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How effective really is the new anti-AI tech?

So I just wanted to get people’s reactions to the recently spoiled cards “Swordsman” and “Wraparound” (reproduced below for reference).

To my mind they are meta-choices more than anything else - vs. AI only decks they are clearly a nuisance, forcing you to play “proper” breakers, but if you have the proper breakers they are way less effective than equivalent ICE of the same cost.

Wraparound is clearly worse than Ice Wall (1/1) and Himitsu-Bako (2/2) in the same cost range. In fact, as ETR barriers go, it seems that cost = strength is a good guideline. The comparison is less clear for Swordsman; the closest in terms of effect is probably Neural Katana (4/3 with -> 3 net damage), but Caduceus and Shadow are at the same price point and both have two useful subs (although admittedly filling a different role).

So do you include them in your deck to slow down and punish AI decks, but concede ground to conventional rigs (which are still popular? Or do you ignore them and hope that their mere presence in the environment will be eough to dissuade people from abusing the AI breakers?

Wraparound is also much more Parasite-resistant than Ice Wall or Himitsu-Bako. That seems like a point in its favor.

I suspect that it will force the runner, in most cases, to dig for a fracter. Or a Femme. There isn’t really much of an alternative…

And it looks like it is also only 1 influence (Himitsu is 2).

I’m excited for Wraparound since it’s in-faction and could very easily be the only barrier Never Advance NBN plays, especially since some are opting for no Barriers at all with everyone packing Corroder.

OK yes, I see your point with Wraparound - it is robust against other less traditional means of dealing with ICE, as well as being anti-AI. That probably is a plus point - especially as there’s a Caissa that drains strength too, so Parasites will probably gain even more popularity.

Well, its worse than Ice Wall in that it costs $1 more to rez. But “Slightly worse than ice wall” is not exactly a problem, ice wall is awesome.

Wraparound costs the same amount for Corroder to break as Ice Wall and Himitsu. Theyre all $1.

How much does Crypsis cost to break them? It costs Crypsis $2+* for ice wall, $3+* for Himitsu, and $8+* for Wraparound.
Its much harder for Atman to break it (7 str!) than it is for Atman to break the others.

Against all the relevant breakers, its way better than the alternative small barriers. Ice Wall is $1 cheaper, and advanceable. Other than that, this one is the best.


Yeah, I was thinking of it purely in terms of strength rather cost to break and arrived at the conclusion that you get more strength for your money with other ICE that do the same thing - without appreciating that in most practical scenarios that strength makes no difference. Against the current fracters available, Himitsu-Bako has a slight edge over Wrap and an unadvanced Ice Wall (because of Inti and Snowball) but I see now that vs. all the others the cost is the same.

Auto-include for NBN then, but still the question remains are you spending influence on it out of faction? The number of desirable cards is escalating now, and if you don’t play it then the AIs don’t have to change what they’re doing.

I can see it as a straight-up replacement for Ice Wall in most decks, for whichever other factions want a cheap barrier, though none of them really need a cheap out of faction Barrier anymore with the addition of Himitsu and the presence of Eli.

Yeah, it’s nice that every faction now has a really solid, cheapish barrier–and that they aren’t just carbon-copies of each other!

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