The Crimson-Leaves Strike, 2015 Store Championship Winner

Xie Belvoule 341

This is the runner deck that won the 2015 Event Horizon Games Store Championship.

So my first round adversary was the brilliant physicist Kevin, we flipped for it and I played Tenma first. It was an unusual game, a maddening blitz, a kinetic duel of play and counter play. I ran HQ encountering a data raven and decided to go full tag me and siphon through it, he countered with closed accounts, but Tenma is just too fast and i was back to 9 credits by the next turn. Kevin was in a difficult position as I makers eyed into multiple agendas and he had to keep a delicate balance between rezing ice and attempting to advance agendas. TWIY was fast, but Tenma had money on his side and the game ended when i had enough credits to run a server and pay to steal an NAPD that was protected by a red herrings, making it 9 credits to steal. Thankfully my Tenma deck is a journey into money, loads of money.

In my game as runner against my 2nd round opponents RP I was "Holding Down on the Headrest" which Musashi described as a way of conducting yourself in combat in which you do not allow your opponent to raise his head. I rushed to get setup and began to attack immediately as I hoped to end the game quickly by locking down R&D, my installed feedback filter made me fearless and I rushed headlong into multi-accessing R&D. On turn three I accessed and stole a Future Perfect, a crippling blow, but instead of withdrawing and rebuilding my strength i felt the cadence shift in my favor so the next turn I ran R&D again, saw another Future Perfect, failed to steal it, then ran it again and stole it. With two Future Perfects in my score area I felt I had all the time i needed to withdraw and build up, he scored two agendas in this window but i had all the time in the world and could chose when and where to strike the killing blow, which i eventually did at my own leisure. I don't blame my opponent, two Future Perfects stolen by turn 4, there was little he could do, I rushed and secured an irrecoverable lead.

My Runner game against my third round opponents PE was a one sided affair, I drew a feedback filter and kati jones in my starting hand, all but sealing his fate before the game even began. I was "Holding Down on the Headrest" again and he only managed to score out his three house of knives to little effect, while I stole all three of his braintrusts. Honestly he was a good player but PE is almost an auto lose to my Tenma between feedback filter, security testing, and desperado. Their was just no way he could do enough net damage to me to make it matter, I think at one point I ate like 8 net damage or something and still had a mountain of credits. I simply buried him in an avalanche of credits, chalk up another win to loads of money.

I played runner first in my fourth round, my starting hand was a feedback filter, some money and kati jones. I proceeded to make somecredits, throw down kati and installed feedback. I kept his sundews trashed as best as possible and made bank off security testing, desperado, and kati jones. I don't remember the specific events of this game other than the fact that I again used capitalism to crush my foe in a tide of credits.

The finals were actually a repeat of my first round, as again my adversary was the brilliant Kevin from the first round. This round went very similarly to the first with TWIY unable to out run and out spend Tenma, resulting in two agendas stolen early in the game and finishing with a strong multi access into R&D for the win.

23 Feb 2015 pang4

I've been looking up and down for a functioning Kenma deck, and this seems really cool :)

A couple of questions:

Public Terminal? Is this a lot better than Prepaid VoicePAD? I just don't see why you wouldn't run PAD...

How has Crash Space worked out for you? Better/worse than Plascrete Carapace?

23 Feb 2015 Xie Belvoule

I've found Crash Space to be infinitely better than Plascrete Carapace. To me carapace is a dead draw against every faction save Weyland, while the crash space can be used in every match up, their is no point to run carapace if your criminal as crash space is superior in every way.

On the point of terminals, I've tried the deck with Prepaid VoicePAD and I've found the Public Terminal to be a better choice for a number of reasons. For starters my most common opening is click 1 install Desperado, click 2 install public Terminal, click 3 Dirty Laundry into archives, click 4 draw, but this opening is impossible with Prepaid VoicePAD. The other problem is that their are precisely two cards that prepaid would work for that terminals don't, those two cards being Sure Gamble and Special Order, which just isn't enough cards in this deck to justify Prepaid VoicePAD. Perhaps if I had more none run event cards, but I'll typically only play out two Sure Gambles and two Special Orders on average so I can't see myself changing over to the much less efficient Prepaid VoicePAD for a whole four events. The other reason I prefer Public Terminal is because it makes nice Power Shutdown fodder. Where I would be loath to lose a Prepaid VoicePAD to a Power Shutdown, im more than willing to lose one of my Public Terminals. The last reason I prefer Public Terminal is simply because some turns end with me being unable to do anything productive other than click for a credit, I've found those moments to be perfect opportunities to play out a Terminal.

23 Feb 2015 pang4

Aight :) If you wanted to run the 3rd Inside Job (seems really good in this style of deck), what to remove? Or do you just run 47?

