Best ASA

SimonMoon 2323

This is the best ASA list. I'm sure some of you are thinking it will be better if you put a Void, Skunkworks or MCA in it. Don't do this. Just play the list.

First off, a brief primer on how to play the deck: ASA is all about going fast. So the first part of the deck is aggressively mulliganning for one of the following things (in order of quality).

  1. A good hand that can play VLC turn 1. This means ideally 1 Ice + 2 Installables so you only pitch 1.
  2. A hand you can t1 protect Rashida with. This means Rashida + 1 non Drafter / FC3 Ice against non crims and Rashida + 2 Ice against Crim.
  3. A mediocre hand that can play VLC turn 1. This means 2 installables so you only have to pitch 2, and not so many agendas you lose if they run HQ 4x.
  4. A hand that can protect Nico Campaign which is pretty good but is a bit worse than Rashida.

You should keep any hand that can do the above unless the other 3 cards are really bad (2x Biotic + 1 Agenda or 3 Agenda).

You will also occasionally keep a hand that is just a good asset start (something like Jeeves 2 Ice Marilyn and Temple), though this tends to get worse vs Crim and better vs. Shaper).

Once you get past the opening, the key to understanding how to play this deck is that the best way to minimize accesses is to go fast. This is true for 2 reasons: 1. You will set up Lashmi faster which will close out the game very fast 2. The shorter the game is the fewer turns the runner has to get accesses.

For example, on T2 you've just Rashida'd into 2 Ice some assets and some Agendas. You will get fewer acccess in the long run by say, Icing a Jeeves and Marilyn over Icing centrals because the money and clicks of Jeeves / Marilyn will reduce accesses more in the long run by shortening the game (both by giving you value directly and making Fully Op extra powerful). Your ideal turn 4 board looks something like 4 single Ice remotes with Value Assets, one Ice'd central (HQ in a neutral matchup, RnD if they've done something like play Conduit).

The next big things is understanding when and how to score. There are four ways to score which you should use all of: 1. Biotic FA 2. Lakshmi Score (you have a pair of agendas, install one of them and reveal Lakshmi). 3. Score behind Ice (usually this is early game play when your opponent has gone poor trashing things and doesn't have the relevant ETR breaker). 4. Click compress installs (basically, end game you typically have 4-6 single Ice remotes that are reasonably taxing. You should be installing Agendas in these occasionally to score them because your opponent will waste a lot of money / clicks running every remote and even if they get your Agenda this can often give you the tempo to setup for Biotic or Lakshmi).

When you should score is basically once your money is good enough you will not get run over if you score. Notably Cyberdex is pretty neutral Tempowise which helps to score it early, especially on a single Ice remote when you have Jeeves in play. You usually want to get at least one Vitrivius counter as it helps a lot for double Bioticing a GFI out which is the best and most common finisher.

A typically play pattern is something like: Turns 1-5 Rashida / Fully OP / VLC and install 3 cards a turn and get some campaigns going + protect a Jeeves. Turn 6 NA a Cyberdex Turn 7 play some money cards Turn 8 FA a Vitrivius with a counter Turn 9 play some money cards Turn 10 double biotic a GFI (using a Vitruvius counter).

What Assets should I Ice? Early game: 1. Rashida 2. Money 3. Jeeves 4. Lakshmi 5. Whatever you have

Late Game: 1. Jeeves 2. Lakshmi 3. Other stuff

You will notice that Jeeves ranks very highly on Ice priority despite having a 5 trash cost and there being 3 of them. Jeeves is very very important to the deck. It lets you FA / NA Vitrivius + Counter as well as Cyberdex. Additionally 3 installs + Fully OP / VLC or just 4 installs is a lot faster. I find a huge mistake to walk into is having a Jeeves in play, playing a VLC and needing to discard one and picking Jeeves. Often a backup Jeeves is better against good players than your next best card. As you play more you'll learn when to avoid this rule but I think undervaluing Jeeves is the biggest mistake you can make.

How to use Wackson Howard (Spin Doctor). 1. Hide 1 Agenda in Archives. 2. Filter Agendas from hand (but not too many! You want some Agendas in Hand for Lashmi purposes) 3. Primarily shuffle in Biotic, Fully OP, Jeeves and Lakshmi.

