∀sa Group [36th @ UK Nats]

swabl 387

Called Turn "Asa" Group

This deck's journey began back when Wage Workers was revealed and I immediately thought "hell yeah I'm gonna play it in Asa". After slamming a bunch of the obvious cards together I discovered I had a big influence hole and nothing came to mind to fill it with. A quick trawl through the 3-inf cards on NRDB followed, and a quirky little asset caught my eye:

Moon Pool

In a stroke of inspiration, I realised it synergised with Asa's very own Fully Operational - drawing a ton of cards means drawing a few agendas, which enables Moon Pool! I then had a second immediate thought: Moon Pool could be pretty sick in this deck.

And let me tell you: Moon Pool is pretty sick in this deck.

Why Moon Pool Is Pretty Sick in This Deck

Rezzing Moon Pool

Moon Pool synergises with and/or complements so many of your central pieces, sometimes in big splashy ways and sometimes in small but meaningful ways, that it's kind of silly. It's not just some big fast advace combo piece (although it often serves that role), it elevates and smoothes out your gameplan. Let's discuss some of them:

At the most basic level, it being an asset obviously means you can get an Asa trigger installing it, which both protects it and fuels Fully Operational. This is of course good in its own right, but Fully Operational in turn fuels Moon Pool, which is pleasingly cyclic. This was of course the first interaction I twigged to, and is certainly the most impactful and important, but by no means the only one.

It also means it's a target for Red Level Clearance, which boosts Moon Pool into a clickless 2 advancements. And this in turn leans into Wage Workers - a play like RLC for Moon Pool and a click, Fully Operational to dig, and then Biotic Labor to be up way too many clicks and then score whatever the hell you want is absolutely on the cards and can trivially score a 5/3.

And a target for Ablative Barrier, and Drafter...

You could also just install it on the board, banking that click for a cheeky instant speed 2 advancement counters later on - enabling even 4/2 FAs absent anything else and making Fully Operational combo plays easier with less support. Which you often have to do - you obviously won't have 3 agendas ready to go at all times!

Oh, and those instant speed advancements? You can duck Clot with them - install, install doesn't look like a scoring pattern, but oh whoops you can now click 3 advance, rez and pop Moon Pool, and score Vitruvius for game from right underneath a Shaper's nose.

That it's shuffling away agendas is also very relevant - Fully Operational may give you enough control to not draw too many agendas when you don't want, but we also have Rashida Jaheem and Nico Campaign drawing us a bunch. Agenda flood can be a very real threat, so being able to get them back into R&D while scoring and accelerating our tempo is fantastically useful.

What are our other options for controlling agendas? Biotic Labor costs way too many credits to be spammable and Audacity can lose us too many important cards if we're not careful, so we can't simply fast advance excess agendas with them as they appear (ignoring how vulnerable we'd be to Clot at that!). NAing them means relying on Wage Workers a lot more and that's an obvious must-trash, and our ice kinda sucks. Or we're just Spin Doctoring them all back, when we'd rather shuffle in our more proactive cards.

Moon Pool takes pressure off all of these other cards, letting us use them - as well as Spin Doctor and sometimes Gatekeeper's draw - much more aggressively too. Which also means we're much less reliant on, say, Wage Workers, giving the deck a lot more resilience and redundancy.

And being instant speed agenda shuffling and advancement counter placing also means we can get up to shenanigans like Audacity-ing first and then popping Moon Pool, or installing Moon Pool, Spin Doctor and an agenda at the same time, dumping the excess, and using whichever asset we can get away with. Or using that line to dunk on Esâ (extremely funny).

And we can't forget the psychological warfare synergy of using Moon Pool to score a Luminal Transubstantiation with a Wage Workers rezzed and getting a 10 click turn, That double-whammy easily wins you the morale game!

I'm likely forgetting other interactions and considerations too; the more you think about it and try stuff, the more you realise just how at home Moon Pool is in this deck and how much utility it offers. Yes, it requires a bunch of agendas in hand to work, but with all the draw that you're running anyway - especially in Fully Operational - it is live much more often than you might anticipate. It works. And it doesn't just work - it supports and is supported by just about everything else that it feels like the missing puzzle piece - it fits perfectly into place.

What About the 47 Other Cards That Aren’t Moon Pool

Me when I score using Biotic Labor and Wage Workers with Moon Pool

When I said I slammed a bunch of obvious cards in I wasn't kidding - this is really just a fast advance kinda combo-y Wage Workers Asa list that only really exists because Fully Operational and Wage Workers can each be nuts. I don't think there's anything else remarkable here.

