Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Cookbook to CI7 - Part 2 How to combo through hate

How to combo through hate

Welcome back to our series of articles on how to play CI7. In the previous article, we talked about how the deck work, and how to do the base combo. In this article, we are talking about how to combo through Anti-CI7 hate cards. There are two types of Anti-CI7 hate. There is the hate that stops you before you’ve set up, and the hate that interrupts you in the middle of the combo.

Cards that hurt you while you’re setting up include Keyhole, Imp, Vamp, Account Siphon, Employee Strike, Fear the Masses, Lamprey, Bhagat, Noise, Edward Kim, Salsette Slums, Archives Interface and effectively anything that trashes cards you need or prevents you from holding many cards in your hand. Archives Interface and Salsette Slums can be particularly dangerous, and your best bet is to hope they don’t play them, and to win before they can get them out. Multi-access cards can also be a pain, especially something like Information Sifting, which will allow the runner to access a decent chunk of your HQ. It is likely that you will play a 50/50 game here to just lose the game. There are cards in the CI7 deck to get around a lot of these hate cards, such as reuse against vamp, archived memories against anything that trashes, Enhanced Login Protocol against Employee Strike, or even just icing up your centrals or playing Cyberdex Trial/purging.

Combo-hate is any card that prevents you from being able to perform the base-combo. These include Clot, Clone Chip (with Clot), Sacrificial Construct (with Clot), Councilman, Political Operative (plop) (with Councilman), Leela, Noise (with Clone Chip/Street Peddler), The Source, Eden Shard, Utopia Shard (unlikely to do much) and Hacktivist Meeting (also unlikely to do much). There is also Hades Shard, which is technically both a combo-hate and a setup-hate card, in that if you draw enough agendas, you are safe against it.

In this article, we are focusing entirely on how to beat the Combo-hate category. In the next article Setting up as CI7, there will be a significant section on how to beat the Setup-hate cards.


Sounds like a bit of a problem if you want to score in one turn
Clot slows you down, but isn’t a big deal. Typically, you just need a way to install an extra Cyberdex Virus Suite (CVS) and rez it. If you have 5 installables in hand (now out of 7, being CVS, JHx3, EC, GFI and PV), you can replace one of the early Interns in the combo with a SFMM, using it to install 2 of the cards. Your two other Interns can then get the remaining 2 installables and you can rez CVS to purge the Clot. This costs you 4 more credits (1 for SFMM and 3 for CVS), so you need 15 credits to beat a single Clot with CVS. If the Clot is already on the table (but there is no Clone Chip to recur it), you can instead use the Cyberdex Trial. You will still need 5 installables, and you can replace the Interns in the 2nd pile with a Cyberdex Trial. This will purge it as part of the AD step and cost 0 credits. Doing this means you only need 12 credits to beat Clot from the base combo.

For CVS:

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2*
AD (SFMM(X4, X5), RO(AD), BL) 9 **
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), Interns(X6)), 10*
rez CVS and purge with it, score EC and take clicks 13 ****
AD (Interns(X7), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)), 15 ***
SFK (GFI/PV) x3, score to win. 15

For Cyberdex Trial:

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2 *
AD (SFMM(X4, X5), RO(AD), BL) 9 **
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), CT) 10 *
Score EC, take clicks 10 ****
AD (Interns(X6), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)) 12 ***
SFK (GFI/PV)x 3, score to win. 12

Double Clot (Clot + Clone Chips):

You mean I have to learn how paid abilities work?
There are two paid abilities when you score: one is when scoring the EC, and one is when scoring the GFI and PV. If you purge, clearing the Clot, you can immediately score before they are allowed to reinstall Clot. This means that 3 Clone Chips is the same as 1 Clone Chip in regards to Clot-hate. To beat Clot + Clone Chip, you are going to need to purge twice. You will need 6 installables in hand (out of the 7, being CVS, JHx3, EC, GFI, PV) and 3 more credits on top of whatever you had for single Clot. If you purged with CT for the EC, then you need 15 credits, and if you purged with CVS for the EC, then you need 18 credits. You can install all 6 installables with the 2 SFMM used in the single-Clot example.

for double CVS:

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2*
AD (SFMM(X4, X5, X6), RO(AD), BL) 9 **
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), Interns(X7)), 10*
rez CVS and purge with it, score EC and take clicks 13 ****
AD (Interns(CVS again), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)), 15 ***
SFK (GFI/PV) x3, rez CVS and purge, score to win. 18

for Cyberdex Trial + CVS:

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2 *
AD (SFMM(X4, X5, X6), RO(AD), BL) 9 **
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), CT) 10 *
score EC, take clicks 10 ****
AD (Interns(X7), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)) 12 ***
SFK (GFI/PV) x3, rez CVS and purge, score to win. 15

Clot + Sacrificial Construct (SacCon) + Clone Chip:

People actually play this card
SacCon allows the runner to prevent their Clot being trashed. I am going to assume that, in this scenario, they are also running Clone Chip (because Clone Chip is much more popular than SacCon) but that they only have 1 SacCon. 2 SacCon is getting into the “very difficult to beat” territory, where you will have to provide 4 purges over the process, and 3 SacCon is probably getting into the “impossible to beat” territory. With SacCon, you need to be able to purge 3 times, and you also need to be able to purge twice in the same paid ability window. The three main ways to purge are: CVS, clicking 3 times, and Cyberdex Trial. Some CI7 decks only include 1x CVS, in which case the 3-click method is required to win. I will give an example of how to do it with 2x CVS, 1x CVS and 1x CT, or just 1x CVS.

With 2x CVS (You need all 8 installables in hand and 22 credits):

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2*
AD (SFMM(X4, X5, X6), RO(AD), BL) 9 **
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), SFMM(X7, X8)), 11*
rez CVS and purge with it, rez another CVS and purge if needed, score EC and take clicks 14/17 ****
AD (Interns(CVS again), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)), 16/19 ***
SFK (GFI/PV) x3, rez CVS and purge (twice if needed), score to win. 22

With 1x CVS and 1x CT (You will need 6 installables in hand, as well as CT & BL in hand and 17 credits):

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 6 **
AD (SFMM(X4, X5, X6), RO(AD), BL) 13 ***
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), Interns(X7)) 14 **
rez CVS, purge 17 **
If they use SacCon, then play CT 17 */**
score EC, take clicks 17 ****/*****
AD (Interns(CVS), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)) 19 ***/****
SFK (GFI/PV)x 3, rez CVS and purge, and play CT if needed. 22

With just 1x CVS. You will need 6 installables in hand, all AD in hand, 1 BL in hand as well as 25 credits.

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 6 **
AD (SFMM(X4, X5, X6), BL, SFSS(EC)) 12 ***
AD (Interns(X7), SFSS(EC), BL) 17 ****
rez CVS, and manually purge if they use SacCon 20 */****
score EC and take clicks 20 ****/*******
AD (Interns(CVS), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)) 22 ***/******
SFK (GFI/PV) x3, rez CVS and purge, click for purge if needed 25


Jackson Howard has been compromised
Councilman can prevent you from rezzing your JH, which stops you from winning the game. There are two solutions here: Overwrite the JH when it gets Councilmanned, or win in two piles.

Win in two piles (Requires all 6 installables, 1 BL in hand and 2 AD in hand, 10 credits):

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (JH, JH, EC) 6 **
score EC, take clicks 8 ****
AD (SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK), spare) 10 ***
SFK x 3, score for win. 10

Alternate way to win in two piles, requires all 6 installables, 2 SFMM in hand, and 10 credits (this is really the same as above except SFMM and BL are swapped):

PS 1 **
SFMM (JH, JH, EC) 2 *
AD (BL, SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC)) 7 **
score EC, take clicks 7 *****
SFMM (JH, GFI, PV) 8 ****
AD (SFSS, RO(SFK), spare) 10 ***
SFK x3, score for win. 10

Overwrite the JH (Requires 4 installables including JH + JH + EC, as well as BL in hand, 15 credits):

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (JH, JH, EC) 6 **
rez JH and shuffle in 3 cards, rez the next one before playing AD so you can overwrite it if Councilmanned.
AD (Interns(JH) (overwriting any that were Councilmanned), BL, RO(AD)) 12 ***
if still 2 JH, shuffle in 3 cards and try to rez next. This should be Councilmanned now (or else you’ve ressed 3 JH)
install(PV/GFI) (trashing a bad JH) 12 **
AD (Interns(JH) (overwriting), SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC)) 13 *
score EC, take clicks 13 ****
AD (Interns(PV/GFI), SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK)) 15 ***
SFK x3, score for win. 15

Dealing with 2 Councilman requires you to combine some of the strategies above to the same combo. For example (requiring 2 AD in hand, 1 BL in hand, 1 AM in hand, and all 6 installables, as well as 14 credits):

