Faust Ken (5th Place Aus Nats, Top of Swiss)

Chicken Slayer 304

Faust Ken: (5th Aus Nats, top of Swiss)

Alternate name: Good-stuff Dumpster Pitch Crim Temujin Runner toolboxy Ken - Breaks the Meta with some broken breaker that allows you to pitch silver bullet cards for real cash monies. V2.0

Bit of a mouthful

How does the deck work

This is a refined, mutated and worn-in version of @Express Elevator that I've been playing on and off since the start of Mumbad. Over time the cute cards, tricks and support for a "pre-paid" style of Ken Run economy have given way to Mean cards and a few Meta calls, tied together like Glue by some janky criminal cards such as Desperado, Security Testing and Temujin Contract.

Oh and Faust. It uses Faust

Truth be told, Runner is in a good place at the moment so it seems like your choice of it, assuming you can deal with the hot corps of the moment, is more down to personal preference. In this case I find that Criminal is in a pretty good spot so I stuck with them, tried to remake this deck using Leela or Andy before going back to Ken.

Ken definitely didn't disappoint: the only game he lost was when I actually played the ID in the last round and that was off the back of a flubbed Legwork into a HQ chock full of agendas. He smashed his way through HB Food and Next decks, a NAS deck and a Butcher shop in the finals. I kinda wish I got to play him in the following rounds I lost but Ce La Vie.

Why Ken

Partly it was because if I played Ken I could fit in a Corroder + 2 Maker's Eye. I'd have to make a cut if I wanted to play Leela, Gabe or Andy in his place. Partly also I have this promo Ken ID from last year's nationals.

Beyond that I find Ken's ability a bit understated but always effective. It's always going to net you some money and effectively means your Maker's Eyes, Legworks and most importantly Inside Jobs are no longer tempo hits. Your Account Siphons gain you that little bit extra a credit swing and your Dirty Laundry ranges from either as good as a Sure Gamble to a swing of like 7 to 11 credits in 1 click. It's like Gabe's ability, but less focus'd on HQ. You also now have to think less when playing an Inside Job because it effectively costs you nothing with Desperado.

It's not really worth building whole hog into his ability at the moment: a prepaid run economy just isn't that good these days, especially when CTM is on the loose and High Stakes Job pales in comparison to the power of Temujin. Even if you get the engine sorted out, it only really properly supports 2 cards: Dirty Laundry and Huge Steak Job. You don't reeeeaallly need to make money while playing, say, Retrieval Run or Inject Attack, because the reason you were playing it probably wasn't to earn a whole, shiny dollar.

But that extra dosh here and there when playing stuff your attack cards helps balance the deck out.

Leela was my other thought of ID, both because I have a promo ID (it's pretty cool and all) and because her ability is good. In the end though, I found the deck worked better with Ken: a weird problem with Temujin Contract is that its existance forces Corps to Ice up Archives preemptively, to stop you ripping like 15 credits off of it in 1 turn. Pretty annoying for Leela who wants to use it to launch Sneakdoor raids on HQ.

Game Plan

Beyond Criminal tricks like Inside Job, Siphon and the odd Pol Op Schenanigans there's not much crazy going on here with this deck. Game plan is pretty much to do Criminal Things : now with Faust. You have an attack card for every server so get yourself set up and then hit them as appropriate.

Beyond that, play a game of Netrunner I guess? To some extent, this deck is designed to follow the Criminal school of thought of breaking into places and being aggressive with minimal cards or setup required. So run and see what happens. Try not to float tags given the current state of the game. Use a combo of your actual breakers, Faust and run events to go pinch agendas from the corp or Trash San San's. Be mindful of when you're presenting opportunities to get hit by HHN And when you run low on cards or need to recur something that gets Trashed (like all your Account Siphons), play Levy and do it all over again.

Faust effectively serves in place of a Fearie: it allows you to make a lot of consequence free runs because at worse you can break whatever crappy ice they Rez and not get totally rekt by it. It allows you to scope out what Ice they're using in general, then install the appropriate breakers to counter it.

In general, try to run not much more than once or twice per turn on beefy remotes: save the runs on HQ/R&D for high impact run events and the like. Feel free of course to run a bunch on Sec Test/Temujin servers, easy remotes and the like, or even just to poke around and force the Corp to rez their Ice. But save your runs on protected servers for when it hurts. You want to build up the right set of cards, breakers and money to go crack them when it's going to do the most damage.

In addition, this deck runs Turning Wheel. The general goal with the Wheel is to farm up some counters and blow them on either 5 card Legworks or 3+X card Maker's Eyes. Nothing to special, but remember it's a resource. Be a bit free with spending these counters if you suspect you're about to receive a lot of tags.

With regards to economy, Faust now allows you to make Temujin runs and cash in your dead cards for profit. This is core to the deck: you have duplicates of Desperado, Sec Test, Symmetrical Visage, Special Order, Run Events and a Levy you can generally Same Old Thing back later. Maybe the odd dead breaker in a matchup, or one where Pol Op/Networking is worthless.

Throw that shit in the trash and go rake in some Sec-Tested bounty dollars.

Beyond that you have a draw engine of Drug Dealer + Symmetrical. It's like a Wyldside if you spend your first click drawing with Symmetrical! Requiring 2 cards. Smell that's value! Plus side, both resources have low effective install costs and Drug Dealer is vital in any Jinteki Kill matchup for keeping you safe. If you keep a hand of 6 cards it also means a 24/7 kill deck needs to find both its Scorches, plus it helps you dig for that Plascrete you'll eventually need. Unless you need the Drug Dealers to stay alive, it's generally recommended only installing 1 of them. 2 is a bit too strong a drain on your economy in a lot of matchups. It also means you can have 7 cards in hand, bad for corps running Sweeps Week (good thing NBN isn't popular...right?)

Anyway, it's no pancake party, but it's cheaper to install, protects you from dying and each part of the combo still draws you cards. Symmetrical in particular is vital early game for getting set up: you'll be drawing a fair bit with this deck to either get to Good Stuff or to grab more Faust Food. This way you get some non-Run based economy out of it in matchups where you're starting to get locked out of the easy to run servers.

This deck originally ran John instead of Symmetrical but I've cut him because I needed some draw/economy to be not run focused. Also John is problematic because he can punish you being aggressive with his tags for failed runs: bad in the early game and also vs Sync. If a more Asset Vomit CTM style becomes vogue though, he might be worth running.


Faust: It's Faust. Everyone loves Faust. Turns out it's very good in Criminal.

e3 Feedback Implants: These get a special mention because they solve the biggest weakness of Faust: breaking multiple subroutines. There's a world of difference between breaking an Archer for 6 cards and breaking 1 for 3 cards + 3 credits, to say nothing of ICE like Spider Web, NEXT Silver, Tsurugii or Komainu. They also allow you to cash in some dollars you've been earning to assist with the breaking process.

They're also very useful vs Food Coats because getting past Ichi for a click and 2 credits is pretty effective. Unfortunately Food now have more effective V2.0 Ice but it still helps since most of those have 3 routines so you have to eat some dirt somewhere against them.

Used to be 2 in the deck. Cut it down to 1 because NBN tend to not run multi-routine ice and HB is only now starting to become more popular. Also the whole 2.0 thing means it's less of a GG get rekt card compared with the past.

Peacock: So this deck runs Peacock instead of Passport for code gate breaking. I'm not going to pretend Peacock is the most bestest hidden gem evar to strike Netrunner, or that it's super under rated. The card is a strict OK at best and Garbage at worst (Peacock vs Fairchild 2.0 is pretty depressing as an example). Frankly, a lot of the time Faust is your code gate breaker of choice.

However Peacock does something very important: it breaks Turing. Efficiently too.

E3 helps this card out as well: you can tap the E3 to break the extra routines instead of relying on its crap $2 to break. And sometimes it's better to throw Money at a problem than cards. So here we rely on Peacock.

And, well, if it's crap in a matchup you can always pitch it to Faust :P Mongoose: Actually not terrible as a Sentry breaker. The big thing with this card is that it complements Faust well.

Mongoose is very effective at breaking odd strength Sentries, Faust for the even strength ones. Mongoose is effecient vs Multi-sub Sentries like Komainu or Tour Guide. Faust vs single routine ones.

Again though, if your opponent is running crap like Turnpike or Data Raven, or you already have a Femme out which is more suitable for the current situation then you can safely pitch this one into the garbage.

