Sync: help me tune my ICE

Hey, relatively new to Netrunner and Jinteki. Netdecked a SYNC deck off Netrunner DB, and it came with the following ICE Suite:

1 Gutenburg

1 Information Overload

3 Pop-Up window

3 Resistor

3 Turnpike

2 Wraparound

So far, this ICE mix has seemed imperfectly tuned. If you have experience with Sync, what would you cut or add while staying at roughly 13 ICE? Specifically I’ve not been a fan at all of Information Overload. The rez cost. The trace 1. The not having subroutines if there are no tags. The rez cost.

No suggestion turned away, please and thank you.

In order to synergise with the ID you want data raven. Gutenberg and pike are also staples. You dont need as many barriers as that. With respect to popup window have a think about your econ package and whether your decks strategy is to wage econ war with the runner, in which case they are quite good.

Overload is situational and probably uneccesary as once they are tagged you have almost won anyway - what you care about at that point is stopping medium digs - archangel and tollbooth is great for that.

I generally think 14 ICE is the minimum required in sync these days.

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It does depend on the overall strategy of the deck. Out of Sync you’ll clearly be using tags and tag punishment, but there is still variation: are you trying to kill the runner with meat damage? Fast advancing off SanSan? With biotic labour? Are you trying to rush and win quickly, or are you happy sticking around into the midgame? etc. Those sorts of questions help inform the ice suite of your deck.

3 Resistors is pretty common out of NBN and can hardly be a mistake. Potentially you could drop to 1 wraparound. Tollbooth and Archangel are very good codegates that would add some meat to the ice suite, but you don’t want to go too deep unless you have the economy to rez them.

Information Overload is a bit situational for my liking. 3 popup windows can be fine, but if you’re running at 13 ice, you might want to cut 1 or 2 for something a bit higher impact, even if just gearcheck like enigma or quandary.

If the deck is trying to kill the runner, you could afford to drop below 13 ice, but not otherwise IMO.

@rojazu hit the nail on the head when he asked about your econ package and overall deck strategy. If your goal is to win an econ war with the runner until you can land tags (and convert the tags into a win condition), then Pop-Up Window, Turnpike, Gutenberg, and resistor are the main ICE you want. Also worth considering are Archangel and to a lesser extent, Tollbooth.

If you need to defend a remote, Tollbooth rises rapidly to one of the best ICE you can include.

If you aren’t trying to win an econ war with the runner (i.e. you plan to land tags by 24/7 or Breaking News -> EoI and not by winning a trace) then Pop-Up Window isn’t really ICE, it’s an econ card, and should compete with Hedge Fund and Sweeps Week for a slot instead.

The one point I disagree with @rojazu on is Information Overload. I don’t think it is a particularly good ICE most of the time, but it the right hands it can be used to tremendous effect (see Sol builds by @bakashinobi from about a 6 months ago). The one place where IO is a really, really strong piece of ICE is after landing a big tagstorm via Midseasons when you use it to block a desperation Medium dig. It lands the most complete rig wipes and can often wipe out the runner economy.

In summary, you ICE, like the rest of your deck, will work best when it is considered as part of your wider strategy to win with your deck. If we know more about what your deck is trying to do, and how you intend to win, then we can better suggest ICE that may help support that game plan.

you’ll need to post the whole deck. Looks like the suite from Timmy Wong’s deck.

The original list is here: INFO REFINERY (Vegas regional 1st place) · NetrunnerDB

and it’s a econ war/grinder deck. I originally cut the scorched then re-added it, and it now has multiple copies of HHN.

Current list is

1 Food
3 Breaking News
3 Beale

Ops (17)

2 Closed Accounts
2 EoI
3 Hedge
2 SEA source
1 Scorch
3 Sweeps Week
2 All-Seeing I

ICE (14, recently updated)

1 Archangel
1 Caduceus (untested)
1 Data Raven
1 Gutenburg
3 Pop-Up
2 Resister
3 Turnpike
2 Wraparound

Assets (3)

3 j-How

If it looks like an unholy mess, I’m fully aware, and the ^ listed ICE suite is not even playtested yet.

There’s no reason not to play the single astro over 1 of your Beales, it’s pretty much strictly better. Also, I’m probably missing something obvious but don’t you have 2 influence left to spare?

The original list used archived memories, and I think I’d be inclined to keep it since you have the influence. Caduceus is a reasonable ice, but not one I’d pay 2 influence for. If you want to splash ice, probably even a mid range bioroid would be better, like eli or fairchild 2. I’d also make it 3 resistors 1 wraparound, but the ice-suite looks broadly fine for this kind of deck.

Sea source could have a niche of letting you tag and play tag punishment in the same turn, but seems alot weaker than HHN, so I might be inclined to go 3 HHN 1 sea instead.


I’m going to test Eli and probably going with the 3 hhn route. If you cut two cards for Archived mem, which would they be?

For Tag punishment I see:

2 Closed Accounts
2 EoI
1 Scorch
2 All-Seeing I

7 cards is a lot of tag punishment. You will probably have these cards piling up in your HQ while you wait for tags to land, since 1/6 of your cards are tag punishment. Look for this while you are testing the deck, are these cards accumulating in HQ and/or getting discarded because you are holding them waiting to land a tag? I would try cutting down to 5 cards if you find 7 to be too many.

A couple of points I’d like to focus on:

  • You have 2 EoI, but only 1 GFI. Swapping BN for GFI is the play you are looking for here. You can cut all 3 NAPD for 2 GFI and free up an influence and a card slot while making EoI and BN stronger.
  • You have exactly 1 meat damage card. You are unlikely to land a kill with a singleton meat damage card that isn’t Boom. Furthermore, you are unlikely to see the Scorch at the exact moment that the runner is tagged and under 4 cards in hand. I think SSCG is a stronger use of influence, or a single Biotic Labor, which would allow you to FA a BN, and then play a tag punishment card.
  • 2 ASI is probably excessive. It is a strong effect to be certain, but you rarely need to land it more than once in a game. Look for this card becoming a dead draw in your games and consider going to 1.
  • Archived Memories is a great card that can let you recur a more limited tag punishment suite to land the effect you need. Tutoring from Archives is not an effect to underestimate.
  • If you were to add Eli and need to find influence for AM, I would cut Eli. Run WoS or Vanilla instead. WoS is a decent rush ICE that can let you score an early 3/2 to before the runner has a fracter. If WoS 3c rez cost is setting you back to much, try Vanilla instead, but it is much less taxing to break.

Thx mate. Lots of good stuff to consider. I really hadn’t thought about the fact that HQ was getting clogged with tag punishment, but it has been.

I would be more likely to cut the closed accounts and the scorch than cut an ASI. I can test it of course, but ASI has been one of the current build’s all stars.

If I cut the scorch and two punishment cards, and switched to GFI suite, that would leave four slots-ish. Would you add Archived Mem, Ice, more tagging or what.

My first thoughts are Biotic Labor and/or SSCG if you have the influence for them. Fast Advance allows you to score BN and play EoI to stick the tags without any bluffs or tricks. Trashing SSCG is the right move for the runner to make in most cases, but it is expensive and can help you keep the runner’s credit pool in check.

Archived Memories is a very good card, particularly with tag punishment cards that you may want to reuse.

If you do add some FA to your deck, you probably will want a CVS to deal with Clot. It is also handy for medium digs and denying datasucker farming on archives.