Make a Run for It

It’s about time I played a runner without boobs. Already know that I’ll be trying Whizzard next. But I figured I’d try my hand at a Criminal deck, since I haven’t actually played them at all. No idea what makes them tick or if what I have made is viable at all. RUNNER — Gabriel […]

Profile photo of The Masked Bean By The Masked Bean On February 14, 2013 Posted In Android Netrunner LCG

It’s about time I played a runner without boobs.

Already know that I’ll be trying Whizzard next. But I figured I’d try my hand at a Criminal deck, since I haven’t actually played them at all. No idea what makes them tick or if what I have made is viable at all.

RUNNER — Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional

PROGRAMS
x2 Ninja
x2 Aurora
x2 Peacock
x3 Snitch
x3 Sneakdoor Beta

HARDWARE
x2 Desperado
x3 Plascrete Carapace

RESOURCES

EVENTS
x3 Emergency Shutdown
x3 Account Siphon
x3 Forged Activation Orders
x3 Inside Job
x3 Satellite Uplink
x3 Special Order
x3 Sure Gamble
x3 Deja Vu (2i each, 6i)
x3 The Maker’s Eye (2i each, 6i)
x1 Test Run (3i)

EARLY GAME
The heist begins with multiple angles at which to go after the corporation; Sneakdoor Beta to run HQ through Archives, The Maker’s Eye to hit R&D more effectively, Account Siphon directly against HQ, and Deja Vu to double down on whatever I decided to open with. Emergency Shutdown and Forged Activation Orders to mess with the corporation are there and can be ramped instead, as can a Deja Vu to re-grab Inside Job. It’s all designed to just flatly ignore early corporation defenses and still be a significant threat.

LATE GAME
Satellite Uplink and Snitch provide a bit of key information. Plascrete Carapace defends against a held Scorched Earth. Special Order will have completed the Criminal rig. There is no particular money machine built in for efficiency outside of forcing through an HQ run to repeatedly use Account Siphon… and the occasional Sure Gamble. Deja Vu to re-grab an Account Siphon seems promising, but I’m not sure how reliable it could be.

  1. what about rabbit holes/compromised employees instead of carapaces, test run and and some of the dejas/makers /snitches/uplinks.

    with compromised employees/rabbit hole you avoid most of the tags in the first place and can leverage the corp into a uncomfortable situation when you can force them to rezz ice with FAO, shut it down with shutdown and then profit more often with compromised employee ? theory crafting only because i dont have exodus yet but that seems like lose lose lose for the corp to me. plus you know the corps are going to want to try out chimera too.

    1. Use Inside Job initially against Chimera (if you must deliberately run against ICE… I wouldn’t early on), then Special Order and Deja Vu completes the rig pretty quickly so that Chimera isn’t effective.

      Compromised Employee is not great. It’s a 3 credit cost (1 card re-draw equaling clicking for 1 credit), gaining 1 credit per ICE. The anti-trace credits are decent, but I’m not at all impressed with what the corporation can even do with a trace. There are ways to tag that don’t require a trace… just a weak card.

      Rabbit Hole is pretty much the same. It’s good to thin the deck and feed Aesop’s Pawn Shop, but beating a trace just isn’t a big deal yet. Plus it would mean dropping some cards that threaten for ones that are basically just link to beat traces… bad deal, bad card outside of Shaper decks.

      Carapace is to counter Scorched Earth.

      Deja Vu is a god card to include. There are any number of powerful events that become 6-of in your deck.

      Snitch is 4 credits (redraw = 1 credit) for a whole lot of information over the course of the game. It may seem strange to have it at x3, but it’s very good to have early — it pairs well with cards like False Activation Orders, Special Order, and Inside Job to help you know when/how to use those cards. It also saves your Satellite Uplinks to check server-held cards instead of ICE.

      No room for Infiltration in this deck. Arguably a copy of Snitch could be that card instead.

  2. I’d say bringing the Sneakdoor and Snitch down to 2x and running 2x Crypsis would really round out your programs. I don’t think you need 3x especially with Test Run.

    I also don’t think that the plasacretes are worth it right now. I’d much rather have 3x Compromised Employee to help gain some economy.

    The rest seems solid. I might try to fit in a second Test Run, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I’d be interested to see how this deck plays out.

    1. x3 Sneakdoor Beta is essential — Test Run is mainly to help get that card out on the first turn (assuming I want it that game). The whole idea is to coerce the corp to guard all central servers immediately, then dismantle/bypass their thinner defenses on one server or another. It should make running against any remote servers a bit easier as well since their first ICE is going heavily onto central servers early on.

      The other use of Test Run is just as a fourth copy of Special Order to complete the rig. That needs to happen sooner rather than later, otherwise a lot of clicks get wasted drawing cards.

      Crypsis is certainly an alternative to the second copy of Aurora or Peacock, but I don’t like how weak Crypsis becomes once ICE becomes too think for Criminal cards to bypass. I could see dropping x1 Snitch for x1 Crypsis though, as a way of dealing with an early Chimera. That seems like a solid change.

      Very surprised at the idea Plascrete Carapaces are not game savers in your eyes — wish you had said more about why you don’t think they are worth it. I can deal with net damage and brain damage, which happens on my runs and can be avoided. Scorched earth needs to be absorbed though — and out of NBN or Weyland, beating a trace well does no good at all to stop Scorched Earth. I do think x2 PC might be enough.

      1. What you’re saying makes sense, but I don’t think 3x Sneakdoor is essential. The threat of it alone is enough for players to guard their archives before you even play the program. Once you draw/test run it, you then have two dead draws. What I’m saying is, yes, Sneakdoor can be used to thin out the ICE on remote servers, but any game that I sit across from a criminal I’m going to be protecting archives regardless if you ever play Sneakdoor or not. I feel that most people that have played a solid chunk would agree with me.

