Telling Time (2nd APAC)

Jai 1930

THIS AUTHOR'S HOT TAKE: You can keep your Wage Workers and your Tatu-Bolas, Federal Fundraising is the most busto card in the new set, and y'all high if you think otherwise

If someone came up to you and said that there was a way for the corp to replace their mandatory draw with the above effect, every turn, for the rest of the game, and the runner's only way to interact with this ability risked instantly losing the game, you'd call them absolutely crazy, and yet here we are...

If you're still confused, the specific interaction is between Daily Business Show and the newly released Federal Fundraising, which combined, lets you look at the top 3 cards of R&D, send the worst one to the bottom, the safest to the top, and the best to your hand - optionally drawing the second card as well if you wish, at the cost of leaving the top of R&D unguarded.

The net result is that, once going, the deck has amounts of agenda control unmatched since the Sensie and Whampoa days, and it does something even those decks of old couldn't do, which was to make R&D effectively immune to random single access. The combination is defended by ARES and the R+ ability, meaning that even a single trash in a turn can make for a game-crippling tempo swing, especially when backed by Oppo Research.

Oppo also has the distinction from Hard-Hitting News that you don't actually need to be richer than the runner to be able to connect with the card - which naturally leads to the inevitable conclusion that all stay-poor asset decks spiral into. The deck does have certain issues with dumping excess credits to keep Bladders live, and I found myself having to resort to more and more creative methods in order to duck the 4-cred threshold.

It has to be said: the deck is highly decision-intensive, and while I never ended up going to time all weekend, there were points where it was pushing uncomfortably close to doing so. I caught myself committing minor misplays regarding Rashida fires and Spin rezzes all weekend, none of which were visible to the spectator's eye but could have dominoed into much bigger problems were my opponents able to make the right reads. And credit to them, eventual winner @charliedmcb made the right calls, scoring 5 points off a perfectly timed single Twinning run against a triple ARES score. Well played.

Due to the time constraints posed by the set release, I had nowhere near as many games as I would have liked to practice and refine the concept, and it's only through the fire of competition where I was able to reflect and develop Opinions(TM) on the deck - so think of this list as more of a proof-of-concept!

For that same reason, card slots in the deck aren't as set in stone as they might seem to be. Freedom of Information could very easily be Project Beale for example, and Predictive Planogram (which I did not play a single time on the day) would be much better served as another Grid. That being said, I'm 100% convinced that the shell of this deck is good and extremely resilient to the majority of asset hate in the meta (sorry Aeneas Informant), and I'm sure better minds than mine can take it further with more time and experimentation.

Credit is due to @augustuscaesar, @profwacko, and @haveroffun; our conversations sparked the genesis of this deck - wacko ended up bringing a very similar version with -SanSan City Grid +Tollbooth and ended up placing 13th, so kudos to him as well.

As well, @nbkelly and @bking have been my rocks through this frenetic testing period - I deeply appreciate your snark and enthusiasm. And to the rest of APAC who trusted me to carry your torch, I'm honored by your faith, and my only regret is that I couldn't carry it the rest of the way.

ABR friendos

Jai out

3 comments
7 Aug 2023 ThePatrician

An excellent showing Jai. Thoroughly watching your games and tracking the building conversations. Always iterating. Always running.

8 Aug 2023 Kikai

Well played. I'm so glad that asset spam is still alive. How did it test against freedom?

8 Aug 2023 Jai

Freedom is advantaged in the first turns when the initial wave of burst econ is enough to tide over the first round of Ping and VSA facechecks, and you can afford to take an early Oppo to the face and keep trucking. But once the first ARES gets scored out (either from behind a gearcheck or with a FA assist), it flips to be far more grindy than Freedom is comfortable with - especially if Threat 3 is online.

The way I've played this deck so far, it doesn't actually need that many rezzed assets on the board at the same time, and it doesn't feel good to be checking and trashing multiple unrezzed things per turn as an ID without innate tempo generation like Hoshiko.

I believe the back end of my R3 game vs Bridgeman's Consume Freedom was caught on stream, do check it out if you're interested!