavourable numbers. Having Surveyors at 8-10 STR is also pretty great, though Botulus, Boomerang and Hush make this a little worse. Attini and Anansi are just solid pieces of ice to have anywhere, and it's very funny when they get Bankhar-ed.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it did. I traded out a couple of Bran at the last minute for increased tempo and a Swordsman because I thought people were using turtle less. It is kind of a mid range deck of pushing tempo whilst building big servers to deter the runner. You often end up without much or anything in HQ, which is funny against Lat. You can even leave HQ open for a while against Shaper.


I played 5 games in Crown of Servers where it won more than it lost. One notable game involved an Esa Bankar-ing through an Attini into HQ with a Legwork. I had 5 cards in hand including 3x 3 pointers. The opponent had 3 cards in hand when they arrived at HQ and proceeded to hit Fujii and then Fujii, missing 2 ice and a Send a Message. Very unfortunate! Another Esa Bankhar-ed R&D and facechecked an Anansi, dying right there and then.

In Swiss, I played 8 rounds and ID-ed the last one. I hit 5 Esa, 2 Arissana and 1 Lat. It was probably a fair amount of good fortune because I hadn't seen much Esa in practice, but the since the deck leans into layers of ice, it was reasonably effective against Esa. I won 1 Arissana match and almost won the other - it was on table 3 against UK national champ extrac where it came down to a psi game for the win either way. Bit sad I lost it with 2/3 odds, but it was a good game nonetheless. The Lat game featured a DJ Fenris for Sable, which I hadn't encountered before. Pretty cool, would recommend.

Thanks again to the organisers and NSG for hosting an incredible event! And Jakuza for making a lovely shiny ID as a CoS prize.