Are you watching closely? 2nd at ANRPC Wausau, Jul 18

linuxmaier 688

This is a Criminal blitz/denial deck powered by the Breaking & Entering suite (Shiv, Spike and Crowbar) and our friend The Tech Lord.

It went 4-1 on the day, beating butchershop, NEH Fastro, Biotec Rush and RP blacklist and losing only to 1st place's deviant awesome Butchershop variant. I also played another friendly match against RP glacier and won. The deck's RP matchup is very strong and it's no pushover against the rest of the field, either.

The core idea of the deck is that the B&E suite are really enablers of the traditional Criminal running economy. Early game they allow you to quickly and cheaply assure access for a powerful run, and after your engine is feeding you cards the suite cheapens your runs to allow better returns on them by fighting tax.

The deck makes its money by running ( Security Testing, Desperado, Dirty Laundry, Bank Job, Account Siphon), it puts its pressure on by running (Legwork, Account Siphon, Crescentus) and, via Geist, Crescentus, Clone Chip and the B&E suite running draws you through your deck. All this synergy really reactivates the traditional Criminal running game, and it makes for exciting and powerful netrunner.

The non-negotiable parts of the deck are Dirty Laundry, Account Siphon, Legwork, R&D Interface, Desperado, Bank Job, Crescentus, Shiv, Spike, Crowbar, Clone Chip and Armand "Geist" Walker: Tech Lord. These tools all work together to make the deck do what it does: run cheap, make lots of money, deny the corp money and steal their agendas. These pieces are all necessary to make that work and I can't imagine the deck being as efficient or applying as much pressure without them. Bank Job deserves a special shout not because it works particularly well in this deck but because it's an amazing Criminal card in this meta. NEH and RP both make remotes to spare, and being able to put up 7-11 credits on a click is incredibly valuable and a great recovery click after a central pressure run.

Other cards in the deck are more on the level I'd consider optional, but I personally think they're the best card in the slot. Security Testing, for instance, isn't as strong as it is in the Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie deck that combos it with John Masanori and Datasucker along with the rest of the running economy. However, I think Datasucker and John Masanori are both weaker in Criminal now that archives has very cheap and effective ICE available, and free runs on the valueless central aren't as forthcoming as they were during Andy's hey-day. Even so, Security Testing allows you to put economical pressure on any server you want to and, crucially, punishes corps for not rezzing ICE on servers like archives or empty remotes. It also installs for 0, which is very good for the deck's early game.

Street Peddler is another optional card that I think is phenomenal in the deck. At 0 cost you play it as soon as you see it, especially in the early game. It will grab you breakers, or even Same Old Thing to help recur events it might trash. It will act as extra memory, keeping a disposable breaker or crescentus on hand but not taking up mem space. It will spring surprises on corps mid-run, derezzing or breaking ICE they didn't expect you to have. It will save you cash on your plethora of 1 cost tools. And on top of all that, it provides incredibly click efficiency by giving you all the above mentioned benefits AND a free draw when you burn it. The only thing keeping me from running 3 is the influence cost, which is tight in this deck.

One thing I don't think you need is any additional link. I know cloud was half of the selling point on the breakers themselves and my earlier versions ran a Dyson Mem Chip, but aggressive play and Crescentus make the math on high strength ICE hard for corps to justify. The ICE that really do a lot to shut down Criminal running economy are the mid-range taxers like Eli 1.0, Ichi 1.0, Lotus Field and Tollbooth. Getting your B&E breakers into the 4-5 strength range is ideal and totally feasible with just Desperado for memory. Breaking Tollbooth with Crowbar, Clone Chiping in a Crescentus and then derezzing it to make the corp spend 8 to charge you 3 and make you draw 3 cards is what this deck is all about. Pushing the B&E breakers into the 6-10 strength range is fun but unnecessary. If a corp rezzes >6 strength ICE against you, make them regret it by derezzing it immediately with Faerie if it's a sentry, or come back in later to derez it with Corroder against Blue Sun's big barriers.

Playing this deck is a fun ride and its engine gets online VERY quickly. You mulligan for ideally 2 economy cards (Sure Gamble, Dirty Laundry, Security Testing, Desperado, Street Peddler, Bank Job) and a breaker or pressure card, or two different breakers plus Account Siphon. Typically I spend the first turn drawing twice and playing Sure Gamble or free cards like Street Peddler or Security Testing. Another two draws typically sees me with two breakers at least, which you install. Turn three I usually have my whole rig ready and start poking at servers or, ideally, play Account Siphon. Take all the tags and don't worry about clearing them; you're making 11 credits from your siphons and often breaking in for free, sometimes derezzing ICE while you do it. The Siphons are very punishing in this deck and you want to abuse them just about as soon as you get them.

