Microtransactions

cripplingselfdoubt 327

301.

That's highest my credit pool has gotten with this deck (whilst still winning). It could go higher. Ending with >160 is the norm, >210 if it goes well/late. Overall I'm clocking a very high winrate in mostly non-competitive games with this deck, as a distinctly mediocre player. Of course, it's not all about the money. Honest.

Let's dive in.

dive


Brief overview: Microtransactions uses every possible opportunity and trigger to make money, typically though NASX and Indian Union Stock Exchange, then scores out behind ETR ice with crazy high strength due to Sandburg. Taking ~40 off NASX is commonplace, >70 isn't hard. Lots of silver bullets are used to ensure that the deck remains mostly standing upright. The primary emotion felt whilst piloting it is guilt. Not a tourney deck.

Detailed overview (buckle up): Microtransactions is an updated and overhauled version of a decklist I played for a couple of months in 2016. NASX and Friends in High Places weren't out then, and those are the major changes. Though I've won some games without it, the current killer combo is IUSE into NASX, with the resulting cash powering Sandburg. By using Clone Suffrage Movement, kept in place by Friends in High Places, endless operations trigger IUSE several times per turn- and all the money goes through NASX. There are going to be a lot of acronyms.

Note: If I ever use the term 'pay in' in this write up, I'm referring to a situation where you take profit from card effects and put it into NASX counters. This includes a situation where you only made 1 credit (eg. An IUSE trigger) but still pay in an extra 1 from your credit pool. You should always do this as you never need to float a charged NASX across turns.

A full-on turn might look like this:

  1. Rez NASX. As it's out of faction (OOF), IUSE(s) fire. Pay into NASX.
  2. Any other OOF rezzes you have. Pay in.
  3. If they're both present, use Executive Boot Camp to rez Chimera. IUSES fire. Pay in.
  4. Drip econ fires. Pay in.
  5. Take Operations out of Archives using CSM as needed.
  6. With Jeevesrezzed, play Subliminal Messaging and two other OOF Operations that fit the situation, paying in every time. Jeeves gains you a click, leaving two.
  7. Cash in on your ridiculously loaded up NASX.
  8. Friends in High Places the NASX back, ready to go again next turn. Get paid to play the FIHP.

The real beauty of a turn like this, beyond making a shedload of moolah, is that you get paid for playing operations that progress and secure the game state. When paid in Ark Lockdown, for example, banks a net gain of 8 if three IUSEs are out. You just got paid to permanently remove problem cards. Celebrate with another GIF:

wash (But do remember, it's not all about the money)


Card and design choices:

Agendas: a low agenda density, made of ones that either don't slow you down, or pay off if they do. High-Risk Investment is pretty sweet because once you have traction the Runner usually stockpiles credits for one big run.

ICE: Printed strength doesn't matter all that much, but costly ice hurts your whole board by sapping credits. Advanceable ICE is a waste of time. OOF where possible, so that facechecks actually profit us. ETR first and foremost. Program trashes are fun (old decklist used Rototurretbefore inf became tighter), but porous. With EBC we have the scope to rez 4 and lower ice for free, so that's the area we're aiming for. Guard stops early Crims (Leela disruption, for instance), Lotus counters SIFR, Tour Guide helps with David and ABR. Chimera is useful early, but also has the (questionable) use of giving us another route by which to pay in. Holding a strength 22 Sapper in HQ is hilarious, but it could be cut.

Assets: The Sandburg buff, money and ops recursion are the obvious core of it. A third JHow doesn't seem necessary, as they're only there for agenda flood. Lizzie Mills deals with Slums, Blackmail, and BP negating the Gagarin tax. EBC deals with Blackmail, Passant, DDoS, and serves as an asset tutor and another way of getting IUSE/NASX triggers. Public Support serves as a tutorable 6&7th points if needed, but also has the happy benefit of keeping the Runner poor through an endless trash/FIHP dance.

Operations: Consulting Visit is a 3-of for consistency, but only one needs to be found. Beyond that the Ops choices are probably self-explanatory, bar perhaps Lockdown (only deal with threats once, then just cash up) and Best Defense. Best Defense is a silver bullet incarnate, taking out Tapwrm (a massive threat, as it creates a ratio between your economy and the Runner's), ABR, DLR, Faerie on optimised Baba Yagas, FTT, SMC to slow down Shapers, Spy Cams, and Tracker. Also, hitting random street urchins with it amuses me greatly.


