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Subject: Let's have a chat about The Professor rss

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Jack Kelly
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Introduction
The Professor is my favourite ID, hands down. As a card-carrying Bad Johnny, I love how his deckbuilding style presents unique challenges and unique potential. I'm less fond of how his play style is very high-risk, high-reward: either you pull out miraculous answers to everything the corp tries, or you flounder around in a pile of not-quite-relevant programs. I want to share my experiences playing the Prof. and talk about the main deckbuilding considerations.

Jump to a Section
Program Selection -> http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14536619#14536619
Hardware -> http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14536622#14536622
Economy -> http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14536625#14536625
That 1 Influence/Levy AR Lab Access/Sample Decks -> http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14536627#14536627

Critical Parts
3x Self-Modifying Code (SMC), 3x Clone Chip. Without question. You're all about pulling the right program out at the right time, and with all the code-slinging going on you'll probably drop something important in the heap. Clone Chip can also become SMC #4-#6 (though that's a very limiting move to make), and also ease the memory pressure just a bit.

Draw Engine
The Professor lives and dies by his draw engine. Usually the corp will do something and you're left trying to find the best response. This pretty much means you need to always be looking for your next searcher. Professional Contacts (PC) is the obvious choice, but since Hostage isn't an option we need something to tide us over until we draw one. I've found that even 3x PC and 3x Diesel doesn't get a PC early enough, and even if it did going from 5->0 on turn 1 isn't so great, ESPECIALLY since you can run with a SMC and a pile of credits to horrifying effect. I really think 3x PC, 3x Diesel and 3x Quality Time (QT) is the way to go, especially given the combo with Freelance Coding Contract which I'll talk about later.
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Program Selection
I think of programs as fitting into one of 3 main categories: early breakers, specialist breakers and tricks. Early breakers are cheap and are going to get you through the majority of the ice that you see. Specialist breakers are to hit certain one-off targets or act as a backup plan. Tricks are everything else that make the Prof unpredictable.

Early Breakers
The classic Anarch triple - Corroder, Mimic and Yog.0. Bearing in mind the cost to fire off SMC, you can run at pretty much anything early with 8 credits in your pool and have enough to install and break. Knight is a good recent addition that sits somewhere between early and specialist breaker. If you're moving Knight around all the time, you're losing the opportunity to draw (and gain credits from PC), and you risk running out of steam.

Gordian Blade is another very solid option for a decoder, but then you're looking at more like 12 credits to run safely, and Yog will deal with almost anything early. The ICE Yog has to worry about: Chum, Minelayer (possibly), RSVP and Viper. Cyber-Cypher is another early/specialist breaker: you can use it early to get through one of the above 4-str gates or save it as a response to that server with Tollbooth.

Specialist Breakers
This is where it starts to get interesting:

Big Breakers
Morning Star: If it wasn't for the monstrous install cost, this would be a fantastic early breaker. As of True Colors, there are 6 ICE it cannot break:

- Heimdall 1.0
- Heimdall 2.0
- Ice Wall + 5 counters
- Hadrian's Wall
- Wotan
- Curtain Wall

The Heimdalls are vulnerable to Deus X or Bishop, the advanceable Weyland walls can be Femmed and the others are a little more difficult. If you're running Test Run/Scavenge, it's a very good option but saddles you with early MU pressure. Remember that after breaking Eli 1.0 twice with Corroder you could've paid for Morning Star.

Torch: It complements Yog nicely, but there just aren't enough horribly big code gates. Cyber-Cypher, plus Yog(supported by Bishop or Datasucker) will probably get you through, and that's 5-7 credits you can spend elsewhere.

Garrote: I think this has the same trouble as Torch. It's expensive and this is one of those decks that can recur Faerie over and over and over, following up with Crescentus on the expensive ICE.

AI Breakers
Atman: You can make a pretty strong case for a strength 4-5 Atman, especially if you're running Datasucker. It's then your solution for larger sentries and code gates.

Darwin: You won't be able to charge him up mid-run, which means he won't be usable reactively. No good.

Crypsis: The same problem as Darwin: you can't charge him up, you can pull the breaker you actually want just as easily and if you install him mid-run he'll self-destruct.

Single Use
Faerie: There are a lot of nasty sentries at strength 4 and above, plus there are yet more nasty sentries at strength 6+. Bishop can't be everywhere, which means that even Mimic with support won't get you home. Even if you have to get it with SMC, it's still only 6 to break Archer.

Grappling Hook: The only downside to this card is that it hasn't been printed yet.

