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Smoke and Mirrors -- A Scovak Thread


with the aggressive running habit to power net mercur, maw can be quite effective.


I second Maw in Smoke. The biggest draw back is the install cost. After that though you want to be making runs to charge Mercur so you should be able to trigger it most turns. the +2 helps a lot too since having equivocation online is real important. It’s basically the new RDI. Not having to decide Lock (Tapworm/Clot) and Multi-Access (Equivication) can be really helpful.


Haven’t tried Maw yet but I have been enjoying Mirror, Daredevil and The Gauntlet in Smoke. The two mu is pretty much necessary now days as you are running slightly more programs, but I am finding the trade off from astrolabe is usually worth it.

I find the extra cloaks are largely unnecessary unless you are on switchblade which is kind of a meta call.

I think dropping Film Critic is bonkers. Its too good to cut, even with how good clone chip is (and it is really, really good).

It really comes down to how much you want to invest in your console. Do you just want the extra MU and are strapped for influence? Go Mirror or Daredevil. Otherwise fork out for Gauntlet or Maw. Both are fantastic.


I tried Daredevil, and I felt like it gave me draw when I needed it the least. By the time I am running 2+ ICE servers, I have the pieces that I need installed. The tempo hit of an extra 4c to set up also hurts.

I don’t think that +2MU is mandatory. I rarely feel like I’m MU constrained with Astrolabe, and the extra draw helps me most in the matchups where I need help: asset spam.

With Net Mercur, I do not find the occasional extra stealth credit refreshed by Mirror be particularly helpful.

Gauntlet I do see as a viable option, at 1 influence and HQ multi-access is quite powerful.

Maw is powerful, but expensive and influence-heavy. It is nice against asset-spam in that it trashes the agendas/punishment cards that will accumulate in HQ, but the tempo loss is significant.


I don’t think you need extra MU if all you are playing is a stealth rig, but if you are trying to set up Tapwrm and/or Clot then the memory can begin to pinch a bit.


I thought the tapwrm plan was a given, my apologies. I don’t see a reason not to do that.

I also run trope and equivocation, which while memory hungry are great for their uses.

I don’t even really pack cloaks anymore. If you aren’t on switchblade they are largely superfluous.


I’ve noticed some players playing MOpus with Ghost Runners instead of Cloaks.

At first I thought that sounded ridiculous, but having seen it in action it really seems to handle most situations with ease.


I think ghost runner is a fine replacement for cloak, since you so rarely need to pull stealth credits from something other than the Smoke ID and Mercur. I guess I’d do it if I wanted to save MU, but I haven’t had a problem so far.


Without Cloaks you can only charge Net Mercur once per turn. Two Cloaks is overkill (without Switchblade), but going down to 0? How do you get enough Mercury?


Ghost Runner


You don’t really need that much. Charge it once per turn when you can and supplement with Ghost Runner, you should be good. Use Houdini if you go the MOpus Ghost Runner route, I think, to save on stealth against code gate stacks and DNA Tracker. Paperclip, Houdini, Dagger, you should be good. I want to try this next, Yes. Opus with some burst can really set this off, I think. I’ve been having trouble with Tapwrm just because I’m making the Corp stay poor a lot. I find that letting the Corp be rich, especially with PiOT really speeds them up too much.


Whew, it’s been a long time! Anyone still playing Smoke? What’s your restricted, Levy or Film Critic?


Film Critic, definitely. That said, the boredom of playing Sac Con + Tapwrm as the only viable econ engine is just too much :frowning:


I definitely hear that. I might try out Smopus with Cyberdelia sustain sometime in the near future!


This has been my biggest problem too. Tapwrm is just too obvious.


Speaking of alternative economic engines, RNG Key and Find the Truth seem pretty good in smoke, as she has no difficulty getting into rd. Here’s what I am toying with on jnet, with moderate success (the list has Reclaim for program and virtual resources recursion, but feel free to replace it with scavenge until it becomes legal).

1 Cloak
2 Reclaim
3 Sure Gamble
3 Peace in Our Time
1 Refractor
3 Indexing
1 Clot
1 Dagger
3 Net Mercur
1 Dai V
1 Beth Kilrain-Chang
1 Film Critic
2 Find the Truth
1 Paperclip
1 The Turning Wheel
2 Astrolabe
3 Dirty Laundry
1 Equivocation
2 Laguna Velasco District
2 Self-modifying Code
2 Interdiction
1 RNG Key
3 Daily Casts


Since you are on RNG Key is Mirror worth a look? It gets you extra memory (for RNG), it is cheap, it gets you an extra stealth cred if you hit R&D at least once.

I am also curious if Marathon might actually help Shaper fight asset spam or just check a remote and then keep rigging up. Maybe I am just a little too excited about the potential of the event.


I like the idea of RNG Key and Find the Truth in Smoke. We just discussed something similar today. Mirror seems like a good choice for such a deck. On top of that, you could maybe also include other ways to boost strength of breakers like the new Takobi to make this a really good R&D lock deck. I would then focus on this as the (late-)game plan and maybe even cut a few Indexing?

I also like Marathon, but I expect it to be useful mostly in MOpus Shapers. Basically each click of MOpus lets you check one remote, so you “bank your clicks” for future turns. Otherwise it seems just too expensive (trading two credits for a click) to use as a permanent solution if you also want to trash some of the assets. I think you would burn through your econ too fast and might - contrary to the card’s name - actually run out of steam before you can win the game.


Yup, I completely agree with you. As a matter of fact, I almost immediately swapped Labe for Mirror and dropped the clot. Made a few more changes and, as of today, the deck looks like this:

3 Sure Gamble
3 Peace in Our Time
1 Aumakua
1 Refractor
2 Indexing
1 Misdirection
1 Hunting Grounds
1 Blackstone
1 Dagger
3 Net Mercur
2 Mirror
1 Beth Kilrain-Chang
2 Film Critic
2 Find the Truth
2 The Turning Wheel
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Self-modifying Code
3 Diesel
1 Interdiction
1 RNG Key
2 Stimhack
2 Daily Casts

I dropped Reclaim since it’s not legal yet and I am trying blackstone instead of paperclip, just to have more free influence. Two copies of stimhack are always useful, and Aumakua seems a better AI breaker than Dai V, at least in terms of set up required.


With regards to asset spam, I would play Marathon only in MOpus builds. For the rest, I would just play Kasi String that gives you 1 agenda points in 4 turns. Just run bankers a bunch of times with dirty laundry and you already have 1 less agenda point to score.