The Power of Architect

Hey, just wanted to create a topic to discuss the new HB ICE Architect. I think this might be one the most powerful pieces of ICE in the game and dissuade Runners from face checking ICE in the first couple turns before there are any breakers out.

So let’s analyze what these subroutines actually do for the Corp. Say you’re HB. You get to fetch one of your pieces of asset econ and install it (free click), gain 1c from HB’s ability, grab a piece of ICE that was Parasite’d earlier out of Archives and install it (or, better yet, a SanSan). You know what the next four cards are going to be. You can install an agenda from RD, HQ, OR Archives and score it next turn if they face plant Architect last click. I almost forgot, Architect can’t be trashed. This ICE is just insane. Even if they have Mimic out immediately it’s a nice 2c tax that’s not going away. If you’re NEH you get to draw from your ability. If the top card is an agenda you can install a PAD to draw the agenda and protect it.

The most standard play in Netrunner is to face check the Corp’s ICE early game to force them to rez it and extend the early game advantage for the Runner. You do this against every Corp except Jinteki (Komainu/Tsurugi). Now I’m not sure you can face check with such impunity. These subroutines do so much. I’ve been playing with 3x Architect in my NEH deck and it’s been very effective. Here’s a screenshot from a recent game that shows what it can accomplish: I was able to install the SanSan, draw the Astro, AND install another SanSan that was in archives. Anyone else playtesting this ICE?


If you catch a runner with it on their last click, you can install a 3 cost agenda out of hand and score it immediately, which is neat. Corp can maybe use Enigma or Viper to try to trick the runner into 4th click runs?

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It becomes a hard ETR ice or a 2c tax. And it may trigger only once in the early game, but that only time might be just enough.

Architect is insane (not sure why they chose to make it untrashable, tbh).

Well, it can’t protect an agenda, for one. Also, as with any ice, its subroutines will only trigger once at most, unless the Runner is desperate or just doesn’t care. I don’t know that it’s so great. I see it as slightly better than Caduceus in the right deck.

Of course, I have yet to play with or against it, so take that for what it’s worth …

Caduceus is very powerful in Making News. Architect achieves similar level of power everywhere and on top of this is untrashable, thus making it insane.

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It actually can protect an agenda if you install something else in that server to trash the agenda. Not a very effective approach but still…

Architect-> red herrings or ash.

I wonder how will you break this server, seems like either mimic or atman are mandatory now.
Previously you could play around almost any sentry with parasites, sharpshooter or deus ex.

I do not like the strength of this ice in current meta. This just rising power spiral, cutting too much of builds out of playable level.


In my opinion, the Power of Architect is overrated.

Actually, it might be dangerous vs only 1 type of runner’s deck - shaper with Parasite recursion. Usually this type of deck is going to charge his Datasucker while running unprotected Archives and only after that he’ll be able to facecheck with SMK and charged Datasucker in play. Moreover, some shaper decks use only Femme as sentry breaker, so 4 credits tax might be bad for them.

As for Criminals, if they prefer to install Security Testing and facecheck every piece of unrezzed ice without programs - Architect is going to fire once. Corp’ll play 4 to get 2 free installs. Right after that this server will be waiting for a sentry breaker. I doubt that Criminal is going to run through Architect without a breaker more than once. But don’t forget that Criminal is going to check your servers often with Faerie in play, so Architect is going to eat a Faerie, wait for a breaker and tax for 2 after that. Not bad for ice that cost 4 creds, but Eli 1.0 is much better for that purpose.

As for Anarchs - you know, Noise is a thing right now. And for Noise such type of ice as not an issue, they prefer to play slowly and generally are not going to check your unrezzed ice without Crypsis, Mimic and so on. Other Anarchs are very rare.


While the subroutines are certainly strong, it’s not that expensive to break and is not that great defending a remote.
Already there tends to be few targets for Faerie in NEH and is within Mimic-range. Still the cannot be trashed line is great and anything that makes Parasites worse is good (putting it on RnD is really annoying for Noise). Hopefully we will see a barrier with parasite-immunity for Weyland as well.

Also 2 influence for anything outside HB is not cheap, still a strong card but…

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Can anyone confirm that Architect is officially strength 3?

I’ve seen a picture of it at strength 4 and NetrunnerDB has strength 4 in the text, though the picture is strength 3.

I like the card after about 5 games but for me the key use will be in-faction. In HB I had a remote of Tollbooth -> Architect with an agenda inside. They ran it and paid through Tollbooth, then couldn’t break Architect so I:

  • Installed a free Eve Campaign from deck
  • Replaced the agenda in the remote with a trashed Jackson Howard
  • Used that Jackson to shuffle the agenda and two other cards back into R&D.

For NEH I’m hesitant to play any less than 3x Biotic, 3x Eli in NEH, in which case I’ll be playing 1x Architect and not 3x.

I feel that when I play Andy vs NEH, I often have extra Faeries lying around anyway, so it doesn’t bother me to burn one on an Architect and then not run there again until I find a Mimic.

“Architect is insane (not sure why they chose to make it untrashable, tbh)”

They made it untrashable while installed to prevent weird situations where you could install over architect, trashing it, with the first subroutine.


I thought FFG was creating a non-trashable piece of ICE for each faction (see Lotus Field), but your comment makes sense.

Still, making Architect untrashable make it very annoying. :slight_smile:

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You can make a good assumption that the card pictures on CardGameDB are official and there it’s strength 3.
As for influence, it’s a interesting option if you choose to run only two Biotic. I’m personally not that sold on Eli but to each his own.

Architect is extremely dangerous in NBN. It will certainly change the way players facecheck ice - hitting one click 1 is much less punishing than hitting one click 3 or 4 when it comes to installing 3/2 agendas the runner doesn’t have time to react to.

Runners will also have to build around it, similarly to how corps used to build around atman - inside job and mimic might make a resurgence. It used to be that, as andromeda, I could go entire games against NBN without needing to use my first faerie.

Katman may be the best way to deal with architect, as it’s little defense against indexing and doesn’t lock the runner out of datasucker tokens.

I don’t mind architect’s presence in the metagame the same way I mind fast track and astroscript, but runners need some help.

Well, it forces the Criminal to look for their permanent sentry breaker, which can slow them enough, and be annoying. They’re not wasting just a Faerie on it, and some Criminal builds only use Femme and Faeries for their Sentry breakers.

In NEH, even one use of Architect can be quite powerful.

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You should try Indexing through a Architect, while you access some cards it’s not great (especially if there is a Jackson in the top). Also it’s very scary to do multiple runs through a architect without breaking it since you can pretty much assume the corp will score a agenda out of it.

Also Architect and Lotus Field together makes a good pair against Katman since they probably cannot have a str 3 and 4 Atman and they wont go away from Parasites which makes Parasite recursion have less teeth.


Yeah, and continually breaking this guy with Femme is a good way to lose the game. If this is popular you have to run Mimic in criminal.

Caduceus in Making News is insane, and this achieves the same level of taxation in NEH. Personally, I really like that this opens up NEH builds to working without such a high dependency on rushing out games with Biotic Labor.

Keep printing strong cards with new dynamics FFG! Maybe toss a few in the runner’s direction too!


I think Femme Fatale and Datasucker is still a reasonable solution against Architect, sure it puts some pressure on your datasucker tokens but if you dont have the Mimic you probably have some advantage elsewhere for that influence.

I totally agree! Runners are currently faced with stagnant tricks and weak economy while corp gets utility and speed. Let’s get some runner love going.

EDIT: Architect is pretty good. Definitely a slot in for people using cad in NEH and huge utility with ETF.

Just picked up the pack last night… I’m holding Architect in my hand right now. I can confirm for you that it’s Strength 3. Those other sources must be mixing up its Strength and its Rez cost, which is 4.