Once your rig is up and you start running, Armand "Geist" Walker: Tech Lord starts to kick in and running causes you to draw into more cards, often breakers or money or Account Siphon. Play what you get when you get it and keep putting pressure on the corp wherever they try to defend. Tear down their defenses and push them around, paying for it all with the money you steal from them or make from your runs. After turn 3 or so, you're an aggression machine that feeds its self new cards with each punch. It's an amazing engine.

The deck has felt very strong in testing and did very well for me on the day. I was particularly impressed with the RP matchup. RP likes to be able to invest in their ICE and use it to slowly build the board in their favor. Account Siphon and Crescentus ruins their good work and pushes them down into the range where the bids on psi games have very real economic consequences. If you can siphon them first click, taking them down to 8 or so, then run the remote and derez the Lotus Field they rez against you, suddenly they're looking at 3 clicks of runs against that remote where all they have to spend on psi protection is 3 credits. Maybe they lucksack into psi wins on all those games this turn, but they still have to worry about advancing the agenda the next turn. Agendas in remotes felt very vulnerable to me, which was a totally novel feeling against RP.

Anyway, I've gone on too long already. I'm really proud of the deck and want to thank the folks at for their help in talking/testing the deck, especially @Danwarr for picking up the deck and giving me good feedback, particularly about dropping Dyson Mem Chip. It's blast to play and I hope it helps bring folks' eyes back to Criminal.

20 Jul 2015 jrp

Congrats on the performance and thanks for the writeup. I faced a similar deck on OCTGN recently and it seemed solid. Excited to give it a try.

20 Jul 2015 siowy

nice deck. would you make any changes or have you made any updates so far?

20 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@jrp Thanks, it's a lot of fun! Breaking ICE for free and then derezzing it is the best. It's like Parasucker out of Criminal :D

@siowy I haven't made any changes to it, but I'm debating -1 Cerberus "Rex" H2 +1 Same Old Thing. Most games aren't going to need both Rexs and in the ones that do, Clone Chip and Levy AR Lab Access should be able to make the single one last longer. Running two was a conservative play that might have been an over-reaction.

Other changes would be more meta-based (-1 Plascrete Carapace, +1... I dunno, Shiv? Bank Job? Maybe Femme Fatale if you have more glacier and want to have another way to say no to Tollbooth) so I'd say you can tweak them to personal meta/taste. Grappling Hook might be a fun 1-of, but I haven't tested it.

20 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

In case anyone is interested, the ANRPC stream has my last game vs Replicating Perfection in it at 2:23. It gives you a sense of how strong free Account Siphonhons are in this meta.

21 Jul 2015 Danwarr

@linuxmaiersiphonspam.png Geist went 2-0 on the stream btw.

21 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@Danwarr nice, you won, too? It was funny listening to the commentary and having them say they'd seen the deck already :) which match were you? Definitely an exciting day out for the Tech Lord.

21 Jul 2015 Danwarr

@linuxmaier I was the 3rd match I think, right around 1:30 on the stream. Pretty much the same type game as yours against RP. Siphon + trash Corp econ = profit. It was funny listening to Soto and co talk about B&E.

21 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@Danwarr Nice. Yeah, the rp match up feels great. I should have trashed more asset econ in my match, honestly, but i was up 6-0 and just wanted to close it out ;)

21 Jul 2015 gumonshoe

@linuxmaier Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

21 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@gumonshoe First person to get the reference as far as I can tell :)

21 Jul 2015 Dydra

Hmmmm ... very interesting deck. Although I hit around 80-90% win rate with it, it's definitely not in a tournament field. Totally different from my make runs that matter Geist decks. This further enhances an idea about the Cloud breaker suit that a friend said, that they are just econ cards.

I'm particularly interested how you would run without having 3-4 breakers down ( this is what I feel is the STR u want for your Cloud breakers), but I guess Faerie makes up for all the nasty surprises you could face-check.

Totally agree on the Street Peddler here, since you aren't relying fully on a Cloud-setup breaker suit.

One last thing, would you consider Forged Activation Orders or Emergency Shutdown in this type of Geist? To further enhance the denial? I've tested and found out that they do quite some work in combination with Crescentus and Account Siphon, in my much slower deck.

21 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@Dydra They're definitely running economy cards (on the order of Dirty Laundry efficiency) with one pretty big bonus: they enable your first run. They allow you to Account Siphon/Legwork/Dirty Laundry/Security Testing earlier in the game than most Criminals can do, since the Criminal rush card is Inside Job, and that can't couple with a run event (and is sort of a waste with Security Testing). That sort of hybrid niche for the B&E suite really makes them tick.

I usually start running at 3 breakers, or at least running run events. I don't usually like to burn a Siphon without 4 unless I have clicks to spare to get through Eli, but if I feel like I'm not getting started quickly enough I'll do it. With 14 cheap breakers and a Special Order, you can usually get your full 3 breakers out by turn 2 or 3 in my experience, and often a 4th will be available too. I like Faerie early but some folks on Stimhack have convinced me that for almost all the reasonable early senty ICE, Shiv will do just as well (you can click through Ichi 1.0 and Architect and Caduceus are both 3 strength. Cortex Lock might be a pain but if you've got 3 breakers up, it's just 1 net damage.

