Ser Gabriel (1st Place @ The Yellow King)

CrimsonWraith 3643

My Runner deck that won the 14-player 2014 Store Championship at The Yellow King in Colorado Springs, CO. It was undefeated at 4-0 for the day. I'll be putting together a tournament report in the near future and link it in the comments.

It's fairly similar to the Gabe deck I've been playing for several months now, though I swapped out 3 x Parasites and 3 x Datasuckers for 3 x Knight, 1 x Mimic, an extra Armitage Codebusting, and an extra Corroder.

Power Shutdown and Wraparound are the primary reasons I made the switch. With Power Shutdown, I lost my only Corroder in a tournament last month after the Corp played back-to-back Power Shutdowns to nuke a Faerie and Corroder. With Wraparound, I typically run a single Corroder and Parasite low-strength ETR ice until I draw into or Special Order the Corroder; a strategy that Wraparound nicely circumvents. So the extra copy of Corroder seemed like a nice play. The other huge benefit of running Knights is more flexibility in the early-game. Knight plays like an Inside Job, where you're virtually guaranteed to get into a server of your choosing (useful for HQ runs with Account Siphons or Emergency Shutdowns, or for R&D runs with Indexing), inevitably followed by the Corp trashing that troublesome ice to work as a pseudo-Parasite.

Honestly, I'm still not sure whether I prefer the Knight version or Parasite version of this deck... each has their own pros/cons and they're both favorites of mine. I've only been messing with this version for a couple of weeks, so we'll see if I tend to favor one or the other after more playtime for this deck.

Here's the tournament report for this event:

23 Feb 2014 HepatitvsJ

Nice. I like this deck and I've been wanting to make a weird Gabe deck. I'll be testing this as I can but I already know I'm going to rework the INF for a couple of clone chips. I'm thinking -1 indexing, Yog, and corroder for +2 clone chip, +1 ZU.13. When H&P comes out we'll be able to save INF with Passport as a in faction code gate breaker. Hopefully at least...the card isn't entirely spoiled and may be a central server only breaker but it looks comparable to ZU.13 so far. :)

23 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

The gut reaction I've seen for many people who see this list for the first time is that they want to add some sort of recursion for Parasites/Knights. I had guys in my playgroup telling me the same thing a few days ago. It seems a particularly prominent opinion among Shaper-heavy players, as we have in our group. With all the early-game aggression, I've never found it necessary with this deck. It would certainly be nice, but I have not found it worth cutting the existing influence in the deck. Indexing is one of the key cards in the deck, it normally get used twice a game and was responsible for 3-5 points a game during the tournament.

Regardless, let me know how your testing goes and your thoughts afterwards, I'd be curious to know.

I'm fairly certain Passport is a central-server only breaker... seems to tie in thematically with Alias. =)

23 Feb 2014 HepatitvsJ

Lol. Yeah, I'm primarily a shaper player. :)
I love indexing, I put two back into my shaper deck over infiltration simply because it's so good. People stopped playing it after JackHo came out but it still forces the Corp to use him (if he's even on the table) and is so good against Jinteki too. :)

23 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

I really need to finish writing this tournament report and get it posted... one of the highlights was working my way into a remote server with Jackson Howard by hosting Knight on the innermost ice and using Inside Job to bypass the outermost ice; all to set-up an Indexing run on R&D for the next turn. Got rid of Action Jackson (huge deal, this was against a Power Shutdown/Accelerated Diagnostics combo deck) and pulled a 3-point agenda out of R&D. =D

23 Feb 2014 jakechance

With Knight and Inside Job have you considered Bank Job? I think it might get a burst of money faster especially if there's a remote server you're interested in putting Knight on.

23 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

It's a great card that people all too often forget, though I'm not sure if it would improve this particular build. Between Desperado and Gabe's innate HQ access bonus, this deck is rarely starved for money and typically generates economy simply by running. I also normally play it as a tag-me deck, so there's that to work around.

24 Feb 2014 JWHamner

This is - 1 Inside Job, -1 Sneakdoor, +2 FAO different from my Good Knight Gabe deck, but I think your version is superior. I would love the 3rd copy of each and probably wouldn't often miss FAO.

It's definitely a deck that seems like it shouldn't work that well... one copy of Indexing as your only R&D pressure? No card draw? No recursion? But honestly it plays smooth and is very, very hard to stop as the corp. You can lock him out if you have big code gates or sentries and can trash Knights/Faeries before he wins... but it is damn hard.

