Netrunner is all about options. One of the main strategies that the runner will use to limit the corp's options is by keeping them poor. The runner keeps the corp poor by running frequently and forcing the corp to rez ice, and by trashing their economy assets. One of the main strengths of Blue Sun is being able recover the rez cost of one of your cards, minus the click used to install it. This ability makes you want to include “punishing” ice, so that you can break the symmetry when the runner is running just to make you rez your ice. By doing this, Blue Sun tends to maintain a board state with very few, if any rezzed ice. This is good for a two main reasons:
1. You increase your “credit liquidity, increasing your options. This will increase your ability to play and rez very expensive ice early in the game without hindering your ability to defend other servers.
2. Because you are constantly bouncing your ice and reinstalling, the runner never knows what ice you have protecting a given server until they try to run it.
Aside from this, Blue Sun is also a hard counter to some very popular cards that rely on hosting or counters on ice. Examples include Femme Fatale, Parasite, and Knight.
Cards that synergize with Blue Sun:
Oversight AI – Anything that can give you free or reduced cost rez in blue sun is going to be very good. Combine this with Janus 1.0 (or Orion pretty soon) to gain 14 credits for two clicks and a card. This is one of the most click efficient credit gaining combos in the game (compare with http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1219872/cache-unlikely-hero). It is possible for the runner to break it to make you lose both the ice and the credits, but most ways of doing this will still end up with you coming out ahead. You do need to watch out for Deus Ex and D4v1d. As good as the combo is, you probably only want to run this if you have a lot of 10+ cost cards, so it's far from an autoinclude in Blue Sun.
Priority Requisition – Free rezzes are good.
Amazon Industrial Zone, Akitaro Watanabe, The Root – Again, anything that is reducing the rez cost of your cards or giving you recurring credits is going to be worth a look in Blue Sun. Amazon has the advantage of letting you rez it without a run (so that you can use the ability whether the runner runs or not) and it is in faction.
Adonis Campaign – Adonis Campaign is an economic monster in Blue Sun. There are two main ways you can play it, each with a different risk/reward balance. The most efficient way to play this one is to leave it out, and bounce it when it has only one counter left. Because the Blue Sun ability and this are both beginning of turn triggers, you get to choose which one fires first, giving you some flexibility of when to bounce it. This is rather risky, because it gives the runner a chance to trash it before you can recoup the four rez cost. If they trash it the first turn it is out, you've actually lost money on the endeavor.
The alternative is to rez this at the end of your opponent's turn then collect bits and bounce it first thing on your turn. If the runner trashes it, they're out 3 plus whatever they paid for any speedbump ice you may have thrown in front of it. If they don't trash it, you just gained 3 for a click. This is like Kati Jones without having to pay the click to grab the bits. Despite the fact that Ms. Jones has seen less play lately, I assure you that this is still a very solid economic gain!
Eliza's Toybox - Higher trash cost than Melange Mining Corp, meaning the runner trashing it before you get the chance to use it isn't as much of a hit. You pay an extra click (to install Janus 1.0 or Orion) to more than double your earnings from 7 to 15. Seems pretty reasonable.
Janus 1.0 – The influence cost is cheap, but this is the ultimate face check ice. Combos great with Oversight AI. Because of our run punishing and bouncing strategy to maintain credit liquidity, you can also afford 15 credits much earlier in the game than you would normally.
Wall of Thorns – Another good face check ice for only one influence. Not much more to say about this.
Chum, Sensei, Marker, Wendigo – These are slightly better in Blue Sun because you can reposition them should the interior ice get destroyed. They are also pretty cheap, so leaving them rezzed does not impact your credit liquidity as much as a bigger ice might.
Elizabeth Mills – Repeatedly play, rez, and bounce her to remove a bad publicity for a click each time. This is great if you are playing a lot of “illicit” ice or the agendas that trade bad pub for credits. She is also a “hate bear”, in that she completely shuts down the blackmail deck, other bad publicity focused decks, and location-based decks (Off-Campus Apartment deck, anyone?).
Corporate War – One of the main challenges with Corporate War is having enough credits to advance it, rez ice to protect it, and still have enough left over to hit the threshold of 7 to gain the credits. The Blue Sun ability lets you bounce something to gain credits for advancing it and/or meeting the threshold. If you have a rezzed card of cost 10 or more on any server, you can spend your entire credit pool and still have enough to score it and gain the bits.
Server Diagnostics – Server Diagnostics doesn't get used very often, because you typically will need to install a new ice before it even pays for itself, much less make a profit. In Blue Sun it works a bit like a poor man's Adonis Campaign. You can play the rez and immediately bounce game, or you can leave it out behind a speedbump for a turn or two while you advance ice for a few extra credits.
