Nasir Meidan's Philosophy

Okay, I’ve been meaning to write something about Nasir Meidan for quite a while, since I’ve played around with a lot of builds recently, but somehow I never did. I didn’t submit it as an article because 1. it’s not really extensive or detailed enough and 2. because I’m also looking a lot for other viewpoints and suggestions. So, here’s what I think about Nasir Meidan.

First, the card itself:

Nasir Meidan
Identity: Cyborg • Faction: Shaper
• Link: 1 • Deck: 45 • Influence: 15
Whenever you encounter a piece of ice that was just rezzed, lose all credits in your credit pool. Gain credits equal to the rez cost of that ice.

Nasir’s ability changes the game that he plays quite a bit. First, it gets rid of all his Money, no matter how much he has, and second it makes the corp have to pay the rez cost of ICE directly to him. These two characteristics drive his deckbuilding and play.

Nasir loses all of his money when running into ICE.

  • He has a strictly limited number of credits with which to deal with ICE.
  • He wants a place to deposit his credits in the middle of the run, so they aren’t wasted.
  • He will not be able to stockpile credits very well. This makes him very vulnerable to traces, even if he has enough link to make them not able to tax him. If the corporation wants to, they are easily able to succeed on any trace against him. This includes most sources of tags.
  • His lack of ability to stockpile credits also makes him extremely vulnerable to taxing. He is virtually unable to run through a taxing server three times, and often is unable to even get through the second time.
  • He often has just enough to break a piece of ICE, but not enough to trash something with a high trash cost.

Nasir gains all the money the corp spends on ICE.

  • He is very rich. This means he wants to have many expensive cards, in particular programs and hardware, in his deck because the cost doesn’t make as big a difference.
  • He wants the corp to rez many pieces of ICE. Derezzing expensive ICE or trashing ICE both make the corp give Nasir more credits at the risk of giving him many free accesses.
  • He has an easy time paying through a server for the first time, and so cares more about setting up his rig so he can get through at all than about saving enough money to be able to break all the ICE.

Keeping these general attributes in mind, what specific cards or classes of cards are useful? Now, I realize there are too many of these to say all of them and still be readable, but here are some of the most relevant.

  • Personal Workshop
    This is the big one. For the measly cost of 1c, it gives you a credit discount a turn for the cards on it, lets you install cards from it in the middle of the run, and most importantly, dump your 4c on a Toolbox right before hitting the Pop-up Window. This is a 3-of card in any Nasir deck I can imagine, and I often mulligan aggressively for it.

  • Kati Jones
    I was having a hard time against a Red-Coats style deck until I thought of including Kati, which made this matchup much better. While she can lead to bad situations, she’s absolutely amazing at keeping your tempo even when the corp has rezzed a taxing central server or has an agenda installed in an expensive-to-enter remote. Armitage Codebusting can also fill this roll, needing less preparation, more flexibility, but a much lower scale.

  • Battering Ram / Gordian Blade
    If you have these two breakers out, they become one more place you can dump your money if you are worried about not getting through a server. They are also efficient, work against all ICE of their kind, and are at exactly the right price range to get out cheap by facechecking.

  • Recurring Credits
    There’s a reason I waited to put this down. Although there are some cases in which you’re missing just 1 credit, often the opportunity cost of these cards are just too great, because your deck is specifically made to have a use for all the credits you need to dump. However, despite this, they are a valid inclusion in a Nasir deck, just not automatically in every deck like Personal Workshop.

  • Ice Derezzing / Destruction
    This is a key part of Nasir Meidan’s deck structure. Although most of the cards that do this require influence, they make the corporation have to rez more ICE. Derezzing allows to target the most expensive pieces of ICE so you can gain more money, but parasite allows you to get rid of taxing ice with low strength like Komainu and Tsurugi.

There are also multiple cards that can make the game very hard for Nasir Meidan, and you need to keep them in mind if you are playing him or against him.

  • Midseason Replacements
    This is probably the best card against Nasir Meidan, because many of his important rig pieces are resources, and he’s almost never able to beat such high a trace. If you’re playing against NBN, you should take money off Kati and Armitage earlier, Your personal Workshops will get trashed, so make sure you have everything off them that you need before you steal an Agenda.

