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Rabbit hole

Rabbit Hole costs Andy 2 to install.

It doesn’t pay itself back until you encounter 2 traces.

Simply gaining 2 or more credits from an economy card provides the same benefit

Against decks that don’t trace, Rabbit Hole confers no benefit unless you also play Underworld Contacts.

In enabling Underworld Contacts, it adds an additional 2 turns to the time it takes to pay off the original investment - netting a single credit 5 turns later.

The OP starts with a couple flawed assumptions.

The first assumption is that Rabbit Hole is a Perfect Counter to NBN:MN decks. It is not. On the first trace you face, Rabbit Hole sets you back 1 credit per Rabbit Hole installed. This is not “perfect”, as you are worse at avoiding that trace than if you had never installed Rabbit Hole at all. On the second trace, you’ve merely broken even.

If I am playing NBN:MN and I see an Andy player drop 6 credits and 3 clicks on 3 Rabbit Holes, I’m not immediately shaking in my boots, fearing +3 link, but instead seeing a scoring window open up. I am HAPPY to see the runner do this because the runner has opened up an early game window to score Astroscript and seal up the game.

The second assumption is that Underworld Contacts is “clickless economy”. If the Runner follows up Rabbit Hole by installing Underworld Contacts, the scoring window simply gets bigger because they’ve just thrown away a bunch of clicks installing Underworld Contacts [multiples? even better.] and getting the money to install it.

Even if I’m playing a Scorch oriented or Midseasons oriented build, I’m focusing primarily on one big trace to win the game, and x3 Rabbit Hole sets you back economically against a single big trace. If that trace is about to occur, you’ve actually made yourself more vulnerable to it, not less.

General purpose economy is more effective against tracing builds than Rabbit Hole. Magnum Opus is a better choice in Andy than Rabbit Hole, even if the primary thing you want to do with the money is beat traces.

9 Likes

traces do not disappear after single ice ecounter. viper/draco/caduceus stands there all the time. u cannot say that gaining 2 credits provides same benefit. i view those ‘credits’ as recurring ones.

further in your post u argue, that installing all the rabbit holes/UC create huge scoring window. thats true. any actions that spends almost all your money do that. u may say same about installation of magnum opus on your first turn or femme fatale when you’re on about 10 credits. what if im playing kate and install it in smart way: one by one, utilizing kate ability, without tempo loss?

please note that im not playing blind and may adjust. when u draw plascrete and play non scorched deck u just ignore it. u may do same with other cards.

that’s true it’s all meta dependent and u may see me as being wrong due to not enough tracers around in your area. i wonder what your view would be if 3/4 of the decks around would utilize vipers (hb/j:rp/nbn), all nbn’s would additionally play draco and caduceus and both nbn and hb would play ash. i was thinking its just how meta everywhere is and maybe that’s why evaluation is that different :smile:

regards.

Then it works like Access to Globalsec (except for being a hardware), right? Deck thinning aspect is gone. But I guess it’s better to have a possibility to use the ability and usually ignore it, than not to have the ability at all :wink:.

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viper, draco and caduceus don’t stand there all the time.

If you don’t understand the difference in tempo between doing those two things and playing Rabbit Hole/UC, I can see why you’d be drawn to playing with bad tempo.

Let’s get back to your flawed assumptions.

Installing Magnum Opus on turn 1 does not represent tempo loss. and it certainly shouldn’t open up a scoring window.

If you follow up by clicking it 2 or three times, there is no tempo loss. You’re actually accelerating your tempo because you can respond to agenda installation by clicking it a couple more times, installing a general purpose breaker and then running the next turn to maintain remote pressure. If the install is a bluff, you have the recovery power to quickly close the scoring window caused by challenging the agenda-less remote.

Installing a Femme on 10 credits isn’t smart, but if doing so creates immediate pressure on a server, you’ve not lost tempo at all. If you put the Femme token on a single Ice server you’re creating accesses and pressure immediately, and that gives you tempo, it doesn’t take it away.

That minimizes the damage but you’re also changing the scenario completely, since your OP was about playing RH in Andy, not Kate.

Even with Kate it isn’t a good play. I’d rather take the one credit discount on installing breakers and MO and hardware than slowing down my game to also get savings on Rabbit Hole of all things. The Kate install credit is once per turn, so the more things you try to use that savings on, the slower your game gets. The slower your game gets, the more likely you are to lose - no matter the long term benefits you are getting - since there will be no “long term”.

