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Kampala Ascendant Community Review and Meta Predictions (Runner)

Originally published at: https://stimhack.com/kampala-ascendant-community-review-and-meta-predictions-runner/

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To top that off, every real credit you invest building your virus rig is a real credit you could’ve used on real breakers. This means not only can you break barriers/sentries but you can also break code gates and you have protection against other nasty effects like Hard Hitting News.

Some avant-garde sentence this is. Can anyone translate for non-English majors?

@miek, any clarification?

I think this is saying that you’re better off building a credit-based rig/economy, rather than a virus counter-based rig/economy. The former can break code gates and the latter can’t. The former can deal with traces in a sensible way and the latter can’t (spending virus counters to counter traces would be kind of cool thematically, though!). The former is not subject to easily available corp counters and the latter is (i.e. purges).

Given these limitations, I think the argument is that you’d be better off focusing on credit-based strategies.


This is how I interpreted it as well. That if you spend real credits on getting virus tokens, you will have fewer real credits that you can use. So even if you have a ton of virus counters to break ice with, you’ll have fewer real credits to do everything else, like remove tags.

I think it’s more:

If you spend 20c assembling your big contraption, between Knobkierie, the Breakers themselves, then your Hivemind, Virus Breeding Grounds, or whatever, then what have you actually gained over just making a Paperclip? You spend credits and clicks installing all this stuff, when you could’ve just Injected and Run. The speed of getting out a normal breaker is worth credits, too. They have less time to find more Ice or Upgrades to protect their servers with. You just run, break, make more money, so it again. With Yusuf/The other one, you’ve got to spend money and clicks on the support, plus you need the extra mem for them (2MU? Wit?) and you’re vulnerable to Purge. Sure you’re not too vulnerable with a couple of VBG and maybe an open Archives, you’re back into Virus counters, but what about a well timed Cyberdex Virus Suite? You’re faceplanting into something you have the breakers for.

I am an advocate for a Freedom Virus deck, but these are all very real downsides. The upsides are having the best breaker economy in the game if you can establish it, but then you just get ruined by an Archer in front of a double advanced Project Atlas or whatever.


I feel like “my 20 card combo totally obviates the need for a 3 breaker suite” is some vintage Netrunner jank. Like, most of the best Good Bad Netrunner decks come up with an awesome alternate way to get by ice for the low low price of all of your influence and half your card slots.


There may be a lot of virus cards to consider, but the breakers themselves are pretty cheap at just one credit each, although the MU cost is steep. Also, when these have a built-in alternate currency Desperado effect, it probably worth testing to see if they’re worth it.

All Anarch plans which want to install programs other than heap breakers will become better after next rotation when Inject is removed from the card pool.

I think others have said the jist of it, but I’ll explain further anyway.

The point of these breakers (+freedom) is to create an alternate economy with which to engage the game. Unfortunately it only covers the use case of breaking sentries, barriers and trashing cards. That means that you also need to invest real credits for the following: installing cards (sure yusuf is cheap, but knobkierie is super expensive and vbg is noticeable) , traces, breaking code gates (with black orchestra too… Yuck), psi games, etc… Because you’re trying to build up 2 resources at once, your ability to do so is hampered compared to trying just one resource.

I will say though, that I’ve been semi impressed since writing this review with freedom + yusuf + sucker builds that use minimal virus installations to have cost effective rigs and mostly use real credits for everything.


I have definitely had the most success with decks that use Freedom mostly to trash 0-3’s. When games go super long you can get the odd Hedge Fund and what have you, but using Mining Accident and such, and just applying a lot of pressure to centrals is what I’ve been doing, and it’s turning out great.

I think this is the key with Freedom: it’s a sort of-middle ground between the extremes.

Yusuf is cheap to install and really great against common gearcheck barriers (better than Clip even, I’d wager). In Freedom, you’re probably also playing the standard Anarch econ engine, so every credit saved by using a Virus counter for breaking a Vanilla or trashing a 0–3 cost card is a credit you can use for Blorch, paying into the HHN trace, etc.

No need to go overboard with Knobkerie or Friday Chip, I think. However, the opportunity cost of not being Val always looms.

I’m currently Rebirthing out of Val into Freedom with the Virus gear. Plenty of people Ice Archives within a reasonable amount of time anyway, so you don’t really lose much from not going Omar. It’s been going quite well.

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After a lot of testing I think that Knobkierie is a very good card for Khumalo, since it sinergizes so well with other cards that you want to play with him…basically Consume and Imp. It is surely expensive to install but it helps transition from a resource-event based economy to an economic engine that makes money while disrupting the corp board state. With Knob and Consume on the table you put 2 counters of consume (assuming you are trashing something), with imp it’s 3, so you are making 4-6 easy credits per turn with one run. And Knobkierie is an essential part of this engine because it fuels Consume/Imp and because it gives you the MU to install a good amount of programs.

That being said, if you are building Khumalo with only conspiracy breakers, datasuckers and maybe 2 vbg then Knobkierie is not worth it at all. Even though I am not sure that building Khumalo Valencia-style is worth it

The virus breakers feel a lot like Stealth to me - highly efficient but heavily reliant on a specific resource.

That being the case, it seems likely that rigs focusing on just one virus breaker -two at most - will be the most successful (early reports seem to support this).

I don’t think we have the right cards yet to go all in with viruses like Smoke does with Stealth - and we may never reach that point.

Considering we only have two breakers, I found your comment amusing :slight_smile:.


Point. I think somewhere in my brain I had the thought we would eventually get a full set.