Exploring Parasite Abuse with Nasir Meidan

Parasite is a stupid card.

When I played Noise to 2nd at MN Regionals, I had 3 Crypsis in my deck and no other breakers (unless you count the 2 D4v1d). I joked afterwards that I used him to break fewer than 10 subroutines in the entire tournament (6 rounds of swiss and 6 elimination games). When Faust came out I switched to 3 Faust…then 2 Faust…then 1 Faust 1 Mimic. The deck is still performing amazingly well, both on OCTGN and locally. I do use Faust more than I used Crypsis, but a lot of the time he just speeds up the inevitable, putting away games that I would probably win anyway. I am far from the only one having success with Noise right now. Depending who you ask he is either the best or 2nd best Runner deck right now (after Kate). I would argue that although Peddler and Faust added consistency to Noise, he was definitely Tier 1 before those cards were printed, he just took a bit more practice to play. This is because…

Parasite is the best runner card in the game, and Noise is the strongest deck that uses Parasite in an abusive way.

The best Noise players will tell you that they often win games without ever touching archives. It’s not the milling. It’s not the AI breaker. It’s not the Wyldside draw engine. It’s not the Pawnshop economy. All of these things are obviously strong, but Parasite is the real hero.

As an exercise, I set out to build the deck that abuses Parasite to the most disgusting extent that I could. I did this mostly as a joke and to prove a point, but the deck ended up surprisingly strong! Again, my goal was not to make the best parasite deck, but the most abusive parasite deck, maximizing the power of that single card as a thought experiment.

Let’s be clear. I’m not saying this deck is not without problems. It has a lot of problems, and I’ll discuss them after I explain the deck. This deck is very fun and very interesting to play, even if it is far from tier 1.

http://netrunner.meteor.com/decks/JoapmhaSWH6ffMkLA

ParaNasir (45 cards)

Nasir Meidan: Cyber Explorer

Event (6)

3 Diesel

3 Stimhack · · ·

Hardware (11)

2 Astrolabe

3 Clone Chip

1 HQ Interface ··

2 Plascrete Carapace

3 R&D Interface

Resource (14)

2 Armitage Codebusting

3 Earthrise Hotel

3 Ghost Runner

2 Kati Jones

3 Personal Workshop

1 Utopia Shard ·

Icebreaker (5)

2 Atman

1 Cerberus “Lady” H1

1 Cyber Cypher

1 Sharpshooter

Program (9)

3 Datasucker · · ·

3 Parasite ·· ·· ··

3 Self-modifying Code

ParaNasir

General Game-Plan: Use the Nasir ID ability to put the Corp in a bind every time you run. Either they let you in and give you Datasucker counters and/or multi-accesses, or they rez ICE. If they rez you make money and then immediately slap a Parasite on it, repeating this process until the Corp floods out due to constantly having to shore up R&D, or until they cave, failing to defend R&D, bleeding endless Virus counters and accesses until you win. If the Corp manages to get a reasonable amount of ICE rezzed on R&D that you can’t kill, a Stimhack can fund an Atman that can efficiently slide you through. In the late game you have Atman + Lady efficiency and 3 R&D Interface, along with Kati econ to close out the game. Remotes are constantly threatened by Stimhack. Run into the remote with very little money, letting the Corp rez, making you cash, and then Stimhack in if necessary. Bravely face-check with no money all game. The more passively you play, the harder things get for you. When in doubt, get a sucker and run, run, run!

Card Choices

Cards that punish the Corp for letting you in

3 Datasucker – This card makes Parasite and Atman into hyper-efficient monsters. If you don’t have a sucker in your opener you should SMC for one the first time the Corp lets you in. Your late game rig will often have 2 of these out.

3 R&D Interface – This is your win-condition as well as early game credit-dump to enable your ID ability. Great synergy with Personal Workshop.