        Crypsis is becoming one of my favorite cards in the game. My current build has 3x crypsis and 1x each of peacock, aurora, and ninja. I feel that it’s been working splendidly.

        Plasacrete is a game saver. I won’t deny that fact, but I feel that Scorched Earth isn’t as big a threat as people make it out to be. In all of the games I’ve played I’ve died to Scorched maybe four times. All of those times could have been avoided with smarter running.

        People say, “but Weyland and NBN can tag me on their turn!”

        This is true, but only if they’ve had an agenda on the board for more than one turn. Which you can prevent by scoring the agenda.

        All of this is to say, in that instance would I rather have a card that prevents meat damage? Or would I rather have a card that helps me score agendas?

      2. The window for Sneakdoor Beta is small. It’s a starter card, and it gets far less powerful as the corporation draws into more and more ICE. If you don’t run it at x3, I think you don’t run it at all. x2 or x1 means you’ll generally only draw it when it’s way too late to be useful.

        I know I’ll make room for x1 Crypsis; the more I think about Chimera, the more it seems like a solid idea. It’s most likely a PC slot though, as I don’t need but 1 of those out to be pretty much fully protected all game.

        I might drop x3 The Maker’s Eye for x1 Magnum Opus and another copy of Test Run. That would be a decided switch away from attacking R&D in a serious way, but it would solve any late game economy issues. Something about me hates the idea though.

    1. It is true that the late game is inefficient at the moment — but I have a few credit bursts in Sure Gamble (+3 credits), a possible Deja Vu -> Sure Gamble if I really need $$$ (+2 credits), and it’s built to draw less often so those clicks could become credits.

      I have some solutions in mind for late game economy, but this isn’t really an endurance deck so much as an attempt to sprint. The corporation needs quite a bit of ICE out before they really stop me. Probably this:

      -1 Plascrete Carapace
      -2 Desperado
      +3 Armitage Codebusting

      I’m also not sold on Account Siphon being so great that it’s useless. I’m 100% sure that the corp puts ICE on HQ/R&D/Archives right away, as best they are able given their hand. If they stop it, they stop it. But if they don’t, I don’t want to be bluffing that I had one… I want to have one. Plus at the point where I can force an HQ run through for 12 (or less) credits, I’m still breaking even as I take 5 credits from the corp.

      1. Well, x3 Sure Gamble already IS in there. It’s right before x3 Deja Vu on the list of Event cards.

        Easy Mark is a card I do not quite respect — it is -1 card for +3 credits, which is 1 loaned credit (SG as draw instead of a functional card), 1 borrowed credit (re-draw) and only 1 earned credit. It just doesn’t do enough to win a spot in the deck.

        Armitage Codebusting is worse than Sure Gamble. I’m still kind of iffy on it. You gross 12 credits, but you lose both the draw and the redraw as well as 6 credits using it once it is played. That’s an eventual profit of 4 credits, but it takes 7 clicks to use it (8 counting the redraw) which an awful lot of time not pressuring the corporation.

        Of course with all the clicks for credits that happen, I think it’s OK. But I would expect to lose my AC unless I stopped running until the temp job ended… and that’s a handicap I don’t care for. I suppose I would like to watch the corporation tag me just to trash the AC, given the cost to them of doing it.

      2. you can’t pressure the corp if you have no credits. It takes a lot of money to get through a server with 3-4 pieces of ICE protecting it. If the Corp knows that you are sitting on only 2-3 credits and don’t have Armitage out then they can just toss out and advance agendas at will since you won’t be able make successful runs with no credits.

      3. That’s absurd, and non-issue.

        You are talking about 2 rezzed ICE on every central server and 3-4 on the remote. That’s 8-9 rezzed ICE, and almost all the corp is doing is clicking to draw into agendas — if that is the scenario the corp can lay ICE down on that remote (and R&D) thicker and thicker, the runner will get 1 run and then be out of the game because of that run’s cost. Even a Magnum Opus would not be enough to maintain the needed credits to repeatedly bypass 4+ ICE.

        The game is about more than just economy. If I left out Sure Gamble, I could have seen the comment as legit.

      4. You can’t win if you don’t have credits. Period. Servers commonly have 3-5 pieces of rezzed ice. What Nathan said isn’t absurd. Its a very common issue. One that happens every game if you don’t draw economy cards.

        I agree with your analysis of Easy Mark. I feel the same way about Diesel and Anonymous Tip I think it’s worth the spot in a Criminal deck though, but virtually nowhere else.

        You’re right, this game isn’t just about economy, but I think that it’s the most important part of the game.

        Without economy you can do nothing.

      5. Yes to Diesel. Certainly it is good, but it isn’t great. I’d rather have Diesel than Easy Mark in a deck, all things equal — when you are drawing and hit one, it’s typically cards that you want and not credits. I just couldn’t fit it into the deck without dropping threats.

        I do agree on economy, but I feel like the runner is being far too passive if they let the corporation ICEx4 (or worse) a single remote server without winning first. There is not much you can do as the runner against that, regardless of what you have out. You have to win first, or at least threat R&D significantly enough to make them rezz multiple ICE there as well.