23 Feb 2015 Xie Belvoule

I used to run three Inside Job but I would get flooded with the dang things and be sitting on two or even three of them with no viable play. Plus folks just don't try to rush out an agenda behind one piece of Ice like they used to, so I don't see a lot of use for them much in my deck anymore other than to by pass really expensive outer Ice or to Inside Job into archives to trigger Security Testing for cheaper than it would cost to break the Ice.

24 Feb 2015 skydivingninja

Hey I was there! Pretty sure it was you and one other guy running Ken, right? I was very close to dead last :P. Congrats on the win!

25 Feb 2015 Kroen
  1. Why a 2nd Feedback Filter over say a 3rd Datasucker?
  2. You really couldn't find anything to cut to make the deck 45?
  3. There really wasn't a single card in the whole of the Lunar cycle worth including?
26 Feb 2015 frost-duty

@Xie Belvoule I have to say I find your analysis of crash space deeply flawed. Why do you think nobody runs it instead of Plascrete? Simply put you will just get tagged and then the corp pays 4 to trash both crash spaces. Given that you have no recursion suddenly you have 0 protection vs scorch.

26 Feb 2015 Xie Belvoule

Frosty, the only way they could tag me is trough a SEA Source as I always clear tags and I will always have more money then the corp, so this scenario is highly unlikely. However of it were to occur It would only happen in a scenario where I've risked it for a critical agenda. At that point the next turn would simply involve spamming The Maker's Eye and Legwork to steal the game winning agenda.

26 Feb 2015 Xie Belvoule


  1. Consistency, two Feedback Filter guarantees that I can get one in my starting hand if I need it. The third Datasucker is a dead draw, I've found two to be sufficient for my needs.

  2. No I couldn't, as I prefer to run two of in my deck instead of three. Besides what would you cut? Would you run only one Kati Jones, John Masanori, Public Terminal, Desperado? No you can't because it ruins the deck's consistency. Trust me, I've been running this deck for a solid year now, tweaking and refining it, if their was something I could cut, I would. Also an extra card doesn't hurt as my meta has a lot of Jinteki.

  3. No, the Lunar Cycle was the worst cycle produced so far by FFG. Their wasn't a single card worth running in the entire cycle, as far as Criminals go.

26 Feb 2015 Xie Belvoule


For the record all the players in my area have switched over to Crash Space instead of Plascrete Carapace as it has more utility and performs the exact same function. A single Plascrete Carapace costs 3 to install, protects you against a double scorch and has no utility or use outside of Weyland match ups. A single Crash Space costs 2 to install, protects you against a double scorch and can be used for other things such as clearing tags from Account Siphon, Snare! and Data Raven. I think I'll take the card that does the same job for less credits and has some utility and use outside of a single match up.

26 Feb 2015 Kroen

How is your deck as consistent as you claim when it has 0 draw effects?

26 Feb 2015 Xie Belvoule


Did you miss the two John Masanori?

1 Mar 2015 Alrik_40000

@frost-duty : I have to say your analysis is extremely specious. A dismissive statement like "You'll just get tagged" does NOT a compelling argument make. Could you demonstrate exactly how this is to occur? Can you explain why a card that is a complete dead draw against every other faction but Weyland is inferior to a card with functionality in several different matchups?

I've seen this deck in action quite a bit, as Xie is one of my regular opponents. The way this deck deals with meat damage is primarily by not floating tags at all. Crash Space allows you to clear tags without cutting into the money you just made on an Account Siphon, for example.

The other way this deck deals with meat damage is by outmoneying the Corp. This deck makes money hand over fist and very rarely takes tags from SEA Source - I've seen this deck actually outmoney Blue Sun. If they can't make the trace stick then you have nothing to fear.

Crash Space is a Resource, so it's immune to things like Taurus and Power Shutdown. Snatch and Grab will work, but how much will it cost to make the Trace stick?

The only practical way to get rid of it is via the standard Corp resource trash action, and of course you must be tagged for this to occur. Where will these tags come from? Data Raven, or perhaps Snare? Unlikely, if you're not running on last click, which is usually foolish anyway. There are no self-inflicted tags other than Account Siphon, and those usually get cleared on click 3 & 4, so that's not an issue either.

In the event that the Corp does land a SEA Source they have two clicks remaining. What now? Do they attempt to Scorch through the Crash Spaces? If so, then they fail to kill the Runner due to Crash Space eating six of the eight damage. Do they spend the two clicks to trash the Crash Spaces? If so, then they lose the kill-window as the Runner simply clears the tag next turn.

One final thought: one day, Plascrete will be gone. Crash Space is here forever.

