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"Hey, look at this pretty successful Ken Tenma list": The Crimson-Leaves Strike, Two-time Store Championship Winner


Just wanted to throw this decklist up for you guys to peruse. I’m not the creator - my brother, @xiebelvoule is… I’m just doing my part to spread the gospel of the Church of Tenma! :smile: I know people have been playing around with Ken Tenma a bit and, not to brag, but I think this is one of the best builds out there.

This deck, paired with Near-Earth Hub, has pulled down two Store Championship wins, at Event Horizon Games in Garner, NC and Game Theory in Raleigh, NC. At our home store, Atomic Empire, it was the top seed going into elimination round. My brother eventually placed 4th there, taking two losses largely due to fatigue (he had a pretty serious cold that day.)

Another player fielding an exact duplicate of this deck placed second at both Game Theory and the Gamer’s Armory SCs, and was the #2 seed going into Eliminations at Atomic Empire, only getting knocked out of contention by going up against my brother, who created this deck.

A few random points:

It’s basically powered by the synergy between Desperado/Sec Testing, John Masanori, and Datasucker. Feedback Filter is pure gold in this deck - a lot of decks don’t have the credits to really make good use of the Filter, but this decks makes money hand over fist and basically makes a mockery of Personal Evolution decks. It’s so effective that pretty much all the PE players in our area have switched over to RP as a result. Also, the Filter will help deal with the coming HB brain damage shenanigans.

Public Terminal over Prepaid VoicePAD because only a couple of events are not run events… also, the Terminal can be lost to a Power Shutdown without too much of a hit against the deck’s efficiency.

Crash Space over Plascrete for the savings on Siphon tag-clearing, as well as surprise Data Raven tags and the like. Plascrete is too often a dead draw, especially since Blue Sun has become less prominent due to D4v1d recursion.

I’ve played with this deck a few times, and I’ve played against it often enough that I can probably give you more insight into the design choices used, so if you guys have any questions, feel free to ask!


This looks great, and i applaud your (or your brothers) choice of less obvious cards because they support the deck better :clap:

Will definitely give this a try at some point.

Jesse has never played Ken Tenma in his life to my knowledge, and hasn’t been to north Carolina for netrunner since last summer. You’ve got the wrong guy.

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Just wait 'till you get Midseasoned, you’ll be singing a different tune :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, question: how many HB have you guys encountered in the tourneys? Seems like you could easily be in trouble vs. Ichi on Archives and reasonable ICE elsewhere.

Your brother’s writeup seems to indicate he played 3 out of 4 rounds vs. Jinteki, against which I can easily seeing this list being good.

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I think an important lesson your brothers deck teaches is that you don’t need an assload of run events. You need one per turn, nothing crazy like Ken decks I often build.

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Dying to midseasons is really sad :slight_smile:

14 out of 46 most definitely qualifies as “an assload of run events” in my book. Hell, I don’t think even String Theory runs more, and that’s a deck that hates life whenever the top card of their deck isn’t an event :wink:

3 SoT but only 2 desperado and 2 sec testing?


I love shoutouts, but @hhooo is correct. I don’t know who you have me confused with (is there somebody out there masquerading as me???) but other than being the reigning Regional champ for NC, I have never played Netrunner there. I have also never played Ken, I don’t even think in testing.

Very interested to know more about why you thought I was there, or who you are confusing me with!


Oh god I do have you confused with someone else. I saw you post something about going to Atomic once and made an assumption, and you know what they say about those…

LOL Sorry, friend…

What am I missing? This looks very much like a Andy Sucker list, just not in Andy, and Makeres Eye instead. You could run this in Leela or Gabe pretty much too.

The Crash and Public seem like inferior choices, but the skeleton is strong. Convince me that it wasn’t just a good player playing a good (but not great) deck to victory because hes a good player.


Paper Tripping is in faction.

Boring response:

So, the deck is pretty much AndySucker played in Ken spending the extra influence on a second feedback filter?

A few cards are different (mostly makers eye instead of interfaces and cutting two breaker influence for a clone chip) but the deck is pretty much the same.

Is this worth it instead of playing Andy, perhaps.

Congratz on the win, but it does look like the deck can be tweaked some more.

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If Midseason ever becomes a problem, the build might change. I can see a time when that might come , but since it’s pretty much all NEHFA all the time for right now, I think the Crash Space is still the better call. Besides, you could still use them to avoid some meat damage, maybe not as much as Plascrete, but still a fair amount.

I’ll be honest, as an HB player myself, HB has fallen out of favor here. Most people that were playing HB switched over to some combination of NEH, RP, and Blue Sun. A lot of player think HB Glacier just takes too long to play. Many players follow the online trends and whatever’s popular from Worlds. There are still a few EtF and Foundry players, and maybe NEXT Gold will help out a bit, but HB has been abandoned for the most part. As for specifically dealing with an Ichibar on Archives, the answer is probably to either go somewhere else or click through. Just depends on how bad you need to hit Archives… LOL

I don’t think you really mean anything negative by it, but you sound a bit dismissive of the deck (and my brother’s) success.

That write-up I linked to was done right after the Event Horizon SC, and yes, it was pretty much all Jinteki. An important point I forgot to make is that our meta has been absolutely infested with Jinteki for a long time. In fact, this deck was originally designed to beat Jinteki, because that was the only way to do well at tourneys in our area. So yes, dealing with Jinteki has been a major influence on this build.