24 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

On the influence and inspiration for this deck... The Criminal deck I normally play is a slight variant of hoobajoo's Pure Scumbag Tactics Gabe. I ignored the original Good Knight Gabe deck at first due to its reliance on resources, and then I saw someone at BGG (spags, I think?) swapped cards out to form a solid tag-me Good Knight Gabe deck and won his Store Championship with it. I became quite interested as I noted that it was only a handful of cards off from the current deck I was playing, so I swapped out the Parasites and Datasuckers to experiment with the Knights, and was pleasantly surprised.

Forged Activation Orders was one of my favorite cards for a long time, but my meta became very rush-heavy with Ice Walls, Paper Walls, Pop-Up Windows, and other low-cost, low-strength ETR ice. Where I used to play FAO to see what ice is on HQ before Special Ordering a breaker and firing off an Account Siphon... a convoluted process that tips off any experienced player; I can now just throw Knight on the table to guarantee the successful early-game HQ run. There are times where it's nice to play the Emergency Shutdown -> FAO combo to permanently take out a big piece of ice, but I can let Knight sit on that ice to accomplish virtually the same thing.

I've always been impressed with how quick and efficient this deck works in the hands of an experienced Gabe player.. and like you said, it looks funny on paper with a single card for R&D pressure, no card draw, and no recursion... but boy does it work. =)

24 Feb 2014 JWHamner

On the influence and inspiration for this deck... The Criminal deck I normally play is a slight variant of hoobajoo's Pure Scumbag Tactics Gabe. I ignored the original Good Knight Gabe deck at first due to its reliance on resources, and then I saw someone at BGG (spags, I think?) swapped cards out to form a solid tag-me Good Knight Gabe deck and won his Store Championship with it.

I wasn't questioning the origininality of your deck... it's not like seeing how much better Knight is than Crypsis really takes a rocket scientist!

24 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

Oh, just to clarify, I didn't think you were! I just wanted to provide some credit to the folks who did have some part in inspiring it. =)

24 Feb 2014 jerklin

This list looks great. Probably my favorite of the knight variety so far.

I'm looking forward to your tournament report and what kind of decks you played. When Knight first came out I was exited to try it because it's much more efficient than Crypsis and solves the problem of running single breakers with no recursion. I went back to parasites after being continually shut out by ice I would normally parasite away.

Some examples of ice I'm wonder if you encountered, and how you handled? Viper (4 to break with Knight, not bad, but makes single access runs really unprofitable unless you run on last click). Tollbooth (5 to break, so again not bad, but still not nearly as good as what a parasite can do) Ichi (This is probably the worst. There's nearly no way for you to deal with an Ichi repeatedly, and if HB can get down more than one on centrals you are in trouble).

My big issue with scumbags (besides single breakers) is not running Mimic. Mimic just eats up a lot of really common early game ice so you can keep apply pressure on centrals, but to run it in Scumbags you have to drop the Indexing (could be RnD Interface or Makers Eye) or go down to two parasites.

I'm going to try this deck out and see how it works out for me. My store championship is in the middle of March and I'd love to play some type of Gabe if I can settle on a strong variation.

24 Feb 2014 Ajar

Count me as one of the very interested readers who is still antsy about the lone Indexing. With no draw/tutor effects, what do you do if Indexing is at the bottom of your deck? The rest of the deck does look really solid, and I love Knight and am looking for the right deck to play it in (have tried Andy and am about to test with Kate), but finding a single Indexing in 4/4 tournament games sounds like really good luck! You've got an 11% chance of getting it in your opening hand. If you keep every hand that has one and mulligan every hand that doesn't, the odds go up to 21%. From there, by the time you're 15 cards into your deck, you have a 56% chance of seeing it. For a card you described as one of the key cards in the deck, that makes me really nervous... but maybe that caution is why I mostly play Andy. ;)

I'm also not sure you really need 2x Corroder with 3x Faerie and 3x Knight. I'm definitely very familiar with losing my Corroder to either my own stupidity or a timely shutdown, but in addition to Faerie protection, Knight functions as a backup that's only slightly worse than a second Corroder -- and you have three of them. That seems like a healthy amount of insurance.

Going back down to 1x Corroder would let you run 2x R&D Interface, or you could go -1 Corroder -1 Knight +1 Indexing +1 something else, which would take your mulligan-inclusive odds of getting Indexing in your first 15 cards from 56% to 81%. Since you'd still have 3x Special Order, that seems like a pretty good trade...

Admittedly, I haven't tested your deck, so I'm not by any means saying that you've built it wrong! Obviously, it's working great for you. :D I've been eyeing Gabe for a while, and like this build a lot, so I'll likely be testing it myself after my current run with djackman's Knightman Kate deck.