1 HQ Interface – If you draw this early it can provide some nice pressure, but otherwise this is used to clean out HQ if the Corp tries to turtle up and over-defends R&D. The synergy with Personal Workshop and our sheer volume of runs makes this stronger than Legwork in this deck. Some people have suggested Nerve Agent, but that card has memory issues and purging viruses is already strong against us.

1 Utopia Shard – More HQ pressure for 1 influence and a little bit of Scorch Protection as well. Nasir makes getting this into play for free very easy.

Cards that punish the Corp for Rezzing

3 Parasite – The earlier the Corp rezzes, the earlier you can get your Parasites ticking. The later they rez, the more likely it is that you can instantly burn their ice down with Datasucker counters and a Parasite off of a Personal Workshop, SMC, or Clone Chip. Always remember that you can Parasite up to 6 times with this deck, and you want to use them all every game. Be very aggressive with your first 5 uses, but then get stingy with your last one so that you’re not out of Parasites when you really need one!

3 Clone Chip – These are Parasite 4-6. Sometimes you have use these on SMC, but baby Hackson Joward (the savior of Runners) cries every time you do.

Nasir Meidan, Cyber Explorer – This ID makes you tons of money over the course of the game if you are built to abuse it. Remember that if the Corp rezzes a Pop-up Window or Pup you can instantly kill it with Parasite mid-run to not lose all your money! For those who have not played Nasir before, you have 2 windows to spend your money. You see the ice and then can spend your credits before you lose them all (on paid abilities but NOT to break subroutines). You then encounter the ice (hopefully with 0 credits) and gain credits equal to its cost. You can then spend that money to break the ice, or just bounce off having made a profit. Nasir makes it REALLY rough for the Corp to rez very expensive ice, which is precisely the ice that will not instantly fold to Parasite, which is why our plan fits this ID so well. Sometimes rezzing a Curtain Wall or Susanoo-no-Mikoto against Nasir is game-losing, which is great news for a Parasite deck.

Breakers

2 Atman – This is your primary breaker. Some games you will have these at 2 and 4, sometimes at 3 only, sometimes at 3 and 4, and sometimes at very strange numbers.  Figuring out the right Atman number(s) for each game is a very fun puzzle and very rewarding when you get it right! When I first built this deck I had a standard breaker suite, but the more I played it, the easier I found it to get Datasucker counters (people REALLY don’t like giving you money), making an Atman suite extremely efficient. For a while I had 3 Atmans in the deck, but I never needed 3 out at once, so I dropped it down. I’ve been amazed by how many ICE suites you can just slide right through with a Datasucker or two and an Atman at 3, after having blown up all the small ice with Parasite.

1 Cerberus “Lady” H1 – I originally had an Inti here as the Wraparound hate card, but Lady has been excellent. Often the Corp’s only strength 4 ice will be Eli, and this can save you an Atman. Lady + Stimhack also answers Oversight AI Curtain Walls. Lady is just a great breaker, and it gets even better when you don’t completely depend on it and instead just use it as an efficiency tool (in the same way that my Professor deck does).

1 Cyber-Cypher – I got sick of getting stopped by Turing, and this breaker is great for R&D tunnel vision. It also gives us a Lotus Field answer when we don’t have a Stimhack to pay for our Atman 4.

1 Sharpshooter – I hardly ever use this, but when I have it’s turned certain losses into certain wins. Some people try to punk you with Archer and friends, and it’s nice to have an out.

Consistency cards

3 Self-Modifying Code – This searches for Datasucker and Parasite primarily. It CAN search for Atman with Stimhack money, but I’ve found that I usually draw those by the time I want them, and you can still Stimhack them out using Personal Workhop.

3 Earthrise Hotel – This is great card draw for Nasir. It helps you empty your credit pool and saves your clicks for running and loading Personal Workshop. You are too poor to use burst draw like Quality Time.

3 Diesel – You empty your hand a lot and are broke a lot, so 3 cards for a click and a card at 0 credits is a good deal. This is also a very linear deck where our best cards are VERY important, meaning the fact that Diesel is a cost-efficient but slot-inefficient card draw option makes it perfect for us.

