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Cerebral Imaging: The Evolution of an Identity

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/cerebral-imaging-the-evolution-of-an-identity/

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The article seems to have eaten line breaks upon publishing - hopefully it’s all fixed now!


Evolution toward tag punishment is really interesting.

Personally, I m trying to fit 2 dataravens, and 2 closed accounts, instead of scorches. It s pretty hard to beat CI without a huge bank on the runner side, so a single CA can pretty much give you enough time to score your first EC. If the runner decides to remove the tag from DRV, then it will be even harder to go through all those bioroids click wise. But if the runner is playing tag me, CA and all the recursion already in the deck will have no trouble handling his economy.

There is still a lot to think about this ID, and I really like neural katana in it too. Runners are usually face checking like crazy to deny you some credits in the early game, so neural can really punish them for that.


Oh, and Medical Research Foundraiser will be very good combined with closed account too. I guess we will be able to completely remove the giraffes and save some influence.

It’s an even better defense against siphon : get siphoned to 0 => subliminal / GLC / MRF / CA. Suddenly, you re at 8 cred and runner is broke. Huge tempo swing.


Yeah, my current build has 2 Ravens, 2 Closed. Need to pound Tag Me.

Who loves fatty, sugar lumps and crushes CI?

This guy.


yeah, donut will be solid gold against CI… but it s a ressource, so data raven is even stronger as a taxing ice.

The sad part is my Prepaid Kate deck can probably easily afford Donut, yet I still won’t use it because if its influence cost and tag-averse nature. At 2 influence, I can think of at least half a dozen cards that can easily work in that slot with absolutely no drawbacks.

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mm, guys? who’s actually gonna play Donut? the average tier 1 runner deck has like 15-20 events…


Great article Peek. Love the depth and the attention given to the different archetypes. Much like NBN, CI now has 2 very good strategies to go on that will make runners have to play differently and look hard for giveaway pieces (shipments or SEA Source for example). I currently run your Cerebral Hive of Giraffes and my Killer Hand, Bro…alternating randomly between the two to surprise my opponents. Sure, the surprise doesn’t last long, but it totally changes the early game.

Again, thanks for the article and for the mention. Hope everyone likes the decks as much as I do!

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Donut hoses the 7-point combo CI pretty well but he costs 2 influence and is pretty mediocre in criminal. Even if you’re playing hostage anyway there’s a lot of better things to include assuming less than 25% of the meta is accelerating diagnostics.

It’s an amazing include for Anarch. They have resources and programs for nearly everything that you’d use events for in other factions, and with the inclusion of Fall Guy, you can even go short-term Tag-Me, if the situation requires it.

Sure, it doesn’t solve the usual Anarch issues, but it doesn’t cost ALL influence.

Imagine a Whiz deck with Donut. Literally no corp econ will be unaffected, with the exception of Pop-up and EtF’s install credit!

Do you really not see how hard this hoses Ops-based econ, sea/scorch kills and like a MILLION other, super-common things?

Donut isn’t a CI/combo counter. He’s pretty much an everything counter. The only question is whether you can make your deck work with his restriction.


And that’s the question I asked :slight_smile:
I mean, I understand how it bothers the corp. But I also can’t imaging a Shaper or a Criminal deck that would fit him in. Whizzard, that sounds fun :slight_smile:

Shaper’s pretty easy - only take Sure Gamble for events, and then pack some combination of ProCon, Workshop, Kati and MO for economy. Pressure-wise, you’re all set with a combination of hardware and programs. Kate will really shine with this.

Criminal is a bit more tricky, but nowhere near undoable. I’d probably go with a Blackguard-based denial deck. Snitch is what you’re exposing with most of the time anyway, and I have no problem paying 1 extra for the occasional Satellite Uplink super-Vamp, or maybe a Running Interference that gets me in.

Both these builds will gain a lot more than they will lose by including Donut, I feel.

Very nice article, thank you for your insight. I think you really hit it on the head. What an evolution from nothing to amazing this identity has gone through. It’s strong, but my biggest gripe is that it’s not fun to play against, nor is it really that fun to play imo. Drawing for combos while the runner can only muster little pot shots in centrals every so often makes for a very bland and boring Netrunner game. In spite of it’s strength, that is the reason I wont play it competitively, and especially casually, ever again.


I’ve been trying to build the Whizzard deck. Either you want three Donut or you want one with Hostage to find it and Fall Guy to protect it. The advantage of the latter is you can put The Source in as well and have a deck that ought to royally mess up pretty much every mainstream deck in existence.


So far I feel my builds lack punch. I’m spending so much of my influence on what feel like defensive cards that I need to protect (thus ruling out tag-me and therefore most of the good Anarch resources). It feels like it would suit Shaper more than Anarch, despite the obvious synergy with Whizzard’s ability.

I’ll admit I haven’t whipped up a list yet, as I’m waiting for the physical cards - my mind just works better with a big table completely covered in colorful cardboard :slight_smile: I do have a ProCon Whiz deck that actually wins the games where it doesn’t play the ProCon, though… So I’ll probably use that as a starting point and see where it takes me.

Donut is not an everything counter in the same way that Xanadu isn’t an everything counter. Do you see many people splashing Xanadu? Xanadu is going to cost the corp about the same amount of money as Donut, but doesn’t penalize you for playing cards you want to be playing. I don’t think either Donut or Xanadu are the worst cards, but they’re certainly not everything-counters, and they’re usually not worth the influence to splash.

The problem I have with Xanadu is that if you don’t get it soon enough, it’s extremely difficult to manipulate the game back to the state where it’s at its maximum effectiveness (i.e. all ICE derezzed). This shouldn’t be so much of a problem with Donut - money gets spent naturally (unlike ICE, which usually doesn’t), and you need it to do everything as corp. Also, it’s easier to Vamp to zero than it is to derez 6 pieces of ICE.

Of course, I could be wrong about him, which is why I plan to test various builds. Definitely think he’s more impactful than Xanadu, though.

Donut requires a very specific build - it’s not a card you slap into decks just to tax corps.

A Donut deck would probably be either an Iain or Andromeda Hostage build. Tutor for The Source, Donut and play Fall Guys.

Sit back, get money, and prepare for the Vamp -> DLR kill. Siphon to harass and a few surprises so they can’t just score via remotes. Between The Source and Donut, FA should be kept in check.

Logos would fit this type of deck much better than Desperado. The central only breakers make this achievable since ou have enough influence to fit everything.

Probably something like this as a first draft:

Identity: Criminal: Iain Stirling

Cards: 45 / 45
Influence: 10 / 10

Event (19)
3x Account Siphon
3x Express Delivery
3x Hostage
3x Planned Assault
3x Special Order
3x Sure Gamble
1x Vamp ●●

Hardware (2)
2x Logos

Program (6)
2x Alias
2x Breach
2x Passport

Resource (18)
2x Data Leak Reversal ●●
1x Donut Taganes ●●
3x Fall Guy
1x Kati Jones
3x New Angeles City Hall
1x Professional Contacts ●●
3x Same Old Thing
1x The Source ●●
3x Tri-maf Contact

If you want to properly leverage Donut, you need to go for less Events and more Resources, especially for effects that have a comparable variant available. So for instance, take Mr. Li instead of Express Delivery, probably drop the Planned Assault altogether (possibly taking Armitage or Daily Casts instead), etc.

Also, I’d take Aesop (or a second Vamp) before DLR, as there’s plenty of anti-synergy with the rest of your list there.

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