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Subject: Pondering AI Breakers rss

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Daniel Wray
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I keep wondering if there might a different approach to using AI breakers, one that really plays off their strength. I have seen builds that focus on how to maximize using an AI as the primary breaker, and then supporting it with other cards to shore up the inherent weakness (every AI has one, to keep it from being OP). Crypsis, Darwin, and now Overmind have all been tried. Someone may land on a magic formula, and there is certainly no reason to avoid trying that path.

However, I am starting to see the possibility of AI's being a fourth breaker in your suite, and included to increase consistency. Instead of having to get out A, B, and C to deal with all types of ICE, some combination of one or two from A, B, and C, plus D (your AI) will get the job done effectively.

Just using the AI by itself requires a really polished support system that is almost as hard as a full rig to get out, but if we lean on that AI to cover any hole left by whatever 2 other breakers we find, it doesn't have to be leaned on that hard. It makes it a 'wild card' we can use to finish our rig and threaten anything on the board.

I think this effect is something that 'good knight Gabe' has leveraged. Knight isn't used as the only breaker, but is a great early find and aggressive support. There are likely builds out there that have quietly used this concept, maybe even popular ones I can't think of right now.

I'm going to play with this idea in some of my own decks. Does anyone have some experience with a similar strategy (from either side)?
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Specialty breakers are already fairly common;
Faerie, Sharp Shooter, Femme Fatale, Deus Ex
 
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Daniel Wray
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slacks wrote:
Specialty breakers are already fairly common;
Faerie, Sharp Shooter, Femme Fatale, Deus Ex


Certainly, and they sometimes sub for part of a rig (particularly Faerie). I'm talking about using AI as a wild card with the typical triumvirate of Killer, Fracter, Decoder. Specialty breakers don't have near the versatility as an AI.
 
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The thing about Knight is that the reason it's so good, especially with Gabe, is that it's also a psuedo parasite possibility. It costs the same to put out as a parasite, but you don't need any sucker support. I've had people trash 3-5 str ice to get rid of a knight. To me, that's amazing.

It's a good strong breaker in that you don't have to pump it (You can't) so you only need to spend credits to break subs. This makes it fairly efficient once it is on an ice. Having to move knight around is click intensive, but knight is such a strong early game breaker because Str 7+ ice are not likely to come out. So you can break just about anything. (Barring high sub ice and not having enough cash)

The thing about the other icebreakers is they take a while to build. Crypsis is 5 to install, + cost to boost, + cost to break + a click if you want to keep it. So 2 clicks and 6+ credits minimum (Install and break a 0 str ice with 1 sub).

Knight is 2 clicks (Click to install, click to move) and 2-4 credits. Much more efficient. Even better if the Corp trashes ice to kill your knight. Not only were you most likely getting into the server you wanted, you freed up memory and killed an ice. That is pretty good. Meanwhile your board position isn't set back too much.

If they don't rez the ice and trash Knight, you just paid 2 dollars for an inside job. That value and versatility is huge.

Other AI breakers just take a while, or need other cards to be up to par. Knight is fantastic right out the gate. Other AI as a 'wild card' breaker is decent, but usually it's just better to tutor for what you need instead of relying on a wild card breaker that can set back your board position a good amount and give scoring advantages to the Corp.

This of course excludes decks designed around AI breaker(s).

Edited: for spelling, clarity, and general foot in mouth disease.
 
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Caught in a mechanism
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I also tend to view AI breakers in a support role. My current runner deck is a Reina built with the sole purpose of enabling Keyhole as fast as possible. There is a full set of fracters, killers and decoders, but I have a single copy both of Crypsis and Wyrm which were included for support. Crypsis is a wild card, as you say, but the main use of Wyrm is to destroy the ICE together with Parasites. I will break subroutines with it only as a last resort, of course. (But I have won more than one game doing exactly that.)
 
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Steve Prahl
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I've been running a singleton Crypsis in some of my runner decks for a while now...occasionally a well timed Crypsis is the cure for what ails you
 
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cynchwyrm wrote:
slacks wrote:
Specialty breakers are already fairly common;
Faerie, Sharp Shooter, Femme Fatale, Deus Ex


Certainly, and they sometimes sub for part of a rig (particularly Faerie). I'm talking about using AI as a wild card with the typical triumvirate of Killer, Fracter, Decoder. Specialty breakers don't have near the versatility as an AI.


Okay, I think I get it. Overmind seems like it is specifically made for this purpose.
 
