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Smoke and Mirrors -- A Scovak Thread


Start slotting Maker’s and Freedom over Indexing and Dash - Moon has too many ways to dodge Indexing. I think this combo is better than RDI against all but the slowest glaciers.

Film Critic does at least something in every matchup you mentioned (QPM, TFP, Lakshmi, with bonus Hunter-Seeker avoidance).


The problem is not indexing vs Moon, which is definitely doable, but indexing vs Aginfusion which does absolutely nothing :frowning: So the same reasoning applies to maker’s eye. I am testing 3 RDIs and they are being doing fine vs moon and aginfusion as wel, even tho having to score 4 agenda instead of 3 +mad dash hurts a bit. Not sure about the SYNC matchup though. But as CodeMarvelous said, it’s impossible to build a runner deck that reliably beats all the good corp archetypes out there


I play 1x freedom through equality in that build. It’s a shame to have to pay 3 credits over the zero cost mad dash, but it still pulls it’s weight, and in a pinch turns off an annoying current for you.


AgInfusion is only a once per turn ability, so you can pull off an Indexing if they’ve already used it (or if they run out of unrezzed ice on R&D). That’s pretty hard to do, but since Indexing can usually win you the game, worth trying. You’ll likely have to wait until you have 2 Indexing in grip to pull it off.


It can really bite to have to eat a Chiyashi or Komainu once or twice though before you pull the trigger. AgInfusion can be brutal.


I am playing 1 estrike, 1 interdiction and 1 FTE. FTE is definitely doing some work. Interdiction is the worst of the lot, sort of a bad replacement for plop because I haven’t got any influence left


It seems too slow and too situational. Most times, by the time you have 2 indexing in your hand and are able to run into rd twice (and break the ice of the remote server you’ve been redirected to, be it excalibur or chiyashi) the corp will have already scored 1 Nisei MK II, unfortunately.


I for one can’t wait to try to fit Daredevil in to Smoke.

The extra mu means I might be able to run Opus.

Not sure what else I would use the mu for.


I feel like some of the discussion about AI is sleeping on Dai V, here. If you’re only expecting to need to break Excalibur then Atman is obviously better. Dai V has some nice benefits, though.

Vs. a CI deck, where you might need to break Mother Goddess, Excalibur, and now Loki, it is very effective. It’s the only breaker you need so cost is less of an issue. It is relatively inexpensive to break all of those things, as an AI, assuming you have at least one Cloak out.

It can save you a decent amount vs. NEXT Silver once there are three+ NEXT rezzed if you are otherwise using Blackstone (though if you have Corroder that’s probably more cost effective in the short term to be worth it).

It acts as a wonderful backup breaker against Skorpios.

It laughs at Komainu and Tour Guide, which otherwise ruin Dagger’s day (though Switchblade handles them better).

Atman isn’t the only choice here, is what i’ma saying.


Has any one given a serious test with her native breaker suite - Blackstone, Fawkes, Houdini?

I know the efficiency argument but I wondered if the sustained strength created any issues for the Corp as far as ice placement goes.

I hope to test it soon, but did not know what others have found.


I haven’t, but it sounds like a good time. Escher and Tinkering would probably be really nice support.


Immediate problem I noticed is that Houdini and Blackstone both require more than 1 credit to boost, so it is harder to do the Net Mercur thing where you run on a server and boost Net Mercur by pumping Refractor for no reason.


What others have suggested before, and what I have found through my own experiences, is that Net Mercur is much more efficient and effective as an auxiliary economy engine if at least 2 of your 3 primary breakers have a paid ability that only uses 1 credit. So, that’s why you’re probably finding that a combination of Blackstone, Houdini, and Fawkes is difficult to make Net Mercur work.

Personally, I haven’t seen any compelling argument for using Fawkes over Dagger, at least in the current meta. We would need to be in a place where multiple sentries of Strength 6+ were consistently stacked before Dagger loses to Fawkes in raw efficiency. And I don’t think Corps will be concerned about stacking sentry ice any more than usual against Fawkes than as versus Dagger, unless you had multiple 6+ sentries on a server.

So, taking those points into account (if you agree with them), I would say that Smoke does best with Blackstone, Refractor, and Dagger if you’re looking to in-faction stealth suites that also work best with Net Mercur.


To add to that, most ice that are taxing also have two or more subs. As the shaper stealth breakers don’t increase that efficiency, it is a tough sell in the modern (and continuing) age of ice design.


Agreed. I wish the stealth suites were tuned more like BlacKat - it works ok to poor without stealth, but it works good to great with. As opposed to the only kinda ok for additional strength, but no greater efficiency in sub numbers like BlacKat or Switchblade. Alas.


I agree to the statements made here. Playing Smoke with Blackstone, Refractor & Dagger and I hate it to see only Blackstone as I can’t pump him while running to fuel NetMercure and gain the Desperado Credit or/and unload a Temujin


I’ve been finding it necessary to play Employee Strike recently. Without it, I really struggle against IDs such as Aginfusion, Skorpios, IG, and CtM. It is also really helpful in matches like Moons – I don’t know why people act like playing Strike vs. ETF is not a good play when everyone says ETF is one of the best IDs because of its ability.

With Desperado and 2 Temujin, this is my influence spread at the moment.

I find the deck can have a hard time kicking into gear if I don’t get a good draw or when facing glaciers that can close off the Desperado and Temujin bucks.

I think the Desperado/Temujin + NACH build is pretty good in a meta with mostly Moons and SYNC as the top competition. Do you think this is still the best general approach with Smoke or are you finding the meta requires changes?


Because EtF’s ability is good, but it’s not something they build their game plan around. So ES makes them poorer, but doesn’t invalidate all (or at least big part of) their win condition like with Skorpios or AgInfusion. Additionally EtF is better than average corp at killing the runner’s current (multiple Biotics and 3/2s, Archived Memories/Clone Suffrage Movement to recycle their own current).


Is Smoke with estrike a good choice for a Jinteki glacier meta, or is it likely to be too hard to farm net mercur bucks against such decks?


It certainly has potential. I would put in Houndini over Refractor because of DNA Tracker. Maybe Switchblade instead of Dagger for those Komainus/Tsurugis. If you think servers will be ICE’d pretty quickly and will make it hard to land Temujins maybe spend the influence on something else (but even still, Temujin is so crazy even if you are just getting a discount on runs).

Caprice can be a pain as you can probably only expect to run once per turn. If that is the case it might be worth slotting some HQ pressure - they would have to spread their ICE thin protecting their scoring remote, R&D and HQ. Maybe Political Operative or Gauntlet (although Multiaccess may not be the smartest idea).

Film Critic is a must against Jinteki. The Future Perfect and Obokata Protocol are a pain otherwise.

A build like above would go well against Jinteki Glacier. Employee Strike has a huge impact on AgInfusion and Replicating Perfection. It will definitely have legs against the rest of the field too. New Angeles City Hall (since we are already running Film Critic) for Sync matchups. Moon decks will be tough but if you don’t expect it then all is good.