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Is CI the Deck to Beat?

Definitely agree regarding Ichi 2 and Viper. The double click clause is a huge deal, and Viper is just awkward with Eli and Viktor.

Here’s my version for standard FA with a flatline splash.

Identity: Haas-Bioroid: Cerebral Imaging

Cards: 49 / 45
Agenda points: undefined / 20
Influence: 15 / 15

Agenda (11)
3x Accelerated Beta Test
2x Gila Hands Arcology
3x NAPD Contract
3x Project Vitruvius

Asset (2)
2x Jackson Howard ●●

Ice (12)
3x Bastion
3x Eli 1.0
3x Ichi 2.0
3x Viktor 2.0

Operation (24)
3x Archived Memories
3x Biotic Labor
3x Blue Level Clearance
3x Celebrity Gift ●●●●●●●●●
3x Green Level Clearance
3x Hedge Fund
2x Reclamation Order
3x Restructure
1x Scorched Earth ●●●●

In regards to economy, I would never leave home without Celebrity Gift. It enable broken turns where you can Archived Memories -> Celebrity Gift - and if you have multiple Archived Memories, you can grab them back later with Reclamation Order to keep the engine going.

When it’s time to score, you can easily Archived Memories -> Reclamation Order for Biotics.

Not a fan of the Bastion slot, but there’s nothing else to fit in. Ideally I would like something taxing that isn’t str 4 or 5. Hive is normally great but not if you’re actively scoring 2 pters when you can.

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@Flickerwisp The main tweak I’d do to your version would be to drop the Jacksons and grab a SEA Source and either another piece of ICE, or the third Reclamation Order. I feel like this use of influence opens more plays while not significantly sacrificing consistency.

Oh, and re: Celeb Gift. I used to think the same, until I came to the following conclusion: Restructure is just as good as CG, except for Siphon recovery. When you think about it, CG is 7 credits for 2 actions. Restructure + click to gain a credit is 6 credits for 2 actions. The added benefit here is additional flexibility - plays like “Reclaim three Restructures, play a Restructure. Next turn, play two Restructures, do something else” are just as brutal as repeatedly Gifting, and don’t actually cost you influence.

If you’re looking to counter CI, after playing a lot of the versions, I think the safest all-around thing to do is play Parasite recursion. It’s an absolute nightmare for most decks trying to tax the shit out of you.

Nerve Agent, HQI, and Sneakdoor are probably the best single-cards against CI. Play those in your deck if you can fit them. Otherwise, legwork should be in there anyway if you’re playing criminal, I think.

Be aware of what list they’re playing. Watch their influence, and know your enemy. Watch out for Scorches.

If you play against the 7-point Shutdown deck, realize that most of the matchup will depend on how they draw. You’re the one on the clock. Try to win before they draw it. One Siphon doesn’t beat them by itself, but 2 probably will, so be aware of that game plan. If you score 5 Points, you can actually stop running and set up for a turn where you get a ton of accesses. They won’t be able to play Power Shutdown if you don’t run and those lists can’t fit the critical mass of Biotic Labor necessary to FA without the combo.


Sure thing. At least that’s not a Power Shutdown => J-Hova => Accelerated combo :P.

edit: as soon as @PeekaySK gets his Archetype thread together we should merge this convo in, eh? :slight_smile: Good stuff!

good luck identifying the type of CI you are against. there is a hybrid wth scorch splashed, the kill you deck, the combo deck and a more normal one that just scores out of hand… on the runner side they all seem relatively the same and unless you get clued in real quick ie see the scorch in hand its rough.

sneakdoor is important just because that the most realistic way to figure it out quick.


I was definitely crying wolf. This deck is terrifying, but it is not infallible, It took me a night of playtesting to come around to agreeing with what @Lysander and @Alexfrog were saying, but NBN is still the deck to beat at regionals I must conclude.

Anxiously awaiting PK’s write-up nevertheless

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It really depends what you want.

I think this wins as much if not more than NBN does. However, NBN gets a lot more “free” wins.

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My write-up is… well, up. As a full-blown article on the front page :smile:

(it got a bit out of hand size-wise)

I probably shouldn’t have let it generate a new forum thread for the discussion and just point it here, but I have no idea how to do that… surely Sly or someone else will save me in that regard!
(and while you’re at it, dear mod, please move this thread to Deck Archetypes, too)

To me it seems that NBN’s overall speed mostly just affects the pool of viable runner builds, while CI is the matchup that needs to be properly teched against. Going in without a firm idea of what to do about CI will result in embarassment.

Fortunately, tech useful vs. CI is also useful vs HB glacier builds and some other corp archetypes.


I find CI interesting to play against with Anarch, because I feel like I’m also playing a combo deck. I’m trying to assemble the pieces to land a Vamp that takes them to zero whilst they have >15 cards in hand. Get them to zero and there’s no way back for them (even 1 credit allows them out of the hole, letting them click for money, then Blue Level Clearance to five). Interestingly I find my decks without Siphon stronger against it, because they invariably run Kati Jones.

Kati definitely is one of the cards that make SEA so good in CI, even outside of Tag’n’Bag. Sometimes killing a loaded Kati shuts the runner down long enough to just score undisturbed.

Yes, that’s a good point. I considered Hellion Alpha Test as another (in faction but weaker) solution to Kati for my own CI build. Yes it’s dependent on them playing a resource, but then SEA is dependent on a succesful run.

I don’t know about Vamp, man; I don’t see how you’d assemble the credits it would take in a reliable fashion :).

I think HQ Multi-access is probably The Way, especially if you get Indexing through.

If you’re built for it (and I haven’t faced one yet), I bet ICE-destroying recursive Parasite builds would be a solid approach: these CI builds are light on ICE, and if I have to start using EPIC LEVEL RECURSION to bring back ICE instead of econ, then, well… then things would probably get tough. I’ve fought through some decent Reina and Kate/Atman/Parasite builds with it, but neither of those are committed to ICE Destruction.

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The crux of the issue with playing against heavy parasite builds is this: there’s no point in rezzing anything before can close up all centrals and you simply don’t have enough money to rez three pieces of ICE fast enough to stop the flood of sucker counters, which means you’re just done.

I’ll have to play around with a heavy program trash version (Power Shutdown and everything) and see if that solves anything.

I’ve tried a version with 3 Power Shutdown with the ETR suite. It didn’t really work that well - I think the scorch versions are strictly better. What I’m trying now is the singleton power shutdown to go with a singleton scorch to give me options.

So far it hasn’t stood out as much as the scorch inclusion has. Most games it’s not really relevant even if you do have the Archived Memories to keep shutting things down. I do think it is potentially more effective than the Jacksons, but sometimes the Jacksons are better.

When I’m facing tougher games like Noise or heavy parasite into Keyhole - there is no card I want to see more than Jackson Howard. However in the rest of the matchups it really doesn’t do very much. In theory being able to shut out a crim with their singleton breakers sounds like it would be worth the risk though.

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The main problem with the combo is that it takes a lot of your deck space. 3x Jackson Howard, 3x Power Shutdown, 3x Accelerated Diagnostics, 2x Interns - it’s a lot more cards than just 2x Scorched Earth and 2x SEA Source, and that means less ice and economy. And if you take 2x half-measures then it’s not really very consistent either.

I don’t think the Crim match-ups really warrant teching against, they’re usually winnable just fine. Anarch, on the other hand, just plain scares me.

I wouldn’t go for Shutdown + ETR, I’d go for Shutdown + Taxing - I just want to kill suckers. Maybe simply taking 2x Cyberdex is the better route, though.

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Well, it sounds like it makes sence in the late game, but it would horrify me if I had to rez in when I’m at 15 credits. Then again, I doubt that its trace would ever be successful. Tax the runner more - yes, but land a tag and a brain damage - unlikely. Then again, I feel like reducing the runner’s max. handsize to three is not that much of a deal. If I can hit him, I can hit him twice. The hard part in my experience is actually landing a tag if he doesn’t want to take it.

Actually, yes, that is a problem - I don’t really ever have enough money. But I didn’t think that it was due to a lack of recursion. I’ll try +1 Memories +1 Reclamation -2 ice.

The idea behind Viper was that it needs a Datasucker counter to be yogged, and that makes those Viktors that much harder to break. The click loss is also relevant for the same purpose - runner needs that click to break the bioroids standing behind Viper. So if they don’t have Yog then it costs 4 to break it either with Gordian or just by tracing. And it’s also a more-or-less decent ETR when it comes to stopping Indexing or Siphon.
Problem is, nowadays I don’t encounter all that many Criminal decks playing Yog. That damned Voicepad Kate deck with Atmans and Parasites is everywhere, and it’s really strong against Cerebral, even if it’s lacking multi-access and money denial. It’s true what you say, Atman at 4 is really bad for this deck. And that one time when I faced an Anarch player with Ice Carver - horrible, horrible… =_=

Anyway, I’ll try your version out. Still have one more day to test before the Regionals :wink:

If I see Kati and ideally an Armitage it’s two clicks to keep the pressure on (especially with Reina) followed by five credits. But I think the “reliable” is the key - the old Anarch issue of draw consistency crops up.

Love seeing all these Cerebral decks and the attention CI is getting… this has been my favorite identity dating back to September. I’ve played all of these archetypes at least once. I did notice the net damage kill combo absent in all these discussions… Am I the only person rocking that one? Sadly, I think its hay day is over if people start throwing Net Shield into their decks to combat Jinteki.

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My problem with Cerebral Imaging is that it seems strongly reliant on facing runners who only plan to attack R&D and remote servers.

Against decks that have HQ threats like Nerve Agent or HQI, it performs much worse.

Against decks that have Archives threats like Datasucker + Parasite recursion, it performs much worse.

Against decks that threaten both HQ and Archives at once with Sneakdoor, it tends to fall down completely. All my games with Gabe against CI have been laughable blowouts.

While it’s certainly true that many current decks have adopted the narrow R&D/remote focus that most CI decks seem to be able to deal with effectively, if CI becomes big it seems pretty easy for people to adapt and counter it.