Actually Surprisingly Adequate (3rd Manchester SC)

Ravensteve 53

This is the deck I took today to the SC at FanBoy 3 in Manchester, and somehow managed to come third out of thirty players, losing out to Mr Seamus MacLeod himself in the cut. My runner was nothing original, just a slightly tweaked version of Wilfie's lock Hayley with a Legwork and a cheeky Polop, instead of Sifting and a Lady bumping out Misdirection.

I'm not going to claim this the next best thing - it's very much a first try at the ID, and I'm honestly surprised at how well it performed considering the showing at FanBoy, as the Scottish contingent was in appearance and as well as all of them being a lovely bunch, are good players to boot.

I'd wanted to give ASA a try after it was first shown alongside CaliTesting and I'd played a few games the previous night using a deck I'd found online which was more of a glacier build, and that's where the core of it ultimately lies but my housemate and I stripped it down and turned it more into a rush/FA deck, but that meant I was going into the tournament with a completely untested deck, and in the end it surpassed what meagre expectations I had for it. Of the six games I played with it, it won three - two in swiss and one in the cut. Two of the two losses were against Seamus' Val deck and the other was against Richard Hammond who won the Nottingham SC the weekend before, both of whom ended up being the two finalists, so I'm okay with that. The wins were against Ayla, MaxX and Val. It was a great tournament in the end and had some of the best games I've had in a while, and learned something about the deck in every game, so I'll definitely be playing it again in a future tournament.

The basic idea is not dissimilar to classic HB Fast-Advance; trying to score out some early points before the runner is set up and then fast-advancing the last couple of agendas using the plethora of tools you have at your disposal. The issue being that you're a deck trying to FA 4/2 agendas, however with the tempo that ASA gives you, you can score at least one agenda behind some early ice and then FA the last few.

Agendas:

Vitruvius - No explanation needed here. It's a FA deck. It's a 3/2. Score on sight if possible. If you can get a counter on it, bonus.

Coporate Sales Team - A good 4/2 that keeps your money ticking over. If you score it as your early agenda, you're pretty much set for money.

Advanced Concept Hopper - A 4/2 agenda that I usually forget to trigger and ends up gaining me a credit. That having been said though, this deck needs every credit it can get, so it's not the worst.

Efficiency Committee - I slotted this mainly because there wasn't anything else to put in here but it did actually end up winning me a game.

Domestic Sleepers - A wild card that I've always liked and in this case included to allow an easier time finishing out the game, instead of having to score 4 4/2 agendas, and I didn't want to have to include 5/3s. Helpful a lot of time, but can be caught out by Mad Dash, which is a lot more likely in this current age of Indexing. Best scored and activated when you're on 4 points as that way you're not telegraphing your final turn to the Runner.

Assets:

AAL - As I learned throughout my games, this has three uses: Getting ASA triggers on the Runner's turn, acting as a bit of cash (as I found it to be pretty cash light overall), and using it with CaliTest as Employee Strike tech.

Marilyn Campaign - Nice bit of cash flow, good to throw into a server as a bluff and the shuffle can help if necessary.

Upgrades:

CVS - It's a FA deck. Clot is a thing. Has the advantage with ASA that they can't just single clot you when you install this with your ASA trigger alongside an agenda, they need Clot and a SacCon. Also the only thing in the deck which you can get your ASA triggers on centrals with.

Calibration Testing - The card that makes this deck work. Works like a Biotic except it's 2c cheaper. Goes best with Shipment from Tennin for a relatively cheap score and multiple at a time allows you to get around Clot in certain cases if you can have one pre-installed either by hiding behind ice or triggering AAL.

Operations:

I'm not going to tell you why you need Biotic and Hedge Fund in this deck.

Shipment from Tennin - I'm undecided if it's ultimately worth the influence and slots. It's so good when it works, but with the ice being fairly porous late on, it becomes a lot harder to trigger and a good runner won't stop running if they know you have it.

UVC - 3 of these might be excessive. In the original deck I found I was spaffing my hand too much and needed the draw, but after the changes I was rarely below 4 cards and even with ASA's additional trigger you're usually ditching 1-2 cards. Normally I'd cut it down to two, but seeing it turn 2 after you've installed your initial hand is such good tempo gain, so testing will tell.

Ice:

Barriers - Vanilla is a gearcheck and Seidr is there because of the lack of better options. This may change to 3 Vanilla and 2 Seidr, or I may even try Najja 1.0, but I think the hard ETRs are necessary for those early scores. Nothing else really jumps out at me in terms of barrier options. The original had Quicksand but I've never been sold on that card.

Code Gates - Turing is always helpful in a rush-style deck but could be cut for other things (maybe Enigma). The Fairchilds are just good ice, though had I known of this deck's relatively poor econ, I'd have made this 3x2.0 and 2x3.0 as 3.0's rez cost was prohibitive at times. 2.0's lack of ETR can be annoying but it's so taxing otherwise.

Architect - It's a great Sentry and can give you ASA triggers if you're lucky. The prevalence of Mr Ultra in the meta does make it less viable though. I'd like to have Sentry in here that's a bit more taxing but Ichi isn't the answer I don't think. Holmegaard was discussed for future iterations but could be too expensive. Maybe Snek will make an appearance.

