Festering Lampreys

Been a while since I posted up a properly janky decklist for general amusement/ridicule, so hey, why not.

Ever since Lamprey came out, the idea of using it properly has been haunting me. Sure, it’s good for a quick mill in Noise (and possible pawning), but the card looks like it could be so much more. Actually having it on the table and having its ability trigger in Noise games further convinced me that yes, this could very well be an underrated card. Hell, whenever I was corping and Noise had one out, my desire to purge just to get rid of that annoying little leech increased substantially. But, I didn’t really get around to throwing a decklist together.

The angle of siphonless, vampless denial just got another tool recently, in the form of Fester. Even though it has utility on its own, in the form of disincentivizing purges, by itself that’s not enough to make it worthwhile - in a standard deck, one well-timed wipe is enough, and the corp will just bite the bullet and lose the couple creds.

These two cards together, however, seem like they might be good at creating a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation, as far as wipes are concerned. Of course, there’s a lot of ifs - you need to get into HQ repeatedly, you need to get those pieces on the board, you need a way to recur them… but hey, noone said being an Anarch is easy.

Now, on the topic of repeated runs. Several options come to mind here - one of them would be Doppelganger. Stuff gets enabled really well with the free run. But, I felt like I might be tight on influence, so let’s try something else. Josh B. doesn’t seem like such a good idea, living in the age of BS and scorchy NBN.

And then a friend brought up Rachel over dinner. I believe the exact words were “You know, click for credits three times, play Rachel and make a run isn’t a terrible first turn.” Now obviously, that’s pretty much the worst case scenario as far as first turns go, but it still seems somewhat okay-ish. I think in the end, the key to using Rachel is not to build too much around her - don’t waste time with Decoys, NACH, whatever. If you build around her, actually putting her on the table becomes a necessity even in situations where you’d rather not. Instead, just keep it simple - drop her, use her as long as you can, if you lose her so be it. Sure, Snares and Ravens suck, and NBN is probably a matchup where you don’t really want to play her in the first place, but if you do play her you can get a lot of mileage of her.

So - being Anarch, wanting to burst up in cash quickly to drop Rachel and needing to recur Lampreys pretty much dictates the influence, right?

3x Rachel
3x Lucky Find
3x Clone Chip

As far as identities for this shell go, Reina was my first choice. Threw together a first draft, played some on OCGTN. Here’s what the list looked like:

Festering Lamprey Rachel Reina

Reina Roja: Freedom Fighter (Mala Tempora)

Event (12)

Hardware (7)

Resource (9)

Icebreaker (6)

Program (11)

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

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

This was obviously a very rough first cut. For one, it has zero ways to deal with Lotus Field. Also, there’s no multi-access (mainly because I’m an idiot and totally forgot to put it in). Still, I got some matches in. In no particular order, the findings:

  • If the engine gets rolling, it’s really brutal. Rachel has good synergy with forcing purges often, and the amount of Lamprey recursion available is nice. Not drawing Fester for a while means the econ denial is weaker than it could be, once two Festers hit the table Lampreys usually hang around. Saving Lampreys and not playing more than one at a time might be a good idea.
  • I really liked Rachel, much more than I thought I would. If nothing else, she’s either drip econ or a free card draw each turn. She makes both Kati and Rook much better, because the click cost of operating them is decreased, relatively speaking. She makes Lucky Find less… overbearing to play during a busy turn. In short, I really like her in Anarch.
  • The Dirty Laundries were underwhelming, and will be the first slots to get dropped, given how many other things are missing in the deck more sorely than econ.
  • Rook is totally boss, works very well with my plan, and is now better than ever, since it can be safely parked on Architect. I’ll probably go up to 3 copies.
  • Morning Star because everyone and their grandmother plays 3 copies of Eli, and since I already need to be able to burst up in credits because of Rachel, I figured why not.
  • The deck really, really needs a secondary game plan. In the games I played, I was able to retain access to HQ, and so eventually scrounged up the 7 points for a win. It sure took a while, though. Jackson can stop the agendas from pooling in HQ for a while. Which brings me to…
  • Despite the heavy credit denial aspect, Reina might not be the best identity for this. I’m contemplating moving to Noise, because a free secondary game plan is nothing to scoff at. This would also make sense since I’d like to add Crypsis as an anti-Lotus piece, and two Mediums will probably find a nice home here - as another way to trigger Fester if HQ is shut off but RnD is available.
  • Last but not least, I’m contemplating using Fester (and possibly Lampreys as well) in Gabe. Gabe really loves his Pheromones, and when they get fed, purging them is the only option really.

With these findings in mind, my second iteration looks something like this:

Purge me, make my day

Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire (Core Set)

Event (9)

Hardware (7)

Resource (9)

Icebreaker (6)

Program (14)

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

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Comments? Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I going in the right direction, or would you try something else?

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I definitely feel like wanting Fester’s microaggression (economic denial) means that you need something really painful waiting for a corp that could get by without purging. To that end, I think Medium is the right choice here, because it gives you + vs. R&D to complement Noise’s + vs. Archives and Lamprey’s + vs HQ.