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (JH, JH, JH) 6 **
Res JH and shuffle in 3 cards, rez the next one before playing AD so you can overwrite it if Councilmanned.
AD (SFMM(EC, PV, GFI), SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC)) 8 * (overwriting any JH as needed)
score EC, take clicks 8 ****
AM JH, play JH 8 **
AD (SFSS(GFI), RO(SFK), BL) 14 ***
SFK x3, score for win. 14


Don't trust that innocent looking face
Leela bounces cards back to hand when you score agendas. That means you can’t have any unrezzed combo cards in play when you score, including any agendas. You can work around this somewhat by rezzing your JH before scoring, but, more importantly, you can not have 2 agendas out at once. The strategy against Leela is to score 1 EC, then a 2nd EC and lastly a GFI outside of the AD piles with SFSS and SFK. To do this you will need to generate one more click than usual from non-EC sources.

Beating Leela (You will need JH, JH, EC and 2/3 of EC2, GFI and SFK.. as well as BL in hand and 15 credits):

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (JH, JH, EC) 6 **
AD (RO(AD), BL, Interns(JH)) 12 ***
rez 3rd JH so it can’t be bounced. Score EC and take clicks 13 *****
install EC from hand 13 ****
AD (SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), RO(SFSS)) 15 ***
score EC, take clicks 15 ******
install GFI 15 *****
SFSS GFI x2 15 *
SFK GFI, score 15

Alternate Leela (only 4 credits and 1 EC, but also need, 4 specific installables (JH, JH, EC and JH3/PV, 2 AD, and 1 of SFK/AD3):

PS 1 **
res 2nd JH, score EC and take clicks 2 ****
install PV/JH3 from hand 2 ***
AD (interns(PV/JH3), SFSS(PV), SFSS(PV)) 3 **
Res JH, score PV, bring AD/SFK back to hand.
AD (interns(GFI), SFSS(GFI), SFSS(GFI)) 4 *
SFK(GFI) 4, score to win.

Political Operative (Plop):

More like political NOTerative, am I right?
Political Operative does nothing on its own, as there are no paid abilities to trash Jackson before you use him to shuffle cards in. What it can do, is mess things up with Councilman and Leela, where you like to pre-rez the JH before playing AD. In the Leela case, you can make some extra clicks via free slots to reinstall bounced JH, and in the Councilman case, you can still win in two piles, or you can keep AM in hand and generate extra clicks to bring the JH back and reinstall it.

Worst case Plop example: Leela + 1x Councilman + Plop (She is semi-likely to run both of these cards in a normal settings):

BL 4 ****
BL 8 *****
PS 9 ****
SFMM (JH, JH, EC1) 10 ***
AD (Interns(JH), RO(AD), BL) 16 **** // overwriting the JH if needed
Use JH, rez the other JH. It may get Councilmanned or plopped.
Install GFI over JH if it got Councilmanned. 16 ***
AD(Interns(JH), SFSS(EC1), SFSS(EC1)) 17 **
Use JH.
Score EC1 (bouncing GFI if installed) and take clicks 17 *****
Install EC2 17 ****
AD(SFSS(EC2), SFSS(EC2), RO(SFSS)) 19 ***
Score EC2 and take clicks 19 ******
Install GFI 19 *****
SFSS(GFI) 19 ***
SFSS(GFI) 19 *


Noise - the Vanguard who protects the realm from the CI7 menace (and his dinky sidekick street peddler dude)
Noise can use Street Peddler/Clone Chip to send one of your 3 cards into Archives before you play AD. Noise is considered one of the worst match-ups, because not only does he ruin your piles as you play them, but he is also very good at preventing you from assembling the combo pieces in hand before you are ready to combo. The best way to beat Noise’s combo interruption is to overdraw on the combo pieces you need, however his ability is good at preventing you from doing so. Neither of these two problems alone would be enough to beat CI7, but combined they make it very difficult to win. Many skilled CI7 players will attempt to score an EC outside of the combo turn behind a turing or something to make the combo turn easier, as scoring all 3 agendas with his ability is nearly impossible.

