Nasirfer (11th at Gaming vs. Cancer '18)

swabl 98

For those not familiar, Gaming vs. Cancer is an annual charity event in Southampton, UK to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Its Netrunner tournament is a pseudo-random ID tournament; you buy your ticket then get emailed either both a tier 1 and tier 3 ID or two tier 2 IDs.

As you may have figured out by now, I drew Nasir as my runner.

God dammit.

Without Personal Workshop there was no obvious way to build the deck. I theorycrafted and tested many things, taking fantastic suggestions from the fine #uk folks - stealth, pirate, MU breakers, some horrifying combo involving Rabbit Hole, Security Nexus and Rubicon Switch that dies if they only rez cheap ice - but all were either too slow or too expensive. And more importantly, most of them were fighting against the ID, which is dissatisfying at best and making things worse at worst.

But then one night inspiration struck - Surfer / Laamb!

Between Gebrselassie and System Seizure letting you boost Laamb before Nasir fires, and Multithreader powering Surfer and Laamb, you have a strategy that not only mitigates Nasir's weaknesses, but in many ways is enhanced by it. This deck can effectively obliterate scoring windows forever. Because of Nasir's ability, having 0 credits is no longer an opportunity for the corp; you can just click for 3, run the remote, pre-boost Laamb, and use the money from the rezzed ice and the multithreaders to get through. Xanadu and Order of Sol, Nasir staples, help shore up your weakness to low-cost ice, and when setup it is very hard to keep you out - and the corp often only realises when it's too late.

I even made a spreasheet listing exactly what I'd need to break every piece of ice in the game without pre-boosting. Turns out you don't need much to feel quite safe!

You'll also only encounter one ice per run, so you can get value from Nasir from a single remote throughout the entire game; you won't be stopped by ice rezzed during an earlier run, a consistent problem for other Nasir decks.

And that's the basic idea. The Maker's Eye and Legwork provides your multi-access (I tried it without the Legwork and with another Xanadu at a GNK prior to the event, but found I missed the HQ pressure too much). Peace in Our Time helps you with the setup costs involved and bounces you back from a run - I wish I could fit three. The singleton Stimhack did a ton of work, alternately being used to run and pay for SMC shenanigans and getting you through a server with rezzed outside ice. The Same Old Things are mostly for recurring Maker's Eye/Legwork, but were used for Stimhack on more than one occasion.

Multithreader, besides it's run-based use, also pays for SMC's and Misdirection's costs, making your setup cheaper and Hard-Hitting News sad.

Three Lagunas is essential; you need the card draw desperately, and the 5 credit hit isn't as bad as you'd think. Nasir doesn't really have a notion of 'tempo' by virtue of not needing credits to run (especially not with this deck), so the click efficiency is far more valuable. The tempo note also applies to the Liberated Account, which provides a nifty way to offshore your cash before you make a run.

Film Critic has to be your restricted card - no ifs, no buts. Stealing Ikawah Project without it is just too hard. Punitive Counterstrike is also a major problem that Nasir doesn't have an answer for - you run, you probably end it bankrupt, and now you can't beat the trace next turn. And of course, Shapers hate having to steal Obakatas at the best of times.

So, with all that said, how did this deck actually do on the day?

Uh, 2-4. It's still a Nasir deck, y'know. It's never going to be good.

In order, it played Argus, Sportsmetal, Making News, The Outfit, The Outfit again, and Saraswati, beating the Sportsmetal and first Outfit.

Argus, MN and The Outfit all flatlined me: against Argus I forgot to play around HHN; all my SMCs were at the bottom of my deck against MN, so they forced me through the remote a few times, landed 2 tags when I was too poor to clear them, then Boomed me; and The Outfit did the extraordinarily rude play of Consulting Visit-ing for Best Defense to trash my Misdirection before hitting me with HHN, the turn after Stimhack trashed the Peace in Our Time out of my hand that could have saved me. C'est la vie.

Saraswati did Saraswati things and scored out because I couldn't safely run a potential Junebug. C'est la vie.

Sportsmetal looked dicey until I got setup, threw down a clutch Film Critic to 'steal' an Ikawah, and got the corp on lock. Likewise with The Outfit but with Misdirection stopping their flatline dead.

Thank god my corp (Skorpios) carried me 5-1 to let me finish 11th with 7-5, tied pointswise with 5th! But, ah, strength of schedule hurt me.

With a bit of luck it might have won a couple more games, but I'm proud I was able to find a way to make Nasir work without Personal Workshop and have it be actually kinda playable! It has certainly been a massive challenge, and I'm really happy how it came out in the end.

I would not recommend trying this in a general meta as is; Mti can, and will, kill you. Finding space for an Engolo will help a lot I think, but I'm not sure what you could comfortably cut - space is so tight and everything feels essential. Maybe Leprechauns instead of Dhegdheers and cut the Astrolabe?

3 comments
11 Nov 2018 seeds34

Brilliant write up and the deck looked fun once setup. Sorry again for the "..extraordinarily rude play...", the Peace in Our Time was a lucky hit.

11 Nov 2018 swabl

Honestly it was an incredible line that I didn't see coming, despite playing The Outfit all regional season. If I had I would have been a bit more conservative with the Clone Chips! Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for the game!

12 Nov 2018 Peanut_UK

I was your Sports Metal opponent - this was horrible to face once it got up and running! The 4-ice monster I'm normally safe behind was wide open. Great deck, great game!