I wouldn’t play Rabbit Hole, that’s for sure.

I would play Magnum Opus, Account Siphon and Ice Destruction and play IDs with 1 base link.

This isn’t a Meta call. Even in a trace heavy Meta there are better ways to handle traces than Rabbit Hole.

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this is sad. i’d bet same response would be given no matter what meta you’re in :frowning:

Those cards are effective in almost any situation, it is true, but they are especially effective in the tax heavy, econ war scenario you describe.

If you want to play something other than MO/Siphon/Parasite in your meta, there is other less good ways to do it, but ways that are still superior to Rabbit Hole and Underworld Contacts.

What you’re currently doing is looking at your meta, seeing what it is doing [tracing with ice] and responding in the most obvious way [paying for link], instead of the most effective way [lots of money, kill the ice].

What I would recommend doing is looking for what your Meta isn’t doing and adjusting to exploit that, using techniques that also happen to work well against tracing.

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I realise I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but there is a very strong NBN variant that plays at least Draco, Viper and Caduceus. If you’re playing Rabbit Hole out of Andromeda or Kate then you’re basically invalidating half of their ice. I’d argue that’s extremely strong, to the extent that you should win a large majority of your matches against that archetype.

The problem isn’t that Rabbit Hole isn’t effective meta, it’s that there are too many varied corp archetypes that are strong. Hell, NBN have at least another three tier 1 builds that don’t really care about link, and as an extra kick in the teeth you can’t tell which type you’re playing for the first couple of turns. It’s also a totally dead card against glacier builds out of Jinteki and HB.

In a theoretical world where 50% or more of top decks were playing 6 to 9 trace ice I would absolutely consider Rabbit Hole. We just don’t live in that world.

It’s totally a tempo loss. You’re essentially giving up your whole first turn to end up on the same credit position, but with an Opus in play, which means that you’re not putting any pressure on the Corp in that turn. You probably don’t open up a scoring window for the Corp, and you’ve drastically increased your mid game potential, but you’ve done so at the cost of one of your own scoring windows (turn 1, when the Corp often can’t protect two servers).

That’s not necessarily a problem; Andromeda works on exactly the same premise so it’s obviously not weak. But you are essentially giving up early game tempo in exchange for mid game momentum and ideally late game inevitability.

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You’re putting way more pressure on the corp that turn, because you can react to what they do and recover almost immediately from whatever that reaction move is.

It is highly unlikely this would come at the expense of a runner scoring window. Corp will ice up HQ and R&D most of the time on turn one, so there isn’t much of a scoring window there - playing MO on turn one is an excellent move.

If they do leave either HQ or R&D open on turn one, well, then don’t install MO right then and use your Indexing or Account Siphon or whatever on the open server.

I very much disagree that an early opus gives up early game tempo except for in very specific scenarios where you simply forgo installing the MO until turn 2 instead of turn one. In the most common scenario where turn one sees the corp ice the centrals, I would argue that you gain tempo by putting yourself into better position to React and sustain instead of merely reacting in an unsustainable way to corp action.

Yes and no. You’re ensuring that the Corp goes in to turn 2 with (most likely) six credits instead of two or three. That gives them a whole host of options that they might not have had if you’d forced them to rez ice. You’ve also passed up the liklehood of one or two cheap accesses.

That’s not a problem against something like Redcoats, who you usually have to beat in a long game. In that situation, I’d think about the Opus play because as you say it lets you maintain constant pressure. I’d be much less keen to do it against Cerebral Imaging or Astrobiotics, against both of whom early game accesses are important.

In addition, playing Opus switches on Rototurret (and Grim, to a lesser extent). Either you run the risk of losing your Opus, or you have to find some protection for it. Both scenarios can potentially slow you down even more in the early game.

I don’t think we’re really disagreeing, and the part that we are quibbling about is probably because we seem to have slightly different interpretations of the word Tempo, but that’s probably another topic in itself.

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Unless I know you have a real chance to steal something I cannot at all afford to lose, why would I rez, as corp, if it’d hurt my econ that much?

Early rezzing in response to regular face-checking is generally a pretty big mistake. It makes the follow-up Siphon/Indexing all the more likely to actually land, because they know what to prepare for, and then you have to get your second layer of Ice out right away to stay safe, taking more tempo…,

I could see doing it if it’s something like Pop-Up Window or Pup which isn’t going to hurt your econ and is more annoying than directly stopping, making them likely to either stop or keep being taxed.