Deus X: Amazing. You can pull it when you need it and shut down most of the popular Oversight AI/Bioroid Efficiency Research targets. If the ICE you hit wasn't cheat-rezzed, follow up with Crescentus.

Sharpshooter: Not yet worth it because deckspace is so tight. This is only really to answer Archer. If you SMC it, it costs 3 to install and 2 to boost. If you SMC Faerie, it costs 2 to install and 4 to boost and Faerie is just so much more useful.

Other
Dagger: If it was strength 1, we might be in a different world. A single cloak credit would then get you into Archer/Flare/Snoop range. As it is, the MU issues and the deckspace means that you won't be able to fit the Cloaks, even if they do make a couple of runs a bit cheaper. Also you'll seldom be in a position to burn a searcher on Dagger, then burn another one to get the Cloak you need to actually break anything.

Alias/Breach: Questionable at best because you're sacrificing flexibility. Their 2-for-3 pumping will trip you up on early game ICE.

Femme: I nearly forgot to mention her because it's so obvious that she's good.

Tricks
This is where you can really personalise the deck and account for your local meta. I think the big decision is how heavily we want to load up on viruses, as they're still some of the best options.

Bishop: Surprisingly useful to extend the reach of your Mimic and Yog while you build up to installing your big answers.

Copycat: If it was multiple-use, it'd be a different story, but it just doesn't do enough to justify its inclusion.

Crescentus: HELL YES. It costs a lot of SMC/Clone Chip to do something like Faerie/Crescentus, but since so many of your best tricks are delivered via one-shot breakers (mostly Deus X and Faerie, but I can see Grappling hook used on a bioroid) you don't want to hit the big ice twice.

Datasucker: Hard to justify a one-of because you'll hardly ever want to burn an SMC on it. If you want to go deep into viruses with Djinn and so on, it might be worth going for 2 and using your influence point.

Disrupter: Cute, but the only mega-traces are Midseason Replacements (MSR), Punitive Counterstrike and Flare. Flare is better dealt with using Deus X and you have to see the MSR coming before the corp actually plays it. If you SMC it out, and actually disrupt MSR with it, you've spent 3 credits and a searcher to save 5, a net gain of 2.

Djinn: If you run Djinn, you have to run some other MU expansion. Otherwise you run out of places to put your SMCs. SMC + Djinn + something else gets pretty confining, and putting the SMC on the Djinn means you've gained no MU from installing it. If you go right into the viruses it's an option, so long as you can find a good time to install it.

Expert Schedule Analyzer: Take Nerve Agent instead. You don't even have to install it until just before the run is successful!

False Echo: I've literally had one game where I wanted this, and it was where the enemy Weyland was advancing an unrezzed Swarm. There are better options.

Gorman Drip v1: Occasionally useful, but not worth burning a searcher on. You can't use it as a follow-up to Account Siphon or Vamp so it loses a lot of its teeth. Maybe in a virus-heavy variant.

Imp: Quite useful, especially if you've managed to get a good hold on HQ.

Keyhole: I'm looking forward to testing this as a possible Medium substitute, since you get one of three random cards each run. Basically you're hoping to do the Noise thing and put all the agendas into archives, AFAICT.

Magnum Opus: Bad for early economy, but can be useful late as a 1-of. Opus and SMC get in each others' way too much.

Medium/Nerve Agent: Both brilliant. See a hole in the corp defence and punish it. Severely.

Net Shield: How much MU do you have, and how much Jinteki is hanging around?

Parasite: Useful in small doses, but a huge temptation to burn out all your tutors Parasiting small ICE. The only targets really worth hitting are Pop-up Windows, Ice Walls (if you suspect Trick-of-Light-powered fast advance) and maybe the odd Chimera you might see. You've burned a searcher to deal with a single early ICE. The smarter option would be to install a general solution. Better in virus-powered variants, where you have Djinn.

Rook: Decent, but surprisingly not as useful as you'd think, because you have to set it up pre-run. Then you probably don't have a spare searcher to pull the actual breaker you need when the corp manages to rez something.

Sahasrara: Looks good on paper but I've never had the deckspace.

Scheherazade: Deckspace issues again, but if you're packing a lot of one-shot programs he's a decent guy to install whenever you happen to draw him.

Sneakdoor Beta: AWESOME. Spend a turn hitting HQ with Nerve Agent, watch the corp ICE the front door and draw up, then do it again!