@kroen : Card from Lunar Cycle? What, like Bribery? Power Tap? Unscheduled Maintenance? We've looked at a lot of the cards from Lunar, and came to this conclusion - there was nothing from Lunar Cycle worth putting in this deck just for the sake of putting cards from Lunar Cycle in this deck. Everything we tried from Lunar actually made the deck worse, which just reinforced my opinion that Lunar Cycle is the worst set released so far, at least as far as Criminal is concerned. Some goodies from Lunar ended up in his Corp deck, namely Near-Earth Hub and Troll, but nothing for the Runner deck made the cut.

Re: card draw - this deck performs so much work compression. It nets on average 3 credits, a card from Masanori, and a Datasucker token on one click. That's FIVE clicks worth of effort in ONE. It's so efficient that it occasionally is ok to simply click to draw. Usually this is done at top of turn to see if a run event such as Dirty Laundry comes into hand. With a Public Terminal or two out, runs become insanely profitable.

Also, why would you add in a redundant third Datasucker? This deck usually only needs one, and with two copies in-deck and the card draw from Masanori it usually shows up in opening hand or very soon after.

Our meta is very Jinteki-heavy. The second copy of Feedback Filter is absolutely vital to survive in a tournament environment here. That may change if PE falls out of favor, and a few of the Jinteki players have begun to switch over to RP, but for the moment it turns every matchup vs. PE from a harrowing ordeal into an almost guaranteed victory. Even against RP, it takes the edge off cards like Komainu and Psychic Field. If you don't believe me, take Minh Trahn's word for it. He was the number two at Worlds this year, and he discusses in his comments on his PE list that his only losses at both the Dutch and Belgian Nationals last year were to players that were packing Feedback Filter and making tons of money via Kati Jones/Security Testing.

Minh's list can be found here:

1 Mar 2015 frost-duty

@Alrik_40000 I could list ways in which you can get tagged in the game, but that's a little pointless, we all know what they are.

Although crash space is immune to things like Taurus and Power Shutdown it does come with its own weaknesses that you have to acknowledge. I am not saying that Crash Space is totally useless, or that it is not a reasonable alternate to plascrete, but I will say this, both Crash Space and Plascrete are old cards and everyone has had ample time to play with both of them, and yet all decks run plascrete and crash space is hardly ever seen (even amongst criminals). Now, either you are saying that everybody has been doing it wrong, or something doesn't quite add up here. Why has nobody else been doing this before? IMO it is because this approach just isn't that reliable.

It strikes me as odd that you accuse me of specious reasoning when the reasoning behind not getting tagged is just having more money than the corp. I don't think you can ever just make the blanket assertion that you will always have more money. Hell, if I'm super lucky as Blue Sun I can have over 40 credits by turn 4 with repeated OAIs. If I was a weyland playing against this deck I would totally use a SEA to kill both if I suspected that was the only meat damage protection to open up kill windows later.

If I was NBN you could also take an early game midseasons leaving you with a bunch of tags you have to clear before putting crash space on the table.

5 Mar 2015 Alrik_40000

"I am not saying that Crash Space is totally useless, or that it is not a reasonable alternate to plascrete... yet all decks run plascrete and crash space is hardly ever seen (even amongst criminals). Now, either you are saying that everybody has been doing it wrong, or something doesn't quite add up here. Why has nobody else been doing this before? IMO it is because this approach just isn't that reliable."

To quote the Dude, " Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

It certainly sounds like you're saying it's useless. I'll agree that it isn't worth considering out-of-faction. It just has so much synergy with a more aggressive playstyle, especially factoring in the money that it saves on clearing Siphon tags. What I'm saying is that if you can keep the Corp poor enough by forcing them to continually Rez ICE everywhere due to Ken's constant running, and hit them with Siphon to cut into their bank, then the likelihood of being Scorched goes way down.

If you get blown up, you get blown up. You take your loss, shake the opponent's hand, and move on.

Is it foolproof? No, but it's been working just fine for Xie so far...

Besides, Plascrete is just boring... : )

"It strikes me as odd that you accuse me of specious reasoning when the reasoning behind not getting tagged is just having more money than the corp. I don't think you can ever just make the blanket assertion that you will always have more money. Hell, if I'm super lucky as Blue Sun I can have over 40 credits by turn 4 with repeated OAIs. If I was a weyland playing against this deck I would totally use a SEA to kill both if I suspected that was the only meat damage protection to open up kill windows later."

You can make that assertion if you're gaining 6 credits, two Datasucker tokens, and a card draw with two clicks. That's not even factoring in Kati Jones, Dirty Laundry, and the fact that Public Terminals let Ken get paid to play Run Events.

If you can pull off repeated OAIs in a meta chock-full of tutorable, recurring D4v1ds and Cutlery ICE-trashing then more power to you. I actually gave up Blue Sun because I could never get a Curtain Wall bounced back anymore.

If you spent a SEA just to blow up some Crash Spaces, then you've probably lost too much tempo with that move.

"If I was NBN you could also take an early game midseasons leaving you with a bunch of tags you have to clear before putting crash space on the table."

