by David Kempe
With the release of Humanity’s Shadow, the environment for Regionals has changed, but only for the Runners. Unfortunately for the Corps, the Runners got the lion’s share of the cards in the most recent data pack, with no faction getting more love than the Criminals. Shapers got a little love (more on that later), but Humanity’s Shadow is definitely a boost to the already strong Criminals. If Future Proof releases after Regionals hits DC, you can be sure I’m going to be sporting the color blue for my Runner deck.
Oh Andromeda, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways… On second thought, let’s just build a nice deck to showcase your mad skills. Anyone who has built both a Kate link deck and a Chaos Theory big rig deck knows that if Chaos had that one link, Kate would not be seeing any play right now. Andromeda is Chaos Theory with a link. Unfortunately, since Andy plays for the Criminals, we’re going to have to go to some weird places to get the magic 2 link that Underworld Contact asks of us.
While I usually like starting with programs for the Runner, Criminals specialize so heavily in events that is seems a shame to start elsewhere.
3 Account Siphon
2 Diesel (4 Influence)
3 Emergency Shutdown
3 Inside Job
3 Satellite Uplink
3 Special Order
1 Test Run (3 Influence)
Tag removal just got cheaper by a bit, making the insanely powerful Account Siphon even more so. Card draw is still king, but starting with a greater percentage of your deck means Andy is more likely to hit her important cards earlier rather than later. Tutoring effects remain king and the more you can get the cards you need, the better. On to programs:
1 Corroder (2 Influence)
1 Femme Fatale
2 Magnum Opus (4 Influence)
1 ZU.13 Key Master (2 Influence)
Clearly, the goal here is not to install either Aurora or Peacock. Unfortunately, I suspect program trashing will run rampant (see last article) and it’s always a good idea to pack a spare. In the unlucky event that Magnum Opus and both Test Runs end up at the bottom of the deck, I’m confident that Criminal’s superior economy will still prevail; there’s no reason not to grab a good thing while it’s there, though. Next is Hardware:
3 Dyson Mem Chip
2 E3 Feedback Implants
Doppelganger is just good. Consider running it in all of your decks. E3 will supplement the Aurora/Peacock backup plan while continuing to meta HB as hard as it can. I really hate going to Dyson for my link needs, but the alternative is Globalsec and I could actually use the extra memory. Last but not least, we have resources:
3 Public Sympathy
3 Underworld Contact
Public Sympathy finally gets a chance to shine. An increased hand size means spending your first turn running rather than racing to empty your hand. Underworld Contact is so good it brought Kate back when players seemed to be turning to Chaos Theory for all their Shaper needs.
Obviously, this deck varies pretty wildly from what Gabriel would be doing. The link is truly outrageous (more than Gem) and not telegraphing your runs into HQ can likely put the Corp much more off-balance when Account Siphon hits him in the pocketbook.
I feel like the nice people over at Fantasy Flight wanted to release the new identities in order of how much they are going to affect the game; while Weyland’s new identity didn’t do much, Blue Level Clearance, Oversight AI, Government Contacts, and False Lead breathed some serious life into Weyland. I am deeply anticipating NBN’s data pack and hope NBN gets all the toys it deserves.
But… what if Blue isn’t your color? Replicator is mighty fine, especially with Aesop’s support, but it needs a deck dedicated to it. I’m going to try to build that deck.
Unlike how I usually start, I’m going to skip the Identity for now. Kate’s discount might actually come into play more often than Chaos Theory’s extra memory, especially if she drops several Akamatsu Mem Chips. With that in mind, I’m going to start with Hardware:
3 Akamatsu Memory Chip
3 Lemuria Codecracker (3 Influence)
3 Rabbit Hole
3 The Personal Touch
Expose a card is a very powerful effect, and Lemuria Codecracker is especially potent if the Corp isn’t icing HQ. The rest of the Hardware is pretty standard fare, but all the ice strength bonuses are going to color our choices for Programs:
2 Yog.0 (2 Influence)
3 Femme Fatale (2 Influence)
2 Battering Ram
3 Magnum Opus
If Dinosaurus were sentient, I’m pretty sure it would have an “On-Again, Off-Again” relationship with Yog.0; in this deck, Dinosaurus definitely wants to host Yog.0. Femmes are here to get comfortable with Personal Touches.
3 Stimhack (3 Influence)
2 Special Order (4 Influence)
3 Test Run
Standard fare for Events. Since Replicator is going to be keeping your hand full, Diesel is less important than in other builds.
3 Public Sympathy
3 Personal Workshop
2 Aesop’s Pawnshop
Last, but most certainly not least, we have Resources. Public Sympathy will keep you from having to discard when two Replicators increase your hand size with each different Hardware you install. If you’re interested in trying it out, Public Sympathy could be Underworld Contact or Inside Man depending on your style. Only 2 Aesop’s because I don’t have 3 Core Sets and I don’t think you should have to either.
With Criminal making a splash at most of the Regionals so far, I’m really interested to see what Humanity’s Shadow does to the meta game. I hope Andy or Replicator will overshadow Gabe because I’m honestly bored of Gabe’s playstyle, but only time will tell.