What's up with Criminal?

I know we’ve all been saying this in various threads, but I think it might be good to have a spot to discuss the fallen status of the previously mighty Criminals, and perhaps what they need to get back into the game.

I think a few things over the Lunar cycle happened to take them down a peg:

-Blue Sun (no remotes to Security Test; horrendous Barriers)
-Next Ice (abysmal to play against without Parasite)
-Corps are richer, Siphon not as universally impactful
-Crisium Grid
-RP is just fine not relying on Sentries

So far they’ve not gotten too much love this cycle, either. We haven’t tried the new “breaking and entering” breakers yet–they seem to go with the new runner coming out in Underway, so there is at least room for testing. Drive By could be decent, as well as Muertos Gang Member–however it just seems like Anarchs and Kate are better suited to win these days. Maybe that’s fine! Criminals were dominant for so long.


Maybe also add that Corps are better able to recover / weather the early game Criminal shenanigans.

I think that both Fisk, and his investment seminar will be very strong. Also, if corps start rushing to avoid Anarchs, then Leela becomes crazy good. (I think she’s already pretty relevant as is).


Or last cycle, or the cycle before. The most recent good cards for Criminal, Symmetrical Visage and Earthrise Hotel, are both neutral. Career Fair is a fine one-of but its home is in Anarch, like Cache.

The reason Criminal was dominant last cycle was partly due to NEH’s dominance, and the fact it was the best Corp. In short, if you wanted to beat NEH, you played Criminal as that was the best shot you had. If NEH didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be (nearly) as much Criminal. These days, if you want to beat NEH, you play Kate because of Clot. Kate’s better for every other matchup I can think of, too.

I think they just need to print some half decent cards for Criminal, because they really do need something. They’ve not needed things to stay relevant for a while because of how the metagame was shaped. Drive By seems okay, but I’m not sure it’s good enough to cause a surge in Criminal or something.


6 siphons isn’t enough, especially when you can bury the corp early with it (crisium helps). Recovery tools from siphon have been abundant, and run based econ is fairly easy to stymie. It has been a long time coming, but criminals need to learn to play differently, or continue their status as just one of the pack (Leela and Andy only really). Fisk might be that ‘different’ that is needed.

Still waiting on that busted Iain Stirling deck too.

1 Like

Also, Resource econ is too good these days to just go tag-me, and going tag-me is inherently dangerous, of course. You want to Siphon but you also don’t want to lose your Sec Testing or Kati.

I think that Fisk’s Investment Seminar is pretty appealing. It’s a really interesting effect, because it shortens the game. Criminals are best in the early game and making more agendas available in that phase of the game seems strong. I think Laramy Fisk might be an interesting ID, we’ll see about that.

Firstly I think that Shaper (since the release of Lady) and anarch (since the release of O&C and especially after NRE) have got a lot better. Criminals obviously haven’t got worse. I think Criminals are worst at the moment, but not be a very large margin.

Leela seems plenty successful, maybe that’s just @cerberus has made her a pet project. But her ID power is very impactful. Andy is never going to get bad. That start is often overwhelming. @mendax took parasite andysucker to the win at the first BABW tournament.

I think the biggest problem is Crisium Grid. It’s easy to know where to put it, and it’s a giant roadbump for Criminals. The only deck it comes close to the same impact for is anarchs with Eater. As for how to deal with it and improve Crims. More Money!?!? I know Career Fair has been getting a load of play in Anarch, I think it’s worth a try in Criminal. It’s an extra Sure Gamble, right?

I think the Break and Enter programs might be a repeat of the Caissa from Spin. A not very good themed set taking away precious cards from a faction.

Truth is, it’s hard to get good cards when you’ve got Desperado, Account Siphon, Inside Job, Emergency Shutdown from Genesis/Core. To displace those cards from decks cards need to be really really silly. You can probably take an entirely Core + Genesis + C&C Andy to events and compete.

One thing I’d like to see is some playable breakers for Criminal. Having to go almost entirely out of faction for both code gates and barriers is a little mean. Even if they do have special order in faction.


Exactly. This is embodied in the fact that Desperado isn’t as desirable to splash as it used to be. Long gone are the days of Katman happily running Archives 4 times for Sucker tokens and Desperado credits. I know The Console can be decent in some Anarch builds, but other uses of influence are often just as effective.

On the color wheel of Runners, Criminals have 3 glaring deficiencies: no recursion, no R&D pressure, and no efficient breakers. Faerie is a gift from the FFG gods, but they need something else to patch up at least one of these holes. The B&E suite is what we’re getting to tool with. It takes so many deckslots that it probably won’t be any good.


I don’t think Fisk Seminar can go into just any criminal deck and be good, though I could be wrong. The trouble I see with it is, most of the time you play against criminal as any deck, you want to spend a turn Jacksoning Agendas back into R&D. If after their mandatory draw and Fisking them, they have a Jackson, all you did was save them a bunch of clicks. It’s also un-SOTable, so spamming it isn’t a real option, at least not yet.

My initial impression of the card is that to make it as strong as it can be, you want to be doing something like Reina Headlock: denying the corp credits so they can’t make effective use of their cards. It might be time to start considering some AI breakers in Criminal so they can more effectively threaten Siphon ASAP and using the in-faction crap like Crescentus and Shutdown to greater effect.


Rules question: Can you play 2 seminars with comet? Sounds potentially quite appealing.

Eater, clone chip, crescentus, shutdown, with siphon, SDB in faction to clear crisiums… Seems good.


I was going to contest this, but having looked at the cards, it’s true. Criminals got 1-2 situational cards in Spin and Lunar. H&P gave them 2 staples (Legwork/SecTest) and a lot of conditional nonsense. If you want to get into the game cheap, Criminal is your faction! Buy Genesis and you’re away!* Criminal cards seem the most dramatically split between really solid and awful.

It’s a diesel though, right? So it’s probably quite valuable for that. I still think the big problem for criminals is they have to spend half their influence on breakers.

I’m having brainfreeze what’s SDB?

  • Reprint pending :-/

Sneak Door Beta

What do you think about Eater in Criminal?

Eater Crim is something I’ve thought about a lot, but you’d probably want 2x Eater + 3 SOrder to find ti quickly, then you need to go out of faction again in order to find R&D pressure with Eater, in the form of Analog Dreamers or Keyhole. It could be possible, but it probably isn’t feasible. Maybe you could work something out with Pheromones + Vamp to keep the Corp broke, but Crisium still shuts you out cold. And you don’t have Parasite in faction to deal with Quandary and other stupid little ice that people can throw agendas behind when they’re poor. It’s just too much to bring in any support for Eater in Crim. It’s probably too much for Shaper as well, although Vamp/Crescentus + Analog Dreamers could probably dominate a few decks here and there.


Obviously not him bu…t Gabe, security testing, desperado, eater + HQ, preparing for off HQ trigger effects…its pretty good.

It does probably want to play in a deck that’s built for it, but it looks like they’re giving us some tools on that front.

That virtual resource that was spoiled in underway might be good for exploiting FIS if it’s accurate. With some set up with HQI it makes it so they have to worry about getting legworked or worse every time they score. If they spend a turn using Jackson to clean up their HQ so they can score safely and then you FIS, it could be a real problem for them.

The problem is setting that up… and playing HQI. But you’ll probably want to play HQI anyway so you can use Sneakdoor more effectively.

Faust is probably also going to be an awesome criminal card once FIS comes out: Load up HQ, and get in with huge accesses for free. Or just Siphon the hell out of them.

1 Like

Yeah I was thinking Faust over Eater but this is the sort of thing that probably needs to consider the future metagame, as choosing a breaker suite usually does. I’m content to wait for the pieces and if it doesn’t look obvious enough I’ll wait for someone else to have the good ideas.

Yep, Faust is going to be a far superior Criminal card to Eater. Faust + Femme will probably be a totally reasonable breaker suite.


Where is Crim getting all the card draw for Faust? Wasn’t the problem with NRE in Crim that they didn’t want to trash anything?