Forged Activation Orders might be nice from an ICE denial perspective, but I'm not sure it's worth the deck slots to me. I almost prefer them being able to re-rez the ICE so I can make them pay for it again, and if it's a big painful piece of ICE they don't want to re-rez they'll often trash it anyway. FAO would be really nice for ice like Architect or NEXT Silver which are cheap enough you can't deny for long but can be a pain in the butt, but I'm not sure what I'd want to cut for it. Emergency Shutdown is definitely cool but I think I'd go to 3x Crescentus first; being able to use Clone Chip to threaten a clickless derez is really nice for, say, keeping RP's Caprice protected server cheap to get into. Emergency Shutdown is probably going to be nicer against Blue Sun: Powering the Future since you can shutdown ice without having to break it first, but I think that's probably a meta call.

21 Jul 2015 gumonshoe

The B&E suite is basically inside job on the rezzed ice you want at some point in the future so long as the types match, for almost all ice. So it makes sense that the cards are good when used that way; that they combo with run events adds all the more value.

21 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@gumonshoe Yup, and you don't have to precommit them to use them. You do the math and if it's worth the bypass (that triggers Crescentus unlike Inside Job) then use it and gain a card. It's madness!

23 Jul 2015 Shevek

Have you found the Levy AR Lab Access to be necessary in most of your games? Would be very tempting to cut it, freeing up influence for a third Street Peddler (among other things).

23 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@Shevek Good question! The answer is that Levy has won me no games and was not useful during that tournament. However, I haven't cut it yet. The reasoning is that this deck plays a bit like Pre-Paid Kate economy wise, where there is lots of money in the deck but none of it is sustainable. I played a game against RP where I decked myself about 3/4ths of the way through the game and won by the skin of my teeth before i had Levy in the deck. I also lost a friendly game against an IG kill deck where i let the Levy get trashed and then lost my SoTs to damage. I was up 6-0 and couldn't do a thing with no cards left.

Ultimately, Levy feels like 3 inf and one card to insure that the deck can keep its foot on the gas and last toe to toe with even the slower glaciers. I totally respect cutting it for more speed, but you should be aware that you're giving your opponent an opportunity to slow the game down and out last you. You'll have to hit then hard enough to make sure you win first.

23 Jul 2015 Shevek

Fair—I'll have to try playing it to see. I ask because it seems like those matchups in which you might need Levy will be those that where this deck is naturally weakest, so it might be worth using that slot & influence to make the deck more powerful and consistent in matchups where it's likely to have a higher baseline win rate. Thanks for the reply! As a relatively new player, it's tough for me to know whether I'm just missing something obvious. :)

23 Jul 2015 linuxmaier

@Shevek sure thing! The hardest matchup so far has felt like the Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center one, particularly Fast Advance. That's not a likely Levy game since it will be over quickly, and i think i would spend Levy's influence on Medium if i was seeing mostly that corp.

Levy will be most useful against Jinteki of all stripes (damage because you get extra life span and glacier because it takes a while to steal their agendas) and that actually feels pretty favorable to me, so long as you don't allow them to tax you out via your cards or economy (which is cards here).

2 Aug 2015 zaknafean

This deck is definitely a real contender! Took it to my local game shop and our strange local meta, and it lost only one match, where I got scorched by GRNDL before my plascrete was out (it was literally my next card, and I was 1 credit short of the SEA trace)

When the corp sees you draw 3 cards MID run, they will freak. The speed is really surprising, and I NEVER felt like I needed the link to keep the breakers in play. My only serious mistake was twice thinking the Cresentus added strength to a break when it clearly does not.

LEVY was definitely not played, but only 1 Jinteki was in play (flip id!), and Street Peddler was definitely an MVP.

I'm considering sacking Levy for The Helpful AI which would have saved sped me up a couple times. I also feel 3 clone chips may be 1 clone chip too many, but only more practice will tell!

2 Aug 2015 linuxmaier

@zaknafean thanks! It's super fun and really feels abusive to corps :)

I used to play with two Clone Chip instead of three and moving to three felt like a big power jump. They really help you keep five breakers installed and yet still be able to pull Crescentus from the heap after burning Crowbar on Tollbooth. Aside from that power play, clone chips are basically like at-need Inside Job that can be used on interior ice in this deck that draws you two cards (since the breaker you play in will draw a card too). After playing it a bunch, i went to three and never regretted it.

Levy AR Lab Access is definitely cuttable based on your preference. I'm keeping it for security right now, but i rarely use it. Will The Helpful AI work well for you, though? It stops you from going tag-me. I've played the list with Dyson Mem Chip for link and its hardware nature felt freeing for Account Siphon.