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Subject: Help with Leela and Criminal in general rss

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Andrew Maier
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Hey folks,

After being a longtime Shaper, I promised myself that I would teach myself Criminal. Andromeda, while strong, didn't appeal to me because I felt like it would encourage me to build board state, which is what I already was doing with Shaper. I wanted to learn aggression. I tried Gabe and he was really cool, but Leela caught my eye and hearing stuff about people exploiting her ability to make really destructive turns sounded like the epitome of what I was looking for from Criminal.

So, I built a Leela deck and it's doing ok (5 wins 3 losses so far, I think) but I've been finding that if stuff doesn't go super well, I don't know what to do to recover. The games I won tended to be because I got an agenda very early, like turn 1 or 2 and was able to open up defenses and slow the corp down. Games that didn't go that way tended to be me doing a lot of clicking for credits and drawing cards without a strong notion of what I was looking for. In Shaper, I always knew what card would be great to have in hand. With an aggressive Criminal... I'm not so sure. So, the deck:

Leela Pressure

Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist (All That Remains)

Event (18)
3x Account Siphon (Core Set)
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)
1x Hostage (Opening Moves)
3x Inside Job (Core Set)
3x Special Order (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)

Hardware (5)
3x Desperado (Core Set)
2x HQ Interface (Humanity's Shadow)

Resource (5)
1x John Masanori (Opening Moves)
1x Kati Jones (Humanity's Shadow)
2x Security Testing (Honor and Profit)
1x Utopia Shard (All That Remains)

Icebreaker (9)
1x Breach (Honor and Profit)
1x Cerberus "Rex" H2 (All That Remains)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
3x Faerie (Future Proof)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
2x Passport (Honor and Profit)

Program (8)
2x Datasucker (Core Set) ••
2x Medium (Core Set) ••••• •
2x Parasite (Core Set) ••••
2x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set)

15 influence spent (max 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to All That Remains

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

It's a Desperado Leela rather than a Logos Leela because Desperado seems a) more Criminal and b) more aggressive. Plus, since I'm having trouble figuring out what to search for already I figure that Logos won't really help me.

Any advice you could give would be great, either in playstyle tips or deckbuilding for Criminal. Right off the bat, I think I need more card draw. John Masanori is great in the matchups he's great in, but throw a glacier at me and I slow way down. Earthrise Hotel? Mr Li? Also, HQ Interface is probably a controversial call. My thinking is that HQ interface works much better with Sneakdoor Beta and Inside Job. Sneakdoor seems like it would be good since it puts an agenda-scoring threat on Archives, and Inside Job works so great with Leela anyway that making it even strong seemed like a good call. However, HQ Interface is a big investment and harder to turn into scores early. Should I do legwork instead?

Scorch protection is Utopia Shard which has worked well so far; just install it as soon as you see it then burn it after they SEA Source; you get a pretty good chance to blast away their Scorches, or at least 1 of them. Also, Breach is only in there as a backup to Corroder that's free of influence.
 
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Bryan Blumklotz
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Events:
Deep six Hostage and 1 Inside Job. You want to be running and drawing.
I have seen good work with 2 Express Deliveries or if you are going the damage protection rout, 2 I've Had Worse.

Programs:
You have an MU problem as you max out at 5 MU. Way too many programs. You would be better off ditching the Mediums for 2 RDI. I would also go down to 1 HQ interface (or replace it with 1 Legwork).

I would add a second Cerberus and find room for 2 clone chips (which pull a lot of duty recurring Faerie and Cerberus or recover a blown up Corroder or do a "poor man's" Scavange with your Femme Fatale. 1 Passport and 1 Alias. 1 Sneak Door.

I would keep at most 1 Parasite to deal with low or 0 STR problem ICE and ditch the data suckers, you don't have room.

Resources:
Add in 1 Same Old Thing. Make room for a 3rd Security Testing, you want one quick and two out is a major economic engine. You should put in a second John Masanori. I cannot say enough about 6 credits and 1 draw for 2 clicks per turn. More if you make a Dirty Laundry run.

You got nothing to deal with Net or Meat damage. This is gonna get you flatlined.
Options:
1 Feedback Filter + 1 Plascrete
1 Feedback Filter + 2 I've Had Worse
If your meta doesn't do Kill Decks, lucky you.

One final note, do not underestimate the power of Unscheduled Maintenance. Not many runners play currents but it will save your butt if someone is doing a Glacier with Enhanced Login Protocol. If the Corp isn't using currents then you limit them to installing 1 ice a turn which makes you very happy and them very unhappy. I run 3.
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Andrew Maier
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Thanks for the feedback

I think you're right about Hostage; it's a bit slow. Would it still stink if I hostaged for Mr Li or something similar? Express Delivery seems nice in how it can get me the right tool for the right moment (a mini Logos), but it isn't sustained the way I'd like.

Not too worried about the flatline; Leela's ability can bounce Ronnins off the table vs PE and Utopia Shard is a really effective SE protection; fire it off after the SEA Source and you've got a good chance of sniping at least 1 Scorched Earth. That said, if I start getting killed all the time I'll throw plascrete in.
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Andrew Maier
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Saracenus wrote:
I would add a second Cerberus and find room for 2 clone chips (which pull a lot of duty recurring Faerie and Cerberus or recover a blown up Corroder or do a "poor man's" Scavange with your Femme Fatale. 1 Passport and 1 Alias. 1 Sneak Door.

One point about this that I wanted to talk with someone about: how much money does Cerberus save you over Passport? My worry is that requiring the multiple installs makes Cerberus fairly expensive at 3 each time. For central pressure, wouldn't it be cheaper to use Passport and save Cerberus for the remotes? Or is your notion that memory is too tight for that and if forced to pick between the two, Cerberus is better?
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Bryan Blumklotz
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Cerberus is your ticket into a scoring remote, if you only got one and no way to recur it, then you get locked out of remotes with a single Quandary once it is used up or killed. You need a credible threat. Also, you can run one early for central pressure until you can get out your Passport.

Mr. Li is a bad card for this deck. You would rather run for credits and a card. I would take Express Delivery over it because it gets you to a card quickly without flooding your hand.

Hostage is for Connection centric decks, this is not one. Kati only needs to come out if you are facing Glacier. Otherwise she is hit points in your grip or discard if you need to overdraw.

And you are welcome.
 
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Marc-Andre Blanchet
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Sherbrooke
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-1/-2 Inside Jobs: The situations where they are useful are few are far between.

HQ Interface vs Legwork: I think both options have merits and flaws.

+1/+2 John Massanori: You want this to be you main source of draw, combined with Desperado and Security Testing for money.

Desperado is the correct choice of console. Logos is a trap.

Icebreakers: You want cheap runs to power your run economy. There are 2 or 3 ways to accomplish this. Parasite everything requires enormous recursion. Mimic, Yog.0 and Corroder require an increasing amount of overhead. (Datasucker tokens, a different code gate breaker that goes up to 4 or Personal Touch, a way to recover after a virus purge (AI, Inside Job, Parasite, ...), Parasites, ...) Stealth requires stealth credits. Basically, right now, your runs are too expensive.

-2 Medium, +2/+3 R&D Interface: You have memory problems, the interface is still up after a purge or a Cyberdex, and it isn't slowed by Crisium Grid.

-1/-2 Sneakdoor Beta: Security Testing threatens Archive.

+2/+3 Same Old Thing: Threatens Account Siphon and Inside Job, fetches icebreakers.

+2 Plascrete: Dying is not fun.
 
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Robert Quirk
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Mabool wrote:
+2 Plascrete: Dying is not fun.
I hate building runner decks when I get to the point where I have about 3 cards to get rid of. I contemplate the -2 plascrete but then I remember this fact and think better of it.

No matter the board state those other cards will give you even at 6-0 up, it is too easy to lose if you don't have this insurance.
 
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Andrew Maier
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My thoughts re: Hostage are below. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I feel like it's sort of a Shaper oriented attitude and I'm trying to be a good Criminal

I want to have Kati in the deck because the original build suffocated against glacier pretty hard core. That said, I also wanted John Masanori because he's awesome with Sec Testing and Desperado. Unfortunately, he sucks in glacier because he limits your ability to face check their ICE early and late doesn't actually provide you with much card draw. So I want both of them in the deck, but there are matchups where I won't necessarily be installing one or the other.

The straight forward option is something like 2x John 1x Kati (or visa-versa depending on my meta) or 1x John and 1x Kati and 1x Hostage. The reason I went with Hostage is because it feels like it should provide reliability for the occasional sacrifice of a click and a credit.

Say I'm playing NEH and I want John Masanori and not Kati. If I draw John first out of those three cards, that's awesome If I draw Kati first, well, that's just the price of having some insurance against glacier; if Kati was John instead my deck would be worse against Blue Sun. If I draw Hostage first, I might find myself wishing it was John Masanori instead, but the downside I'm facing for it not being him is pretty small. If it was John, I'd have 1 click to draw, 1 click and 2 credits to install. Since it's hostage, it's 1 click to draw, 2 clicks and 3 credits to install. 1 click and 1 credit isn't nothing, but it's not huge either, especially considering that my downside in the glacier matchup is much lighter than if I was running 2x John and 1x Kati. In glacier, I'd have 2 dead draws that I would be wishing were Kati, instead of 1.

I feel that running Hostage provides me a kind of insurance where my deck isn't quite as strong (1 click and 1 cred worse) against both horizontal and glacier matchups, but it doesn't suffer nearly as much weakness against the deck I don't tech against (since that's 1 wasted click for the draw of the second John/Kati plus the longer time it might take to see the connection I actually wanted).

Coming from the land of SMCs, Test Runs and so on, running tutors + 1-ofs feels pretty natural to me, and the cost benefit analysis didn't seem too bad when extending that logic to connections. Am I missing something?
 
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Andrew Maier
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3x Inside Job might be a bit much, I agree. My original thinking was that Inside Job works super well with Leela's ability, since a 3 deep server with a rezzed inside ICE (typical from what I've seen against Leela) becomes penetrable after an agenda score (bounce one unrezzed ICE then inside job). Inside Job also synergizes well with Medium and HQ Interface, since it can cheapen/make possible those heavy multi-access runs. That said, I've rarely used all 3 in a game so far, so running 2x might be the right call.

For John, I'd love him to be my main source of draw and when that works out, I've rarely lost. However, I've found that he can really choke against glacier decks. Should I just ignore the tags he gives when I facecheck things? Or run something like Crash Space to cheapen the removal costs? I feel like he really speeds me up against low-ice decks but actually slows me down against heavy ICE decks.

You've got a good point against sneakdoor; people often ICE archives as soon as Security Testing goes down. I had it in there because a) it synergizes with HQ Interface and b) it is a nice threat to steal an agenda early, but I think you might be right that the card slots are better spent elsewhere, counting on Sec Testing to spread the pressure.

Utopia Shard has been effective Scorch protection so far, so I'm not adding plascrete back yet. If I get killed a few times, I'm sure it'll sneak its way back in.
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Thomas Aldershof II
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My thoughts exactly. I was like what? 3x Inside Job is a MUST. MANDATORY.

On a 2 ICE server she bounces 1 then you just hit HQ with Job with your HQ Interface. Access 2 for Free Practically?

Here is another thing, Inside Job is the best runner card in the game period. You can just USE IT to save money. Think about this, lets say you are playing against Blue Sun and he puts Curtain Wall on HQ or R&D and you just Inside Job it? right? How much would that have cost you if you used corroder? or even Breach?

11 CREDITS!! + 2 to install Corroder It just cost YOU, 2 Credits? That's practically a stim hack with no Brain Damage! (Breach would be 6 + 2 install)

I can't really go into how good Inside Job cause it's practically runner theory at a certain point but a...

Laters...
 
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Peter Hopkins
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I took a very similar Leela deck to the cut in our store champ yesterday and Utopia Shard was the key to my win against the strongest player there, taking Midseasons out of his hand right at the start of the game after I stole an agenda. Simply turned off the scorch play for a good time in the early game... And then I also had two two plascretes. I think that's the way you should go.

Security Testing and Sneakdoor is a problem. Security Testing still works wonders against assets though, and boosts your econ against NEH. I also run Medium and that has worked well for me; I can see the RDI logic, but I've always found it too expensive. Might give it a go, now that Cyberdex is gaining traction.

Also, I run just as many programs as you and haven't had an MU problem. Criminal rig need to be flexible, you'll often be installing over stuff you don't need right now. It's tough with no recursion, but it's the Criminal way.

Also, to the guy saying Logos is a trap, that's so not the case Logos Leela is great!
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