Mother Goddess – What, you didn't think Mother Goddess would have a use outside NEXT decks? This is definitely one of my favorite interactions with Blue Sun. Remember our strategy of bouncing ice whenever the runner runs, then replaying them? Assuming your ice are sufficiently taxing, this tends to create game states where no ice are rezzed unless the runner is running or just ran. Stick this on your agenda server and the runner either has to have an answer (AI breaker, ice destruction, Femme, Inside Job, etc.) or they have to make a run on a different server that you care about (usually R&D since I found myself scoring agendas as soon as I got them) to try to get you to rez ice.
The interesting thing about Mother Goddess is that even though it is unique, duplicates of it can still be installed to mitigate some of the answers the runner can potentially have. You can install two on your agenda server if you're most afraid of an inside job. You can rez the first to be bypassed, and then rez the second (trashing the first) to stop the run. You can do the same thing if you are most worried about parasite+datasucker or Femme. If you are more afraid of a run on R&D, you can throw your spare Mother Goddess on R&D. This has the potential to completely lock certain decks out of your agenda server – especially if you can afford to take a few hits on R&D or HQ.
Because no in-depth card analysis would be complete without a decklist, here is what I have been playing around with:
3x Corporate War
2x Priority Requsition
1x Project Atlas
1x Utopia Fragment
1x Hades Fragment
3x Amazon Industrial Zone
3x The Root (I wasn't actually a fan of this card, but I haven't decided what to use instead)
3x Server Diagnostics
3x Oversight AI
3x Hedge Fund
2x Subliminal Messaging
1x Heimdall 2.0 (Needs to be replaced)
3x Grim (Needs to be replaced – this wants to stay rezzed, and Mother Goddess doesn't like that)
3x Curtain Wall (Orion will replace this when it's out)
3x Janus 1.0
3x Wall of Thorns
2x Mother Goddess (Will probably bump to 3)
The deck is still very much a work in progress, so suggestions would be much appreciated!
- Last edited Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:13 pm (Total Number of Edits: 6)
- Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:20 am
I LOVE Tollbooth in my Blue Sun build. A guaranteed loss of 3 creds every time it's encountered. Move it around as needed & great over scoring remote.
Maybe -1x Heimdall & -1x Wall of Thorns for 2x Tollbooth?
I don't know that I would ever call Janus 1.0 "gear check" ice. In fact, I've pretty much never seen it handled with "gear" -- it's sort-of-maybe-answerable with Femme, but otherwise it's the classic example of the opposite of gear check: an ice that begs for an alternative solution (Emergency Shutdown, etc.) or to be run through (eating 1 Brain).
Oh, America, what have you done.
CHUM! Great idea.
I love EMills in my Blue Sun deck. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about The Root.
I considered Server Diagnostics but it seems like more trouble than it's worth. I hope you'll comment here on how it works out for you.
@Pedraum - I used to play Tollbooth in my deck, but I took it out because it didn't seem worth the influence (not that Heimdall is really worth it either, that was just what happened to be there last night). I've had people purposely spend down to below 3 credits and just run on the tollbooth to force me to rez it and spend the money. This is especially bad with Nasir and Noise who seem to usually run with a low credit balance anyway. Tollbooth could be a great meta call though.
@Sean Trundle - I think I meant to say "face check", which is what I edited it to. The idea I was trying to convey was that of an ice that would hurt you for running on it without breaking the subroutines. Thanks for the correction!
@BRAAAIIIIINNSS - Like I said, I don't really like The Root in Blue Sun, but I wanted to include it for the sake of completeness. The problem I had with it was that I would play it, but then the runner would just not run, which meant I didn't get to use the three credits that turn. Amazon Industrial Zone is a lot more consistent because it lets you rez. The tradeoff of course is that now the runner knows what it is!
As for Server Diagnostics, I LOVE it, because it's like Adonis Campaign, except it doesn't cost influence. Adonis Campaign is pretty much strictly better than Server Diagnostics here, but I feel like we have better places to spend influence right now.
- Last edited Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:02 pm
I find Wendigo has basically the same effect as Chum/Sensei/Marker, except it's in faction, and doesn't give the runner the option to just pay extra on the next ice, they usually have to break Wendigo (barring Clone Chip tricks).
If the runner doesn't want to run, I just start stacking ice to get value out of The Root (it pays install costs!). Glacier 4 Life!
- Last edited Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:47 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:45 pm