I feel like this is a great threat package but I have a concern about the econ package that goes along with it (anarchs: what else is new? :)). I’ve never actually played Rachel, so maybe she helps solve that. She seems too weak vs. NBN (breaking news!) for her cost to me still.


I originally wrote stuff about Gabe, but then noticed you’d already considered that. I think it would be strong in Gabe. Would it be stronger? Not sure - you’ve got to import R&D pressure.

Inject finds Fester (at the expense of trashing Lamprey). Since you’re running three Clone Chips and 3 Deja Vu, why not run Inject?

Another card that gets pretty scary at high number of virus counters is Haemorrhage. As corp, do you purge if that is at 8 counters? Do you purge if it costs you 2/4/6 credits?

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If you want to go on full Lamprey mode why not use Sneakdoor Beta? It might enable you to enter HQ or force a purge even more often!


I’ve been running Lamprey in Gabe, and it has been fantastic. Sometimes it just gives you control of the early game, and keeps the Corp on its knees. Sometimes my only real rig is Sneakdoor Beta and Lamprey in 7-0 wins.

I haven’t tried Fester at all yet, but I’m skeptical if it’d do much in my build considering that the Corp will purge once they’re being kept at zero credits anyway. Though at 1 influence, it merits consideration (esp. if more criminal viruses come out).

I don’t run pheromones in Gabe anymore, but I could see Fester working well with it!


Actually, you get an extra click. Her ability is always-on, not just on from the next turn like Joshua B. No doubt that’s part of why she’s so expensive – if you play her click 4, you get a click 5 immediately thereafter (just like with Mandatory Upgrades).

I’m really tempted to sleeve this together and give it a shot. Argh.

playing Rachael as click 4 gives him the 5th click to run.


…somehow missed that, duh, right.


I can personally attest to the brutality of this deck when it gets on top of you. I had a lotus field untested on HQ and tried my damnedest to get it rezzed, but between Reina and Rook, I was just boned. Made a couple misplays early, but most of them only in hindsight, knowing what was coming…

20 turns of purge and déjà vus later… Most frustrating game I’ve played.

Definitely can think of some good options in this kind of deck though. If you’d had Desparado, you would have been infinitely rich. Gorman Drip is worth considering if you keep Grimoire. And sneakdoor/pheromones are obviously cool. All this blue makes me wonder how you’d do this in crim.

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This doesn’t use fester, but here’s the reina list I’ve been playing a lot lately. I was saving it as tech for worlds, but I wasn’t able to go so it’s kinda moot now. It hasn’t dropped a game in the last 3 months, the last loss being against nordrunner in the stimhack league, and I’ve updated since then.

clone chip can be replaced if you have another two influence card you want, I’ve ran it with shutdown instead and it isn’t awful.

Lamprey is murder if you can keep their ice down.


I agree that it’s hard for me to say I’m going to make lamprey a big part of what I’m doing and I’m not going to use sneakdoor beta.

In fairness to peekay though he has a proper archive threat with the datasuckers for parasite so I can see how it’s not a need and functions just fine.

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I’d guess this would lose to NEH Biotics fairly often. You play against top tier with that deck much? The lack of HQ multi-access looks rough.

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Heavily tested it against NEH and RP, didn’t test the cambridge matchup much because keyhole seems to make it lopsided. NEH is significantly easier than RP, RP is probably it’s hardest matchup due to caprice/nisei mk2 + annoying ice. NEH could probably win through an astro train, but it tends to run garbage ice which is really good for this deck.

Thanks for all the replies!

I want to fit in Day Job in here once it comes out, as it’s another card with strong Rachel synergy. Overall though, I’m guessing O&C will have at least some goodies that help what I’m trying to do here, so complete re-evaluation will follow, naturally :slight_smile:

As a self-trashing program, I need quite a bit of recursion to keep Lampreys live. That plus Parasites tend to eat up all my capacity anyway. I feel like this is a deck that falls or flies with the mulligan (both mine and the corp’s), and no amount of Injecting is really going to change that. Do I need something non-program so badly that I’m willing to trash random programs to get it? Fester would be the closest candidate, but it’s enabled by programs… so my personal answer would be “no”.

What I will be wanting to fit in a full set of, though, are Earthrise Hotels when they come out. That card is crazy awesome.

Good call. At this point, influence is the only reason. If I get in enough different burst econ that replacing Lucky Find becomes feasible (hello, Day Job), they might very well get in. Going that route probably means not being Noise, though. Maybe Eddie, for free Hedge Fund nukage?

Man, again - I’m so sorry :smile: That game was a one-in-a-million kind of deal where almost everything came down perfectly - pretty much got almost all of my combo pieces immediately (like, first hand immediately), with the exception of Fester which didn’t show until later. I even drew the second Lamprey after you finally managed to burn most of my recursion.

