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[Iain Stirling] Retirement's Over

Let’s start with the first decklist I made for Iain post-MWL…

Iain has Connections

Iain Stirling: Retired Spook (Honor and Profit)

Event (16)

Hardware (6)

Resource (14)

Icebreaker (9)

10 influence spent (max 10)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Ok, so this deck was primarily created to hate on SYNC decks which I suspect will be prevalent. So I started with Data Dealer+Fan Site combination. News Teams are GREAT.

Next up was to add 3x Hostage and 3x Logos to try and get Data Dealer as quickly as possible. Once I had the Hostages, I decided I might as well go heavy on the Connections. The Source and Dr. Lovegood are the next to go in, followed by Mr. Li and Film Critic. Decoy is our old man’s version of a Plascrete, and Underworld Contact is the last Connection that I think might be useful. (This one’s on the chopping block, after playing with it a bit. Might be better as a Fall Guy…)

Because of Underworld Contact, Dyson Mem Chip gets added. (I considered Helpful AI, but it would be the rest of my influence.) Next I have to decide on my breaker suite. I decide to start with 2x breakers and go from there. For my first iteration, I’ll go with the Centrals breakers. Rex and Femme get added as Criminal’s best non-central only breakers not named Faerie. Faust gets added because after I’m set up, I don’t need more Logos, Hostage, or Special Order, and some matchups it can eat Decoy, too. Looks like a pretty reasonable Program suite, lets head over to events…

First up, the obviously missing card: Account Siphon. I think that this deck doesn’t particularly care if you’re poor or not. It definitely doesn’t need the money-infusion from it, and as I said earlier, the concept was to try and destroy SYNC, and I definitely can’t float tags in this deck, so clearing them is just going along with their gameplan… Because of the central breakers, I absolutely have to run 3x Inside Job. I’m already running 3x Hostage and 3x Special Order, because I want to leverage Criminal’s strengths, and those are Connection/Icebreaker tutoring here. Speaking of Connections, Calling in Favors seems good here, and in testing it’s acquitted itself nicely, being as good as or better than a Sure Gamble in every game that I don’t draw all of them in the first four turns. Drive By is needed for Mushin or Jinteki decks, and also snipes Caprice/Batty hiding out. It also lets me target my Inside Jobs more accurately, which is needed in a deck without SoT/Levy. Now I have two slots left… and one influence… Stimhack doesn’t really fit, since I can’t get in anywhere with Just Money (central only breakers), but Employee Strike should neuter a few corps. Emergency Shutdown is the last addition, though I’m not sure on it.

Playtesting analysis: Surprisingly strong. Completely destroyed the SYNC deck I played against, and actually gave NEH Fastro a run for its money. The difficulty, like most Criminal, is getting into servers later in the game. The Inside Job’s and Femme pull their weight here. Data Dealer is So Much Money. Fan Site + Data Dealer is roughly equivalent to 4 clicks, take 9, and get 9 more for every two clicks after that. And it’s even better if they give you News Teams. Data Dealer also enables desperation plays that are otherwise impossible, allowing you to take an Agenda when they were on game point, at the cost of one of your own. Iain can definitely win by just preventing the Corp from winning.

Things that aren’t working so well: Breach. With the death of Parasite spam, Ice Wall and other cheap barriers have made a resurgence, and Breach is poor against these. At least it wrecks NEXT Silver. Faust also is relatively lackluster here, just because I don’t have the Levy. I don’t want to import Datasucker, as making repeated central runs is not generally what I want to do with this deck, so I’m struggling for where to go for an AI or catch-all breaker. Crypsis or Overmind seem to be the next best choices. Underworld Contact also feels lackluster, so that might have to go entirely as well.

I also feel I may want more ‘silver bullets’, because I have Logos to find them, and Mr. Li also does work in finding me specific cards that I might want for the matchup. I’m not going through my entire deck, but I also generally don’t feel I need to, since a bit of it is redundant. (I feel happy that I’ve figured that part out, at least.)

I’ve also noticed that I think you can play Iain like a normal Criminal, just ignoring his ability. In the NEH game, I think I fired my ability only three turns, but it still came down to a last turn run to steal for the game. Given this revelation, I may start thinking about Iain as if he were a ‘worse’ Andy, that becomes a ‘better’ Gabe if he starts losing. (It’s basically Gabe’s ability without a run on HQ when you’re losing.)

Owing to these observations, I’m considering an Apocalypse Iain, using Logos to find it, Feint to get the HQ run more easily, Inside Job for R&D, and then Aesop’s after the Apoc to start eating the fodder. I’ll be hard-pressed to give up the Data Dealer/Fan Site combo, though, because of how strong it feels.

I noticed there doesn’t seem to be an Iain thread yet. :slight_smile:


Always nice to see less used IDs being tested, so props for that.

I was wondering what use Dr Lovegood was in the deck?

Blanketing The Source when you want to steal an agenda, I presume.


Yep, that.

I have noticed he doesn’t do much else. The normal response would be to use a Drug Dealer, but the deck doesn’t really want to draw cards normally… Also Film Critic can do the same thing that Dr. Lovegood can, just slower. (Film Critic is in because it’s a Powerful Connection. Blanks NAPD, Fetal AI, TFP, Explode… So even if I didn’t have The Source in the deck, Film Critic would be there anyway, and since I have Film Critic, The Source is pretty good.)

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I feel like if you have Film Critic and your tag protection is Decoy… you got more-or-less a straight upgrade from taking NACH instead? NACH also bumps your game up against 24/7 kill decks, and any deck that thinks that Data Raven and Gutenburg over RnD is an easy way to stop you running there.

(I’ll note that Lovegood can then serve double duty blanking NACH as well if you are confident you won’t get tagged on YOUR turn but want efficient SEA etc. protection on your opponent’s turn)

That’s fair.
Did you take into account that NACH isn’t a Connection?

I did not. It becomes less of a straight upgrade then, as Decoy is hostage-able (edge case…) and also fuels those Favours you love Calling In. Without Decoy I’d guess going back to Sure Gamble is more attractive.

Still, you can fetch it with a Logos proc, it’s 1 cred, and will likely stick around much longer.

I wonder what -3 Underworld -3 Decoy -3 Dyson +3 NACH +3 Fall Guy +3 Tri-Maf would look like. It’d keep the same number of Connections in the deck, but take out the lackluster Decoy and Underworld, and add Fall Guy and Tri-Maf… And give me NACH, which also doubles as further Faust Fuel.

Seems plausible, at least. Thanks!


Interested to hear where this takes you! I’ve always had a soft spot for the old guy.

I was messing around with Security Nexus and drip econ Andy with a host of ‘niche’ cards right after DnD and having FC and NACH set up together made you next to impossible to tag, and reasonably allowed resource-heavy crim to run account siphons. The problem, of course, is getting all the pieces; while SYNC and similar decks struggle more, FA just races past you. Here, Logos and Mr Li really help you dig for them, as does the 3 Hostage. I like it.

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There’s a couple of Identities that hate on Fast Advance. The most obvious is Leela, but I think Iain might as well. After all, if you rush out an Agenda, you turn on his ability… (Ed Kim and Noise are arguably here as well, since Ed kills Biotic and Noise kills Their Deck. Iain and Leela, though, directly work better when the corporation is trying to rush through their agendas.)

I can imagine him getting a call ‘Hey that AstroScript thing is live’ and him sighing and dusting off his old connections, going back to work…


And this is why Iain is my favorite ID thematically. I love the old vet character in anything. The fact that he used to work for the government makes it even sweeter.

That being said I’ve never managed to make him work well enough. With such skimp influence he’s pretty restricted to the Crim card pool, and tends to only have a good matchup against glacier or FA, never both. Faust is a bit of a miracle worker though…

I’m going to try Apocalypse Iain soon, so that I have an excuse to play Feint, the little card that could. (It should also be amusingly powerful in a Crisium-heavy meta.)

I was mildly inspired by the TWA podcast where they had Damon come on, and he claimed the Clone Chip/Parasite thing hurt Shaper/Anarch, not Criminal, because ICE Destruction wasn’t their bag and they had other tricks to get around ICE… We Shall See.

-3 Fan Site, +3 Off-Campus Apartment

…and cut some stuff for Kati Jones


I personally like Data Dealer just because of News Team.

Here’s the Ian decks I’ve had lots of success with. but if destroyers start getting played more it may need some re working. Off Campus is the MVP. wish i had a better decoder then Peacock but its that or a bad fracture. 1st hostage is for drug dealer, rest use as needed.

Iain Stirling: Retired Spook (Honor and Profit)

Event (11)
1x Special Order (Core Set)
3x Hostage (Opening Moves)
3x Calling in Favors (Honor and Profit)
3x Legwork (Honor and Profit)
1x Fisk Investment Seminar (The Universe of Tomorrow)

Hardware (4)
3x Dyson Mem Chip (Trace Amount)
1x HQ Interface (Humanity’s Shadow)

Resource (24)
1x Data Dealer (Core Set)
3x Underworld Contact (A Study in Static)
1x Kati Jones (Humanity’s Shadow)
1x New Angeles City Hall (Future Proof)
1x The Source (Creation and Control) ••
3x Fall Guy (Double Time)
1x Tri-maf Contact (Honor and Profit)
1x The Supplier (First Contact)
3x Data Folding (Order and Chaos)
3x Off-Campus Apartment (Breaker Bay) •••
3x Muertos Gang Member (The Underway)
1x Drug Dealer (Old Hollywood)
2x Film Critic (Old Hollywood) ••

Icebreaker (6)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
1x Peacock (What Lies Ahead)
3x Overmind (Honor and Profit)
1x GS Sherman M3 (Data and Destiny) ••

9 influence spent (maximum 10)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

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@higgs_bozo: With Mr. Li in the deck, and how it’s structured, raw card draw isn’t actually that useful. You’ll draw too many Hostage, Logos, and Special Order. The raw money from the Fan Sites+Data Dealer is incredibly useful, and gives your Dealers something to do in non-News Team/Shi.Kyu games. I do want to mention that you don’t sit back with this deck; that’s a mistake a lot of Iain players make, I think. The point is more that you want to punish any corporation that sets up faster than you do, which is basically NEH. You don’t want to lean on Iain’s ability, because it isn’t meant to drive a deck, it’s meant to help get you back into the game. Kati is good, but not when I have Tri-Maf. (It’s really funny because even Tri-Maf is almost too slow; Kati is even slower…) I might try -1 Tri-maf +1 Kati to see how she shakes out.

@Dylan: I like the list. You have an influence free, uhm… Shoot, there’s no decoder that costs only 1.Can you drop an OCA+Peacock for Mr. Li + Zu? (Lose a card draw for a card draw and lose a decoder for a decoder…) Also, Wall of Static has been my #1 annoyance using Breach; with Sherman and no support it looks similar… Are you using Sherman instead of Corroder for the Cloud bonus, giving one more Overmind counter…?

Other things: Gang Member is a little weird, and why 2 Film Critic but only one NACH? You can’t search the NACH with Hostage…

I love Iain,but 10 inf + MWL is really,really hurtful.Damon plz do not print any ID with low inf,Kit,Professor,Iain,TWIY,GRNDL,I love these ID but they are painful to use.
I find myself can’t solve the problem of Iain’s low inf.Against FA it’s too slow,against Glacier you got a lot of money yet you can’t spend anywhere because your little 10 inf + MWL keep you from using good stuffs from the other factions.Faust is a good choice though,but it’s hard to find due to 1 copy and you can’t get it online because with more multi-sub low-strength ICE being used faust is harder to pull out.
Hope you guys come out with a decent Iain deck,I’ll playtest some good deck to see how it works.

Edit:Professor is now officially Tier 1.

Low inf hurts, true, but it basically forces Iain to play Logos to have a chance; getting the most bang out of his influence by being able to find it anytime he needs it. Especially Icebreakers or Connections, due to Special Order and Hostage. You’ll notice that’s where I spent my influence (Except Employee Strike, because there’s a few corps that absolutely hate the card, like Blue Sun.)

I’m thinking of dropping Faust for Overmind/Crypsis (I have money for days), and bringing in Corroder. Breaking Wall of Static with Breach makes me cry.

played against something similar on jinteki the other day (maybe it was you, @CrushU?) with a SYNC deck that frankly so far has only dropped games to overwhelming bad luck. It. Fucking. Crushed. Me. I will say that whoever it was ran NACH with was a freaking nightmare.

seems really hard to say how good it would be overall, as I clearly just happened to be playing the “target deck,” but the old man definitely has some new legs (robot legs). weirdly I think the MWL seems to be giving a (small) bump to these low influence ID’s that don’t give a shit about any of the MWL cards. Iain is definitely my favorite criminal, so I’ll definitely be watching this thread and just may need to sleeve him back up soon…

It was not me; I only started running NACH after someone in here suggested it. I crushed a SYNC just using Decoy.

I also agree about the MWL not affecting Iain… It’s actually the reason I started looking at him again. He’s the one Criminal that absolutely doesn’t want the multiple-run economy that Desperado works with, so the other Consoles are better for him anyway, and Logos seems perfect for him, since if the corp is gonna let you get benefit from your ID, they’ll also give you a free tutored card…