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The Anarch Cookbook: Chapter One

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/the-anarch-cookbook-chapter-one/

Discuss the latest StimHack article by @PeekaySK here.

Huge thank you to the guys who helped by reviewing the draft and gave feedback (namely @bayushi_david, @SamRS and @SneakySly)!

To anyone who’d be willing to review the second part when it’s done, just drop me a line and I’ll make sure you have something to read :slight_smile:


Excellent article! I had recently started messing around with Anarch after arriving at a conclusion similar to yours, namely that the available influence pool for them is functionally greater than some other factions due to the availability of all staples (full breaker suite, multi-access threats to both HQ and RND) in-faction. The proliferation of Neutral economic options has gradually been closing the gap between Shaper and Criminal (some would say, on the basis of recent tournament results, that this gap is closed and perhaps starting to open in the other direction), and I surmise that it largely does the same for Anarch. My experience with the faction (admittedly only a few dozen games total between meatspace and OCTGN) supports this.

appreciate the article thank you.

This discussion is going on at BGG and one of the things that is “holding anarch back”, in my opinion, is deckspace. At the least perceived lack there-of.

With anarch you choose your breakers and they go about deciding how you’re actually going to make them work. The other factions just plug in breakers and figure out how they’ll fund them (which anarch needs to as well). That takes up deckspace. It is more appealing (and perhaps just more effective) to only need money as it can easily apply itself to other functions should you lack the need to drop gobs of it on breaking. Anarch has the best money-saving options but they apply strictly to breaking ice, meaning if you don’t need to use that function your card is dead for ‘X’ number of given turns in a game.

As hot as parasite is it is possible that Imp is more crucial, and that ‘anarch culture’ may have to shift that auto-include attitude of parasites to the imp. I mean, I’m working on seeing if I can fine-turn a noise deck that recurs parasites too, but is that right? maybe my attitude needs to shift as well.

Parasite in general is such an interesting card. I’m curious if any other card in the game is more restraining than parasite.

Consider this deck building process that has likely occurred 1000’s of times:

“ok 3 parasites, duh. That means I need 3 datasuckers, the djinn’s to pull them when I need them. Probably a couple deja-vu’s to bring them back.”

Right there is ~11 cards all revolving around 1 card. %25 of someone’s deckspace, that’s nuts! The suckers lend themselves toward the fixed breakers so that can be ok. Djinn’s help to constrain a persons thought process to packing in more viruses. Viruses are anarch’s schtick but its not what drives successful runs. They tend to be more utility options.

I play strictly anarch runners (well…professor is pretty cool) and have finally landed in a place where I can play A:NR regularly so I’m working on it right there with you sir. Good luck and thanks for taking the time to write your article!

  • Eric

Excellent article. I having been looking forward to reading your article(s) on Anarchs, and the first section did not disappoint.

If it helps feel free to use this picture…

…or probably not.


Is Noise going to get cut in half?


awesome article, can’t wait for the next installment!

where’d you get that shirt Chill

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That’s not his shirt… He was born this way…

He is not a naughty boy, he is the netrunner … (Reversed movie reference :wink: )

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I can’t agree more that some rarely-seen-in-faction cards become wonderful things in Anarch. I’ve got a Whizzard Build that runs 3 Express Delivery over 3 Quality Times, and I’m quite pleased with the change. Uses less money, about as good at picking exactly what you want, not so much overdrawing.

[quote=“ericbtool, post:4, topic:1496”]
This discussion is going on at BGG and one of the things that is “holding anarch back”, in my opinion, is deckspace. At the least perceived lack there-of.
[/quote]I think the perception is a much bigger thing than the actual limits. There’re just too many good cards for Anarch now, funnily enough, and fitting them all in is a real challenge.

I think that leaving Djinn behind on occasion (not always, mind) is an option. Even leaving parasite/datasucker may be, soon enough, though that’d no doubt require more breakers for Anarch of other sorts. Imp is definitely one of the more valuable cards, but I don’t think it’s necessarily an auto-include in every style of deck. If your plan is deep-digging with Medium or Nerve Agent, Demo Run can be a great deal of fun.

All in all, yeah, if people are trying to fit 12 programs into a deck no matter what, of course there’s going to be bloat and space issues. That’s why not doing that is such a good idea. For all that people hate using Djinn as a tutor, it’s basically a Special Order for Viruses once it’s in play to serve as MU. A bit expensive and slow, buuut if econ stops being such a massive issue then it’s worth it, and makes things like Nerve Agent (which you don’t want multiples of installed, usually) an easy one-of option, with Medium as maybe a two-of, rather than two of each, opening up more room.

Also, anyone playing Anarch should learn to love Armitage Codebusting, I think. It’s like renting an Opus for cheap. Absolutely wonderful.


Dijnn is usually my first cut. That might change with D4v1d but at the moment the combination of being slow (yes you can run 1 each of Nerve/Medium/Imp but surprise is often key with those cards and you lose that with Dijnn), having to get it first and making me even more vulnerable to destroyers is too much.

And yeah, Armitage is great. The only build I have that doesn’t use it is pre-paid Whizzard (which has Kati instead).

@ericbtool I don’t think I’ve managed to fit Djinns into my Anarch decks since before Knight came out. There’s only so many disposable slots, and the three Knights tend to fill the same niche that 2x Djinn + 1x Crypsis did for me earlier. Also, like @bayushi_david mentions - too much early destroyer vulnerability, I don’t like giving more value to Rototurret, and don’t have the slots to run 3x Mimic usually.

BTW, I’m pretty certain that if you’re running Djinn, 2 copies of Datasucker is plenty. Hell, one might be enough (although pushing it, I probably wouldn’t do that unless I wasn’t running almost any fixed-str stuff)

@EmJayBee Awesome! Maybe we need to make a photoplasty contest on this topic? :smiley:

@Chill84 Yep, that’s exactly the image I used when I found out at 5 am that the image I had prepared horribly clashes with Stimhack’s dark theme :smiley:

If anyone would be willing to invest some time to come up with an interesting cover image for the series, it’d be much appreciated!

Spoiler alert - there’s a whole paragraph on Armitage in part two :smiley:


@Peekay I think the deep red assest would be perfect. Maybe you could snatch that?

As an Anarch tournament purist(since core) i enjoyed the read, and am looking forward 2nd installment.

Personally i like that the HIVE mind feels anarch is weak, it means your not getting teched against (unless you go the anatomy of anarchy) style of build, as every one has to account for AS.

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One other weakness that I think bears mentioning: there have been fewer Anarch cards printed than Criminal and Shaper cards.

Here’s hoping that Anarch’s deluxe expansion kicks ass :smiley:

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It will. Shaper got just what they needed (even if Clone Chip feels more Anarch-y with the recursion and all), and so did Jinteki. Anarch will no doubt get a right strong mix of IDs and associated cards.

My bigger worry is the faction they pair it with – Weyland needs the help, but the development cycle doesn’t seem to have quite realized that NBN is actually doing well now, and even a Criminal/HB-esque diversification boost seems like it’d be a right nuisance instead of fixing the remaining underperforming Corp.

“Less cards” isn’t really a weakness in my mind. For one, there’s the influence system, and then - would having access to 25 more Force of Nature-level cards really help anyway? It’s always been about the quality of cards, rather than quantity. Just a side-effect of the release model of LCGs, not really a design trait.

I’m convinced the corp side of the box will be NBN. There’s two things that make me lean this way:

  • If you notice, the deluxe boxes seem to always pair the currently strongest faction with the currently weakest
    • There’s no real doubt that shapers were the weakest at the end of Genesis (no really dominant archetypes), same with Jinteki now.
    • HB was the biggest powerhouse corp-wise then, just as Crim is now (and has been for a while, ever since Emergency Shutdown, really).
    • After I’ve thought about it for a bit, I believe this is brilliant. It manages to push a lot of diversity into the meta without the release becoming utterly must-buy level essential or creating the perception of power creep.
  • The second reason is much more incidental-seeming at first: look at the deck box pairings in prize support. The SC prizes had Shaper + HB, season 1 of 2014 had Crim + Jinteki. Summer 2014 kits have Anarch + NBN. Seems like too much of a coincidence to me…
    • And needless to say, I’m really curious about the next prize support kit - if my hypothesis holds, we’ll get a glimpse at which model they decided to go with in regards to the big boxes!

Oh, yeah, NBN is likely. I’m just hopeful. I agree that the best-worst-in-cycle is very effective, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt, but I’d like to see Weyland get the boost just so that there’s something of an even playing field. Then again, I’m also curious to see what happens with the 4th box and on, and I suppose we’ll find out, sooner or later.

I also didn’t mean to imply that the number of cards would be the benefit, I just think that Anarch is likely to get a lot more good cards (like Shaper and Jinteki did, pushing them into serious viability as factions) than bad (like HB and Criminal, who mostly got filler/things that are useful but not generally essential).

Also, more on topic: I assume you’re going to be talking about the different breakers at some point (particularly Corroder/Morning Star)? MS seems so much better, aside from the MUs (install cost is painful if it gets zapped, but is doable with any kind of functioning economy, given the potential rate of return in metas where most corps try for 3x Eli).

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Yeah, a discussion of breaker packages is definitely on the menu. although I’m not exactly sure when. Right now, it looks like I might fit it into chapter three. Chapter two is already a bit on the long side, and breaker analysis seems to fit better with Archetypes than it would with Challenges & Mindset.

Then again, Challenges were originally part of Chapter one, so you never know how these things turn out… :stuck_out_tongue:


I find that Morning Star comes at two big costs on top of the MU - firstly the tempo set back to play it. It really hurts if the only fracter you see early is Morning Star against a quick deck like Astrobiotics. Secondly, I have enough recursion not to mind face-checking with a Corroder and no answer to Rototurret/Archer/Grim, but face-checking with a Morning Star and no answer to programme destruction is an entirely different matter (although Retrieval Run helps).

On the flip side, it’s a complete monster against Glacier. It only takes two runs on an Eli to make your money back over Corroder. With Ice Carver you go through Heimdell 1.0 for a credit. Throw in a data sucker token and you’re getting through Heimdell 2.0. for the same. The only things that can stop you outright are the Weyland advancable barriers.

In short, I run both (and Special Order) because they have such different roles!

Anarch can take a whole mindset change. This may look like a steaming pile, but, even v. 3 Howard uses, it can apply heavy pressure. Give it a shot.

Pepper Mill

Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire (Core Set)

Event (3)

Hardware (9)

Resource (8)

Icebreaker (3)

Program (22)

15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Upstalk

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.