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Feeling Blue About Blue Decks


This may be the best one-sentence explanation of the state of Criminal right now.


I have been trying to get this deck to function. Hard to test it when all I seem to hit on Jinteki right now is some variety of PU.

Good Stuff Gabe?

Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional (Revised Core Set)

Event (13)

Hardware (4)

Resource (19)

Icebreaker (6)

Program (3)

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


Caldera can be good against Jinteki and fits well with Career Fair already.


It can be a good answer. My problem is that playing PU is so unlike playing any Corp that is trying to score agendas that it is not a good testing ground to see if your Runner has sound fundamentals.


If you want game against net damage, try Steve. I’ve put in about 50 Steve games in the past week and the matchup against PE decks is extremely enjoyable and balanced on both sides. I love running through a Kakugo on HQ and getting back the card I lost. 1x Caldera, 1x On the Lam, and 1x Dorm Computer (yes really, it shits on clowncar QPM servers right now) comprise my hate package.

The matchup against PU is less good, but still pretty good.


My main concern about Criminal as we head into Kitara is that Khan and Los might give us a hint of the direction that Damon wanted to push Criminal under his watch (which extends into Kitara.) Both these Runners depend on interacting with ice to have any ID ability at all.

My hope is that Khan and Los represent the effort by the designers to flesh out design space on the fringes of the game rather than define the central thrust of the faction.


Can’t possibly see Khan becoming the center of crim. I played a lot of her, and she’s terrible. Her ability is far too limited. If you inspect the ID closely or play it a lot you’ll see just how terrible it is. There are not many (any?) reasonably good cards that interact well with her. If you’re still worried about Khan let me know, and I’ll expound.

Los is a different story. He’s a good Nasir and Crim has the cards to totally change the calculus of rezzing ice and unbalancing the corps economy. A few more helpful cards and Los could git gud.


[quote=“FightingWalloon, post:527, topic:6796”]
the direction that Damon wanted to push Criminal under his watch (which extends into Kitara.)[/quote]
When do Boggs kicks in ?
I though Kitara was his first assignment?


I think Boggs said on a podcast that Damon essentially designed all of Kitara and that he only gave it a once over (final playtesting/tweaks). He mentioned that all the art assets had already been commissioned at that point, so the card designs themselves were already more or less finalized.

I don’t think we’ll truly see Bogg’s work as a lead designer until whatever comes after Kitara.


I did not mean to say Khan would be a good ID, but that Khan is an ID that depends on interacting with and derezing ice. Los is similar. This is okay in a meta where the Corp depends on playing lots of big ice, but we it is worthless in metas without much ice.

It is bad to have a faction that depends on Corp deck construction choices to be good.


Ice is supposed to be a key feature of the game though. You just started playing at a weird time that made it look like ice was optional, but that meta was a mistake.

Kit and quetzal are also useless against iceless decks. Chaos theory probably doesn’t need the extra memory if she doesn’t have to install breakers. Reina, smoke, and nasir depend on ice too.


I like this point a lot.


We also have Steve Cambridge, who heavily benefits from weakly defended HQ, but Gabe was there first.


So, I’ve been playing ANR since Blood Money came out. (Not long.) In that time, these have been “the best” runners, as far as I can tell.

Whizzard (Val/Maxx made their showing as well with particular decks)

All of these IDs gain you credits, cards, or clicks. Val’s primary use was as a Blackmail Spam ID, but it is her econ bonus that keeps her popular now that Blackmail is gone.

Among current Criminals, Steve (cards) and Geist (cards) are the ones I hear people talk most about. Leela remains the center of an interesting deck archetype, but I don’t think it is generally considered top tier. The same goes for Geist, really. Steve appears to be the strongest candidate for a “good stuff” Crim ID, but the restriction on his ability firing only when running HQ makes it much, much useful than Andy’s ability or Haley’s.

Gabe and Steve are similar, and it is probably worth noting that Gabe got almost zero play by top players during the long reign of Andy as the best Criminal. Steve and Gabe might be the best options left, but they certainly feel much weaker than the current best Shaper and Anarch IDs.


Steve can be better than Gabe IMO. First off, it helps with thousand cuts damage decks by getting a clickless card. Second, that card can be simple econ recursion like Gamble or Casts which is better than 2 credits, even if limited. Steve can sometimes get all Gambles back if they’re selected with teethier cards like multiaccess events. Third you can use Steve to get more play from those attacking cards. I’ve been using him to recur Saccons that stabilize my Tapwrms. I’ve also been recurring Seminars and find that card to be great in Steve with The Gauntlet.

It seems like the most powerful IDs are usually efficiency based rather than mechanical. This may be due to FFGs risk aversion from the uncertainty around possibly OP mechanics (just a guess). I can’t help but think that Steve’s ceiling is much higher than we’ve seen. Even as a pure econ/efficiency gain I’d argue he’s better than Gabe.


Whiz is even more dependent on corp card choices than the ice-dependent runners you mentioned; there are far fewer iceless corp decks than trashless ones.


I think Walloon is referring to planned ICE rez costs for a deck design rather than ICE count. Derez drastically affects decks that rely on high cost ICE while it hardly bothers cheap ICE decks.


Thanks for the clarification, but derez is still more relevant against cheap ice than whiz is against decks without trashable cards. Considering every deck had x3 Jackson though, the relevancy is probably about the same.


Totally agree. The difference tho between Whizz and Los derez is that Whizz totally addresses asset spam single handedly and you can construct the deck anyway you want to suit other Corp meta. Los needs a lot of cards to work well against heavy ICE and doesn’t leave much deck flexibility. I have doubts that Derez can be a T1 all out strategy without cards that make derezing even cheap ICE good. But that would likely become OP against glacier.


So here is my thought on the current “good stuff” Criminal breaker suite:

1 Paperclip
1 Abagnale or Goridan
1 Mongoose
1 Femme
1 Aumakua

You can take back up breakers if you are worried about Skorpios, but this seems like the best set. Any disagreement?