2 Astrolabe – Your late-game rig often needs 5 MU and this card somewhat helps combat Asset spam, something that Nasir can struggle against.

Efficiency/Economy Cards

3 Stimhack – This gives you 9 credits for 0 clicks. That’s a good deal if you weren’t aware. This is how you pay for your Atmans and your late-game Hail Mary triple RDI runs. Use these REALLY aggressively. Pop them off as soon as you feel the game slipping away. Also, you never want to discard a Stimhack to a Stimhack, which is even more reason to use them ASAP. Remember that you need to have a way to spend the 9 credits at paid ability speed if they have unrezzed ice, since the 9 credits are technically in your credit pool.

2 Armitage Codebusting – This is the best runner card for getting you from broke to not-broke is the least painful way. Your Atmans will often make R&D 3-4 credits in the midgame, which means clicking Armitage 2-3 times should get you in. These should keep you afloat until you get your Kati going for late game.  A lot of corps will rez naked Adonis Campaigns and such when you are poor, and this helps you clear those out.

3 Ghost Runner – Even though we are not running stealth, this card is CLUTCH. If you were not aware, you keep these credits when you lose all your money to Nasir. You often enter servers with 0-2 credits and these can save you on NAPDs, The Future Perfect, and key trashes. They also prevent the Corp from locking you out by putting a cheap piece of ice in front of a server, and they are a real life-saver when you are just a couple credits short at the end of a really long run with a bunch of Nasir triggers. Be careful spending these! They are precious! It’s better to use them 3 times when you are 1 credit short of what you want to do than 1 time when you are 3 credits short.

2 Kati Jones – When R&D is all rezzed in the late game and you have Parasited as much as you can, Kati gives you the money to get those last few accesses to close out the game. It’s also ok to drop Kati and start loading her early if you have to deal with a lot of Assets.

3 Personal Workshop – Host your Interfaces, Parasites, breakers, and Clone Chips on here. This is your primary money-dump and lets you run with more than 0 credits in your pool without being wasteful. Be careful about putting Atmans on here too early! You don’t want them to automatically install when you’re not ready (unless you will want one at 0 anyway, in which case go ahead).

Tech Cards

2 Plascrete Carapace – Nasir doesn’t build credits, and our economy is built on Stimhack, so tag-and-bag and Punitive traces are terrifying! However, no one is playing SEA source right now which presents an interesting possibility. We can replace these slots with Film Critic which protects us from both Punitive and Midseasons, and also helps against NAPD and Future Perfect, taking a lot of stress off of our Ghost Runners. When Film Critic comes out on OCTGN I expect to make this switch and the deck should become much stronger because of it.

(Edit: I wrote this article the day before going to league night with the deck. I saw a decent amount of Sea Source so the Plascrete vs. Film Critic question is still up in the air. Sadly, my current stance is that Plascrete is necessary, which is a bit of a bummer.)

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Problems

This deck is very powerful, but every deck has issues. Here are some of ours:

Cyberdex Virus Suite – This shuts off archives and sometimes this can be blown mid-run to lock us out. Bummer. I haven’t lost a game to a big cyberdex play yet, but the card has been really annoying.

Dedicated Net Damage decks – Personal Evolution and The Brewery decks are hard match-ups. Use good anti-PE tactics (run all the Mushins) and hope for the best! You can put in a Deus Ex if you want, but I’ve found it’s not worth it. The card is just too dead the rest of the time and these decks are not common enough to warrant it. Don’t play your Stimhacks unless they’re winning you the game. Interestingly there is a brand of PE right now that uses uncorrodable tactics instead of much flat-line threat, and our match-up against them is actually pretty good!

SanSan City Grid – What a pain. 5 Trash is hard and you may have to blow a Stimhack to get rid of this if they get it online early. Late game hopefully your Parasites and RDIs lead to an R&D lock that lets you not care about this card as much. The Astrobiotics match-up is a bummer in a lot of ways.