        A Magnum Opus turn is 8 credits. How many credits does it take to roll past 4 half-decent ICE defenses? Shaper can perform miracles — Yog on Dinosaurus, w/ buffs and/or debuffs. Roll x3 Deja Vu and x3 Tinkering to threaten the steamroller. Anarch just wrecks ICE repeatedly with Parasite+Deja Vu and Djinn+Datasucker. Criminal doesn’t really get a late game super-weapon… they threaten HQ well, all cards pointed at delaying the late game (Heavy ICE on R&D and a remote server) from appearing and running early without being blind.

        What are your thoughts on Medium vs The Maker’s Eye, as far as threatening R&D? Medium is a bit slow and only works well if R&D has no ICE. But The Maker’s Eye, even with Deja Vu to re-grab… is it significant enough?

      6. Absurd? Really? Wow. I swear, if you actually played any of these games instead of just sitting around talking about them then maybe you wouldn’t say some of the things you say. I guess that since you already know everything, Theorist, that you knew that already.

      7. I can’t think of a single time I’ve ever drawn Easy Mark and been unhappy about it. It’s worst case scenario is as damage soak in my hand. But it rarely stays there long enough even to be that; it’s usually converted to credits pretty quickly. Likewise, Armitrage Codebusting. I don’t want to use my precious clicks to draw cards unless I have to. But even more so, I don’t ever want to trade 1 click for 1 credit if I can avoid it.

        The conventional wisdom is that a click, a card, and a credit are all equivalent because you can convert a click into a card or a credit one-for-one. That’s fine as a baseline but it’s not actually true. Clicks are worth more than either of the others; they’re your only finite resource and the only one that’s perfectly fungible. AC and EM both make clicks more efficient.

        As for 4+ ICE servers, well, they’re a fact of life. HB is certainly going to have one by the late game every time. A Runner deck that doesn’t have an answer for that is a losing deck. That’s what cards like Stimhack, Inside Job, FF, &c are for.

      8. @Nathan — I will never stop challenging your opinion when I think you are wrong. Quit trying to bully me into silence. And I do NOT appreciate being called an opinionated blowhard by its poster child. I am on record several times as saying that I debate this kind of thing as a way of coming to the truth. I am NOT …unlike you… preaching down to people as if I know all answers. But you knew that. You just made it personal because I dared to disagree with you.

        @Dodd — Don’t let Nathan confuse what I said. I know that as the game progresses, servers begin to fill with ICE. Eventually most ICE goes to a primary remote server, as an effort to build those defenses so thick that the runner cannot afford to get through anymore. It leaves the runner helpless. A runner with credits can at least threaten longer before ICE eclipses the ability to afford a meaningful run. (An aside; this is why Noise’s decking threat is a huge deal. He can win while ignoring any amount of ICE.)

        What I am saying isn’t that the above doesn’t happen. What I am saying is that almost all of the runner’s window to win is before that happens. Once ICE begins to get that thick, it isn’t too late but it’s certainly near the last hurrah. You are talking nearly half of the corp deck’s ICE out in play, rezzed or at least afforded. That’s very late into the game.

        Further, I am not saying that economy isn’t important. I am saying that you can run less than -ALL- available overt economy cards without throwing in the towel. What Nathan says is true as general fact, but doesn’t apply to what was being talked about. That was my point.

        I’d point out that the game is filled with covert pseudo-economy cards. Inside Job is a good example. If I want to pay to push into HQ, I might run an Account Siphon and use those 10 credits to reimburse the cost. It isn’t just overt cards like Easy Mark that provide economy.

        I would play Easy Mark if I had room. Diesel too. They are better than the baseline. It’s just a matter of what I get in exchange for doing without them, which is in this case quite a lot.

      9. I’m not asking you to ever stop challenging me. If you think I’m wrong, fine, lay out your reasons why in a NON-CONDESCENDING manner(if you can). You don’t ever see me telling someone that what they say is an absurd non-issue because of a little thing called respect. Was my ststement a generalized statement? Yes, it could certainly be taken that way. My issue with this deck is that you have all these ICE breakers in there yet hardly any way to pay for them(or for using them). 3x Sure Gambles won’t be enough if you don’t like to draw cards in order to find them.

        Let’s say best case scenario you pull a Sure Gamble, Inside Job, Sneakdoor Beta, the Aurora, and a Forged Activation orders for your opening hand. That’s a pretty good hand. Your opponent goes first, ICE’s up HQ and R&D, then plays a Hedge Fund. Let’s say it’s against Haas-Bioroid since that has been the Corp of topic. You go, Play the SG getting you to 9 credits. You play Sneakdoor Beta for 4, going to 5 credits. You use Sneakdoor, get through and let’s say you pull an Accelerated Beta Test. Great, you gain 2 credits go up to 7. You have two clicks left, so you used Forged Activation Orders on the R&D ICE which reveals a Wall of Ice which your opponent rezzes. Last click you draw a card(Snitch). On the H/B players turn he does his mandatory draw(Wall of Static), installs an ICE on Archives(auto gains 1 credit), then gains two more credits going to 10. On your turn you Sneakdoor again and the H/B player rezzes a Rotorurret for 4 Trashing your Sneakdoor and ending the run.. Well crap. Now you have an Inside Job that can get you through the Wall of Ice for two credits, but that seems a terrible use for such a great card. You can play the Aurora and get through the Wall of Ice but will cost you 5 credits. You could draw cards, looking for answers or maybe a sentry breaker, or you could just gain some credits. What do you do? On the corp players turn he can advance the Wall of Ice one time up to 2 str and it will cost you 4 credits every time you want through to R&D. Archives is useless until you get another Sneakdoor(but then you need the 4 credits to play it, you need a Sentry breaker, AND the credits to use the breaker to get through. Without solid income(Bank Job, Armitage Codebreaking, Desperado, Easy Mark) you’re already stuck having to waste all your clicks to draw cards until you get another Sure Gamble or Deja Vu…and it’s only the SECOND TURN. This is a common occurrance as H/B has a lot of ICE that ends the run and normally runs neutral ones like Enigma and Wall of Static or out-of-faction cards like Wall of Ice.