However, the Game Theory SC was almost entirely NEH, and he only lost one total game (Corp, I think) all day. Additionally, Atomic Empire had a good variety of Weyland represented, such as Blue Sun, Titan and Argus. Also, I’ve seen this deck handle Foundry and RP quite well, and it’s won with some difficulty against HB Glacier decks.

Is it some perfect, unstoppable juggernaut? Not at all. However, I think my brother’s skill has compensated for bad matchups, and he’s come out on top quite a lot.

Isn’t that the hallmark of a good player?

@Korrigan I think the logic is that a third Desperado/Sec Test is kind of redundant, as you usually don’t want to do Sec Testing more than twice a turn max, and with Masanori draws they show up fairly quickly anyway if they weren’t in the opening hand. You could drop one SOT and add something in, I think.

@bahram. And why is an Andysucker list good? Because an Andy Sucker list couples all the best Criminal tricks with what are widely considered the best programs in the game. Is that not what this deck does? I’ll admit it doesn’t really do anything drastically different from that aside from use a few more run events and maybe make a few more credits off Ken’s ability, but is that perhaps because Andysucker lists were already using

If you’re that set on using Prepaid, go right ahead and switch out the Public Terminals for them. However, I don’t think the money they save on the few events that aren’t runs offsets the cost by that much…

Implying that being a really good player isn’t the most important part of this game… :unamused:

@Ilza , @Kore : Did I imply that it was really anything other than that? I never said it was this groundbreaking thing that has never existed before in Netrunner… I just said it was the best Ken Tenma deck I’ve seen. Look, I don’t want to engage in some heated debate with you guys, but your pat response to this is always, “Well, it’s just Andysucker…” Well, that’s because somebody figured out that if they combine the breakers that are the most optimal with the money-making and tricks of Criminal that it works out pretty good… and that’s exactly what this deck does. Are there matchups that it’s better than Andy against? Perhaps NBN… since Sweeps Week is a pretty hefty blow against Andromeda, and tons of money leads to tons of Midseasons tags. I personally have played Andy quite a bit and I feel quite often like my first turn is dictated by the fact that I have to dump 4 cards out of my hand or lose them, rather than being able to flexibly respond to whatever the Corp has done on their turn one.

Yes, Feedback Filter was a meta call against Jinteki, because our area is absolutely lousy with Jinteki. As far as I can tell, RP is the number two deck in this game, and PE was incredibly popular for a while after Chris Hinke’s Cambridge win. I’m sorry… was that a bad decision? They could easily be switched out for another Clone Chip if it were called for.

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I agree with Bahram, this deck looks like a normal Andysucker shell with Maker’s Eye instead of R&D Interface and crash spaces instead of plascretes. Is the 1 credit for run events worth losing the consistency of the Andy start? Does it do better against certain decks than Andy? I’m willing to believe this deck is good but some of it might have been due to certain inspired meta choices (2 feedback filters) rather than raw power.

Good meta call against PE, otherwise looks functional but definitely not optimal.


Just making a note since the thread is called ‘how to play ken tenma’

Basic criminal is strong. That is something no one will argue. But with that kinda title… and finding a very normal looking list that i think can both improved inside of just keeping it Ken and would be improved as Andromeda (since so much set up cards are 2 of, not 3 of) or as Gabe (better HQ pressure, possibly better money, and makes Makers Eye hit harder since HQ is protected more)

I was expecting more, thats all.

Grats on the deck winning, and solid play > solid decklist, but you gotta admit the thread is misleading. Not taking away from your brothers achievement.

I think there is a lot of room to explore with Ken that the other Criminals cant do, but this just seems to be a ‘I like Ken better, I know what meta call outs to make, and I know the good Criminal deck Skeleton.’ more than its a ‘Hey look at this deck that Ken loves that you picked Ken to do!’

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I fail to see how “favoring an ID, acknowledging your meta and making adjustments instead of blindly running a decklist, and understanding what makes a good Criminal deck” is a bad thing.

I really meant for the post title to just grab people’s attention. “Hey, here’s a successful Ken deck.” I mainly called it that because I’ve seen a lot of shitty Ken lists that simply crammed in every single event card in Netrunner and forgot to do anything even remotely synergistic. I wasn’t trying to say it was some kind of all-inclusive, step-by-step guide to playing Tenma. I can see how that might have been a bit misleading, but I mean… he’s a Criminal. How much of a strategy guide do you need for that?

I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do with Ken other than use effective breakers, and cater to your ID ability by playing lots of run events, and maximizing the profitability of said runs… Since this thread was originally called “How to play Ken Tenma,” perhaps you could share your thoughts on what he can do that other Criminals can’t?

I suppose you can look at it this way… when Queen Andromeda is gone, you know who to turn to if you want to keep using this same playstyle.

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I have a feeling that sooner or later Ken might be a force to be reckoned with, like Gabe and Leela (but obviously inferior to Andy). When you can do something meaningful with those 2 extra influence and/or new staple run events are released, Ken is gonna be tier 1. He’s just not there yet.

Do you mean other than an extra Maker’s Eye or Clone Chip in Criminal?