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Subject: Are traps necessary rss

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John Gallant
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I was thinking about this as I failed miserably with my NBN deck against Criminal. I run very few traps and wonder if I should have more.

In a general sense though are traps super needed in all corp decks to be more effective. I have a hard time finding room for them since they take up room in servers and I don't want to spread ice too thin.

Has anyone done a strategy article on how to use traps effectively yet?

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Agent J
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I ran a ton of ambushes in the tournament.

Don't be like me, kids.

1 Snare
2 Junebugs
2 Aggressive Secretary
3 Ghost Branches

That's 8 ambushes to 9 agendas.
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Jack Bennett
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I'm back and forth on this issue. For one, I'm finding them extremely hard to use effectively with the current card base. You have to be paying VERY close attention and play a trap at the right time.

If you play a trap that's too easy to get to, and advance it, it'll be too obvious. The runner will doubt you'd leave an agenda so poorly protected.

If you play it where it's impossible to get to (or at a time when it's unlikely the runner can get to it [like they just blew all their bits last turn on a big run]), then they can't get to it. And it'll sit there for a while and become obvious that you COULD have advanced and score it, and didn't.

Sure, you should try and mess with these expectations if you can, and it'll be easier to do that when there are more agendas that are worth over-advancing.

But right now, I suck at making them work. You have to play them when you know the runner can get to them, but when it looks to the runner like maybe you would think that he couldn't. And that can be tough.

But this isn't answering your question really. A reason NOT to play them is that they can be difficult to play well, and so might be wasted time, space, and advancements. But a reason TO play them would be just so the runner can see them. Even if you never hit the runner with an advanced trap, it can advantages to let the runner see you're running a Secretary or something, and it might make them a bit less willing to run on things that you've advanced (which would then be agendas that you score).

Short story made long, but I do run them, just not many. In my NBN deck I've just got the 2 Secretaries. And I sometimes don't worry about advancing them, or even playing them. I just let the runner see and trash one so they know I'm not NOT playing them.
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Ian Toltz
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Snare is fucking amazing. 3x in every deck automatically.

As for the advanceable ambushes... They're not worth pursuing seriously in my experience. That said, I always make sure to run one copy, just to keep the runner honest. Otherwise, if the runner finds out I don't have any, then every card with an advancement counter on it must be an agenda.
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Trevor Schadt
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Cheeseburger wrote:
In a general sense though are traps super needed in all corp decks to be more effective. I have a hard time finding room for them since they take up room in servers and I don't want to spread ice too thin.
The purpose of traps is to keep the Runner from getting too overconfident and just running everything with impunity. At the same time, having too many traps (as Jay pointed out) will lead you to feel like you "have to run" too many servers, diluting your ICE density.

But if there are no traps whatsoever, the Runner can go ahead and run any server (assuming they can get through the ICE), because at best, they'll hit an agenda (and force the Corp to spend cred rezzing the ICE along the way), and at worst, they'll hit an Asset that they won't be able to trash, but at least then they'll know that much more about the Corp's setup, and they won't waste clicks and creds running that server again until they decide it's time to trash the Asset. (And, as an added bonus, once the Corp has advanced it, it's either an Ambush or an Agenda. So if it's not the one...)
 
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Agent J
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I could play games with the runner at any time. A Matrix analyzer out in front of a couple servers and suddenly that thing is a game winner for one of us - but who? Will the runner know?

Yes, because he's playing Infiltration again.
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Mike Aubuchon
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pusherman42 wrote:
But a reason TO play them would be just so the runner can see them. Even if you never hit the runner with an advanced trap, it can advantages to let the runner see you're running a Secretary or something, and it might make them a bit less willing to run on things that you've advanced (which would then be agendas that you score).


This is key. If I'm playing corp, I want to run enough "dangerous" cards that I can let the runner wander into one early and think, "He's playing that? Man, what other crazy stuff is he playing that I'm going to have to play around?" Get it in their head as early as possible that they don't know every card in your deck.
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James 3
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i think its VERY hard to play ambushes that pay off vs experienced runners. Jack said it perfectly. make it too easy to get to, they know its a fake. make it too hard to get to, they will catch on that its a fake when you dont score it soon.

some argue playing unpredictably, leaving agendas with counters out for a while etc to make your play unpredictable. doesnt sound like a great longterm strategy to me, especially in a tourney. if you lay alot of servers with some agendas some traps but all relatively easy to access...i also think thats a risky gambit that doesnt favor winnign results over time.

personally...i usually cut all ambushes. shhh, dont tell anyone. i prioritize protecting agendas, then scoring them as quick as possible, and prefer Big Ice haas for that plan.

there is an argument to be made running 1 ambush, mainly to keep them honest. i do that sometimes, but rarely do i think ambushes are worth what you invest in them in time and money vs being more proactive in winning than tricking... my 2 cents.
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Merely having an ambush in your HQ that is accessed will make the Runner think twice about running those Remotes.