  • Sea Source / Scorched Earth
    Similarly to Midseasons, you’ll have a hard time beating the trace, and what’s worse, you can’t avoid triggering it very well. Plascrete Carapace should be at least a 2-of, because it’s the most sure way of not getting killing of meat damage.

  • Ash (Caprice less so)
    One theme the counters to Nasir share in common is traces. Ash combines this weakness with his main purpose, which is taxing. Nasir doesn’t set up as much as other runners, which lets him trash ash first click and run back after setting up a bit, but it’s often very hard for him to get through the scoring Server the second time, and so ash is almost as good as a 1-time score enabler. This is one of the cards I’m not sure how to deal with, and I’m looking for help here.

  • Pop-up Window / Pup
    This is the one reason you want to run recurring credits - to get you through these two pieces of ICE. Instant Parasites are also a great way to deal with lost cost ICE. Generally, though, the usefulness of these cards is good, but rather limited, against Nasir. Still, you have to have a plan for how to deal with cheap ICE.

That’s it; I’ll post the deck I’m using in a few hours.

The Book of Nature

Nasir Meidan: Cyber Explorer (Upstalk)

Event (4)

Hardware (13)

Resource (11)

Icebreaker (6)

Program (11)

15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Upstalk

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

This isn’t what I actually played with, which had some datasuckers, but it’s close enough and I think this is better. SMC is actually not that useful, and I’m thinking of getting rid of it and adding more breaker copies, because they work better with Personal Workshop, but it’s more reliable, which is why I haven’t changed it. Donut Taganes is partly a meta call against CI, which would otherwise be good against this deck, but I might change out a copy for something else.

The way this works is you get a PW down early, put expensive breakers/hardware on it, and then facecheck all the centrals to get money. For remotes, don’t run unless you’re pretty sure there’s an agenda, because your first run is non-refundable. ES taxing ICE with high strength, Parasite taxing ICE with many subroutines, and instant parasite pop-ups and pups.


@SneakySly can change the category to Deck Archetypes for you


Totally awesome post, looking forward to the list!

Btw, one card I think is very good in Nasir is Liberated Account. It’s a pretty straightforward way of banking cash in a format that can be withdrawn fast enough. Shame it costs influence, though.


Thanks; got the list up.

Liberated accounts is actually a great idea - I think I just forgot it existed. It does only have 2 inf, so it could definitely have a place, maybe instead of the donuts.

Also of note, he’s the only runner who I feel can actually make use of Wyrm. The deck I’m toying with right now isn’t quite competitive yet, but when it gets going you literally just trash every single piece of ICE the Corp rezzes. I’ll try to post up a list a bit later.

Looks interesting, to be sure. I tried fooling around with him before we had the complete spoiler, it didn’t work out so well for me. If you can make it work well, I’ll be impressed and happy to see it.

One weakness of his that you haven’t mentioned is NAPD Contract (and, to a much lesser extent, Fetal AI or even Future Perfect). Kati should help with that some, as a means of recovering money quickly, but I was finding scoring NAPDs difficult when the Corp can rez any number of Ice (Chimera being the most irritating) and effectively shut me out, even if I could break them. As noted, Kati might help as she can give you what you’ll need for several runs all in one go. Even other asset trashing might be difficult, if it wasn’t for the influence I’d almost suggest Imp.

My impressions of Nasir have been that he takes too long to set up for what is ultimately too little benefit (though if Blue Sun becomes very prevalent that may change). I look forward to being proved wrong.

With my build, Chimera is one of my favorite ICE to see. I just plop a parasite on it (fuelled by the money I got from the rez) and then get into the server.

You’re right about NAPD contract. I should definitely have mentioned that and SanSan City Grid (as a proxy for powerful, high-trash cost cards).

My impressions of Nasir have been that he takes too long to set up for what is ultimately too little benefit (though if Blue Sun becomes very prevalent that may change). I look forward to being proved wrong.

