If you like to gamble, I tell you I'm your man - You win some, lose some, it's - all - the same to me. The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say.
So I tried basically every popular Geist deck since release. And from their power combined came this one – mostly inspired by Lay Upon My Roundish Bed (Tech Talk #1). I played about 20 games with it - mostly offline on our local Warsaw league - and maintained healthy 50% winrate. It is not a tier-1 winning-all deck but it is fun to play this trenchoat-wearing smiling sly who is secretly a ganglord.
- Access to Globalsec - cheapest . With Forger You have 5 cards which provide it. More than enough.
- Account Siphon - Criminal bread&butter. Very efficient with cloud breakers and New Angeles City Hall.
- Clone Chip - mandatory when you constantly throw breakers into trash. Synergy with Geists ability is a nice bonus.
- Corroder - oh how I wish that Criminals had decent non-central fracter.
- Crowbar - Geists bread&butter.
- Drive By - check servers without running. Snipe Caprice Nisei, Ash 2X3ZB9CY, SanSan City Grid - hell, even Adonis Campaign or Eve Campaign are OK targets.
- Drug Dealer - four and mandatory draw. Yes, please. You usually won't pay for this anyway cause Kati Jones is keeping all the money.
- e3 Feedback Implants - support for Peacock and cloud breakers which can only break up to 3. Also You can & Janus 1.0. How cool is that?
- Fall Guy - protects Film Critic and New Angeles City Hall or can be used as Green Level Clearance for runner - 2 and a card. You can pop them between SEA Source and Scorched Earth and Scorched Earth or before accessing if You expect NAPD Contract.
- Femme Fatale - I am still not convinced by this card. It is expensive, You have no way to tutor it and basically I played it in 1 of 3 games. But when it comes to play it deals beautifully with Tollbooth, Komainu.
- Film Critic - shuts down Jinteki agendas (Fetal AI, The Future Perfect), shuts down "when agenda is stolen" condition, protects New Angeles City Hall.
- Forger - cheap and avoiding tags when You cannot find New Angeles City Hall but found Access to Globalsec or another Forger.
- Hostage - get me my contacts ASAP!
- Kati Jones - every gang needs - and she will keep them away from Drug Dealer.
- Legwork - You do not have that many runs so make them count.
- Levy AR Lab Access - You will use it in 1 of 5 games. But you will be grateful for that. Also useful when You wasted cloud breakers on some shenanigans.
- New Angeles City Hall - very underrated card in my opinion. Saves 2 on Siphon. Lets You avoid consequences of Data Raven, Breaking News, TGTBT and other nasties. Protected by Film Critic and Fall Guy.
- Peacock - let me quote one of my favourite article about playing Criminals: "Peacock is, unfortunately, the Code Gate breaker we have to use sometimes" You will rarely use it, but it is really nice to have a backup non-central decoder. And it breaks Tollbooth for the same as Gordian Blade. And boosts your rig strength.
- R&D Interface - sometimes You just need to hammer R&D.
- Same Old Thing - usually I use it to discard Levy safely but second Drive By, third Legwork or fourth Account Siphon are also nice.
- Scheherazade - singleton so not very reliable. Best when comes early. Will net You some money mid-run. Always keep one Shiv in play when You expect some Power Shutdown. I tried replacing it with Stimhack but 9 is usually too much for one run with Geist.
- Shiv - Geists bread&butter altough I am constantly thinking about replacing 1-2 with Faerie to deal better with Komainu, Tsurugi, Archer or other bigger/multi sentries.
- Spike - Geists bread&butter.
- Underworld Contact - nice offset for Drug Dealer and will net You some in lategame.
In your first hand You would like to see Drug Dealer or Hostage to search for Drug Dealer. Kati Jones is nice to start stacking money. Any part of Film Critic and New Angeles City Hall combo. Other cards worth keeping are Forger/Access to Globalsec to set up for Underworld Contact and cloud breakers. And Siphons. They win games.
Basically: You set up as quickly as You can and You run. Dealer will give you cards. Contacts and Scheherazade will give You for installs and with Kati you can save for the big run. But even 6 can be enough – when You set up a 4-5 of your breakers runs become pretty cheap (Tollbooth for 3 and card in exchange). If You doesn’t find UC or use Kati to save some money from greedy hands of Drug Dealer and use it for installs. This deck is very cheap - 42 cards cost 2 or less. 13 cost 0
If you find New Angeles City hall early abuse combo with siphons. Ideally: one , 6 for You, -5 for Corp.
Important thing to remember when playing Drug Dealer – do not lose money. Finish turn with 0. Next turn You can choose the order of events – first You lose (from 0) and then money from Contacts comes.
Plan your runs carefully - use Drive By when in doubt. But not too carefully – this deck draws very fast when set up (Dealer and Geists ability) so You will plow through 46 cards it pretty quickly and that’s where Levy saves Your day.
Remember that power of your rig decreases with every ICE broken with Shiv, Spike or Crowbar - so count that strength two times, plan your moves ahead and always have a Clone Chip at hand.
Second Dealer in play is not needed until some Jinteki is trying to kill You – then two cards in a corp turn can be your safety net. Or until You really wanna that speed boost.
With release of Data&Destiny I am thinking about replacing Contacts with Technical Writer, Corroder with GS Sherman M3 and adding some Security Chips...
Earlier version of this deck had Crescentuses - nice way too add salt to injury. Break ICE for free - get card. Derez it - get card.
People in Warsaw love to scorch runners. So maybe Crash Space. It does not synergise with New Angeles City Hall cause avoid != remove but it can save You from scorch. Geist Space to avoid 3 damage and draws a card. BAM, you made Plascrete!
I would love to include Parasite to deal with NEXT ICE.
I am still tinkering so all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.