Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional

Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional

Identity: Cyborg
Deck size: 45 • Influence: 15 • Link: 0

The first time you make a successful run on HQ each turn, gain 2[credit].

"Of course I steal from the rich. They're the ones with all the money."
Illustrated by Matt Zeilinger
Decklists with this card

System Core 2019 (sc19)

#20 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)

No rulings yet for this card.


(Core Set Perspective)

Since the card pool in the Core Set is quite small compared to where the game is now, one of the benefits is that you know (roughly) what to expect from each faction. With that in mind, I thought it'd be a nice idea to list some general things to think about, at least for when you're just starting out. As always this is very much my own opinion, so please feel to add to/correct what's here with your own points!

As Gabe

  • Import some breakers. Using your in-faction fracter feels like trying to pick a lock with a marshmallow. You may also notice that you don't have a decoder, so unless you want to rely on Crypsis you might want to do some shopping around.

  • Attack the Corp's money. You're a Criminal, it's what you do. They can't keep you out if they can't get their stuff online. You can also make money from their unprotected servers. Compared to the other factions, you've got the highest chance of swimming in cash. Which is good! Because...

  • You have some of the best evasive tools in the box. Is that an ice you see? No problem. Skip over it, swerve around it, sneak behind it, flip it or kill it; so many choices, and you don't even need a rig up. Very Criminal. Just be wary of hording them because...

  • Damage hurts you more. Since many of your best abilities are kept in-hand, losing them will cause you more problems, and one of Criminals innate weaknesses is they can't really get stuff back once it's gone.

  • Your console is amazing, but you only have one. Not sure what the consensus is, but I seriously consider sticking with a crap opening draw if I find this among it. Think of your hand like a party, and Desperado as the cool unassuming buddy who shows up and just makes you happy, even if everything else is terrible.

  • Lastly (for now at least) you have a lot of nice cards, but you've got some arguable duds in there as well. Lemuria Codecracker encourages some bad crutch-forming habits. Data Dealer is only really worth it against Weyland, sometimes, and both Crash Space and Decoy are components of an at best delicate defense, that (might) protect you (mostly) from something big (once).

Against Gabe

  • Protect HQ. If you've played any of this game at all, you'll already know why.

  • Most criminal events rely on you not preparing for them, so in most cases if you do things like, double up on ice, keep your best ones in the back, cover your sides and so on, you'll take a lot of the sting out of them.

  • Protect HQ.

  • Kill their stuff. No-one likes it when you kill their stuff, but for Criminal it can be particularly annoying. In general, they can find whatever program they need with pinpoint precision, three times. Beyond that they have to dig, and they're not good at it. A well-timed removal of an important card will probably slow them down, and might even screw them completely. This lead right into...

  • Packing some traps. As long as there is even the threat of damage you stand to gain from it. Criminal can't recover from a hit to their hand or rig as readily as the others factions, so there's a good chance they will play more cautiously. Ironically, the better the cards they have in hand, the more threatening your nasty surprises can become.

  • Seriously, protect HQ.

(Blood Money era)
I snort laughed at picking a lock with a marshmallow. Another A+ review, Tirranek. —

Gabe has been a runner that has seen a lot of use. He fell to the less popular side as Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie took over during the Genesis Cycle, but he always seems to make a comeback. His ability is very useful, and focuses a lot of the runner’s attention on HQ. New players who are having trouble understanding how often to run might want to consider playing Gabe a few times; because his ability is focused on a successful run there is pressure to make those runs.

It appears at times that even experienced runners drift back to Gabe from Andromeda after a time, if just looking for something different while keeping a lot of their favorite tricks. He continues to shine, with new cards interacting wonderfully with his ability. “Sir Gabe” using Knight was very popular for a while, as you could access HQ through a single early piece of ICE for, most of the time, basically free.

In the end, he has a reliable, stable ability that continues to be useful even late game, and because of the strength of the rest of the Criminal cards, he will often be used.

(Written during the meta of The Valley/Breaker Bay, part of the SanSan Cycle. For more reviews like it, visit

(Breaker Bay era)