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Cache/Pawnshop Kate

I’ve been working on this deck for a little while, and I need some advice on where to take it:

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)

Event (12)

Hardware (5)

Resource (9)

Icebreaker (9)

Program (10)

15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to The Source

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

It’s an outgrowth of my Mass Install experiments, but as the program-percentage of the deck has gone down, the Mass Installs and Freelance Coding Contracts went away. Basically the idea is that “nearly everything is easy mark” (my friend calls his variant “Dollarshop Kate”) when you have Aesop’s out. If you’re clicking ProCon for draws, that’s 4 creds and a card every 2 clicks. Cache is 7 credits over 2 clicks, which is especially nice.


  • The rig you’re aiming for is a fracter + Mimic + Refractor + Cloaks/Datasuckers as they come available. If the corp starts putting down big or taxing sentries, reconfigure into Switchblade and Gordian Blade.
  • Plascrete is your meat damage plan, and Levy is your net damage plan. If you’re not expecting to need to run the deck again, use the SoT to land another Legwork or Maker’s Eye.
  • Plan to sell the Earthrise Hotels after 2 turns. 4 cards for a click and 1 credit, delivered at a manageable rate, is pretty nice.
  • Be prepared to sell anything. Sell Refractor, install Refractor. Sell Cloak to install Cloak. Sell Corroder for Lady - it’s a free upgrade and you’ll save a lot in break costs. Sell Lady when she’s empty. Sell Lady for Corroder. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Problems (here’s where I’d like advice):

  • The deck really struggles if it can’t hit an early ProCon. Earthrise and Diesel help smooth things out but it’s not great.
  • I can’t decide whether to use Akamatsu or CyberSolutions chips. Akamatsu fits the deck better, but a 6MU rig is still a bit squashy when you need to fit 3 breakers, 1-2 Cloaks and Datasuckers and have space to run Caches. I want to run 2x Astrolabe because of all the remote play going on, and that means that I have to hit 2/2 mem chips to have enough space. I could switch to Dyson chips and swap the Gordian for a Keymaster? I’ve rejected Leprechaun because it’s got order-of-install issues, is still +1 net MU for 2c and isn’t any good if I go for Parasite (see below). About the only thing in its favour is that it can hold a late SMC to be sold.
  • I’m considering swapping the Earthrises (even though the cheap draw is really nice) for Ghost Runners, so I can overwrite or sell the Cloaks if I have to.
  • The deck feels a bit slow to set up, and I have trouble applying early pressure. I often find myself trying to dig up a killer before I feel safe and SMCing Mimic for 5 sucks.
  • The deck isn’t good at surging credits during its turn, so if the corp tries to go for a scoring window there’s no play like Stimhack or Siphon to surprise them. Previous versions had Box-E and FCC, which was cute, but I find that I’m putting a lot of my programs through the pawnshop anyway.
  • Switchblade is great against Tsurugi/Komainu, but maybe it’s better replaced by Dagger and the influence turned into Parasite? I’d need to cram in some Clone Chips though.

Right now, my brain is mostly fried from trying to make Professor work for all of this week, so take the following with a grain of salt, probably.

How’s the 1-of Scavenge for you? That strikes me as the most out-of-place card in the list, given the basic premise. If you’re selling useless stuff, you can’t Scavenge it for useful stuff. So it looks like it’s either an Easy Mark (with a Cache reset), or a Lady reset. I’d be tempted to just swap it out for either a third Lady (if you find yourself running out of Lady tokens often), or for a QT (to dig for ProCon in dire situations).

As mentioned above, I’d go about this by adding a QT or two, aiming to only play them if needed to dig for combo pieces. Going up to 3 Earthrise might also be good instead, although that obviously doesn’t need in the “omg need PC now” kind of situation.

[quote=“endgame, post:1, topic:2742”]
I can’t decide whether to use Akamatsu or CyberSolutions chips. Akamatsu fits the deck better, but a 6MU rig is still a bit squashy when you need to fit 3 breakers, 1-2 Cloaks and Datasuckers and have space to run Caches. I want to run 2x Astrolabe because of all the remote play going on, and that means that I have to hit 2/2 mem chips to have enough space. I could switch to Dyson chips and swap the Gordian for a Keymaster?[/quote]

This whole paragraph just screams “2x Toolbox 2x Akamatsu” at me. Still the “cheap + expensive” memory scheme, but reversed re: console slot. You give up a bit of draw, but get a lot of sustainability. Don’t know if you regularly float a bit of cash, but the list looks like it should be able to do it just fine.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think reducing card draw is the way to go here. I would be tempted to swap Earthrises for QTs (losing the ability to pawn them, but gaining the ability to fish for PC at a rapid pace), but that really depends on how you usually play the deck and what your match-ups look like, I think.