24 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

I should really get around to finish writing that... I took notes to recall some details, but I've been putting off writing the full thing. In the meantime though, I played against Weyland BABW, Weyland GRNDL, HB ETF, and Jinteki RP. I was somewhat fortunate, in that my Criminal decks are typically weakest against NBN, but NBN had a low turnout (3 of 14 players) and none of them did particularly well (highest finish was 6th place). Opening with two sweeps, I played the players that finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th, and missed all the NBN folks.

Anyway, I've never been a big fan of Crypsis in Criminal. While it does allow you the freedom to face-check anything, I've always found it terribly slow for and always throws a wrench into my plans for early-game aggression. I've much preferred Parasites/Datasuckers over Crypsis for clearing the path into HQ in the early-game. Knight is definitely worth giving a shot, I enjoyed it quite a bit.. still no idea whether I prefer Knights/Extra Breakers over Parasites/Suckers to be honest.

I avoided Viper all day, hit a couple Tollbooths and one Ichi. Tollbooths were targets for repeat Emergency Shutdowns; became a bigger drain on the Corp's coffers than mine. I mostly saw them on HQ or R&D, with a route to HQ through Archives via Sneakdoor to reliably use Shutdown. The Ichi 1.0 was set up on Archives, and the Corp didn't rez it for the longest period of time because I constantly ran it on my first or second click. One time I ran on my third click and he rezzed; which resulted in his trashing of my Corroder, but I continued through and snagged the winning agenda out of HQ on that run.

Let me know how you like the deck and what works and doesn't work for you. =)

24 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

I overstated Indexing's importance a bit. It is a fantastic card for this deck, but it's not a deal-breaker if you never see it. The early-game pressure on central servers with this deck is fantastic, particularly with Desperado and Sneakdoor out. Just seeing Gabe on the table typically entices the corp to defend HQ and Archives, which ought to weaken R&D's defenses compared to what they'd normally throw on R&D if they're playing against Andy. The end result is that I can normally get into R&D for a minimal sum, and I'm okay with just seeing 1 card out of R&D. In this day and age of R&D lock, the corp is often okay with me seeing a card out of R&D every other turn and just leaves it be, making them more vulnerable to the Indexing if I do draw it. And obviously, once played, I can reuse the Indexing with 3 copies of Same Old Thing in the deck.

On Indexing use in this tournament, now that I've had time to sit down and go over my notes, I can definitely say I overstated it's impact (I said 3-5 points, but I never scored more than 3 points with it in any one game)... I did draw Indexing in all four games, I used it in three games (twice in one of those), and scored 3 points with it in each of the three games I got to use it in. I was quite fortunate to see Indexing in all four games at the tournament, that normally doesn't happen.

The first game I had it early and got one 3-point agenda out of it. The second game was long and I drew it mid-game, used it twice (courtesy of SOT) and picked off three 1-point agendas. The third game I had it early and grabbed a 2-point agenda and 1-point agenda. The fourth game I drew it late and lost it to Shock before using it.

You have some good points on only needing a single Corroder with 3x Faerie and 3x Knight. It may have been a brash reaction after losing my only Corroder to two Power Shutdowns in one turn in the last tournament; though of course, I wasn't playing with the Knights in that deck to compensate for the loss. Still, you don't want to rely solely on Knights, the smart corps typically dump whatever ice it's hosted on along with the Knight as soon as they can. It works much better as a pseudo-Parasite than a pseudo-Corroder, in my experience. =)

Going into more of a personal preference here, rather than one card being strictly better than another, however I vastly prefer Indexing over R&D Interface. This probably has a lot to do with the Colorado meta, which in the past has leaned heavily towards Jinteki, where accessing 3 cards in R&D is suicidal. Going down to 1 Corroder and 2 Knights for 2 Indexing is worth considering. At one point the main Scumbag archetype dropped down to 2x Parasites and 2 Datasuckers to fit in 2x Indexing, but I preferred the consistency of 3x Parasites and 3x Datasuckers. I imagine I'd probably have the same reaction here, but it's certainly worth trying out. =)

24 Feb 2014 Ajar

I like Indexing a lot too, and hate seeing it across the table -- I've played exclusively Jinteki PE for about the last 3 months on the Corp side. I run Indexing in my Public Sympathy / Spinal Modem CT deck. :)

With 1x Corroder, 2x Knight, and 2x Indexing, you'd have one influence for something like Net Shield, Sacrificial Construct (Shutdown protection, and works on Faeries, too!), Deus X, Quality Time, Stimhack, or even a surprise Notoriety! :D The one thing I'd say about consistency with 2x Knight is that you've still got your 3x Special Order, which wouldn't help in the 2x Parasite / 2x Datasucker build.

