theBigBoy's Battle of Wits, Blizzard Edition (4-1 1st @ OtG)

Ajar 1555

Like many Netrunner players, I was left searching for a new Corp after MWL 2.1. Recalling my love of both Mushin no Shin and Efficiency Committee, theBigBoy gave me this list. I played it quite a bit, and thoroughly enjoyed it, win or lose. So when the Mead Hall Off the Grid Community Championship came up (tournament description in my Runner list writeup), I thought this would be the perfect deck to play.

This is the exact original list I got from @theBigBoy, published with permission. He did ask me to give him feedback, but after testing several variations, I concluded that his original list was already optimal for this build.

So, what the hell is going on with this deck?

Ruse 1: Mushin no Shin

When you have Mushin no Shin and an advanceable card, you usually Mushin advance. ALWAYS put the fourth advancement on. If you can’t, do something else. If they're running your Mushins, 4 brain damage >>> 3 brain damage.

If you have a choice of Mushin targets... well, that’s why the deck is called Battle of Wits.

There's some strategy to timing Mushin plays. I'll sometimes money up and delay Mushin so that if they ignore it and run centrals, I can afford to rez ice. I'll also keep an eye on my opponent's hand size, and frequently ask about cards in hand. Sometimes I'll Mushin aggressively and allow central pressure if they're low on cards; other times I'll Mushin when they have a full grip and Earthrise out just to show them I'm not afraid of their hand size. It all depends on the game state, your read of your opponent, and how baller you're feeling.

I think my favourite Mushin play of the day was a simple but effective ruse: Vitruvius for a Cerebral Overwriter, shuffle my hand, and Mushin an EffCom.

Second favourite: Mushin no Shin Vitruvius vs a Monolith deck with 1 card in hand, then leave it sitting there for a turn when they decline to run so that I can make money in order to triple advance it again the following turn and get a pile of counters.

Note: I don't usually Mushin SSL. I'd rather the Runner steals that from central accesses so I get paid without having to do any work. I'll do it in a pinch, since it certainly makes scoring out faster, but the other two agendas are typically better Mushin targets.

Ruse 2: Combo scoring

Efficiency Committee is the 1B to Mushin's 1A as far as making this deck work. An example combo...

  • Play Clones are not People
  • Score EffCom (from previous Mushin no Shin)
  • Biotic
  • Install 2x Vitruvius
  • Take EffCom clicks
  • 2x Kaguya
  • Archived Kaguya
  • Kaguya

You just scored 7 points starting from one successful Mushin no Shin bluff.

There are many, MANY other combo lines you can take. Vitruvius counters from earlier Mushins sub for Archived Memories and save you clicks.

You can also use EffCom clicks more freely if you scored EffCom early before you had other combo pieces -- sometimes I'll use EffCom before playing Ultraviolet so that I can IPO or install an extra ice or something afterwards.

Ruse 3: Brainstorm

Just one, to keep cheeky facechecking runners honest. Sometimes I'll discard it just so they see it in Archives and fear all of my facedown ice.

Ruse 4: The last sub on Fairchild 2 & 3

In this deck, the brain damage actually matters. In a pinch, you can even make a remote and play NA or IAA games if one of the ice is a Fairchild.

The tournament:

Round 1: Mitchell on 419

The expose tax is really annoying, but IIRC I eventually stuck an Overwriter in this one.

Round 2: @sray on Emergent Monolith Ayla

After the Monolith comes out, he has one card, so I take the opportunity to Mushin Vitruvius. He doesn't run, so I leave it, make money, and then put 2-3 more advancements on it the next turn before scoring it. He gets Feedback Filter, so the murder plan is truly dead. It takes a while, but eventually with no Clot to worry about I close the game out with triple Biotic into Kaguya recursion shenanigans and Clones.

Round 3: @johnpav on Emergent Monolith Ayla

No Feedback Filter this time! Monolith is still bad, but the inability to interact with fast advance and lack of HQ multiaccess is a real killer. At game point, he gets ~5 HQ accesses each at about 35% to win, but never gets there and I combo out.

Round 4: @tundinator on Adam

Finals game 1: @kalennoreth on Reavershop Wu

These games were streamed starting here.

This deck is an absolute blast to play. If you've ever played a combo deck or a Mushin deck, this is all the good pieces of both in one spicy, spicy package. Huge ups to @theBigBoy for designing this hilarious monster.

16 Apr 2018 moistloaf


16 Apr 2018 adquen

So it's once more a meta where Corps are just too bad and it's time to play this stupid thing again? :(

17 Apr 2018 Monochr0me

Can anyone tell me why this (and a lot of other recent decklists) are "Pre-Rotation"? So they aren't legal in current tournaments? That seems strange... Is this a mistake?

17 Apr 2018 Ajar

Have you updated your collection to exclude Core 1.0 and cleared your browser cache? If not, do that and log back in.

Beyond that, this list doesn't show as pre-rotation for me, but sometimes others do if the non-Core 2 version of a card happens to be the one that's in the deck.

17 Apr 2018 DavidMac

Saddening. I don't agree that [y/n Mushin] decks are worthy of accolade.

17 Apr 2018 DavidMac

That said (and maybe a bit too grumpy on this end) it certainly looks effective ;)