Tagging Ice – Data Raven and Gutenberg are really annoying. Oh well, they suck for everyone. Admittedly, these will get even more obnoxious if I cut the Plascretes for Film Critic.

Ice rezzed without a run – Whenever the Corp uses Oversight AI, Accelerated Beta Test, or Executive Boot Camp to rez something, we miss out on a bunch of money. This doesn’t completely hose us, but it is a big speed-bump. The Blue sun match-up is kind of interesting. If they don’t draw an Oversight relatively early our ID completely stomps them, but if they do, we can get locked out of suckers and fall behind really fast.

What I learned about the game from playing this deck

Parasite is a fun-killer. It is important for the game as a solution to otherwise very problematic ice (NEXT Silver, Komainu, Tsurugi, Pup), but it comes with a lot of collateral damage. When I played against Tier 1 decks with ParaNasir, I had iffy results. RP was ok if I could get early momentum, and was probably the best of them for me to deal with, but all varieties of NEH, and the Asset-Heavy versions of HB ETF were awful. However, this deck had disgusting win-rates against anything but the best decks, even when played by strong players (strong being defined by my metric of: “I recognize this player’s name from the Stimhack forum or from videos, and he/she seems pretty smart”). Greenhouse Rush? Stomped. NEXT ICE HB? Stomped. Blue sun vegan? Stomped (mulligan for Datasucker). Parasite is the fun-police.

One thing we all love about Netrunner is that we can go through our binders to build a fresh and interesting deck and, as long as we have a clear path to victory (see the last article), the deck will have a pretty good shot against decks that our friends build in a similar way. ParaNasir, Tag-me Siphon Anarch, and other super linear Parasite-abusers destroy casual play. It’s the for-fun archetype that stomps other for-fun decks with disgusting consistency while not really having a chance against most competitive decks if they have any idea what you are up to.

Final Thoughts

My wife was curious one day about how to play my Noise deck (http://netrunner.meteor.com/decks/6cdScADY9ipc8hZMb), so we played some games with me playing a pretty standard HB FA deck. I got up 6-0 and then in the course of 2 turns she killed all of my R&D ICE and double-medium dug for 7 points all at once. I was laughing and asked, “Isn’t that cool!?!?” She said, a bit sadly, “That felt dirty, and not in a good way.” I asked why and she said “I didn’t play an ice-breaker for the whole game. That’s stupid.”

I love Netrunner, and I LOVE Parasite, but as someone who has caned it over and over for his entire Netrunner lifespan, I can honestly say I think it would be good for the game if both Parasite and Clone Chip had been printed at 3 Influence. The combination is just too efficient, to easy, and too game-warping. You should have to give up a lot to put it in your deck, and right now you don’t.

I’m heading back to work as a high-school teacher this week, so I will be updating a bit less frequently. I’m going to shoot for once a month. Thanks for reading! I’ve had some people tell me they’ve really enjoyed playing some of the decks I’ve posted here and that means a lot, as I put a lot of time into building and grinding games with them. If you ever have questions for me about them or any of the ideas I’ve posted, just drop a comment. See you on OCTGN (TheBigBoy).

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Corp Archetypes

In this article I will share my understanding of the mechanics of a functioning Corp deck in very broad terms. A lot of the information here (ice types, phases of the game, etc.) has been discussed extensively elsewhere, but a lot of those sources are old enough that many players have not read them, and a lot of their specific information is a bit out of date now (for example, the context that 80+% of a given meta is probably Criminal, which is far from the case now). I intend for this to be a good reference for anyone looking to better understand discourse about Corp play, or for anyone trying to build original decks but struggling to give them direction.

Following is a list of terms that I’ll be referring to in this article. Feel free to read them first, or just refer back as needed.

Definitions:

Binary Ice – Ice that is either ‘on’ or ‘off’ depending on the runner’s equipment. Typically cheap and taxes the runner by forcing install costs on them, rather than breaking costs. Examples include Ice wall, Wraparound, Himitsu-Bako, Quandary, Rototurret.

