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Feeling Blue About Blue Decks


It seems strange now, but I feel a hole where Blue decks should be. The dearth of Criminal last SC season made me believe that I’d be happy if I never saw another Andromeda deck. Yet soon Kate reasserted herself and now, in our recent SC, the top 30% of decks were 100% Anarch.

So give me your vaible Criminal decks people! What are the answers to this disheartening lack of diversity? Which are the builds that you think are almost there, but you need the community to help you make a success!?

Surely internetland there is something we can do to bring that little blue line on the graph of most played factions back above Adam? Or is Adam the new Criminal?


I see no reason to play Criminal at the moment, to be honest. I played a lot of Geist last year, and I think he will be the one to profit most from Political Operative. Until then, Criminal is kind of in a bad spot since everyone and their dog plays Crisium Grid thanks to Apocalypse decks.
This is a rough draft, basically I took the Aggro Geist with B&E and switched cards and influence around so I could fit 3x Political Operative. That said, the loss of Clone Chips is terrible, so it might be better to switch to a Faust or Eater version of the deck.


Armand “Geist” Walker: Tech Lord (The Underway)

Event (9)

Hardware (5)

Resource (14)

Icebreaker (15)

Program (3)

12 influence spent (max 15-3☆=12)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Democracy and Dogma

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Ken with the High stakes econ engine is actually quite strong, especially in a field of yellow, and he has the influence to still get enough toys post MWL.


check out this thread for 1000+ posts on this very topic.

I actually don’t think it’s so much that blue is bad right now (though they definitely have issues) it’s more just that anarch has gotten out of control- the vast majority of “good” cards are currently orange, and their big box +the last few cycles have filled in all the gaps for them (except tutors, which is why green still shows up to play), making willy-nilly splashing of even the most expensive out-of-faction toys extremely easy.

[quote=“rojazu, post:3, topic:6796, full:true”]
Ken with the High stakes econ engine is actually quite strong, especially in a field of yellow, and he has the influence to still get enough toys post MWL.
[/quote] I agree, this is my current direction of exploration as well, seems pretty strong so far (though this may end up depending on how the post MWL corp meta shakes out)


Whenever I look at the ‘What’s up with Criminal?’ thread, I just want to post an image of Archangel, Turing, Crick, and Caprice/Astroscript/Sansan. Those code gates just wreck standard Criminal rigs right now, and Caprice means that HQ never needs to pool agendas, because the corp can always score out. Fast advance similarly wrecks Criminal.

Geist will be pretty close to competitive when Tech Trader and Political Operative are released. Those will mean 5-6 connections by default. Add in Fall Guy and Muertos (fantastic enabler for High Stakes Job), and Off-Campus Apartment starts looking pretty good. There’s a great deck in there.

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Yeah, there’s already discussion on this topic. I don’t think we need another to divert attention from the on-going one.

The biggest problem is that criminal got robbed from some signature mechanics and cards that should’ve been printed in blue. DDos, Jesminder, the upcoming Rigged Results to name a few. DDos is probably the worst offender.

Took 8th of 38 in the Chicago SC last weekend with this. This is a modified build of that (always in flux). Decided I needed Legwork v. its worst enemy, Yellow. May need 2.


Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist (All That Remains)

Event (15)

Hardware (2)

Resource (23)

Icebreaker (5)

15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Kala Ghoda

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


Good grief, no thanks, that’s a thread out of control. I want people to distill all that down into the Greatest Hits album and report back with that! :wink:

Thanks for the decklist though, I’ll take a butchers.

You don’t have to join in if you don’t want. No one is making you. :smile:

So you made a new thread because you don’t feel like reading anything in the thread where this topic has already been/is being discussed?


That will get absolutely hosed by the very same ice you complain about in the previous paragraph. Archangel is the bane of all OCA decks. Then again, Ken should be rich enough to just pay the trace.

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Why pay the trace when Ken has the influence to play Rabbit hole and Toolbox?

Also, if they hadn’t nerfed gingerbread it would have actually been good vs archangel QQ


I want to start a new discussion. Post MWL. With some of the kinks ironed out, all of the wheat and less of the chaff. Some people are happy and engaged… w00t! I :heart: these people.

I don’t want to read through 1000+ posts, full of old thoughts, pre-MWL, meanderings, asides, arguments and multiple revisions of the same deck. :soccer: <- this is as close as I found to a panda.

I’m a sad panda about people saying “we don’t need another discussion” or suggesting this is somehow a distraction (when it can be ignored).

I see the value in distilling where we’re up to and starting from that point. I’ve no real interest in reading 1000+ posts on any subject, even ones I’m super keen on - but this is a forum and we can have discussions on multiple threads and/or ignore threads as we see fit. It’s great being king.


Indeed I got thoroughly whooped by a Leela deck at store champs, but it seemed mostly down to her ability weakening my server centrals when I was scoring out. Any other criminal felt like they couldn’t get in when it counted any more with the current corp economy/ice mix.


I think most Geist decks should, by that point, be running one or even two additional link between Forger and Hopper. Archangel doesn’t worry me so much at that point unless the corp is way richer (which really shouldn’t happen).

No snark at all intended, but this forum software sticks a “Summarize This Thread” button after the first post of most threads, doesn’t it? I’ve never used the feature myself, but maybe it’ll render the Criminal thread useful to you?


Been finding success with Leela recently. She’s a perfect fit to combat the increasingly yellow metagame, a role I feel like Kate lost with the MWL. I’d be lying if I said she was the best runner but I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t competitive. She has one of the best matchups vs both Haarp and NEH, and the only really abysmal matchup is RP.

It’s not a crazy innovation or anything, just has some good cards instead of bad ones, but that’s where Leela wants to be I think.


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Criminal’s problems can probably be quickly summed up with the fact that they simply lack the right tools. Now, criminal has lots of tools, lots of fun and some effective tools, even. The problem is, they don’t have enough of the -right- tools. Let’s observe:

The easiest place to get agendas from is R&D. Establishing a solid R&D lock is also really important against a lot of corp decks. Shapers and Anarchs both have built-in R&D pressure, but Criminal has none whatsoever. Okay, so criminals can just import them.

Next up is recursion. Being able to bring back stuff that’s been trashed is super important, because sometimes it’s unavoidable - an unlucky Batty, a Keegan Lane protected by a Data Raven, or even just some unfortunate damage can get rid of key programs. Shapers and Anarchs both have built-in recursion. This either means you need to add lots of copies of these key programs to your deck (thus not only taking up precious card slots, but also resulting in dead draws), or criminals can just import them.

Finally we have efficient, reliable breakers. Criminals have some strong breakers, but their problem is that they aren’t reliable. Faerie is only useful once. Same with Spike/Shiv/Crowbar. Femme is expensive and only useful against one piece of ice (that will probably get replaced). Rex runs out of power counters. The Breach/Passport/Alias can’t get you into remotes. The rest of their breaker suite that IS reliable is is incredibly inefficient. Aurora, Leviathan, and Gingerbread are jokes, Ninja is crap against low-strength sentries, Garrote is an MU hog and super expensive, and Peacock is inefficient at best. Mongoose is Criminal’s best breaker by far, and it’s only JUST been released. Criminals have to import breakers to reliably and cheaply get into servers.

Notice the trend? Criminals have to import ALL of these tools. Sure, Shapers and Anarchs have to import stuff too, but these three major tools are all covered by their in-faction cards, allowing them to spend their influence on more efficient options available in other factions. Criminals can’t afford to go for the most efficient options, since they need to spend all their influence on just the basic tools needed for a really good runner deck to function (in a competitive environment). I haven’t even gotten into stuff like protecting against Fast Advance, consistently trashing assets, instant-speed answers to threats, etc.


Criminal probably wouldn’t play program-specific recursion if it had it unless it was splashing Parasite. Shaper and Anarch get bonus uses because of Parasite, SMC and other disposable things (D4V1D, Sharpshooter). Criminal plays extras of programs for reasons other than “backup” (see Anarch for another example of this). Clone Chip isn’t in Shaper or Anarch solely just in case a program is trashed.

You’re right in that Criminal lack a strong breaker though. Anarch imports nothing and Shaper imports Mimic, whereas Crim needs all three. I’d concede that this would be fine if it was supposed to be part of the faction pie but I don’t think it is.


I think once Pol Op drops, HQ Aggro Criminal becomes very viable. Right now, the only way to work around HQ Crisium or HQ Caprice is Sneakdoor, which can be clunky. Pol Op just makes it clean and easy.A few of my friends and I were screwing around with a build @TheBigBoy put together with Gabe and Eater, and found it both hilarious and decently powerful.

I’m interested to see the rest of Mumbad for Criminal. There are 4 or 5 unspoiled Blue cards, and after playing with the ones we already got they definitely seem like a much needed boost. I still think Orange cards are better right now, especially at executing the Siphon/Denial gameplan, but Crims might be making a push.

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