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When Will it be Time for Replicator?


#1

When this card was spoiled, so many of us instantly drooled - how could we not? With the card evaluation skills we’ve honed in other card games, to us, replicator looked like a savage card-advantage engine; my first thought was: “this card is so powerful, it will surely elevate shapers to the same tier as everyone else.”

This sentiment proved to be quite wrong, replicators appearance in the competitive scene didn’t change the format in the slightest, and was only present in “rogue” decks that probably could have taken or left replicator.

So my question to you dear stimhackers, is when will it be time for replicator? what cards have to get made in order to make this card as great as we all expected it to be? I remember Alexfrog, in a bgg hype thread he made about replicator explained that he thought it would take some great hardware to make replicator sing; however, shortly after that shapers received their most important card: R&D Interface and Clone chip came trailing not too far behind.

I think that alone proves that the hardware itself wasn’t enough, perhaps it is a lack of synergy? It’s hard to make a deck abuse replicator while committing card slots to programs and econ.

What do you think? Did pawnshop actually become too slow for the format? What will it take to make replicator great?


#2

Sadly I think it might not ever become the time. We got some cards that it seemed like we needed to make it work, and then it still didnt work. Its a weaker draw engine than Professional Contacts.

Its great at drawing you a bunch of hardware, but the problem is that drawing a bunch of hardware isnt what you need to win the game. Also, drawing extra things that you pawn for easy marks couldve been great in core set, but by now we have Kati Jones, Daily Casts, and tons of other economy cards. Easy Marks arent all that anymore.


#3

So I’ve been thinking about this exact topic lately, and I think there are a few things I’ve decided might happen if they want to make stealth rigs a thing:

Using programs as sources of stealth credit generation is out of the question if you’re running any sort of stealth rig. The MU just doesn’t work. They need to come from hardware.

If they’re ever going to make that viable, they need to run hardware tutors, like a double event that tutors and installs or a Djinn-style tutor.

If these ever happen, you might see Replicator become useful.


#4

@szymkodf That’s a good point, I didn’t consider that the designers might use replicator to support their stealth archetype.

@alexfrog

As I was thinking about this, I wondered, if there was a hypotherical identity that said: Gain :click: at the start of each of your turns, use this click only to install hardware.

Even that, coupled with pawnshop would mean that all of your clicks until you run out of cards to pawn would be worth an extra .25 credits. Seems good, but look what it took just to get that.

I don’t think that Replicator could ever occupy space as an economy engine without the existence of a super pawnshop that gave more than 3 credits for hardware pawned. As with the exile spoiler, I really wanted a bodyweight reprint when I saw replicator – we got freelance coding which is good enough for me, but not what replicator wanted.

Replicators place outside of casual decks would have to be to get hardware that just wins the game. a hardware that says: if you have 3 installed, win the game? No maybe not such an extreme - perhaps supporting a future archetype that requires hardware to establish a hard-lock.

The shaper hardware that was spoiled that returns cards from archives to HQ hints at the possibility of creating choke decks in netrunner, but in order to get there, it would have to be an archetype that the designers are actively supporting, because there isn’t really anything else to support a choke deck beyond that record reconstructor card. I really think this is more anti-fun than some of the things that the designers have already printed counters for.

I dont know man, I really don’t know.


#5

I see it like this in the vast majority of Shaper decks I’ve built:

Would I like to have a Replicator in hand when installing my Clone Chip/RDI? Hell yes.

Does it help me early game or with subterfuge, where Shapers need the most assistance? No.

In the end, it’d be great to magically have Replicator’s effect, but I just can’t bring myself to sacrifice other options for it, and as Alexfrog stated, it doesn’t typically change a game’s outcome.


#6

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as well. It’s one of the first cards I put on my list, but invariably the first one to go again once I trim it down to size. I agree with @Lysander in that we’d love the effect, but it’s hard to find the deck space, credits, or a click spare to actually include it.

Replicator has three main uses as I see it.

  1. Draw multiples of the things you want to see (clone chip, RDI etc.)
  2. Draw the extra copies of stuff you only want one of (consoles etc.) in order to
    a) boost your hand size vs. damage
    b) purify your future draw by removing dead cards

So what would the enviroment have to be like to increase the value of Replicator?

I) Enough good playable hardware that you want in multiple
II) Some seriously good one-off hardware that justfies 3 copies
III) A damage-heavy corp meta, where re-stocking your hand for free would be an advantage

Hardware is currently in a support role for the runner’s rig - with a few exceptions like the Interfaces and possibly Clone Chip. Programs and resources are the meat and bones - which is presumably also why they’re the most vulnerable to the corp’s ICE / operations - and events are the game-changing knockout punches that the runner can keep hidden. Until we see hardware that can compete with the rest of the package we’re unlikely to need to run tonnes of it.

