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My Issue with Pure Caïssa Builds


I know we’re quite a ways off, and it’s a bit early to be jumping to conclusions, but try as I might, I simply can’t get a Caïssa-based rig to perform better than Anarchs are currently. Here’s some of pitfalls I’m attempting to overcome.

  • Space - Roughly 9 cards allocated to Caïssa programs (2 apiece; I can see justifying up to +/-4) takes up quite a bit of room, especially considering other breakers will most likely be needed, as well as economy, run modifiers, etc. Also factor in available space for programs - only 3 MU for Caïssa programs is a nice bit, but isn’t a ton either, and makes running viruses extremely difficult with a full breaker suite.

  • Timing Issues - This is, in my opinion, the largest issue I’m facing. Deep Red is extremely essential in both installing and fully utilizing Caïssa programs. To make matters worse, Pawn doesn’t allow for searching the stack, unlike Djinn. This means that cards like Rook are extremely swingy, being amazing in the beginning, and near-useless as the game progresses unless you build your entire deck around derezzing.

  • The Wrong Faction? - I don’t see this new set as a whole working well either in conjunction or in lieu of viruses. Take Bishop, for example. While -2 str is nice, it only works on one piece of ice, and I see Datasuckers having far more usefulness. To use a full Caïssa suite, one is almost obligated to get rid of Imp, Parasite, and Datasucker, which I consider the bread-and-butter of the Anarch faction. I understand and appreciate that this is intended to be an alternative, but I don’t see it as an amazing one. For each Caïssa program, I can think of an Anarch card that does it better.

Where I do see Caïssa programs working is the individual pieces in certain builds. To do this however, one would typically have to make a very linear one-trick pony build, instead of a versatile build capable of going many directions. I think their intent with Caïssa was for having several options, but I can’t help but think Rook should go in a credit denial deck, and Bishop/Knight in a cheap to break deck. Hell, I think the only Caïssa program that Reina is well-suited for is Rook. For the rest, I think Whizzard is the better choice, and that’s kind of sad.


One solution I do think FFG intended was the use of Cloud programs with Reina. This would allow for breakers, viruses, and Caïssa programs. However, I like Yog too much and the install cost of Creeper is a tad high for my liking. I’m most willing to replace Corroder, so hopefully the barrier cloud will be implemented soon. Time will tell, hopefully my analysis thus far is wrong.


Your points seems dead on with respect to the Caïssa programs.

However, I think Reina has potential, but you have to separate her from the Caïssa stuff and focus on a different avenue such as credit denial or something else like you mention.

When Reina will be good it won’t be because of these Caïssa programs working in a rube goldberg like fashion (That said, Rook or another single chess program might have a place in her deck). From what I can tell so far, running too many Caïssa just makes you want to durdle and build up unproductively. Additionally, these programs are really unmanageable without Deep Red if you are running several of them.

That said, ultimately we will have to see what else they print to make these potentially more viable.


Yeah, I really love Reina’s ability, and don’t forget about her 1 link. I’m not a huge Contacts fan, but I’m sure they’ll make it into most decks. So maybe x3 Contacts, Armitage, Kati, Sure Gamble would be enough econ.

I think Reina’s advantage is in slowing down the corp game. This means you can rig out faster relative to the corp board than most other runners, particularly with some help from Parasites, Rooks, ES and FAOs. Also, running a high link rig with Contacts makes Spinal Modem useful, something I’m looking forward to. Compromised Employee would probably be a good splash. Vamp’s definitely an autoinclude. I’m tempted to say Morningstar, Femme and Retrieval would be fun and bad, but whatever, I’ll play it :smile:

Edit: Didn’t mean to hijack your thread, just got carried away dreaming of the Red Queen, haha. Yeah, I think we’ll need to see more powerful Caissa cards before we get to live the dream. On a side note, here’s a review from the Reina Roja hotel in Playa del Carmen:

The black walls in the rooms make it impossible to see much, the decor
is in terrible taste, the red lightbulbs did not allow us to actually
see if we had a sunburn! The loud techno music from the lobby did
nothing towards a restful evening or night, the main reason to go to a
hotel, and the porn on the tv at breakfast was ludicrous, not to
mention offensive. They asked for payment in advance, and had we not
been blessed with a sense of humour, this would have been a terrible
vacation. We spent as little time as possible in the hotel.

Oh Reina, breakfast porn? You crazy lady.