This totally sounds like a Gabe shell. I’ve been experimenting with a Grimoire-powered virus Gabe about two cycles ago (mostly because a) Pheromones just scream Gabe to me b) there wasn’t any Crim console with more than 1 MU), and when it came together it was pretty awesome. The problem was getting locked out after a purge. Might be worth a try now, with BOX-E as the console of choice.

I’ll give it some thought and try to whip up a Crim list. Full disclosure though: as far as my Crim deckbuilding skills go, I’m subpar at best. It will need a lot of revisions from you gentlemen :smile:

Try your deck against Blue Sun. My guess is you’ll be totally boned (which is more of a function of BS vs Anarch than it is a trait of your particular decklist, but I digress).


I like it on paper, without having played it or against it.

I definitely think this is better out of Noise. I think you really need that multi-dimensional threat, otherwise the corp can gum up HQ and not really need to purge the Lampreys any more. Even with that, I’d be a bit concerned about what a Lotus Field on HQ can do to you but I’m afraid I don’t have any useful solutions to offer. Come Order and Chaos, Edward might be worth looking at in order to slap down the Sweeps Week/Celebrity Gift based economic recoveries. My feeling is that Noise will still have the edge though.

To me the economy looks as good as it can reasonably be given the current card pool. The big upfront costs of two of the breakers and Rachel imply that it takes some quite heavy tempo hits though. How aggressively are you running it? Are you trying to build up a board position to lock them down, or hit them out of the blocks and don’t let them recover?

Random thoughts on card choices for the sake of stimulating discussion.

Joshua B instead of Rachel? Faster, cheaper, influence free and doesn’t die instantly to Making News. Gives the corp another thing to be doing other than actually trying to win the game. Frees up influence for all sorts of options (Gorman, Cache, Fall Guy, Quality Time spring to mind). Downside’s pretty obvious though.

No Imp? The thing that made me give up on Whizzard economy denial for the time being was the “get out of jail free” operations like Celebrity Gift and Sweeps Week. Are they an issue?

What is the game plan against Blue Sun, or have you just accepted it as a loss? My experience so far is that some Anarch decks can be Blue Sun’s worst nightmare, whilst others just fold to it. Without D4V1D and relying on Morning Star as a fracter it looks like you may have filed this in the latter category.

The next big boost for this I think will be Incubator. Having a virus that builds every turn plays right into you game plan. Otherwise the corp faces a Maker’s Eye run every three turns. I think that will be a game-changer for decks of this type, not least because even Astrobiotics have to purge regularly at that point.


What about Queen’s Gambit. Seems like a solid meta call.


I feel like you almost want vamp to pull the corp back down when, for instance, against RP they get a celebrity gift off. Just maybe 1-2 of to help pull it back in. I believe you could do this with caissa exclusively…that said my take on this is diverging a bit, I won’t post without testing (gasp right?). Nice frame though, thanks pk


Seems like a fun build! Lately I’ve had trouble with credit denial decks, so I think I’ll try this one out :slight_smile:

I think imp would be great here, it gives you extra mileage for those lamprey runs. I might also consider removing some kati J / rachel B / lucky find to get in a couple of hostages, single queens gambit and a couple of davids.

Maybe something like this: -2 rachel, -2 kati, -1 lucky -> +2 hostage, +1 queens gambit, +1 imp, +1 david? One could also remove the queens gambit for another imp or david. Liberated accounts might also be a good fit in yhis deck.

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While my Anarch decks usually include two copies lately (with Ash, Caprice and asset econ everywhere), I felt like here it wouldn’t be so good. Imagine an opening hand where you have Rachel and Queen’s Gambit, but no other econ. Do you keep it? It could be a good or a bad mulligan decision, depending on the corp’s first turn play. This loss of early reliability says to me that Lucky Find is better, even for its influence cost.

Sure, but for that you need to either go the Joshua route (and pray you don’t get blown up), or wait for Quanju PT to come out, so you don’t lose Rachel on the turn you’re vamping. I’ve played my fair share of Josh/Vamp decks in the last year, now I’m more interested in the Rachel angle of things. That said, I’m definitely looking forward to rifling through O&C and seeing where to take this from here.

Honestly, I’d rather have the extra copies than the singletons and hostages (for resiliency purposes), but I see the allure in that change. I wouldn’t go down to 2 lucky finds personally - the econ is already walking the razor’s edge in my version, and you basically removed some burst econ while slapping additional setup cost onto the recurring econ… that sounds like a recipe for trouble to me :smile:

Imps and D4V1Ds are definitely on my wish-list to get in here, though! There’s a possibility of opening more deck space by skimping on breakers (and going 3x Crypsis and nothing else), but that makes the list even more all-in, fly-or-bust - if they rez a Lotus or an Architect on HQ, you’re done (the cost of the run is going to murder you way before the Lamprey effect murders the corp).


Fun fact: ‘Qianju’, phonetically, is Mandarin Chinese for ‘forward-move’; or, to be colloquial, ‘acceleration’. Another flavor home run by FFG, in my book :smiley: