Speed R-ASA (a.k.a. Speed Racer (2008)) - 36th at Euros 2018

Highwire 1012

Speed Racer

First, and most importantly, I should stress that "ASA" is pronounced "Ay-ser" because that makes my great deck name work. Don't @ me.

Do you enjoy going fast, making money, and jamming things in remotes with Ash and Batty? Then have I got a deal for you...

Like a lot of decks I build, this was born of a few different ideas from other people intersecting in my head, then a lot of testing to remove all the stupid jank (well, nearly all of it) and find a core of the deck that works well. In this case, the combination was listening to Chris Dyer talk about how much value Rashida fires provided for the Corp, a desire to find a deck that went faster than Val but wasn't Titan, and the printing of...#Nightdancer?

The original gimmick of the deck was to combine Ikawah Projects click-to-steal requirement with Batty. NightDancer, and Heinlein Grid (I know, I know) to make people run with a click left which I could subsequently Batty and rob them of all their money, make them hit Nightdancer, give me 3 extra clicks next turn, hit the Ikawah with 0 clicks to steal it, and be sad. I put it in ASA Group because I also wanted to test Rashida and figured the ability to install her and protect her with 1 click was good, and ASA's efficiency at emptying its hand would synergise nicely with her card draw. I threw in a pair of Stinsons because when you plan is to take everyones money away, he's a helpful guy to have around.

Then I started playing it. And as I did, the more the original concept got cut away to reveal the taxing and high speed core underneath. Nightdancers went when I realised Enigma did the job just as well, didn't cost 6 and actually ended the run also. Ice got shuffled around. Stinson stayed as game after game he enabled some truly nonsensical turns as my opponents burned through credits trying to contest my remote, or setting up incredible turn 1 plays which catapulted you ahead. I kept a single Heinlein Grid to help close out long games where the runners money game was getting out of hand. It had an incredibly good record against Val, and Freedom, and Nexus 419 and a few Hayleys, and I thought it was ready to go to Euros and defy some expectations.

Then the Germans turned up and ruined everything.

This deck has no game against Smoke. It has anti-game. The matchup is something like -20/120 in their favour. I wasn't expecting a bunch of Smoke, especially at the high tables, and ended up facing 3 German Smoke in a row at the end of the event which was a real bummer for me.

However, despite that, I stand by the deck, it's fun as hell, so let's go through it.

How To Go Fast - A R-ASA Guide

The core of the deck is essentially a Jammy/Glacier HB deck with a rush component. Opening hands in this deck are hugely important, and when evaluating my start I tended to look for one of the following 3 criteria as a keep.

  • Can I install everything in my hand/everything apart from an ICE/Event from my hand turn 1?

    This is surprisingly common. Between ASA trigger and Lateral Growth and AAL, its exceptionally easy to get to 0 cards in hand on turn 1. An example from Euro's was an opening of Lateral Growth / Enigma / Project Vitruvius / Ash / Fairchild 3 and mandatory draw an UltraViolet Clearance. Lateral the Vitruvius, install the Enigma protecting it with ASA, FC3 on R&D on 2 and Ash in the Remote on 3. Assess every opening hand with an Upgrade / AAL / Lateral with ASA trigger in mind and you should find the path to 0/1 cards. This means generally you never have to protect HQ early and you are a threat to score on turn 2.

  • Do I have a Rashida + ICE and something useful to do with my next 2 clicks? (Like ICE R&D/HQ)

    Install and ICE Rashida. Do whatever, await glorious value next turn.

  • Do I have Stinson + Lateral or Hedge in my opening hand?

    This is my favourite opening for this deck. I opened one game with click one Install Stinson on the root of R&D, ASA trigger an ICE onto R&D, Hedge, rez Stinson, Stinson the Hedge to end my turn one on 16 credits. @seamus booed me from the next table over the play was so disgusting. The value with Lateral is equally great (Lateral Stinson + ASA trigger, rez Stinson, trigger him for lateral to install something else and gain 4).

  • Can I spicily jam and protect a Remote Enforcement on Turn 1?

    This not-for-the-timid opening line (so something like Hedge, Install Remote Enforcement, ASA ICE it and Advance it once) can pay off big time if your opponents can't contest/think its an NGO (this is also a good opening line if you have an NGO as well..). Scoring and getting a Fairchild 4 or Tollbooth on your remote rezed for free on Turn 2 can be huge pressure if you can start firing other agendas through it. Beware #Maxwell James on this play though...

Once you are out of the blocks and running at full speed, the job of this deck is to stay there. UVC and Rashida refill your hands, then you dump them back out again, making a Batty/Ash remote with taxing ICE to drag people through and sticking horrible Fairchild 3s on your Centrals to disincentivise people poking around for accesses. Lots of the cards in the deck provide tempo, letting you gain money while installing, or while forcing people to check the remote, and turns runners take off to set up are turns you are pushing the tempo further.

Speed is absolutely of the essence with the deck, and you have to challenge the runners to operate with as little setup as possible or give away precious agenda points.

For those pesky final scores, #Ikawah Project plus Heinlein/Batty/Enigma can be a fantastically difficult position for any opponent to challenge; a ticking #MCA Austerity in your remote. But really, just go fast. Install and advance things. Install and don't advance things. Make them check, over and over, that you are not about to score. Then keep scoring.

Go, Speed Racer!

4 Jun 2018 Tolaasin

Enquiring minds want to know how many times the Heinlein combo fired in Euros. Because I've yet to get even close in 10 games on jnet :).

4 Jun 2018 ptwiddle

@tolaasin: I was also on this deck and it did great for me (val, and my sleep deprived out of practice brain not so much...) I got the magical christmasland Batty+enigma+Heinlein to fire twice over the eight rounds.

And while the goal is to go fast, it does a surprisingly good glacier imitation when needed.

Thank @Highwire for sharing the list with me; it was a blast to play. But with Diversion of Funds, I don't think it's time is long...

5 Jun 2018 Highwire

@Tolaasinyou can tell Enquiring Minds that it fired once for me in the 8 rounds I played, but when it did it stuffed a full Stimhack and took 14 creds from the Runner so felt pretty worth! It sounds like you are just doing it wrong... :P