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Cheapest Breaker Suite?

So here’s a thought experiment; what is the cheapest breaker suite we can get, assuming we need to be able to get through any ICE currently printed?

Note that we don’t have to break the ice with breakers; if the ice offers a way to get through it without ending the run (such as bioroids or traces) then our breakers don’t need to cover those. All we care about is breaking anything that can end our run or trash our programs.

Let’s value installed cards at 2 credits (1 for the card, 1 for the install). We’ll value Datasucker tokens at 1 credit.

For instance:

Atman on 0 (5 credits: 3 cost, 1 card, 1 install)
Datasucker with 7 counters (10 credits: 1 cost, 1 card, 1 install, 7 tokens)
Faerie as insurance against swordsman (2 credits)

Total: 17 credits. This setup will get through any ice in the game, although it can’t do so with perfect regularity.

Can we do better?

You need to do a better job of framing your question*. Also there’s ice that that setup won’t be able to go through (e.g. Curtain Wall).

*edit: e.g. Knight + Faerie is capable of getting through anything, but you’re not taking into account how much it will cost to do so. And if you’re going to take that into account, then how are you counting something like Tyrant (how many advancement tokens does it have)?

Given your formulation of the question, I think the answer is Wyrm + Faerie (5 credits, per your accounting).

Parasite with Datasucker. Gets through everything.

1 Like

curtain wall, wotan, advanced hadrian wall, overadvanced ice wall.

But inti+zu+feari setup cost you 7(3cards, 3 clicks, 1 credit) and can break anything.

Not true. Data Mine, Howler?

Darwin with 7 Counters + e3? 11 for Darwin (Card + install + 7 counters) and 3 for E3 (Card + Install).

Can click +3 creds through Janus, break anything else with 2 + E3 credits. So 14 total?

If you aren’t looking at efficiency, then 1 Wyrm can break anything in theory.

Alright, let’s reframe the question.

Pretend you’re on match point. The corp has just installed-advanced-advanced what you know to be a pri-req. They will be scoring it on their next turn unless you steal it this turn. The corp has 15 credits available for rezzing ice and 3 unrezzed pieces of ice guarding the pri-req. It is click 1 of your turn; you have two cards in hand to tank any incidental net/brain damage, but anything more will kill you.

What is the cheapest possible breaker suite that you can assemble that will be able to steal that PriReq this turn, regardless of what those three ice are? The price of the breaker suite includes the credits you will have to spend breaking the ice, so simply saying “inti, pipeline, zu.13” is not good enough.

Crypsis Stimhack.

When you say “that you can assemble” do you mean “that you could already have in play”?

Do any of their pieces of ice have any advancement tokens on them? How does Femme work?

When you say “the price of the breaker suite includes the credits you will have to spend breaking the ice” you are making the cost of the breaker suite vary based on what their ice is - I assume that you want to define the cost of the breaker suite to be the worst case (i.e. the ice that would cost the most for you to break)?

BLACKMAIL :stuck_out_tongue:


Yes, assume you’ve had a number of turns to assemble them.

None of the ice are advanced. You can have one of the three unrezzed ice be femmed, but this doesn’t really help your worst case since you have no idea what the ice are until you run. Femme is not great in this hypothetical unless you can install her at instant speed.

Yeah, the cost is basically the worst case cost. The question is “what is the minimum amount of money I need to get through any possible piece of ice currently in the game”?

Assuming a worst case scenario with the Corp having 16 credits, it would be something like Tollbooth - Hive - Eli. The problem with assuming you have no rig yet installed is that it’s not how this game operates. Breakers are either expensive and efficient, or the reverse. If you’re in a position in the game where the Corp places an agenda behind those ice and you don’t have much of a rig, you’ve made a mistake long ago.

If it is the aforementioned ice, you’d need to spend 3c not including install costs (Femme and Morning Star). If you did include install costs, it’d be 20c with that setup. Otherwise you can install Corroder and Cyber Cypher, which would cost 16.

If you choose Femme and Morning Star then the corp is going to have 3 Heimdall 2.0s and you aren’t going to be able to break the server.

The process is:

  1. Choose a rig to have installed (I’m not sure how run events / or virus counters play into it, but w/e)
  2. Out of all the possible combinations of those three pieces of ice, are there any combinations of ice that you couldn’t get through? If not, which combination of ice would cost you the most to get through?
  3. Add that cost to the install cost of the breakers to get the “full cost”.

And the goal is to find the choice at step 1 that minimizes the output at step 3.

My initial intuition is that you’re not going to do any better than Cyber-Cypher + Battering Ram + Garrote? Actually that can’t be right because of the possibility of 3x Janus 1.0. So I think you want Pipeline instead of Garrote. Oh wait, actually you specified the corp only has 15 credits, that makes things way more complicated.

Probably the best way to answer this would be to write a program to solve it.

In this example? Test-run 3 Femmes, if we’re going all-in on whatever. Nothing’ll be more’n 5, you bypass the costs of Tollbooth, and you break Guard for the same amount anyway. Sure, it’s a magic hand, and most decks don’t run that many Femmes, but it’ll get you through basically any combination of Ice for… well, 9 for the Test Runs, and at most 4 for each Ice, for 21. Likely much, much less – and Komainu is only 2~!

You do actually have the rig installed when you start your turn.

The goal of the exercise is to try and determine what an optimal breaker suite looks like, and how many credits you need to run confidently with the knowledge that no ICE in the game is able to stop you.

If you want some insight into an ‘optimal’ rig a better exercise might be what is the lowest cost to play icebreakers and get through:

Eli 1.0



Corroder, Gordian Blade, Faerie, Mimic comes in at 9 to play the rig and 17 to break.

cyber cypher > gordian for this one.7 for rig 15 to break edit: 13 to break since you are only breaking 1 sub on enigma and inazuma, and you don’t technically have to break the 3 cred trace on cad

edit2 you could grappling hook archer instead of fae but your rig would be 10 and your run would still be 12

Brute forcing it and coming up with the every “reasonable” rig for each possible combination of three ice might be interesting; to see what rigs will beat every possible ice combination, and of those see which one is consistently the most efficient, and/or the cheapest in the most cases.

swap mimic with second feari also.