WuBegone - Do The Shaper Dance (6-1 in Swiss, Worlds)

Aesynil 274

This deck was based on Wubicon from the Colorado meta and Mathandlove (with whom I coordinate decks with entirely too much!), but adapted to some new tech (Rubicon Switch is dead - Long live the Laamb). The name comes from my toddler son, who loves putting shapes into appropriately shaped holes, followed by doing what we have come to call his "shaper dance." They grow up so fast.

I played this degenerate deck because it captured my feelings about Netrunner. The game is over, so pick up your s***. You want to install ice? Nope, too bad, pick it up. You want to keep TRYING to install ice? I'll keep giving it back to you until the game ends. I was a record re-constructor and a Because I Can away from going full meme status, but figured I'd try to actually win.

This deck performed shockingly well across KoS and Swiss - in Swiss, it was defeated once by a truly brutal Biotech deck (you know who you are). With some luck and good play, it has some bad matchups, but no unwinnable ones. You basically auto-win against asset spam. Anything that cannot completely ice up all servers by turn 2-4 usually loses, as well as any corp deck that can't win by turn 4-5 (those that can are bad match-ups). A few key things:

Turn 1: The Setup. Your turn 1 is always some variation on installing 2-3 Au Revoirs and/or setting up to install the last one next turn. There are several ways to do it, and you almost always will get one of them, and hard mulligan if you don't. Sure Game => Click Wu 3 Times for SMC, install all 3. Flame Out => Click Wu 3 times (SMC's going on Flame-outs to spend the 2 credits from Flame out instead), install all 3. Start off with an Au Revoir in hand, against somebody who won't HHN you? Install Au Revoir SMC=>Au Revoir, run click 3 and jack out for 2 credits, install your 3rd SMC=>Au Revoir click 4. Scavenge in hand can, in a pinch, help tutor (Wu tutor Au Revoir, scavenge it to keep it in play), and gets you turn 1 install assuming you have an Au Revoir in hand already without running. Finally, Stimhack, in a pinch, can be used to install two of them and get you a turn 1 install - but it's better to not use them for that purpose unless if you have to. With a mulligan, you should almost always have your econ engine set up turn 1.

Turn 2: Gain momentum. Run 4 times and gain 12 credits. "But I have stuff I want to install.." No. Run 4 times, gain 12 credits. If the corp is smart, they will be locking you out shortly. IF they don't, you should run at least 3 times on turn 3 as well, because you NEED free money. "But what if they ice all the centrals?" This is where it gets dicey. You face-check everything. Start with archives, then a remote, then centrals, since that's usually their more lousy ice and/or their ETR ice, so less likely to hurt you. "But what if they're Mti?!" Run wherever, let them run you into something unhappy, jack out, then run somewhere else 3 times. Worse case, you hit a DNA tracker and lose 3 cards - but you're probably already broke from your setup, so who cares? Make sure an Anansi or something doesn't kill you. Cry if you hit a brainstorm, but that's Netrunner.

The Rest of the Game. By this point, if the corp is smart, they've iced everything, OR they are rushing out a win in a remote. Your game plan is different based on what course they take. If the rush is happening, you're spending time building up money and contesting remotes, and possibly installing more of a breaker suite. If you can, you are pressuring HQ/R&D so they HAVE to keep you out or lose the game to a 20-card turning wheel access. A turn for this deck is usually "Run HQ/RD (whichever one has one ice, preferably unrezzed if you have enough money to deal with whatever they do), break with Ankusa, jack out, then run/jack-out 3 more times." If you do anything but make 12 credits, you may get locked out and unable to bounce the ice when they reinstall it. You keeping doing that until you win. If they start building up a scary scoring remote, prep to make a run on it with engolo/ika if needed, but you really want to keep up HQ/R&D pressure, since that's where you make your money/counters. Some card choices:

Flame Out: This was put in to make the setup turn work, but it turns out it's an amazing card for Wu. Some plays include tutor Misdirection onto it, clear 4 tags, then let Flame-out trash it, free SMC credits, install a breaker onto it, us the credits to contest a remote, then scavenge the breaker off of it OR just let it get trashed to grab it later with Clone Chip, install Ika onto it and preboost and move Ika with Flame-out credits. There are more, I'm sure. Super flexible. You usually only install one, and the others get hit by Stimhacks or discarded.

