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Atman Strength and most efficient/flexible pair of Atman

So if you had a pair of Atman, what would you want?

Also, take into consideration this useful data from BGG:

All Listed Ice Mean: 3.05 Median: 3 Mode: 4

All Listed Ice With ETR Sub Mean: 3.31 Median: 3 Mode: 3

Based on that, and all else being equal, the best value for Atman
appears to be at 3 counters, with 4 a close second (Ichi 1.0 is
effectively ETR with programs out).

First an analysis at each strength point:

0: Breaks Chimera and Rototurret and only 1 Datasucker counter for Ice Wall.

2: You’d be flexible enough to both not miss Enigma/Datamine while being able to reach for 3-4 str ice, but you’d need to spend 1 Datasucker counter every time you broke a fairly common 3 str.

3: Breaks Wall of Static/Neural Katana/Caduceus/Viktor 1.0 and breaks 4 str ice with using only 1 Datasucker. However, 4 str ice are very common, so you’d be using those virus counters up quickly.

4: Breaks Chum/Ichi 1.0/Eli 1.0/Viper/Data Raven/Bastion which are all really common and strong ice. Unfortunately, you miss all the 3 str ice, but at least you’re only 1 Datasucker counter away from Tollbooth and 2 away from Archer.

5: Breaks Tollbooth, 1 Datasucker counter for Archer, and 2+ for Hadrian’s Wall. More easily takes care of the big ice, but unfortunately doesn’t have much uses beyond that.

Now an analysis of each pair:

0/3: Flexibly breaks 0-2 str ice and 3-6 str ice, but will use up a ton of Datasucker counters.

2/4: Breaks a good range of ice, but considering the frequency of 3 str ice, will be frequently using 1 Datasucker counter. Also, needs something else to deal with 0-1 str ice.

3/4: May seem redundant since these two are only 1 str apart, but the pair breaks the most frequently occurring ice strengths. That should then save you the Datasucker counters to deal with 5+ str ice. However, needs something to deal with 0-2 str ice.

3/5: Breaks a good range of strong ice, but considering the frequency of 4 str ice, will have to frequently use 1 Datasucker counter. Also, needs something to deal with 0-2 str ice.

Right now I’m leaning toward the more efficient but less flexible 3/4 pair with Crypsis to deal with smaller ice. The pair is efficient because it natively breaks the most commonly occurring ice (saving Datasucker counters for the infrequent large ice). For the small ice, a sort of alternative to Crypsis would be using Personal Workshop/Clone Chip/Self-Modifying Code to play a Parasite midrun and destroy 0-2 str ice (supplemented by Datasucker counters).

(i) If you only planned on installing one, how much str would you put on Atman?

(ii) If you planned on installing a second Atman, how much str would you put on your first Atman?

(iii) How much str would you want on a pair of Atman? (and if you don’t have one at 0 str, how would you deal with ice like Rototurret?)

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(i) I’m thinking 4 str for a lone Atman

(ii) Probably 3 str on the first Atman, only if I knew I was going to play a second one soon

(iii) I’m currently leaning on 3/4 for an efficient pair (with either Crypsis or Parasite for 0 str ice)

I’d probably pick 3 or 4 based on their ice, for the first. Probably 0 for a second, but it depends on what I needed help breaking.

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I prompted a little chatter about this on the IRC channel yesterday. I think 3/4 based on ice; others thought 2. But I pretty much assume I’m going to have Corroder/Yog.0 to cover me for common 2/3 cost ICE–I’m debating Atman as a complement to that pairing, not as a replacement :).

Assumes Datasuckers, naturally, as all good strategies seem to nowadays!

I know we all hate darwin, but it seems like a reasonable complement to 3/4 atmans since it will always be at least str 1

I hope you are not talking about Atman only decks? The right strength for Atman? Whatever Escher can pile up on the server you wanna attack!

sounds like atman only to me, since we’re are talking about data sucker support and 2 atmans. that’s 3 mu right there and ideally, 2 suckers instead of 1.

Well then, to reiterate from the chat:
Corporate Troubleshooter, advancable Ice or just plain old program destruction like AggSec feel like there are too many holes in this fragile AI machine (and the virus purge I should add)

I agree whole heartedly, I mean, femme fatale is super strong, but trying to make a rig out of all femmes would be a losing proposition.

Thats one of the main problem people had with darwin, you put all of your eggs in one easily overturned basket.

That’s more the position I view Atman in. Play it “as a Femme”, just gets handy here and there too

The first observation to make is that those “stats” of common ICE strengths don’t tell the whole story. You’re not interested in the distribution of strengths in the ICE pool, what matters is the distribution of strengths weighted by the amount those cards are played. The author of that BGG article recognises this fact implicitly by restricting his discussion to “common” ICE, but he only does half a job.

To illustrate what I mean: Jinteki is the least played corp, so Neural Katana does not see as much play as Rototurret. So treating them the same in the “sentry” stats is unrealistic - the true average is much closer to Roto’s strength.

Secondly, mean and median are useless measures in this case. Mode is the only one relevant to the Atman discussion. You want Atman to hit as many ICE as possible (from the weighted distribution of ICE) with the proviso that if there are two adjacent strengths that are well represented you want the lower one. e.g. let’s say most ICE was str 3 or 4 (with 4 being most popular) it’s probably worth making your Atman str 3 so that the 4s are also accessible with a single Datasucker token.

Anyway, the next point to make is that I don’t think a pure Atman/Sucker rig is viable.
The first problem you have is that you can get locked out of the centrals and then you’ll never get any more sucker tokens. So at the very least you have to run Crypsis as a backup, or an alternative way to lower strength (such as Wyrm).

If you start running anything other than AI breakers then you’re almost into the territory where it’s not worth going for Atman and you might as well just pack a full breaker suite. The only thing Atman gives you is that you probably have three copies in the deck, so they’re better to draw naturally than a full rig - they can arrive at their own pace and you play them as the situation requires. This seems at odds with the shaper schtick of tutoring for exactly the right tool for the job. So in a sense I don’t really feel that Atman plays to the strengths of the shaper theme.

On paper she looks strong, but since you need two or three of them and some Datasuckers to make them work I don’t really think you’re gaining over just playing a full rig of efficient breakers - you’re just replacing Barrier/Code Gate/Sentry code words with different ICE strengths.

There may be some mileage in either or both of the following:

The first is to use Femme (or Femmes, plural). People often forget that she’s a strength 1 sentry breaker as well as the awesome bypass effect. So she can freeze out a high strength ICE but also break the small sentries (or the big ones in a tight spot).

Second is to combine it with ICE destruction (parasite, crescentus, kraken): i.e. you use Atman on the favoured ICE and blow your Datasucker counters to kill the trickier stuff that you really don’t want to meet more than once.

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