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"That's not a virtual resource" - The Apex Thread


#1

So now only poor Apex is left out in the cold. That seems cruel to poor Apex, who is, let us recall, too mighty for our puny human pronouns.

Apex is kinda weird, really worrying, and is does a whole bunch of things we’ve never really seen before. So, let’s see how much destruction is really all that likely, shall we?

Apex is a 45/25, so there’s nothing too unusual there for a minifaction runner. He can’t install non-virtual resources (which may be slightly limiting), but he gets to install a card from hand at the beginning of each of his turns… facedown.

Facedown cards like this are new to netrunner and going to primarily see play in Apex, no doubt. There’s no way to turn them up without trashing them, and they don’t count as anything other than “installed cards”. But for Apex, they’re everything.

Apex’s console, Heartbeat, was the first Apex spoiler we saw and the best example. It’s fairly cheap at 2c for +1MU, but it also allows you to trash an installed card to prevent a point of damage. So long as you have plenty of cards installed you can tank damage without risking whatever you’ve got in your hand.

The in-faction breaker uses them, too. Endless Hunger is a strength 11 untyped breaker that costs nothing but 4MUs. Using it just takes installed cards, which you trash to break “-> End the run.” subroutines. Not the greatest thing by itself, but combined with Heartbeat it keeps you safe from most things, although you want the MU to be able to fit a Sharpshooter in to keep you safe from Grim at the very least, and possibly D4V1D, Mimic, and/or E3 Implants to help manage other threatening ice.

That’s not all that installed cards do for you, though! Apex is hungry, and Prey lets you eat the Corp’s ice. It’s a 0-cost run event that lets you trash installed cards equal to the strength of a piece of ice after passing it (rezzed not specified, but likely intended) once during said run. If you do, the ice gets trashed as well. Expensve against bigger things, but it doesn’t require you to break subroutines – or, in fact, encounter the ice properly at all.

You’ll be trashing a lot of cards, obviously, and Apex’s own costs are fairly low, but the out-of-faction/neutral stuff you want to use might not be. Have no fear! Apex knows a good Wasteland, a resource that is both virtual and a location fit for your hacking needs. It costs 2c to install but pays you back 1c the first time each turn you trash an installed card, so with all three out you’ve got a pseudo-Aesop’s going that lets you control the timing more. This is obviously something likely to happen frequently, though mostly on your turn.

Apex has another Hunting Ground, though, appropriately named, to help it catch up on all the installed cards it runs if you keeps burning through them. It’s the same kind of place as Wasteland, costing 2c again to play, but you can trash it to install the top three cards of your stack face down. Oh, and each of them you have installed allows you to prevent a “when encountered” ice ability once per turn, making short work of Troll, Data Raven, and even Tollbooth.

Apex is also, obviously, a Harbinger of a disastrous future, so it’s appropriate he has a program of the same name. It takes nothing to install but the click, no credits or MUs are used. What does it do? When you trash it, you install it face-down instead of adding it to your heap. So it counts as two cards to trash instead of just one, letting you soak up all the more damage, or break all the more subs.

The disastrous future, of course, is something you can very much bring. Apocalypse costs more than any of Apex’s other cards – three credits, and it can only be played if you’ve made a successful run on all three centrals this turn. It also destroys everything. Every card the Corp has installed is trashed, there are no survivors. Apex’s cards aren’t trashed, though they are still wiped out – and turned face down.

So that’s Apex. It hungers, it’s got some awkward construction, but in the end it will come for us all, and ensure we remember our pronouns are too puny, and our servers too weak. Apex devours all.

IT IS BECOME DEATH
DESTROYER OF WORLDS

So, who plans to build one to take to said tournament to see if that’ll be true, and what’s that deck going to look like?


#2

I’m on my third iteration of Apex and still trying to get anything reasonably functional. Its main problems seem to be:

  1. Economy. No non-virtual resources really restricts its influence free econ options. I have not solved the econ issue yet. I’m currently trying to just need as little money as possible.

  2. Card draw. It wants lots of it. Most of it either costs a lot of influence (Diesel, Inject) or is expensive (Quality Time).

  3. Memory. With Endless Hunger taking up 4 MU on its own, if you want any real sort of program support, you’re going to need MU solutions.

  4. Tricky ice. There are all sorts of ice pieces that mess with Apex. Just putting Enigma on a central screws up Apocalypse. And there are many more. You need program support, and this causes the memory issues above.

  5. Influence. With all of the solutions needed for the above problems, allocating influence seems to be a real problem.


#3

One obstacle I see for Apex decks is how are you going to deal with non-end the run subroutines? You’re not going to win the game if you don’t have a breaker aside from Endless Hunger and they install an architect over R&D.

