Geist: You're are doing it wrong!

mrdudesir 638

People keep trying to fit a (very cumbersome, maybe not great) square peg in into a round hole with giant rigs of cloud breakers and Geist. I argue that this is misplaced: by the time you have your breakers out, Geist's ability is less valuable. Instead, I think Geist's best use is in conjunction with two Anarch resources, one underused and one brand new, creating a new, unique runner economy that is pretty refreshingly based on resources.

The first key card is off campus apartment. With this in play, playing and then popping a Fall Guy is 2 credits and 2 cards for a click. That is e-fucking-ficient. Decoys become 1 credit cantrips. Underworld contacts help to draw their own enablers. And street peddlers...

Steet Peddlers are the second key card in this deck. Host one on an off campus apartment and the following things happen:

  • Draw a card.
  • Look at three cards, play one of them at any time for one less cost, trash the others.
  • Draw another card.

That's one play, one credit, and 3+ draws in one click. In-fucking-sane! You're playing clone chip, so you can play a resource or hardware with street peddler, trash some programs, and then play the program and draw ANOTHER CARD.

These cards will draw your whole deck. For no credits. While you are playing other cards. And will gain you some credits.

Other badass combos this enables:

  • Account Siphons where the tags go away (via decoys and forger). I'll take 10 credits, you lose 5, and I'll draw two cards. No tags please. Kthnxbai.

Use Tri-Maf contacts. You will be fucking hard to tag. Host them on your Off-campus. Draw some cards. I'M SERIOUS.

By mid to late game, you will be dripping 2-3 creds per turn, able to click for 2 credits once or twice a turn, and have and efficient combo of breakes. You will be spamming account siphons, keeping the corp poor and not losing tempo. You will be shutting down the ice you just broke with Crescentus, making the corp cry. You will be making the corp derez something else with Muertos gang member, making them cry harder. BTW, put it on off campus apartment, draw a card. The corp dares to have everything rezzed? Trash that mofo. DRAW TWO CARDS.

I think is this the archetype that Criminals have been waiting for. It packs a lot of denial tools into a consistent draw economy. When almost all of the cards in your deck let you draw a card for either playing or using them, or for playing AND using them, that's pretty insane. Go ahead, tweak the breaker suite if you want. Dat econ, tho...

5 Jul 2015 partialcharge

What a fantastic point you make! I still think the cloud icebreakers can work, and maybe even these ideas can be combined! That's probably too many cards though.

In any case, thanks for sharing. :)

5 Jul 2015 bloth

This is the style of Geist deck I'm looking forward to making as soon as the Underway gets to my area. You should consider Calling In Favors, though- let that massive Off Campus Apartment give you some burst economy too.

5 Jul 2015 pruneface

Hey! Thanks for posting your list. I think Peddler is vital in Geist and Off Campus does really make it pop (along with a number of other key cards that Geist wants to use). What do you think of running Faust in Geist as a 1x breaker? I've been finding that with the + card draw I always have fuel for it and it gets me in when I need to.

How have you been finding Muertos? The 3 draw is delicious but I'm not convinced that the downside is worth it.

5 Jul 2015 Dydra

Yeah, nice description until you realize that you have no end-game. Access 1 card per turn and that's it. No HQ/R&D interface, No Medium/Nerve, no Legwork/Maker's Eye.

" What do you mean Dydra, you noob?! "

Well, a friend at our playgroup made an Off-Campus Andromeda. Of course you can understand that this is superior to Geist in many regards, including consistency and having off-campus in the opening hand. Geist could make-up with the draw for it, but that's not the point that I want to make. That player was generating insane amounts of money, being able to go from 0 to 14 with Calling in Favors just when you think that you've taxed him to safely score your Agenda ... pretty crazy. However, he also didn't have any multi-access in his deck. Yeah he could hit R&D every turn, but for 1 card? What if I Jackson/Overdraw, he misses 1-2-3 cards and GL fishing in HQ.

Despite of all logic, he was hitting Agendas more often than not with his single-access, but that was pure luck in almost all cases. You can't make a tier 1 deck that relies solely on luck. :)

5 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

Dydra: You could squeeze in Legwork or R+D Interface (minus some of the other inf in here) if you wanted to. The point of this was the economy more than the breaker suite and the access strategy. That said, keeping the corp poor and outpacing them, and pinging their servers with access can be viable. If you can get into their scoring server and they are too poor to pay for FA, you can make it a nightmare for them.