A hardware specialist ID might get some use out of it. Likewise a (hypothetical) super-powerful identity that had a much larger minimum deck size could might get some value from it, since they’d have spare deck space and their draw would be less reliable.


#7

perhaps the answer is hostage being able to search inside man. the one time ive seen replicator work well was in a league game where the guy got his inside men early and proceeded to spam free personal touches, cyberfeeders and RnD interfaces.

i cant even remember if he won but i thought oh wow " if you could reliably get out inside man before replicator you might have something".

still probably too janky but now with tag n bag enjoying a revival thanks to the new tournament rules replicating plascrete seems relevant and you should be able to find a use for replicating clone chips…

so many decks to try and so little time lol.


#8

i think replicator will at least warrant another look when they introduce a way to search your deck for hardware. until then, it’s just not worth it.


#9

i guess. i just dont think the runners need many more hard tutors. have you played with hostage yet ? maybe that double click is more costly than i think it is but sure doesnt feel like a unfair cost for being able to run a suite of powerful connections in my criminal deck.


#10

Yeah, Narziss and I were just talking about Hostage. I think this is what I concluded:

Running Hostage to get Pro Contacts in play is worth it, as long as you’re not under pressure and plan to draw that turn.

Once you have PC in play, it gets much murkier – the opportunity cost is 3 credits and 2 draws to have the opportunity to pay to install, say, KJ. That seems pretty steep, and won’t recoup itself for several turns. It may just be better to just hit PC more.


#11

Poking this dead thread. Anybody trying out Replicator + Bazaar?

Some half-assed goldfishing makes it seem maybe-not-terrible. General game plan is to get tech writers out ASAP, then dig for replicator, bazaar, and a spy camera. spy camera + replicator + bazaar = 1 click to install all six, netting you 6 credits per tech writer. Using your newfound spying skills, you can quickly put together the rest of the goods: aesop’s, another consumer-grade hardware chain (net chips), or cards that will actually help you win the game. If the top of the stack isn’t good, install some other cheap hardware and replicator + shuffle and try again.

Out of Kate, it seems like after ~4 or 5 turns, you can be sitting on 20-30 credits with 3 drip per turn from aesop’s, which should keep you going for a while. Plus your deck is nothing but good stuff, and arranged in a pleasing order. Hayley can probably go faster, but having an extra credit or two during the setup (for a second replicator if you don’t see bazaar early, or if you need to install something to trigger a replicator shuffle) makes it feel pretty consistent.

I’ll be focusing on this for a little while to see if it bears fruit, it’s certainly neat.


#12

Not tried it but it sprung to mind to try it earlier today when I was going through my cards putting together another deck. I’ll be interested to see how you get on with it.


#13

I put up a list on the untested/non-competitive megathread. Once you’re set up, it’s reasonably strong. Setup can take between 4 and 15 turns, though :slight_smile:


#14

I want to make this work in criminal, exactly because of the setup time. I feel a lot of the weaknesses of decks that like to set up can be mitigated by criminals access to things like inside job, and emergency shutdown. Oh but then you have 6 less inf. Perhaps Ken, Rebirthed into Leela then? I wish I was kidding.


#15

Consumer grade could have been good with replicator, the problem is that they should have had a higher power level to justify the deck slots of them both.


#16

They might release something in flashpoint that makes hardware better, we already have bazaar. While it’s not consistent, if you get bazaar, replicator and a consumer grade quickly enough, that powers through a lot of your deck, and that makes you find better cards sooner. The problem I see is not losing immediately, which with the right deck and cards, could be mitigated. I cannot wait for the future.


#17

Spy camera x6 with replicator and bazaar is dynamite in a Geist + tech trader deck.

Lots of nice synergies here: you like to install lots of cheap stuff (to load up Technical Writers), the Spy Camera click ability is good for setting up for future clickless draws (via geist’s ability) when you have multiples installed, and once you’ve got a couple tech traders out, spy cameras become on-demand econ and flatline protection.

Plus, spy camera is pretty good on its own for in-faction R&D pressure.

Here’s what I’m on, still needs some tweaking.

Spy camera geist sans connections

Armand “Geist” Walker: Tech Lord (The Underway)

Event (7)

Hardware (12)

Resource (15)

Icebreaker (12)

15 influence spent (max 15)
46 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Salsette Island

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


#18

The idea of replicating a sports hopper is hilarious! “You wouldn’t download a car! Would you?”


#19

when you’re a tech lord, you just dgaf


#20

Shaper is the only faction that can really run the nonsense that is bazaar+consumer+replicator right now with any real viability. The simple fact that Aesop’s, Net-Chip AND Replicator are all in faction is pretty damning against almost all other options as of right now.

Spending 6 influence to enable to combo out of shaper is pretty good, albeit the cost of 12 deck slots is pretty steep.

Geist could maybe get it to work too, but I feel like crims need another hardware that can pop and isn’t hopper. Hopper is great, but 9 is crazy expensive without inside man to offset the cost.