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How to run against C.I

Hi All,

PREFACE: on re-reading this, I really don’t want it to sound like I’m whinging. I admire skillful play and enjoyed these games, but I’m at a loss how to get better at fighting them. Okay, so…

I’m running into a ton of CI decks on Jnet and I just can’t figure out how to play against them. Seems like I have a couple turns to build/run, etc, and then they’ve ultraviolet-clearanced their way up to two third of their deck and all the money, and then I lose by any one of many techniques.

Two examples: One game, the corp IAA’d a card and I let it go, thinking “first agenda of the game, no biggie.” It was a “Successful Field Test” and the corp then installed something like eight pieces of ice, putting two centrals and the scoring remote three deep.

Another game, the corp IAA’d a card and I ran, worrying about the SFT. I stole a GFI and then got double punitived.

Both good plays by the corp, but I’m a bit befuddled as to what I should do as the runner.

Thanks for any CI advice you’ve got.


Yeah CI is pretty busted I think. UVC and VLC are definitely the big oversights of restricted/banlist.


CI feels like a microcosm of the meta right now for Runners. You do not know what the Corp is trying to do when you sit down to play. This is really different from the CtM v. Whizzard meta.

I’ve run into some of the same issues recently. In a way, it is a little like the old CI shutdown combo problem. In those days, the advice was to run early and try to snag some points. If you had a way to disrupt Corp early (Siphon :disappointed: or eStrike) then that was good. But at some point you had to make the judgment call that the Corp probably had the combo ready to go and you needed to stop running.

In the current era my only thought is that CI is trying to do something a bit similar. It wants to build up to a combo and then set up the win quickly after that. My only thought for a response is that Runners need to be well rounded and try to build up your defenses for the combo. You want to run early to try to grab some points and disrupt CI some, but then you need to turn your attention to readying yourself for the combo – whatever it may be.

So, if you don’t have any meat protection, maybe you need some. Or just lots and lots of money so you can fight off the Punitive. If you can’t get in an SFT server, have some other line of play to get points off of centrals. (Maybe run that huge remote those to make them rez ice and perhaps squeeze the hand size.)

I don’t have a clear answer. I think CI is always going to foster combo play and will always be challenging to deal with. VLC and UVC certainly speed up the combo to a huge degree.

Good luck.

I hope some smarter and better players than me will chime in as well.


Right now there’s enough Stinson CI in the meta that you’d be wise to stay above 6 credits whenever possible. If they’re of the Sandburg variety, contesting Sandburgs will become priority number one. Assuming they’re using the banned/restricted list there is a relatively finite amount of times they can bring back Sandburg so try to last it out.

I’m less sure what to recommend against the Punitive variety. When in doubt, just try to build up your own economy and try to hit HQ more than you would in other match-ups.

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I am seriously considering information sifting as a 1 x just to put the fear of God in CI players


I was literally coming here to say exactly this. CI has two extremely efficient econ cards (Violet Level and Ultraviolet Clearance) that no one else can play very well, and has everything it needs to buff up Sandburgs and pump out Whampoa Reclamations to control agenda flow. It seems obscenely strong post-rotation/MWL, and having a potential auto win card like Information Sifting may be necessary.

Edit: I don’t really see CI as a “combo ID” anymore. It can do combos, but it can also just use its Clearances to go extremely fast and generate huge economic advantage.


Information Sifting isn’t an auto-win by any means. It doesn’t hurt the corp at all if you can’t find the agendas in the interim; and if they already have the Sandburg down, good luck landing the Sifting!

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Yah this is the black sheep of the supposed post rotation post banned restricted meta atm. There are at least four different versions of the list all of which are fairly dangerous to play against for most runners. Whether info sifting or something wacky like cbi raid is the answer, I really don’t know, but you wouldn’t want to play multiples of those cards just for CI. Am definitely hoping that some of the stuff still makes it on the banned/restricted list before that comes out but we’ll see. Otherwise I expect a high percentage of CI at worlds


Thanks, everybody. This is helpful.

Ugh, this is the kind of silver-bullet requiring game-type that I really hope the ban list can address. Frankly, I think Sandburg should be on the Ban List too, if it does come out.

I played a game against a CI that only had 17 cards left in R&D by turn 8. It went through 65% of the deck before I could set up (while checking remotes, while making opportune central accesses…). That’s insane.

  • Fisk deck for decking them.
  • Shaper with Film critic.
  • Bust up combos with Maw, Imp, Hemorage, Eddy Kim, etc.
  • Femme Fatal laughs at Sandburg.
  • Beth + Mopus to out money them
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See also security nexus, and I would say that aggressive Gabe with sneakdoor and cards like FAO has a pretty fair matchup. There might also be a reina deck with stuff like Run-Amok, Lampreys and En Passant that can get on top and sit there.

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It helps to be Gabe and/or have Sneakdoor.

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Similarly, Ed Kim can do work if you can get regular R&D and/or HQ accesses, bonus points if you have maw and/or turning wheel out for extra pressure/improving chances of winning the game sooner

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This is all really good advice. The only thing I can add is actually to try playing CI in order to understand the matchup, even though this line of thought contributes to waves of misery in the casual room as everyone grapples with the same thing.

Honestly the reason I suggest this is that based on playing CI in a post-Siphon/post-Jackson world, some of my opponents really get it right: they create threatening situations on servers in order to make me commit ice or force rezzes and make me burn credits, and also they try to get whatever accesses they can on HQ.

I’ve been surprised the times where I have had to rez an expensive piece then had to discard down the following turn. Without Jackson, you have to ask: where are the agendas likely to be?

Only other advice: I run Councilman because I despise getting locked out by bullshit Sandburg servers. I don’t run Sandburg in my own CI deck (because I’m a good person) but others—Twitter eggs, anime avatars, etc.— may think this is a “fun playstyle.” So Councilman the Sandburg and go kill it. At least now they have to use Restore instead of Friends (which is actually more efficient in many cases, I actually prefer Restore for all my most abusive upgrades, but more on that another time).

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Thanks. I’ve added a scrubber and am trying councilman – these help keep asset spam down. I’ve also become hypersensitive to the Stinson line, but the non-interactive ways they can sap my credits are brutal.