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Are Anarch IDs interchangeable?

Maybe with Rebirth so popular in Anarch the answer to this is obvious.

Playing on Jinteki, it feels like there are a couple of Anarch builds out there that you pretty much run into no matter which ID your opponent is playing. The different IDs do lead to different play styles, but it feels like in some cases that many Anarch decks are just generic Anarch decks with this or that ID slapped on top of it.

Is there any truth in that?

Are there Anarchs that have good builds that are not easily switched out to other IDs? (Blackmail spam Val is the only example that comes to my mind right away.)

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A lot of Anarchs have generically powerful, if situational abilities. See Edward Kim, Whizztard, Quetzal, Omar, Reina, Null ect. This means that they can all play a “good-stuff” deck, and compliment what they feel they’re lacking with a switch of ID.

Contrast this with a lot of the Shapers out there, like Haley, Professor, Rielle “Kit”, Ele “Smoke”, or Criminals like Armand “Geist”, Ken “Express”, Iain, and even to an extent Leela. All of these have abilities that lend themselves toward deckbuilding in a cetrain direction, thus making them more interchangeable.

Not helping the matter is that Anarchs in general have a HUGE slew of generically powerful cards, decent or better in-faction breaker options, and pretty powerful economy tools, leading to more similar decklists.


Anarchs are about pressure effects, whereas Shaper is about numerical advantages, and Crim a little of both.

Pressure effects’ usefulness are dependent on board state and lend themselves to generic/opportunistic playstyles because you want to be able to pressure elsewhere if your baked in pressure gets cut off.

Numerical advantage, on the other hand, is all about building to maximize the benefit of that. You want to make sure as Smoke, for instance, that you can utilize the credit and Stealth. Kit, the breaker type.

So… This is why Anarch lends itself to taking advantage of interchangeability, Crim does too but less so, and Shaper not so much:

Assets? Be Whizz. Ops? Be Kim. Gearcheck barriers? Quetzal. R&D locked down? Omar. They all can pressure in different ways, but all utilize the same types of decks equally well.

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All factions have this to an extent, but Anarch is probably the one with most interchangability.

The most obvious black sheep is Noise, who benefits only a bit from a “good-stuffs” deck, and is a lot better with just a huge bunch of viruses. For Maxx, you also want to build for her ability, and include cards to get stuff back from the heap (which are common in other decks too, but not auto-include).

This seems partially also due to the desire for deck building consistency in Anarch. Shaper and Crim both have much more tutoring so they can get away with quite pointedly specialised decks relying on one ofs. Anarch can’t do that so you get the phenomenon of “good stuff” builds that look quite similar regardless of ID.