Looking at the Order and Chaos spoilers, I had a bit of a realization about Anarch that I’d like to share.
We don’t really have a “Best ID” do we?
Criminal(/the game) has Andy. Gabe and others are good, but her results show she’s far and away the best. Andy has a massive consistency boost, so as long as the faction is strong, she will be.
Shaper has Kate. I love Kit and CT, but Kate is pretty clearly the frontrunner. Cheaper installs on everything!
We… don’t have that, and I’m not sure we’re going to. The tournament results that I’ve seen for Anarch all seem relatively balanced between the IDs. I mean, Reina has been in the lead recently, but has also been behind before, and I don’t know what the shift there has been necessarily.
The reason why this is exciting, to me, is that there’s a chance that Anarch’ll have the most diversity in powerful options if they get the boost we’re all expecting them to get.
In all seriousness, we have (including the partial spoiler from snow-jax on SA):
- Noise, who trashes on virus install. Powerful ability that seems to be returning to being powerful, with Cache and all the new virii.
- Whizzard, who punishes asset economy builds and gets a few credits here and there by removing SanSans and J. Hows more effectively.
- Reina, who makes rezzing ice harder and pushes the danger-number for each corp up a small but meaningful amount.
- Quetzal (whose decksize and influence is unknown, and is technically unconfirmed), who breaks one barrier subroutine each turn, making her more able to penetrate servers.
- Edward, who hits assetless economies by trashing operations, and also clears out dangerous combo ops.
- Unknown that looks like they might make the Corp start with Bad Pub, making Blackmail and many other things an option, and making runs cheaper.
These are all really good, and I’m sure we’ll see some be better than the others, but right now they all seem well-positioned if Anarch as a whole gets what they need. I feel as if this might, strangely, lead Anarch to be a very meta-defining faction in the future, perhaps more than the others, in some ways.
Let me explain. Currently, you play with Ice chosen to irritate Andy/fixed strength breakers and dodge Atman, generally, right? After all, why wouldn’t you, those are some of the biggest dangers you can face.
But with all of the above as potential options, can you really handle all of these? Edward and Whizzard push the corp into the other’s territory – becoming less vulnerable to one might leave you open to the other, and neither is likely to be useless against you. Quetzal invalidates the most common type of run-ending Ice, at least in part, meaning that a wraparound alone won’t keep anything safe. Noise requires recursion or lots of protection to handle, or lots of damage dealing. Reina requires economy to rez Ice you might not be able to otherwise. Mystery-runner means NAPD might become a liability against her, but not necessarily elsewhere.
Some of these abilities are more powerful/frustrating, and we haven’t seen one runner (or the deck/influence of two of them), but overall I think these are much closer, potentially? Or at least, close enough that local metagames might shift very heavily based on which Anarchs they tend to encounter, as much as to overall changes.