It's not that hard, and she's pretty hardcore - Leela Patel

Hi folks!

So maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here what with all the Blue Sun hype from Up and Over, but we’re getting a new runner soon and she strikes me as quite a puzzle. For those who haven’t seen the spoiler yet:

Leela Patel
Identity: Natural
0 Base Link
45 min deck size, 15 influence
Text: Whenever an agenda is scored or stolen, add 1 unrezzed card to HQ.


So, what can we do with that ability? I’ve been scratching my head for a long while to figure out if it’s actually useful, and I’m still not sure. Let’s look into it. If we trigger it when the Corp scores, we can frustrate them by dismantling the server they just scored out of so they have to rebuild. Alternatively, we can take away some ICE on a central server to get a stealing window. So Leela gets an advantage from a Corp that scores early, like Iain. Things get more interesting, however, when we trigger her off stealing. If we steal an agenda out of a central first click, with an Inside Job or something, we can bounce away some ICE on the same or a different central to go looking again. With a bit of luck this could snowball quite nicely, really setting back the Corp’s server building if we hit two or more agendas.

So, how can we make sure we hit two or more? My first thought was by running multiaccess tech, which could be good although it would require a fairly heavy splash into Shaper for RnD digging tools. The route I prefer taking though is building a Keyhole deck out of Leela not unlike the one people have been running out of Iain:

Event: (16)
2x Account Siphon (Core)
3x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)
3x Inside Job (Core)
1x Legwork (Honor and Profit)
3x Special Order (Core)
3x Sure Gamble (Core)
1x Indexing (Future Proof) ■■■

Hardware: (5)
3x Logos (Honor and Profit)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)

Program: (8)
1x Keyhole (True Colors) ■■■
1x Breach (Honor and Profit)
2x Faerie (Future Proof)
1x Alias (Honor and Profit)
1x Corroder (Core) ■■
1x Passport (Honor and Profit)
1x ZU.13 Key Master (What Lies Ahead) ■■

Resource: (16)
2x Mr. Li (Future Proof)
3x Armitage Codebusting (Core)
3x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
1x Hades Shard (First Contact) ■
2x Kati Jones (Humanity’s Shadow)
1x New Angeles City Hall (Future Proof)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
2x The Source (Creation and Control) ■■ ■■

The gameplan: sit back and build early on. Take free accesses where you can get them, and Inside Job into remotes that might have agendas if you get the chance. Unlike Iain, an accidental early steal won’t wreck your plan. In fact it will slow down the corp as they have to keep reinstalling their stuff. Do facecheck HQ, with Siphon or Legwork if you really want them to rez. This is partly to scare them into ICE-ing HQ instead of RnD, and partly to enable Emergency Shutdown later. Do NOT facecheck RnD or Archives. Get Logos on the table, try and get a complete rig quickly, and make as much money as you can. Then, when the Corp scores their first agenda, search out Keyhole with Logos (or the Source if you already have Keyhole), and go to town. Whenever you get 2-3 agendas in Archives with Keyhole, try and hit an Emergency Shutdown on an ICE on RnD. Then go pick up the agendas from Archives (ideally first click on the next turn), bounce away a couple ICE from wherever you can, and go crazy on their now-vulnerable servers for a turn, with Siphon/Legwork/Indexing if you have them. Repeat 2-3 times and you should be at 7 points.

Ok I spent too long writing this, but the main thing is to get people’s thoughts on Leela. This is the best thing I could think of to do with her, but I don’t know if she’ll be any better than Iain at it. Any thoughts on this build or other builds for Leela would be great to read.


It looks to me like you want bypass (it incentivises keeping ice derezzed) and derez over ice destruction. Derez the corp’s cards and send them back. HQ attack is going to be weaker in terms of raw accesses because you’re going to be putting non-agendas in HQ.

It’s an ability that’s probably only going to trigger 4 or 5 times over the course of the game, so making those returns count is going to be really important. An interesting fork is to derez ice when you think the corp is about to score, offering them the tradeoff between delaying the agenda or exposing R&D to a full turn of Keyhole.


Leela to me suggests blackmail.

Blackmail, crescentus, leverage, activist support. Possibly Kraken.
Perhaps false echo. ESD.

The biggest problem with crescentus/false echo has been the clicks to install. Between Mass Install and Autoscripter these costs are minimized. Perhaps with a savoir fair.

Definitely eshutdown and crescentus, other things that strike me as interesting are snitch, cortez chip, blackguard (controlling where things do get rezzed, forcing the corp to blow dollars), and choking back puke false echo. I do think blackmail is interesting, but I don’t think this idea has much more to utilize it than any other criminal. I honestly can’t tell really where to start with this ID, so I’d be curious to see what this thread brings.

I wonder if her ability will trigger changes in corp thinking, the way Quetzal does? I remember people talking about how they rarely had the chance to use Quetzal’s ability sometimes because people just didn’t play barriers if they had the chance – which isn’t reliable, sure, but… if you encourage the corp to rez all their ice early, face-checking might become a much better thing.

Against most Criminals, you don’t want to rez ice over HW or R&D early on when they face-check, so you can block the Siphons, Legworks, and even Indexings.

For example, your hand consists of 3 cards, let’s say: NAPD contract, an expensive piece of ice, and an asset, whatever. You’ve got ice over R&D and HQ both, and are sitting happily at 9 credits on the runner’s turn.

1st click, they run HQ.

Now, you’ve got, say, Wall of Static on HQ, I don’t know. A fairly cheap ETR Ice, good vs Criminal (maybe not as ideal as Quandary, but it happens). Do you rez it?

Normally, I wouldn’t. Why bother? If they hit NAPD they go bankrupt, and you’re fine. But with Leela, if they steal NAPD 1st click, your unrezzed Wall of Static might get bounced, meaning you’re not keeping yourself safe from a follow-up Siphon. You’ll still have some money, sure, because you were at 9, but they can clear tags and be sitting happy after that.

Maybe the example’s a bit contrived, but it seems like a reasonable enough situation overall, not super uncommon. Leela makes random accesses much more risky for the Corp, because she can dismantle your protections – meaning you have to rez stuff, especially early, meaning you’re spending more money, especially early.

Now, all of this isn’t to say that she’ll necessarily be good. This is just me predicting one of the changes she’ll (possibly) have on gameplay that maybe isn’t directly apparent from the ability.


I don’t like her simply because you can’t guarantee her ability will be useful. As compared to, say, Iain, who you can definitely be sure you’ll get his ability, you might never be able to create a situation where Leela’s ability actually gains you anything.

I’m not saying this makes her bad, mind you, just that I try to reduce the amount of randomness as much as possible in my decks where I can. Generally speaking, reliability trumps.

Then again, maybe someone smarter than me will find a way to make her ability reliable?

First off, thanks for the heads up on the news, OP.

Second, hats off to FFG/Lukas/whoever is responsible for this recent trend of experimentation in ID’s (IMO). Nasir, Quetzal, and now Leela - all are Runners who require more thinking in every aspect of the game, from deck building to playing, on both sides. I hope this continues, and the days of Andumbeda-style design are gone.

Third, I can’t wait to try this ID out. I have no idea how I will build it yet (more likely I will netdeck :)), but how could any avid ANR player not be excited about this ID? I don’t have any analysis to add at this point; @GreedyGuts did a solid job there.


She definitely is a bit of a puzzle. At first glance it seems like a pretty minor effect, but since they’ve playtested and decided she doesn’t need extra link or influence it probably plays decently.

I think the niche cards that have been mentioned so far (blackmail, cortez chip, leverage, blackguard, crescentus, etc) are heading the wrong direction. It doesn’t particularly matter which ice you bounce back. You’ll want to make sure there’s an eligible unrezzed target but the runner has plenty of control over that anyway.

Here are the angles I can think of:

Economic advantage
The effect will happen almost every game, probably around 4 times. Costing the corp 4 clicks and say another 3 install credits. That doesn’t compare that badly with the average benefit you’d get from other criminals although it probably is the weakest from a purely economic standpoint.

Aggressive start
Here’s the most important one. Picture a solid corp start, ice(R&D), ice(HQ), baby(Hedge Fund). Leela starts aggressively running R&D, if she scores your HQ ice is getting bounced and an Account Siphon or Legwork is in your future. Against a single ice start, which seems to be much more common these days, Leela could run away with the game even faster than Gabe. She could also go southpaw, jabs to HQ then bounce the R&D ice and hit them with Indexing.

Resource Denial
She’s also the only criminal ID with direct corp resource denial, like Reina. It is a small amount but resource denial becomes more valuable the more of it you have. One of the elements of a heavy denial deck like Anatomy of Anarchy is Data Leak Reversal which happens to be quite easy to import into Criminal where Account Siphon and Fall Guy combo nicely with it.

Overload HQ
I’m thinking the corp will quite often be forced over their maximum handsize, especially when they score an agenda. Breaking News from NEH returning a card to hand and drawing another. Or how many times have you gone to score a 5/3 agenda and already had to discard when you spend the turn advancing? It’s worth noting that the new corps NEH and Blue Sun are particularly vulnerable to this which I’m sure is no coincidence. Well, how can we exacerbate this problem for the corp? One of the best cards for overloading HQ is Woman in the Red Dress. It’s expensive at 4 influence but Hostage is in faction. If you haven’t tried that card out before, give it a go. It is overwhelming against a corp player who hasn’t come up against it before and doesn’t react appropriately.

Stop agenda scoring
Advanced remotes are probably one of the best targets for Leela’s ability. Come to think of it she is probably the best anti PE runner out there. When they install and advance that’s your queue to fire off the Legwork or Maker’s Eye. If you manage to score then you can either bounce the Agenda back to hand or maybe even the Ash, Caprice or ice that made them think they had a scoring window. You’ll need a couple things if you want to make this come together consistently. First, strong multiaccess on demand, probably run events. Second, you want to be able to spot the agendas. Now I’m not usually a fan of The Source, I think it’s actually counterproductive against FA decks, but after playing an Iain Blackmail deck I’ve found it’s great at forcing agendas to identify themselves in remotes. Of course you’d have to pay an extra 3 for this plan so it might not be worth it but The Source also usually makes agendas pile up in HQ.

Here are a couple decklists I’ve whipped up on opposite ends of the spectrum

Aggressive Denial
Gabe meets Anatomy of Anarchy
Uses Leela’s ability to increase pressure and pick apart defences. Run events, often tag me, keeps them trapped in phase 1.

Resource Control
Iain with Andromeda CEO tech
It creates and capitalizes on opportunities with Leela’s ability. Iain control is a very different playstyle I’ve been trying lately that has surprised me with its’ effectiveness. You make fewer runs but as a result give out fewer scoring windows and the agendas pile up in HQ. Standard Criminal early, lots of drawing midgame, devastating HQ runs late. The Shards are a bit of an experiment but they could work here.


Actually her ability seems really good against Jinteki PE. If he score an agenda, he loose the benefit of his mushin-no-shin. Even against NBN FA it’s not bad : force them to install two ICE minimum in front of HQ & RD before thinking of Biotic Labor… Against Jinteki RP and HB Glacier it’s a bit weak though.


I was thinking the same (re: Leela vs. PE)

It is indeed.

I’ve been playtesting a Leela Patel deck to write an article for the italian community, and so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how useful her ability really is. Against Jinteki it really shines, because returning cards to HQ when he spent time and credits to advance them is just painful for the Corp.

Managed to “uninstall” two cards the Jinteki player had previously advanced twice, and it was devastating.
It also was terrible for him to score an Agenda and see one of his installed cards go back to HQ… with plenty of 1 pointers, Leela’s ability can be a nightmare for that Corp.

I went with a full resource denial kind of deck, with Account Siphon (removing creds to prevent them rezzing stuff), Forged Activation Orders (again, removing credits or removing ice), Kraken (ice removal), Emergency Shutdown (derezzing to have something to move back to HQ). Initially it also had False Echo, but to be honest I hardly used it and it can be easily replaced by Crescentus… saving precious influence for some more multiaccess for R&D.

So far I didn’t use Inside Job or Feint, but they could be good additions too, since you don’t want them to rez too much stuff anyway, or you remain without valid targets for her ability.

Oh and I also included Utopia Shard, which proved brutal since you can have them discard the cards they just got back.

There’s something bothering me though: let’s say I run HQ with Legworks and get an Agenda on my frist access… what happens then? I should return a card to HQ due to her ability, or should I wait until I accessed all the cards? If the first case is true, I guess the Corp should shuffle HQ because otherwise I know which one is the card I just moved back there.

So far I did return a card to HQ immediately after stealing the Agenda, and then have the Corp player shuffle HQ.