Threats:

This is a very long list, that can be condensed to 'anything that doesn't play the ICE straight, or gets unusual accesses'. I can't comment on how other metas would affect it. To briefly cover the two worst:

Rumor Mill turns off Sandburg, Lizzie, NASX, and Jhow. Expect to get into a current war if you see if played (it'll slow you, but not be the end of your game- exactly this happened to me at our meet last night, and I went to win on 277).

The most probable hell-scenario Microtransactions faces is Rumor Mill and Slums hitting the table at the same time. Lizzie can't get rid of Slums whilst Mill is in play, and Sandburg just sits there, vulnerable to being Slums'd. This is the biggest reason for tutoring Scarcity ASAP, because the easiest counter is just to put Scarcity back into play and then Lockdown the Rumor. I've not yet lost a game where this has happened to me, but it's still a considerable hurdle.

Slums is irritating, but if it hits the table when you've already gotten to ~70, it's usually too late. If it hits early, however, you might want to consider installing over your more valuable assets, then FIHPing them back into play once you clear the threat.

I've not played the list versus Apex. I've no idea what would happen.


Changes & rotation:

I've created both a 49 and 54 card version of this deck, now. I think I prefer the 54, but it's much less tested.

Whilst I'm worried that losing the Gagarin ability would throw the early game, changing to Skorpios to more readily remove dangerous cards might be viable (and possibly free up Lockdown inf). Alternatively, switching to BABW and using the ID to as an extra NASX pay in on a repeated Green Level Clearance sounds potent (with 3 IUSE, a single BABW Green Level would bank 20 on to NASX).

Self-Adapting Code Wall- Ohhh, mama. It's OOF, the full rig already makes a pre-NASX profit on the rez, and would take the list to 6 ice that can't have STR lowered. Yes please. -1 EBC and +1 NASX would be sensible, really. Could simply drop the Public Support for more reliable ICE draw, and a Quetzal game got me considering switching the Vanillas for Quandrys. I waver between CVS and Cyberdex Trial. Both have their uses, but the latter is notably tutorable beyond an Atlas. Could be cut all together.

I've written a load on threats, piloting tips, and how the deck would fare through rotation, but this is getting rather long. I'd rather just answer direct questions, if any. One last thing: the deck is also called Auxesis, as it's almost an anagram of NASXIUSE. I'm hoping that the next errata will rename NASX to just 'ASX' for the sake of my ego.

Have fun, happy money-fort-ing (friendly reminder that it's not just about the money), and one for the road: monkey

13 comments
22 Mar 2017 weylandcon

How do you beat Sifr?

22 Mar 2017 SecurityRake

@weylandcon I assume Tour Guide. I suppose one could argue for a Lab Dog if that is a problem you are having. Or something to that effect.

22 Mar 2017 SecurityRake

I hate to contribute to this deck, but I noticed that Financial Collapse might be really good here... Any deck reliant on resources will just collapse.

22 Mar 2017 cripplingselfdoubt

@weylandcon - As it can't be lowered, Lotus really hurts Black Orchestra's terrible str boost rate (also including Self-Adapting Code Wall when it releases will help) and becomes a severe sticking point for Anarch. Lockdown on Parasites stops the actual destruction (I'm not seeing cutlery at the moment). Best Defense on Peddlers to stop instant-speed Parasites.

Largely, though, double ICE R&D, your Sandburg remote, and score out behind either two ICE or a pre-rezzed Lotus. They can destroy the first ICE, but the second still costs them a bomb. I've seen a lot of Runner decks simply run out of economy cards and try to click for credits (if a deck using Orchestra has to clicks credits for a whole turn, they've gained 1.3str for the breaker. If you then make >6 credits on your turn, you're outpacing them and they're locked out from Code Gates).

Watch out for a Rebirth into Omar play and using Medium through Archives. If I get spare ICE versus Anarch, it goes there.

Overall, SIFR turned out to be nowhere near as much of a problem as I'd thought. A real benefit to people running it is that it's made David rarer. Expect to have to FIHP ICE back out once it's been SIFRsite'd, but that rarely forms a tempo hit as you're already playing it for NASX anyway.

@SecurityRake- Yeah, could try it. Overall I'd have expected Scarcity to do most of the work. There is indeed some room to fiddle around operations, though. Enforcing Loyalty is one I've been eyeing up for a while.

22 Mar 2017 saracenus

tissue money

23 Mar 2017 lopert

I imagine most decks cry if you manage to stick a Sandburg behind a rezzed Lotus Field right?