Taxing Ice – There are 2 varieties of taxing ice. The first is cheap ice that causes an immediate monetary exchange that is beneficial for the Corp, but often does not stop the runner or force them to install a breaker. Examples are Pop-up window, Pup, Caduceus, and Draco. The second variety is ice that is expensive to break for most breakers in Phase 3. Examples are Tollbooth, Ichi 1.0, Tsurugi, and Curtain Wall. This second type is typically expensive to rez and not useful in Phase 1 due to its prohibitive cost or lack of relevant subroutines.

Gear-check – A situation where the runner cannot make progress toward their current short-term objective until they install a specific breaker type or utility card. Binary Ice cause gear-checks and Destroyers (Archer, Rototurret, Grim) or other program destruction cards (Power shutdown, Will-o-the-Wisp) can turn them back ‘on’ once they are broken.

Operation Economy – Using Operations for burst money. Difficult to disrupt, but can fall behind runner economy in the long run. Examples are Restructure, Celebrity Gift, Sweeps Week, Beanstalk Royalties, and Green-Level Clearance.

Asset Economy – Using Assets for long-term or even permanent economy. Either sustainable or massively profitable, but can be trashed by the runner. Examples are Pad Campaign, Eve Campaign, Sundew, Marked Accounts, and Capital Investors.

Face-check punishment – Ice that ranges from annoying to devastating for the runner to hit in Phase 1. Examples are Architect, Caduceus, Gutenberg, and Komainu. Often does not deny entry if the runner feels the potential gains of access outweigh the consequences of the ice.

R&D lock – A state in which the runner can consistently access R&D (typically for multiple cards) every turn, preventing the Corp from drawing the agenda(s) they need to win the game.

Work compression – The corporation invests many clicks over several turns to force the runner to spend more than 4 clicks in a single turn in order to safely access a server. This can be done with damage cards such as House of Knives, Hokusai Grid, and Fetal AI, with tagging effects such as Data Raven, Bernice Mai, and TGTBT, or with click compressors such as various Bioroids, Enchanced Login Protocol, and the Replicating Perfection ID ability.

Phase 1 – At least one important server can still be accessed very efficiently (often freely) by the runner. The runner is still susceptible to gear-checks and face-check punishment. Runner advantage, but only tenuously.

Phase 2 – The runner is locked out of all important servers or cannot access them without substantial long-term sacrifices. Corp advantage.

Phase 3 – The runner can enter all relevant servers with an acceptable level of efficiency, or can enter a single, very important server to devastating effect. Runner advantage.

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When new or intermediate players try to build a Corp deck, they often build around groups of cards that seem to go together. However, the way they form these groups is a bit off. They group cards by how they work rather than what they are for. They put a bunch of net damage ice in a deck without a clear idea of how they are using that damage. They build annoying servers full of Data Ravens, but have no way to force the runner to run through them. A good Corp deck has a clear path to victory, and every synergy in the deck moves it forward along that path.

I will now walk through how I think about the different paths to victory that the Corporation has. If you have not previously had success building your own decks, you can use these very broad archetypes to guide your thinking.

Corp Archetypes

Most Corporation decks fall on a 2-dimensional space, the axis of which are Pace (how aggressively the Corporation tries to score) and Scoring Strategy (how the Corporation plans to safely advance agendas). The Pace axis is a spectrum, whereas the Scoring Strategy axis is binary (for now!).

There are also Corp decks with strategies that are orthogonal to most Corp play (Mainly Personal Evolution and other Mushin No Shin decks). I will not discuss these here. They are viable, but they can have a totally different play pattern than most decks.

Pace:

Rush

Summary: Score 7 points quickly, sending the game to phase 2 very early and winning (or losing) before phase 3 arrives.