        You need money. More than 3x Sure Gamble.

      10. If it helps, money is the one thing that I keep seeing as more and more crucial in Netrunner. Both of my decks these days have practically every money-producing card in the game…

        And I’d expect at least 3 pieces of ICE on a decent server mid-game. Usually something like Ice Wall/Static/Enigma, Ichi/Data Raven/Neural Katana, and Tollbooth/Hadrians/Heimdall/Thorns. That’s why Parasite and Datasucker are both so commonly splashed.

      11. @Steven

        I started with all economy cards (even x1 Magnum Opus), and as I thinned to 45 cards I found myself eying some of the less effective ones. Sure Gamble is certainly the keeper of the bunch, but after that the payoff steeply drops. Armitage Codebusting is (eventually) 1 extra credit, but at steep tempo cost — it’s good when you are broke though, I’ll admit. In the end I might be running Easy Mark too. Everywhere I look though, I see cards I really don’t want to drop just to get 1 extra credit over baseline.

        @Nathan

        I maintain that what you said was absurd; a straw man argument that changed the subject instead of joining the conversation being had. It seems to have been salvaged into something constructive — the question being “Can a runner deck really afford not to run every possible economy card?”, which is a pretty good one to ask given the importance of economy to the game.

        That assessment seems a fair one to make, and not condescending. Your name calling here and backhanded insults… those are condescending. Your feigned offense at what was simply me disagreeing with you and using a word you didn’t like… trying to publicly defame my personal character because of it… it might not be condescending, but it’s a close parallel. Incredibly self-righteous and arrogant, if we are going to take the labeling road. I think I have a lot more ammo than you do, so I really think it’d be wise not to take things that way. Plus TC would have to step in and hose us down — I think we can be men. How about nixing personal insults?

        I’m really surprised at how exceptionally rude you get when offended. A lot of low and baseless criticisms flying out of your camp there, all because you don’t like the word absurd. Before you play judge and jury on me or anyone, I’d suggest you begin governing yourself.

        I get the house and the car.

      12. Whatever, Theorist. I’m over it. Let it go so we can back to the real issue.

        The conversation at hand was about how this deck doesn’t have enough economy cards in it. Enlighten me as to how I attampted to change that subject? I’m pretty sure my statement was directed towards the fact that the deck needs more economy and that it won’t be able to make successful runs without a better base of credit generation. How that is non-issue is beyond me.

        As far as Armitage Codebusting, that is 1 extra credit every time you use it(six times max). So if you count the -1 credit for installing it then you actually net +5 credits over the life of the card(and you can run 3x, so that’s 15 extra credits for 3 cards). Since sooner or later you are going to be using clicks for credits anyway, why not double your output for a while?

      13. Welcome back. I’m not so fortunate as to get over things so quickly as I get older, so expect me to be pretty damn sore at you for a while. I’ll not treat you poorly though. That’s not my way.

        VERY glad to be back on topic. I think I can define why I don’t really like Armitage Codebusting all that much. Here’s the comparison between AC and a “functional card” chosen as random example, Emergency Shutdown. (That x3 ES is very close to getting cut actually. Neither here nor there.)

        Emergency Shutdown:
        CLICK: You draw into the card. Hand strengthened.
        CLICK: You gain 1 credit. +1
        CLICK: You gain 1 credit. +2
        CLICK: You gain 1 credit. +3
        CLICK: You gain 1 credit. +4
        CLICK: You gain 1 credit. +5

        Armitage Codebusting:
        CLICK: You draw into the card. Hand not strengthened.
        CLICK: You play AC for 1 credit. -1
        CLICK: You hit AC up for 2 credits. +1, 10 left.
        CLICK: You hit AC up for 2 credits. +3, 8 left.
        CLICK: You hit AC up for 2 credits. +5, 6 left.
        CLICK: You draw a “functional card”. Hand strengthened.

        With the functional card ES, you draw 1 less time. It doesn’t matter what order you perform the last 5 clicks under AC… you either do without hand strength or without credits for a bit, comparatively.

        As of the 7th click (not shown), Armitage Codebusting becomes better than just a functional card. You have to get 8 credits off of it, which is most of two turns (6 clicks) counting the draw into it. I don’t like the window that gives the corporation. As the runner I am doing without a card and without credits for a bit, and meanwhile I’m not able to be as aggressive as I would really like.

        A functional card like ES is only 2 clicks to use, and then I’m on to other endeavors. I do operate at less economy in the long term, but it doesn’t affect the short game. I’ll be honest that I think I probably DO need Armitage Codebusting… but it’s not a great solution, and I’m almost inclined toward Easy Mark going in before I’d add it. The window AC gives the corp is how they find the time to stack ICE and force a long expensive game. I’d rather attack them and try to force a change in their master plan.

      14. Well, Theorist, this “poster child for know-it-all blowhards” doesn’t hold grudges. When I get annoyed/offended I can become a real smartass. My appolagies my good man. :)

        Here is my thinking…

        You draw that 1 functional card, say it’s a much needed Sneakdoor Beta and you are sitting on 2 credits. Click 1 was to draw it, Click two and three to gain 2 credits, and click 3 to install it. Now you have to wait a full turn to use it which gives the Corp time to ICE up Archives. If we consider all things equal but you have an Armitage in play you can Draw, install, gain 2 credits from AC, then run archives all in one turn. Armitage saves clicks and can give you the advantage.

      15. Odd examples.

        Earlier you mentioned using Forced Activation Orders on ICE that the corp could afford to rez at a moment when you gained nothing by them doing so. It’s better to save that card and maybe hit the corp with 2 of them in the same turn to trash an ICE, or at least use it to expend corp credits on a server other than the one you intend to hit that turn.

        Here you play Sneakdoor Beta and then don’t use it the turn you play it, giving the corp time to ICE Archives. It’s better to hide that you drew into SB and just build credits. Play it next turn instead and run Archives three times.

        It’s this kind of example that’s throwing me off as far as trying to understand where your thinking is. Give me a more real game example and I think I can probably get on board with what you are trying to say.

      16. Forged Activation orders gives you information and forces the corp to spend credits when maybe they didn’t want to. If it trashes a piece of ICE, then great. That’s not always the best use of the card though. What you want is the information of what ICE is where. Ideally you want to use FAO early on a server that you don’t want to run in the hopes that he can’t afford to rez the ICE on the other server you run. Mid and Late game it’s great to use it on servers you intend on running so that you know what ICE you are running into. My actual tactics from the first example may not have been sound, but I just wanted to emphasize how a good source of credits makes all the difference.

        As far as the Sneakdoor example, yes once again you would want to hold it and just gain credits. That a better option, I was simply showing how Armitage can help you threaten earlier instead of having to wait.

      17. The problem I continue to have is that you have to pull so many credits off AC before you break even and start making a time-for-effort profit on it. It doesn’t threaten so much as it moves your threat out of the present and into the future — making it bigger (more credits) and making it smaller (less window). It’s the very last credits you pull from AC that are economy. Running it, playing it, paying for it…. all those are up front costs you can’t delay paying. Only the re-draw can be put off.

        That said, there’s not much other than hand strength that I lose by drawing an AC. I don’t have to play it until I see a lull moment, and I’m not down any credits if I can use it just once. From that POV it feels like an easier include.

      18. Well, just say you start a turn with 1 credit and really want to play this Femme Fatale you have in your hand to bypass your opponent’s Archer. I could use generic clicks for two turns(+8 credits) and then play it on the third round but have to use more clicks to gain the 4 credits needed to use it and bypass archer. If you start that same first turn with Armitage in hand you’ll have 13 credits at the end of the second turn, then can install it and use it first thing on the third turn. Just another example of how Armitage can help you threaten your opponent a little faster.

      19. I don’t get your reasoning here, either, Theorist.

        Viewed strictly from a click=bit=card baseline, Easy Mark is a 1 bit profit: Click to draw, click to play, get 3 bits. That’s 3 slots in your deck to get you a 1 bit profit over baseline each. Obviously, it’s better to get 3 bits for 2 clicks but it’s not winning any awards for awesomeness, either.

        AC nets a profit on that measure the second time you use it: Click to draw, click+1 bit to play, click to take 2 bits, click to take 2 bits and you’re already ahead 1 bit. Every click after that is twice as efficient, so you net a total of 5 bits for 1 card.

        Compare to Magnum Opus, which gives you the same click efficiency more or less permanently. MO is a better card since it’s permanent, but it requires a concomitantly larger investment. Not only does it cost 5 bits (plus 2 clicks to draw and play it (for a total of 7 baseline clicks)), it also takes up 2 MU. So you have to build for, draw, and pay to play extra MU to run it with a full suite of icebreakers, otherwise you’re hampering yourself mid- to late-game. Let’s assume you do that as cheaply as possible: Akamatsu Mem Chip. There’s another 3 baseline clicks (to draw it and play it for 1 bit). And you have to find this rather lackluster card first. So, in any non-Chaos Theory deck, it actually costs you a *minimum* of 5 baseline clicks drawing credits just to break even on MO.

        Even assuming you don’t squeeze a little extra out of AC by selling it to your Pawnshop as a free action with 2 bits left on it (saving a click and getting 3 bits), AC is clearly better for your tempo. But, of course, the baseline we’re measuring against here is still wrong. Clicks are still worth more than cards or bits. It’s 6 clicks minimum to get into profit with MO; AC stays in play for 6 clicks worth of use, 5 of which are in profit, doubling your click efficiency all the while. That’s pretty darned good.

        Sure Gamble is great, but it’s a one-time use and you have to have 5 bits to use it. How many times have we all drawn into it and then had to spend pretty much an entire turn getting up to 5? How much do you wish you had an AC in play to get you there in 2 clicks when that happens?

        “Redraw” is a null concept to a Runner. You only draw when you need to. You can, in theory, win as a Runner without ever drawing a card. Drawing a replacement card isn’t a cost of playing a card; you certainly can’t count it as a negative cost for some cards and not others. All cards you use for any purpose carry that “cost” so it’s meaningless.

        Tempo, OTOH, matters. A lot. You keep talking about how AC gives the Corp room to play out ICE but in reality, it does the opposite. It squeezes the Corp by increasing your click efficiency immediately (and does so for 0 influence; MO is 2 influence so 3x uses up over 1/3 of your budget OOF).

        And I can’t even figure out what you mean by a “functional” card. Any card in my deck is functional. AC fuels my economy, without which function very little else I draw has any function at all. And it is *never* a dead draw. It’s barely been out a week but I’ve already spent entire games holding Emergency Shutdown in hand because there were no targets worth using it on. It’s a tempo card, too, as much as anything. Obviously I’m going to exult the first time I use it on an Archer. But it’s really about removing an obstacle in the short term and forcing the Corp to spend that money again, keeping him bit poor (just like running blind early). Even so, I’m not wasting it on a Wall of Static I can break with 1 click worth of bits I pulled off of AC.

        Say it with me, Theorist: “Clicks are worth more than cards or bits.” Learn it. Know it. Live it. :-)

      20. I’ll say this…you can draw all the “functional cards” in the world, Theorist, but without the credits to play and use them they aren’t functional…they’re dead cards. AC turns dead cards functional.

      21. “Clicks are worth more than cards or bits.”

        I agree 100% with this, Harris. Netrunner is a game of options trading. “One card” and “one cred” are both OPTIONS you’ve always go that you can buy with one click, but that doesn’t mean they’re EQUAL in any sense. It just means those are two lower bounds for what you can get for a click during any trade.

        I’ve been toying with an article in that vein, but it’s actually a fiendishly difficult concept to work out and I’m trying to fully understand it myself.

      22. I hear conflicting advice.

        On one hand, those extra credits from AC are worth all the extra up-front clicks to get them. I do believe that, at least 2 to 3 turns from drawing it, this is true. That’s just fact. Where I dislike the card is prior to it being the economy boon it’s intended to be. The first click to play it (and the 1 credit cost) are a 2 credit hole I’m in. It isn’t until I’ve spent 2 clicks getting 4 credits that I’ve FINANCIALLY broken even.

        On the other hand, both CD and Collin you are saying clicks are worth more than cards or credits — which I of course agree with, because that it mainly my criticism of AC and why I don’t feel it’s a strong as it appears to be. While you gain economy, you lose time. Every turn that passes, the runner gets weaker while the corp gets stronger. Unless you can trash some ICE anyway, and there are only a couple of ways to do that.

        An aside concerning my last point, are Anarch decks currently splashing Forged Activation Orders? I’m thinking it would play extraordinarily well there.

      23. I don’t know if it’s “the norm”, but I do run two FAO in my Anarch build. They either trash the ICE, or it gets rezzed and hit with Parasite if it’s dangerous.

        There’s an overbearing amount of theory in this discussion, but from experience I can say that I’m rarely unhappy to draw into an Armitage.

      24. Set aside 8 clicks for gaining credits and replacing cards spent toward economy jumps:

        Economy baseline is 8 credits. Instead of using a card, you just click for credits.

        Easy Mark needs replaced, so you really only get 7 clicks to spend. The first is EM, so you gain 3 and then 6 more via just clicks. 9 credits.

        Sure Gamble needs replaced, so you get 7 clicks. You spend 1 to play it for +4 credits, then spend 6 clicks gaining credits. That’s 10 credits.

        Armitage Codebusting also gets 7 clicks since it needs replaced eventually. You lose 1 click and 1 credit up front but then spend 6 clicks gaining 12 credits. That’s 11 credits.

        By this, AC looks like the best economy card.

        But what about when you value those clicks for other things? Easy Mark and Sure Gamble are (short term) +2 and +3 credits over baseline respectively. Armitage Codebusting is -3 credits -UNDER- baseline as it’s being played. You have to expend those valuable clicks to use it, clicks that could be used for other things if you didn’t particularly need more credits atm. It’s that initial dip under baseline before breaking back past even that is my criticism of the card.

        Of note, Deja Vu to grab sure Sure Gamble nets nothing long term and nets only 1 credit short term. Terrible use of the card, should never happen.

        An aside concerning Nathan’s mention of Forged Activation Orders as a quasi-Infiltration to get information — I would say that’s the absolute weakest use of FAO, and that it shouldn’t be used for just that. If you are, you’d be better off with Satellite Uplink or Infiltration. FAO is too potent to expend that way.

      25. FAO is used to force the Corp to spend credits when maybe they didn’t want to if they want to keep the ICE that you target. If they spend the credits to rez it then you know exactly what you need to get through that piece of ICE. It’s far better than Infiltration when used on ICE but Infiltration can be used on cards installed in remote servers and that is the real use intended for that card. Unless you can get the Corp down to 0 credits there is no guarantee the ICE that you target will be trashed. Even at 1 credit it could have been an Ice Wall, Chimera, Matrix Analyzer, Draco, or any number of other ICE that you targeted. You just don’t know. So use it early before the Corp gets a lot of credits and can rez anything you hit with it.

      26. Also, you aren’t required to re-draw a card when you play something so adding that in as a cost is pointless. You only need cards if you are about to run and are threatened by a Snare or by a Scorched Earth hitting you on the Corp’s turn(or if ur playing Jinteki. lol)

      27. I agree that in terms of short term cost, I shouldn’t include the redraw — and I didn’t. But in terms of long-term cost, redraw costs do apply — and although scenarios arise where the runner doesn’t need to draw, they don’t occur in the early game which is where the best window to win rests. Average rate of runner draw is near 1 (varying deck to deck), and you might expend 2-3 cards one turn then turn around and draw 3-4 over the next two turns.

        That “no need to draw cards” scenario isn’t going to apply to costing anyway. If you have arrived at a state where you aren’t drawing cards, you never draw Armitage Codebusting. In fact, you’ll only draw into it when you were looking to draw into a functional card. If you wanted credits, you’d have clicked for credits not hoped to draw an AC.

      28. Unless you play more than just Armitage and Sure Gamble for resources. I’m using clicks hoping I draw into one of my 3x Armitage, 3x Sure Gamble, 3x Liberated Accounts, 2x Easy Mark, or 1x Aesop’s Pawnshop. That’s pretty good odds of hitting one of those every 2-3 draws. Even if I spend 2 clicks drawing and only get an Easy Mark, then play it with the 3rd click I haven’t lost anything. I spent total 3 clicks and gained 3 credits, but I also have one extra card in my hand.

