Surely You Jes-t (York Regional 2019)

Espatier 54

The Short Version

This deck aims to set up for a single powerful R&D run every turn, which, all in one click:

  • Draws cards
  • Installs Aesops fodder for cheap/free
  • Accesses a load of cards

To do this, you need DJ Fenris (with Liza Talking Thunder) for the card draw, and Thunder Art Gallery for the cheap installs, triggering it with Jes's ability. Naturally, you also want Aesops installed to flip that fodder. Kyuban helps offset the cost of the run, and R&D Interface makes the run worth more.

If any of these pieces are missing, then this is a fairly average Pawnshop deck. But when it sets up, it's honestly delightful to play. Try not to cackle as Liza draws you into an R&D Interface which you install for cheap just before hitting R&D.

The Long Version

Back in SOCR9, I messed around with a Ken Tenma deck which ran Thunder Art Gallery, Crash Space, a bunch of tagging cards, and the pirate suite. It was fun, but not particularly effective.

So I moved it into Jes, since her ID ability goes just swell with Thunder Art Gallery (weird, cos usually she avoids TAGs, ho ho). As soon as it's in Shaper, Thunder Art seems made for Aesop's - it lets you get stuff down to sell without easing off pressure on the corp. Everything else built itself - Maya for the extra Kyuban MU and to trigger tags if you can't find Fenris; Misdirection and Paricia as tech cards which can be sold if unneeded; Clone Chips as cheap installs to cycle Caches; Interdiction to clear Scarcity; Hostage for finding Fenris/Aesop; Stimhack for a cheap Engolo.

I've also tried running something similar directly out of Liza. You gain early draw, Networking, the ability to run Thunder Art, Cache and Hostage with no influence hit, and Rogue Trading with Citadel Sanctuary so that you can still build up if the corp locks you out. However, you lose SMC, R&D Interface, extra Clone Chips, Kyuban and, most importantly, Engolo. I honestly don't know which is better.

Actual Performance

The deck did alright in testing, going 2-2 in a York GNK. At the York Regional, however, it got consistently rushed out. After a promising start to the day, I ended up a modest 26th.

Round 1 - Acme (Win) - Ian struggled to find ice for R&D, and for most of the game I only had to get through a Slot Machine. I managed to set up pretty quickly, and get a Kyuban on the Slot Machine. After that, I was hitting R&D multiple times a turn, bouncing nasty things with Maya, and there wasn't much Ian could do.

Round 2 - Sportsmetal (Loss) - Dave set up a nasty remote with Jinja pretty quickly, while I set up a fairly clumsy inroad to R&D. Four Sportspoints went by while I was still coming up to full efficiency, then Dave stuck a Jinja and another piece of ice on R&D. I panicked and took a turn to set up to get back in and trash the Jinja, but the last 5/3 (and more) was in HQ.

Round 3 - Aginfusion (Loss) - This was a cracking game. Andrew swallowed some hefty costs, going down to low credits to rez an Anansi on R&D and a DNA Tracker on HQ, making me facecheck both. Two (!) Kyubans on the Anansi took the edge off R&D, and it was anybody's game for a long time. I got a bit too excited and Stimhacked a double-advanced card protected by an Excalibur, forgetting that Engolo can only paint a code gate once per turn. The ol' Thimblerig-Border Control switcheroo gave Andrew the opportunity to score out.

Round 4 - NEXT (Loss) - The pattern of being out-rushed is established, as Elia did the NEXT thing and cycled 4/2s like nobody's business while I struggled to set up a board. A well-timed Owl bounced my Engolo, and I ended up two clicks short of challenging the remote.

Round 5 - Aginfusion (Loss) - Rounded the day off with Junebug pie courtesy of Nemo's Labyrinthine Servers Ag.

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Thank you to all of my opponents who had to sit patiently as I gleefully threw cards and tags around my playmat, and of course a huge thank you to our TO and York organiser-extraordinaire, Akira.

Iterating

Modded has to go. It's a nice, cheap R&D Interface, but most things get installed with Thunder Art or SMC, and there aren't actually many Modded targets.

I'd also be tempted to switch out Corroder for Inti/Gauss or, more likely, Lady. I barely installed it - Engolo is often the only breaker that makes it to the table.

The spare cards and influence could go into a more consistent setup (a second Hostage/third Thunder Art Gallery), or a better backup game plan with second copies of Stimhack and Turning Wheel.

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