Assuming EC is scored, but noise has 2x street peddler (no clot):

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (JH, JH, GFI) 6 **
AD (BL, Interns(JH), SFSS(GFI)) 11 *** Does Noise mill? If so designate milled cards as M1, M2
AD (M1, M2, Interns(PV)) 13 ** M1 should be RO(SFK) if nothing milled turn before. M2 is AM. Can replace the Interns(PV) with Interns(JH) if it was milled and still do RO/AM
If they hit double Interns, then AM for PV:
install PV 13 *
take clicks from EC 13 ****
SFK x 3, score for win.
AD (X1, X2, ) 13 *
take clicks from EC 13 ****
SFK x 3, score for win.

Assuming Noise has 2x Street Peddler (no Clot), but somehow we have all the pieces we need:

Requires 6 installables in hand, BL in hand, 3x AD in hand and 14 credits.
BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM (JH, JH, EC) 6 **
AD (BL, SFMM(JH, GFI, PV), SFSS) 12 *** Does Noise mill? If so, designate milled cards as M1, M2
AD (M1, M2, SFSS), 13 *** M1 should be SM if nothing milled, turn before. M2 should be RO(SFK)
AD (M1, M2, SFSS). 14 ** M1 should be SFSS if nothing milled turn before, M2 should be AM.
In these 3 piles, we are guaranteed to get: 3 clicks (BL + SM), everything installed (SFMM), SFK to hand (RO(SFK)), and 3x SFSS (2 on EC and one on GFI)). The only thing that might not happen is the 3rd SFSS, in which case we have an AM to bring it back to hand and 2 spare clicks to play it, if needed.
If two SFSS were milled last pile, then AM for one back to hand.
Score EC, take clicks 14 *****
SFSS (GFI) (if needed) 14 ***
SFK (GFI + PV) x 3, score to win. 14

The Source:

Kind of fitting that Thomas Haas betrays an HB deck
Let's assume with Fall Guy here, just to be a total pain. You can beat The Source by playing another SFK for each scoring window; this means you either need 2 spare slots or a spare slot and an extra click.

Save 2 slots by having 5 installables in hand and all 3 AD:

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2 *
AD (BL, SFMM(X4, X5), SFSS(EC)) 8 **
AD (SFSS(EC), SFK(EC), Interns(X6)) 9 *
score EC, take clicks 9 ****
AD (SFSS(GFI), SFK(GFI, PV), RO(SFK)) 11 ***
SFK x3, score to win. 11

Save 2 slots by having all installables in hand:

PS 1 **
SFMM (X1, X2, X3) 2 *
AD (BL, SFMM(X4, X5, X6), RO(AD)) 9 **
Score EC, take clicks 9 ****
SFK x3, score to win. 11

Save 1 slot and have an extra click with 5 installables and 1 BL:

BL 4 ****
PS 5 ***
SFMM(JH, JH, EC) 6 **
AD(BL, SFMM(JH, GFI/PV), RO(AD)) 13 ***
AD(SFSS(EC), SFSS(EC), Interns(GFI/PV)) 14 **
SFK(EC) 14 *
Score EC, take clicks. 14 ****
SFK(GFI/PV) x3 for the win. 16

Eden Shard:

Just cry :'(
Eden Shard is similar to Noise in that it interrupts your combo; however, it is worse in that it draws the cards rather than puts them into Archives. There are two problems with this: a) drawing cards that aren’t there loses you the game (so they can wait until you’ve used the 3rd AD before you use the SFK and just win) and b) if you draw Interns/SFSS/RO, then you’re in trouble, as you have to get them out of your hand in order to continue the combo. Your strategy against Eden Shard is to win in 2 turns with lots of redundancy, similar to what you do against Noise. Fortunately for CI7 players, Eden Shard is something of a rare sight, as it is a dead draw in almost every other matchup, and even costs an influence to include.

How to combo through 1x Eden shard (but nothing else). You will need all 6 installables, all SFK, all BL, and 2x AD in hand, as well as 21 credits:

BL 4 ****
BL 8 *****
SFMM (JH, JH, JH) 9 ****
PS 10 *** (immediately use a jackson here while you have priority)
If they pop eden shard, play a SFMM if drawn, otherwise play AD and then play the remainder of the cards that are drawn.
Remember to use JH immediately after AD while you have priority AD(BL, SFMM(GFI, EC, PV), SFSS(EC)) 16 **** (lose 3 clicks in worst case scenario of BL+SFSS drawn, so 16 *)
Remember to use JH immediately after AD while you have priority
AD(SFSS(EC), SFSS(GFI), BL) 21 *****/** (Play any milled, lose 4 clicks in worst case scenario of SFSS+SFSS drawn, so 21 *)
Score EC, take clicks 21 *****/****
SFK(GFI/PV) x 3 for the win. 21 **/*

Hades Shard:

Power shutdown is a liability in hell
Hades shard accesses all cards in archives, so is mostly a setup-hate card. Just make sure you have drawn enough agendas before you start your combo-turn that the runner can't win from what is left.