You don't have to actually install the things to make them effective.
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Mike Aubuchon
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I should also note that cards that make your opponent think don't necessarily have to be traps/ambushes. For example, I've had my day ruined by losing key cards to a random Neural Katana in an H-B deck. Was I ever at any risk of being flatlined? No, but I did have to broaden the range of stuff I had to plan for considerably.
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James 3
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i definitely prefer snare in HQ and scary ice to give runner pause than advanceable ambushes.
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Jeff Lindsay
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I think the utility of traps is very dependent on the deck. For example, with tag and bag Weyland, who wants to slow roll a Posted Bounty to stick the tag at the start of their turn, having a Junebug or two in the deck makes the runner think twice about running on something with 3 advancement counters. Maybe it's a PB, and if they don't go for it you'll tag them next turn and Scorch for the win. Maybe it's a Junebug, and if they run now they'll take 6 net damage and flatline.
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I pretty much run anything that has 0-2 advancement tokens on it if I can. The reason is that most of the time it isn't a trap anyway and I can safely recover from any trap at 2 tokens. Once you get to 3+ tokens I have to start weighing the risk of flatlining via Junebug and/or not being able to clear all the tags from a Ghost Branch.

If you do not score a card on your turn and it has 2+ tokens on it and you have 3+ credits, then I won't run it unless I can peek it first.

IMO if you run some traps, you should advance them twice when I have a lot of cash sitting around, then ditch them on your turn if I don't run them. If you have Matrix Analyzer you can make my decision more difficult.
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Justin
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slacks wrote:
I pretty much run anything that has 0-2 advancement tokens on it if I can. The reason is that most of the time it isn't a trap anyway and I can safely recover from any trap at 2 tokens.

I consider it devastating to lose two paid icebreakers of the corporation's choice to an Aggressive Secretary.
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astroglide wrote:
slacks wrote:
I pretty much run anything that has 0-2 advancement tokens on it if I can. The reason is that most of the time it isn't a trap anyway and I can safely recover from any trap at 2 tokens.

I consider it devastating to lose two paid icebreakers of the corporation's choice to an Aggressive Secretary.

What do you do when you see the corp install into a server and advance twice?

You have to balance your risk, I don't think you can win if you wait around for an Infiltration every time you see an Agenda/Trap that has two tokens on it. Also keep in mind that at most 1/3 of the cards that can be advanced are Aggressive Secretary (ignoring recursion and discards)and you probably won't be able to run on all of them anyway.
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Jack Bennett
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I played 3 games tonight and won two of them because my opponents walked into Secretaries. Maybe I'm getting better at them!?

It's true that a double advanced AS is going to turn the game around in a hurry. But I think it was mostly due to me playing against newer players.

In one game, the runner ran on a remote and got through only paying about 3 credits. On my turn I dropped a AS in there and double advanced it.

I wasn't thinking. For me, I thought it was a bad play because he would obviously KNOW that that was a trap, because he just got in there so cheap. So I said "crap" out loud. Not thinking. On his turn he ran right for it! He told me afterwards that when I said "crap" he thought it was because I'd just put an agenda in there and then realized how easy it was for him to get to it.

So I accidently bluffed him. Even after all that, though, I'm still iffy about them. Once NBN has some overadvanceable agendas I think they'll work better.
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Silent Requiem
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Traps are not necessary, but some kind of surprise is required in the late game.

This is because you will reach a stage where the runner can run any server you can create. Beyond a certain point, it costs more to add ICE to a server than it does to run that ICE. This means that the runner can, if they so choose, run any asset or agenda you install. This is a losing proposition for the corp.

In order to deal with this, you need some kind of force multiplier. For me, it's Corporate Troubleshooter behind Archer. For some, it's traps.

Just remember that traps are easily overdone; they are very, very expensive. The reason Jinteki players are always broke is their traps. It cost 2 credits for every advancement counter you place on something, plus the click to install. It costs 4 for every Snare you trigger.

If the runner hits your trap, it's worth it. If they don't however, you just took a major economic hit. On Tuesday I had a Jinteki player install Junebog and advance it twice. I had Infiltration, so he effectively just took a 5 credit hit that turn.
 
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Darek C
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Silent Requiem wrote:

In order to deal with this, you need some kind of force multiplier. For me, it's Corporate Troubleshooter behind Archer. For some, it's traps.


