Seems like the Adam Thread was a good idea, so let’s stop clogging up the general spoiler talk with our Sunny ideas, shall we?
Initial reports have her playing a bit slowly and suffering for it – Big Rig Shaper of yore, sans any tutoring to make up the difference. I think she could still work out well, but there seem to be many pitfalls present when planning a decklist for her. Before that, though, let’s look at her cards themselves.
She’s a 50/25 ID with 2 Link. The large decksize makes her influence less abundant than it might seem, and makes her lack of in-faction tutoring or draw something that needs to be addressed. That said, as far as IDs go, she’s pretty straightforward to understand, in the same way that Chaos Theory is.
First up is her breaker suite, because I feel like they really set the tone for her, in some senses. They all have the same “stats” aside from cost, they’re Strength 1 breakers that cost 2c to break all subs and 2c to pump by 3. Useful as increased subroutines continue to be a thing, and do well against big ice, but are expensive when handling things like Enigma, Architect, or Neural Katana. However, they also all take up 0MU so long as she’s got 2 or more link, which she never doesn’t have.
GS Striker M1 is the Decoder, which costs 4. Easily the worst of her in-faction breakers, comparing unfavorably to Zu.
GS Shrike M2 is her Killer, which costs 5. It’s pretty good, as Sentries tend to have multiple subs, but it struggles with the 2- and 3-strength ice Mimic excels at overcoming. Komainu’s a walk-over, though. The price is also fairly steep, a Sure Gamble lets you install it and run through an Ichi or other 4-strength multi-sub Sentry for cheap… but only by going broke. Not so nice.
GS Sherman M3 is her Fracter, and far and away her best breaker as it costs only 3 to install. It’s in the same range of efficiency as Corroder, and against bigger Ice or barriers with multiple subs it might well be better. Ashigaru, in particular, folds to it. The only way for Corroder to be cheaper there is if the Corp has just one card in hand.
It’s pretty clear that those Breakers alone aren’t going to get her in anywhere, certainly not cheaply or easily. Luckily, she’s got some hardware to assist with that.
A bit of 0-cost hardware, you may trash it to increase any one icebreaker’s strength by X, where X is your link. Alternatively, you can do the same to any number of cloud breakers. So there’s some obvious synergy right there. Learning when it’s worth firing them will no doubt be important, since hardware recursion isn’t really a thing and you’ll only have 3 in your 50 cards. That said, the ability to boost all your breakers to suddenly make a run cheaper is by no means a small thing. Even just boosting by her base link makes a big difference in dealing with both 2-3 and 5-6 strength ice, the ranges her breakers could most reasonably considered “weak” against on their own.
Sunny’s Console gives her +1 MU and +1 Link, and is one of the most divisive cards she has. It costs 8, which is much too much for a console, particularly one so crushed by the Vanilla test. At the same time, it has an ability that might be good… or just another trap, depending on who you ask. Once per turn, when she encounters a piece of ice, it lets her forcibly start the Corp on a trace5. If they win, her run ends and she takes a tag. If she wins, she bypasses the ice. It’s a potential Inside Job or Femme that can be used as needed each turn, providing her with massive opportunity… but that trace is pretty high, maybe too high to be reliable when the Corp can just pump it.
The question then becomes: Do you run additional Link? Some, myself included, think it’d be well worth it to turn a tax on you into a tax on the Corp, or just guarantee that the runs will be relatively cost-efficient. Paying to bypass means an already expensive console is expensive to use, while out-linking the trace means you’re spending more clicks, credits, and cards on making an already expensive console usable. I don’t know what the right answer is, or if there is one yet.
Sunny also has a couple of resources to round out her faction. The first is Globalsec Security Clearance, a 2c virtual that you can only install if you have 2 or more link, which she does. It lets you lose a click at the beginning of your turn to look at the top card of R&D. It’s non-mandatory, which is nice, but I’m still unsure as to how much I’m interested in using it, myself. It provides a sort of quasi-R&D lock without requiring runs, but the click loss could really add up, especially if you see something you do want to be running on.
Jak Sinclair might help a little with the click loss. He’s a 3 cost connection that has his price dropped by the amount your link is, which means Sunny never pays more than a credit. At the start of your turn, he allows you to make a run clicklessly if you wish… but you cannot use programs while you do. Useful with cards that want you making lots of runs, bad with iced servers. One of the reasons some are so keen on Security Nexus is the idea of making it so that Corps can’t avoid Sinclair runs without double-icing everything, allowing Sunny an easier time collecting from cards like John Masanori or Security Testing.
Now, that’s all she has. But that’s not all there is to her, by any means. She possesses more ability to run support programs than any other runner – so long as you’re using her cloud breakers she has a minimum of 4 MUs free for people to fill with datasuckers, multithreaders, imps, mediums, or whatever else they want.
There’s also the detail where she’s the only runner that can play Underworld Contacts without needing anything more to make them work. While drip econ is historically pretty bad, Data Folding is the other example of “from the get-go” drip econ, and it costs more and has a harsher restriction on collecting the money than UWC in Sunny. So that may be of more use than one would assume.
Card draw is obviously vital for her, as she’s utterly lacking in it. Earthrise Hotel is a solid option, and John Masanori has potential to combine well with Jak Sinclair. That’s still very few cards out of her total, so either supplementing with Symmetrical Visage or importing something seems advisable.
As so much of what she has is expensive, cards like the Supplier and Modded become pretty valuable. Outside of drip, she doesn’t actually have a lot of economy readily available, but there are a few other things that seem like they might work well with her. Power Tap fires every time she uses her console, which might finally make it tolerable to run if the meta also shifts to include more tracers, as it’ll never be totally dead. Compromised Employee may do similarly, as if you can discourage the Corp rezzing ice your bypass remains valuable longer each turn. Security Testing combines nicely with Sinclair, assuming there are servers you can access. Other than all that, neutral options like Daily Casts, Kati Jones, and Sure Gamble are likely what she’ll rely on.
What do you think of our ass-kicking mother superior? Are you excited to play a proficient security specialist that isn’t always working against the Corps, but goes after them hard when she catches wind that they might be breaking the law? Are there deck ideas you’re just dying to try?