The Turning Wheel: 3of was essential imo. You NEED to have one installed, so not only are you clicking for 12 credits, but you are gaining 4 tokens a turn. The corp may try to rush out the win and let you hit HQ - if they do, you get to run HQ, see all 5 cards, then run r&d and see 2-3 cards, and lock them from there.

Breaker Suite: Laamb and Ankusa are the star attraction, and often the only breaker suite you need until the late game. The combo is obvious - Laamb turns it into a barrier, Ankusa pops it back to their hand. It is super inefficient, and you basically need infinite money to make it work - which this deck makes. You haven't seen misery until you make somebody rez their Fairchild for the 4th time. Engolo + Ika are for late game, when you can't keep all of the ice in their hand anymore, or when their scoring remote has gotten a bit too deep. I didn't install them often, but they were essential to have.

Dhegdheer: Tutorable with full MU by Wu installing then scavenging, which I often used when I didn't see any mem chips and desperately needed to get an SMC back into play, Laamb usually lived on it. Started with 2, ended up being fine with 1.

Clot / Maxwell James / Misdirection / Citadel Sanctuary / Feedback Filter: My 5 flex/tech slots. Fast advance can be scary. Big remotes can be scary (and the link helps you run IP blocks for a profit still, without spending 8 credits to pop them to hand). Hard hitting news can be scary (and that sweet flame-out/misdirection synergy...). Meat damage and tags can be annoying to clear, especially when a click to clear a tag is losing 3 credits and a counter. Net damage can be deadly (I ran into two IG's during the day). Feedback filter is an I-Win button against kill Jinteki. "I click for 15 credits (with Beth) and pass the turn" is basically GG for IG.

Cyberdalia / Clone Chip / Self-modifying Code / Sure Gamble / Diesel: All pretty obvious

Scavenge: Another MVP. I cut extra breakers for these, and loved them. The best play is Wu tutor a card onto Dhegdheer, scavenge it off of Dheg, for a 2-credit discount and no SMC cost.

Ubax: You click for 3 credits. You really, really don't want to click to draw cards. Somebody suggested Daredevil - if you're doing well, servers have 1 ice at best, which you're promptly bouncing to their hand. Ubax was more consistent.

Stimhack: It looks like a setup card, but it's not. I played them as tempo cards. Corp looks like they're about to lock you out of HQ? That recently rezzed Fairchild got you down (and down to a handful of credits?) Stimhack and bounce that shit back to hand, and keep on doing the shaper dance! Corps will often install and rez one ice and breath a sigh of relief, thinking they got some space to build back up tempo - Stimhack takes it RIGHT back.

Mad Dash: They often just got hit by Stimhacks, but when you're accessing 12 cards from R&D, you may as well have Mad Dash.

I wish I could report on matches, but it all blurs after a while. I know I played 2 IG's, 1 CTM, 1 asset spam Mti (thankfully), 1 Azmari, 1 Argus, and 1 Biotech (the deck's only loss). I think the day would have been different had I seen fewer asset spam decks, but it performed as designed against those decks. Altogether, it was a pleasure to put together, to play, and performed better than I could have hoped.

5 comments
11 Sep 2018 FreqKing

Amazing deck, congrats on the strong results

13 Sep 2018 EnderA

Yeah, the Laamb + Ankusa interaction is fantastic in Wu Revoir, much better than the predecessors. The unrestriction of Clone Chip offers some interesting choices. I considered 1x Magnum Opus in case I got locked out of my Au Revoir engine. I also considered Film Critic for stealing annoying agendas early. Mad Dash is an intriguing option as well.

Flame-out is far better than Cold Read, which I was relying on as an early econ boost to get the engine going ASAP.

Maxwell lost a lot from the errata. Hernando Cortez (makes a lot of ice significantly more expensive to rez if they're not poor) seems like an interesting alternative, tilting the Ankusa tax war in your favor. Rezzing Fairchild 3.0 for 9 instead of 6 can make a huge difference.

15 Sep 2018 FreqKing

I also played Wu on the day and for the link alone, I think Maxwell James earns his keep. 1 through IP Block, pay the CtM trace for 2 . Value town, even if he never fires his trash ability. Keep Maxwell seems like a solid choice in my mind.

15 Sep 2018 Aesynil

Yeah - mostly for the link with the added bonus of messing with a scoring remote in a pinch.

17 Sep 2018 Sanjay

Using Mad Dash as the restricted card is really inspired.