A farewell to Tablet Asa (aka the pre-salvaged meta review)

Defining Decklists

These lists/archetypes were all selected for effective contributions to the meta established at Continentals and running through to Worlds 2020. When deck building and tuning, these were the lists used as reference points for judging the effectiveness of a potential decklist. When testing, these were the decks we focused on learning to beat and expected to see form a majority of the lists in the cut.

Titan

Pedal to the metal fast advance. Pretty much an ever-present in the cut for the majority of 2020. Showed up in the early season when the majority of runners were trying to deal with rather effective Azmari lists, Titan provided a strategy that could sit down opposite Apoc Anarch and reg Crim decks happily. Often passed over by the process collective (mainly due to personal preferences), although MikeP did give the list a run out for York SC. After the 20.06 banlist hit and the meta entered the post-Azmari era, Titan lists shifted slightly but changes were limited to minor differences in ice suite and the number of RLC’s.

It was used most frequently and effectively by a contingent of US and Canadian players, clinching the Asia-Pacific Continental Championship (piloted by Whiteblade111).

Decklist reference

Palana

We’re going to focus solely on Palana here, although the rushy Jinteki archetype does also show up in some numbers with Aginfusion decks. It is the Palana lists that were generally most performant in the 2nd half of the year after Azmari died away. Again there is little deviation between iterations, with the agenda suite and spread of operations and assets being close to static. Notable flavour differences include Data Loop, DRM and IP Blocks.

Generally considered extremely consistent but with a lower ceiling on the overall power level in comparison to Tablet Asa.

Decklist reference

Asa

The team corp list of choice for the post 20.06 meta and pretty successful taking 1st at Euros and 4th at Intercontinentals for chrisferg, then landing 7th at Worlds for MikeP. A few minor changes between iterations as the year crept by, reflecting small shifts in the runner meta, but the core remained the same as Angedelo’s original. At its heart an asset spam deck, the list stretched the runner across a wide range of potential wincons and provided the pilot with a robust and flexible gameplan. In our eyes this was the top choice for corp for the entire 2nd half of 2020, we loved playing it, and we’re sorry to see it’s time in the sun come to a close.

Decklist reference

Leela

Without a doubt the biggest riser in popularity for the 2nd half of 2020, Leela stole almost a quarter of the field in tournaments post 20.09 banlist. Generally splitting into two distinct variations with the slightly more aggressive Annicam version edging it in our estimations over the more traditional Engolo build. Of particular note is the significant shift away from 419 as the reg criminal ID of choice. The main drivers of this change being the effect of Leela’s ID ability on the faster corps and the fact that the slower midrange decks started packing more virus hate to combat tapwrm, incidentally clipping turtle’s wings a little.

Both lists provided excellent econ and enough flex in tech slots to provide options for dealing with Asa while not crippling the rushy Jinteki match up.

Decklist reference

Hayley

Shaper as a whole generally underperformed through the entire Uprising meta, struggling to pack in all the tech cards needed to cover the range of corp threats alongside a powerful enough econ engine and breaker suite to keep up with the pace of the meta (even though one of the most powerful new econ cards in Ashes is green in Rezeki, standard Hayley decks have the least free mu to actually install it). Nevertheless certain devotees put up intermittent solid performances with Hayley and Wu, starting with a standard pawnshop set up and eventually deviating into a hybrid apocalypse shell. While none of us played much shaper prior to binarydogs picking up the apoc variant at worlds for the spice factor, she was generally incorporated as a checkbox on the corp testing plan to make sure that there was at least a tenuous plan to beat a runner who could install clot or imp.

Decklist Reference

Geist

Probably the biggest winner from uprising, while Boomerang is strong in all criminal decks the addition of Prognostic Q Loop turned Geist into an ice breaking machine able to generate absurd amounts of tempo from very few clicks and get into very secure looking servers multiple times in a turn with very little pre-installed on the board. NWE did most of the work developing and iterating on the build and took it to a dominant set of performances over continentals and worlds. Most midrange corps had pretty much no way to win against a Geist with a non-terrible draw leading to their complete removal from the meta, other than Jinteki glacier decks with huge numbers of hard end the run effects. It is and will continue to be a deck that any corp absolutely has to have a plan against to be taken seriously when looking at tournament candidates

Decklist Reference

Hoshiko (and a little bit of Freedom)

To be frank we generally overlooked Anarch throughout 2020. Although Hoshiko was frequently one of the most popular runner IDs, we never felt like the overall power level of the decklists was seductive enough to pursue over the Leela or Geist decks. True to form this lack of respect, was repaid in full by Hoshiko and Freedom taking 1st and 2nd at Worlds 2020. Both lists were keen meta calls and likely don’t exist in such extreme forms moving into the post-Worlds meta. We’ve linked both below for reference.

Decklist Reference

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