ooooo i'm just a small little esa (1st @ White Bear Startup)

evie 92

Came first at a 6 person local startup surprise tournament, which isn't much but it's still a win.

This deck is based on Diogene's wonderful All Gas No Break deck, but made even faster and leaner. 60% of your deck is events, and so if you're not running, you're getting resources to run. If you want more details on how to play, it's basically the same as All Gas No Break, and the differences I'll break down below.

Card Changes

  1. Diesel over Nuka (and 2 Bahia Bands)

    Nuka is too slow. If you look at click economy, then 3 Diesels are 3 across 3 cards to draw 9. Meanwhile, 2 Nuka is 6 and 2 across 2 cards to draw 12. You're also less likely to draw 2 Nuka than 3 Diesel across your deck. Fast draw matters, because it can clean up early game consistency, and because you're trying to win before the end of the early game.

  2. Jailbreak over Eru

    I'm an Eru hater. Sure you don't really mind tags in this deck but you need to have a Bankhar out, and if any Bankhar you have to replace is a Bankhar you can't discard from net damage. It doesn't matter anyway, since Eru is always going to be the worst card in your deck, so she'll always be in your opening hand, and so you'll always have her regardless. If you're going to win the game through R&D, it'll be through Finality. The benefit Jailbreak brings is that it's still a finisher, but you can go for HQ as well. Corps tend to avoid trashing agendas from sabotage, and they tend to not play them in remotes unless they're iced, so agendas end up piling up in their hand. Jailbreak fixes that.

  3. Sure Gamble over Dirty Laundry

    A common theme with this deck is unbundling cards. Esâ is never hurting for clicks, so I'd rather have a faster card that always gives me one thing right now than a slower card that conditionally gives me two things. Imo the problem with Dirty Laundry is that it makes you run and only gives you the money if you succeed, which I find too restrictive when you're going to be facetanking ice in runs. Any time you'd play Dirty Laundry you'd rather be playing Raindrops Cut Stone. The biggest problem with Sure Gamble is that it's too expensive at 4. If I could, I'd rather run 3 more Strike Funds, or Dirty Laundry if the money always came.

Overall, the rule with this deck is to play faster and faster. Draw a lot. Don't be afraid to discard. Don't be afraid to draw over hand size and discard. Only have as many credits as you need and no more. Only run centrals. Deal with any ice you can't facetank with Slap Vandal + Poison Vial. By the time the corp realizes your game plan, half of their deck should already be in the garbage and the game will be over. But as long as you always draw the exact cards you need right when you need them, it'll all be okay. I don't get why more players don't do that.

25 Feb 2024 Council

Congrats and well done!

On Diesel vs. Nuka, it's a nuanced discussion with a lot of situational factors to consider, but we've come around to Nuka as the more effective inf spend because getting to play Nuka out of hand means that hand management for the expected Core damage becomes easier. That means you have more agency and control over what you lose, which in turn rewards the time spent thinkinga bout your turns and the expertise you gain playing the deck. Also on click efficiency, if you ever find yourself clicking to draw a card with a regular action, those are the clicks you could've used on Nuka instead. :) Which in my experience happens a lot playing Esa.

On the Dirty Laundry, you do want to check archives from time to time, so it's often not just a gain 3/4, but also a click that you like to take. But really it shouldn't be Gamble OR Laundry. Cutting Jailbreak and similars would be my take, but I respect that this Esa has gone in a very different direction in regards to the breaker suite / ice solutions to the decks I'm familiar with, possibly making credits less relevant. In light of that however, you might value the click (to run) from Laundry over the money from Gamble. It being guaranteed is nice however. Nuanced, for sure.

25 Feb 2024 markamarla

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25 Feb 2024 evie

@Council i operate mostly off of feel. i’ve noticed that nuka feels worse to play, and sits in my hand longer than diesel does. same with dirty laundry vs sure gamble. jailbreak i feel like competes more with eru in spots because eru is meant to be a finisher, where you utilize the less guarded archives to grab the last few agendas in R&D, but i’ve noticed that agendas that would be in R&D can be more easily handled by simply sabotaging more, and instead it can be better to just grab agendas in HQ, since they pile up in the corps hand. it’s an interesting debate, but esa is imo an aggro deck, and aggro decks, as a rule, tend to play lower value cards that operate faster over higher value cards that operate slower. that is simply the change i made to diogene’s deck. making it even faster. feel free to compare the two of them in playtesting and see which feels better to you!

25 Feb 2024 Council

Sounds cogent. I approve. :)

26 Feb 2024 Diogene


I fully agree about the swap from Dr. Nuka Vrolyck to Diesel. I started to swap it after I heard Sokka explain why in a podcast.

For me, Eru Ayase-Pessoa has been a great finisher, but you already know that.

My question is about the Bahia Bands. Have you considered No Free Lunch instead? It would more like having an extra Strike Fund.

Again, thanks for the shoutout and congratulations for you victory! Cheers!