What’s the thing you most fear encountering? Depending on the answer, some includes like Clone Chips and a Sharpshooter/Deus X might be in order. Worst case scenario, you can always pawn 'em :stuck_out_tongue:

This is part of why I think Toolbox might be good here - you already need to be equipped to deal with a big credit slump anyway (hello, PC) and once that thing hits the table, your runs pretty much become free, so your cash reserve should steadily rise from all the PC drawing and Aesop’s selling.

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Wow, thanks for the in-depth response.

Too early to say. It’s in there as a recovery tool. Scavenge a Cloak or Cache to replace a missing breaker when you’re not ready to Levy, or to cheaply do the stealth breaker switcharoo. I’ve only played a couple of games with it so far. I had a game this morning where I could’ve scavenged Mimic into Cache to land a TME and a Legwork for the win, but I think I could’ve sold Mimic with Aesop’s for the same effect. Clone Chip is probably a better in that slot:

  • Free with Kate
  • Lets you do fun things like Cache mid-run or overwrite a used Cloak with a fresh one
  • Still gives you recovery
  • Doesn’t stop me selling things

I don’t seem to run out of Lady tokens faster than I find fresh fracters. and if I have the Corroder out I don’t always need them.

I really dislike QT in a lot of decks because you really need to be above 8 credits on first click (to play it and Sure Gamble/ProCon and clear enough stuff from hand). If one of the 5 cards is a Cache it’s not going to be so bad, so I’ll reconsider it.

That’s a really interesting idea, and I like the idea of having the extra sustain. Why do you suggest 2/2 over 3/1? Spare mem chips are pawnable. Toolbox is also an 8-credit tempo hit on top of the 5-credit tempo hit from ProCo, which makes me nervous. It looks like the options here are:

  • 2/2 Toolbox/Akamatsu
  • 1/3 Toolbox/Akamatsu
  • 1/3 Astrolabe/Akamatsu
  • 1/3 Spinal Modem/Akamatsu (Switchblade -> Dagger)

Agreed, but I need to reduce MU pressure by having some non-program stealth or increasing MU. Maybe the SMCs should go? They’re an awkward fit a lot of the time: I often find myself digging for Aesop’s with 2 breakers, Cache and no +MU.

Architect, particularly against NEH. Another reason why Dagger might be better than Switchblade - it can function on 1 cloak much more easily. I’d need Test Runs to get the Parasite out (might be removing SMC). Sharpshooter’s an interesting call but I don’t really have a way of finding it. (As mentioned above I’m considering swapping SMC for something else, and 1x Sharpshooter really needs to be installable at PA-speed). I don’t miss Deus X much: I want to draw anyway and I’ve got Levy if I need it.

I’ll probably make the following changes based on your feedback:

  • -2 Astrolabe, +2 Toolbox
  • -2 Earthrise Hotel, +2 Quality Time
  • -2 Self-Modifying Code, +2 Ghost Runner
  • -1 Scavenge, +1 Clone Chip

I’ve never been able to make The Toolbox work for me. It always ends up staring at me from my hand asking “Why did you choose me?” The Link isn’t very valuable, typically, and the 2 recurring credits are like a Daily Casts that don’t run out. I guess you start winning after 3 turns at best. More realistically 4 turns. My feeling is always that decks with the economy to play The Toolbox on time probably don’t need The Toolbox anyway. On the other hand, Astrolabe is an Akamatsu Memchip that often draws 2-3 cards for free in the game.

FWIW I think corroder here is wrong. I think those influence should be Parasite or Lucky Find. If you’re desperate for a fracter that doesn’t go away then Inti is usually sufficient. I think your second Mimic and Refractor should be another SMC and a clone chip. You can probably also make a strong case for a third Datasucker.

I like Spinal Modem a lot. Probably more than I ought to. Like I said previously, I think corroder is wrong in this deck. Maybe you could leverage that influence. Dagger is a lot worse than Switchblade (though you might not have enough Stealth Credits to truly leverage Switchblade).


