Runner Archetypes


Prepaid Kate (MIA)

Defined by using the Prepaid Voicepads the deck is named after to play large numbers of discounted economy and run events to make huge amounts of money. Hardware and programs are typically low cost, 4 or less. A skilled player will use their Prepaid and Kate discounts every turn for their full value. The deck is extremely flexible and can generate large amounts of money with no warning.

UPDATE: The Most Wanted List pretty much gutted this deck with 8 – 9 influence lost straight out of the gate. There’s still some experimentation but right now this archetype looks to be dead in the water.

Variants: Professional Contacts for a more glacier meta. Early versions were similar to Katman (below).

Chaos Theory Stimshop (Hayley)

CT Stimshop focuses on getting a Magnum Opus out early as a primary economy source, along with a Personal Workshop. Stimhack is used to pay for installation of programs and hardware from the Workshop mid-run. Typically aims for an R&D lock with multiple R&D Interfaces to finish out a game.

Variants: Hayley Kaplan can be used to speed up setup time.


An archetype built around using Datasucker, Atman, Desparado and Parasite recursion to make highly efficient runs. Typically uses Professional Contacts and Daily Casts to set up for the long game and establish R&D lock. This deck became very popular immediately after Creation and Control was released, using the then-new Clone Chip and Self-Modifying Code to react to ice in a way not previously possible.

Big Rig Kate

The “classic” Shaper deck from the Core Set aiming to use Magnum Opus and big breakers to brute force their way through ice and establish R&D lock. Supplier Kate imports The Supplier to set up a huge rig of programs and drip economy, aiming for the very late game.

Nexus Kate

The latest evolution of Big Rig Kate uses Rabbit Hole and Security Nexus to functionally blank one piece of ice per turn. The primary economy engine tends to be Magnum Opus. This deck is powerful in the late game but can struggle against faster decks.

Stealth Hayley

Modelled after the successful Stealth Andromeda decks, Hayley’s ability is used to reduce the large setup time required for a stealth rig. Some variants use Replicator to further reduce the setup time. Due to the lack of Kate’s economic benefit or run-based economy (Security Testing and Desparado) in faction, Hayley will often rely on low-cost resources like Armitage Codebusting and Daily Casts.

Pawnshop Hayley

This uses Cache and Pawnshop as an economy engine, installing many cheap programs, resources and pieces of hardware to take advantage of Hayley’s ability as frequently as possible.

Stealth Kit

Distinct from Hayley in that the main goal is to get a Refractor and stealth support up as fast as possible to be able to threaten all servers very cheaply. The main variants are use either Magnum Opus or Professional Contacts for economy.


An early Kit build aiming to host Yog.0 on a Dinosaurus and almost guarantee breaking a huge amount of ice for free.

String Theory

Also known as the “doubles deck” and run in Chaos Theory, this typically uses 3 breakers, 2 or 3 copies of Oracle May, and fills the rest of the deck entirely with events. Oracle May will be used to name “event” every turn, using Test Run to recover from misses. It can generate absurd amounts of event economy and tends to aim for a big rig. Variants: A fairly well-known version also exists in Ken Tenma.

Vamp Kit

Relies heavily on pumping Magnum Opus, then keeping the Corp down with Vamp.

Au Revoir CT

This deck imports 3 copies of Au Revoir and one copy of Snitch, taking advantage of Chaos Theory’s small deck size and Self-Modifying Code to get them out as quickly as possible. At this point players can repeatedly run servers and jack out to effectively click for 3 credits.


Sets up for the late game and aims to host Sage on Dinosaurus, then generate as much spare MU as possible to pump Sage. Often uses drip economy such as Data Folding.

Dirty Hands Exile

Early Exile build that uses Freelance Coding Contract to make money, then treat the heap as an extension of the hand by using Test Run/Scavenge combo and Clone Chip. Crescentus and Parasite recursion are used to trash or derez taxing ice.

Dumpster Gamble

A “toolbox style” Exile build focused around using Aesop’s Pawnshop, Scheherazade, Cache and Sahasrara to generate economy. It runs a large number of one-of specialty programs such as Deus Ex, Sharpshooter and D4v1d to instantly and cheaply deal with threats. Test Run, Scavenge and Clone Chip get value from Exile’s ability. Variant: A Hayley variant exists that similarly uses the large number of low-cost installs to use Hayley’s ability as often as possible.

Street Chess

This deck is built around a reasonably obscure interaction between Pawn and Scheherezade, causing the runner to gain a credit and draw a card on every successful run.

Solidarity Nasir

Utilises Personal Workshop and Stimhack to exploit the credits gained by Nasir’s ID power. Like many Shaper builds, a toolbox approach with a large number of one-of programs makes the deck very flexible. Notable for it’s unorthodox economy, ignoring Sure Gamble in favour of Order of Sol and Stimhack.


As the name suggests, a hybrid of Katman and Solidarity Nasir. The economy is the main differential from the Katman variant, using Personal Workshop for unpredictable credit swings. Desperado is usually not used.