Snitch: You're planning to run face-first into things, protected by SMC and a pile of money. You'll be fine.
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Jack Kelly
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Hardware
Extra MU
You're going to need to pack at least some MU, otherwise things get really crowded with SMC and any of the 2MU programs. Then you're forever changing programs in and out, which will cost dearly in the long-term. Akamatsu Mem Chips make the most sense here. Omni-Drive has the same memory fragmentation problems as Djinn: because of SMC you're more likely than most to install in the correct order, but since there's no point hosting Yog on one you can hit 3MU of programs in your main rig and have no MU to hold your next SMC. If you scrimp a bit here you can make it up with Scavenge and Test Run.

The MU/Scavenge question leads into two broad types of rig. There's the adaptable kind where you work in your confined memory space, selling things to Aesop or Scavenge as you shift gears and is served by 2-3x Akamatsu. The other style runs heavy on +MU to invalidate an ever-expanding set of the corp's defences. This variant probably needs 3x Akamatsu and maybe even a console.

Console
We're obviously restricted to the Shaper consoles here. Deep Red would be legal in the deck, but we can't pack enough Caissa to make it worthwhile.

Dinosaurus: With the variety of breakers we don't NEED a Yogosaurus, Mimicsaurus or Dinofemme. We can just put whatever on there to save money. In a way, it's better than The Toolbox - its ability will be worth around about 2 credits per ice of a certain type per run. The downside is that it's effectively only +1MU (unless you put Morning Star on it), so our rig can still get pretty cramped.

The Toolbox: The main attraction is the flat +2MU without any install-order restrictions, with the rest as gravy. I haven't tried using it much as I've only just started switching to Personal Workshop, but it looks interesting.

Monolith: If you can get it out, it's amazing. About the only way that's going to happen is if you let it tick down for several turns on a Personal Workshop. Stimhacking R&D with nothing out and having a full R&D-dig-kit materialise mid-run is a great feeling. The trouble is that you're going to want multiples to quickly get one on a workshop, but the extra dead draws and delayed payoff make it very questionable. Workshop/Monolith IS currently the only way to install from grip mid-run, so that's something.

Other Hardware
About the only other hardware worth discussion is Replicator. It's an interesting 1-of, to allow you to quickly find your Clone Chips after a Levy AR Lab Access.
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Jack Kelly
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Economy
The Professor is a fairly click-heavy runner, which means that you really want to be able to do something else while you're gaining credits. This means that you're mostly looking at drip options, but Freelance Coding Contract turns up as well.

Freelance Coding Contract (FCC): In a high-program deck, landing a full 10-credit FCC usually requires Quality Time into Diesel or vice-versa, often with a click-for-draw. As a raw economy effect, that's 3 credits and 3-4 clicks to gain 10-11 (if you draw once with PC), so it's just a little better than Opus (2 1/3 to 2 1/4 credits/click). The upside is that you now have several Clone Chip targets in your heap and you've probably found something important along the way (like your next searcher or PC).

Daily Casts: It fits the rhythm of the Professor's style quite well: while you're digging for a searcher in the downtime between runs it's refilling your bank. In the end, it's only a net gain of five credits after four turns. Significantly improved by Aesop's.

Personal Workshop: I've only recently switched to using these, but so far they're really promising. They pay for themselves much more quickly than Daily Casts and the bulk of your money is going towards installing things. A lot of corps locally are becoming more gung-ho about taking bad publicity, and that means you can use any leftovers to pay things down. They also mean you can usually get your chips in play for free, unless you really need them that turn. Further, if you've been drawing up with PC to get money and you've accidentally picked up a breaker you might need for the run you aren't stuck. The challenge is not hosting any of your best surprises on there. Main breakers, basic hardware and consoles are safe choices. Monolith becomes a ticking time-bomb as I outlined above, and paying it off with leftover bad publicity is about the only hope you've got of installing it without killing all your tempo.

Aesop's Pawnshop: Varies from decent to really useful depending on the rest of your deck. Daily Casts effectively finish one turn earlier and net 6 credits instead of 5. Low-memory variants love this card as it's basically a free half-scavenge each turn. Imp becomes significantly better, and it lets you project threat with Medium and Nerve Agent, then recover their cost.

Sure Gamble: Good on turn 1, merely okay everwhere else. Odds are you'll draw it with PC, which means you're effectively getting 5 credits from it, at 2.5 credits/click. That's a little better than emptying a 9-credit Kati Jones, but you've got FCC for event economy (which has side benefits).

Kati Jones: I haven't used her all that much, but the fact that copies #2 and #3 become dead draws isn't great. The fact that you're almost certainly running Levy AR Lab Access means you'll see all your one-shot economy again, and that means that copies #2 and #3 become dead draws, twice.

