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Choices for competitive Runners

I feel there is usually better discussion in here than BGG so lets try. I started to think good runner decks and I realized there are only 2 runners I would take to tournament now. Previously I feel I could have taken more different ones so I feel the runner metagame might have become bit stale. I haven’t been able to play test enough lately so I might be missing something.

The 2 competitive decks (funny thing is that they use quite similar cards):

1. Katman

Katman (45 cards)

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker

Event (13)
3 Dirty Laundry
1 Escher
2 Infiltration
2 Modded
2 Scavenge
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (11)
3 Clone Chip
3 Desperado *********
2 Plascrete Carapace
3 R&D Interface

Resource (9)
3 Daily Casts
3 Kati Jones
3 Professional Contacts

Icebreaker (5)
3 Atman
1 Deus X
1 Femme Fatale *

Program (7)
3 Datasucker ***
1 Parasite **
3 Self-modifying Code

Not much to say from this deck that everybody doesn’t know yet. This deck is amazing.

2. Andromeda

Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie

Event (22)
3 Account Siphon
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Emergency Shutdown
3 Hostage
2 Infiltration
2 Inside Job
3 Special Order
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (6)
2 Desperado
2 Plascrete Carapace
2 R&D Interface ****

Resource (7)
3 Daily Casts
1 John Masanori
1 Kati Jones
1 Professional Contacts **
1 Same Old Thing

Icebreaker (7)
2 Corroder ****
1 Crypsis
2 Faerie
1 Mimic *
1 Yog.0 *

Program (3)
3 Datasucker ***

This is just my Andromeda version but I feel 3x Hostage and single copy connections is the way to go with Andy. There could be some fixing with breakers, like put Ninja in and maybe 3x Crypsis for example. Jinteki net dmg can mess breaker set up of this deck so I feel I should put extra breakers in and also not sure yet with Professional Contracts. Anyway basic module of the deck would be quite similar with other Andy decks. I also feel Andy is better than Gabe now. Andy can make archives a valid run target and Gabe extra 2 credits is not so needed anymore with amazing runner economy.

I can’t think of any other tier 1 runner decks now. Noise can’t compete with these 2 because everybody is playing Jackson. Noise would still be tier 1,5. Could you think any other tier 1 decks apart from these 2 decks/IDs and what would be strengths of those over these 2?


Variations on these two do seem like the only tier 1 decks I’ve seen so far. However, even after Jackson Howard, I’ve found Running_Bear’s Noise deck to still be very strong, but I’d nevertheless put it at tier 1.5-2, considering how devastating a well timed Jay How can be to Noise.

However, when they don’t draw Jackson because you either mill or trash it, Noise can perform like these tier 1 decks or even better.

Here’s Running_Bear’s deck:

Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire (45 cards)

Event (9)
3 Deja Vu
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (6)
3 Clone Chip •• •• ••
1 Cyberfeeder
2 Grimoire

Resource (7)
1 Aesop’s Pawnshop ••
3 Daily Casts
3 Wyldside

Icebreaker (4)
2 Crypsis
1 Mimic
1 Yog.0

Program (19)
3 Datasucker
2 Djinn
1 Gorman Drip v1 •
3 Imp
3 Medium
1 Nerve Agent
3 Parasite
3 Sahasrara •• •• ••

Regarding your Andy deck:

I’m surprised you don’t run 3x Desperado, considering how badly you want to play one.

Also, I feel like the tempo loss to Hostage makes me rather run at least 2x Kati Jones (if not 3x).
You especially don’t want your singleton Kati Jones getting trashed.

I feel like John Masanori is too clumsy, so I’d cut him. NBN loves it when you leave a tag.

I personally like 3x Inside Job, and I don’t like the tempo loss of Same Old Thing.

You seem a little low on breakers.

I do like seeing Professional Contacts in Criminal.

I definitely feel that Andromeda is #1. Kate Atman is #2.

(Maybe Gabe is #2, but Gabe is a very similar deck to Andromeda, and generally weaker, but has Sneakdoor, so it basically has 1 strength over Andromeda: ability to Sneakdoor and then Shutdown a huge ice on HQ). I consider Gabe just a variant of Andromeda. Similarly, there may be a Kit version of the Kate deck thats about as good, but I think that Kate with the influence for 3 Desperados is stronger.

Below this, Noise is good, but hurt a lot by Jackson. Played well (with actual running!), it is strong, but wont get as many random milling points, so its definitely tier 2.

Whizzard with 3 Siphons, Data Leak, Joshua B, Same Old Thing, and Deja Vu is also probably tier 2. When it works its pretty much a hard lock, but its inconsistent. If you can wall up HQ you can beat it, and Closed Accounts and Freelancer help a lot.

While Andromeda is generally the best, Kate is best vs Jinteki, due to the safety of tutoring and recurring Deus X.

Regarding the decklists:

Kate should be played as listed, or with minimal change.
I feel it wants a 2nd Escher, and maybe 1-2 Test Run. Escher midgame is so backbreaking that I think you need 2 to make it so that you can get it more reliably. I’ve had games where I was heading towards a loss, vs things like a Weyland with rezzed Archers, and drew Escher and won as a result.

Regarding what to cut, you could cut a Dirty Laundry or two, and maybe an infiltration (but only in a meta where you thought you wouldnt need it as much).

Regarding the Andromeda list:

  • It needs another Crypsis.
  • It needs a Ninja. But it should keep the 1 Mimic.

There are choices to make regarding resources, and I feel that the correct option is to either play 1 Pro Contacts, OR to play John Masanori(s), but not both. The John Masanori plan is more likely to accept tags. The Pro Contact plan wants to avoid them.

John Masanori is kindof feast or famine. When you can get in, he is an IMMENSE beating. Makes your first run ALSO like a Pro Contacts.
You generally shouldnt play him right away however. Playing him is kindof an art, and requires practice. (Ive screwed it up multiple times already, and lead to painful games, yet still won them, because…Andromeda!)

You generally want to play him after you get initial ice rezzed, and you know you can safely hit things, or when your rig is developed.

I am unsure about Hostage. I would definitely play 2-3 Hostages if I was trying Pro Contacts, but I’m not convinced thats the best plan. Its better to draw your resource than Hostage for it. I’d rather just draw my Kati, so I think a minimum of 2 Kati is correct, and maybe 3 is correct. It might simply be best to play like 3 Kati, 2 John Masanori, 0 Hostage. Alternately, something like 2 Kati 1 John 1 Hostage, or something.

For a deck using Pro Contacts, I’d go 3 Kati, 1 Pro Contacts, ~2 Hostage, and no John Masanori, and probably 1 Same Old Thing.

Finally, you could make the Data Leak/John Masanori/Crash Space deck. But I think its probably weaker. If Jackson didnt exist, this would be pretty awesome, but he does. If you do run that combo, you need to not just do it early on and not build up, because theyll ice archive, stop you from getting to it, and get a Jackson. You’ll instead want to use this later after a normal opening and development.

Oh also:

Forged Activation Orders should be in Andromeda I believe. Its super strong, especially if they happen to play stupid Grims or Swarm.

I’m not even sure that the deck needs Inside Job, though I always keep 1 copy in just to be sure. Don’t want the corp to figure out that I cannot Inside Job through an early 1 ice agenda server.

My favorite recent play:

This guy was playing Weyland (the bad one), and was heavily advancing a Swarm in front of HQ. He had 9 advancements. (I knew it was a swarm because I ran it repeatedly when he had less than $8, and he really needed to stop me, but it wasnt getting rezzed).

I ran it, broke it with Faerie. Played Shutdown on it. Played Forged Activation on it.

He lost $8, lost all the time of putting 9 counters on it. I got a Bad pub, and he lost his commercialization target!
Forged Activation and Shutdown punishes the Illicit ice so hard. Forged Activation is generally good. I think it should be played in general, and the fact that it extra-punishes anyone who tries to play the illicit ice is a bonus.

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I think FAO is going back in my Criminal lists after having been out for awhile. I’m also not as high on Masanori as I thought I would be; mostly because I haven’t figured out when to use him yet.

With regards to decklists: Andy/Gabe and Atman Pressure-Kate are tops. Noise and goofy Criminal variations and maybe some Kit/Exile builds are a step below, though Noise still has more potential imo if you keep run pressure high.

Depending on local meta, a tuned Whizzard deck that likes to siphon and mill can be back-breaking if not quite as consistent as the others. If you’re able to use those recurring credits to disrupt Asset economy while siphoning the proceeds away and DLRing, then it’s basically trolololo time. I think the criminals still do this better, though.

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Criminals do it with greater ability to make it work, and get into those servers, and that makes them stronger.

However, when the Anarch denial deck DOES work (which is a significant amount of the time), the resulting devastation to the corp is even MORE extreme. Not only are you broke, but they Deja Vu the Siphon and break you again, AND they keep forcing you to get $2 and kill a DLR, Joshua B, etc.

Yea, that Andy deck I posted could use some tweaking and makes sense to have Masanori or Professional Contracts and not both. I guess one question with Andy decks is about going Hostage/Professional Contracts way which removes tags more or traditional deck which doesn’t rely on resources so much so it can ignore tags easier. Almost every corp deck is packing one SE (or even closed accounts) because ignore tags Andy is popular so it makes sense to pay more attention to tags nowadays. However, I am sure resources are getting more hate because of Professional Contracts and Katie. Need to play test both ways more and hard to say which is better.

Anyway my point of the post was not so about my Andy deck. It was just a deck I play tested last time. Point was more thinking other decks which could perform as good as these two.

I feel runner decks have become more similar nowadays. When you take those 2 decks you see about 20-25 cards are same. This is bit surprising. I felt different runner decks felt more different before. Reason might be that Netrunner meta game has become unified all in the world. But all this got me thinking has runner decks become more stale when compared to corp decks.