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


I took a Brain damage from Fenris the other night, and almost balked at running through a Janus. Heartbeat is incredibly powerful against cards that used to be dangerous.


The idea behind the ID was probably to make it so Endless Hunger + Heartbeat gets you through most things pretty easy.

Unfortunately the three main culprits that hose Apex are super prevalent in the meta. Turing, Architect and Crick.

Not sure what the right answer is.


Because i did it by hand and there will be errors. Use common sense i guess? But thanks for pointing that out, I’ll take another look and make sure iv not left something dumb in like lill’ engine.

Edit: yeah guard was in there as well, all fixed.

Yeah compiling the whole thing was fairly sobering. I still think Apex is fun in a weird sort of way, but we are clutching at straws trying to get a tier 1 build with the cards we have.

That said, after many, many iterations, the list below is the best iv got so far. Here are some notes on it, and the Apex card pool in general.

  • Draw is seriously not a problem with chopbot and QT. With 1-2 wastelands out you can net a card and 2c a turn, which is great. It doesn’t take forever to set up either (comparable to desperado/sec testing iv found). Cycling out face down cards into your heap also makes levy better. QT feeds faust nicely, its rare iv found myself bouncing if i take the time to think it through and call the face down ice correctly.

  • Deja Vu is there as your 2nd levy.

  • Ghostrunner looks dumb, and is dumb. But with 1-2 wastelands when you use all the credits you can turn ghostrunner into an easy mark or a sure gamble, which is neat. The uses for GR are limited though as your breakers don’t need money, so tollbooth (allowing you to use hunting grounds on something like data raven or komainu instead, although you should aim for 2 hunting grounds for maximum lulz), pop up window, traces etc. Other than that, its a facedown card.

  • Faust is the only breaker we can really use that will handle the problem ice that endless hunger cannot, albeit when you start breaking things like assassin and susan it gets pretty taxing. @Zeromus’s explanation on his list way back is pretty much bang on - remote lock primarily, and poke the centrals if you think you can get an easy access. Also, faust > e3, and breaks the reliance on that two card combo as your breaker suite.

  • Apocalypse is something of a trap card i worry. You definitely dont want to play it every game, i think more than anything its for taking down asset spam NEH. Against HB apocalypse would one of the first things id put facedown, if you find yourself at the right point to play apocalypse you will invariably also find yourself in the position of needing to click through a bioroid.

  • Makers eye is the best post apocalypse option i feel, and has a lot of utility elsewhere too.

  • Prey is mostly useful for taking out low cost binary ice, to preserve facedown cards (they are still a resource and need managing like credits).

  • With a singleton plassy (can be a facedown card happily in every other matchup) and heartbeat you are EXTREMELY hard to kill. Rage quits aplenty from haarp scorch players, which is delicious.

Speaking of facedown cards, Apex more than any other runner has been forcing me to think about the next 2-3 turns, and what i want to do. Before with other ID’s i played almost purely reactively, but with the list below i think nearly every card has value, so you need to really, really think about when you want to play a certain card, and whether or not it will have value as a facedown right now. Do i want to QT turn 1? Do i need endless hunger right now? If i apocalypse the corp into the ground, what do i want facedown and what do i want in my heap?

I don’t know if i am a good enough player to really pull an Apex build up, but i think at least this build answers a lot of the problems the ID faces.

Faustian Apex

Apex: Invasive Predator (Data and Destiny)

Event (22)

Hardware (7)

Resource (8)

Icebreaker (5)

Program (3)

25 influence spent (max 25)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Data and Destiny

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


I’m curious to see others turn to ChopBot again. I tested it initially as it looks great on paper—cycle through your cards, only 1 influence—but in practice found it to be hard to use. Each turn you ChopBot stops you from building up facedowns.

My instinct is to keep as few cards in my ideal set up as possible (currently only: Heartbeat, Endless Hunger, Faust, Brain Cage if necessary) so that the impact of Apocalypse is likely to affect Apex less than the corp. ChopBot + Wasteland is more set up, more on the board. I’ve cut Wasteland from my lists entirely. If “Apocalypse is a trap” this approach is clearly wrong, but the whole ID is built around that card & I can’t help but try to make it work. There are definitely some matchups where you won’t play it (e.g. I just beat a SYNC Butchershop & keeping Plascrete + Heartbeat alive was far more important) but they’re exceptions to the rule.


I dunno, i dont think apocalypse is massively dangerous, the more i play it the more i think its just the timing is delicate, and not every matchup has the right components that make apocalypse super useful. Further I think more that if you are chasing getting it (apocalypse) to land, then your playing Apex wrong. So i disagree with the idea that Apex as an ID is built around that one card i guess.

I understand what you mean about chopbot, it does deplete the very thing you are wanting to build up. However, its about a balance.
There is nothing forcing you to use chopbot on the turns where you want to build up facedowns. Finding the right turn to commit a card to chopbot is important. An added nicety with including chopbot though, as iv said above, is chopbot makes levy better. You can trash a facedown card without running or taking damage and get it back with levy. This helps immensely with managing your hand and boardstate for upcoming turns, which im finding is really important in Apex (probably really important for every runner, but thats me im a filthy casual and notice these things late).

Harbinger, hunting grounds as well all get facedown cards out quickly as well. The set up of wasteland/chop bot iv really not felt is any worse, and in many ways better, that wyldside/chronotype for instance.


Sacrificial Construct is not a virtual resource. But if you’re considering to use a combo of a limited-use killer backed by resources, you might just as well go for switchblade + ghost runners. Add a refractor, and you’ve got a stew going.


I tried switchblade + silencers (you did mean silencers right? Not refracters?). I have to admit it was too much inf, too clunky, and too short lived.