I take your point about Indexing not being the linchpin, though. I think the 2x Indexing version is worth trying out, but it may be that the additional safety/flexibility of having 2x Corroder and 3x Knight is better, and Indexing is just fine as a "nice if it shows up, but not necessary to win" card.

24 Feb 2014 jerklin

Jinteki PE is not too difficult for this variety of Gabe. You put out your mimic and desperado, and all the rest of the cards basically can be used as discard fuel.

The most important card is probably Infiltration if you suspect a lot of Jinteki (I do and will probably run at least 1). You can always same old thing it back as well.

Indexing is nice, but you rarely need it to win. General Desperado + Sneakdoor can give you a commanding lead early on you can win off single accesses to whatever central is easiest to get into and a timely snipe of remotes against players who don't think you can get in.

25 Feb 2014 vevicus

What would you say are the weaknesses of this deck? Reading through the comments it seems like the deck has answers for everything and is very flexible.

You mentioned that NBN seems to be strong against your deck. Why would you say that?

25 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

You mentioned that NBN seems to be strong against your deck. Why would you say that?

My guess would be the combination of raw speed, the complete inability to let even one agenda slide (it could be the locomotive of the Astro Train that you'll ride straight into pwned-ville), the impossibility to keep NBN from scoring by keeping them broke, and the inability to float tags - both due to Closed Accounts, and because if NBN starts the turn with 1 credit (and you've got, say, 3 tags and 3 cards in hand), that's a Psychoed agenda right there.

I'm curious what the OP will say are his reasons, though :D

25 Feb 2014 JWHamner

Viper (4 to break with Knight, not bad, but makes single access runs really unprofitable unless you run on last click).

Viper is one of the single most annoying pieces of ICE for this deck, and is another reason why NBN is a tough matchup (a lot of Making News decks in my meta run it). However, if they put it over HQ that simply means that you are no longer making money running it, but it's not like it stops an Account Siphon if you have a Knight.

25 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

The deck is quite flexible, which is one of the reasons it (and its Scumbag brother) is one of my favorites. =)

I have a couple of friends across the country that I play frequently on OCTGN, my wife that I play frequently in casual games at home, and ten regular players in a league at our local game store. Of all those folks, the only person that reliably beats my Gabe decks (since I switched to tag-me scumbag decks) is my wife. While that could be because she has spousal mind-reading tricks, I imagine it has more to do with her favorite NBN deck and its Psycho-Beale shenanigans. The danger of playing a tag-me deck and running through a Data Raven 7+ times is that NBN decks with the right tools and the right agenda in hand can now win the game in a single turn. The best tool to prevent that from happening is Account Siphon and economy denial (and lots of running to keep her spending her money rezzing ice), but many NBN decks have enough operation economy these days to weather the storm (and then, thanks to Siphon, I've given her even more tags to fuel the Psychographics machine). Also, Market Research is virtually guaranteed to be a 4/3 agenda for the Corp against this deck.

The ultimate solution all this may point to is to not go tag-me against NBN... which drastically reduces your own speed and makes their AstroScript chain rush even more potent. Yeah, NBN's just a giant headache for this archetype all around.

I have not yet played against Viper with this deck, so I can't offer much in thoughts on that one. With my normal deck, I rely on Yog.0 and Datasucker, rendering Viper a fairly useless ice. I could certainly see it being trouble for this deck without the Datasucker tokens to fall back on.

25 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

The ultimate solution all this may point to is to not go tag-me against NBN

Or do like I do and load up on Imps and just trash that shit!*

(granted, I'm Whizzard, but I'm still importing Siphons, so... yeah)

*- solution also good for Closed Accounts

25 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

I love your Whizzard deck posted here and still play it, probably my favorite non-Criminal deck at the moment. =)

25 Feb 2014 CowboyHatValor

Hello there Crimson! We played briefly at the Fort Worth Plugged-In and you were kind enough to explain the mechanics of your single-turn agenda victory deck to a new player. :-) I'm slightly less new now, and got a little insight into your GRNDL deck on BGG, which led me here. This deck looks really interesting, but I have some potentially silly questions about it. I've never run non-pumpable breakers without the addition of datasucker, which makes this deck (on paper) look risky to me once a Knight or two have been trashed. Am I underestimating the effectiveness of the multiple shutdowns, overestimating the Corps willingness to trash Knighted ice, or missing something else?