You could import the anarch breakers but that’s going to be at least 4 influence, 8 if you want backups. You also don’t have native tutors in your faction and that means more influence for special orders. At that point though you might as well just play Faust Noise and actually be able to install non-virtual resources. Right now Apex seems the weakest of all the mini-faction runners.


#4

Random thoughts:

  • With most resources unavailable to you and a console that prevents damage, going tag-me and running some siphons seems like a promising thing to try.

  • E3 also seems really useful. Solves things like Enigma and Rototurret quite handily.

  • The fact that you’re putting lots of stuff into your heap suggests a MaxX-like “I know where all my cards are, they’re in the bin” effect.

  • Chop Bot 3000 is a 1-cost, 1-inf pseudo-halfrise-draw solution: Trash a card you installed facedown last turn (clickless) to draw a card. Even better with Wasteland. If you want to jank, trash some big facedown card just before you Retrieval Run it.

  • The above two points make me think that because your facedown installs get tied up once you’re set up, Endless Hunger is a good facechecking breaker, but we already have the gold standard of cheap-to-install, low-influence breaker suites: the red ones.

  • I don’t think Prey will work on unrezzed ICE because they don’t have strength (see also: unrezzed ICE + Parasite not killing it).

Question: If you trash a facedown Harbigner, does it come back?


#5

Yeah, but then there’s the issue of that giving you draw at the expense of your set-up ability. May be necessarily, but seems unfortunate to burn through so much of your deck like that if you want to be using EH, <3B, or Prey.

[quote=“endgame, post:4, topic:4708”]
I don’t think Prey will work on unrezzed ICE because they don’t have strength (see also: unrezzed ICE + Parasite not killing it).
[/quote]Doubt so as well.

[quote=“endgame, post:4, topic:4708”]
Question: If you trash a facedown Harbigner, does it come back?
[/quote]Don’t see why it would, facedown cards have no game text, and it’s a “when you trash” thing, not a “when this hits the heap” thing.

[quote=“Kore, post:3, topic:4708”]
Right now Apex seems the weakest of all the mini-faction runners.
[/quote]Yeah. I thought it’d be Adam, but I’m shifting over to Apex. He can import Independent Thinking for cheap, at least, to help solve some of the draw issues… but still. Oog. We need more neutral hardware and virtual resources (or for him to have gotten a discount on virtual resource influence so he could afford to run them without it taking all he has, just 1 inf off makes the Shards useable, and Hades Shard is just about the only way to profit off of Apocalypse unless you know they won’t be drawing ice).

[quote=“Zeromus, post:2, topic:4708”]
3) Memory. With Endless Hunger taking up 4 MU on its own, if you want any real sort of program support, you’re going to need MU solutions.
[/quote]Yeah, EH being 4 MU is the biggest pain in the ass. The rest is unfortunate, but that makes keeping it around incredibly difficult, especially if you need to handle half a dozen problem ice without ETRs.


#6

I think it’s waaaay harder to build around than Adam.

Another issue is that say you want to play Apocalypse, how do you go about recovering? Hold on to a Mem Chip + Medium + Endless Hunger in hand? Does that mean you play normal breaker nonsense until you’re ready to “go off”? If that’s the case…

is Endless Hunger only supposed to be used AFTER the Apocalypse?

Should we import one of Adam’s directives and Independent Thinking? Does that help Apex find it’s necessary cards for post-Apocalypse?

  1. Economy solutions: Magnum Opus (requires lots of MU with Hunger), moderate drip econ via Virtuals or just a lot of event-based Econ? It can’t play Same Old Thing, which sucks. Trope is probably its heap recursion card.

  2. Card Draw thoughts: QT is the best here, that is, if we can get the economy online.

  3. Memory solutions: people have been saying “Leprechaun” elsewhere, but I hate that card. It’s also terrible if you’ve got EH on it and you faceplant a Rototurret.

  4. Tricky Ice solution: play normal breakers and EH backup.

  5. Influence solution: Import a cheap suite, Mimic + Inti + Refractor for 5-7, play 3 Special Order for 6 or 3 SMC for 9. Play Ghost Runner with Refractor. THEN fill in the rest. Something like

2x Mimic (2)
1x Refractor (2)
3x Special Order (6)
3x Datasucker (3)
1x RDI (2)
1x HQI (2)
3x Quality Time (3)
3x Akamatsu Mem Chip (3)

And then just a bunch of his own stuff and neutral cards
2x Prey
3x Endless Hunger
3x Heartbeat
3x Sure Gamble
3x Dirty Laundry
3x Wasteland
3x Hunting Grounds
3x Harbinger
3x Ghost Runner
2x Kraken

45
Infl 25/25


#7

Hence “red breakers”. If your ability is letting you cycle 1 card/turn, up to cycling 1 card and gaining 3 credits/turn, that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Makes sense.


