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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.