Look, let's be realistic... If the opponent is playing NBN, it's FAR more likely to be packing Biotic Labor than Scorched, so there's not that much likelihood of meat damage coming from them. If they've got that many tags on a Runner, there's a Psychographics or Closed Accounts coming soon, which is a more paramount concern than whether or not Crash Space is going to stay on the table.

All in all, I agree that Crash Space isn't worth taking out-of-faction when Plascrete is available. However, in-faction I think it's a perfectly reasonable replacement for Plascrete as long as it fits your playstyle.

1 Apr 2015 Alrik_40000

UPDATE: This deck has now won two Store Championships, at Event Horizon (Garner, NC) and Game Theory (Raleigh, NC). Additionally, it was the number one seed going into Eliminations at our home store, Atomic Empire (Durham, NC), eventually placing in the Top 4 there.

1 Apr 2015 linuxmaier

@frost-duty Just to chime in here, one reason you see Plascrete Carapace more than Crash Space is that Plascrete Carapace allows you to do something that Crash Space doesn't: float tags.

Lots of Criminal and Anarch builds like to have the option of just saying "Screw it" and floating the tags if they feel like they can follow up on the pressure. Crash Space doesn't help you at all with this because if you leave the tags for a turn, they'll get trashed.

That said, the OP said specifically that he never floats tags and always removes his Account Siphon tags. This isn't as painful as normal because of the Crash Spaces but it is a tempo loss in terms of clicks (being able to sipon them into poverty and then exploit a whole turn of pain is really valuable and isn't an option if you have to spend half your turn clearing the tags from the Siphon). Put simply, the OP's playstyle makes Crash Space much better than Plascrete Carapace, but that isn't true for everyone's playstyle, which is why you'd see Plascrete Carapace more often. I'd definitely not say everyone's running it, though. In my Leela, I run Utopia Shard instead as my flatline protection, smashing away the kill combo pieces after they tag me but before they can fire. I run no Plascrete Carapaces and no Crash Spaces and I know a lot of other Leela players who do the same. It's all down to playstyle and what kind of protection helps you given how you play.

1 Apr 2015 Kroen

Why Clone Chip over Retrieval Run? RR has several advantages over CC in this deck:

  1. Synrgizes with your ID ability
  2. Synrgizes with Public Terminal, Desperado, John and Datasucker
  3. Installs your program for free. True, your rig doesn't benefit much from it, but a single Femme never hurt anyone.
1 Apr 2015 Kroen

Oh, and also tutorable with Planned Assault (if you had it).

1 Apr 2015 Kroen

Why is there no edit feature?! anyway, most importantly, RR can be replayed with SOS

1 Apr 2015 CJFM

@Xie Belvoule Gratz on the win!

2 Apr 2015 Alsciende

@Kroen comments are uneditable so that people take them seriously :)

6 Apr 2015 gammanet

how does this deck fair against the mighty Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center? it seems like the asset econ could get ahead of you.

9 Apr 2015 oschebell

Is there any way to replace Dirty Laundry? I don't have creation and control : its impossible to get in Australia. Thanks.

20 Apr 2015 Alrik_40000

@Kroen Because Retrieval Run can't be used mid-run.

@gammanet I'll just put it this way: With Security Testing out you gain two credits for every one the Corp makes off a PAD Campaign or Marked Accounts. Add Desperado to the mix, and you make three credits for every one the Corp makes on a PAD Campaign or Marked Accounts. If you have two Security Testing on different assets... well, you get my point.

This deck loves to see the unprotected asset servers of a Near-Earth Hub deck.

@oschebell I suppose you could replace it with Bank Job. It's not nearly as good, because it isn't a Run event and it relies heavily on the Corp having a remote that you can get into for free/cheap. Maybe Three Steps Ahead would work as well.

4 May 2015 CrushU

As someone who also was at the Game Theory store championship, that field was very favorable to this deck. NEH Fastrobiotics was everywhere, and this deck eats those pretty handily, as you point out... Unprotected asset servers are candy to this deck. I was running a Butcher Shop NEH, but never played against this deck. I think it would've been interesting at least.

As someone who used to play Crash Space in my Criminal decks, Plascrete Carapace + Networking is passably better. If I depend on Crash Space to save me, I must hold a full grip at the end of the turn. I can hold only 4 cards and be saved from double scorch with Carapace. (This is not trivial.) That said, Crash Space is not a bad choice. But you don't see it out of faction for a reason... (And yes, I tried it.)

Congrats on the win, though. :)

7 Jun 2015 michaeln

You don't want to lose your Corroder to a Power Shutdown and then have your Clone Chip be the last card in your stack with this deck. Particularly against a barrier-heavy Blue Sun. Just sayin'.

Have enjoyed beating a NEXT Design: Guarding the Net deck with it though.