I think you’ve basically summed up the decks biggest weakness. The truth is, sometimes you’ll wind up in situations where there is relatively little you could have done to change the outcome. I’ve played Apoc MaxX against some stellar Blue Sun players who will actually oversight a big ICE like Orion or Curtain Wall and just sit on it several turns, effectively forcing you to burn a D4v1d.
Considering how heavily you are hedging your bets on denying the corp the ability to rez ice, whether through economic denial or DDoS, any corp that can work around that via things like Oversight or Bootcamp is going to give you a serious headache.
Another one- versus Palana, they got a Crisium Grid behind a few ice (one of which was Swordsman). We got a few options here:
- Get in ASAP with regular breakers and remove it;
- Get in with Faust and remove it;
- Save credits, get in much later with either and Apoc in the mid-game.
And how about Keyhole? In the Palana game I think I showed my hand too early, playing Keyhole out immediately and using it a few times. This is why they then fortified R&D. Had I not done so, it would have been much easier to Apoc later on. I suspect it was not worth the few accesses to reveal the plan.
So in general, you want to Apoc first and then hammer with Keyhole? Against glacier builds, do you want to Apoc when they have one ice per server, or wait for two or more? Waiting will destroy more ice, the way I see it.
For me, Crisium Grid is almost always worth killing ASAP, even if it means face-planting through a Swordsman and losing Eater or having to use a DDoS to get to it. It only gets harder to deal with as they get more ICE out and you don’t want it to become impossible to get to.
As for when to Apocalypse, sometimes it’s a similar story of weighing the benefits now vs. the benefits later and accounting for the fact that it will most likely only get harder to land the longer you wait. I would say against EtF/Palana/RP glacier decks, which typically run between 17-20 ICE, trying to let them double stack a few servers is probably a good idea. If you only trash 4 or 5 pieces with the Apocalypse, they will likely be able to bounce back with relative ease. Compare this to an NBN deck that plays 12-14 pieces of ICE where trashing 4 or 5 is actually quite a lot and could leave them defenseless for several turns while they dig for replacements.