Played a cache/pawnshop Kate a while ago. And clone chip is the boss.
-Install it on your turn (free)
-Install a cache from archives on the corp turn (free)
-Take money
-Sell it

6 credits for a click, if you’re willing to wait a turn for your money.

It can also come in handy when you need specific cards like a deus X, a parasite or even a D4V1D.


I removed Sure Gambles in mine.

Each scavenge end giving you more credits so Sure Gambles got replaced by Scavenge and Clone Chips.
But I was playing a lot 1 cr things so I could use Aesop almost each turn.

Clonechip / scavenge was basically my key to alphashot 9 cr (or 10-11 cr when I played scheherazade-grimoire), with 1 clic, from 0 cr and a somehow succesfull answer to the archetypical Neh FA. Very succesfull against Cambridge aswell.

I also played MO as a backup econ engine so a turn could make 15-16 or 17cr at its best, when I knew nothing would happen this turn (could have replaced this by Armitages though but with NEH MO was more usefull).


Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)

Event (10)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
1x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
2x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)
1x Vamp (Trace Amount) ••

Hardware (15)
2x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
3x Astrolabe (Up and Over)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
2x Dyson Mem Chip (Trace Amount)
1x Feedback Filter (Creation and Control)
1x HQ Interface (Humanity’s Shadow) ••
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
1x R&D Interface (Future Proof)

Resource (4)
3x Aesop’s Pawnshop (Core Set)
1x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

Icebreaker (6)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
1x Garrote (True Colors) •••
1x Inti (Creation and Control)
1x Sharpshooter (True Colors)
2x ZU.13 Key Master (What Lies Ahead)

Program (11)
3x Cache (The Spaces Between) •••
3x Crescentus (A Study in Static) •••
2x Magnum Opus (Core Set)
1x Net Shield (Core Set)
2x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)

15 influence spent (max 15)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Up and Over

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

[quote=“PeekaySK, post:2, topic:2742”]This whole paragraph just screams “2x Toolbox 2x Akamatsu” at me. Still the “cheap + expensive” memory scheme, but reversed re: console slot. You give up a bit of draw, but get a lot of sustainability. Don’t know if you regularly float a bit of cash, but the list looks like it should be able to do it just fine.
Kate can Aesop Astrolabes to reinstall it for 0 cred, so I’d keep Astrolabes : 1 MU left, Astrolabe on table and in grip, aesop it, reinstall :wink:

You did not draw a second console to discard but some sort of 0 inf Easy Mark, and that mecanic actually works with Zu, Inty, etc … :slight_smile:

The only time I’ve really seen Toolbox work well is either:

  • On the back of Modded + Kate, where you get it for 5 credits
  • In that No Sleep Natman deck, where both the link and the creds are useful, it stops up PW while you learn what strength to set your Atmans, and you can reliably put your Order of Sol credits into it.

The trouble is I really feel like I want to put down at least one +2MU card otherwise the rig gets really cramped during setup. The options there are:

  • Grimoire: as a slightly cheaper CyberSolutions it’s a waste of influence, and while it does make Cache even better - 8 credits over 2 clicks - it’s unlikely to get drawn first. Benefits are marginal for Datasucker, and I haven’t got Parasite.
  • Blackguard: more expensive than Toolbox, doesn’t fit the game plan
  • Box-E: tempting, but the influence could be better spent elsewhere. No FCC or Mass Install to key off the increased hand size, and I’m sick of watching NBN play Sweeps Week for +6.
  • CyberSolutions Mem Chip: even at 3 credits I find this awkward and expensive to play while rigging up.
  • Dyson Mem Chip: could be a pseudo-2MU if I switch Gordian -> Keymaster. Thoughts?
  • Ekomind: won’t have the handsize boosters for this.
  • Monolith: awwwww YEAH! Except we’re talking about Toolbox being hard to get out :-(.
  • The Toolbox: Hmmm.

I feel like I either need 1/3 Something/Akamatsu or 2/2 (Something 2MU)/Akamatsu. Once the larger sentries and code gates start coming online it gets hard to fit in the breakers AND the stealth AND the whatever-it-is that’s being sold next turn.

