“But he was still hungry.”

sohum 227

Criminals are weak, are they? Well, let's see about that.

So, yeah, this is my build of an old school Criminal control deck. It's been doing really really well in regular testing—its current record is about 45-6, mainly down to the fact that people have forgotten how to play against an aggressive Criminal build.

The games I lost were in large part due to me having forgotten how to play around Scorch (remember your credits minus five, folks), and due to the one hole this deck has, Fastrobiotics.

Gabe is critical to the deck; that early HQ pressure forces them to rez ice or give you a huge econ boost, and that's a lose-lose because if they rez ice you know how to land your first Siphon. Drug Dealer has been absolutely rock solid in testing - it'll send you into holes sometimes, but this deck will generally make enough money to not worry about it, and the card draw is so so necessary.

Levy has only been useful in maybe 10% of the games, but it won those games. Burning through your events at the rate this deck does, you need a way to reset yourself if the game does end up going long, despite your best efforts. Plus, it's something like recursion—I've had Corroder sniped turn one, but still managed to win the game due to shutdowns, parasites, and femmes until I could finally Levy and Special Order for the Corroder back.

But the main use of the Levy is to give you twelve Siphons to play, and that's critical. You play your Siphons very differently when you have six or twelve of them than when you have three of them; you're more willing to take risks and use it to force the corp down than to ensure it lands. Siphon is a great card[citation needed], and I don't think current builds are maximising it.

Muertos Gang Member has definitely been lower impact than I wanted it to be. When you get to play one turn one against a rezzed Tollbooth it's magnificent, and even if you're hitting them for three credits on turn three and it gets trashed to give them a Tollbooth on turn twelve, you're ahead—but there are too many cases where it's just been a dead draw, due to the Parasites not managing to clear away all the lower rez cost ice or low rez cost assets being a pain to clear away. Or just having gone tagme; every other resource in this deck is a calculated risk, one that can timewalk the corp if they try to trash it after the Siphon, but Muertos makes that deal work out much better on their end.

Visage. Very low impact, actually. It does let you turn your Drug Dealers into Wyldside on the turns you need to (1cr for 1 card vs 1 click for 2 cards), but I've very rarely found myself actually using that option once Drug Dealer hits the board. It still has a role before you're comfortable installing the Dealer, so if you happen to draw them in that order that's fine, but I'm eyeing it as a potential cut.

No multiaccess. There was no influence left for it after I built the initial version of the deck, so I decided to try it out without any—and it turns out most matchups don't need it. Sure, you lose out on some ability to close out games, but you don't mind; you're making it really hard for the Corp to recover anyway and in the meantime sniping accesses here and there. You look at every card in the deck, bar Levy, and you ask, do I want to draw an R&D Interface or even a Maker's Eye in place of this card in the critical early/midgame? I do not.

But it does make Fastrobiotics a huge hole, yeah. In testing, it's been clear—if I manage to steal an Astro, I win, if I don't, I lose. That's higher variance than I'd like; I've been thinking of testing -2 Muertos, +2 Gang Sign to see if I can slow them down.

Still. Gonna keep tweaking it. There's a lot of potential here, I think, and the meta is basically just not at all prepared for it.

You gotta stay hungry, or you'll lose the edge.

3 Sep 2015 x3r0h0ur

This is about perfect to how I'd build a gabe deck, but I'd skimp on the levy and add a clone chip or a second corroder, and probably a plascrete and some career fairs. Those changes are probably more to flavor, and I like it.

3 Sep 2015 sohum

Yeah, explaining what Levy is doing for the deck has been quite difficult for me. Like I said, you only end up playing it in maybe 10% of games—you win those games and you wouldn't have won them otherwise, so maybe that's sufficient.

But its impact is more in the... the speed with which you feel comfortable burning through your deck, I think. With Levy around, you know you can reset yourself if you need to, so you just keep burning through your events and resources, extracting some value from each one, and moving on.

