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Where are all the Ravens? (And what's with all the Draco?)

Upon reviewing many of the NBN:MN tournament winning decklists here at Stimhack, I noticed something very odd - not a one of the lists I looked at ran Data Raven. I honestly can’t figure out why. Back a few months before my break Data Raven was fantastic for NBN - it was taxing, it handed out tags, etc. And now not a single deck I saw used even a single copy. Why? What has happened since my break from A:NR that has caused the Raven to fall into obscurity? Or is it just coincidence that all of the lists I looked at eschewed Data Raven?

Also, why did so many of these decks run Draco?

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Back in the day, only half of the criminals played tag-me. Now all of the criminals play tag-me. Draco and Data Raven don’t really occupy the same slot. Draco is in high counts because you want the runner to face check a draco turn 1, NBN turn 1 draco popup window is pretty brutal, add in the fact that some of the time you might have to face check a caduceus? Holy shit.


draco actually stops the runner even if they want to go tag me if they cannot break the subroutine or beat the trace the run ends. draco is also a decent way to dump credits when the account siphon comes. you keep it unrezzed and when they siphon you dump your credits into pumping draco.

data raven only taxes runners who shake tags. it’s also strength 4 so if you are running RSVP and Eli you open yourself up to Atman at 4. i actually still like data raven in a midseason deck or outside of NBN but it doesnt fit in your standard making news good stuff deck.

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This seems strange and incorrect to me. If anything, fewer Criminals are playing tag-me; resource-based Andy decks are much more popular now than they were back in the day.

That said, I consider Data Raven more or less bad in most Making News decks-- in general Hunter is very frequently superior. I would strongly prefer Data Raven if it didn’t have the on-encounter effect, because it means you never surprise and punish people with it.

Draco, on the other hand, is super good in Making News for two reasons. First, it’s great taxing ICE for cheap. Second, its strength boost makes it (along with TMI) a soft counter to Account Siphon. When someone Siphons you, you can throw away your credits by boosting Draco’s strength, preventing the opponent from stealing them and making future runs into HQ more difficult.


I was playing resource economy andy yesterday, but I had 2 different Making News(midseasons/psycho decks) opponents rez data raven against me. I went tag me vs both opponents as sitting back and slowing down was likely to lose me the game in the situations that I faced, and because of the way their ice works, you don’t need kati or procon to win an economy war. I think the card is really easy to take advantage of since it gives the choice to the runner. I only won one of these two games, but I feel like data raven gave me a chance when an actual taxing ice would not have.

The runner can look at the game state and decide what is the best course of action, and if it’s the best course to go through for free, you wasted time installing, rezzing, even including the card in your deck.


Doesn’t it make sense to run Data Raven and Psychographics without any Midseason? If they shake off tags then Raven is a great taxing ice, and if they go tag-me then it turns on you Psychos without the need to have Midseason and enough money at the right moment. No?

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And this is one good reason to run Chums when you run Ravens. Sure, they’re both str 4, so Atman… but if you run this, you don’t run other STR 4 stuff anyway.

(the other good reason being that it becomes super-annoying to tag-me runners, rather than a blank piece)

The problem with this is that if they Femme or Parasite your Raven (which they probably will), you now have several very dead cards in your deck, as way as a scoring avenue closed off.

Redundancy is good, yo.

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Psychographics either punishes Siphon really hard, or the threat of it makes the runner slow down to remove tags. And Siphon is still half the field.

Just like Scorch is not dead when the Plascretes are out - it’s mere existance makes them slow down to install Plascrete and give you scoring windows.

I feel this is mostly a fallacy. Psychographics is good against casual siphoners, sure. If you’re someone doing dedicated credit denial (whether by recurring Siphons ad nauseam, or by going the Anarch route), it just means it’s something you need to account for when deckbuilding.

I played a crap-ton of this list, which frequently ends the game at 10+ tags, and I don’t think I’ve lost a game to Psychographics once. Either you make them too broke to use it in a meaningful way, or you keep Indexing-pushing it further down so they don’t draw it until it’s too late. Anarch denial builds are even better off - just Imp that s**t out of their hand and it’s over (you may laugh maniacally as a bonus, if you’d like).

So yes, in a vacuum it might be an appealing “punish” option, but in reality it usually won’t help you (if you’re playing against a decent opponent). I do agree that Ravens often can work as a Midseasons substitute in certain board states, but I would play them in addition, not instead of Midseasons. That way, you have both a proactive and a passive way of getting a boatloat of tags onto the runner, and higher chances of actually drawing into at least one of them.

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Well, ‘casual siphoners’ are the majority of criminal players, and those are still half the field, are they not?

I dunno, casual siphoner most definitely isn’t the variety of Criminal deck that strikes any amount of fear into me. It gets all the vulnerabilities of tag floating (CA-related scoring windows, flatline threats, resource vulnerability) without properly leveraging the cards that give them the tags in the first place.

Let’s just leave it at “seems like your mileage varies from mine” :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, as Criminal I always lost to NBN, and as NBN I always lost to Criminal, so you’re probably right, and I’m now playing HB and Shaper :slight_smile:

I think most of the benefit of Raven comes from trying to set up a Runner who doesn’t want to go into Tag-Me mode yet (could be because it’s not a tag-me deck, could be because the deck wants to use a resource like Kati until they start using Siphons, etc) into a run where they don’t have time to drop all their tags. This works great if you’re using Snare/Bernice/ChiLo etc., but not as well if you don’t have a source of a surprise tag somewhere. This doesn’t interact gracefully with Draco, either, since success from Draco ends the run and prevents you from setting the Runner up for the tactical tag problem.

The migration from Private Security Force ->Character Assassination->NAPD Contract hurt it too, because if you played Psycho as an out against Tag Me, then as Peekay says, you’re typically too broke to just Psycho a Beale to win. However, if you were running drip econ and PSF, using Psycho on a PSF really could get you back into a game you were losing versus a Runner that already swamped himself with tags. Everyone is favoring operation economy and NAPD now (with good reason), so the Psycho/PSF out doesn’t really fit.

Chum used to help a lot with this, but as already mentioned, then you’re in a bad way versus Atman.

All of this puts Raven in a very vulnerable place.


Thank you all for the replies!

Draco and TMI’s popularity (I forgot to mention the latter in the OP) makes total sense now. I wonder why neither was used very often in the past. It’s not like AS spam has increased; their ability to soft counter such hasn’t changed.

I get the lack of Ravens now too. Thanks all.

We have one very strong NBN player in Moscow, he won a 22-players tournament not long ago with this deck. Sweeps Week was already legal, but he opted not to play it because he “didn’t want to have much money for the runner to steal” ©. He’s usually playing at 2-3 credits, and he uses Psychographics to score AstroScript mostly. Overadvancing Beale really shouldn’t be your first thought when speaking of Psycho :wink:

Then again, this deck doesn’t have Data Raven, and that makes my whole point somewhat moot =_=

When you run turn 1 and Making News rezzes Draco, you have to either pay $4 or end the run + tag. Youre probably losing $4.

When Making News rezzes Data Raven, you jack out and keep all your money. Thats a big difference.

Also, after a big Mideseason, Raven does nothing, but Draco still ends the run if you dont spend money.


Draco is just super fucking good. Early game facechecking it is brutal regardless of whether the runner is going to play tag-me or not, and regardless of your tag punishment package. Most people will just pay to avoid the tag, and then never run that server again until they get a breaker online. Later on, it can be put at a taxing strength for the sentry breaker or just protect from siphon or inside job or be used to lightly defend an asset remote.

Data raven really does induce tag-me very quickly. If you’re not playing psychographics, it’s a pretty big sink. You don’t ever want to use it to defend an agenda, and it’s bad on HQ because you can just Siphon through it and play the credit denial game. It’s only very good on R&D, but if they play an RDI they can just run through it and lock you out. Furthermore, if you ever land a Midseasons, then it becomes totally worthless on R&D, which is exactly where they’re going to go after you have psycho turned on. That’s the big issue, I think. It’s not BAD in Midseason-Psycho as a taxing ETR early, but if your gameplan is working, it becomes worthless, and if it isn’t, they just avoid running R&D and you have other problems. For it to be really good, you have to score an Astroscript and threaten to FA the win without Midseason-Psycho, and then they’ll still run through it for free, (though it could help to turn on psycho in this situation, they could always just float one tag and break it the rest of the time, in which case it’s not very much better than an Eli).

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I put one Data Raven in an RP deck that focuses on just using up the runner’s time and money. Obviously, Raven is a dead card against tagme, in which case it heads straight to archives. On the other hand, against opponents dependent on resource economy it’s basically been a hard ETR. When the runner is already being taxed of their clicks with RP, having to burn a click to remove a tag is really annoying. This thread is making me reconsider Draco (I could use that two influence), but without the Making News trace bump, it seems weak, though still good for pre-Siphon dump.

Raven is super-great in Jinteki, because of the Snare and Chum interaction (and now possibly Inazuma), and how deadly/taxing their RnD is by itself. Also, splashing some CA has always been a good idea, and now with cerebral cast it’s even better.

I don’t think Inazuma > Data Raven would work to force a tag or power counter. Inazuma requires you to encounter next ICE. You could encounter Data Raven and then take the ETR choice in the encounter effect.