Aesops Hayley (Worlds Runner-Up)

CritHitd20 6340

Hello, my name is Greg. I'm not too active in the ANR community so far but I somehow placed second at Worlds this year. It was a very intense and amazing weekend, and I still cannot believe I got as far as I did. Some quick notes on the deck and the weekend.

This deck is really cool but tbh it's not optimized at all. It was edited to exploit a very specific meta that I only did an okay job predicting and countering. Despite us not talking Jason Deng deserves like 80% minimum for creating the list during Top Deck and I revised it with Peter McOwen to hopefully speed it up and improve its matchup against Gagarin and Rewiring CI. For those unfamiliar with Pawnshop Hayley you play a ton of redundant cards and silver bullets that cost 0, then sell them to Pawnshop if they aren't relevant for the matchup. Mash Proco so you aren't wasting clicks and use Hayley so the installs you want to sell to Aesop can come with cards that actually advance your board.

The three cards that I imagine deserve explanation are Trope, Heartbeat, and Brahman. Brahman is the real winner and the reason I got 2nd; against Hot Tubs it breaks Tour Guide and Hive for cheap so you don't need to install any other breakers, and against Rewiring CI it breaks Loki for 1 and Mogo for 3. Proco helps offset the downside of bouncing Paricias. It happened to be huge in matchups against the incredible Aginfusion deck that surprised everyone with IT Department and mythic ICE you needed to get by fast. Heartbeat was for Rewiring CI as the card that strictly shuts down the kill (Mercs and Guru can get MCA'd, Spoofing can be killed through, etc) but also gives legs against PU (it is not as good as Feedback Filter for that purpose) and means you don't have to think in Punitive or Mushin matchups. It did amazing work on stream in my CI matchup but I don't think it's anything near mandatory, I've used Maw instead of Hearbeat online in similar lists which is a lot of fun. Trope is not my technology and I didn't face matchups where it did enough work, but I believe in a less aggressively fast corp meta it is worth considering as a means of keeping Aesops/Clot lock alive; in retrospect I'd rather have played something else for this specific tournament.

My favorite game of the weekend with this list was R6 against Tristan Von Zahn on Aginfusion, where he got an IT Dept. behind Mogo with no rezzed subtype ICE, 7 counters on it and I had to figure out how to trash it with very middling economy. It's rare you intentionally faceplant a Tithonium you can't break, and it's even more rare when that is the line that allows the win. R3 against...someone else (I didn't remember your name, please let me know!) who played the Aginf deck was also amazing; in that game I lost a nailbiter that finished with me losing to a Vanilla and him scoring out with exactly 0 credits left over despite psi games being involved; I felt absolutely outplayed and it was awesome. I also had a fascinating game R1 against Justin Paro on what I belive to be TBBs CTM list; it was an insanely close game with an unfortunate end, but Justin was the sweetest guy and I'm so glad to have gotten to play him. I just really like that Aginf deck guys. Of course, my games with the World Champ were fantastic, even if the second one wasn't remotely close.

Overall I think the deck is good, but it will need to adapt a lot if there's hope for it to have a good matchup against strong glacier-style decks like Wilfy's corp list. I didn't have an incredible record with it, there was some major pilot errors, and my corp definitely carried the day.

Props to everyone I played against, and major thanks to the Cleveland ANR community for helping me test a bunch of nonsense that led to my decks. The ANR community is phenomenal and I'm so grateful for everyone being willing to put up with my anxiety and awkwardness at these events. It was the most fun I've ever had playing, and I can't wait for next year.

6 Nov 2017 MrHuds0n


6 Nov 2017 qvm

Congrats! Would have loved this deck to be turned into full arts. I myself am a huge ProCo/Hyperdriver fan, was cool to see the diversity in Hayleys

6 Nov 2017 TR1S

Cheers for the game and the shout out. I realize in hindsight that aside from the illegal play that lost me the game, I think I ought to have double hit the Mogo with the IT department each turn to prevent you from having the cash to break it and trash. Losing it was huge and an enormous mistake on my part.

Congrats on the placing - this deck is sick and it’d have been sweet to see it in full bleed.

6 Nov 2017 CritHitd20

Yeah, the Mogo play was tough, but between the open R&D, the TFP you had to hide, and me forcing the ITD counters every turn it seemed like too much to keep up. I think giving up the TFP was probably the best play, maybe allow me to get through spending what you offered on the Mogo for the Tithonium and see if I take it so you can hopefully lock remotes for the game, but there was so much going on (as there always seems to be for Hydra). Otherwise my only out with my draw was farming TW counters and hoping the constant runs on the remotes and the clicks from ITD keep the two centrals clear. So sorry about the Nisei thing, would have been a whole different game if it stayed in hand.

We need to petition FFG to include a bonus full art Heartbeat with Wilfy's deck. Best of both worlds.

6 Nov 2017 stoppableforce

We were totally rooting for you from the airport. :D Good show! Shame about the lack of full-bleed Heartbeat (and Brahman), but you still did an amazing job.

6 Nov 2017 cinnadream

Excellent deck, great plays. Heartbeat is such a cool include. Congrats on runner-up!

6 Nov 2017 Syntax

Hi, I currently play Aesop Conspiracy Exile from cavant43 with a lot of fun and we have 22 common cards, with some of the same tricks (like the joker console, which in my variation is a Gauntlet) :) If you ever play with 3xDhegdeer, I'd suggest droping Maven somewhere here.

gg !

6 Nov 2017 TR1S

Yeah I think that’s the correct assessment. My play has to be to find a rototurret or tracker to make the run more dangerous and then use the Ag ability to keep throwing you into tithonium. At that point your answer is the big TW play, so realistically I need to have score the Nisei in order to have a way to diffuse that.

You absolutely should do that. I’d be down for a heartbeat as that art is really cool.

6 Nov 2017 spags



7 Nov 2017 MELLONE75

well done man

7 Nov 2017 percomis

I've used Maw instead of Hearbeat online in similar lists which is a lot of fun.

Maaan, I wish you'd stuck with Maw :D Very well played, congrats :)

7 Nov 2017 CritHitd20

Thanks, you too! I promise I'll keep using the Maw version on the casual Jnet lobby. :P

9 Nov 2017 flowerscandrink

Thanks for dropping some Top Deck love in your write-up. I have to extend you an invite now!

26 Mar 2021 Telcontar

@qvm -- I agree! I think it's great that FFG published full-art versions of the 1st place decks, but I would have loved to see the 2nd place decks, too. I don't think I'm the only one who would have purchased them.

And @CritHitd20 -- I know this is belated, but congratulations on your strong finish at 2017 Worlds. And thanks for the lovely design work and write-ups you do for Nisei! :D