I want to have a discussion about the ways of using Accelerated Diagnostics that don’t involve the Power Shutdown/Jackson Howard combo. As we all know, the main problem is that you often end up pitching cards into Archives. But there’s a way to avoid that - the ABT/Foundry ruling tells us that if we can draw the non-operations, trigger an R&D shuffle or move the top 3 cards to somewhere else in R&D, we don’t have to trash them. How can we do that?
- Anonymous Tip
- Green Level/Blue Level Clearance
- Corporate Shuffle
- Interns/Shipment from MirrorMorph (NEH Only)
- Aggressive Negotiation
- Corporate Shuffle
- Fast Track
- Oversight AI/Bioroid Efficiency Research (Foundry Only)
At some point you’re going to put some stuff into Archives that shouldn’t be there. So you’re going to need to bring along some recursion. Precognition is an interesting support card because it can save you from a bad AD as well as set up a good one. Architect is an obvious support card if you can make it fire, and Shiro also has potential. Power Shutdown is especially interesting because it gives you the option of having the silly combos, and you can see if there are any cards you really shouldn’t trash.
Maximising Value - Operations
The biggest thing that AD does is negate additional costs. AD into Interns lets you stick ICE from previous misfires way out the front of a tower. Hitting Celebrity Gift becomes 6 credits for a click, plus whatever else AD gives you. BLC is 2 cards and 2 creds for a click, makes the rest of the AD safe and there are 2 other cards you’re looking at. Most of the best cards to hit are transactions (specifically the clearances), so there’s an argument for BABW in here somewhere. Conclusion: you want strong operations that are almost unconditionally playable (money is another constraint to be aware of here - seeing Restructure when you’re at 6 credits is way uncool), and a decent number of doubles.
Maximising Value - Archives
When AD misfires, runners often can’t help themselves and will almost always do an archives check. Who can blame them? It’s about as good as a few free R&D accesses. We can capitalise on this by playing Jinteki PE or Argus; or by putting Shi Kyu, Shock!, Cyberdex Virus Suite or Space Camp in our deck. Argus isn’t very compelling because Weyland’s key operations (Scorch/Punitive) are very conditional, and AD wants unconditionally playable operations. So from this perspective we would want to be playing Jinteki.
(While we’re on the topic of identities, HB:ETF gets an honourable mention for enabling the hilarious turn one play of “ICE archives -> Accelerated Diagnostics”, and having enough credits to play Hedge Fund if you see it.)
Maximising Value - Speed
If we want to accelerate the game plan, we want to think of the game as a race to see and use our cards faster than the runner can access them. Therefore, although we want to be able to hedge our AD bets, we want to be able to use the cards moving around as a way of getting to the things we need (c.f. MaxX). This means that a card like Corporate Shuffle is better than something like Rework. Ideally you’ve played everything you like from your hand, so seeing 5 new cards for a click is a good deal. HB and Jinteki have the most promising AD-compatible operations (specifically, BLC and Celebrity Gift). HB also has the NEXT suite which can support a fast-moving game plan and bring scaling protection. Jinteki’s package is economically weaker, because they’re only likely to afford a suite of 3x AD and (3x GLC or 3x BLC), plus they miss out on a whole lot of strong support cards.
I wrote this to start discussion and to clarify my own thoughts. Decklists can come later. Here’s a summary of what I believe:
- AD should be used to speed up a deck and not just as a way to be fancy.
- The deck needs a strong core of cheap, unconditionally good operations. The clearances are perfect because they protect R&D, make money and get you cards to go faster.
- So many of the best operations for this plan are in HB that despite tempting IDs and archive-traps in other factions they’re the faction to choose.
- Celebrity Gift is so good and the NBN/Weyland operations so lacklustre in comparison that Custom Biotics is out.
- You don’t build a big buffer of a hand playing operations straight out of R&D, so CI cannot build a safe HQ.
- There won’t be enough room for ICE to make NEXT Design happy.
- Foundry opens some new, questionable AD-recovery cards (OAI/BER), but they’re expensive and conditional.
- There won’t be room to fit in the support cards Stronger Together needs (Heinlein etc.)
- ETF is really the way to go.
- The deck needs to be okay-with-to-enthusiastic-about putting things in archives.
Are there any other Accelerated Diagnosticians out there? Join me in launching a new era! Let us call this the year 0AD of a new age, the age of ACCELERATED DIAGNOSTICS!