Hello everyone, this is my first time posting a deck, and the write up is a little long. You have been warned.
This Gabe deck has been an evolving build since the core set. The goal of the deck is to be balanced, efficient and competitive in a diverse metagame atmosphere while being custom fit to my own personal playstyle (more on that right after the decklist). I wanted to share it to see if anyone had observations, thoughts, comments or critical objections/suggestions. I also wanted to do this write up for my own personal benefit of actually hashing out my thoughts on the cards and their interactions and what I have learned while piloting them. While I do not claim to be an expert or authority, seeing other people's decks with their thoughts, personal playstyles and justifications for specific cards I have been inspired to do the same in hopes that other are inspired to repeat with their decks and I can in turn be further educated and inspired. The one thing I am an expert on is knowing better than anyone else my own playstyle (however poor it is) building a deck that caters to my strengths (and weaknesses) has been and hopefully will continue to be an absolute joy.
Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional (Core Set)
3x Account Siphon (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Forged Activation Orders (Core Set)
3x Inside Job (Core Set)
1x Planned Assault (Honor and Profit)
3x Special Order (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
1x Clone Chip (Creation and Control) ••
3x Desperado (Core Set)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
1x Crash Space (Core Set)
3x Mr. Li (Future Proof)
2x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
2x Security Testing (Honor and Profit)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
2x Faerie (Future Proof)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
1x Mimic (Core Set) •
1x Yog.0 (Core Set) •
1x ZU.13 Key Master (What Lies Ahead) ••
3x Datasucker (Core Set) •••
2x Parasite (Core Set) ••••
1x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set)
15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Honor and Profit
Deck built on NetrunnerDB.
I have had decent success in local casual play with this latest build. I can play fast and loose with this deck or I can build a respectable rig pretty efficiently without stretching myself too thin. I prefer playing a faster, early pressure playstyle (early Account Siphons, floating tags) which suits this deck at times, but other times (whether due to game state, card draw etc) I am required to slow down for safety and longevity. I PROBABLY tend to play a little too much on the safe side at all times (which is something I am actively working on fine tuning; knowing is half the battle), and as such, this deck has suited me well with its ability to let me fly out of the gate or for it to be dynamic enough for late game confidence in dealing with entrenched servers. As my play skill has improved, I have begun to change the deck to suit my playstyle and I will continue to do so. This has been exhilarating and liberating. In short, this deck fits my playstyle and allows me to play MY game, not the other way around.
Econ- Not a problem between Gabe's ability, Desperado, Dirty Laundry and the 2 Security Testing. Sometimes it is almost too much money (if that is possible), but it is all efficient income so no worries there. If Sure Gambles weren't so awesome in my opening hand, I may have trimmed one out already. Security Testing (ST) has far exceeded my expectations, especially when they hit the board early. Basically the worst case for ST is the Corp is forced to spend an Ice on Archives before it turns into my own personal ATM and datasucker factory. This thins out the Ice on the other servers and increases the value of my parasites (to further thin servers) and the sub-economy of cost of runs. In turn the game can remain in an ideal state for me for a longer period of time. I am choosing a central most of the time for ST, with archives a clear favorite. If you haven't tried a build with ST I highly recommend trying them out. Choosing naked remotes and reading your opponents reactions has also proved useful against bad poker faces even if I don't run the server.
Breaker Suite - Getting a datasucker out early is really helpful (duh). With a mix of fixed, pumpable, femme and faerie I haven't been getting shut out of anything except the deepest and strongest servers once I get going. I used to run Gordian, but I am liking the change to Zule because of the lower install cost and lower influence. I don't find myself missing the extra point of strength or roll over. A singleton Corroder is probably my weakest link, but I make sure that it hits the table immediately from hand to prevent it getting netted away and also make sure I have expendable power shutdown coverage if applicable. There is also a singleton clone chip for emergencies (luckily I have only ever used it to fast-recur parasites). Usually the first breaker of each subtype that hits the table stays for my complete suite whether it is fixed or otherwise (this obviously excludes faerie). A full suite usually consists of 1 of each subtype, 1 datasucker and room (with desperado) for 1 more parasite or datasucker.
Account Siphon (AS)/Planned Assault (PA) - While AS is a powerful card, I am having some trouble with it. I am thinking about dropping the single PA and possibly dropping an AS. I just can't justify the drop because of how strong landing an early or well timed siphon is. Very rarely do I find myself wanting to siphon once a midgame has been established. I am considering working in a vamp, because of how well this deck sustains my econ. I have only ever used the PA for an AS.
Forged Activation Orders - I'd like some ideas on ways to be more effective with this powerful control card. The ways I use to seem to be the obvious ones; distracting the corps resources, playing it when corp is broke or broke-ish on what I believe to be important Ice, and checking unrezzed Ice before runs when my rig is lacking sentry and I have programs I cannot afford to lose.
Inside Job - Just soooo valuable in my deck and to my playstyle. I mentioned the fact that I tend to play overly safe and this card gives me great confidence. Even on 3 deep ice with no breakers a properly timed Inside Job is really hard for a poorly funded corp to deal with.
Special Order - Because of Mr. Li and the fact that I don't mind running naked, I usually only end up special ordering once a game at max. It is possible that I could remove one. Thoughts?
Sure Gamble - OMG SURE GAmbeL auto INCLuDE!!!1! No, but 3 are required simply because of how good it is to play for my first click of my first turn. Especially if I can follow that with a Desperado.
Clone Chip - I pulled a Parasite to make room for the Clone Chip. What a great move! The worst case scenario is I draw it without ever seeing a parasite or ever having an important program end up in the heap. The best case scenario is it retrieves my Corroder and saves the day. Most likely it ends up recurring a parasite during a run, and this is actually BETTER than having a parasite in hand. Loving this change.
Plascrete - I was running a single plascrete and 2 Crash Spaces because I thought I would get more utility from the crash spaces, but I feel that the 4th point of protection from plascrete is preferable to some of the Shenanigans (power shutdown) that I have seen. QUESTION: I am thinking about including a single Decoy to prevent said Shenanigans but I am concerned about breaking news tags (2) or Midseasons tags (?) followed by scorches, I am not sure if this is a reasonable justification by itself to automatically exclude a Decoy over the one crash space. Thoughts?
Same Old Thing - This is another card that I do not feel is always pulling it's weight with my playstyle. That said, when I do use them they are used on Siphons and are absolutely crippling. I used to run 3, but 2 is plenty. If I found space for an Indexing or vamp, they may rise in value.
Mr Li - An absolute gem with 3 in the deck (since I am not playing hostage). Once the early game is drawing to a close, I start digging to get him on the table. Ideally, he ends up in my hand in the first few turn of the game. Once on the table, he allows me to thin out redundant desperados, breakers, special orders etc.
Datasucker - I played without viruses in this deck for a long time. They work really well in here. Again, this is a 3 of that could probably be a 2 of if it wasn't so essential to get out early. Played early and correctly they help establish and maintain control and occasionally you can bait weaker players into an unnecessary 3 click virus sweep. Rarely will I play more than one on the table in a game. Works well with the other cards (desperado, security testing).
Parasite - I was running three until I swapped in the clone chip. If you are playing criminal with 3 parasites, I recommend trying 2 parasites and a clone chip, the benefits far outweigh the negatives (at least for my playstyle).
Sneakdoor - This used to be a 2 of in my deck until Security Testing. I am not liking how these cards interact however. Sneakdoor will probably get dropped soon. Maybe for an HQ Interface
Some additional thoughts/questions:
Vamp - Due to the deep economy that this deck generates I am thinking about squeezing one in. I would leave the planned assault in for sure if I did. Thoughts?
Crash Space - In competitive atmospheres I originally had Plascretes, but lately I have been switching the ratios (2 plas/1 crash, 2 crash/1 plas etc) What have others found?
I have considered trimming my breaker suite by adding a Crypsis to free slots and influence, but I think that he could single handedly wash out the strong economy of this deck.
The major issue that I am having is a stall in the late game that I think could be fixed with some form of multicard access. R&D Interface, medium, HQ interface and Indexing all seem like potentials. I have to do something about this because I can begin to lose control over the late game if the corp is drawing up during their turn. Anyone have thoughts?
Well, if you read all of this I thank you and I hope you enjoyed it! Any and all feedback is welcome!!!!
A few thoughts:
- Why use ZU.13 instead of Yog if you're running Data Suckers?
- Crash Space doesn't seem that useful. If you get tagged at a poor time(4th click or after the Corp uses False Lead) they can just trash it and kill you then. Unless your meta has a lot of Scorched Earth, you should be fine with just the two Plascretes.
- 3x Mr. Li seems a bit overkill, you could drop it down to 2 to find room for something like Legwork.
- Emergency Shutdown is a glaring omission. With 3x Shutdown and the Parasites you could really wreck a Corps ice and credit pool.
- A third Faerie seems vital, it's the best way to deal with an Archer.
- You could probably drop down to 2 Inside Jobs. Planned Assault can go get them and Same Old Thing can re-use them.
Thanks for the input,
E-shutdown is probably worth working back in.
I think you are right about crash space, dropping it and running the 2 plascrete wouldn't hurt me at all.
I have a yog and a Zu13 in the deck, are you recommending 2 yogs or just dropping the zu13? Dropping the zule and keeping 1 yog might actually be a brilliant idea, as I will get more mileage out of my special orders, but I will lack code gate redundancy with only one yog.
3rd faerie is interesting. I used to have 3 in here, but it seemed like overkill in my meta.
Thanks for your thoughts, I really appreciate you taking the time
My mistake, I didn't seen the Yog.0. I would probably drop the ZU13, a single Yog.0 with the Datasuckers should suffice against the usual Code Gates(Quandary, Enigma, Viktor 2.0, Tollbooth and RSVP).
It'd be hard for me to see running less than 3 Faeries. 2 credits to break an Archer is incredible and with Jinteki on the rise she can save your hand against Komainu.
No multi-acccess card/s to make an R&D threat?
I was wondering about Sneakdoor. It's always good on Gabe. Dropping to just one means you can't get it early enough to make the corp spread out their ICE
Like I mentioned, sneakdoor and ST aren't really working together, I'm going to leave a single sneakdoor in there a little while longer and see what I come up with before I abandon them. I agree that I am in need of multicard access, it' a major late game issue for me...
The only feedback I have is that Jinteki might e a nightmare against this deck. With only one of each breaker, you better make sure any breaker in hand is installed before running. They kill one, and you give them huge Windows to score until you can dig out that single Clone Chip. No expose cards make this weak to Jinteki too.