5 Jul 2015 Matthias

Reality Check here: #Muertos Gang Member and #Street Peddler only work when installed, not hosted

5 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@Fearamus You install Street Peddler then you host it on Off-Campus Apartment. I don't quite see your reality check. This isn't The Supplier, where you aren't installin cards.

5 Jul 2015 Friff14

@Fearamus "Whenever you install a connection on Off-Campus Apartment, draw a card." It may be hosted, but it's still installed.

5 Jul 2015 rumirumirumirumi

I understand you're specifically trying to make a deck that doesn't use the B&E breakers, but I honestly think your deck would work better if you had them. You've already put in the link required to make them work alongside a more standard rig, and if the idea is to be able to dominate the corp in the money game the B&E are dynamite at this.

Street Peddler is pretty cool for Geist, esp. with Clone Chip, but I think Off Campus Appartment isn't really necessary. You're already going to be blowing through your deck at breakneck speed with Geist draws that I don't think you really need so many cards dedicated to nothing but draw.

5 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@rumirumirumirumi I just think the B&E breakers just need too much setup. I'd rather save my clone chips to recur Faerie and Cerberus "Rex" H2, which you can use immediately to break any sentry or code gate.

5 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@rumirumirumirumi I also think the ability to draw even faster than breakneck is valuable. If you draw more cards, you set up even faster.

5 Jul 2015 rumirumirumirumi

I don't know how much you've played with the B&E, but they really surprised me how quickly they set up. Even spending 3 or 4 clicks installing icebreakers gets them to a serviceable strength and because they're so inexpensive the thing that slows you down the most is drawing them up (if your draw is breaking through to the other side of speed, this shouldn't be a problem). They also help you keep up tempo once they're used by giving you free draws which is generally the opposite of every other breaker.

More draw gives you more options and replaces cards in the grip more quickly, but you still need the clicks and the credits to install the cards you draw or they go into the heap. You have a ton of draw, so you'll certainly run through your deck quickly, I just think there's an opportunity cost worth considering.

6 Jul 2015 firesa

Yeah still feel mixed about these decks. I never quite know what the endgame is. If you are camping a scoring remote, well, what deck does that beat? RP? Nope. HB with Caprice? Nope. Blue Sun? Maybe. And centrals with single accesses just isn't as appealing atm. Really need to find something there. Also, despite all the drawing I think PE might be dangerous. I know there are two same old thing and one levy but whether that's enough to not accidently die or accidently lose all your sot + levy....dunno. Also chronos project seems good against this deck. All in all I think RP sort of just wrecks this deck for now but good to see people experimenting and trying to get the most of the ID. There will be a killer build eventually, probably

6 Jul 2015 Matthias

@mrdudesir @Friff14 I should read the cards... Tried the deck yesterday on OCTGN and the "install"-abilities of Muertos and Peddler didn't work there. So I just assumed, the cards were just hosted without looking at the card again. Thanks for the clarification!

6 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@Dydra, @firesa I've taken out Levy AR Lab Access and replaced with a Medium, and added 2 HQ Interface by going 2x on Cerberus "Rex" H2 and Muertos Gang Member. It definitely helps the end game, and yes, this deck really has been doing well.

6 Jul 2015 Ver

Is there enough memory for breakers, Crescentus and Medium?

6 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@Ver 5 MU with Dyson will get you one of each kind of breaker, Crescentus and Medium. If Dyson doesn't come out, you have to make some decisions. You can do some Clone Chip trickery to break something with a one breaker, pop Cescentus to derez, then pop clone chip to get the next breaker you need.

7 Jul 2015 ThisIsAzrael

Absolutely loving the premise of this deck. Look forward to testing and reporting back :)

Good work bud,


7 Jul 2015 Craloaa

If I have a Muertos on a Street Peddler and I encounter ice which the corp then rezzes, then I install the Muertos during my window forcing them to de-rez that ice (because it is the only ice that is rezzed), does the corp have an opportunity still to rez that ice again? Or does this play gaurantee access to a 1 ice server?

7 Jul 2015 rumirumirumirumi

If you install Meurtos during encounter and not during approach, there's no more opportunity for the corp to rez the ice.

7 Jul 2015 pruneface

@Craloaa as far as I understand in step 2.3 if you use your paid ability window to derez the ice, you're still in step 2.3 and therefore the corp can rez the ice again. Folks who do rulings, let me know if this is nonsense.

7 Jul 2015 pruneface

@Craloaa @rumirumirumirumi Ahh! I understand now. So if you use it in step 3.1, the opportunity for ice to be rezzed has gone. Nice.