Nah, I’m thinking of switchblade + ghost runner as your face-check solution and Apocalypse enabler. Mimic as backup for the ubiquitous architects. You probably need to run 2 levys, which really is only 1 inf more than levy + deja vu. But I don’t have D&D yet, so what do I know. I’ve still no idea what’s the best MU solution for Apex if you’re running more than 1 additional breaker.


Apocalypse is great in credit denial, but Apex can’t really play that game.

Eater is also pretty amazing for enabling Apocalypse hits, but Apex cannot run most of Eater’s support cards.


I can confirm Apocalypse in Eater MaxX is positively disgusting (got MaxX for a random ID tournament this weekend so been doing some heavy testing).

Is there any way to squeeze some siphons into Apex? It’s only Apocalypse’s 2nd best friend after Vamp, but given Apex’s cashflow problems Vamp doesn’t seem plausible.


There’s a TWA video series where they ran 3 Siphon and 3 DDoS as 21 of their influence (no, I’ve no idea how they got to deck size either). Seemed both terrible and glorious.


I’m trying a “mean Apex” build that runs 3 Siphon, no Levy. Considering putting DLR in there, too. I feel like Apex is about as close to a tag-me identity as you can get, with its lack of resources and incredible ability to prevent damage. In the end, all the influence eats away from your card draw, non-Siphon economy, & support cards so I don’t think it’s stronger than a build that spreads its influence out a bit.


3 Account Siphon
3 Apocalypse
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Infiltration
2 Kraken
3 Prey
3 Sure Gamble
3 Traffic Jam
– Hardware (3 cards)
3 Heartbeat
– Program (6 cards)
3 Endless Hunger
3 Harbinger
– Resource (13 cards)
3 Data Leak Reversal
3 DDoS
1 Hades Shard
3 Hunting Grounds
3 Wasteland

You know, I wasn’t feeling like going to work already. Now I’ll have this stupid idea in my head all day without actual experience to dispel my dream.


I watched that. They somehow pulled out 3 wins even though I’m pretty sure they were quite drunk. It seemed like if any of the games had gone on 2 turns longer they would have lost. The went all-in on Apex’s early pressure, and just didn’t bother with a backup plan if things went pear-shaped.


Damnit. 400 posts in and I fire the ‘That’s not a Virtual Resource’ subroutine.

Outside of that blunder, Mumbad has some very interesting Virtuals coming up for Apex. Could ‘The Turning Wheel’ end up being Apex’ influence-free multiaccess? Throw in your preferred Maker’s/Legworks (or cut them) and fill in holes with the 2x Wheel. A couple Street Magic can also go to great lengths of lowering the pain of facechecking Archers, Rototurrets, Caduceus, and Enigmas.

The big hitters here are definitely The Turning Wheel and potentially The Black File. Diwan looks universally good at 1 inf but it’s probably too clunky with endless hunger’s 4 MU. If you want to reach you can say Sports Hopper provides more draw options, Street Magic could be a facecheck tool, and EMP Device could end up being a cheaper influence, albeit weaker DDoS. Executive Party could also be good in Apex.


It’s tough to see from the photo, but The Turning Wheel costs one influence.


I like Turning Wheel as low-influence multi-access, too. Works well with powerful, non-access cards like Siphon or if you’re using Eater as your 2nd breaker. While Sports Hopper is definitely less efficient than Quality Time, the link might be relevant in that tracer ICE are a pain for Apex & being able to store up the draw power for later has lots of nice synergies, e.g. I can picture using it just before an Apocalypse to stock up on options for the turn after, or to get the few cards needed to break something with Faust just in time.

None of these cards are bad but they’re not making Apex any more competitive; remember that every other runner is getting the cards too & the main faction runners can use theirs without influence. I can’t envision a scenario where a virtual resource comes out that single-handedly makes Apex better than other runners. It needs an in-faction solution to its many problems (non-ETR ICE, multi-access, card draw, economy).


I think that Turning Wheel improves APEX far more than it does other runners, and I’m very excited for the card’s release. Every other main faction runner has no-influence multiaccess options and doesn’t have APEX’s memory issues.

TW is cheap, MU-free, as low as one can ask for influence, and works even without success. This forces the corporation to put punishing facecheck ice on the central. In combination with Street Graffiti? Even harder. Facecheck - Facecheck - two clicks to do whatever. Next turn hit RnD / HQ for 4 cards.

I’m excited.

(edit - misspoke : only on one run for TW. But can you use 4 tokens for two cards?)


So after extended testing im turning off the chopbot engine now, realised prey was never landing. Live and learn.


Finally got my D&D set and I’ve been toying with Apex builds a bit. Some thoughts:

  1. Butchershop seems like a good matchup. Sure their kill nullifies Apocalypse, but you nullify their entire game plan with Heartbeat and all of their ICE except Resistor either can be ignored (Pop-Up, Tags) or fall prey to Endless Hunger.

  2. NBN without a kill is probably even better because they suffer a lot from Apocalypse and their ICE composition except (Again) Resistor is very weak to Endless Hunger and the like.

  3. I played three or four games in a row against HB and lost against all of them. Caprice is a pain, Turing is a pain, Assassin is a huge slap in the face and they are always rich enough to make remote runs pointless. I think this is where I’m going to focus now.

  4. I really like Maker’s Eye, it allows you to actually do something beyond building up for big turns. Apex has it really easy to get in, specially early on and seeing 3-6 cards for practically nothing is a big deal.

  5. Wasteland is not great, but from time to time you get a couple of them plus Chopbot and you get enough money to contest any trace.

  6. I wish Apex had 1 link :frowning: