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Ice destruction vs derez

I have been thinking recently, what is the advantage of derezzing a piece of ice when I can just eater + cutlery through it? Sure you don’t get access, but you can just run in again with less ice. The thing with derezzing right now is it usually involve you breaking ice, then spend extra clicks to play cards like shutdown or rubicon. I understand that derezzing is an attempt to drain their econ by rezzing multiple times, but destroying them and having them FiHP them back achieves something similar.
I was thinking what if instead of derezzing you bounce ice like Leela, that way you still drain their econ, and also drain their clicks for replaying the ice.
Maybe I’m just complaining about a nonexistent problem, sorry if it sounds dumb.

This is, in fact, why Derez strategies haven’t really existed, and why that ‘tool’ of Criminal hasn’t ever been that useful.

When destroying ICE via Parasite gives better, lasting effects for more ease than De-rezzing does, that’s when the Derez strategy looks useless.

Currently, the reason to Derez instead of Destroy is that Los/Keros gives money for doing this, while Destroying doesn’t give you money. I’m unconvinced that this is a good enough reason.

It’s essentially the difference between Anarchs and Criminals. Anarchs want everything burnt down and exert more power on a small Corp board state, without caring about their own. Criminals want to get paid from whatever the Corp is doing, primarily because they need gobs of money to deal with any Corp board state because of how inefficient most of their methods are. (Aside: Shapers are also inefficient, but make money regardless of Corp board state.)

Yet, because of the fundamental power of ICE (spend once on Corp side to force spend multiple times on Runner side), Destroy is ultimately much more powerful than Derez. Especially when Derez is tied to breaking that ICE. (Currently, Rubicon and Emergency Shutdown are the most powerful Derez options because they don’t necessarily have to break the ICE that got rezzed. HOWEVER, all ICE would be unrezzed if never encountered, thus you have to have either suffered the effects of the ICE, or broken it, at least once if you can Derez it.)

I might be trying to make a Los-Rubicon deck work and have thought a whole lot about Derez strategies… >_>

EDIT: The last paragraph is one of the reasons I’m inordinately excited for Flashbang. Not because it’s good, but because it offers another option to derez without suffering/breaking the ICE. Honestly, until Criminal gets a Parasite-equivalent for Derezzing, Destroy is probably always going to be better. (Think a Program that hosts on an ICE and gains Power Counters, and when Power Counters >= Strength of ICE, can pay 2cr to Derez that ICE.)


This is a great idea. And I think your analysis is pretty solid. I spent a lot of time with a Los derez deck and it was so clunky. I had to keep asking myself why I wasn’t just playing parasite.

derez only really works if the ice is expensive, when you derez something, you know what it is and if/when the corp can afford to rez it. as a criminal, you sometimes want the corp to try to rez it again so that they go broke in the process

but anarch’s ice destruction works on everything (except architect, and parasite doesn’t work on tithonium, lotus field, or magnet). if it’s some big fuck-all piece of ice like Susanoo-no-mikoto, something taxing like Pop-up Window, or a small gearcheck like Vanilla
the cutlery is great for killing bioroids (if you are able to click through them completely) like Fairchild 3.0 and Eli 1.0

the most common ice has typically been low to mid cost taxing ice, which means that derezing effects just haven’t been as powerful as simply destroying the ice altogether

I think derez might be more playable if it’s compressed with run event. The way it is right now require too many moving parts to be an efficient strategy. If leave no trace say “make a run, whenever the corp rez a piece of ice, you may pay the rez cost and bypass it, then derez the ice”, it might synergize better with Los as you can just throw money at your problems with no breakers or set up.

I mean sure, derezzing is less powerful than destruction. It’s less permanent, and it’s useful in a narrower range of cases (although many of those cases complement other areas of Crim’s color pie). That said, this was fine when derezzing was stuff like Emergency Shutdown and destruction was stuff like Kraken. Since then, what we’ve been getting until very recently was much better destruction tools, and a handful of derezzing combo pieces, but the latter hadn’t kept up with the former. That’s all.

I haven’t heard much about him recently (and wouldn’t know the competitive meta from a hole in the ground), but this is exactly why people were freaking out about Maxwell James, yeah?

Oh yeah, I forgot about him somehow.

I find him to be the strongest in CR, where HQ Pressure is really hard to come by, and Maxwell feeds into a Remote Lock plan by applying HQ pressure for it.

In normal play, Remote Lock is a much harder plan to set up; Most Corps are winning out of R&D, just drawing and installing and scoring their agendas instead of leaving them on the board for a turn. I think that’s why he hasn’t seen any big play just yet. (Also because, as dr00 mentioned, common ICE is low-mid cost ICE, which is bad target for de-rezzing.)


One time I’ve found Emergency Shutdown effective is when using it to de-rez ICE with significant additional rez costs, like Archer. Anyone else had similar experiences?

On the subject of Maxwell James…

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