7 Jul 2015 CobraBubbles

I like the look of the deck - I think you're right that it could represent a strong new direction for criminal. I'm wondering if it really needs the link package though. Contacts are good, but it's just so hard to pass up Desperado. I'd be tempted to go -3 Forger -1 Dyson -3 Contacts, +3 Despy +3 Calling in Favors/Sure Gamble, and free up a slot for some multi-access. Losing Forger hurts the no-tag Siphon play a bit but you still have Decoys. What d'you reckon?

7 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@CobraBubbles, by all means try it out. I've been getting the Underworld Contact up and running pretty consistently with the sheer amount of draw in this deck. I like Desperado as much as anybody, but this deck plays with a little more restraint than the average criminal deck. I suppose it's all about how you want to play it.

I'd advise against the Sure Gamble and Calling in Favors, however. They are anti-synergistic with both Off-Campus Apartment and Street Peddler, which are important parts of this deck's engine. I do have 5 events in here: 3x Account Siphon because it's combo-tastic here and 2x Special Order so I can dig out Corroder with some consistency. More than that starts making those Street Peddler plays a riskier proposition. In its place, you could add other economy connections to replace Underworld like [Compromised Employee], (/en/card/02025), The Supplier, Kati Jones and John Masanori, the latter of which might synergize more with your Desperado aspirations. Might as well go full run econ and add in some #Security Testing](/en/card/05048) at that point. Which is cool. If you were going to go that direction, However, to this point, I don't know what else you get rid of. Decoy is a potential option. But the point of this is to maximize both Geist's ability and Off-Campus apartment, and none of the things I just mentioned are connections WITH trash abilities. If you start messing with the number of those, you will lose card draw, and this deck will start to look a lot more like an old school Criminal deck.

7 Jul 2015 CobraBubbles

@mrdudesir all very good points. Had not thought of the Street Peddler anti-synergy with events. I think 2 Kati 1 Security testing instead should do well. Testing is particularly good for charging medium. Masanori + Decoy + Geist is pretty funny - draw if the run is successful, draw if it isn't! Not sure there's room for him though. I like to play Criminal as high-pressure in the early game as possible so Despy definitely suits me. Old-school Crim stuff my be a bit boring, but it's damn strong.

8 Jul 2015 Craloaa

I've played this versions couple times and it works well. You end up getting the contacts down real fast and like he said by mid game you are getting at least two drip and have a trimaf. The issue is mainly the multi-access I found. It needs 1 RDI and and HQI. I'd replace 1 clone chip and one Rex. You WILL draw the entire deck so 1 of each is fine.

11 Jul 2015 IronRaven88

Mad props for this deck design. I tried it out and made a couple changes that work for me and also cover the multi access issue. My breaker suite is 1 Alias, 1 Breach, 1 Passport, 3 Crowbar, 3 Spike, 3 Faerie. (No Shiv because aggressive Archers can be a huge setback if you have only 4 or 5 breakers install). The B&E breakers definitely help with drawing through your deck and means that remotes are dirt cheap to get into. In place of Corroder, I added 1 R&D Interface, and I cut 1 Muertos Gang Member for an HQ Interface. (Meta is filled with cheap ice and cheap assets).

I cut the Decoys and 1 Same Old Thing. Reason for cutting Decoy, I found that Forger avoiding a tag from Account Siphon is enough to make it profitable. I prefer the utility of the Interfaces and feel Decoy is a dead card if an Account Siphon run is simply not profitable. The early game is the most unstable, but once an Off-Campus Apartment gets installed and 1 Street Peddler shows up, the train just rolls.

I noticed that Levy AR Lab Access timing is really hard with Geist to get the most value out of your deck. How have people been finding Muertos Gang Member? I find he's only been useful to be aggressive with early face-checking. If they have cheap ice rezzed or cheap assests rezzed, he feels pretty useless. Thanks for the great explanation @mrdudesir on the Off-Campus Apartment/Street Peddler engine. It's cheap, efficient, and aggressive.

11 Jul 2015 Myriad

IMHO Muertos Gang is a card you want in the early game and that you trigger his draw ability for either on a turn when everything is rezed or you just don't trigger.

Not triggering him is still pretty okay for the ability you get and most decks that packing him also pack fall guys.

14 Jul 2015 mrdudesir

@Myrlad, Muertos is a great card with a lot of variance. If you're playing Blue Sun and they OAI a Curtain Wall, it's the best card ever. If NEH rezzes Pop-Up first, you will cry (well, as much as you can cry when you draw 2-3 cards as they derez and rez a Pop-Up. It is great in Geist and slightly less great elsewhere.

18 Aug 2015 Kitescreech

Played this today, really good fun. Why do you have 2 Decoders though? Im tempted to drop the Passport for something else. I love the economic/drawing framework. Without the Off campus Apartment though it really struggled in one game I didn't draw one (all 3 were in my bottom 14 cards).

18 Aug 2015 mrdudesir

@Kitescreech I have changed my deck a little since posting this. I only run 3x Cerberus "Rex" H2 as my Decoder. I had Passport as a permanent option if the Rex counters ran out, but Rex just works better, generally.

I've also added 2x Mr. Li to help with the Off-Campus woahs. I've put Film Critic in, so I had to get rid of one Apartment and One Peddler. Mr. Li will help you when you don't draw off-campus, can be hosted on one after you draw, and can still be useful.

Let me know if you want my full current decklist.

19 Aug 2015 Ver

I would love to see the current version of this deck. :)

19 Aug 2015 gandrasch

Me too.

19 Aug 2015 mrdudesir

The deck I currently play is as follows:

Event (5)
3x Account Siphon
2x Special Order

Hardware (7)
2x Clone Chip ••••
1x Dorm Computer
1x Dyson Mem Chip
3x Forger

Resource (22)
2x Decoy
3x Fall Guy
2x Film Critic ••
2x Kati Jones
1x Mr. Li
3x Muertos Gang Member
2x Off-Campus Apartment ••
2x Same Old Thing
2x Street Peddler ••
3x Underworld Contact

Icebreaker (7)
3x Cerberus "Rex" H2
1x Corroder ••
2x Faerie
1x Garrote

Program (4)
3x Crescentus
1x Medium •••

19 Aug 2015 mrdudesir

The Dorm Computer is pure tag hate. Enough people are tag storming where it has come in useful.

I was mistaken in that I only run 1x Mr. Li. I think I've just gotten a hold on how to pilot this thing, and when to draw aggressively.

Kati Jones works out better than Tri Maf, even though I wanted Tri Maf to be awesome in something.

Film Critic is just too good not to include. Plus, it's a draw on Off-Campus.

The more I play it, the more I realize that Muertos Gang Member is a great card, especially in Geist. It might seem weak compared to Cescentus or Emergency shutdown, but the fact that it doesn't have a set-off requirement makes it more flexible and perfect in the unsupported early game. Once you have an Off-Campus out, there is no real downside to playing it. With all the tag prevention in here, it doesn't get trashed by the corp very often.

19 Aug 2015 gandrasch

But is there enough econ to run against big glacier decks? The draw is really good, but I have problems with getting into server with 2+ ICE or 8+ cred ICE.

19 Aug 2015 mrdudesir

@gandrasch Yes. Kati Jones + Underworld will get you quite a few credits. Late Game, if you start a turn with 0, you get 3 from Underworld, put 3 on Kati, click for 3, and on the beginning of your next turn you have 9 in the bank and have started to build up a cache on Ms. Jones. Obviously it's not PPVP + Lucky Find, but what else is?

Muertos Gang Member and Crescentus will slow the corp down. Account Siphon will get you money and slow the corp down. Obviously, you're not in a great spot if the corp has all of its ICE rezzed on all of its servers with no way to shut it down. The key is to use all that card draw to get set up (a full rig and hopefully medium) while preventing the corp from getting to the late game. If they do get set up, you can still use Medium to make R+D runs more efficient, and your breakers are about as efficient as they come for a criminal deck.

Glacier builds are generally not a struggle for me with this. Some decks that have given me issue are:

  • NEH Butchershop can get so rich and give you so many tags that you really just don't have an option. Dorm Computer + Film is my silver bullet for them, and you want to Medium dig ASAP.

  • Jinteki PE can be a headache, though again, Film Critic helps.

Surprisingly, I have not had a hard time against RP. Shutting down their ICE and keeping them poor makes it harder for them to get a super server going. Once again, Film Critic makes them cry, making NAPD and TFP more stealable.

25 Sep 2015 flatlinedwilson

Such a fun deck - seeing this archetype is making me jones really bad to start playing the game again...

Looking at Data and Destiny it seems like GS Sherman M3 is a strong swap for Corroder, no? You might sacrifice a bit of momentum early game but it should help a lot mid/late, especially against glacier decks.

25 Apr 2016 yannish

@mrdudesir very fun deck. but you took out the LARLA in your lil modified version there? Doesn't that mean the deck ends up gassing really quickly?