  • Because I’m Gabe, and you don’t want me to get 2 free credits.

  • Because I’ve played Desperado or Datasucker, and you don’t want me to
    get free resources.

  • Because I’ve played an Imp, Medium, Nerve Agent or Chakana (could
    happen!) and they all have the capability to hurt your long term
    game.

  • Because your strategy is built around taxing the runner (I know that
    the Opus play is actually a good counter to this, but we’ve wandered
    down a Why Would I Rez Turn 1 rabbit hole now, so…)

Look, I know that you don’t always rez ice on turn 1 even if you install it, but let’s not pretend that seeing ice flipped on turn 1 is rare or anything. Anyway, even if you don’t rez it I’ve got free accesses and information, so I’d still want to run turn 1 rather than play Opus most games.

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You can actually do both quite easily.

In my example, I put draw, install MO, click for 4 credits.

Run, install MO, click for 4 credits is just as likely. Being down one credit there isn’t a big deal with MO’s recovery power in place, and if you are Kate you aren’t down anything at all.

For me, tempo is the capacity to act. If acting will put you into an unrecoverable hole, It really doesn’t represent tempo.

Magnum Opus adds to tempo when it is played because it frees the runner to act - first by paying for itself almost immediately, and secondly by providing the runner with fast, reliable recovery power allowing them to act - quickly - without fear of throwing the game away.

1 Like

But most of those decks don’t tend to run Opus anyway, excepting some with Datasucker or Chakana. I’ll admit I shouldn’t have left it so open, but yeah, sure, if you’ve got other means of econ/victory you should try those first. I don’t think an early medium/nerve agent dig is necessarily the worst, it’ll get reset sooner or later and if you’re worried that falls under the “real chance to steal something” heading.

Like, if you can Sure Gamble, then run/Opus, that’s probably better than Opusing first. But Opus works fairly well even if you don’t have Sure Gamble, leaving you set up for future turns. Having 6 credits and giving the corp another turn to set up works pretty nicely as runner. Sure, you can’t take advantage of a first-turn opening, but there aren’t usually many of those.

And being at 4 with Opus and running is just as possible as being at 6 with Opus and not, if there’s something you want to try. The only danger is destroyers, but that’ll always be a worry once Opus is out, and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play it.

Looking at the last few regional winning making news decks, they have, on average, 4.5 tracing ice, some of which have non-trace subs (4 out of the 18 total). Rabbit hole is 3 influence and 3 card slots, so that you can spend 6 credits to blank, on average, 4 pieces of ice that may or may not show up/get rezzed. In other matchups they serve little to no purpose (they’re a net loss against scorch decks as you’re down 2 credits for install and only fight 1 trace). You can argue underworld contacts in other matchups, but if you have 1 link, it costs you 2 cards, 4 credits and 10 turns before it has the payout of lucky find, and games tend to last 12-15 turns. The window to actually receive a payoff is extremely small. If you want link, access to global-sec or dyson are better options, but link isn’t that strong right now.

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I think that’s why the 1 Link runners are so good. They link, which is valuable, but without wasting it on a card slot, install, and creds.

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The only way I’d ever consider Rabbit Hole is in a Pawnshop list. And even then, in the non-trace-ice-heavy-matchups (AKA, the vast majority), it’s a 3- turn wait to net $3 ($4 if Kate), which was good enough for the very first Neo-Netrunner tournament, but not good enough now.

I just wish the Cloud Breakers had been more daring in their design. Slap a 2+ MU cost on them, then give them really efficient Cost/Strength/Pump/Break outlays in order to encourage Linking up. Maybe drop their MU by 1 for every 2 link you have instead of just removing the cost completely at 2 link. Instead we got… 1MU inefficient breakers. Whoo.

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I’m a bit surprised that noone has mentioned Compromised Employee yet. From my experience it’s a perfect Making News counter for Andromeda, costs no influence, helps in other matchups as well giving you credits when you need them the most and is cheap enough that if you go tag-me and the corp decides to trash them it’s not a big problem

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I really like this card a lot. An Andy dropped two first turn against my Making News at Seattle Regionals and it was scary. (Luckily an RSVP --> Shinobi took care of that game)

Shhhhhhhhh

don’t say anything yet.

1 Like

They continued past an unbroken RSVP? >_<