Hayley DLR Spam

Installs Data Leak Reversal, Paparazzi, resource protection (Wireless Net Pavilion, Fall Guy) and click gaining cards (Hyperdriver, All-Nighter), then hits Data Leak Reversal non-stop. Hayley’s ability is used to reduce setup time.

Notorious B.A.G.

A combo deck relying on Magnum Opus, Theophilius Bagbiter and Game Day to make piles of credits and then draw your entire deck into your hand at once. Once this is done, Faust is used to get to 4 points with high impact runs like The Maker’s Eye. Finally, Hyperdriver and Vamp are used to reduce the Corp to 0 credits, run on every central server and play 3x Notoriety for the win.

Waverider Kit

Aims to combo Surfer and Paintbrush in order to encounter the outermost piece of ice and ride it into the innermost position of the server, breaking it with stealth credits for cheap.


Eater MaxX

Probably the first major deck after Order and Chaos, Eater MaxX is named after the two most important cards in it. This deck aims to spam as many “access replacement” effects as possible, primarily Account Siphon, Wanton Destruction and Keyhole. It caused a huge meta shift when first introduced as many players weren’t used to the level of aggression made possible by the MaxX/Eater combo.

Post-MWL, this deck frequently includes Apocalypse.

Reg-Ass MaxX

Named as a reaction to the Eater MaxX decks popular immediately after Order and Chaos, Reg-Ass uses standard Anarch breakers and programs with Kati and Liberated Accounts for economy but takes advantage of the massive tempo advantage afforded by MaxX. Levy AR Lab Access tends to be mandatory. Despite a very high raw power level, the deck is notoriously difficult to pilot and unforgiving of mistakes. The deck was popularised by 2014 World Champion Dan D’Argenio. Post-MWL, this deck loses a lot of its power.


Arguably the strongest deck post- MWL, Dumblefork uses heavy ice destruction and Whizzard’s econ denial to completely shut the Corp down. The Wyldside/Adjusted Chronotype/Faust/Cutlery engine is extremely difficult for glacier corps to deal with and Turntable with Whizzard’s ability helps the Fastro engine.

Grim Feast

This Valencia deck uses Desperado, Datasucker, Eater and Valencia’s natural bad publicity to make incredibly efficient runs. This is channeled into Parasite recursion, Keyhole spam, and using Blackmail and Vamp to threaten remote servers.

L4J Whizzard/Valencia

After the release of Net-Ready Eyes, this “good stuff” Anarch variant became incredibly popular. It uses Anarch breakers, Parasite recursion and the threat of Medium to attack all servers. Career Fair is used to gain tempo installing economy resources such as Daily Casts, Liberated Accounts and Earthrise Hotel. It also features heavy draw. The shell is flexible enough that the ID can be switched out with few changes depending on the metagame. Many variants exist including Edward Kim, Valencia and Quetzal.

The Valencia variant often uses Desperado for very efficient runs and can use Blackmail to snipe remote servers while setting up.

Noiseshop (Faust/Crypsis/Knight)

A popular Noise build that uses low-cost viruses to force Corp trashes, then makes money from them using Aesop’s Pawnshop. It became significantly stronger after the release of Cache, which allowed Noise to cheaply make money while disrupting the Corp. The late game focus makes it strong in a glacier meta. The main variants are either choice of breakers and choice of draw engine.

Breakers: The most popular variant uses Faust to cheaply break ice while taking advantage of the free draws provided by Wyldside.

Draw: Event based (Inject/I’ve Had Worse) or resource based (Wyldside/Adjusted Chronotype/Street Peddler)

Noise “V”

An extremely straightforward Noise build with lots of money, Parasite recursion and Crypsis.

Workshop Noise/One Run Noise

This Noise build was largely made obsolete when Jackson Howard was released and was controversial due to being largely uninteractive. The game plan was typically to load huge amounts of viruses onto Personal Workshop, then make a Stimhack-funded “glory run” into Archives, installing as many viruses as possible mid run to mill as many cards as possible and hopefully win instantly.

Anatomy of Anarchy (Noise/Quetzal/Reina variants) (DLR or not)

AoA was popularised by Steven Wooley and is based around pure Account Siphon spam and resource denial. Wooley won regionals with Noise and Reina variants – one focusing on disrupting the Corp with Noise, one going hard on econ denial with Reina. Sometimes these decks will use Data Leak Reversal and Fall Guy to gain further benefit from being tagged and force the Corp to choose between purging a Medium or removing the Data Leak Reversal – both difficult choices.

Reina Headlock (Eater/Standard breakers variants)

Yet another deck enabled by the power of Eater and I’ve Had Worse in Order and Chaos. Headlock Reina leans heavily on Lamprey, Vamp and Crescentus recursion to get the Corp to 0 credits and keep them there. This will be followed by heavy Keyholes or simply sniping agendas from hand as the Corp struggles to recover.