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Thanks everyone, that’s loads to think about. Thinking some more on my own I’ve started to see Leela’s ability as a powerful way to extend the early game, in true Blue fashion. Like @willlt says, a one-ice start from the corp is extremely risky against Leela. One or two lucky steals early and she can really slow them down, keeping servers insecure. Obviously the operative word there is ‘lucky’, but if she doesn’t get the agendas early on, and the corp gets set up, she can still force them to backtrack when they score. At that point it feels to me a bit more like an Anarch ability - an irritating effect that the corp always has to bear in mind and play around.

@Paddosan I really do like the shards in Leela. Potentially all three depending on your build. They do actually synergise pretty well, especially with your ID adding to HQ as well. If you have a window to attack RnD and can’t find anything, you pop Eden Shard, hit RnD again, hopefully steal for another card to HQ, then force 2 random discards with Utopia Shard. If you have Hades Shard on the board, you can dive straight into Archives to see what they discarded (and fetch what you hit with DLR/Keyhole if you’re running those). Fun fun fun!

Looks like we’ve got a few ideas for Leela builds floating around now, of which my Keyhole deck is probably the weakest. So I’m ditching that, as I have another idea. It seems that Leela wants to be able to have some really devastating turns after her ability fires, to try and find another agenda and really wreck the corp’s board state. With that in mind, why not try the Criminal card that everyone wants to play but never does: Doppelganger! Working with the DLR/Siphon module that willlt proposed above, I’ve come up with this:

Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist (All That Remains)

Event (16)
3x Account Siphon (Core Set)
3x Inside Job (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)
2x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Early Bird (Honor and Profit)

Hardware (8)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
2x Doppelganger (A Study in Static)
2x HQ Interface (Humanity’s Shadow)
2x R&D Interface (Future Proof) 4 inf

Resource (13)
3x Data Leak Reversal (Future Proof) 3 inf
2x Mr. Li (Future Proof)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
3x Fall Guy (Double Time)
1x Eden Shard (Upstalk) 1 inf
1x Hades Shard (First Contact) 1 inf
1x Utopia Shard (All That Remains) 1 inf

Icebreaker (7)
1x Corroder (Core Set) 2 inf
1x Gordian Blade (Core Set) 3 inf
2x Faerie (Future Proof)
1x Alias (Honor and Profit)
1x Breach (Honor and Profit)
1x Passport (Honor and Profit)

Program (2)
2x Crescentus (A Study in Static)

15 influence spent (maximum 15)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to All That Remains

With Early Bird and Doppelganger you can get quite a few runs in a turn. I went with interface multiaccess rather than event-based to synergise with those and Inside Job. So you get set up as quick as you can, then when the corp scores you can go bananas on HQ and RnD, and if you don’t find any agendas spam DLR instead. Early Bird is nice with DLR as you get the run you need to install it without spending a click. Would have loved to include the Woman in the Red Dress to work with the Shards but 4 influence is just too much. Not sure if the economy will be strong enough, but I like the deck in theory.

Looks fun. As soon as OCTGN has Leela I’ll try it out. Or does it already? Haven’t been on in awhile.

I don’t think it does, we don’t have full spoilers for that pack yet.

Heh. Just occurred to me that she overcomes one of the local issues I’m having, slightly. Maybe not super well, but hey, at least stealing Domestic Sleepers will do something for me, now, however slight.


Has anything changed between now and then with Ms. Patel? If so, what? I am pretty curious to try her out, but fear that she will require a drastically different playstyle to make her work.

I think that its just a matter of testing/hearing people report back.

(Too early to tell). On paper, she seems like one of the highest variance runner IDs. Everyone’s been saying how nice her ability is vs. traps/PE, but I just wanna know how it works vs. glacier/what kind of early aggression to go for.

I tried her for a while in a DLR/Medium deck that I had originally built with Gabe, and it was okay, nothing special.

I think Leela will be a Supplier deck, right up Greg’s alley, but I wont be caught dead playing the supplier until Earthrise Hotel is out. That’s the turning point for me.

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Why does Earthrise makes Supplier playable?

I want to sleeve her up and give her a try soon, but next week is new player night at our FLGS and I want to stick to tried-and-true-and-simple decks for that. After, though… oooh boy.