The general gameplan is to sneak out agendas behind gear check ice (ideally with Wage Workers live) while you can and/or fast advance up to 4 points, then do some sweet combo to fast advance Ikawah Project for the win. But there's no linear line to take here; your scoring pieces are very modular and flexible (thanks to Moon Pool!!) so assemble what you can with what you have.

Mulligan for an econ asset and ideally 2 pieces of ice (2nd one on a central usually); Drafters go on HQ and R&D; Brân goes where the matchup needs it to (R&D frequently, but if it ends up on a remote that's the perfect place to stick Wage Workers); put Marilyns in 'spent' gear check remotes; you'll play Fully Operational for 5 credits quite often but that's ok; and if you can get to match point with a Vitruvius counter (not that hard) you will be in a great position.

14inf Can't be Right


This deck was originally on 2 Mavirus, but one was brutally cut to make way for another desperately needed piece of ice and the only 1inf ice that could be worth playing - Thimblerig - felt outclassed by the alternatives. And then the third RLC was cut for another piece of ice and even 14 pieces feels like barely enough.

Perhaps my brain simply isn't large enough, but beyond swapping ice around I really don't know what can change here. Every asset is essential in the quantities played, you absolutely can't go lower than two Biotic Labor without losing a ton of consistency (although three is too many), you really wish you had the third Red Level Clearance, and you already brick on ice in the opening hand too often to feel good about going lower. But for ice swaps, there are some ideas.

Magnet doesn't do enough in the meta - Botulus doesn't see as much play anymore thanks to Bankhar, and Arissanna just bounces the captured trojans with UAV - so maybe Thimbelrig in place of one would be better. Heck, even Enigma could be preferable - more punishing face check, worse for Bankhar, just as nothing vs. Buzzsaw, and roughly equal on average vs. other decoders.

Hagen also didn't do as much as I'd like, for Bankhar reasons again but also because runners work around Cleaver's weakness and Aumakua isn't seeing as much play these days. It trashed maybe 2 programs all day, both in the same game. Most other times it would be 4c to make Cleaver spend 1. So you could redestribute those ice slots to more worthy targets, which might just be Brân and Ablatives number three each. You often don't have Brân when you need it, when it's your only out, and Ablative is a cheap gear check early and asset recursion mid-to-late so you're generally happy to see it whenever.

Beyond that though? Who knows.

My agendas

So How Did This Sweet As Hell Deck Do at Nats

It did okay.

It went 3-1 in PoS I think and 3-2 in the main event sorta (2-2 then I 2-4-1d twice playing runner both times [losing the second one] then ID'd last game because I was tired but we played a friendly where Asa won) for a very respectable 6-3, but with various caveats that I think make the record look better than the deck was.

Don't get me wrong - this definitely feels like a real and coherent deck. All my talking up of Moon Pool isn't just a bit - it feels legit great here! Mostly it feels quite poorly positioned in the meta thanks to Bankhar and Miss Bones ruining your day and the increasing prevelance of Wheels, Aeneas Informant and Conduit. I'm 99% sure you auto-lose to Arissana.

But! It was a lot of fun, and the reactions I got from my opponents when they saw Moon Pool be rezzed was priceless. Bewilderment, despair, and even applause - it ran the gamut, and made me so grateful I played what is unequivocally a pet deck over something more 'known'. There was a lot of entertainment in those games, and more than a few - even those who weren't my opponents! - wanted to see this list after, which is so gratifying.

Shoutouts to @paulyg and all the other organisers, TOs, judges, and shop staff for running such a smooth and fun event for 3 days, to all my opponents for some fantastic games of netrunner (with bonus shoutouts to @Kikai and @Chordgang for completely blanking and joyously clapping respectively when this deck Did Stuff), and to the defending champion @ExtraC for placing 3rd, letting me bounce ideas and get feedback on this deck all weekend (and then some), and most importantly being my lift up to Sheffield, to everybody who asked for the decklist, and to you for reading!

What an excellent time Nats was!

Moon Pool!

15 Nov 2023 shanodin

Great write up Sam. I'm a little closer to understanding what Moon Pool is.

16 Nov 2023 chordgang

this was such a hoot to play against (by which i mean i thought i'd won from a last-click conduit run, realised the agenda i'd accessed 4 cards down was an ikawah, then watched as you drew your entire deck and FAed said ikawah)