      29. Yes but every single card you play in this game has the same redraw cost. It’s a moot point. If there becomes a card that forces you to discard something from your hand when played, THEN redraw cost becomes an issue. Until then, it’s a non-issue topic.

  3. Moving the current conversation, for ease of people’s replies:

    Nathan said:

    “Yes but every single card you play in this game has the same redraw cost. It’s a moot point. If there becomes a card that forces you to discard something from your hand when played, THEN redraw cost becomes an issue. Until then, it’s a non-issue topic.”

    You are taking a truth (“Every card has the same redraw cost.”) and applying it out of context. It isn’t about the cost, it is about the rate of drawing attack cards. A card like AC doesn’t do anything to the corp. It is a dead draw other than the credit boost.

    When you draw AC or EM or SG, you don’t draw a new attack card. You draw credits. Your credit level improves, but your hand as far as threatening the corp does not improve. To improve your hand, you will need to click and draw again.

    When you draw an attack card, your hand improves. You don’t need a second click to improve your hand.

    In terms of wanting to draw cards to play against the corp, you are better served by an attack card instead of an economy card. You draw threats more often …and more important, earlier in the game… at the cost of fewer credits with which to play those cards.

    It does no good to the conversation to say that you will run out of credits… that happens. You also run out of time and out of cards, which credit economy cards do not help you with — some like AC can actually hurt you in those departments.

    @Nathan — It sounds to me like you are talking about a Shaper (or possibly Anarch) deck by the advice you give. I’m all about economy for both of those factions. There just isn’t a late game of any worth for Criminal to run that I see — what do they do that Shaper and Anarch don’t do better? Criminal to me looks like it wants to rush the tempo so that the corp cannot draw/play cards fast enough to keep up, not slow play along with the corp and beat them with a super-powered rig. That’s where I get so suspect of this advice coming my way… it doesn’t seem geared to Criminal at all, and more just general rule of thumb that doesn’t apply here or to what I’m trying to do with the deck.

      1. I wouldn’t call those questions simple — at least, the answers to them are not simple. They are all very deep questions that push to the heart of the game.

        I have never run a Criminal deck, and this is a prototype. So even if those are the natural questions to ask, I’d defer to a Criminal player who has tried running a fast short-game deck rather than answer them myself.

        I could win on the first turn, or it could go 20 turns in. There are a myriad of factors there that make such a question unanswerable with any level of accuracy. You can’t predict how fast any runner deck wins against any single corp deck (let alone one at random from a field of them), regardless of what cards it chooses to run.

        Given the general number of ICE and agendas in a corp deck, I would estimate “how fast a deck wins” by the number of ICE that the corp can draw/play/rez. I believe that I can stress the corp into drawing more cards in an attempt to stop me from repeatedly going at R&D. As they draw cards, they’ll draw agendas that have no safe-enough server to hide on.

        No idea if it wins, at all.

        If you are talking specific plays to make that help win… again, a myriad of possible board circumstances prevent a real answer. From anyone I think, not just me. But here is what I tried to build into the deck:

        — cards to grab a needed breaker
        — cards to ramp HQ threat (thins ICE, coaxes draw)
        — cards to ramp R&D threat (x3 Medium AND x3 TME?)
        — cards to bypass single ICE cheaply
        — cards to attack corp credit supply
        — cards to jump my credit supply in 1-2 clicks

        The arching plan is to bypass the first defenses that hit the board. The corp will want to defend R&D most of all, but I do what I can to make them spread ICE onto other servers and draw into their deck. I want them to draw as many agendas as I can, and the best way to do that is to make them need more ICE than they have drawn.

        I would expect 2 ICE on HQ and R&D, 1-2 on Archives to be a nuisance, and then ICE after that begins guarding a remote server. But that’s a lot of ICE for the corp to draw into, so they have agendas in hand or on that remote to defend now.

        Does it all fall apart if the corp has no agendas in hand to start, lays x2 ICE on R&D, and then just starts building credits and slow playing ICE onto R&D and then a remote? If they don’t draw an agenda, yes. But odds are they will. And while they are doing that, I’m able to throw a lot of cards like Account Siphon and Emergency Shutdown at them to slow the process.

        To be quite frank, adding in all economy cards and setting up the strongest possible rig (under Criminal) doesn’t really threaten the corp any better and is a heck of a lot slower. I just don’t see any way to do it. Maybe I could go x3 Parasite and x3 Deja Vu instead of the R&D push, which trashes up to 9 ICE — but that runs way better out of Anarch, where you have easy access to the de-buff engine.

        Do you play Criminal, Nathan?

      2. I play everything. Anarch, Criminal, and Shaper. Anarch(Noise) is my go to identity, but I do like Gabe quite a bit.

        The reason going after R&D is not great with Gabe is that his ability triggers off running HQ and can be a real boon if you can get in often.

        The only thing a corp player needs is a cheap ICE like Wall of Ice or Wall of Static on R&D and they can force you to play a barrier breaker to get through. ES and FAO do very little vs these types of ICE and even Inside Job is only a 1 shot effect and if you don’t grab an agenda off the run then it can be a real letdown. Obviously you want to save that for runs on remote servers. You simply aren’t going to win the game with no icebreakers in play. Sooner or later you’ll need a breaker of some sort and the credits to fuel it’s use.

      3. Not winning the game without breakers is why I have x3 Special Order, x1 Test Run, and have decided on adding x1 Crypsis — certainly I am not trying to run a breaker-free deck, just one that doesn’t rely on them early.