Re: Breakers:

I’ve always considered it axiomatic that Corroder’s a good way to spend influence, but you might be right. Lucky Find doesn’t fit this deck at all, but Parasite does. It solves the missing breaker problem, it deals with Komainu/Tsurugi/Tollbooth sort of ice, and we’re going to be packing extra clone chips anyway. Some other breaker-related things worth thinking about:

  • Gordian -> Keymaster: Keymaster’s another free install, and I usually feel like I’m facing down Quandary-level code gates more than stacked Viktor-2.0s.
  • Switchblade -> Dagger: Dagger has way better art, and is turned on by 1 stealth credit instead of 2 (or 1+suckers). It also frees up another 2 influence that can be used to solve the same problem that we needed Switchblade for in the first place (Tsurugi, Komainu).

Currently disagreeing, because I hate paying the SMC tax, and MU in the rigging-up phase is really tight. I’d rather draw more cards and turn them into money. This is another reason I’m considering Dagger over Switchblade: 2x Mimic 1x Dagger is 2 early-medium Killers (with sucker support) and one medium-late killer (with sucker/cloak support). I consider Switchblade a later-game killer than Dagger because you need more support in play to get it working.

That’s awesome, and a play I didn’t notice. As long as there’s a Cache in the heap, they’re almost literally as good as Cache #4-#6 (unless you have to CC Cache on a turn you installed CC). But what to cut?

@anon34370798 makes a good point about removing Sure Gambles: Ghost Runner, if you can avoid draining it, is net +2 credits from Aesop, plus 2 stealth credits that can be used for breakers, or trashing, or stealing NAPDs. With Aesop’s out, Daily Casts is also +6 for 3 credits over 4 turns (including the install turn), whereas it’s +5 for 3 credits over 5 turns without. But you have a few turns to find Aesop’s before it goes away.

I disagree with him about reinstalling Astrolabes though. Memory feels too tight here because of the stealth rig.

Based on all that, here’s the delta against the OP that I’m now considering:

  • -1 Astrolabe, +1 Akamatsu Mem Chip
  • -2 Earthrise Hotel, +2 Quality Time
  • -2 Self-Modifying Code, +2 Parasite
  • -1 Scavenge, +1 Ghost Runner
  • -1 Corroder, +1 Inti
  • -1 Switchblade, +1 Dagger
  • -3 Sure Gamble, +3 Clone Chip

I’m unsure about the Earthrise -> QT swap: Earthrise is 4 cards for a credit, or 6 cards for 4 depending on whether or not you Aesop’s it. That’s more flexible than QT which is fixed at 5 cards for 3 credits. OTOH, QT will help you find ProCon RIGHT NOW, and I’m not sure you want to play either when ProCon’s on the table.

Plascrete and that potential Ghost Runner feel like my weakest slots right now. Alternate candidates:

  • Tinkering (to land the Legwork/TME before 3-breakers),
  • Atman
  • Escher
  • SMC
  • Daily Casts

I think if you’re not able to install toolbox your econ/access package is incorrectly configured for installing toolbox. Modded is a great way to go if not through a slow drip on a workshop. Also, you need to utilize each aspect of the toolbox, or you shouldn’t be running it. The link can be handy for being aggressive on tracer ice with no breakers. Blanking a few ice, especially out of kate with 3 link, is awesome. That said, the ‘free opus click’ per turn is easily the best part. I love toolbox.

I ran cache out of exile with the full scavenge set, making each scavenge a sure gamble + card draw through grimoire + ID. The hang up is that you usually use up your recursion on cache, and less for the tools you need to get in. So, your stealth suite seems like a good choice, as is Earthrise, since the credit hit of QT might be too much.

The change I’d like is modded and TME -> RDI since you’re running at least 1 time per turn with stealth.

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About Astrolabes, it really depends what your rig is.
In my case, I don’t need a lot of fancy stuff so it works in my deck but maybe can’t work elsewhere. I had put a lot more MU though.
In your case aka stealth rig, I’m not sure for this to be working, sure.

About Gordian -> Zu : I have Zu AND Gordian Blade, but just to erase Zu : I have both in the deck to profit of one the x2 decoders, maybe sometimes calling 1st decoder Zu from SMC for an emergency codegate break, until I instal the other one and remove Zu through Aesop. In practice, if Zu came first, I never want to loose a clic to instal Gordian Blade.

This optimisation sounds special (as a lot of my decks have very debatable moves), but it works with loosing a lot of tempo. Same for Corroder / Inty. Inty / Zu are 3cr clicks so they are still usefull somehow.

I’m too humble of a pilot to say if this works tournament-well, but this works for me.

Normally I’d be inclined to say that I don’t see why you aren’t just running this out of Noise… : P

I see what you’re going for here - something different than the usual Opus/Lucky Find decks. Between the better card draw and the godlike recursion of Shaper. I can see that this deck could conceivably make gobs of cash. I just feel like Noiseshop is better because you get credits and actively hurt the Corp through card mills all at once… although that’s an obvious statement! :smile:


Let’s take this in a different direction.

Since you have 3 aesop. Add 3 uninstall and 3 stimdealer.

Aesop and uninstall for stimulus dealer, lady, hotel.

I’ve actually really like the whole Motivation/Oracle May on my Aesop’s deck. Cache can net you 7 credits that way!
The motivations are not unique, so at its worst, each one is an Easy Mark. So, if you have the time, try it out, I liked it, even if it was a bit on the janky side.

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Also opens you up to a free toolbox with eureaka! But you’d need other big things to make that worthwhile… Go off the beaten path lol

I actually had RDI in an earlier version of the deck, and had trouble getting cashed-up enough to threaten remotes. Because I should be ticking through the deck at a decent pace I switched back to TME.

It is a play I’ve been able to make on occasion, but I really do find that MU gets too tight.

I’ve played against a few of the Noise pawnshop decks, and they’re neat but I don’t think they’re what I’m going for here. It’s not about spamming free programs as much as it is about rigging up with free programs. Then the extras all become money as you draw them to maintain funds and pressure.

… is programs and hardware only. Strictly inferior to Scavenge in that it takes an extra click to refresh anything. Stim Dealer is also 3 influence; where am I going to find that in this deck? Also I’d like to be able to take this deck to tournaments and I don’t have the O&C cardboard yet.

Re: Motivation/May

Again, that’s more influence that I’d have trouble fitting. Also pretty janky and I don’t have big things as @x3r0h0ur says.

Here’s the current iteration. It needs to see both its connections so badly that I’m considering cutting something for a Hostage (Parasite? Legwork?). Also considering a -1 Mimic -> +1 Datasucker swap, but I currently have 5 cards that are killers or can get me a killer, and I kinda like that.

Pawnshop Kate

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)

Event (8)

Hardware (7)

Resource (9)

Icebreaker (9)

Program (12)

15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to The Source

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I’ve had a similar deck as a casual pet project for several months. In casual play, it has had been surprisingly strong (over 80% win rate).

My idea has been to spam 0-1 cost programs and with Scheherazade and Pawnshop you get Sure Gamble returns. Cache has been huge for this deck, because you can get up to a 7-credit return for one click. It’s also been fun to see if there is any benefits to the small utility programs.

Some of my favorites are: Paricia, Expert Schedule Analyzer, and Savoir-faire. But the latter out of faction programs have been taken out in favor of more commonly seen cards (Parasite) to try to raise the deck out of casual play into competitive play. Paricia remains and is nice: you install it on Scheherazade after you use your Mac discount on prior program (gain 1 credit), run to trash a PAD (save 2 credits), next turn sell it to Aesop (gain 3 credits).

I don’t run Sure Gamble (doesn’t seem as useful when I can easily get the same return). I am currently running two Hostages so I can get Pawnshop out immediately (also Professional Contacts). I’ve tried Oracle May, but it seemed to have too many misfires that ProCo seemed more useful.

The small breakers (Inti and Zu.13) are awesome and since I’m running multiple, they come up naturally. I’m also considering a semi-stealth rig (Refractor/Dagger with Ghost Runners).

Sir, this is Stimhack.com, if you don’t run sure gamble, your deck isn’t worth posting.



Fixed that for ya.


I am definitely considering Hostages. I aggressively mulliganed for Aesop’s and I still had real trouble getting it out. Clearing Caches from the table early is critical to set-up speed. My games aren’t going long enough to need Timetwister MIT West Tier Levy AR Lab Access The Big Green Shaper Reset Button, so I’m considering:

  • -1 Legwork, +1 Hostage
  • -1 Legwork, +1 HQ Interface
  • -2 The Maker’s Eye, +2 R&D Interface
  • -1 Same Old Thing, +1 Feedback Filter/Net Shield
  • -1 Levy AR Lab Access, +1 Modded

No scavenge instead of gambles ?