Magnum Opus: I mentioned this a little in the programs section. You can either run 1x as a late-game plan (once you don't need SMC space) or run multiples and deal with the MU difficulties by using Scavenge/Aesop to recoup the install cost.
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Jack Kelly
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That 1 Influence
I can see only three serious choices: Stimhack, Datasucker #2 or Femme #2.

Stimhack: Not exactly a surprise in Professor decks, but still a good mid-late option when you actually draw it. Best used when you have 2+ searchers ready to go, since you can then spend the excess on installing more stuff.

Datasucker #2: If you're going deep into viruses then this is a serious early-game option.

Femme #2: Probably #3 of the options just because of the cost.

Levy AR Lab Access
At least one, because it doubles your searching power. Probably no more than that. Double searching power is great but not having vicious events like Account Siphon means that resetting your deck isn't as good as it is for some other IDs. A backup copy or a Same Old Thing may be useful.

Sample Decks
This deck is looking to set up cheap multi-access runs on centrals with an expanding rig. Put chips on the workshops and pop them as you need them. By the time you see Toolbox you should have at least one spare workshop. This is an expanding-rig deck, so you're looking for more permanent solutions to ICE, though one-shot programs like Parasite and Deus X definitely still have their place here. 21 programs and 30 program influence.

3x SMC
3x Clone Chip
3x Diesel
3x Quality Time
3x Freelance Coding Contract
3x Professional Contacts
1x Stimhack (1)
3x Professional Workshop
3x Akamatsu Mem Chip
1x The Toolbox
1x Levy AR Lab Access

1x Corroder (2)
1x Mimic (1)
1x Yog.0 (1)
1x Morning Star (4)
1x Knight (2)
1x Bishop (2)
1x Faerie (3)
1x Deus X
1x Femme Fatale (1)
1x Crescentus (1)
1x Imp (3)
1x Magnum Opus
1x Keyhole (3)
1x Nerve Agent (2)
1x Net Shield
1x Parasite (2)
1x Sneakdoor Beta (3)
1x Cyber-Cypher

Here's another take, this time using viruses and Djinn. A lot of your extra programs are disposable so it's got less +MU. 2x Test Run means you don't always have to blow precious Clone Chips on recurring disposables. 20 programs, 22 program influence (not counting the second Datasucker). You could probably squeeze the core idea into one of the other runners, but you'd sacrifice a lot of flexibility (Sneakdoor) and emergency response (Faerie).

3x SMC
3x Clone Chip
3x Diesel
3x Quality Time
3x Freelance Coding Contract
3x Professional Contacts
2x Test Run
2x Akamatsu Mem Chip
3x Daily Casts
1x Aesop's Pawnshop
1x Replicator
1x Levy AR Lab Access

1x Corroder (2)
1x Mimic (1)
1x Yog.0 (1)
1x Djinn (2)
1x Bishop (2)
2x Datasucker (2)
1x Faerie (3)
1x Parasite
1x Medium (3)
1x Nerve Agent (2)
1x Imp (3)
1x Atman
1x Sneakdoor Beta (3)
1x Magnum Opus
1x Deus X
1x Crescentus (1)

Conclusion
So that's how I see the Professor. I'd really like to compare notes with other staff or students from Levy University.
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Scott Awesome
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subject line wrote:
Let's have a chat

endgame wrote:
PLEASE DON'T REPLY


Good talk.
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Jack Kelly
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Keggy wrote:
subject line wrote:
Let's have a chat

endgame wrote:
PLEASE DON'T REPLY

Good talk.


Indeed. It's all up now.
 
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In case anyone gets tempted to make a Professor deck, here's a handy reference for the hard stats on all programs outside the Shaper faction. For the most recent version of this chart, click here.



Asterisks (*) by the memory value indicate cards with limited uses and, usually, a trash cost. (Imp technically being the exception.)

Note: Caissas are grouped together, as are AI Icebreakers, as are Viruses, as are individual types of Icebreakers, in that order. Darwin, Knight, and zero-influence Crypsis are more difficult to classify than other programs so I've put them where I thought they best fit.

Also: Keep in mind that programs without type are listed at the bottom so their set listing is easier to determine.