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Yi Sheng Siow
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Last year's worlds 3/4th place used crypsis in the manner you mentioned in andy opus. It's very effective in that role. I have played a similar deck many times.

#3-4 Aaron Andrias

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Palpster
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The core set faction decks all had Crypsis in this function, so I don't particularly see the novelty of the idea of a support AI breaker?
 
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Andrew Keddie
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Palpster wrote:
The core set faction decks all had Crypsis in this function, so I don't particularly see the novelty of the idea of a support AI breaker?


I agree that it's not novel; if anything I think it's a return to form. The idea of a 'backup' or 'support' AI seems to be falling out of favour somewhat. I personally tend to include at least one for redundancy/paranoia reasons - I can't stand the idea of being locked out by a Quandary or Wall of Static because I can't find my Decoder (or it got trashed and I can't get my spare or recur it). A handy Crypsis/Darwin/Knight will usually fix that problem nicely - particularly in Anarch where you can Djinn up a Cripsis/Darwin.

And yes, granted I can Parasite a Quandary - but again, not always an option (my Iain deck for example runs no Parasites).
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Roberta Yang
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Crypsis, Overmind, and Knight all fill this role quite well, but I think Darwin, Wyrm, and Omega want to be built around. Atman can serve either role, as a pseudo-Femme economy breaker or as a combo centerpiece. I'm not sure what Alpha can do.
 
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Zeb
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salty53 wrote:
Crypsis, Overmind, and Knight all fill this role quite well, but I think Darwin, Wyrm, and Omega want to be built around. Atman can serve either role, as a pseudo-Femme economy breaker or as a combo centerpiece. I'm not sure what Alpha can do.


Overmind also has to be built around to some extent. In the situation described (AI augmenting 1-2 existing breakers), Overmind wouldn't be very helpful.
 
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Aaron Schneider
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I have played at least 1 Atman in just about every shaper deck I've made since C&C, usually alongside a traditional breaker suite. Even without datasucker support, it is a godsend against HB in particular (@str 4 for Ichi 1.0 & Eli 1.0), and fills in for other breakers in a pinch.

I love the design of the AI breakers; each one is useful in different situations, unlike something like Corroder, which is (almost) universally better than any other fracter out there.
 
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Joshua Swaner
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I know it was already kind of stated before, but I believe Knight really is the best AI for the type of role you are talking about. It is cheap, high strength, and plenty efficient enough for single-sub ICE. Even with spending clicks to move it, it is still super good.

Crypsis and Atman are the only other two I'd really even consider as 'support AI', and only if Datasucker was in the deck too. Crypsis is just horribly inefficient otherwise, and Atman is less useful than it used to be because there is more good ICE at variable strengths.

Other AI I think have to be built around too much. Even Overmind, which is very, very good but requires a recycling mechanism or massive gobs of memory to really shine.
 
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Hao Ming Lim
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cynchwyrm wrote:
I keep wondering if there might a different approach to using AI breakers, one that really plays off their strength.

However, I am starting to see the possibility of AI's being a fourth breaker in your suite, and included to increase consistency. Instead of having to get out A, B, and C to deal with all types of ICE, some combination of one or two from A, B, and C, plus D (your AI) will get the job done effectively.


I think this might be what you are asking about.

I have been running a Reina deck (I've been calling it my Rienman deck. I know, I know, not creative at all and a bit cheesy.)using AI as a forth breaker and fifth breaker the past couple of months.

The idea is to install Atmans at strength 4 or greater depending on the ice you see, and have the standard Anarch breaker suite to handle anything strength 3 (or 4 depending on ice carver showing up early) and below. This will allow for efficient breaking of ice. Datasucker support and ice carver is there for the really big ice.

I have had many games, where installing the Atman was not necessary, as the datasucker/Anarch breakers handled the ice with little difficulty.

I have had games where drawing of the Anarch breakers became a problem, and I was glad for a strength 0 Atman in play.

I have had games against glacial decks where the corp expected to run away with the game due to taxing expensive ice being rezzed, and a lack of datasucker counters putting them out of Anarch breaker reach. I then installed the Atmans, much to his chagrin.

Economy was powered by Daily Cast, Armitage, Kati Jones & Lucky Find.

Influence was spent on 2 Atmans, 3 Lucky Finds and 3 Quality Time.

All in all, it was fun to run, quite successful, but not consistent enough for top tier play, due to the lack of tutoring. I will be trying the same idea out with Kate, but suspect that Atmans alone will be enough.

Cheers.

 
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