Okay, so… hear me out. This was the more fun, less tuned of my two choices for tournaments. But it has a really good core! It went 2-2, and the first loss was close, and the second I blame almost entirely on my bad playing, as I got away from the gameplan. The whole idea came from a certain beautiful person who has a Netrunner stream called the Metropole Grid, where he threw out Khusyuk with 1-costers in Criminal. I can’t remember if he said Az or not, but I instantly heard Az, because of course I did. Credit also to CodeMarvelous, for sharing an Az-connections deck that I then ruined, but retained some of the better features when I built this one! Also thanks to the Slack community, because I workshopped this with them more than even the SSO.
So, the deck is about getting Professional Contacts and the Class Act down, drawing, getting money, installing things with Az discount, and then Khusyuking for the win! Generally, if you can steal once from a small remote, the Khusyuks are really great at closing the game.
There are a lot of cards I’m not sure about, and I’m sure a million that others will see (I will not play Corroder in Az. Never), but it’s a fun, different deck that people really aren’t expecting, and has enough punch to win games. The game descriptions may be kinda lacking, as my memory isn’t the best and most of each of the games, I set up for the first 60% of them.
LOSS: Game one: against a Blue Sun. A really bad match-up for me personally, and possibly the deck. Even with Tycoon, Chiyashi is soo hard to deal with, and they immediately built a huge remote. It was a close game. They left R&D open a long time but I wasn’t able to Khusyuk three times. I got one but the other two were in the bottom five of my deck, and they found Border Controls at the perfect times. Thankfully they didn’t find Scarcity until I’d already installed almost everything I needed.
WIN: Game two: um… who was I against? Sportsmetal! A rig-shooter one, but thankfully all three Batty’s made their way into the huge remote, and this deck wants to generally ignore remotes unless they’re 1 ice. I used Film Critics a lot on small agendas, just to stop their tempo on score, and managed to get to 3-4 points. They were on 6, and I Khusyuked and then I think Legworked for the win? That may be the other way around.
WIN: Game three: really spiky PE. I was worried. They scored so many 1-pointers and nabbed cards from my hand, including two Khusyuks, and RFGd them with Chronos. I set up well, and started running, and managed to get a Philotic off the last Khusyuk. Film Critic saved me a good bit of damage. I was soo rich in this game, that made the late game a lot easier.
LOSS: Game four: Gagarin assets. I played this one wrong. I spent the first third getting Miss Bones down and trying to keep their assets under control, so by the time they scored to 4, I was way too behind. I Khusyuked twice, but only had 4 1-costers installed, and only got one agenda. This one hurts. I could have done better.
Overall: the deck gets set up quickly! That’s great for a game with fast corps. It used to have Hostage for the 1x Pro Co, but with 2x Pro Co and 2x Class Act, there’s lots of draw and filtering to get what you need and install it. Gaining credits with every draw and spending 0-1 on most installs, along with Armitage, means you tend to do well for money. One game, I had over thirty credits. Most turns for the first half or so of the game are Pro Co twice, play an event/install, and install.
Most important cards:
Pro Co and Class Act. For the reasons above, these cards are fantastic. Class Act draws you 4 instantly, and then makes every Pro Co a filter (when you remember. Jessica is not great at that). Pro Co keeps you from being poor whilst you draw. And they’re each a credit cheaper with Az, so click one Pro Co install doesn’t hurt as much!
Az. He really really is! Sure, it could be argued Leela is a stronger don’t run much runner, but Az’s discounts, even if overall they don’t save a tonne of credits, are so important early to keep your tempo-installing up.
Flip Switch. I was stupid and only had 2x for the Cambridge GNK last week, but it was one of the most important cards, so I went to 3x, and it really is crucial. Although I said you kind of ignore remotes, you can’t let the corp do what they want with an early remote, so having the ability to run it with no breakers and be safe, draining their money, is so useful. This deck is much weaker without Flip Switch. It’s also a 1-coster for Khusyuk, and free for Az, so it ticks all the boxes!