An FAQ Following the Nemamiah Decklist Style Guide:

Question 1: An explanation of why you chose to play the deck There are three reasons for this, first is that it's extremely good, the second is that it is very fun, and the third is that it will make you a better player. The latter two are related in that the best way to score is highly variable and boardstate dependent and you make a lot of decisions (what should I protect? should I score now? what should I discard? how do I score my last points? that I think are interesting and teach you how to close out games (as well as about how to manage tempo).

Question 2: A critical and objective discussion of any interesting includes or omissions: Most notable include is Sandstone I think. This Ice is pretty good as you're pretty often purging (cyberdex + cvs + value Jeeves purge), it has a hard ETR early game (and doesn't kill you tempowise to protect a Rashida / Nico / Mariyln). Additionally one of the big traditional weaknesses of ASA is Turtle which can often break all your Ice cheaply and run you over. Sandstone takes a while for turtle to break while also being good against regular breakers (I used to play Wrap in this slot).

Other notable include is Biotic I think. I find a lot of other ASA lists don't play 2x or even any biotics. I find this is one of the best ways to score points in this deck and I find it wild people aren't playing 2 (I used to play 3 before Spin Doctor came out).

Notable excludes: 1. MCA - I have never liked this card in these decks as I find it way slower of a wincon and I would rather be spending clicks installing money cards that can be used for Biotic or Ice. The one thing I will say is this list is weak to Apoc (I think) and MCA is reasonable against Apoc. 2. Skunkworks - Slower and flimsier than Biotic / Lakshmi imo 3. Void - Ditto 4. Hedge fund - I like Marilyn a lot. It is 2 more credits payout (if slower), gives you a Lakshmi counter, can be installed with Jeeves, and shores up RnD late. Might be find to play some.

Question 3: A description of where it sits in the meta and what's its strengths and weaknesses are.

This deck is maybe the best deck. The only weakness I think it has is Apoc but I haven't played against it enough to really test it. Its very good against Crim, Shaper and Anarch. Its simply too fast for any of them. Its worst against Crim of the 3 (though still a heavy favorite) because against Crim you have the most bad draws and Crim actually has a draw that can do something against your best draw (Boomerang + Siphon). Though you can still compete against Crim even with a bad draw, and it has fewer bad draws than the other ASA because Assets still do something even if you don't have Ice.

Main question is testing against Apoc (notably you have a lot of play by just going fast and being extra aggressive about pushing agendas when Apoc doesn't want to contest and being more conservative about icing centrals).

Question 4: How did it perform. I played in the early bird tournament and it went 1-1. I forfeited round 1 due to showing up late, won decisively one game and lost to 4 agendas in 5 accesses. Not a lot of proof one way or another as that can happen to anything.

Big stuff I have lost to on JNet: 1. Bad start against crim (this goes like 50/50 in my experiences) 2. Hot accesses on Rnd (one thing to not is sometimes you will feel like you are running hot and this will happen. One thing about running hot is it tends to be because you are drawing a lot of gas and not a lot of agendas, so keep this in mind. 3. Surprise Apoc (seriously who plays Pennyshaver into Apoc out of Val)

Question 5: A few suggestions about what to change. The stuff that I think you can play around with is primarily the Ice (though try Sandstone, I think this is a pretty relevant breakthrough in ASA). I don't really like FC3. I'm not crazy about Slot Machine. I'm not crazy about only Drafter in the sentry slot. There aren't a lot of good tempo sentries any more though.

I think you can play around with the money slots a bit (3x Nico 2x Marilyn for example). I like 1 Temple as I tend to find the 2nd temple is pretty awkward and it feels shit to draw a Temple without any targets.

Ultimately it may turn out that Apoc is such an important part of the meta that other ASA with better ways of dealing with it are better than this, but I would recommend at least trying ASA that leans on Biotic + Lashmi + campaigns first.

Question 6: Shout out 1. Greg who made the original ASA list forever ago and who I've talked with a bunch about ASA even if I have stubbornly refused to take any of his suggestion (except one time playing his boom ASA list). 2. My haters who are uncountably infinite in their number

3 comments
5 Apr 2021 x3r0h0ur

This deck looks cool. I didn't read the whole summary yet, but this deck would be so much better if you put in skunkworks or Aenotic Void.

6 Apr 2021 neuropantser

0/10 claims to be best but does not include best defense

6 Apr 2021 anarchomushroom

+1 for an excellent writeup