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Subject: An illustrated guide to building a Gabe deck rss

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El-ad David Amir
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The stakes are high but fortunately one man has all the answers, and that man is Gabriel Santiago, "Consummate Professional". Gabe's flair deserves the best deck, and this deck is the crème de la crème. Here is a step-by-step on building a powerful Gabe deck.

Identity
As you figured out by now, the star of this show is Gabriel Santiago. Setting aside an undefended HQ or a surprise Sneakdoor Beta, Gabriel's ability makes runs vs. HQ cheaper by two Credits. In addition to making keeping Agendas in HQ more dangerous, you will often have a good grasp of the contents of your opponent's HQ, allowing you to predict any nasty surprises down the line. However, the main reason we're using Gabe is that he's the only Criminal identity available right now, and we would like to have access to the faction's powerful Events.

Icebreakers
The strongest Ice in the game, hands down, Cryspis is a flexible workhorse that will get you in for the meager costing of devouring your resources like an Ichi in a Snowball factory. We will include three copies of this bad boy to guarantee we get it as an early-game threat and a late-game round up to our arsenal.

This dangerous lady is a reasonable answer to many early-game Sentries, such as Rototurret and Neural Katana. More importantly, though, she is the end-all solution to Tollbooth and Data Raven, two dangerous pieces of Ice that can make our life hell. Two copies let us risk a gamble with the first one and have a spare if needed.

Ninja and Corroder are the best breakers in their respective categories, offering the highest efficiency for cracking through many different pieces of Ice (incl. Archer, Ichi, Wall of Static, Ice Wall and others). We will have one copy of each, since we can fetch them with Special Order.

Rounding up our Icebreakers is Special Order, two copies of which will help us get the perfect rig as quickly as possible, or fetch a Femme to seduce an unwary Tollbooth. Two are more than enough since we're running three copies of Crypsis.

Economy
Three economy staples, Sure Gamble and Easy Mark give you the burst of Credits you need to crank out those expensive pieces of Ice. Three copies of each are a staple in Criminal decks. Armitage Codebusting is a "slow Sure Gamble", netting the same net value for more Clicks but a lower initial investment.

While the added MU is cute, the real utility of Desperado is in the Credits it generates and the timing in which it generates them. Corp players often forget the surprise Credit when deciding whether to rez Ice and calculating Traces. Even versus an alert opponent, Desperado quickly pays for itself with interest: three copies give us a good chance of drawing it early, getting the most out of it. Drip by drip, your Credit pool increases.

Compromised Employee was released in Trace Amount and was quickly adopted by Criminals. It offers a "soft Link" of one, giving you much needed flexibility versus popular Trace cards (such as Caduceus and ASH). More importantly, install one of the three copies early enough and it will net between six and ten Credits, with the added bonus of tormenting the Corp player with a difficult decision (should I rez this Ice and give the Runner a Credit, or wait a while longer?).

Finally, we will adopt the Shaper's energy drink for a boost of strength in critical moments. Three copies of Diesel mean that you will dig through your deck quickly while providing a buffer against possible Net damage.

The hammers
Another Criminal staple, Inside Job will skip the first piece of Ice on a server. The versatility of this powerful Event deserves an article of its own: it skips dangerous Ice such as Archer and Tollbooth, it snatches early-game economy card that the Corp left defended by just one Ice, it serves as a missing Icebreaker or saves money in the late-game. With three copies, the Corp should watch its servers very carefully.

Despite his refined appearance, Gabe is not afraid to play dirty and Stimhack is as dirty as it gets. The crazy burst of nine Credits lets you explore untamed territory and wreak some havoc while you're there by trashing expensive Upgrades such as ChiLo and SanSan. While Inside Job is a constant source of headaches, two copies of Stimhack make no server unreachable.

Probably one of the most powerful Runner cards in the game, Account Siphon is the reason CEOs wake up screaming at night and fortify their HQ with layer upon layer of Ice. Losing five Credits is equivalent to a turn and a half of raising funds, while Gabe receives twelve (thirteen with Desperado), serving as fuel to further exploits. Eventually the loot will decrease as breaking into HQ becomes more expensive. Do not underestimate Account Siphon's late-game utility, though: a Corp with less Credits means a Corp with less Ice. A seemingly-fortified Server might be ripe for the taking after ravaging the Corp's coffers. Needless to say, we will include three copies of this terror.

The tricks
Knowledge is power and two copies of Satellite Uplink means that Gabe's eye never rests. Exposing two cards gives you flexibility in your decisions; you will often check out whether the latest installed card is an Agenda or an Asset (or maybe an Ambush!), while at the same time probing a suspect piece of Ice. Additionally, Satellite Uplink is the bane of "horizontal" Corps (such as Jinteki's Replicating Perfection), as it lets you skip the three-card Monte and snatch the reward without the need to bump into Snare! first.

Eventually, the Corp will seal their HQ, making your constant probing non-cost-efficient. This is where two copies of Sneakdoor come in, forcing your opponent to defend an additional front, and preferably with a solid piece of Ice that would go to a Remote on a better occasion. More often than not, the Corp will not defend Archives in advance, making Sneakdoor pay for itself on the turn you get it.

Double the gun, double the fun; and Gabe has a whole arsenal for you to replicate. With two copies of Deja Vu you can recycle the most painful card at the best moment. HQ security still lax? Let's hit it with Account Siphon again. Archer is standing sentry at the edge of the Remote? Time to give Inside Job another go. Furthermore, Deja Vu lets you recover from early damage and gives you flexibility in early-game discards- you could always call these cards back later.

The counters
Classifying E3 highly depends on the composition of Corps in your area. It has no immediate use in this deck (since we're using neither Aurora nor Peacock). E3's purpose is to hard-counter Bioroids, especially Ichi 1.0, the most dangerous of the lot. It reduces the cost of breaking Ichi to three (a Click and two Credits), and provides a clear route through other HB Ice. Although it's wasted versus the wrong opponent, its utility against a deck utilizing any Bioroid make two copies a worthy addition.

Rounding up the list are three copies of a confused lady with curlers. If there's one thing which is certain in a Runner's life, is that one of these days Weyland will try to get you, and when they do, it will not be pretty. You want your Decoy and you want it early (and while you're at it, try to get two!). Otherwise you will end up buried in rubble.

The decklist
Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Android: Netrunner Deck Builder

Identity:
Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional (Core)

Total Cards: (46)

Event: (23)
Account Siphon (Core) x3
Deja Vu (Core) x2
Easy Mark (Core) x3
Inside Job (Core) x3
Special Order (Core) x2
Sure Gamble (Core) x3
Stimhack (Core) x2
Diesel (Core) x3
Satellite Uplink (Trace Amount) x2

Hardware: (5)
Desperado (Core) x3
E3 Feedback Implants (Trace Amount) x2

Program: (9)
Corroder (Core) x1
Femme Fatale (Core) x2
Sneakdoor Beta (Core) x2
Crypsis (Core) x3
Ninja (Core) x1

Resource: (9)
Armitage Codebusting (Core) x3
Decoy (Core) x3
Compromised Employee (Trace Amount) x3

Influence Values Totals -
Anarch: 8
Criminal: 66
Shaper: 6

What is missing and why?
Peacock. The math behind Peacock is sound: it is a reasonable Icebreaker to bash through Enigma, Tollbooth and even Chum and Sensei. However, the only cards of these that is a meaningful threat is Tollbooth, and you want to bypass them with Femme Fatale (otherwise the costs will overwhelm you). For the others, Crypsis is inefficient but enough.

Forced Activation Orders. Account Siphon and Deja Vu do an excellent job of leaving the Corp's funds low. Still, I do not think that the occasional Ice trash is worth the addition of FAO to the deck: since we are not trashing Ice consistently and constantly, FAO's effect will be transient and unnecessary. A similar argument goes for Cortez Chip.

Crash Space. You need to remove three Tags to break even on Crash Space. Till then, it slows you down and serves as nothing more than an anti-Scorched Earth tool. It's a cumbersome solution to a problem which can be solved much more easily.


Criminal are the most powerful faction right now, offering a dangerous blend of Icebreakers, economy and surprises. This deck attempts to epitomize the attributes of this faction. Keep your hand full and your coffers fuller, and you should have a smooth sailing into the Corp's most secured forts.
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Justin
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I love a good illustrated guide.
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Aaron Freeman
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Some solid advice and a great illustrated primer. Thanks for putting the effort in! Overall I think you did a good job explaining your choices, but there are a few cards I question adding to this deck.

Particularly E3 Implants and Satellite Uplink are two cards that have not been well received personally. E3 too often ends up being a dead card for me (1 out of 4 match ups) and I have trouble justifying it personally without peacock and/or aurora, but two card slots won't kill you for two silver bullets. Satellite Uplink will likely become more powerful by the end of the genesis when each faction has a sys op and possibly a region to thicken their remotes, but right now I just don't often find a good enough reason to use the card. Next pack, I may never have a need to run it due to snitch.

Also what do you think of datasuckers in Criminals? I have had a lot of success with desperado and datasucker.

Anyway, food for thought. Thumbs for the thread!

Edit: Minor grammar corrections
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Tucker Taylor
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I'm more into Rabbit Holes than Compromised Employees and Infiltrations over Uplinks myself but I can see the arguments there.

IirionClaus wrote:
Peacock. The math behind Peacock is sound: it is a reasonable Icebreaker to bash through Enigma, Tollbooth and even Chum and Sensei. However, the only cards of these that is a meaningful threat is Tollbooth, and you want to bypass them with Femme Fatale (otherwise the costs will overwhelm you). For the others, Crypsis is inefficient but enough.

Interesting. I may have to try that in my own deck; I've been wondering what to drop for more Crypses.

Quote:
Crash Space. You need to remove three Tags to break even on Crash Space. Till then, it slows you down and serves as nothing more than an anti-Scorched Earth tool. It's a cumbersome solution to a problem which can be solved much more easily.

YES. Nice to see someone who agrees with me on "crash space = wasted space".
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Ony Moose
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If you are running Account Siphon, won't crash space pay for itself?
 
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El-ad David Amir
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StarSix wrote:
Also what do you think of datasuckers in Criminals? I have had a lot of success with desperado and datasucker.

Datasucker is excellent in Criminal. The only reason I don't have them here is that I prefer the more aggressive Deja Vu. Netting effectively two Credits each run (one for Datasucker, one for Desperado) is very useful.

StarSix wrote:
E3 too often ends up being a dead card for me (1 out of 4 match ups) and I have trouble justifying it personally without peacock and/or aurora, but two card slots won't kill you for two silver bullets.

I'm also worried about people splashing Ichi 1.0. That happens often enough to justify the E3 silver bullet.

Kandiru wrote:
If you are running Account Siphon, won't crash space pay for itself?

Only in those match-ups where I actually care about the Tags. More often than not I just ignore them, and then Crash Space is wasted deck space.

JazzFish wrote:
I'm more into Rabbit Holes than Compromised Employees and Infiltrations over Uplinks myself but I can see the arguments there.

Rabbit Hole is a defensive card versus Trace. Compromised Employee is a source of income, with "soft link" as a bonus. They serve different purposes. With that said, in a Trace-heavy environment I will opt for the Rabbit Hole.
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Henric Fröberg
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Thank you, this was awesome! For me, as a new player just beginning to build my own decks, this was really helpful.
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Tycho Terziev
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Diesel is a good card, but I can't justify spending 6 influence for a potential three clicks advantage. And I envy you for a meta where you can afford to stay tagged!
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Rodney Smith
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Just wanted to chime in here with others, this was a very awesome way of presenting your deck and made it informative and interesting to read.

Well done!
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Andrew B
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Really good article, but I do have some questions.

There are some choices that really don't connect all that well in my brain:

1. Does using Crypsis really, really work all that well? I mean with Special Order it just seems that you have a pretty good chance of picking a more efficient icebreaker most of the time. I do run one Crypsis in most of my decks as a backup solution, Noise usually runs two, but that's also starting to change.

2. Is Deja Vu really worth it? I think that out of all your suggestions Deja Vu is the only one that I've never taken with Criminals.

3. Are E3 implants that good? I can sympathise with the Ichi analysis, I take him quite often with other corps but it seems to me that E3 really is worth it only against HB.

4. I really think Forged Activation Orders is a really good card, the trashing is nice, but it does much more in fact. It forces the corporation to spend its credits when you want them to spend their credits without any risk and it is also a really good scouting tool.

Edit:
IirionClaus wrote:

Kandiru wrote:
If you are running Account Siphon, won't crash space pay for itself?

Only in those match-ups where I actually care about the Tags. More often than not I just ignore them, and then Crash Space is wasted deck space.


If you take 3 Decoys you probably are somewhat worried about tags. I don't think Crash Space is that bad of a card, not an awesome card that's for sure, but not that bad.

These are all simply personal opinions and your arguments certainly hold water. It's just I've never managed to see the benefit in the cards mentioned above.
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StarSix wrote:

Particularly E3 Implants and Satellite Uplink are two cards that have not been well received personally. E3 too often ends up being a dead card for me (1 out of 4 match ups) and I have trouble justifying it personally without peacock and/or aurora, but two card slots won't kill you for two silver bullets.


I think HB is pretty strong right now, and I'd say that more than 25% of games played feature them, particularly in competitive play. As long as that is true, E3 Implants will be a safe choice.
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El-ad David Amir
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andrewbwm wrote:
1. Does using Crypsis really, really work all that well?

YES. Crypsis does wonders. Note that this is my personal opinion and that there is much contention on this subject. My point of view is that one Icebreaker severely limits the Corp's early-game defenses and covers for late-game holes in your offense.

andrewbwm wrote:
2. Is Deja Vu really worth it? I think that out of all your suggestions Deja Vu is the only one that I've never taken with Criminals.

YES. While I can see the argument about Crypsis, Deja Vu is one of the best cards in the deck right. The ability to double-Account Siphon in a single turn or to pull an Inside Job or a Stimhack from your discard pile is extremely powerful. Criminal is about a bag of tricks and many of them are Events, being able to use them twice is amazing.

andrewbwm wrote:
3. Are E3 implants that good? I can sympathise with the Ichi analysis, I take him quite often with other corps but it seems to me that E3 really is worth it only against HB.

There's enough HB and Ichi 1.0 around here to justify its inclusion, and as stated above, two slots for a silver bullet is a reasonable price to pay. Your mileage may vary, though.

andrewbwm wrote:
4. I really think Forged Activation Orders is a really good card, the trashing is nice, but it does much more in fact. It forces the corporation to spend its credits when you want them to spend their credits without any risk and it is also a really good scouting tool.

I wholeheartedly agree: FAO is a really good card. I loved it when I play an Ice trashing Noise deck. I rather focus on one strength rather than spread my efforts on multiple fronts, and FAO is such a new front. As for scouting, 2x Satellite Uplink took the place of two FAOs as superior scouting tools.

andrewbwm wrote:
If you take 3 Decoys you probably are somewhat worried about tags. I don't think Crash Space is that bad of a card, not an awesome card that's for sure, but not that bad.

I am somewhat worried about tags in a Scorched Earth match-up, that's why I include the Decoys (to counter SEA Source and Posted Bounty). I might care about them versus Closed Accounts (depends on the situation). Crash Space is not a bad card at all, it's a well-designed, balanced card, and I might bring it back if NBN becomes more popular. However, right now, it costs me tempo which I would rather spend elsewhere.

(To clarify, if you want to dispose of both tags you need to play Crash Space the turn BEFORE you Account Siphon. I would rather not waste that time, and, even worse, signal to my opponent that a Siphon might be coming.)
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Andrew Bartosh

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I have some other opinions I'll save for later, but what do you think of the question of Code Cracker vs Satellite Uplink?
 
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James Finkle
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What do you think about a 1-of Yog.0. It's only one influence point, so it's very easy to splash, and it's a great Enigma-breaker (it also blows past Viktor 1.0 with no problem). As many corps rely on Enigma as one of their key early ETR Ice, having an efficient way to bypass it makes a huge difference. It doesn't do well against many other Code Gates, but the only other Code Gate being heavily played is Tollbooth, who you have Femmes for.
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El-ad David Amir
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AndrewRogue wrote:
I have some other opinions I'll save for later, but what do you think of the question of Code Cracker vs Satellite Uplink?

Lemuria is more of a liability than an asset. You spend time and credits getting into HQ on a turn you want to dedicate your resources for a potential remote.
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Patrick Jamet
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Have you ever tried Femme Fatale + Ice Carver or Datasucker or Personal Touch ?

It's a way cheaper solution than the very costly Ninja.

How I see the things : Ninja is only cheaper against the biggest sentries... that are also the rarest. Femme Fatale +1 strengh is nerver more expensive than Ninja except against Janus which is very rare and that does not end the run (you can even pass through without breaking the subroutines). It's so good to rez a Draco with only 1 counter because it cost 4 © to break with Ninja.

Crypsis : shake Not for me.
But it's a matter of personal style, I suppose.

Although, good article. Congratulations.
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Tycho Terziev
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IirionClaus wrote:

Lemuria is more of a liability than an asset. You spend time and credits getting into HQ on a turn you want to dedicate your resources for a potential remote.


But it is a silver bullet against Jinteki if you play your cards right. And yes- there are some strong Jinteki players in my meta.
 
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El-ad David Amir
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wildfire393 wrote:
What do you think about a 1-of Yog.0. It's only one influence point, so it's very easy to splash, and it's a great Enigma-breaker (it also blows past Viktor 1.0 with no problem).

Wicked idea! I might try one copy of Yog.0. It's only useful against Enigma (and Viktor 1.0....), but everybody have Enigma right now.

Pyjam wrote:
Have you ever tried Femme Fatale + Ice Carver or Datasucker or Personal Touch ?

Tricky question. I toyed with the idea but did not like it. I love this deck due to its simplicity (and that's why Crypsis fits in so well). There are very little moving parts here, no combos that need to be drawn and installed. You draw stuff off your bag of tricks and throw it at your opponent, never letting off the pressure. I could see an Ice Carver/Datasucker/Personal Touch build working, though.

Freelunchpirate wrote:
But it is a silver bullet against Jinteki if you play your cards right. And yes- there are some strong Jinteki players in my meta.

In my opinion, Clicks are more expensive than Credits against Jinteki (and that statement is true for both identities). I would go for three Satellite Uplink in a Jinteki-heavy environment. Lemuria is a very limited card, plus it carries no surprise factor.
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IirionClaus wrote:
Crash Space. You need to remove three Tags to break even on Crash Space. Till then, it slows you down and serves as nothing more than an anti-Scorched Earth tool. It's a cumbersome solution to a problem which can be solved much more easily.


Well, it seems there are not a lot of tag gotten and Scorched Earth menaces in your Meta!

When there is a lot of Data Raven and Snare!, CS is quickly worth the time spent to install it and I can't count the number of time Corpo players told me after a game that CS prevented me from being flatlined!
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7Tigers wrote:
IirionClaus wrote:
Crash Space. You need to remove three Tags to break even on Crash Space. Till then, it slows you down and serves as nothing more than an anti-Scorched Earth tool. It's a cumbersome solution to a problem which can be solved much more easily.


Well, it seems there are not a lot of tag gotten and Scorched Earth menaces in your Meta!

When there is a lot of Data Raven and Snare!, CS is quickly worth the time spent to install it and I can't count the number of time Corpo players told me after a game that CS prevented me from being flatlined!


I go back and forth on CS so much, but it IS a great counter to the unavoidable Data Raven tag..
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Matt - Conduit23
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Crypsis: Totally agree with you. I've been running variations of a Crypsis focused Criminal deck (even running Personal Touch for it at one point) for a while now and find it to be phenomenally powerful. Sneakdoor + Inside Job + Crypsis = they CANNOT stop you. If the game goes on you of course want to start installing your other breakers but early game there's nothing else I'd rather have.

Bank Job: I think your deck looks great without it, but I'd like to hear you thoughts on why it is missing from your list. Enjoyed that section of the article.
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Steven Tu
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For me, bank job is super meta dependent, the fact is if you run it against a super server deck, when you arguably most need your creds, you got a dead card. I think it's great, but puts too much control in the corp's hands. So... Depending on the meta and your deck, I'm leaning more towards easy mark over bank job.

I feel that crypsis without magnum opus is really difficult to run. But that's me...
 
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Allan Clements
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Would it not be worth dropping 1 Crypsis for another Special Order? 3 seems a bit much, and unlike Femme Fetale you really should never install more than 1 Crypsis.
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Justin
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mdanuser wrote:
I got back and forth on CS so much, but it IS a great counter to the unavoidable Data Raven tag..

And the Ninja-nightmare Shadow tag.
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mdanuser wrote:
Bank Job: I think your deck looks great without it, but I'd like to hear you thoughts on why it is missing from your list. Enjoyed that section of the article.

It's too situational for my taste. The other sources of income are guaranteed to give you something. Bank Job is an all-or-nothing affair, and against a player who knows what he's doing, it's a nothing. The only exception is a horizontal deck (such as Jinteki's Replicating Perfection), and I don't think these are powerful enough to warrant inclusion.

Kamakaze wrote:
Would it not be worth dropping 1 Crypsis for another Special Order? 3 seems a bit much, and unlike Femme Fetale you really should never install more than 1 Crypsis.

Right now I find myself discarding Special Order on a regular basis. I don't think a third will add anything to the deck, and I really want an early-game Crypsis.
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