Utopia Shard or Hacktivist Meeting:

2 out of 20? Not bad odds.
Utopia Shard and Hacktivist Meeting both do roughly the same thing, causing you to have to discard 2 cards. They aren’t a big deal, as discarding 2 cards out of a large hand (usually at least 10, often as high as 20) has low chances of hitting anything important. It can technically ruin your game plan, but if you have a lot of cards in hand, the chances are low. Just add extra redundancy to your slots and you should be fine. They can be a problem if you have other hate to deal with also, but on its own, it is pretty benign. In the case of hacktivist meeting, you might consider playing ELP and BL before your turn begins to ensure your safety.

Hidden information:

I have to combo through anything?
In a normal game, there is no hidden information that the runner can surprise you with on your combo turn. The only thing you don’t know are the cards in the runner’s hand, and the cards in the runner’s deck. Certain cards will let you install from these places, such as Artist Colony, Self-Modifying Code, Da Vinci and Hayley (combined with something else like Clone Chip). For most of these, the only threat to worry about is Clot, but Artist Colony is especially problematic because it could find just about any of the combo-hate cards, such as Hades Shard, Sacrificial Construct, The Source, etc.. Street Peddler is a similar issue, except probability is in your favour that they haven’t found anything that would destroy you. The absolute worst card that can be tutored via these methods is The Black File. If they install this, you have no options unless you modify the deck to include something like Foxfire. Outside of Noise, usually it is safe to assume that the worst the runner may have found is Clot. If the runner has Artist Colony and agendas, it might be worth counting their influence and trying to figure out if they're running Hades Shard, The Source (or even just Clot) and preparing for any of them. If all influence has been accounted for against a typical Shaper deck, I would assume at least 1 Sacrificial construct, and be prepared to combo through it.


That's it for comboing through Anti-CI7 hate. Sometimes you'll find yourself fighting multiple copies of these threats at once, like Councilman and Clot. In this case its important to know exactly how the tricks work, not just what they are doing, and see where you can save slots to add the extra tricks needed. Dealing with every possible combination is outside of the scope of this article, but hopefully it provides enough of a stepping stone to help you get through the majority of games, and to start thinking about coming up with your own solutions to these problems.

The next article will be on how to setup as CI7, with some tricks to get the combo out early, and ways to counter the runner's cards that slow down your setup.


  1. On the noise double peddler combo, there's a 1/3 chance that he uses one mill on the first pile to mill SFMM and another on the second pile to hit it again. Then you lose your chances to get out your last 3 installables - most notably the last Jackson - so you can't do the final pile.

    If you instead Mirrormorph out all 3 Jacksons in your first SFMM you can guarantee all 3 piles, but then you can't open with SFSS in your first pile because there might not be any agendas, so you have to replace SFSS with SM. If he mills one on the first pile (Biotic, Mirrormorph, SM) and its the Mirrormorph (4 clicks remaining) then your second pile needs to be Mirrormorph, RO(SFK), SM (4 clicks remaining). If he mills the Mirrormorph again then your final pile needs to be Mirrormorph, SFSS, SFSS (3 clicks remaining) and then you have to hard advance the GFI before scoring the EC and taking clicks. This costs 15 credits.

    If you setup like this and he mills two cards on the first pile instead of one and you're left with only the SM, you can still win with a second pile of Biotic, SFMM, RO(SFK), and a third pile of SFSS, SFSS, AM(SFSS). In any other scenario it's exactly as you describe above with simple substitutions in later piles.

    1. ...Except you can't put SM in again on the second pile as it won't give you a click. So it has to be a Biotic instead to ensure you have enough clicks to do everything, which will cost 19 credits rather than 15 (you can use your extra BL click to click for a credit)

    2. Nevermind, forget all of this. I'm an idiot. In your combo you have three clicks after the second pile so in the case where you lose both SFMMs you can just install your last Jackson with 2 clicks remaining and then AD for Mirrormorph (PV/GFI), SFSS and SFSS. You'll then have 1 click left with which to activate EC and win the game.

    3. Good catch! You're definitely not an idiot. I didn't even notice that. As said, you can combo out through it regardless, but this just shows how much difficulty Noise brings to the table.