        The only thing Gabe’s ability does is provide refund credits on an HQ run. There’s no way the corp would leave HQ open to let me operate HQ like a free Magnum Opus. So of course I might run HQ -if- I suspected an agenda might be there… but if the corp is stacking credits instead of drawing up, R&D is more likely to pay off. The worst thing to do is trash cards in HQ — that would kill economy, giving the corp less to pay for while depleting my own credits. About the only thing I would trash would be a dangerous card like Scorched Earth.

        I see Gabe’s ability and reasonably easy access to Sneakdoor Beta as a decoy. The corp has to consider where to put ICE, which means R&D might remain open to easy runs longer.

        Whizzard with Test Run and Sneakdoor Beta is probably going to be my next deck, maybe w/ Tinkering in there but I don’t know yet. First I wanted to get a sense of what Criminal can do… and if you are right about the long game being the only game, they can’t do much.

      4. No the Criminals can definitely blitz early and has the chance to win the game early if they hit agendas in HQ or R&D. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll hit those agendas though so you have to have a plan for a long game. And the only issue with this deck being able to play a long game is the lack of solid credit generation. I happen to like the direction of the deck overall and think Medium and Maker’s Eye are great to threaten R&D.

    1. “When you draw AC or EM or SG, you don’t draw a new attack card. You draw credits. Your credit level improves, but your hand as far as threatening the corp does not improve. To improve your hand, you will need to click and draw again.”

      I guess I know what you mean by a “functional” card now. But I stand by what I said earlier–and that Nathan echoed: Redraw is a null concept since every card you draw carries that same cost, regardless of type.

      Cards, in and of themselves, don’t “threaten” the Corp. Running threatens the Corp. And since you need bits to run, AC is no less valuable than any other card as long as it helps you run. And since it doubles your click efficiency in getting those bits, it does. It’s only a dead draw if you don’t need bits, a circumstance that’s a lot rarer than drawing into ES when you don’t have a useful target for it.

      1. ES is very close to getting cut, actually. I don’t care for what it does and how hard it is to wield. I need the slots and some really good cards are wanting in.

      2. Credits threaten the Corp quite a bit. The more credits you have the easier it will be for you to run on servers…and the corp will know that. It makes them change their game and slow down until they think you have no chance of getting through their ICE. If they think you can run a remote server at any time then they won’t be so hasty to instal and advance those agendas. They might hold them in hand for a turn or two, which is what makes Gabe so dangerous, if you hold the agendas vs him, he runs your hand and gains credits. If you install them then he can run that as long as he has the right breakers in play.

      3. Without cards to get you there, you can’t run. And cards CAN threaten the corp. Forge Activation Orders threatens to trash ICE and requires no run.

        I’ve explained rate-of-threat as best I know how. If you are drawing a card, you aren’t looking for credits — even Nathan’s “everything and Aesop’s Pawn Shop too” approach is not really better than just steadily clicking for credits. These economy cards are giving up functional space in order that sometimes (at unpredictable times) you go to draw a card and get above-baseline credit return instead of a card.

        Re-draw is not a null concept. Every card does NOT carry the same cost. I’m not talking “replacement cost” so that the hand stays the same size — that’s what Nathan is talking and you are talking about, but it doesn’t apply. I’m talking “cost in clicks” to get to a card that does something other than get you credits.

        If you draw a card that does nothing aggressive when that’s the kind of card you wanted, you didn’t draw. You wasted a click — as compensation for the wasted click, you get a good credit return whenever you can spare the click(s) to get them. To get that aggressive card you wanted, you must spend a second click.

        Economy cards are 2 clicks to get to a card; 3 if you happen to draw a pair of them back to back. An aggressive card is just 1 click, card found.

        This is like land in MTG or a gold location in aGoT — you don’t get anything to use, just extra resources for when you do get something to play. To get something to actually play, you have to draw again. And just like in those games, running with less of those cards can be a help because you more reliably draw attack cards instead of resources.

        I’m looking forward to x3 Test Run, x1 Magnum Opus. I think that’s going to be most of my Shaper deck’s economy. But here I can’t use that without dropping something else I wanted to do.

        And still I think I might end up needing x3 AC to help with the long game. “I hate my job, but I need it.” Think that’s what they were going for?

      4. Actually, you can run at any time. That little action on the runner card that says “Make a run” says so. No cards required to do that. I could never draw a single card the whole game and still make a bunch of runs(doesn’t mean they will be successful though).

        The cards in this game an set the corp back in the credit race. ES and FAO are these types of cards. FAO is not always going to trash a piece of ICE because you normally have no clue what you are targeting when you play it. Unless you use your Sattelite Uplinks on unrezzed ICE(which is a horrible idea most of the time). Your “attack cards” like Emergency Shutdown and Account Siphon all require your runs to be successful in order to activate them. ES can be played after a Sneakdoor Beta run so there is going to be at least 1 turn of surprise Sneakdoor runs before the Corp ICEs up Archives with something that ends the run. So you better get a good use out of those cards while you can.

        You are going to need ICE breakers and the ones you have are very expensive to operate. Ninja only being able to go +5 STR for 3 credits, and then Aurora and Peacock costing 2 credits each to boost str and break subroutines on ICE. That is a lot of credits you’re going to need once you get to where the corp has enough ICE rezzed that you can’t “attack” it all with your ES, FAO, or Inside Jobs.

        There are a couple cards I just don’t think you need…

        Plascrete Carapace – Just preventing some damage from Scorched Earth? How about just not taking the tags in the first place? I would replace this with Armitage Codebusting.

        Snitch/Sattelite Uplink – is 3x each really necessary? I would drop at 1x each and replace it with some more econ like Bank Job.