Please help a noobie complete his Argus-Mushin-WinWin deck

Hey fellas,

I have a really great idea on how to build a really strong Argus- Mushin deck (I was inspired by Bigboy’s Battle of Wits), but I don’t know which Ice to put in. I always have that problem. I posted my thoughts on the cards I already put in under the incomplete decklist. I have a feeling that this deck could work wonders, but I have no idea how to build it properly. Don’t worry, I know that SSL is not out yet, but it will be relatively soon. Could someone help me out with this? Thanks guys.

Argus Security: Protection Guaranteed (Order and Chaos)

Agenda (10)
3x Hostile Takeover (Revised Core Set)
3x Project Atlas (What Lies Ahead)
1x Utopia Fragment (The Source)
3x SSL Endorsement

Asset (4)
1x Zealous Judge (Fear the Masses)
3x Cerebral Overwriter (Creation and Control) ••••• •

Upgrade (2)
2x Bryan Stinson (Quorum)

Operation (18)
1x Exchange of Information (The Liberated Mind) ••
3x Consulting Visit (The Liberated Mind)
2x Preemptive Action (Intervention)
2x Audacity (Earth’s Scion)
3x IPO (Terminal Directive)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
2x Punitive Counterstrike (True Colors)
2x Mushin No Shin (Honor and Profit) ••••

Barrier (2)
2x Tithonium (Free Mars)

Code Gate (3)
3x Authenticator (Earth’s Scion) •••

Sentry (1)
1x Archer (Core Set)

14 influence spent (maximum 15)
21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Card Choices:

Argus Security: Protection Guaranteed: When playing Mushin No Shin, we hate it when our gambit fails, and Runner steals our agenda. This ID ability will make him think twice about running remotes. If he steals an agenda, takes a tag and keeps it, we can play Exchange of Information to punish him. If he removes a tag, or opts to take 2 meat damage instead, that will open him up to Punitive Counterstrike. Consulting Visits allow us to play all 3 of these operations.

SSL Endorsement: The most important agenda in the deck, that creates a win-win situation for us when played with Mushin No Shin. It’s an economic tool even when runner steals it, so we will gain 3 on our next turn, while the runner will probably have to spend and 2 to clear a tag. That is 5 swing, that might just be enough to land Punitive Counterstrike. If he keeps a tag, because we will gain 3, we will always be able to trash at least 1 of their resources.

Project Atlas: Super useful agenda when over advanced. If we use it with Mushin No Shin, advance it up to 4, and then advance it 3 more times the next turn before we score it, we will gain 4 agenda counters. That is insanely powerful tutor effect. We can use it to fetch Hostile Takeover, Audacity to fast advance another Project Atlas, punishment tools like Punitive Counterstrike or Exchange of Information, another Mushin No Shin…

Utopia Fragment: If we manage to score this, stealing agendas will become absolute nightmare for the runner. If we advance an agenda up to 4 using Mushin No Shin, that will be 8 to steal, not to mention a tag or 2 meat damage that will come afterwards, further enabling Punitive Counterstrike and Exchange of Information. Now imagine if the stolen agenda was SSL Endorsement. Nasty.

Cerebral Overwriter: We will use this card to slow the Runner down. With 1 or 2 max hand size after hitting this, he will be busy drawing or playing stuff down. If the Runner has 1 max hand size and steals an agenda later on, you will probably be able to flatline him using Punitive Counterstrike. If the Runner doesn’t run this, we can safely install Bryan Stinson next to it and get filthy rich.
Authenticator: Cheap, taxing piece of ice that pays for itself. The Runner could take a tag to bypass it, but that creates a whole different set of problems for him, especially if he steals an agenda.

Authenticator: Cheap, taxing piece of ice that pays for itself. The Runner could take a tag to bypass it, but that creates a whole different set of problems for him, especially if he steals an agenda.

1 Like

Have you played it yet? How did you feel about the ice?

There seems to be a lot missing from the pasted decklist—I count 40 cards (10 agendas, 4 assets, 2 upgrades, 18 operations, 6 ICE)—though it says “49 cards (min 45)” at the bottom.

I think if you want to play a Mushin Punitive deck, you should focus on those cards & play three of each. I’ve played a lot of Mushin & when you don’t draw it & your deck is centered around it, you tend to lose pretty handily. All those Overwriters & 5/3s you have no way of scoring become much worse.

I don’t think Authenticator is worth it. It’s often only good enough in SYNC. Taking a tag is not much of a punishment when you’re not running QPMs. I’d cut 2 Authenticator to find the influence for a 3rd Mushin. Other ICE that fit in: Mausolus (taxing, cost efficient, tagging), Hortum (anti-AI), Veritas (taxing), ICE Wall (cheap gearcheck, doesn’t get walked over by Aumakua like Vanilla does), IP Block is better than Authenticator. This is a fine set of 15 ICE:

Barrier (5)
3x ICE Wall
1x IP Block •
1x Tithonium

Code Gate (6)
3x Mausolus
3x Hortum

Sentry (4)
3x Veritas
1x Archer

1 Like

Tnx mate. I always find it hard to decide which ice to put in the deck, so that is why I removed most ice from the list. Most of the ice you listed have crossed my mind, but I didnt know if my economy could support them. You are right about the IP Block, it’s a great idea, and it is way better than Authenticator. I was also thinking about 1 Meru Mati, instead of 1 Ice Wall. What do you think?