Swiss: I'm quite tired right now so hopefully I'll remember these correctly.

Game 1: Simon Ho playing Ayla. I scored out a couple of early agendas behind ice as he was a little slow to set up his Mopus-based economy, and used the FA tools that had accrued to score out a 4/2 and then a Domestic Sleepers, I'm not sure he had Clot but I still had to be careful.

Game 2 - After sweeping Simon with Hayley, I was up with big boys and faced The Best-Dressed Man In Netrunner, Mr Seamus MacLeod. He proceeded to slap the deck sideways with his Val as I tried to rush out too hard and got punished with Indexings.

Game 3 - Dan Strong using a Counter-surveillance MaxX build. This game I managed to pull a combo out of my ass that I didn't realise the deck could do. After getting a couple of agendas snagged early by a CS run on HQ, I managed to get to four points and had a Sleepers score but not active. To close it out I managed to score an EfCom and activate the Sleepers in one turn by fast-advancing the EfCom with a click to spare, taking the counters and then activating the Sleepers in the same turn. It's a combo I didn't intend but it worked when needed. I may actually change the Hoppers to EfComs to try and get this to fire more often.

Game 4 - My opponent ID'd our last round but played it out anyway. He ended up outpacing the deck with a MaxX deck using Indexing, again as I tried to push too hard too early. Lesson learned: you can't rush like Skorp in this deck.

Cut: Game 1 was a long game with Hayley against the delightful Russell Mortishire-Smith, but patience and a turn-one Feedback Filter against PU made things easier. On to the winner's bracket.

Game 2 of the cut was against Richard's Hayley deck where I screwed up first turn and installed an Architect protecting my turn 1 agenda play, instead of the Turing I'd meant to put there. I got punished with a Deep Data Mine for 4 points and 6 points down turn 2 sealed it for me. I managed to claw a few points back, even dodging a clot by using Shipment and two CaliTestings, but it was only a matter of time. Back down to the loser's bracket.

Game 3 was against my housemate Tom who was on Skorp against my Hayley. After over-extending by Femming an Archer leaving me on no money and missed the agenda I was aiming for, I thought it was all over, but I managed to get the win in the end after snapping up a crucial Atlas from hand and then indexing for 4 points including a Hostile. After that his outs were reduced as I had 2x SacCons on the table.

Game 4 was against Russ again but he against my ASA with his Val. After bleeding points early, I managed to stabilise, and in a very tense few last turns, including when Russ had to Stimhack to snag a Sleepers off the top of R&D, I managed to push through the 4th 4/2 to win. He pointed out afterwards that he'd had the click to install Turntable and go back in to swap the 0-pointer for one of my 2-pointers, but it would have given him an extra turn while I activated Sleepers as I only needed to score 1 more agenda anyway. Great game, top bloke.

Game 5 was against Seamus again. After using all the lessons I'd learned that day, I managed to get to 4 points (maybe 6?) but all credit to Seamus, he's a very good player and his Val deck is very good so I wasn't surprised after he Indexed the last few points. I think the only reason he didn't win sooner was that he couldn't find his other Indexing.

Changes: For a deck thrown together the night before, I'm happy with how it performed overall. It needs more money, no doubt. The AALs may become Lateral Growths as I found not many opportunities to make the most of it. LG may also be useful if later down the line I use Jeeves as a FA tool. Most likely 2 of the Hoppers will become EfComs to enable more Sleepers shenanigans, or even just tempo to gain a few extra creds. UVC may become a two-of, but as mentioned, having it turn 2 or 3 can really keep you going however it could easily turn into IPO. The ice could also use a shake-up. I need another sentry threat besides Architect but it also needs cheapening across the board. Enigma may end up making its way in there instead of Turing, but I guess we'll have to see how helpful the anti-AI clause on Turing becomes. As I've written all this I'm considering the Jeeves package, as Lateral Growth and UVC would both help with that and it's a big chunk for the runner to deal with especially if you can get him early behind a nice ASA-triggered ice install.

Thanks to all my opponents and thanks to Heidi and FB3 for putting on another great tournament :) I'll be tinkering with this deck for the next few months so keep your eyes peeled for updates :)

4 comments
5 Feb 2018 HiddenAway

Hi, just to confirm, my decklist did have clot but I was using the SMC's to setup the rig so I couldn't present the threat. Thanks for the game and the advice afterwards!

5 Feb 2018 Tolaasin

Super, super games on Saturday, Steve - I don't think I've had two such tight games in a long while. The turn one FBF and constant clot threat made it really, really hard for me, and you were so incredibly careful about maintaining pressure on me. If I'd only not left that damn HoK in archives! But them's the rubs. Looking forward to a rematch and getting my revenge!

5 Feb 2018 shanodin

Definitely the Asa deck I'm most excited to try, of all the ones that are floating around!

5 Feb 2018 Ravensteve

@HiddenAway No worries, I figured it did as it was Shaper but wasn't sure. Thanks for the games! @Tolaasin Honestly ours were the best games I've had in a while! That PU game was super-tense - I made a bad call when I used Peace and let you have that Obokata. Wasn't expecting the double Shipment ;) Hopefully see you around soon for some rematches!