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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: A Modern Gabe Primer

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/teaching-an-old-dog-new-tricks-a-modern-gabe-primer/

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Nice, always cool to see the Gabe love.

I wonder how effective switching out 1 Parasite for a Clone Chip would be. It may hurt if you draw it early when you want a first Parasite, but it could be helpful later for Instant-Speed kills, and doubles as another Faerie or recovered breaker if you need it.

Also, no draw power in a deck always makes me a bit wary, but if it works for you it’s all good. Nice article!

I’ve tried Clone Chip and I didn’t like it. I definitely wouldn’t swap out a Parasite for it though - you don’t go through enough of the deck to always see two of them.

You really don’t want early game dead draws in Gabe.

I’ve never seen a problem with not having drawing in a deck. Quality Time would have been a good addition over Hades, as mentioned, but decks don’t need draw to function if they aren’t IDs like Noise or similar.


I like the write up. Gabe is in contention with one other deck for store champs for me, so this read hits close to home. It sounded like your deck was going to be just like mine before I scrolled down to it, and it ended up being very close.

I 100% agree that quality time is worth looking at…as I personally slot three of them. The flow of Gabe is such that you can play out the cards in your hand in rapid succession, so burst draw is fundamental to the ID in my mind. Static draw like Masnori looks good to hasten the draw instead…but as mentioned it kills tag-me fast.

I wash back and forth between 1 CC and 2 parasites and 3 parasites my self, as I run Rex and passport only, and reviving a Rex happens once in a blue moon for me.

For the big reveal, I do not run datasuckers. Power shutdown is a big issue for the build, as you’re open to it pretty heavily. Your build avoids this by not making it 100% necessary (datasucker). Also with OnC coming up, I can easily see corps slotting the cyberdex duo (or either), so I’m less interested in datasuckers for the influence. Your breaker suite takes an effective stance on not needing suckers, and that is sweet.

My major concern is the strict lack of multiaccess…no chance of a lock seems very tough in the current meta. I know stuff like business show and fast track already kill that idea, but at least those can be answered.

Thanks for putting the time into the write up Xenasis.

It’s a concern I’ve heard before but I’ve never found it to be an issue, and the deck’s NEH matchup is actually solid (which isn’t easy for a deck.

In short, I don’t have an RDI because I feel the influence is better spent elsewhere, and I don’t have Legwork because I think the card’s greatly overvalued in Gabe (it’s amazing elsewhere, but not so much in Gabe). If I were to run any, it’d only be one, but I don’t find I need it. You get enough HQ accesses as-is, as running is your economy. You don’t want to give the Corp double-duty for Icing HQ (which is already what they probably should be doing anyway). I’ve tested Legwork though, and it was actually a dead draw a lot of the time. It competes with other very good cards for the slot and I just don’t think it makes the cut. If you want, swap out a Same Old Thing for one but don’t go above one.

Business Show should be killed on sight with most IDs but especially as Gabe.

I really enjoyed the article. Good analysis of the tradeoffs involved in optimizing for different matchups.

Parasite Gabe does seem the strongest Gabe to me as well, and I’ve been playing it off and on for the last little while.


Great article. Very close to my most recent Gabe list, which is for a NEH/Blue Sun meta. I haven’t tried it against Grail decks but I think they could give Gabe real problems and force you to make extremely risky runs in the early game. 1x Eater could be a viable addition to help with this when it comes out.

Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional

Event (18)
3 Account Siphon
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Emergency Shutdown
3 Inside Job
3 Special Order
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (5)
3 Desperado
2 R&D Interface

Resource (7)
2 Bank Job
2 Kati Jones
3 Security Testing

Icebreaker (7)
1 Corroder
3 Faerie
1 Femme Fatale
1 Passport
1 Yog.0

Program (8)
2 Datasucker
3 Parasite
3 Sneakdoor Beta

I think in your list 1x Knight might be better than the second Corroder. Especially when you’re not running Forged to force rezzing ice on HQ. Most of the time it ends up trashing a piece of ice, or letting you setup an Inside Job or Siphon when you need to. While running Knight over parasite is a mistake, running 1x as a Utility card is not that bad.

I disagree. I don’t think Knight is a viable splash in Criminal at all any more, and I believe Gabe especially should always have 2x Corroder. You can be far more aggressive than you could be without the second Corroder and it’s not gg if it gets shutdown (though both of these comments are covered in the article). You can totally live with only one, but you have to play around it not getting trashed, and that means not running when you otherwise could run. Gabe should run as much as possible, and 2x Corroder is good anyway.

As you said, running Knight over Parasite would be a mistake, and there’s nothing else that should be removed I think. There’s maybe an argument for 1 Sucker and the Hades but I don’t think Knight is better than those cards.

I’m a knight apologist too. But it’s really tough as corp to let Gabe have his free money and accesses.

I think Legwork is too good to leave out. Though I think 1 is possibly enough. I haven’t tried without though.

What about playing Utopia Shard instead of Hades. It seems like it’s clearly the best shard (or, er, fragment). Disrupt kill combos, slam them with after they plop down an ice or 2 to build a remote.

Seems more useful at all stages of the game than hades, which according to the article, is best for catching early game agendas dumped in archives.

Hades is the best shard by far in Gabe, and I believe everywhere (as long as Jackson is legal). It has synergy with Gabe’s playstyle - Gabe’s a lot worse when they can stop themselves from being flooded with Jackson - so either you win the game with their dumped agendas or they are forced to cycle them before your turn begins, not being able to dump as many as they wanted to and meaning you don’t have to waste time and money for the same thing. It means they can’t hide their agendas from HQ, where you’ll inevitably access them. Hades prevents this and wins you games if they do try to hide them.

Plascrete is better for this and allows you to go Tag Me, Utopia doesn’t, and you shouldn’t play cards to stop you from dying when they sometimes don’t stop you from dying. Utopia is extremely high variance for an effect you often don’t really care too much about.

In a world where Jackson didn’t exist, Utopia would be (generally) a better card, but in such a world I would most certainly not be playing Utopia in my deck - the slot would be used for Quality Time or Feedback Filter.


I think 1x is viable because it gives you more options when the corp is trying to shut you out and can help you stay aggressive. It can help you stick a siphon when the corp is leaving unrezzed HQ ice, and of course work well with Inside Job. Those are never not going to be good options and both avoid ELP (which was mentioned in your article). It’s similar to cards like Parasite, Sneakdoor, Forged Activation Orders, and Inside Job that protect your programs by allowing you to extend the time you have before they are required to allow you to keep accessing cards.

The reason I don’t really like Corroder #2 that much is because it’s going to be a dead draw more often than it will be required after you’ve lost your first one. If you do lose it it’s rough but it’s not the end of the world. You’ve got Knight, Femme, Parasite, Inside Job, and probably plenty of other servers to run. I’m sure you’ve won plenty of games where you’ve never even needed to install a Corroder. I feel these days the highest risk to my rig would be a Grail codegate trashing my programs, and Knight can help protect against this, although probably pretty inefficiently (I wish there was still room for Forged Activation Orders).

Sure RP can make Knight a dead card (and honestly most runners), but Corroder #2 isn’t doing anything for you in that matchup. You’d be better off with Clone Chip or Deja Vu for more Parasites.

I like the Hades though, I think that’s a cool splash that could win you some games, will definitely be trying it out. It’s also kind of a flashy play to Bankjob a Jackson and then boom Hades Shard for the win :smile:

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Great article, and you provide thorough rational for your Gabe deck. One thing I am confused on about is the differing breaker suites between the two decklists you provided. What is it about the second deck that would cause you to use a different breaker suite from the first Gabe deck?

Since you aren’t as all-in on making plays exactly now with the cards you’ve got, you can afford a card draw that you can’t use immediately. Peacock’s good because we can use it to get in centrals and also remotes, Rex is good because it’s more (generally) efficient than Peacock, but if you start using it on centrals you’re going to find it hard to get into remotes. Drawing it hurts your early game and as such it’s hard to justify it in a deck that wants to abuse its potency in the early game (and the first one relies on that more). However, I still feel like having two breakers that you can use on centrals is important, so there are two copies of Passport.

The same breaker suite used in the first would certainly work in the second (and perhaps it’s better? I’m not sure, I’ve not tested the second nearly as much as I have the first), but the second can take advantage of having less wonkily-costed breakers at the cost of making your early game a bit worse because you’re not as dependent on having the early game go well.

Again, the difference isn’t massive, and non-negligible reason it’s there was more of a “look, another good Gabe Decoder suite in a deck where it’s suitable”!

I hate Peacock. Fuck lotus field. They’re going to have to pry Yog out of my cold dead hands.


Thank you kindly for a very solid article.

Do you ever find yourself running into MU issues with your deck? Having only desperado for additional MU in a deck utilising a sentry breaker, a backup sentry breaker, potentially two code gate breakers, parasite, datasucker AND Sneakdoor Beta seems like it could get messy. There’s very very little MU available for your utility programs, of which there are many. Even with a “use’em, then toss’em” mentality I could see myself ending up with problems.

Glad you enjoyed it!

I don’t really run into MU issues at all - the goal isn’t to have everything installed at once, and as Gabe you should most certainly be running before your whole rig is up (which is why it works). Parasites are disposable and you shouldn’t cling too hard to Sneakdoor (and Sneakdoor really hits hardest early on, you don’t need it to get into remotes).

You just kind of… build the rig as you go based on how the game’s going - it doesn’t need everything installed to work and you can get into remotes using 3 MU with just 3 breakers, having the luxuries of Parasites, Suckers, Sneakdoor etc is just something that you don’t rely on but they do help a great deal.

Adding MU into the deck would be a mistake, as they’re dead draws that severely hinder early game if installed.


Has anyone tested Earthrise in Gabe? It’s influence free and as in theory as good a Quality Time.

I’ve not tested it but it could work in the right deck maybe. It has an obvious anti-synergy with being tagged, though.

I’m concerned by tempo. With QT you can QT then do 3 things and have a full hand after it. With Earthrise you need to be using those cards every single turn for three turns like Noise does - those next three turns are going to restrict what you do as Gabe (he doesn’t usually churn out cards each turn like Noise), QT only restricts the turn you use it.

QT is still generally better for that reason, I think, but I can imagine there could be a deck where Earthrise is really good (and better than QT).


I totally agree. The hotel seems more suited for Andy since you want to run your security testing, run a server, install, play something. The hotel gives click economy.

In gabe, from my experience, you run, run, run… Until you are out of steam and then you draw until you get the upper hand again.

Splendid list btw.