Yeah I like Meru Mati. The only reason I don’t swap one in for an ICE Wall in every Weyland deck is grabbing 3 ICE Wall just makes putting the deck together a little easier.

FYI, a lot of people don’t consider these Mushin decks fun to play or fun to play against. Also, don’t expect opponents on to play like they would in person. For example, when I come up against a mushin-advanced card on turn 1, I sometimes run it without drawing up just to get the game over with. I’d never do that in person or in competition. Winning against these decks often takes a long time and requires treating my cards as blanks–not fun. TheBigBoy was even critical of this style of play and considered the battle of wits to be a sort statement of what the game had devolved to. (not his words)

That said, I started off with a mushin Harmony Medtech deck. It’s a good way to get some wins under your belt without ever being reliably good, and its a good way to learn how good players adapt their play to find wins. Mushin decks are probably better than when I used to play it simply because Vamp and Account Siphon are out of the game. I got tired of it pretty quickly though, because corp roulette becomes boring pretty quickly.


Also worth noting that SSL endorsement isn’t actually out yet. I don’t know how much of a dealbreaker that is for you but people won’t expect to be playing this online or in person.

Just like any other deck style someone dislikes playing against, there are significant tech slots against Mushin decks. Expose is painful, hand size increases neuter most traps you can’t just play around, Apocalypse is devastating, and good damage defense will do significant work. Even without specific tech, there are lines of play to dismantle a Mushin plan.

It probably seems a bit trite, but facing a Mushin deck is just another playstyle to adapt to, like FA, glacier, asset spam, or tag’n’bag. Some people like it, some don’t, but I dispute that it’s any less valid way to play Netrunner.

Well, you’ve not said anything I disagree with. I’m just trying to help a new player understand how some folks might perceive the deck, and how my experience played out with a similar style deck when I was new. I never claimed that it’s invalid (unfair?). I just don’t like taking the time to try to beat it. Many people don’t like playing against decks that treat the vast majority of cards/money for a single purpose. In fact I dislike losing to them so much, that I’m pretty teched out for them and win most of the matches. But winning against these decks isn’t very satisfying to me either. One of the things I like about plaing runner is making decisions about the value of learning hidden information…then accounting for accumulating information in my decisions. But running against mushin decks often has much less informational value that will influence future decisions. Especially with recursion. (I think you may want 3x preemptives to ensure a constant overwriter threat). So on jnet when corp Mushins on turn 1, it usually takes a little effort to be a good sport and play the match out carefully rather than being rash so I can get on to a more satisfying (and often more difficult) match.

For reference, here’s the nasty deck I took to my first store champs. Win rate was 50%, eyes-rolled rate was higher.

I saw your deck, seems really fun. And also I could put in Back Channels! And it’s also in faction. Maybe instead of Bryan Stinson?

1 Like

That would make sense here. Bryan isn’t really going to do anything here 98% of the time. There’s not that much to really tax the runner below 6c.

I think if you play this deck you’ll be surprised how rarely it actually does what you want it to. You have 2 mushins, and 3 traps. That’s…well, if you hold them in hand you might fire it off once by midgame.

Your meat damage game is also kind of incoherent. Like, you have 3 consulting visits…so you REALLY want to be firing your operations, but how on earth are you out moneying the runner with 3 hedge funds and 3 IPOs as your whole econ engine? Particularly with no ice to speak of?

I feel like you are serving 2 masters here, and your deck is falling into the gap between them.

If you want to be a Mushin deck, then be a mushin deck. Have 6 traps, 3 mushins, 3 contract killers. Go Skorpios and aggsec their rig! Slot a dedication ceremony and a pair of back channels, and use your traps to make money! Live the Mushin Life.

My experience suggests you’ll only win about a third of your games, but that third is constant, no matter how good or bad the other player is. You will also make a lot of people really salty.

1 Like

Well its a work in progress, and the deck is incomplete. That is why I put it out here. What type of ice do you think i should play? I like the contract killer idea, kills the runner if they stepped on cerebral earlier, great against film critic too, which probably murders this deck right?

Do you have some skorpios decklist i could try out?

My work filter keeps me off NRDB, so I’ll try and build one from the ground up.

Ok, our plan to this game is something like “Plan A: We score free angedas by mushins and advancing naked. Plan B: We score behind ice whose breakers we have trashed: Plan C: FA”

So our agendas are a Gov takeover, 3 Project Atlas, 2 5/3’s, lets say High Risk Investment, and 2 Hostile Takeovers. That’s 8 of our 49 cars.

Next we want some ice. Let’s just take ten cheap barriers. Spiderwebs, bastions, etc. That’s 18 cards, then toss in a pair of code gates, say Hortum for AI hate, and a pair of Sappers to keep em honest. So we’ve used 22 cards.

We need some money, so let’s take the Transaction suite. We’ll get 3 beanstalk royalties, 3 hedge funds and 3 IPOs, putting us at 31 cards, and so-so as far as money goes.

Now let’s start cooking on the meat of this deck. We’ll take 3 Mushins, that’s 34 cards and 6 influence. Our mushin targets are presently all agendas, so we need some traps. Say 2 overwriters, 2 aggsecs and a Junebug. 39 cards and all our influence spent.

In terms of Mushin targets we now have 6 agendas (no reason to mushin hostiles, and 5 traps). The trap to agenda ratio is close to 50/50, so knowledge of our deck won’t necessarily tell them how to proceed.

We want 3 contract killers, they are the closest thing we have to in faction ambushes, and they punish the runner for letting us mushin and concentrating on centrals.

We’ll take 2 Hunter Seekers, because rigshooting. We’ll take 2 Shortage of Resources because wa-hey! That leaves us with 3 cards left, let’s go with 2 dedication ceremonies and a back channel.

Play Advice:

1: This deck is a little money light. If they hit you with the bad pub or lose 5 creds choice you nearly always want to give them the bad pub. Our goal is only to initially keep them out with expense, ultimately we want to aggsec/hunter seeker their fracters.

2: Mushin decks are all about putting yourself in the runner’s shoes. Don’t presume that they are counting cards and seeking winning strategies.

A mushin’d card is a resource. It sits there on the table, taunting the runner. Maybe it is a CK, so they better stay above 2 cards. Maybe it is a trap, and you are just biding your time on your back channels combo. Maybe it is an agenda, and you really ‘have’ 2-3 more points than they think. Don’t despair just because you put out an overwriter and they didn’t bite. Give it a bit.

Remember, you catch more fish at 6 than you do at 2. Nobody wants to be the clown who lost to Gov takeover naked. They’ll run the 6 advance overwriter. Treat every trap as the Gov Takeover. It goes without saying that you must also treat the takeover itself identically.

With Aggsec in the pool, you might want to cultivate the Mushin -> slap a barrier over it pattern rather than Mushin-> advance. Them hitting an aggsec with no breakers to exile is painful.

If they are under Scarcity and it is breaking them, expect them to bite more often. Feed them poison.

Consider leaving points on the table. If you have a mushin’d 5/3, and 3 points and a Hostile, you are often much better off scoring the hostile this turn than scoring the HRI

Remember that IAA is often a demi-Mushin, if your resources allow it. Do it if there is nothing else to do. An aggsec with 2 counters or one with 3 is functionally identical, and exiling their last fracter is worth the 3 clicks and 4 creds.

Never ever go to 0 creds, they will be able to check your garden of advanced cards without fear.

Sometimes you have to seeker something that isn’t a breaker.

Muck around with the deck once you’ve played it a bit. It wants an ark lockdown or two for the smarties who discard their conspiracy breakers, the dedication ceremonies are a bit cumbersome, etc.

But this should give you coin toss vs. most stuff. I played something similar (instead of Skorpios I think it was BABW) when SIFR made ‘for realsies’ corp play a nightmare, and I think I was 64%.

1 Like

So now I actually barfed in my mouth a little and I’m trying to figure out what do about this as if I already lose to it reliably. Congrats. You are officially an evil ANR Corp!

1 Like

You are too kind!

I feel like this element of the game is maximized against Mushin and (more broadly) trap decks. It’s why one of the best strategies is to…not run the Mushin’d thing and pillage centrals, trashing traps while gathering info. Knowing the card pool, credit thresholds for various traps, what’s likely to be in the opponent’s deck, how likely a card is to be one based on board state, etc. is all pivotal in these matchups.

I don’t disagree that some people dislike Mushin decks but I, for one, fell in love with Netrunner playing Mushin PE and still enjoy playing as and against them. While they may minimize some elements of the game (relative credit totals, ICE vs icebreaker) it highlights other parts (bluffing, risk management, cards as health) which are very interesting parts of Netrunner’s design. To each their own.

1 Like

gotta disagree about the information value of running R&D. Granted there are a couple of kinds of traps. But the fact that it was mushin’d tells me vastly more about the deck and leaves comparatively little information compared to running most other decks. The reason I run R&D against a Mushin deck is usually to maximize immediate reward from my runs…not really to gather information about whether I should run the mushin’d card. Usually I run the mushin’d card only if I think i have a read based on what happened the previous mushin that I didn’t run or can minimize the damage. R&D is where you win the game not gather clues.