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Why isn't anyone playing Akitaro Wanatabe?

You break even the first ICE you use his discount on, and any further ICE is profit. Furthermore, his rez-to-trash ratio is pretty good. What am I missing?

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Well, Beanstalk is also profit.

You need to rez 4 pieces of ice with Akitaro in the server to match Beanstalk. How often do you have ice towers 4 ice high? How often do you think you could get Akitoro into that remote before they’re all rezzed?

So generally, better to play another economy card.

I think you misread the card. He provides a 2 credit discount per ice, so the first ice you rez with him saves you a credit and every ice after that saves you 2. That means that being able to rez just two ice with him makes him equivalent to a Beanstalk, except for the fact that the runner will most likely trash him at some point. So, Akitaro + 2 ice rezzed with him = 3 credits saved for the corp and 3 credits spent by the runner. That’s much better than a Beanstalk.

The problem with him is that he saves money instead of making money. He’s conditional. If you don’t see him until the late game, he’s pretty much useless. Also, to get the full benefit from him all the ice you rez with him needs to cost 2 or more. And finally, he’s a core set singleton, so many players (myself included) only have two copies.

That said, I’m going to try him out today :slight_smile: . I’ll report back on whether he was useful or not.


Ah, fair point. I did misread.

I still don’t think you tend to see ice towers much bigger than three, and very rarely all unrezzed (that’s a big investment of cards and installation costs not doing anything). At two influence, there’s almost always better cards to give you money.

The best place for him is in a deck that puts out piles of cheap ice, reliably. The Foundry is not a bad call.

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I’ve been playing Akitaro Watanabe in my RP deck for a while. He works really well with Chimera, especially early game.
Though I have recently swapped him out for a couple of Melange’s, not played it enough yet to decide if he is going back in or not.

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EtF too, since they can afford to stack a lot of ice. The deck I’m trying him in usually ends up with 3 ice on several servers, and 4 or even 5 ice on a single server isn’t unheard of.

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To be fair, he breaks even after the first rez if you count the click to install as a loss. Also it costs the runner…a little, to get rid of him. That said, slots as much better spent on less conditional economy as stated above. I find that newer players do tend to slot this card, especially when those people have Magic background. Having not played Magic a lot, I’m curious if this is coincidence or if there is an axiom that guides people to slotting him.

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In Magic, anything that generates more mana than it costs is considered good (and usually is good) until it is proved not to be.


Never even thought of The Foundry. Akitaro+Peak Efficiency could be an economic engine to be reckoned with.

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Niles ( @hhooo) and I have a love affair with this guy. We keep trying to make him work, but in every deck we put him into, he ends up getting cut. Just not high impact enough.


In the end, it’s just an economy card. The biggest problem is that it’s conditional, very dependant on when you draw it, and can often be a dead card.

It does have some good use cases, but still, I’d rather play another economy card that properly generates money

I think the problem with Mr. W is that he’s stuck on a server, and unique. If there were a way to move him to other servers when rezzed and installed, he’d be a reasonable and annoying and playable econ card. He’s just underpowered as-is.

Like, “[click], move AW to another server.” Or a paid ability window even–maybe pay a buck to move him, you could shoot him over to a remote server and save a ton of cash. Maybe overpowered at that point as a paid ability. But I would like him to have more teeth.


The fact that influence and deck space are factors is how I see it- one card and two influence for a possible savings on ice IF I see it early enough is a significant benefit, but deckspace is so tight that without specific synergy there will be better choices. I think if you tracked his usage overall you’d probably arrive at him being a semi-situational Corp Opus, in that maybe once a turn you save two credits instead of make them, and it will probably be used twice. If it is ignored other copies are dead draws unless you trash him yourself to move him to a remote or something, which is another click, for maybe another two not-actual-credits. It’s just too underwhelming for it’s influence and impact since we’re limited by deck space.

Even “rez cost lowered by 1, 1c move him” would be op. He would be untrashable.

Combine him with AIZ --> instant ICE rez at a 5 credit discount. Not bad for building a mega server

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Excited to see this thread this morning, as I have been wondering the same thing, mostly in regards to myself: why haven’t I experimented with this guy more? My recent idea was to slot him in a sentry-heavy Shutdown Jinteki, either conventional PE style or maybe even RP. I think the biggest issue is that he is conditional econ, and I think you have to play at least 2

I saw a recent video, I think it was from teamworkcast, in which a Blue Sun player had AW and AIZ on HQ and played a Hive every turn and rezzed it for free, only to bounce it next turn, for a couple of turns, that is like a free to play (after setup) infinite Restructure per turn, cray cray.

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At the low low cost of 3 deck slots! But really, yea, not bad especially if you’re doing mushin-OTG

I was running AW with Midori, another long forgotten sysop, to swap in program destruction or tax.

Basically I think people don’t like him because he’s kind of a 1-shot: you’ll rez him to rez the ICE on the server and then he has either not as useful (how many more ICE are you going to play) or gets trashed. Not bad, but not great in Jinteki and costly to splash.

worth mentioning that he lost in like 10-12 minutes too, despite getting that dream setup quick!