The thing that makes Nasir so good is that he can set up a really powerful rig (2 RDI, Cybersolutions, Cloak, Dagger, Gordian Blade, Battering Ram, Crescentus) without needing to spend much temp getting money. Also, Nasir, unlike the rest of the shapers, is primarily powerful in the middle game, when the Corps are used to having their servers safe. Once it gets to the late game, there are so many ways to use Nasir’s power against him.

Also, it definitely needs some finetuning. If this build isn’t too similar to what you used, maybe you could try it and report back?

Hunter was the one that actually caused me issues – though I suppose it doesn’t see much play outside CI. 1 to rez, 4 strength. It was annoying as all hell.

It’s pretty similar, but there are definitely a few differences. Donut, for one. Social Engineering I’m not super sure of since it doesn’t actually (by the card text) combine with Nasir’s ability – works with PW, though, I suppose.

One of the other issues I ran into that isn’t solved quite here is tagging. Femme might do the trick, but I found things like Data Raven (and Hunter) to be particularly tricky because of how resource-heavy my deck was, and how expensive it is to break Sentries with just Cloak and Dagger. (Which, I mean, I can totally understand running. I just ran into difficulty with it against CI).

Hasn’t there been some discussion about whether this actually works with Nasir’s ability? Don’t you gain the credits and then instantly lose them again?

Nice catch turning Xanadu into economy!

As regards Battering Ram and Gordian - I can see that the attraction is that you can boost their strength before potentially losing credits to a rez, but if you’re using Personal Workshop is there not a case for just using more efficient breakers like Torch?

I think Ghost Runner goes in this deck, once it’s realeased. It’s a small credit battery with the stealth key word.

The main concern I have with this deck at the moment is that it kinda needs everything to come out in a nice order. You don’t want to draw programs unless you’ve already got an SMC or Personal Workshop. Dagger is almost useless without Cloak, which means you need a memory solution pretty quickly or else you can’t assemble a full rig, let alone get the Parasites and Crescentus working.

Does a Jinteki matchup not really slow you down? You can’t really facecheck anything until you have a Sentry breaker and you have one which is insanely expensive, and one which is pretty much useless by itself. It feels like this could stifle your economy.

I’ve also seen some pretty successful Supermodernism decks that aren’t too fussed about giving away some free accesses early on. If the Corp just chooses not to rez, where does this leave Nasir? Slow-drawing into RDIs?

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Xanadu + Rook would be fun

Xanadu, rook would be fun. I was also thinking it might be fun to do some expose tricks with Blackguard and Snitch combo. Snitch at the very least gives you the opportunity to jack out before encountering the ice. So you don’t need to suck at pop up windows.

The more I think about it the more I see snitch mitigating basically all risk in this ID.

How long does the ‘just rezzed’ portion last? Assuming it talk to that run only. You run, corp rezzes, it’s just been rezzed. Run ends, it’s no longer just been rezzed.

I’m leaning towards building a blackguard deck out of Nasir. You already want snitch, and blackguard is a nice juicy 11c to leave on a workshop and get paid off during the early game. Snitch+Blackguard means that you not only have the power to jack out and force a pop-up rez at the same time, but you have WAY more control when using your ability or social engineering.

One issue I’m having with Nasir is that he’s pulled in a lot of different directions: personal workshop, cloak/dagger, blackguard–and none of these have any particular synergy with one another.

Pop-ups are easier solved with cc/smc parasites, which are cards that you want to have in your deck anyways.

Snitch seems to me too expensive to be worth it - Nasir has memory problems already, and it won’t be that useful, because Nasir really likes to facecheck pretty much everything but pup and Pop-up-Window. Even for cheap ICE, you’re going to have to go through it some time, so why not now? If you have money to lose, you shouldn’t be facechecking with it whether you’re running into cheap or expensive ICE. I’m nowhere near 100% sure, but I do think Blackguard isn’t the way to go. I hope it works out for you, though.