25 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

Am I underestimating the effectiveness of the multiple shutdowns, overestimating the Corps willingness to trash Knighted ice, or missing something else?

There's literally only three pieces of ICE at the moment that Knight can't technically get through: Janus, Hadrian with at least 1 advancement counter, and Wotan. Now:

  • Janus can be (somewhat) clicked through, so you'll get through it once
  • Wotan can be clicked through once, albeit at a very steep cost
  • Hadrian's is a problem, but consider - how many of these will reasonably be rezzed? Enough to keep you out of both the front and the back door into HQ at the same time?

The rest of the puzzle is two words that start with "Emergency" and end with "Shutdown" :D

(noone in their right mind will use this much money on a remote ICE if they haven't sealed off HQ tight... and when the corp has 35 credits to spare, to triple-hadrian HQ and Archives and a remote, and also has enough other ice there to turn off inside job... well, you're playing Criminal wrong, mostly :P)

25 Feb 2014 PeekaySK

...oh yeah, there's also the super-ice wall and the mega-shadow, if we're being technical. But in all honesty, if someone advances Ice wall 7 times, they have the moral right to keep you the hell out of their server :P

26 Feb 2014 CrimsonWraith

Hey CowboyHatValor! I primarily play fixed strength breakers with Datasuckers, so I understand your apprehension. Before settling on dropping Datasuckers entirely, I tried running this list by dropping the second copy of Corroder and adding 2 Datasuckers, and also by dropping the third copy of Knight for 2 Datasuckers. In the end, I decided I used them rarely enough (and struggled with MU enough) in each build that it wasn't worth having them in there and I'd rather have the extra copies of both Corroder and Knight.

11 Apr 2014 philoktitis

Such a good deck man. Have been having lots of fun with it. Did you see it recently won the TC store champ? It's here: (-1 Faerie for a Blackmail, but otherwise exactly the same deck).

18 Apr 2014 CrimsonWraith

Thanks, glad you're enjoying it! There are many Gabe Knight variants floating around out there, it's fun to see this one getting a lot of attention. =) In regards to Team Covenant... Joe must be a fan of mine. His Corp deck is just two cards off of the GRNDL deck I won the Store Championship with. =D

28 Apr 2014 CrimsonWraith

Much belated, but I finally added a link to the full tournament report in the description for anyone interested. =)

21 May 2014 Raiden

You really inspired my current gabe decklist =)

I was just wondering if you played with this deck post Honor & Profit. If so, did you made any changes.

22 May 2014 CrimsonWraith

Glad to hear, I love seeing more Gabe players. Well, I love seeing Gabe grow in popularity because he's my favorite... I strongly dislike seeing him across the table from my Corp. =D

With a rapid growth of HB Red Coats/Glacier decks in my meta, my only changes to this list have been to take out a Dirty Laundry and Plascrete Carapace to run 2 x E3 Feedback Implants. Post H&P, I've actually gone back to playing my Scumbag Gabe deck more often than Ser Gabriel. That's a fairly standard Suckers/Parasite Gabe build that has been updated post H&P to include Knight, Legwork, and Planned Assault.

4 Aug 2015 Vase

I'm afraid I don't understand all the hype about Indexing. Now, I'm still pretty new to Netrunner, so maybe I just don't understand the terminology or the rules. But it's seems rather clear that since cards not being "accessed" with Indexing, no Agendas can be stolen. A good deal of the discussion here revolves around how important that card is, but it seems as though most of that discussion is totally irrelevant because Indexing can't be used to score. Am I missing something?

4 Aug 2015 Ajar

If you see agendas with Indexing, you can put one (or more if you have multiaccess like Maker's Eye) on top and run again to score.

4 Aug 2015 CrimsonWraith

@Vase That you don't access cards with Indexing is one of its benefits actually. The lack of recursion and card draw makes Cambridge and other Jinteki net damage-based decks one of its worst match-ups. Indexing allows you to look at the top five cards and move around those Snares or whatever other nasty traps might be in the deck without accessing them. If you see any agendas in those five cards, you put them on top and then run back again to steal it. It's an excellent way to close out the game when you're at or close to match point, assuming you have the tools at your disposal to hit R&D once more.

4 Aug 2015 Vase

Thanks for clarifying guys. @CrimsonWraith, when you say that the lack of recursion and card draw makes Cambridge/net damage decks one of its worst matchups, do you mean the match up is bad for this deck or from the Cambridge/net damage deck?

4 Aug 2015 CrimsonWraith

I typically consider that match-up to be bad for this deck. I guess it depends though. If you can constantly land Siphons, Cambridge/net damage can't do too much to you.