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[Kate] Redefining Shaper Control Decks

So how heavily does this rely on Atman? I’ve been playing my version of Kate Blitz for a while now, which started with 2x Atman but now only runs 1x for emergencies. I’m usually only using it to break a couple of specific pieces of ice. Here, it seems like you need to have a much better idea of your opponent’s likely ice composition. Is that the case, or am I just overly nervous about committing to Atman?

I would say that two is all you need. Having 3 would ensure drawing it more quickly, but that may be moot if they stack in your hand. One at zero and one at 3 or 4 STR is ideal.

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Here is my first pass at a deck in the vein of what the opening post describes:

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (14)

Hardware (5)

Resource (5)

Icebreaker (6)

Program (10)

15 influence spent (max 15)   
40 cards (min 40)  
Cards up to True Colors

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I went with Chaos Theory over Kate because I didn’t want to build around Prepaid VoidPAD and I don’t like running cards like Akamatsu Mem Chip. I focused on Parasite because 1) I like how it lets you pressure the Corp 2) I dislike Hive 3) you really want it for Swordsman.

I went with Desperado because I love Desperado, and of course so does Datasucker. Grimoire is also worthy of consideration. I’m also interested in Doppelganger (another card Datasucker loves) because then I would also run 1 Record Reconstructor :slight_smile: . I prefer Chakana over Nerve Agent despite the lack of HQ pressure. 1 Knight might also be nice, if only to help with Wraparound + Power Shutdown.


I like this, it’s a very trim, no-nonsense build. Record Reconstructor could definitely help out to counter shocks in archives, which is a really annoying obstacle for this deck type otherwise. EDIT: Actually, come to think of it, putting multiple “useless” cards back onto R&D is gonna be difficult anyway, so it might not be a very good counter. Might warrant testing though.

I’d cut a parasite and something else (maybe an armitage) for a Stimhack and a Femme. Stimhack is amazing in shaper and Femme will let you deal with all sorts of nasties (swordsman, huge icewalls, tollbooths, ravens, etc.). I would also not take this to a tournament without 2 Plascretes, sadly.

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i think i found a place for plascretes:

-1 Deus X
-1 SMC
+2 Plascrete Carapace

also after few more games i will test:
-1 Atman +1 Cyber-Cypher

My best guess is there would be a lot of variation among corp decks in terms of whether Record Reconstructor would do anything (Rush deck with Paper Wall?  Awwww yisss. CI deck running lots of taxing ice? Probably a dead card. You’d definitely only want 1 of it regardless, since it doesn’t work in multiples). That said I like the idea of Record Reconstructor with Atman because of how the latter can blank certain pieces of ice (e.g. Wall of Static), which means the corp has more dead cards for Reconstructor to abuse.

I’m not a fan of Femme with no way to cheat it out. I might try it out in conjunction with Test Run. But you already have the Parasite+Sucker plan for ice that you really want to get rid of (though maybe you would need to switch to Doppelganger if Parasite+Sucker is how you are planning on handling such ice).

I feel like running Plascrete Carapace is almost always self-defeating outside of tag-me decks and decks that include Account Siphon. What are you doing as a runner if your deck can’t stay within 5 credits of the corp from the midgame on? I’d rather lose the infrequent game to a tag-and-bag player’s lucky draw than pollute my deck with almost-always dead cards.

For what it’s worth, I pretty much consider this a fallacy. Here’s my reasoning:

  • sometimes it makes massively more sense to just stay tagged rather than to clear them - playing Carapace gives you that option
  • the tempo loss necessary to stay within the safe-zone of unscorchableness is usually more than the tempo loss incurred by drawing one dead card in other matchups
    • and can be realistically unattainable in the first place, against an opponent that is determined to smoke ya
  • hitting a Snare happens, not having a Carapace out means it’s massively more dangerous, and probably straight out GG if done on the last click. You could say “well don’t run on the last click”, but once again, that means a certain amount of tempo loss in certain situations (like, being unable to click through Bioroids even when it would make sense, certain RP matchups and so on)
  • btw, what “lucky draw”? As the game nears its end, the probability of Teh Combo being assembled rises… and this is when you need to run the most, both giving the corp the trigger necessary to SEA you, and expending the credits you’d need to out-trace them. If you plan to win before they draw their 8th card or so, fine. If not, don’t whine about lucky draw when you get your ass handed to you as a result :stuck_out_tongue:
  • Midseason exists and is a thing. Punitive Counterstrike exists. PSF exists. Dedicated Response Team exists (even though it’s not that stellar, a proper DRT setup can cause you to be completely unable to run, for instance)

I can see someone saying “I won’t use Carapace, because I have other solutions to the problem that also help my primary strat” and then play Decoy or NACH. That I’m fine with. Saying “planning for an otherwise potentially unwinnable game means taking dead cards, I’ll just play around it” and proudly presenting it as a good choice, not so much.


Yes, Carapace is strongly worth it. What else are you going to do when you see Punitive Counterstrike in hand for Cerebral Imaging, or when GRNDL Restructures on turn 1 and starts pushing agendas, or you see Scorched Earth in R&D against NBN?

“Just have tons more money” sounds great, but in practice spending 2 card slots (less than 5% of your deck) to avoid various terrible scenarios and make the Weyland matchup much better seems more than worth it. Besides, you’ll have to start installing Plascrete against Jinteki anyway once H&P comes out, so you may as well get used to it.


First of all I would like to reiterate that I am only talking about non-tag-me non-Siphon runner decks (because that’s a mouthful I’m going to refer to such decks as Not Tag-Me Plus No Siphon = NTMPNS).

My preference when playing NTMPNS decks is to solve the meat damage problem by being able to consistently stay within 5 credits of the corp past the early game. It is entirely possible that the deck that I posted here is not actually capable of accomplishing that, in which case I would agree that it should run Plascretes. Probably I am hugely overconfident in the average NTMPNS deck’s ability to stay within the 5 credit range due to having spent most of my time as runner playing a NTMPNS deck that has no trouble doing so (this one).

[quote]sometimes it makes massively more sense to just stay tagged rather than to clear them - playing Carapace gives you that option

hitting a Snare happens, not having a Carapace out means it’s massively more dangerous, and probably straight out GG if done on the last click. You could say “well don’t run on the last click”, but once again, that means a certain amount of tempo loss in certain situations (like, being unable to click through Bioroids even when it would make sense, certain RP matchups and so on)[/quote]
Playing the Carapace itself costs you a click, a card, and 3 credits, so it’s only going to be better than clearing the tag if you’re floating multiple tags, and if you’re a NTMPNS deck then you’re probably not going to want to be floating lots of tags (though obviously this is more applicable to decks running stuff like Professional Contacts than the deck I posted here). Yes Plascrete Carapace gives you the option to run last click despite the threat of Snare or go tag-me when they rez a Data Raven, but in my experience I have done just fine without that flexibility while playing NTMPNS decks. Maybe if I played a bunch of games against strong players who were using tag-and-bag decks I would end up realizing that I’m wrong, but as of now I have never been playing with a NTMPNS deck and thought “it’s too bad I’m not playing Plascrete Carapace because I really need it to win this game”.

by “lucky draw” I mean getting SEA Scorched Scorched in their first few cards, for example. it’s not realistic that you’re going to stay within 5 credits of the corp in the early game. but I’d rather lose every time they get that draw than weaken my chances of winning the majority of games where they don’t get it by playing around the threat of it. yes they will probably eventually assemble those three cards as the game goes on, but the longer the game goes the easier it should be for you to stay within 5 credits of them.

You are definitely weaker to Midseason without Plascrete, but it’s rare enough that I’m ok with that (who runs such decks anyway, when everyone is playing Plascretes :stuck_out_tongue: ). I don’t understand the threat of Punitive Counterstrike - as long as you avoid letting one of them be potentially lethal they’re never a threat to flatline you, and that’s not very hard to do. PSF is a subset of Midseasons as far as I’m concerned - probably DRT too, though I have never seen a DRT deck work.

In summary -
There are definitely NTMPNS decks where it is +EV to include Plascretes for tournament play. My personal preference is to avoid such NTMPNS decks (it’s just so aesthetically displeasing to play cards that you know are going to be 100% dead most of the time ;_; ). I’m not sure whether the deck I posted here needs Plascretes, but I’d prefer to test the deck without them in matchups where I might need them rather than just assume that they are necessary. Maybe the conclusion here is that the deck I posted would be better off focusing on Account Siphon ala a certain delightful deck by some random netrunner player :wink: .

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i am curious - because of what? I don’t see anything meat damage related so far

Because when Cerebral Cast is played, you’re in a dilemma without Plascrete. Do you really want to take that tag, knowing that your opponent likely has a Scorched + Neural EMP in hand? Plus you’re far less likely to have 4+ cards in hand against Jinteki and CC doesn’t rely on economic superiority to land a tag anyways. So you’re stuck taking a brain damage every time it succeeds, which isn’t ideal against Jinteki.

In any case, it’s all fine and dandy not playing Plascrete, but if you come up against an NBN scorch deck, you’re going to have a bad time, since NBN has several ways of tagging you aside from Sea Source or Midseasons. I’d recommend at least running NACH if you’re going Plascreteless.


Hey man, Midseason => PsychoBeale is still pretty strong :). Especially with SE backup! But that’s a different topic.

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Thing is, though - in a Plascrete-rich environment, Midseason is better for tagging than SEA Source is (especially since Jackson came out). You can afford to tag someone, then use the first 2 Scorcheds that come up for Carapace clear, and then you can just recur them (whether through Archived Memories, or Jackson usage) at your convenience, and draw them again. You have a ton of time to do all this, because clearing those Midseason tags is going to take the runner forever. Compare this to a SEA-based situation, where you only have a one-turn window to actually make the tag count.

This has the added benefit of just straight up killing people that rely on Decoy and NACH for protection :stuck_out_tongue:

(and like Hypo mentions, it’s not like it’s super-hard to fit in a couple Psychos for those scenarios where you can’t really kill the runner and want to actually win in a more fair way :wink: )

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Hi everyone, looking for some feedback on the below. This is based off Lysander’s updated decklist and then I made a few modifications. After playing this a bit it feels like:

  1. Could use one less breaker?
  2. I’m also drawing quite a bit to get to needed econ, wasting clicks/tempo/turns. But econ hasn’t changed from original that started this thread. Am I missing something?
  3. The Doppelgänger functions beautifully, especially with Indexing. Considering adding a second but not sure anything can be cut.

Thanks for your input!

ShaperControl v2 by Lysander - modified

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)

Event (21)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
1x Escher (Creation and Control)
3x Indexing (Future Proof)
1x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Lucky Find (Double Time) ••••• •
3x Quality Time (Humanity’s Shadow)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
1x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)

Hardware (10)
1x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
1x Doppelgänger (A Study in Static) ••
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
3x Prepaid VoicePAD (Second Thoughts)

Resource (1)
1x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

Icebreaker (7)
2x Atman (Creation and Control)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set) •
1x Inti (Creation and Control)
1x Pipeline (Core Set)
1x Sharpshooter (True Colors)
1x Yog.0 (Core Set) •

Program (7)
3x Datasucker (Core Set) •••
1x Parasite (Core Set) ••
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)

15 influence spent (max 15)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Double Time

Changes from original:
-2 legwork
-1 Akamatsu Memchip
-1 Deus

+1 Pipeline
+1 Doppelgänger
+1 Datsucker
+1 Indexing

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So it’s been a while, figured i’d bump this to see if anyone has some play testing experience to add?

I’ve altered my build which probably more closely resembles @SneakySly’s build with multiple Parasites for quicker aggression, more consistency, and a more judicious use of my SMC’s. It also has one Femme and an R&D Interface (in addition to the three Indexings). I’m waffling between swapping the third Parasite for a Nerve Agent/Legwork or not. If I chose the latter, I’d probably try to find room for a second and third SOT. I condensed my Akamatsus to a lone Cybersolutions, since I either need more memory for long games, or not at all against quicker Corps.

I went down to 2 Atman which has served me well, assisted by 2 Datasuckers and one each of Inti, Sharpshooter, and Deus X.


Thanks so much Lysander, I really appreciate it. I’m a newer player and this is the first deck where I’ve felt invested in it and like it was flowing well for me. I still haven’t played a criminal deck. :smile:


I think versatility is really key, since a competitive runner deck going into Regionals season is going to have to deal with NBN FA Shenanigans, CI Crap, HB RedCoats Tax, Weyland SE, and god only knows what probably-still-janky-but-unknown-and-scary Jinteki razorblade warehouse.

Kate, and shapers in general, are pretty good at versatility.


I’m currently playing Lysander’s list straight up after switching from my version of Kate Blitz. I think it can concede one Parasite for a Legwork, and I would chose Legwork over Nerve Agent for MU reasons. The second SOT then probably comes in for the R&DI, or for the third Indexing if you can’t live without R&DI.

I haven’t tested this yet, though. I’m still just enjoying the look on people’s faces when I play Lucky Find for 1c.

Edit: And that’s a complete 180 for me, because when Lysander brought it up after he came around to the idea, I was very skeptical. So mea culpa! I love VoicePAD now.


I’m seriously considering this for CHI. CI is a major concern. Nerve Agent or Legwork really help here. Atman and Parasites can wreck their shit, as they won’t defend Archives hard. Sucker tokens should be an easy get. The recursion of the deck helps v. Jinteki and Weyland. Tax dex can be an issue.

I think 2 Sites are fine. Glad the Prepaid’s are paying dividends.

(On an aside, I think we’ll see more Tag hate in these early Regionals, at least. SO, I’m really looking for a reason to not play Crim.)