Femme/Corroder: I shouldn't have to explain why these cards are good. I will say though that this deck doesn't run Paper Clip in part because of the influence cost, but also because a lot of the time I just need a barrier breaker on table to reduce the cost of Wrap Around to break to 1 Faust card. Which makes Paperclip "bad" for the same reason Gordian Blade is "bad". For the longest time this deck ran Breach for that purpose. Paperclip is really good in conjunction with Faust and Criminal in general though, so feel free to try.

In any case, both serve as an effective way of converting Temujin dollars into accesses. Or for repeatedly hitting the same server to get Temujin dollars off of it. Either/or really. Try to save the Femme for Trollbooth and the like. Data Raven can also be a strong target if you suspect they have some EOI cheese ready to go.


Realistically this deck is a midrange deck. It has good early and mid game, but loses steam towards the end game with a lack of Ice destruction or disruption (no, its not worth playing Golden to add this aspect in...I think). Depends on the corp though: no NBN deck is realistically going to pose as many problems getting in as, say, a NEXT Ice heavy HB build.

In general this deck is strong vs Asset Spam on the back of Sec Test + Temujin and weak vs something like CI which doesn't present much surface area to attack, plus Legwork isn't super effective vs them. SYNC can be also problematic if you don't get a Networking early, since that also locks down its servers tight and the tends to be super annoying to deal with. That one you have to be careful not to wind up in Tag City, and that you don't fall victim to a 24/7 play off of Breaking News.

This deck is weirdly strong vs most non-CI HB I find, even without Temujin. With no realistic threat of Tags it's just hard for them to disrupt your economy so you can build up and, if you get desperate, realistically go Tag Me and start running like crazy. If they're running NEXT ice, be very careful where you start running: try to hit the same servers over and over again so they can't rez more beefy ice than you're capable of managing. It's also good vs a lot of early rush decks because it's hard to keep you out between Inside Job, Siphon and good old Faust.

Jintekii kill builds: well find a Drug Dealer as quickly as possible. Other ones, get a Sentry breaker on table and start running. Employee Strike is super effective vs most of the Jintekii ID's anyway. Fishing that out is a pretty high priority. The matchup against RP can range from terrible to Terrifyingly strong based off of that 1 card.

Final Thoughts

Even if you're not using this deck card for card or ID for ID, I'd recommend investigating this style of Criminal, especially with Temujin not going anywhere. It's one thing to pay 3 to gain 5 dollars. It's quite another to discard an excess Desperado and a useless meta card to go gain those same 5 dollars.

Also get used to running on like half/no rig. I've basically assumed you have a Desperado a lot, but that obviously don't always happen. Good thing most of the cards that make money or draw you cards can do so individually instead of having to be assembled into a Voltron.

The original version of this deck ran Retrieval Run, which actually isn't terrible to consider in this current build. It allows for some recursion that plays into your game plan, as well as a way to cheat out Femme. Haven't found I need it personally but you can cut a Makers Eye for it I guess.

In any case, Keep Calm and Continue Fausting.

13 Sep 2016 toiry

Faust in Criminal feels really at home (e3, yup) and not like a broken card (looking at you, Wyldcakes). I used to run it with Gangsig Leela and boy was that mean. Sadly she wasn't very good with money if I played dealer or I always seemed to wait for draw with Hotel somehow. Maybe I should go back to her with Temujin on. Extra Maker's Eye is so sweet in Ken, though.

I agree wholeheartedly with Peacock- it is OKish and it is good for Turing.

In this meta Femme is good for some stray Ravens or occasional Tollbooths, but more often than not I found gingerbread satisfying replacement. in NBN matchups you can really Special order for Gingerbread instead of Faust:)

But all in all looks really fun and really solid. Good job with your Nats!

13 Sep 2016 firesa

glad not to have to try and recall this list from memory after squinting at it on your phone. Looks great, will be eager to give it a spin :D again grats on your performance

20 Sep 2016 harvolev

how are you finding the card draw? Looks a little thin

21 Sep 2016 Chicken Slayer

Honestly you can go a long distance by just clicking to draw a bunch. Sounds garbo but is actually not the worst because you'll grab a lot of economy and dangerous run event in the process, similar to how prepaid decks sustained themselves on click draw when you couldn't find your burst draw.

And, you know, Crim draw is pretty thin in general. Can't exactly splash a Diesel anymore.

You can generally make up for being click inefficient with draw by being click efficient with runs and money.