Hivemind Combo Noise/Val/MaxX/Quetzal

A resurrection of the “one run win” Anarch. This deck’s sole aim is to load as many virus counters onto a Hivemind as possible, install 2 or 3 Mediums and a Darwin, then run R&D to see the entire deck in one shot. The MaxX version uses Personal Workshop, the Val version uses Blackmail for the glory run.

Investigative Journalism Val

IJ Val goes all in on the bad publicity with cards like Investigative Journalism and Itinerant Protestors to load the Corp down with bad publicity and reduce their hand size. Typically standard breakers will be used to leverage the bad publicity into cheap and efficient runs, but Eater/Keyhole (as in the example list) is also excellent.

e3 Quetzal (Faust/Overmind variants)

As the name suggests, takes advantage of the synergy between e3 Feedback Implants and Quetzal’s ability, along with Parasite recursion, to deal with barriers. e3 is further exploited with AI breakers such as Faust and Overmind, to the point that these decks will often not even need a barrier breaker.

Data Leak Valencia

Similar to the Anatomy of Anarchy builds and updated with Wireless Net Pavilions, Paparazzi and the other new Anarch toys from the SanSan cycle. Aims to draw hard and lock the Corp down with Data Leak Reversal.

Minh MaxX/DLR MaxX

This recent update of Eater MaxX incorporates the Data Leak Reversal suite in a hyper-aggressive update to the classic Anatomy of Anarchy builds.



Andysucker deserves special mention as the single most dominant Runner deck for a long period of time. The core of the deck – Desperado, Datasucker, Anarch breakers and Account Siphon – existed since the Core Set, but with the arrival of Andromeda and her incredible consistency the deck became overwhelmingly dominant. Run based economy in the form of Security Testing, along with Kati Jones, led to unassailable economic and tempo gains. The release of Lotus Field and the popularity of Replicating Perfection, along with more resilient Corp economy options, led to this deck becoming less popular. Variants: Classic Gabe version, Leela, hybrid version with Switchblade and Silencer.

Stealth Andy

The release of the highly efficient Switchblade caused a fair amount of experimentation with pure Stealth decks. Over time, the setup speed and consistency of Andromeda led to, once again, her being the preferred ID for a Stealth build. The key pieces are Refractor, Switchblade, multiple Cloaks and Silencer. Another reason for Andromeda being preferred is the ability to use Security Testing to convert stealth credits into “real” credits.

Variants: Silhouette

Connections Andy/Iain

A “big rig” style of Criminal, using The Supplier to install drip economy such as Underworld Contacts and Data Folding for cheap and set up for a huge late game R&D/remote lock. Off-Campus Apartment is a recent addition to accelerate setup. Variants: Andromeda to accelerate setup or Iain to make money while setting up.

Endless Waltz Leela

A “good stuff” Leela deck that focuses on applying constant pressure on all servers. Leela’s ability is used to destabilise the board state and exploit Corp mistakes, and can create massive unexpected tempo swings – for example, stealing on R&D to remove HQ ice on turn 1, following up with Account Siphon. Many decks include at least one Sneakdoor Beta and rely on Passport/Cerberus Rex, rather than Yog and Datasucker. Variants: Recent versions include Gang Sign and HQ Interface.

Logos Leela

This less aggressive version of Leela is focused around “power turns”, waiting for the Corp to score then using Logos to find the perfect way to exploit a now-undefended server. Frequently uses high-impact splashes such as Indexing.

Faust/Parasite Gabe

This hyper-aggressive Gabe deck uses Faust, Parasite and Datasucker to maintain aggression, destroying ice and denying Corp economy.

Ser Gabe

A Gabe variant popular shortly after Knight was released, using Knight as a pseudo-Inside Job to gain access to seemingly safe servers. Often the aim would be to land an early Account Siphon or two to keep the Corp bankrupt, then continue to Siphon spam and threaten remotes.

Stirling Mill

Two variants: Data Leak Reversal and Keyhole. Both aim to set up for the late game and use the main win condition to mill as much out of R&D as possible. Iain Stirling’s ability funds the runner while setting up.

Chicago Silhouette

So named for winning the large Chicago Regional immediately (as in, several days) after the release of Honor and Profit. It’s particularly well known for using Quest Completed in conjunction with Silhouette’s ability and the new Central breakers, along with Notoriety, to score points unconventionally.

Geist cloud breakers Uses the synergy between the “disposable” Criminal breakers (Shiv, Crowbar, Spike) and Geist’s ability to put pressure on the Corp while drawing into the final rig.


Vanilla Sunny: Sunny lends herself to a pretty uncomplicated strategy – build a big rig and lock R&D and remotes. Underworld Contacts is turned on automatically, which makes it not terrible, and her console allows for some interesting plays.

Aesop’s Adam/Adam the Anarch/Faust Adam/???: There have been a LOT of Adam build floating around as people try to work out how to take advantage of his directives. Currently there’s no consensus on a build that approaches optimal, but the highest ranking Adam from Worlds uses Faust, Drug Dealers and Anarch breakers.

Apex Hyperdriver: Set up Apex’ rig to Apocalypse as much as possible.


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