This leads to many corps falling apart before you need to play the Levy, so there's the argument that if you just played that way without the Levy in the deck you'd be doing better, but there are fail states to that kind of aggression. And, yeah, the Levy recovers you from that really well.

As for Career Fair... I dunno, it's "just" economy. It has an important role in managing the hit of installing earthrise/casts, sure, but generally you have enough play (Sec Test, Gabe's ID power, Dirty Laundry, Siphon) to recover from the hit really quickly anyway. I remain unconvinced, at least in this sort of deck.

3 Sep 2015 x3r0h0ur

I like career fair because it prevents a tempo loss, and allows you to play out 2 cards for when you have a turn where you're flush with cards. Not just playing them out, but getting value on them.

If you spent an entire turn attacking and drug dealer hit you up to 5 cards last turn, and you Earthrise 2 next turn, you can play out 2 cards effectively if you have career fair. That is fast and efficient.

3 Sep 2015 sohum

Well, sure, but in that case you've already got your one Earthrise installed, which means at most there's two other targets for your Career Fairs left in the deck. And how many of them are you playing, anyway, and what other econ are you cutting for them?

I mean, I like it as well; it does wonders in some Andy and Hayley builds. I'm just unconvinced it's card-efficient enough and good enough on its own for this deck, especially when its job can be effectively replaced by spending a click to run HQ.

3 Sep 2015 gumonshoe

I agree; this is not a deck for career fair; not unless you're going to raise the cost of resources in the deck and slow it down.

4 Sep 2015 SlayerCNV

Data raven+ keegan Lane it's just so happy

8 Sep 2015 NerdimusPrime

If you swapped in the Gang Signs, would you find room for HQ Interface? That seems like a great combo for this deck.

4 Oct 2015 Tomonaldo

I really like this. Close to an old, old Gabe build I used to play a lot, just refreshed with some newer, more relevant cards.

I've played about 5 or 6 games now and won all but 1, where I lost 7-6 to Butchershop. I played tagme as he'd scored two Astros. I accessed about 4 or 5 times on RnD and still didn't snipe the final agenda. Then I got burned down.

Based on this, and other games, I'm going to add a Legwork. I don't like the Muertos in this. Everytime I see them, they are dead draw.

Levy has been essential for me. I've played it in about 50% of the games I've had. When this deck gets its card draw going, you can very quickly whittle down your deck. And, it's really useful as the author said for Siphon spamming/parasites etc.

I wish there was a 3rd Parasite, as I've struggled to find them in the games I've played. But, I struggle to see what needs dropping.

Top deck. Great fun to play horribly aggressively again.

8 Oct 2015 jdharper

Tried this deck a couple of times recently. I feel like it desperately needs either a second Corroder, an AI breaker (Crypsis?) or a clone chip. I lost my Corroder to a bit of Grail ice and was unable to break any barriers for the rest of the game (until I finally drew my Levy, but my opponent had had a scoring window several turns long by that point and it was too late).

5 Nov 2015 sohum

I ended up playing this deck with -2 Muertos, -1 Symmetrical Visage, +2 Drive By, +1 Earthrise, and I think that's about as well as it can do before D&D. After D&D it's just so risky to go tagme, and a lack of Scorch protection really really hurts. :(

@Tomonaldo thanks for the play reports and the kind words! Correct me if I'm wrong: do you regularly play out the two Drug Dealers? I don't often enough, I think, and that's also why I don't tend to play the Levy's that often.

@jdharper I think that's another playstyle thing, actually! I've lost my early corroder a couple of times, but I've been able to fudge through by opening windows with shutdown/siphon/inside job/etc. And I generally don't install the corroder until I absolutely have to, which means that if by then I've seen grail ice, I know I need all the breakers!

That said, some games, you will just get locked out; the question you ask is if that eventuality is common enough to weaken the rest of the deck (by adding another effective dead draw or cutting influence). My feeling is it isn't, but that might just be because I play to minimise that eventuality.