Name Cost MU Str. Type Infl. Set
---- ---- -- --- ---- ----- ---

Corroder 2 1 2 Icebreaker - Fracter ●● Core Set 7
Aurora 3 1 1 Icebreaker - Fracter ● Core Set 25
Morning Star 8 2 5 Icebreaker - Fracter ●●●● What Lies Ahead 4
Breach 2 1 2 Icebreaker - Fracter ●● Honor and Profit 42

Mimic 3 1 3 Icebreaker - Killer ● Core Set 11
Femme Fatale 9 1 2 Icebreaker - Killer ● Core Set 26
Ninja 4 1 0 Icebreaker - Killer ●● Core Set 27
Faerie 0 1* 2 Icebreaker - Killer ●●● Future Proof 104
Alias 3 1 1 Icebreaker - Killer ●● Honor and Profit 41
Garrote 7 2 2 Icebreaker - Killer ●●● True Colors 65


Yog.0 5 1 3 Icebreaker - Decoder ● Core Set 14
Peacock 3 1 2 Icebreaker - Decoder ●● What Lies Ahead 6
Force of Nature 5 1 1 Icebreaker - Decoder ● A Study in Static 62
Leviathan 6 1 3 Icebreaker - Decoder ●● Second Thoughts 26

Wyrm 1 1 1 Icebreaker - AI ●● Core Set 13
Crypsis 5 1 0 Icebreaker -AI- Virus Core Set 51
Darwin 3 1 0 Icebreaker -AI- Virus ●●● Future Proof 102

Pawn 0 0* Caïssa ● Opening Moves 2
Rook 2 1 Caïssa ●● Opening Moves 3
Bishop 0 1 Caïssa ●● Second Thoughts 21
Knight 2 1 7 Icebreaker -AI- Caïssa ●● Mala Tempora 43

Djinn 2 1 Daemon ●● Core Set 9
Scheherazade 0 0 Daemon ● Second Thoughts 22

Datasucker 1 1 Virus ● Core Set 8
Medium 3 1 Virus ●●● Core Set 10
Parasite 2 1 Virus ●● Core Set 12
Imp 2 1* Virus ●●● What Lies Ahead 3
Nerve Agent 3 1 Virus ●● Cyber Exodus 41
Pheromones 2 1 Virus ●● Humanity's Shadow 86
Gorman Drip v1 1 1* Virus ● Opening Moves 5


Other programs:

Name Cost MU Infl. Set
---- ---- -- ----- ---

Sneakdoor Beta 4 2 ●●● Core Set 28
Snitch 3 1 ●● Cyber Exodus 45
Disrupter 1 1* ● A Study in Static 61
Crescentus 1 1* ● A Study in Static 65
Copycat 1* 1 ● Second Thoughts 25
Expert Sched. 1 1 ●● Mala Tempora 45
Keyhole 4 2 ●●● True Colors 61
Grappling Hook 2 1 ●● Honor and Profit 45


For consistency's sake, I've used the standard colors used by Azeltir's spoiler blog:
Anarch: bgcolor=#fce5cd
Criminal: bgcolor=#cfe2f3
Neutral: bgcolor=#efeaef

---

P.S. I've found that Monolith works beautifully with a Freelance Coding Contract economy and 3x Levy AR Lab Access. This could be a good, synergistic fit considering all the Shaper tricks the Professor has. (If not now, then someday.)
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General Norris
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This is an improved list bsaed on the one I took to Nationals_

1 Faerie
1 Sneakdoor Beta
1 Morning Star
1 Medium
1 Femme Fatale
1 Knight
1 Parasite
1 Nerve Agent
1 Corroder
1 Ninja
1 Gordian Blade
1 Yog
1 Datasucker
1 Mimic
1 Cyber Cypher
1 Imp
2 Atman
2 Self-Modifying Code
---------------------------------
21 Programs (!)

3 Akamatsu Mem Chip.
3 Clone Chip
-----------------------------

6 Hardware

3 Test Run
3 Sure Gamble
2 Dirty Laundry
2 Scavenge
1 Stimhack
-------------------------
11 Events


3 Professional Contacts
2 Kati Jones
3 Daily Casts
-------------------------
8 Resources

I think the Professor has 4 main vectors of attack:

1) Medium (Powered by 3 and 4)
2) Nerve Agent/Sneakdoor Beta (Powered by 3 and 4)
3) ICE Destruction/Nullification (Yog, Morning Star,
4) Easy remote access (Femme, Faerie, Knight, Atman)

Knowing which vector won't bankrupt you to little gain is key to playing with the Professor.

You need 3 Test Runs AND 2 Self-Modifying codes. You need the right program at the right time and half of the time you don't want to pay for it.Hence 3 Test Runs. Using your precious Clone Chips on SMC when they could be bringing back Faerie is a waste.

Scavenge is good in so far it lets you turn now useless programs (Normally Yog and Sneakdoor Beta) into new threats. It also works very well with Test Run to give you a cheap Femme.