Ice Types: Binary, possibly assisted by Destroyers

Economy Types: Operation

Other Details: Usually contain a backup win condition to finish the game if the runner gets to phase 3 but you are on game point. Examples are Biotic Labor in HB, Caprice Nisei in Jinteki, or Sea Source/Snare + Scorched Earth in Weyland. Often (but not always) contain snowballing agendas such as Astroscript Pilot Program, Efficiency Committee, Project Atlas, or Nisei Mk 2, making the first score (which is usually the easiest one) more relevant.

Glacier

Summary: Take away the runner’s advantage in phase 3 using taxation or work compression. Give up accesses in phase 1 for tempo and long term economy.

Ice Types: Taxing/Face-check punishment (some binary to protect economy assets or to defend against devastating events such as Account Siphon and Indexing)

Economy Types: Asset/Varying amounts of operation to help early game

Other Details: Needs to contain a plan to safely score agendas in the late game against a runner who does nothing but build money and their rig, rushing to stage 3 with a powerful economy. This may be upgrades, fast-advance options, never-advance/bluffing tactics, damage or tag-based work-compression, or traps.

Scoring Strategy

Fast-Advance

Summary: Score agendas the turn they are installed without needing to protect them in a remote server. This is typically done with Biotic Labor, Astroscript Pilot Program, SanSan City Grid, or Trick of Light, although other options also exist.

Advantages: Many runner tricks are much less effective when the value of individual single-access runs is lowered by the lack of a critical remote server. Examples of such cards would be Inside Job, Stimhack, and Blackmail.

Disadvantages: Fast advance tools consume deck slots and often quite a bit of influence. A well-timed Clot can lose you the game. Vulerable to central-heavy pressure cards like Medium, Sneakdoor Beta, and Indexing. Since HQ is usually very vulnerable in phase 3, R&D lock can be devastating since you may not be able to safely draw cards.

Traditional

Summary: Score agendas in a remote server over multiple turns.

Advantages: Potentially inexpensive, as some agendas may be scored with no ice rezzed and no money is spent on expensive fast-advance tools. The relevance of a 3rd server gives the runner more chances to make mistakes in judgment, attacking the remote when they should pressure centrals and vice-versa. Deck space is reserved for tricks and tech cards, while influence is preserved for surprising or particularly well-suited ice. The Corp can use clicks to draw cards more aggressively in phase 3 since they have a place to put agendas if they are drawn, giving them an answer to R&D lock.

Disadvantages: Potentially vulnerable to the runner tricks mentioned above, as well as unexpected burst-economy. The Corp is also potentially vulnerable to ice-destruction, as ice is spread over 1 (or more) additional server(s). Can get remote locked against powerful phase 3 runners, where the runner can run through the scoring remote every turn at little cost.

Quintessential Examples:

In this section I will give popular examples of these deck types. I encourage you to use these only as a reference. I am definitely not saying that these are the best decks for each category, or that they are the ones you should play. They are just good representations of their strategies.

Rush/Fast Advance: NBN Astrobiotics

General plan: Score an early Astroscript Pilot Program using SanSan City Grid or Biotic Labor. Use the Astro counter to help fast advance more agendas, rushing to 7 points very quickly.

Strengths: Speed, resilience to disruption and denial due to requiring very little money to function and using very cheap ice.

Weaknesses: Vulnerable to R&D lock, very predictable ice and play-style. All possible ice spreads have vulnerabilities that can be heavily punished if the runner is equipped with the proper tools (powerful events against face-check punishment and quick rig assembly against binary ice)

Most Important Skills: Properly discerning potential early-game threats. Diverting the runner’s attention away from the important central server at any given moment.

You may like this style if: You like having a clear, unwavering path to victory that is present until the runner has won.

Your least favorite runner cards are: Medium, Clot, Desperado, Indexing

Rush/Traditional: Weyland Supermodernism

General Plan: Build a frustrating remote server ASAP and immediately begin scoring snowballing agendas such as Oaktown Renovation, Project Atlas, and Hostile Takeover. End the game before the runner can escape Phase 2 or reset their rig with destroyers and Power Shutdown if they manage to get to Phase 3.  Punish runners who prioritize rig-building over economy with a Sea Source + Scorched Earth Flatline, often assisted by Snare!.