I don't get it, you use Corp. Troublesh. ON Archer or on piece of ICE that Runner approaches AFTER he/she breaks Archer?

And welcome on forums
 
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A huge downside to traps I don't see discussed is the fact that they can be easily trashed from your R&D. Late game this is less of an issue, but early game it makes it a lot easier for the runner to see more than one card per turn off R&D. Snare is handy for forcing some level of caution, however depending on the positioning the runner can potentially still eat the damage and run again.
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XdareckiX wrote:
Silent Requiem wrote:

In order to deal with this, you need some kind of force multiplier. For me, it's Corporate Troubleshooter behind Archer. For some, it's traps.


I don't get it, you use Corp. Troublesh. ON Archer or on piece of ICE that Runner approaches AFTER he/she breaks Archer?

And welcome on forums


I mean that I install Corporate Troubleshooter on a a server behind (as in, protected by) Archer. As long as I have more money than the runner, I can boost Archer to the point that the subroutines can't be broken, trashing two programs. In the late game, that is almost always a win, because people have discarded their surplus icebreakers.
 
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Noah D

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Slifter wrote:
A huge downside to traps I don't see discussed is the fact that they can be easily trashed from your R&D. Late game this is less of an issue, but early game it makes it a lot easier for the runner to see more than one card per turn off R&D. Snare is handy for forcing some level of caution, however depending on the positioning the runner can potentially still eat the damage and run again.


Absolutely! This is a really good point, and I have actually pointed it out to people posting trap-heavy decks. Not only R&D, but HQ as well become MUCH more vulnerable by having an abundance of 0 trash cost cards. This is one of the reasons that Snare! is in many ways far superior to the advancable ambushes, since it makes the Runner less eager to run your deck and hand rather than more.

Silent Requiem wrote:
Traps are not necessary, but some kind of surprise is required in the late game.

Yes, this! Well said; the Corp does need something to let it still score agendas in the late game. Some of my favorites are upgrades, yeah, Corporate Troubleshooter and SanSan. Biotic Labor is another option. But you've got to have some way to get them making runs that DON'T end in an agenda or else you're hosed.
 
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Rayne Smith
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The biggest downside to not having traps in your deck, is that the runner will know that any card with advancement tokens on it is an Agenda. I really don't like giving that knowledge up for free. I don't think trap heavy decks are necessarily a good idea, but I run 3 Agressive Secretaries in my HB deck.

To everyone who is saying that putting a trap unprotected gives away that it's a trap and won't run on it, you should try installing an Agenda unprotected advanced twice. Once you score one for free like that it won't be quite so obviouse to the runner after that. I have players hit traps all the time, because they know that I'm not afraid to put an Agenda by itself with those counters. Admittedly, sometimes infiltration can ruin that, but even then they can only have 3 of those in a deck.
 
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Agent J
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Kaic wrote:
The biggest downside to not having traps in your deck, is that the runner will know that any card with advancement tokens on it is an Agenda. I really don't like giving that knowledge up for free. I don't think trap heavy decks are necessarily a good idea, but I run 3 Agressive Secretaries in my HB deck.

To everyone who is saying that putting a trap unprotected gives away that it's a trap and won't run on it, you should try installing an Agenda unprotected advanced twice. Once you score one for free like that it won't be quite so obviouse to the runner after that. I have players hit traps all the time, because they know that I'm not afraid to put an Agenda by itself with those counters. Admittedly, sometimes infiltration can ruin that, but even then they can only have 3 of those in a deck.


And they expose a 3 and 2 2's and the game is over...
 
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I thought Aggressive Secretary was strong once the runner first gets their ICE breakers, but is weak otherwise. Before the runner has ICE breakers AS does nothing to them, late game the runner should have extra ICE breakers in their hand to mitigate the loss. There is a long middle section of the game where AS is strong because the runner has ICE breakers but not a way to replace them if they are destroyed.

Corporate Troubleshooter is amazing though, guaranteeing a piece of ICE will hit is a very strong effect.
 
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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slacks wrote:
I thought Aggressive Secretary was strong once the runner first gets their ICE breakers, but is weak otherwise. Before the runner has ICE breakers AS does nothing to them, late game the runner should have extra ICE breakers in their hand to mitigate the loss. There is a long middle section of the game where AS is strong because the runner has ICE breakers but not a way to replace them if they are destroyed.

Corporate Troubleshooter is amazing though, guaranteeing a piece of ICE will hit is a very strong effect.


Watching a runner fight through a bunch of ICE just to hit a 2-advanced AS is a wonderful thing. Then, they can't fight through it anymore.
 
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