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?