I think you bring up some interesting points and different angles I hadn’t considered. I do wonder if Astrolabe might be the right call, and by dropping Desperado for Astrolabe, you can use that extra influence for a lot of cards that might improve your overall game strategy – like bringing back Clot to get more mileage out of SacCon.
I don’t think I agree with some of your other suggestions, though.
For example, Slums might not be tutorable, but even if you find it mid-game you can break the oppressive cycle against decks like Mooninites by removing the cards that allow them to keep recurring their assets.
When I have played Shaper against asset spam decks, I usually find myself struggling in one or both of the following areas:
- I don’t have enough clicks to run everything important.
- I don’t have enough credits to trash everything important.
In theory, Aeneas Informant penalizes unprotected assets by giving you hyper-efficient clicks for credits. It doesn’t help with #1, but it helps a ton with #2. Desperado helps with #2, but Astrolabe helps indirectly with #1 by giving you burst economy so you can more efficiently run and trash the remotes. Slums helps with both #1 and #2 indirectly by undermining the Corp’s recursion strategy, so you have fewer things you need to run in the first place. So, if I had to pick a tech card to cut, Slums is definitely not first on that list.
Temujin, while an amazing economy card I have really been enjoying out of Smoke, doesn’t seem to solve the glacier problems that I’m facing. As soon as they ice up archives, it really undercuts your economic engine, and it doesn’t give me the mid- to late-game burst economy that I need to grind out that final access or two for the win. And against asset spam, in the mid- to late-game I’m running just as efficiently with my clicks for credits against every single unprotected asset remote without installing Temujin just by running Net Mercur + 3x Aeneas Informant (and + Desperado, if it stays). I’m not sure I want to spend 6 influence for the possibility of drawing Temujin early in hopes of using it for early-game burst economy, when I could instead focus on setup and getting into the mid-game faster.
Your point about including Beth is a great one, and will help with either #1 or #2 above, especially if they’re high on credits and it gives me more clicks. I think I will need to test NACH to see if it suits my style. I really don’t like decreasing Mad Dash, and I especially don’t like the anti-synergy between Mad Dash and Film Critic. I think we might just have different views about the best way to pilot Smoke against asset spam.