Flight of the Musaazi v4.7

CephalopodWizard 45

It's not good, but it's the best it's ever been

Ever since Khumalo and his breaker suite was printed, I have been determined to live the dream that it promises. For 2 credits, you get most of a breaker suite, and a virus economy to run that breaker suite! This provides theoretically infinite value, which is the best and worst kind of value. Khumalo and Yusuf are powerful cards. Musaazi however, is a card that boldly declares "I am an unsolvable puzzle." It is a hopeless Killer by itself, getting through an Anansi will cost seven virus counters! But I have the solution: Dedicated Processor. When combined, these two cards make one of the most powerful Killers I have ever seen. For 2 credits and a few virus counters, I can walk through almost any sentry. Utae also becomes pretty ok with a Dedicated Processor! (By the way, I know Salvaged Memories includes some good viruses, but trying to include them would mean significantly reworking this deck's memory problems. Well out of scope for this deck list)

How to set up quickly? Also code gates.

One recurring issue with this deck's early versions has been drawing cards quickly enough to assemble this combo. If you assemble this glorious breaker suite after there's ETR ice on every server, you just lose. The unbanning of Zer0 gave me the chance to try an economy that shreds my deck to deliver this combo as quickly as possible. The proposed game plan: Mystic Maemi and Paladin Poemu should cover my operating costs, because most of this deck only costs 1 or 2 credits. Zer0 acts as more "drip", and turns useless extra copies of unique cards into more chances to draw The Combo. Gachapon gives you an excellent chance to install the companions early, and has backup options you can grab: breakers, Virus Breeding Grounds, Pelangi. Deuces Wild serves as a way to withdraw credits from Mystic Maemi, and get me deeper into the deck. Knifed is a good way to use Maemi credits, and gives you a way to get rid of problem ice. Works well with Pelangi! Knobkierie is an excellent virus console, and gives you the ability to refill Pelangi and the one copy of Imp. My chosen Decoder is Pelangi.

Piloting Tips

To be honest, playing this deck is like juggling jello cubes. Even with the utmost caution, sometimes things will simply come apart. But if you decide to play this deck, here are some pitfalls to avoid!

  • Mulligan for companions and Zer0. A game in which you start the game with both companions is the dream.
  • Gachapon is quite bad in the opening hand. Removing 2 cards from the game is excellent if you can identify 2 cards that you don't want to draw (like second copies of Zer0, breakers, companions). If you haven't drawn many cards yet, then you probably won't see cards you can safely remove. But it's not optional! Being forced to remove Sure Gamble from the game is quite heartbreaking.
  • The first copy of KnobKierie is critical. If you let Zer0 or Gachapon get rid of a Knobkierie, the other 2 copies are guaranteed to be at the bottom of the deck. This deck can not function without Knobkierie (noted for future versions), because you really need a Pelangi installed before the breaker suite takes off and you can start Knifing ice.
  • It turns out Kati Jones is not good in this deck. That probably should have been daily casts or an event to spend Maemi credits, you don't have time to click Kati.
  • Labor Rights was included in case of losing important cards (particularly to Zer0), and a way to recur Knifed for more ice destruction. I don't think I ever played one, maybe cut this too.

Tales from Worlds 2020

Why am I posting this so long after worlds? Because time management is hard, and I should really post this before the next set starts getting spoiled! At worlds 2020, there were 2 archetypes everybody expected to be popular. One is Jinteki mini-glacier good stuff, referred to as "Ice Cube" from now on. Notably, this archetype is running 3 copies of Cyberdex Sandbox and at least one Cyberdex Virus Suite. I fully expected this matchup to be a loss, but that's ok, because the other archetype was ASA Group with Fully Operational. I was pretty sure I could crush this, because Khumalo is really good at controlling assets, and Fully Operational demands you create lots of servers, which will be hard to defend effectively. To be honest, winning was a secondary concern here, I just wanted to play this deck, and was willing to let matchup RNG determine my fate. In any case, I went 1 and 6, having faced 4 Jinteki decks on the Cyberdex Sandbox plan. I do find the losses fascinating. First of all, it is just plain funny to face Chronos protocol, and then realize that your economy engine is based on Zer0. Secondly, the common theme for my losses is that my virus engine came online barely too slow. For most of these losses, I felt like I was a turn or two away from being unstoppable. If the Jinteki decks didn't have CVS in archives, they would have had a much harder time locking me out! And in the Titan game, Musaazi took flight. The Corp had 2 bad publicity, allowing me to pass through a Trebuchet for 1 virus counter (after the refund from the successful run).

Plans for the future

After several dozen versions, you can rest assured that I am going to try this deck again. Things to address in future versions:

  • I'm probably not going to attempt companions + gachapon again, because even with 3 copies of each, you still can't count on having it from the start of the game. This also costs a lot of card slots.
  • Knifed isn't useful until you have Pelangi installed to make sure you can trash something. This causes it to remain in hand for a while, making it very likely that Zer0 trashes it. Different ice destruction might be better, possibly Hippo.
  • You have to draw and play a 5 credit console before you're ready to run confidently. I'm thinking of adding Progenitor.
  • Zer0 needs lots of cards that you're happy to trash, and if I remove the companions, I think there's too few "extra copies" that I'm happy to Zer0. It would be easier if I was using the conspiracy breakers!
  • Pelangi is decent, but it frequently ends up hogging all of your KnobKierie counters, because it's hard to run a proper decoder. I might have to consider using a better decoder.
  • Imp is fantastic. At least 1 more imp in the future.

The future of this deck is very dependent on what economy cards are printed in System Gateway. We'll see what happens!

27 Feb 2021 valerian32

Pretty cool deck! I always wondered how to try to make Musaazi work. This is a cool idea!

1 Mar 2021 Baa Ram Wu

Love the concept here - definitely my style of jank.

I 100% recommend jumping on the progenitor idea (as considered) - I have been running 2 or 3 progs in my virus based quetzal deck (which has similar downsides to your deck here) and couldn’t find the deck much more robust because of it (will also help your mentioned memory issues)

Friday chip (even as a x1) could also be at least a consideration!

2 Mar 2021 Jtfq99999

Jank solution for CVS: Simulchip Cache for instant counters

That aside, I didn't see any win cons here ?

2 Mar 2021 CephalopodWizard

@Jtfq99999 The win-con is multi-access. That is to say, you manually make multiple accesses because it's so affordable! (Disclaimer: accesses may not actually be affordable).