Anyone Else Just Notice MCA Is Still Legal? [13th UK Nats]

strongoose 623

This is just fair MirrorMorph!


After not playing a single game of Netrunner the whole time I was at Worlds 2023, I was extremely ready for Nats in Sheffield.

I'd been playing around with rushy Ob, and that deck is indeed pretty sweet (in fact, I played it at President of Servers on Friday). However, at some point I decided that Ob didn't make my brain hurt enough, so I spent a week or so trying to make Wage Workers, well, work, in MirrorMorph.

It turns out that I couldn't, but it also turns out that MCA Austerity Policy is a card that is still legal?

This deck is the result of some very cursory testing with the lovely shanodin and angedelo online, who also provided crucial feedback on my more hare-brained schemes.

The ice might need some work.

@angedelo, not long after I rez Bloop


@shanodin, on what to do with 4 inf

I'm just trying to think about how many good decks ran two Hedge Funds.

@angedelo, insistently

The very last change I made to the deck, on the morning of the event, was to cut Red-Level Clearance. Its main function in the deck was to give you extra install actions where you could still trigger MirrorMorph, but after a game against shanodin where I didn't draw a single one and didn't even slightly miss it, I decided that it wasn't worth the slots. Besides Subliminal does that already (see below).

Frienship ended with Red Level Clearance. Subliminal Messaging is my new best friend.

Instead I added one more ice to give me slightly fewer terrifying mulligans, and added back in the Biotic I had cut for the Audacity. With the spare slot, I added a Regolith Mining Licence to give me a few more MirrorMorph click options and run a bit richer, but it wasn't that great on the day so I think this slot could be something else (maybe a third Calvin, maybe another ice).

The gameplan

This deck is, in essence, a rush deck. However, unlike most HB rush decks, the core objective isn't to score four of your two-pointers (or, in some cases, push out the winning 5/3 using some gnarly defensive upgrades).

Instead, the deck to leverages the interaction between MirrorMorph and MCA to score a 5/3 from hand as soon as possible, for the low, low price of 5 credits! Once you've got your juicy 3 pointer (and optionally rezzed some nice ice with it), fast advancing out the remaining 3/2s closes out the game. Although MCA takes a while to tick up, the ability to score one fewer agenda, combined with the click denial of MCA, means runners need to set up and money up fast to have a chance of stopping you. The ice suite complements this plan, leaning more towards tax and less to gearchecks.

Because this deck is fundamentally about tempo (going fast and slowing the runner down), it draws a lot of cards and tries to trigger MirrorMorph almost every turn. Your number one priority is always to get MCA up, and once it's online you want to click it every turn, ideally forever.

Your ideal scoring pattern is probably:

  1. Score a Luminal or an overadvanced Vitruvius to get you going
  2. MCA out a Send a Message
  3. Close the game with a final 3/2

However, there's a lot of flex in that plan - one game on Saturday I even scored out every 3/2 in the deck. Probably don't do that if you can help it.

OK but what does MirrorMorph do again?

MirrorMorph is a sweet identity. While it requires a bunch more work than the classic busted HB ID, MirrorMorph's ceiling is higher than ETF's. That said, most turns MirrorMorph will be used to take a credit, and there's nothing wrong with that. We love credits.

The key interaction to know about while piloting this deck is that MirrorMorph lets you pop MCA Austerity policy to score a 5/3 from hand one turn earlier than other identities:

  1. Place a power counter on MCA ( remaining)
  2. Pop MCA ( remaining)
  3. Install a 5/3 ( remaining)
  4. MirrorMorph trigger: advance ( remaining)
  5. Use remaining clicks to advance 4 more times

The other thing you'll want to do a lot is install a second card on your turn. Subliminal Messaging helps with this, and typically looks like this:

  1. Draw a card, or click MCA, or something ( remaining)
  2. Install ( remaining)
  3. Play Subliminal Messaging ( remaining)
  4. MirrorMorph trigger: this will usually be take a credit, but if you have something to do which isn't an install, an operation, or whatever you did in action 1, do that!
  5. Install

Now, it must be conceded that, in rare and exceptional circumstances, you will have a pressing need to install two cards in one turn, and may not have Subliminal in hand (seems far fetched I know). These are the turns you're allowed to not trigger MirrorMorph.

Card choices

In fine NRDB tradition, what follows is a general ramble justifying some of my card choices:

  • Four 3/2s? Why not just 5/3s and Luminal?

    Scoring a Vitruvius with two counters off your first MCA is busted as hell. Use it to reinstall MCA next turn. Runners don't deserve that 4th click.

  • Bass CH1R1B0G4?

    So this deck definitely doesn't need more than 1 Bass, but it's almost always worth installing. The turn you pop it you're almost always going to trigger MirrorMorph for something useful (like an advancement), and, even better, when it's in archives it turns all your Restores into Biotic Labour. How to score a 3/2 from hand with Restore and Bass in the bin is left as an exercise to the reader.

  • Calvin?

    Non-negotiable. One of the best cards in the deck. Great with YDL, helps you find MCA. Watch out for big lads when installing naked though.

  • Audacity?

    Absolutely stand-out suggestion from shanodin. Nobody expects you to score a 3/2 from 0 credits the turn after you fast advance Send a Message with MCA.

  • Ablative Barrier?

    Actually one of the cards I was most lukewarm on at the tournament. The threat ability is great of course, but you kind of want it behind something so that Crims can't farm Curupira counters to bypass Bran.

A bonus MirrorMorph shenanigan that I just thought of

Fun fact, did you know that there's no paid ability window between your third action and the MirrorMorph trigger resolving?

  1. Click for a credit (or something) ( remaining)
  2. Install a 3/2, last chance to clot ( remaining)
  3. Advance, MirrorMorph trigger to play Audacity, score
13 Nov 2023 Havvy

I have a really soft spot for MCA Mirrormorph decks, makes me wanna sleeve it up!

13 Nov 2023 AceEmpress

Love seeing mirrormorph doing well, this list is incredibly cool! How has the 1/3 Ikawah/SAM split worked out for you in practice, because your ice seems somewhat low to the ground and it felt like there were a fair number of Deep Dives going around? (Maybe my sense of this is just distorted by my urge to play Týr in every HB deck I make regardless of if I can actually afford it, though.)

13 Nov 2023 strongoose

@AceEmpress thanks! :) I really like SAM (it's great to score with MCA, good tempo), but I have not tested against Deep Dive much. My gut feeling is that Ikawah may not help much once those decks are fully set up (i.e. you've just lost at that point anyway), but more testing needed!

13 Nov 2023 shanodin

I'm so proud of you dangoose ❤️

13 Nov 2023 sebastiank

Congrats on the placement! Love me some Mirrormorph.

13 Nov 2023 strongoose

@shanodin ❤️