I think Diesel is terrible with Professional Contacts on the table so I haven't played and when I tried Freelance Coding Contacts I thought it was a huge waste of resources, often leading to you constraining yourself over a few credits that could be obtained in a better way.



His main weakness is a complete lack of economic pressure. You cannot afford to trash assets with him and half of the time he will allow the Corp to rez ICE later than the other runners. This is a huge drawback.

Note that this version doesn't have Plascrete Carapace which may be a game-ending oversight.
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Jason Hamner
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Yeah, I have to agree with General Norris that I've never had much luck with Freelance Coding in the Professor. With only 3 FCC in the deck Diesel->QT in your opening hand will only draw one (or more) 50% of the time. Having FCC in hand and then drawing for programs works better, but you can still end up spending 3 Cards and 3 Credits to only get a few back. And then you are going to have to spend 5 credits on a Levy at some point. I feel like you need to be running Public Sympathy, 3x Levy, and generally trying to thin hardware and resources out of your deck before relying on it a ton. Once you've got a full rig and a thin deck the burst econ from it is amazing but otherwise... I dunno.

I go Pro Contacts as primary draw/economy engine and run 0x Diesels or QTs. I like Aesop's, Kati, Daily Casts, and Sahasrara to fill out the gaps money wise. Personal Workshop is great, but it seems to be to be largely nullifying the "I wonder what crazy programs that guy is running!?" effect of the Prof.
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Jack Kelly
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My experience is that lacking a Pro Contacts makes for a very challenging start as you try to get Contacts on the table. The extra burst draw is to recover from missing Contacts, and the Freelance is to recover from the burst draw (and prime Clone Chip). How do you and Norris play when you don't get (or fail to mulligan for) it?

I'm especially interested to see Norris running a 3rd Test run over a 3rd SMC. SMC seems better to me, especially early when the MU isn't an issue. It's also cheaper, the program stays around and you can decide what to install at paid-ability-speed. The downside is that you can't install from heap, but that's less of a concern early.
 
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Jason Hamner
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While ProCon is one of my favourite cards and seeing it in my opening hand is always a joy... not drawing it doesn't lose me games (not drawing tutors/clone chips loses me games), as I have econ to cover for it while I draw like a normally connected person. Putting in Diesel and QT to ensure having it first turn is a lot of deck slots for cards you'll only use to recover from damage once ProCon is on the table. I guess they also help to dig for an SMC, but all I can say is that my experiments with that style (including FCC) seemed too inconsistent and chancy... I'd end up having to discard a bunch of good cards becauase the Diesel/QT didn't go how I hoped.
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Peter O
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Pretty good except the bit about Djinn and SMC not working well together. With no extra memory install, SMC takes up 2 MU leaving 2 MU for other programs. With Djinn installed, SMC can takes up 2 slots on Djinn, leaving 3 MU for breakers and an additional 1 MU for non-breakers on Djinn. So why don't they work well together?

I would say Djinn is an auto include for any Professor build that wants extra MU as its searchable memory, and then continues to find more programs so you don't need to burn SMCs. The memory plus data sucker makes Djinn worth it for me even if I don't have other viruses. (But why wouldn't you include medium and/or nerve agent, or imp?)
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Peter O
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I'm intrigued by a professor build using Phermones with a Personal Workshop to convert those extra credits into other resources.
 
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TK Number 3
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I really wish Retrieval Run was 1 influence and could fit into a Professor deck. Seems perfect for something like Morningstar.
 
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Jeremy Brown
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This is a great article and very timely for me as I was just about ready to defenestrate my Professor deck. I have been toying with a deck for a couple months now that looks very similar to your second decklist. I definitely think that Personal Workshop is key for Professor and especially as we are seeing an increase in bad publicity (even outside of Weyland with ICE like Grim), which can be used during runs to pay off cards on Personal Workshop. This can become a significant support to a runner's economy, in my experience. Also, Stimhack becomes powerful in this way as it can be used to pay off items in Personal Workshop during a run and is, in my experience, often unexpected outside of ol' Noiseshop builds (though I recognize that is not the experience in your meta).

I think I will try to incorporate some of your ideas from the first deck list into my current build and run it tonight in our league. I'll write back once I get a chance.
 
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Jack Kelly
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JWHamner wrote:
While ProCon is one of my favourite cards and seeing it in my opening hand is always a joy... not drawing it doesn't lose me games (not drawing tutors/clone chips loses me games), as I have econ to cover for it while I draw like a normally connected person. Putting in Diesel and QT to ensure having it first turn is a lot of deck slots for cards you'll only use to recover from damage once ProCon is on the table. I guess they also help to dig for an SMC, but all I can say is that my experiments with that style (including FCC) seemed too inconsistent and chancy... I'd end up having to discard a bunch of good cards becauase the Diesel/QT didn't go how I hoped.


All good points. Do you have a decklist that you're able to share?

tranenturm wrote:
Pretty good except the bit about Djinn and SMC not working well together. With no extra memory install, SMC takes up 2 MU leaving 2 MU for other programs. With Djinn installed, SMC can takes up 2 slots on Djinn, leaving 3 MU for breakers and an additional 1 MU for non-breakers on Djinn. So why don't they work well together?

I would say Djinn is an auto include for any Professor build that wants extra MU as its searchable memory, and then continues to find more programs so you don't need to burn SMCs. The memory plus data sucker makes Djinn worth it for me even if I don't have other viruses. (But why wouldn't you include medium and/or nerve agent, or imp?)


The "memory fragmentation" effect is much more pronounced once you start including more 2MU programs (and Keyhole looks like a pretty interesting replacement for Medium), which is one of the things Prof can do more of (Opus, Sneakdoor, Keyhole). But you're right that he's still quite good in virus decks and I probably ought to reconsider him in place of memory hardware.

tranenturm wrote:
I'm intrigued by a professor build using Phermones with a Personal Workshop to convert those extra credits into other resources.


You have to install Pheremones, make several successful runs on HQ (and if you've just installed Pheremones you could've installed Nerve Agent) and then run HQ again on later turns to pick up the recurring credits (although because you're just paying things down Sneakdoor is works).
 
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Jason Hamner
United States
Cambridge
MA
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endgame wrote:
JWHamner wrote:
While ProCon is one of my favourite cards and seeing it in my opening hand is always a joy... not drawing it doesn't lose me games (not drawing tutors/clone chips loses me games), as I have econ to cover for it while I draw like a normally connected person. Putting in Diesel and QT to ensure having it first turn is a lot of deck slots for cards you'll only use to recover from damage once ProCon is on the table. I guess they also help to dig for an SMC, but all I can say is that my experiments with that style (including FCC) seemed too inconsistent and chancy... I'd end up having to discard a bunch of good cards becauase the Diesel/QT didn't go how I hoped.


All good points. Do you have a decklist that you're able to share?


Sure... I'm playing it in a tournament on Sunday, but in the very likely event I don't win it's not going to be because opponents saw my cards on BGG. This is my current iteration of a Professor build that follows Alexfrog's Professional Anarch play style:

The Experiential Jazz Professor v5

The Professor: Keeper of Knowledge (Creation and Control)

Event (4)
2x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
2x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)

Hardware (10)
3x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)
3x Clone Chip (Creation and Control)
2x Dinosaurus (Cyber Exodus)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)

Resource (11)
2x Aesop's Pawnshop (Core Set)
3x Daily Casts (Creation and Control)
2x Kati Jones (Humanity's Shadow)
3x Professional Contacts (Creation and Control)
1x Woman in the Red Dress (Mala Tempora)

Icebreaker (7)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
1x Deus X (A Study in Static)
1x Faerie (Future Proof) •••
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
1x Mimic (Core Set)
1x Morning Star (What Lies Ahead) ••••
1x Yog.0 (Core Set)

Program (13)
2x Datasucker (Core Set) ••
1x Djinn (Core Set) ••
1x Imp (What Lies Ahead) •••
1x Medium (Core Set) •••
1x Nerve Agent (Cyber Exodus) ••
1x Parasite (Core Set) ••
1x Sahasrara (Creation and Control)
1x Scheherazade (Second Thoughts)
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)
1x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set) •••

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I've gone from 3x to 2x to 1x copies of Woman in the Red Dress since posting about it back on New Years Eve at Team Covenant... and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the card... though obviously I'm less bullish since I first put it in my deck.

Keyhole will get a slot once True Colors hits... though I haven't decided for what. Scheherazade wouldn't be tough to lose, since most games it arrives too late to do anything other than get pawned (still an Easy Mark though). Otherwise it could swap for Sneakdoor since there is some anti-synergy there (both cause Archives to get ICEd) or Medium (but I like being able to tutor for Medium with Djinn).

I'm a fairly middling player and have no pride about my deck building skills, so all comments and suggestions welcome!
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Have a professor idea in my queue to write about on my netrunner Challenge the Meta blog. Not quite ready to post it, but these add some interesting thoughts!