23 Mar 2017 percomis
  1. I assume if they play Rumor Mill your counter turn is ideally Scarcity + Lockdown on Rumor Mill?
  2. You mention drip econ in the description, but that's just Commercial Bankers, right?
  3. Do you think it would be possible to fit in Executive Search Firm and/or Museum? The latter could do some work with triple Consulting.
23 Mar 2017 cripplingselfdoubt

@lopert- Pretty much, yeah. Put Guard beyond it against Crim.

@percomis 1- Correct. This is the reason for finding time to tutor Scarcity early- partly to have already found your own current to override Rumor Mill, and partly to encourage the runner to play it at a sub-optimal time for them (when you can permanently deal with it).

2- For this version, yes. I used to have PADs, but then felt I could do better.

3- Unless I'm missing something ESF is somewhat overshadowed by EBC, thanks to the latter's versatility- unless you're talking about Mumbad City Hall (the Alliance tutor). That would work, but I've not found need for it yet. As for Museum, I've had it suggested to me a few times now but have resisted the include after a crisis of conscience. The deck plays late anyway, and I don't find watching the runner's hopes deflate to be as much fun as it used to. Museum would definitely work, though.

15 Oct 2017 erasurehead

I know this question is slightly academic in light of MWL 2.0 and in a post-rotation era, but we‘re playing this at home for fun just to see if we can get it to work, and I have a major question: how do you possibly manage to find the one NASX early? You have no way of „tutoring“ it (I hate that silly verb...) that I can see, and finding one in a 54 card deck seems to be a matter of pure luck and not very likely....NASX is the cornerstone of this deck, don‘t you need 3xNASX?!

15 Oct 2017 erasurehead

Oops, my bag. I see Executive boot camp now, /and/ I see you can get EBC with Consulting Visit if necessary, so that makes 6 cards that you could possibly draw, but still it seems like another NASX might not hurt....

15 Oct 2017 erasurehead

yes, my brain isn‘t working well today (I stayed up too late last night...) just ignore the nonsense parts of what I wrote (like CV getting EBC out...don‘t know why I was thinking EBC was an op...). I do still think you should cut something for +1 NASX.

We tried it out tonight and it worked and was a lot of fun. Any ideas about how this deck could work in an MWL 2.0 world without FIHP and CSM?

15 Oct 2017 cripplingselfdoubt

@erasurehead- it's been a while since I've looked at the deck (and I've already become locked into a MWL2 mentality), so bear with me if I'm a bit slow or make misteaks on this.

Visit can't tutor EBC/NASX. However an over-advanced Atlas can get anything. That said my usual early game plan was to spam assets to pressure the runner into wrecking their econ and letting them reduce my board state, then rebuilding with two FIHP once they've hurt themselves too much to contest the second wave. When I typed "it wasn't about the money" I was being serious- Microtransactions was about proportional economies.

Whilst NASX was amazing in the deck it needed a pre-existing board state to work from; for the first few turns it seemed better to hide it in R&D (this isn't actually a good argument against running more than one; you're entirely correct that it would have been a sensible move). I'll also add that when it was a 49 card deck it played more smoothly, but had less late game power. I'd often mull for key tutor cards.

Now a question back at you- what did you play it against? How did the deck fare?

(And how many s did you make?)

15 Oct 2017 erasurehead

Hi CSD! My son was playing this deck against me playing a pre MWL 2.0 Smoke (but no Rumor Mill). He kept saying, „I love playing this deck!“ over and over again. :-)

It played out pretty much as you described above with me trashing and stopping the first wave of csm+iusx+nasx asset spam, getting 6 Agenda points off two indexing and a lucky HQ run, and then not having enough Econ to stop the second wave after he fihp‘d everything back in place (I guess nobody‘s really surprised that FIHP and csm are banned, eh?). My son was getting 20+, then 40+ creds/turn, got up to about 200 Credits and even with Switchblade(+Paintbrush), it was costing me 6-7 Stealth creds(!) per ice to break, which I could only manage after numerous turns, stockpiling stealth creds on Net merkur by running on outer etr ice and pumping net merkur with cloak, lockpick & smoke Creds. After my last run on the two ice deep scoring server that I though had an agenda in it for 14 stealth credits didn‘t provide the last point, there was no way I could stockpile enough stealth again before he scored all the agendas he needed. Another indexing was out of the question, because that would have required 28 stealth creds to run it twice.

We had a lot fun watching this little masterpiece at work!

We‘re gonna try again tomorrow with me playing whizz.