I'm looking to put together a runner deck that takes advantage of Tinkering and Paintbrush. I'm also considering cards that care about ICE or breaker sub-types, such as Kit for my identity, or supporting cards like Lockpick. After looking over some corp decks on NetrunnerDB and seeing the quantities of different types of ICE, and keeping in mind click management, I'm trying to decide if my primary breaker should be a decoder or a different sub-type.

So, in general, do corp decks tend to have a bias towards a particular sub-type of ICE?

Expected answers do not have to be exhaustive and can be as detailed as you want. At a high level, I'm hoping to discover which ICE sub-type is more numerous in corp decks. Do sentries tend to outnumber barriers or code gates? Or, can you expect an even distribution of sub-types?

Some detailed information could break things down based the corporation or even the type of deck itself (such as NBN fast advance or Jenteki flatline), if available.

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    You can't really expect an answer to anything of the form "do corp decks tend to ..."! But check it: sneakdoor.com Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 17:59
  • @TheChaz2.0: That website could use a description of what it represents. I assume it's a breakdown of how effecient, credit-wise, breakers are at defeating ICE? In either case, why wouldn't I expect an answer? I just want to know if the average corp deck has more sentries, barriers, or code gates for ICE, plus any additional details if they're available. That seems very measurable to me - I simply lack the means to do so, so I'm asking the question.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 18:09
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    How would you possibly measure that, such as to take an average? I definitely hear where you're coming from - it just seems impossible for anyone to do much besides "this is what my deck uses". Maybe someone could aggregate data from tournament play? NetrunnerDB? But you'd get a lot of losing decks in there, which I'm sure you're not trying to emulate. Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 18:34
  • @TheChaz2.0: Querying a database is exactly what I had in mind. I don't particularly care if the decks are winning or losing because if they have ICE, I'll probably have to spend clicks to break them. But, NetrunnerDB does have a couple different rating mechanics for decks, so it'd be easy to include them... if I had access to run those types of queries.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 19:43
  • Not sure why this was downvoted. I would think that knowing a typical corp deck has an even distribution of ICE or more often than not tend to have more sentries than code gates would be useful information to know when creating runner decks. I'd certainly like to know, as it will impact which breakers and even the identity that I decide to use.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 12:57

2 Answers 2


I'll answer the question of "are particular corporations more inclined to use certain types of ICE".

The answer? Kind of. If you look at the whole list of ICE and where the 'good' ones are, you'll get a sense of what each corporation likes to use to stop a runner from getting in. Just to be sure, each corporation has one of each type of the basic three ICE (Barrier, Code Gate, Sentry). And, while some of the corporations have different 'affinities' for one type or the other (such as Jinteki and NBN having more code gates then anyone, and Weyland having more Barriers), you'll see more paradigms then straight-out "corporation X uses ICE type Y".

So, as Kit, will you want to use just Decoders? Absolutely not. Will you want to take good Decoders? Absolutely yes. You should use the best Decoder you can get your hands on as your main Icebreaker, and have copies of the other types for when there are more ICE on the server (consider Omega, if you can get it).

  • While there's some decent information here, I'm not sure this actually answers the question. The fact that Jinteki and NBN have some strong code gate ICE doesn't mean that Jinteki and NBN decks typically contain mostly code gates. And for what it's worth, I'm not leaving home without at least one copy of each breaker type, plus a few AIs if necessary.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 21:47
  • Also, can I ask why you recommend Omega? It's nice to have something to always break the inner-most ICE, but at 7 credits and 1 strength, it seems very expensive to install AND use.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 21:56
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    Omega is expensive, but for kit, that might be all you need. If the corp doesn't try to install three ICE deep, Kit can Decode the first ICE and Omega breaks the last one. It's a suggestion only. Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 11:42

The three main sub-types of ICE are pretty much equally common. Particular Corp factions have strengths and weaknesses, but typically you don't know what you're facing when you're building your deck other than to be aware of the current metagame. It is rare to find a deck without at least one piece of barrier, code gate and sentry ICE (scanning through http://netrunnerdb.com I would guess >90% of decks have all 3 major ICE subtypes). I also haven't seen a single example of a tournament winning deck list on http://www.stimhack.com without all three major ICE types. Although there are, of course, exceptions e.g. The Code Dilemma v1.2 on NetrunnerDB has only code gates.

As you are talking about Kit, you need to make sure your decoder is good - typically either Torch, Gordian Blade or Yog.0 + support. And that you have a fracter, so that wraparound doesn't make you sad (Inti often fills this role). I think trying to build without a Killer (for sentries) is a mistake - but it is possible.

Bring answers to all 3 major ICE subtypes. Otherwise you will regret it!

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