Strengths: Best gear-checks in the game thanks to Archer, Grim, and Ice Wall. Can get free wins with early Snares or meat damage kills, preys on runner fear of kill cards and destroyers.

Weaknesses: Vulnerable to Remote-lock. If behind on credits, this deck has absolutely no ways to win in phase 3 if not on game point, and often even if on game point.

Most Important Skills: Proper ice-placement and identifying the rig-building strategy of the runner.

You may like this style if: You like feeling in control and making the runner play your game. You don’t like building and like getting right into the action! You don’t mind drawing dead for a few turns in games that you lose.

Your least favorite runner cards are: Self-Modifying Code, Clone Chip, Inside Job, Blackmail.

Glacier/Fast Advance: Biotic Labor HB (w/Eve Campaign)

General Plan: Use HB’s powerful Assets to generate a robust economy. Use the economy to build frustrating central servers that are taxing in Phase 3 and then close the game by fast advancing agendas with Biotic Labor and SanSan City Grid. HB’s powerful taxing but porous ice is quite well suited for protecting the 5-trash-cost Grid.

Strengths: Extremely resilient to economy denial, few terrible match-ups that cannot be played around with play-style or tech-card changes. Very flexible and potentially unpredictable ice-spreads.

Weaknesses: Bleeding too many points to early aggression. Anarch asset-destruction (Whizzard, Scrubber, Imp). Multiple R&D interfaces or well-timed HQ multi-access.

Most Important Skills: Economy management, balancing offense and defense, Ice Placement.

You may like this style if: You like being able to react to your opponent or your meta-game. You like managing a complex economy that is tied up in several places at once.

Your least favorite runner cards are: Legwork, R&D Interface, Imp, Datasucker.

Glacier/Traditional: Jinteki Replicating Perfection

General Plan: Use the click compression caused by Caprice Nisei, Replicating Perfection, Nisei Mk 2, Eli 1.0, and potentially Enhanced Login Protocol or Ichi 1.0 to score agendas in a remote server that is so secure, the runner may as well not even try running it.

Strengths: Closes the game very quickly once set-up. Self-defending agendas help you escape phase 1. Capable of miraculous comebacks if behind on points early.

Weaknesses: Very vulnerable to ice-destruction. Can lose to phase-3 runner power-plays (Vamp, Escher). Can have trouble getting agendas out of HQ if Jackson Howards and defensive upgrades are trashed from centrals in phase 1. Can have trouble leaving phase 1 if asset economy is denied by very strong early runner decision-making, burst economy and potentially disruption tools such as Account Siphon and Parasite.

Most Important Skills: Agenda management (when to keep agendas in HQ and when to use Jackson Howard to put them back in R&D), adapting your strategy and pacing to your opponent and their deck.

You may like this style if: You like winning long games. You like the “Checkmate” moment and tactical play.

Your least favorite runner cards are: Account Siphon, Vamp, Parasite

Additionally, here is a visual representation of some popular Corp strategies. Obviously the exact and relative placement of decks in this visual is highly subjective and the details of where a Corp deck falls can depend on specific card choices.

Corp Archetypes

Hopefully some of these generalizations can help guide your thinking like it guides mine when I build a Corp deck. Do you have trouble with Medium? Maybe don’t play a Fast-Advance + Rush deck. Parasite got you down? Maybe stay away from Traditional Scoring + Glacier. Look at what your meta is doing (or the cards you struggle against) and give yourself an edge by playing the types of cards that are going to be strong in that environment. The answer to Account Siphon is not jamming Crisium Grid into every deck; it’s playing strategies that are inherently good against that type of tactic.  Not relying on counter-cards and instead using counter-tactics will make you a stronger, less frustrated player.