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One copy of ICEs

So, we are getting to a point in the game where there are plenty of ICE options available and even more coming down the road. Given that, do you think in the future [or even now] with card like Immolation Script coming it would be possible to begin to have only one copy of each ICE on the deck?
I get that some ICE work better as multiples [Bioroids, NEXT] but the surprise factor lowers aswell. So you think a deck with only one copy of each ICE is viable? Or do you think it would lose too much consistency?

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I’ve often wondered myself why corp decks with 1x of all ice don’t see play. It should give the corp a bigger information advantage. Currently if a runner runs and the corp rezzes an ICE the runner thinks “OK there’s probably two more ice of that type somewhere in the deck/on the board”. If all ICE are 1x then the runner can never predict what the next unrezzed ICE actually is until it’s rezzed.

I’m sure there’s a problem with this thinking since it isn’t really done. Maybe the advantage of constant surprise isn’t worth much because at some point it just comes down to “does the runner have enough credits?”

It depends.

Generally there are a few categories of ice that you want covered. Cheap ETR, damage/tax ice, giant pieces etc… The categories of ice that you want will depend on your deck. Multiple 1x’s are good when they all fulfill the same role but in different and complementary ways.
Also your overall ice strategy has to be taken into consideration (cheap ETR, because I’m a rush deck, taxing frustrating ice because I’m an RP glacier…)

For something like a cheap ETR that I can put on centrals to prevent early access, yeah I could play 1 Ice Wall, 1 Eli, 1 Wall of Static, 1 Himitsu Bako, 1 Wraparound as my barriers, but what do I gain from that? Some marginal utility at the cost of influence.

Now on the other hand, looking at your damaging sentries here is a great opportunity for variety. 1 Archer (assuming your agendas work with it), 1 Roto, 1 Grim, 1 Ichi, and 1 Sherlock is a nice mix because they all do the same thing (remove programs from the board) but in different ways. Roto and Ichi dodge D4vid, Sherlock dodges Sharpshooter, Archer is likely to stay on the board and be really taxing, even to being bypassed by Femme or a Str 6 Atman. etc


People are already moving to singletons of ICE wherever it makes sense. I expect this trend to continue to some extent but some ICE will always be too good to run just one copy (like Eli).

This Belgian national winner is a good example, aside from the NEXT suite and the Eli, the ICE are mostly singletons.

###[Belgium HB SanSan][1] (54 cards)

  • [Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future][2]

Agenda (10)

  • 3 [Accelerated Beta Test][3]
  • 2 [NAPD Contract][4]
  • 2 [Priority Requisition][5]
  • 3 [Project Vitruvius][6]

Asset (11)

  • 3 [Adonis Campaign][7]
  • 1 [Aggressive Secretary][8]
  • 3 [Jackson Howard][9] •••
  • 3 [Melange Mining Corp][10]
  • 1 [Thomas Haas][11]

Upgrade (6)

  • 3 [Ash 2X3ZB9CY][12]
  • 1 [Corporate Troubleshooter][13]
  • 2 [SanSan City Grid][14] ••••• •

Operation (7)

  • 1 [Archived Memories][15]
  • 2 [Biotic Labor][16]
  • 1 [Closed Accounts][17] •
  • 3 [Hedge Fund][18]

Barrier (8)

  • 2 [Eli 1.0][19]
  • 3 [NEXT Silver][20]
  • 3 [Wall of Static][21]

Code Gate (5)

  • 3 [NEXT Bronze][22]
  • 1 [Tollbooth][23] ••
  • 1 [Viktor 2.0][24]

Sentry (7)

  • 1 [Archer][25] ••
  • 1 [Guard][26]
  • 1 [Ichi 1.0][27]
  • 1 [Ichi 2.0][28]
  • 1 [Pup][29] •
  • 2 [Rototurret][30]

Built with [http://netrunner.meteor.com/][31]
[1]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/decks/mjkmgdX9wTB7RSztK
[2]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/haas-bioroid-core
[3]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/accelerated-beta-test-core
[4]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/napd-contract-double-time
[5]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/priority-requisition-core
[6]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/project-vitruvius-cyber-exodus
[7]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/adonis-campaign-core
[8]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/aggressive-secretary-core
[9]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/jackson-howard-opening-moves
[10]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/melange-mining-corp-core
[11]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/thomas-haas-creation-and-control
[12]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/ash-2x3zb9cy-what-lies-ahead
[13]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/corporate-troubleshooter-core
[14]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/sansan-city-grid-core
[15]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/archived-memories-core
[16]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/biotic-labor-core
[17]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/closed-accounts-core
[18]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/hedge-fund-core
[19]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/eli-1-0-future-proof
[20]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/next-silver-upstalk
[21]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/wall-of-static-core
[22]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/next-bronze-opening-moves
[23]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/tollbooth-core
[24]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/viktor-2-0-creation-and-control
[25]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/archer-core
[26]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/guard-honor-and-profit
[27]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/ichi-1-0-core
[28]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/ichi-2-0-creation-and-control
[29]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/pup-honor-and-profit
[30]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/card/rototurret-core
[31]: http://netrunner.meteor.com/decks/mjkmgdX9wTB7RSztK


I’m not sure the threat of immolate or copycat are so high as to WARRANT playing with single copies of ICE, but I think there is an increasingly large number of ICE that you might only WANT a single copy of. So the real question is, why do you take multiples of ICE, and what is the value doing/not doing so?

What are the benefits of 3 copies of ICE?

  • Its the best ICE for the job, taking less than 3 doesn’t make much sense.
  • You want the consistency (especially early game) of certain pieces that are core elements of your strategy.
  • It’s a combo piece, 3 copies increases the chance you’ll see it, and have it when you need it.
  • Easier to pilot a deck 6 different ICE than a deck with 16.

Why would you run 1-2 copies instead?

  • You don’t want it too early, running fewer copies decreases the likelihood you will get it before you want it.
  • You’re happy to get it early, but it becomes a blank/cheap tax very quickly, you take one because its worth 1/16 to get it early, but you don’t want to have to pitch 3 ICE that aren’t doing anything for you if you draw it later.
  • It has a corner case use. It’s very helpful for certain matchups, but you’ve crunched the numbers and have decided to take a calculated risk against some more uncommon decks. You have the space for 1 card, that maybe you’ll get against them and spare you that loss, but really, you can’t afford the space/influence to justify 3.
  • It’s functions are not very multiplicative, and having more than 1 isn’t really serving much of a purpose.

So yes, I think you could play a deck with 16 different ICE, I just don’t think the benefits intrinsically outweigh the risks, and unless you’re playing cards like Levy University, the variance is probably working against you more than the runner. Maybe with 3 Project Atlas and 3 Universities, it becomes much more stable to heavily run very specific ICE–but I wouldn’t exclude 3 copies of the big hitters just to do it.


Ice singletons are a lot of fun with Midori, too, but that’s really just being silly.