Film Critic. This is an obvious one. The most brokenly great card I think I’ve played with? I tend to avoid a lot of the best cards. It made SDS a breeze, and gave me breathing room in the PE and Sportsmetal deck where their IDs revolve around stealing. I would also have been dead to Punitive several times in the Weyland match ups without it. It’s also 1-cost and free with Az! And not unique, so I sometimes had 2 installed.
Khusyuk! I almost forgot this one. Yeah, this is what the deck’s about. I can’t imagine how horribly bad it would be without it.
PAD Tap. Another kinda obvious one. PAD Tap is really good.
Other good cards:
Legwork. This deck doesn’t have Turning Wheel, so a multi-access card other than Khusyuk, which is very much a late-game card, is really important. Not one of the top five maybe, but I would definitely not want to cut it. If anything, going to 2x would probably be better?
Armitage Codebusting. Not a great econ card in general, but in Az, where it’s installed for free, and you can leave 2 on it if you need the 1-coster for Khusyuk, I think it works really well. I was fairly rich in all my games save the first when I needed to start running a lot.
Passport. Kind of a forgotten breaker, someone on Slack suggested this and I honestly love it. I don’t know if I’ve actually installed Amina in a game since adding Passport? It’s a 1-coster for Khusyuk, doesn’t set you back much at all to install and, for me, really helps me to remember I’m not focussing on remotes. I want to set up and run centrals. Having a breaker suite that only costs 5 credits (not counting turtle) to install is really good.
Every other card:
Diversion of Funds. A lot of people really suggested going to 2x or 3x of this card, and I did, but… it never feels that valuable in this deck. There was only one time it felt like it might be useful. It’s devastating at times, but those times never seem to come up. It’s definitely in my mind to cut for Nationals unless something changes.
Kati Jones. I’m really not sure about Kati. She was useful in one game, but there may be better. I don’t know. As a 1x, she’s probably fine.
Lucky Charm. This deck already has quite a few 1-costers, and enough Az triggers to get one a turn, so Lucky Charm feels… it has a use, but I don’t know if it really shouldn’t be something else. Maybe just a Paragon. I cut Paragon because I found I was never installing it, because I wasn’t running much to get value, but it might be better. Saying that, if I had have had it for the first Blue Sun game, I maybe could have Khusyuked an extra time and got the win! Who knows. It doesn’t feel great overall.
Falsified Credentials. I liked it when it was a 1x. I’m still an insecure player, so the safety blankets of expose and such still feels important, so I was happy to find the space for 2x, but… it didn’t do too much. Maybe it should be a 1x again, or cut completely, I don’t know.
Miss Bones. Very good for keeping assets in check, but… do I want to keep assets in check? I think, without this card, I maybe would have forgot about assets earlier in my Gagarin game and got on with my plan. It’s a good card, but maybe not for me.
Always Have a Backup Plan. As much as it hurts me to say… this should probably be the second Legwork or something. It hasn’t done much.
I chose Az because I love Az soo much, and wanted to take a fun deck to a tournament whilst also not getting stomped every game. This deck did that! If things had gone a little different, there’s every chance I could have gone 7-1 overall and made the top cut. There’s definitely the core of a deck that can win quite a few games here.
I feel this write-up may be less useful than my SSO one, because this deck is much more ‘me’ at the cost of being strong than the SSO one. But it may help clear some things up if anyone is interested in trying it.
Please take it, and maybe try it mostly as-is, just to see? But mostly, have fun with it! As long as people are playing Az, I’m happy.
*I forgot to mention, the Clone Chip and 2x of breakers is another security-blanket thing for me. I don't feel secure at all only having 1x and I'd much rather throw out breakers (or even install a second Tycoon to power up Khusyuk) than not find them, or lose them to damage/SDS and not be able to get them back. But that's absolutely something that could be tweaked for people.
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