#8

Like with Adam, I think E3 (3x) might be of use here. Ghost Runner is a virtual resource. Those two can go together. Since you’re packing an ETR-breaker, you really only need a counter to Swordsman, so slot Mimic (2x). This only uses 8 influence, so go nuts with packing econ and draw with the other 17. Net Celebrity can give you more money during the run and Currents are only going to grow in popularity.

Since this uses up all your MU, your multi access will have to come from hardware. 2x RDI will leave you with 13 influence and then toss in a Legwork for 11 Influence left over.

If ice doesn’t have ETR, then you are getting through it anyway. If it deals damage, Heartbeat will essentially “break” the subroutine the same way that Endless Hunger would have.

Looks great to me. Additionally, Stimhack, and Queen’s Gambit might be cool for “econ” cards. Definitely Quality Time is a good value. Account Siphon could be something since Apex won’t be running many resources anyway, but floating tags will be dangerous for other reasons soon.


#9

Cool fact: Endless Hunger isn’t AI. :smiley:


#10

What about all that other ice that trashes programs and doesn’t have an ETR to break+E3? There’s plenty of nasty ice out there without ETR subs like Grim, Architect, and Inazuma that could totally hose your day.


#11

Missed that. Make it Yog.0 then? Code gate money problems be gone!


#12

Apex strikes me as Gabe: Lovecraft Edition.

Apocalypse is mega-Emergency Shutdown, and Prey is mega-Crescentus.

I’d probably spend its influence on some combination of Indexing / Wanton Destruction (to exploit the post-apocalypse), Lucky Find / Day Job (because installing money engines is not what we’re trying to do here), and Levy AR Lab Access (because guns need reloading), and maybe Mimic (because Architect is literally the worst).

Take it on the chin + Prey. I’m thinking that in Apex games corp board states are gonna be a whole lot more minimal than we’re used to seeing.


#13

Yeah I think it still has to play Mimic.

EH + Mimic + Yog? Just need the console + 1.

E3 is fine, but I just hate that card. Just hate it.


#14

If it’s a thing you install, and it costs 5, I am not playing it in Apex.

Actually now that I think about it, is Architect even that big a deal? Architect on both centrals, OK, maybe I’m sad about that. But if there’s an architect on R&D, screw it, just wait for the flood. Maybe splash Archives interface to deny Archie access to those pesky Caprices and Crisium grids and Ashes and whatnot.


#15

Data Raven, Archangel, Susan-No-Mikoto, Cortex Lock as well off the top of my head. It’s not the end of the world to have rare ice you can’t break but these ice relatively mainstream which makes me think that Endless Hunger isn’t the best breaker for Apex. It’s also going to have difficulties against ice with lots of end the run subroutines untill you find your e3. Things like Spiderweb and Hive are going to be rough to break before you find e3.


#16

Hmmm.

I kind of think Parasucker is preferable to E3 for the lots of EtR situation. And maybe d4v1d isn’t the worst idea.

Basically I think Apex should just be playing powerful one-shots and punishing run events and building as little of a rig as possible.


#17

But then you need more MUs, anyway.

Also, recall that Architect, once rezzed, cannot be trashed. Apocalypse doesn’t get rid of it. So Mimic is all but essential for not just letting them set up freely afterward.


#18

Well I imagine myself just trashing Endless Hunger if I need Parasucker or d4 for some reason or other.

And maybe once you Apocalypse you can just be like well that server has Architect, no quiero, and just run other servers. Like, if you’re the corp, and your entire board is blanked except for Archie on R&D, that’s still not exactly a strong position, and you can expect to hemmorhage points out of HQ.


#19

“once rezzed” sure but if something unfortunate was to happen to it (like Crescentus) then it will perish in the Apocalypse too. Food for thought at least.

I don’t think siphons or anything like that are happening, you are going to have to burn your influence on essentials like breakers, money and draw. Same for the other 2 minifaction runners. I feel like Apex would really like the Wyldside/Pancakes setup to feed his nonsense but it’s (probably??) too much inf @ 3 per Wyldside and 2 per Pancake.

Ironically I think Apex will particularly like having a Day Job. 1 inf, doesn’t commit anything to the board, quite a lot of $ and you weren’t planning on spending time hanging out with Kati anyway. :slight_smile:


#20

My line of thinking is the opposite. Why spend a ton of influence on things you’re just gonna flip upside down whenever you play your most powerful in-faction event? I think you are all vastly overestimating the degree to which the A-meister is going to need breakers. Frequent board-state resets, in-faction ice destruction, and maybe a little out-of-faction ice destruction are gonna keep the corp’s board state pretty minimal. It’s gonna be like playing Gabe back in the day, when you would just … not install breakers in favor of finagling Shutdowns and Inside Jobs and whatnot.