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Snitch to me is possibly the most unsung card in Netrunner, and I’m always looking for justification to run it. Much in the way that plascrete carapace doesn’t JUST protect against scorched earth, because you also give up any need to remove tags (a click and 2 bucks every time you would have cleared tags), but frees you ffrom the burden of having to be well ahead of the corp in credits just to run, which Nasir is obviously very hard up for, probably needing 3 plascretes.

Now, to extrapolate to Snitch, so many doors open when you get to expose an ICE and jack out every run. You can run on click 4, you can run when you have valuable cards in hand, you can run when valuable programs on the table, you can run before you have all your breakers, you can run just to see an ICE–you can play so much Netrunner with this card.

Nasir presents a lot of new avenues the corp has to consider, but in general, one of the reasons cards like Activist Support failed are because they leave the power of choice entirely with the corp, who has much more information than the runner about how to proceed. Blackguard will not only eliminate those choices, but compound on his ability to turn running and rezzing into his bankroll.

Also, are we not talking about how badass Dirty Laundry is with him?

On the other hand, Toolbox provides several advantages over Blackguard – though it really might be better, I don’t know. The recurring credits make breaking things like Pup, Pop-Up, Quandary, Hunter, etc. easier. The memory is just generally more useful than not, and the Link provides a much-needed defense against traces in a deck that’s likely to have lots of money but also be spending most of it constantly. It’s also slightly cheaper.

I guess I should have framed my thought differently–I don’t necessarily think that Nasir will be BEST with blackguard, but I’m thinking BLACKGUARD will be best with Nasir, if that distinction makes sense.

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Perfectly, and I quite agree. It’ll do at least as much for him as it could for Silhouette.

I had been tinkering with a deck design for the last month or so but couldn’t find an identity that really capitalized on the mechanic enough, I think it’s right up his alley.

Core of the deck is over mind + MU and LLDS Processor and recursion. I also think he works exceptionally well with the new Cerberus breakers and stealth breakers. Ghost runner is his friend in my opinion along with the already mentioned rook and snitch. His early game is unrivaled in my opinion because he makes bank when things get rezed. I’m in the toolbox camp as well, maybe even rabbit hole or the dyson memchip as well. Helpful AI also seems good with him. The new current for shaper will help with the 0 Rez cost. I think he is going to be very strong in this cycle.

cspieker runs the wyrm/grimoire/datasucker/parasite in his nasir deck. as long as you have a datasucker token or two or a few recurring credits every non lotus field ice in the game is going to die a horrible death as soon as its rezzed.

its interesting for sure and in the game i played against it i basically had to sit on all my ice that was higher cost to rezz than str and try to get him to burn his parasites on eli’s/viktor 2.0s.

Here’s my current version.

Cortez the Killer

Nasir Meidan: Cyber Explorer (Upstalk)

Event (13)

Hardware (9)

Resource (10)

Icebreaker (5)

Program (8)

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I took out the Grimoires and replaced them with Toolboxes to save influence to add another Wyrm, Sucker and Cyberfeeder. It makes it more consistent at getting out the Wyrm/Parasite combo, but it’s also pretty slow trying to get that expensive Toolbox out. I ran it a bit on OCTGN today, to not so great results. Awfully hard to get enough Clone chips out to kill all the ICE you need to kill.

The basic idea is to kill all the big ICE via insta-parasites. They are usually easier to kill with Wyrm and Nasir, using their rez costs against them (e.g. Janus completely funds his own destruction). The Inti and Zu.13 are there to allow you to save parasites for the big stuff (and Lotus Field of course). Inti is actually sort of useful as it has the strength-holding property. Maybe the Zu.13 could be a Gordian, but the cheapness and the cloud hosting are keeping me with Zu.13 for the moment.

Anyway, still tinkering with it. I think Wyrm/Sucker is a great way to utilize the Nasir ability. It seems like an awful lot of Nasir decks are built around just avoiding his downside, rather than utilizing his ability to the max. Anyway, like I said, it seems a bit rocky now, so suggestions welcome.

Oh, and BTW, the name is tentative. I wanted an Explorer who basically went out and just destroyed everything he explored. Not sure if Cortez fits this bill or not.

edit: fixed formatting :slight_smile: