A Journey into Corp Deckbuilding: Introduction

Building an original corp deck that actually wins games can feel futile. It can be quite the challenge getting those pesky agendas into your score area, let alone keeping them out of the runner’s! Many players struggle to build functioning corp decks because they do not create for themselves a clear path to victory. They build decks on a foundation of “if” statements rather than “unless” statements. An example:

“If the runner runs through my taxing centrals, I will get a scoring window”


“I will have a secure remote unless the runner plays Vamp.”

Statements like the first often appeal to the aspiring deck-builder, and rightfully so, one of the biggest mistakes that an intermediate runner makes is overextending on centrals. Statements like the second, on the other hand, make players doubt themselves, diluting their deck with contingencies for edge cases.

Here is my dogma to accept:

A deck that is reliant on the runner doing a thing will be less successful than a deck that relies on them not doing a thing.

Let’s look at some lists for a concrete example.  These decks have a lot in common but one has been MUCH more successful for me than the other. Try to guess which deck is the winner and which deck is the loser.

(Note: If you want pop-up images for the cards, just follow the meteor links for the decks)


Argus Terror (49 cards)

Argus Security: Protection Guaranteed

Agenda (11)

2 False Lead

3 NAPD Contract

3 Oaktown Renovation

3 Project Atlas

Asset (8)

3 Capital Investors

1 Ghost Branch •

3 Jackson Howard • • •

1 Melange Mining Corp

Operation (13)

3 Beanstalk Royalties

3 Hedge Fund

1 Midseason Replacements ••••

3 Scorched Earth

3 Traffic Accident

Barrier (5)

2 Meru Mati

3 Spiderweb

Code Gate (3)

2 Enigma

1 Lotus Field •

Sentry (9)

1 Caduceus

3 Data Raven •• •• ••

3 Hunter

2 Shadow


GRNDL (49 cards)

GRNDL: Power Unleashed

Agenda (11)

1 Corporate War

1 High-Risk Investment

3 Hostile Takeover

3 Oaktown Renovation

3 Project Atlas

Asset (3)

3 Snare! •• •• ••

Operation (19)

1 Anonymous Tip •

3 Beanstalk Royalties

2 Fast Track

3 Hedge Fund

3 Power Shutdown

3 Restructure

3 Scorched Earth

1 SEA Source ••

Barrier (6)

1 Changeling

3 Ice Wall

2 Wall of Static

Code Gate (5)

3 Enigma

1 Lotus Field •

1 Quandary

Sentry (4)

3 Archer

1 Grim

ICE (1)

1 Chimera

If you had to bring one of these decks to a small tournament, which would you choose and why? Post your answer in the comments and I will publish my own views shortly.


2 thoughts on “A Journey into Corp Deckbuilding: Introduction

  1. The Argus build has a lot of “if” conditions, like if the runner steals an agenda/if they access an advanced ghost branch/ if they get tagged by data raven … then you can kill them, but only if they do what you need them to do to land a tag.

    There are ostensibly fewer of these “if” scenarios in the GRNDL build, but the Argus build still seems like the more successful of the two decks to me. Maybe that’s why I’m only mediocre at this game…


  2. I certainly prefer the GRNDL build.

    For the Runner to win the game against Argus, he “only” needs to
    score four agendas (unless he gets both False Leads…). That means, the Argus ability triggers at
    most four (five…) times. In order to land a Midseason Replacement reliably, Argus has to successfully overadvance an Atlas. And even if he does, Plascrete Carapace would be a bummer.
    With the right draw, the deck has good chances, but on average, when the runner plays sufficiently cautious, there should be no big problems for tier 1 decks to win that matchup.

    GRDNL on the other hand…. Ahhh dat beloved Supermodernism… That deck says: I am going to play fast and hard and will win unless you not only manage to build your rig up sufficiently fast, given that I play a crapload of cheap ETR-ICE, such that you need at least two different breakers to go into a remote, but also multiple ways of getting rid of those breakers (Power Shutdown, Grim, Archer…). Furthermore
    I will be filthily rich, so you have to respect the SEA Source+Scorch play. Don’t run last click, there are Snares… That deck is a great example of being able to rush to matchpoint and then forcing the runner into difficult decisions and thus allowing him to do mistakes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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