Of course, my blog deals with extreme cases and just about making the player think about different ways to build decks, and may not be competitive... (probably wont)
 
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mathew rynich
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Connecticut
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I maintain that FCC is a great card for Professor. A Professor deck of course tries to employ a toolkit of programs. The problem with the toolkit philosophy is that there are things you want to see early and things you want to see late game, and lots of 1-offs (even with searchers) will run into draw timing issues. You need to draw into your searchers and you'll probably hit stuff you don't want to see yet.

If you are running program heavy (taking up ~50% or greater of the deck) and you have the full 3x Diesel and 3x QT to set up your early game fast and pull your late game back with LARLA and/or Clone Chip, then FCC helps you go through your deck faster and make back some money at the same time (look at it that way as an addition to draw acceleration rather than killer econ). Your deck needs to be built around this philosophy though.

If you are just importing the minimum progams you need and have alot of harware and events in the deck then FCC will probably not get used too often or sub-optimally, which makes it a wasted inclusion.
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Jason Hamner
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phillosmaster wrote:
I maintain that FCC is a great card for Professor. A Professor deck of course tries to employ a toolkit of programs. The problem with the toolkit philosophy is that there are things you want to see early and things you want to see late game, and lots of 1-offs (even with searchers) will run into draw timing issues. You need to draw into your searchers and you'll probably hit stuff you don't want to see yet.

If you are running program heavy (taking up ~50% or greater of the deck) and you have the full 3x Diesel and 3x QT to set up your early game fast and pull your late game back with LARLA and/or Clone Chip, then FCC helps you go through your deck faster and make back some money at the same time (look at it that way as an addition to draw acceleration rather than killer econ). Your deck needs to be built around this philosophy though.

If you are just importing the minimum progams you need and have alot of harware and events in the deck then FCC will probably not get used too often or sub-optimally, which makes it a wasted inclusion.


Emphasis mine. It definitely can work but it definitely doesn't do so with Pro Contacts. To tailor your deck towards FCC I think you need at least 2x Levy AR Access and 2x Public Sympathy to go along with your 3x FCC, 3x Diesel, and 3x Quality Time. You'll basically churn through your deck installing clone/mem chips and breakers for some early pressure and then hit the reset button with a Levy (hopefully with a pile of cash) when you are ready to actually play Netrunner. With the current NBN heavy meta... that's likely to get even heavier with True Colors... it's entirely possible that this is a stronger deck archetype than the resource heavy Pro Contacts version I posted. An example decklist (not by me) can be seen here.
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mathew rynich
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I agree with all that. I have also found that ProCon doesn't work at all with the deck type I describe. It actively works agianst it. Preferably you'd want event econ instead to draw into and burst your credit pile. They really are two different builds.

The ProCon Professor deck I built felt too slow, so now I'm going this route with him. It feels better, but I'm still not 100% on my deck composition (If only the Professor could hang out at Wyldside). Ultimately I'd like Professor to be my tournament ID so threads like this are great. Thanks for starting it OP.
 
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Stan Adecla
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New York
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A Professor playing Diesel, Quality Time, and Freelance Coding Contract in triplicate can do pretty well with triple Ice Analyzer. With so much draw power, you're bound to run into them and quickly. The analyzers can then help transition the Professor into a late game rig with lots of help from the Corp. Clone Chipping/Scavenging into play the pricier programs once ice has been analyzed can be a thing. The one issue is the MU, so either playing mem chips or running The Toolbox or Monolith is what the deck wants. I think Toolbox is a better fit with Torch and Garrote. Modded is also good if there is a need for an early drop of a program. Djinn into viruses is the topping of a final Garrote, Torch, Morning Star/Battering Ram Toolbox.
 
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Jack Kelly
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As I mentioned above, Garrote really isn't a good sentry breaker right now, especially if you're running Datasucker. Look at this: http://netrunnerdb.com/find/?q=t%3AICE+s%3A%22Sentry%22

Lots of 5s, a couple of 6s, and one 8. Anything in the 8-10 range will be broken as easily by Ninja. Anything 3 or less will be broken by Mimic, and 4-6 can be Mimic + Sucker, Ninja or Ninja + Sucker. That's the same MU (counting the Datasucker), much more versatile and cheaper to boot.
 
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Allan Clements
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Oslo
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Garotte is one card. Which you can tutor for in lots of ways. Mimic + Sucker is much less versatile as it needs runs to get tokens, and both cards to start working.

Faerie can be used when you need super cheap quick runs, and Garotte can be used to be super efficient in the long game. I can see it replacing Ninja in my deck.
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