Crypsis 5[credit]

Program: Icebreaker - AI - Virus
Memory: 1 • Strength: 0
Influence: 0

Interface → 1[credit]: Break 1 subroutine.

1[credit]: +1 strength.

[click]: Place 1 virus counter on this program.

Whenever an encounter ends, if you used this program to break a subroutine during that encounter, remove 1 hosted virus counter or trash this program.

Illustrated by Mauricio Herrera
Decklists with this card

Core Set (core)

#51 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)

No rulings yet for this card.


(Core Set perspective)

Ahh...Crypsis. Good old Crypsis...

There's something about him, something kind of deflating. I mean, he's not bad (he's actually very good) but you can't help but feel when you pay that 5 to play him that you've failed somehow.

Whenever you make a run with him, you both know you'd rather be using something else, if you could. You can think of the needed to wind him up as a pull chord, with him dispensing passive aggressive reminders of all your mistakes that made him necessary.

"Sure was smart face-checking that Ichi on your last click, wasn't it?"

"'I'll just click through all their sentries.' huh?"

"Pahaha! Er-, I mean sure, let's go."

If you're playing the Core Set and like taking risks, you could swap him out for a little more economy or fun events, but the truth is that having a Crypsis in your deck is very useful, either for when your plans go sideways or when you get a good money start and can afford to wade through their ICE for a little extra.

(Fear the Masses era)

It is expensive to install.

It is expensive to use since its base strength is 0.

It is slow.

It will hurt your tempo.

It will be a constant drain on your clicks.



It will get you through any ice in the game.

(Breaker Bay era)
Just watch out for swordman. —
Let's not forget Turing, as well. It won't kill Crypsis, but it'll stop it dead in its tracks. :) —
Hivemind makes it work without ever having to spend clicks. —
Not really, if you "spend" Hivemind token on Crypsis, you lose token on Hivemind. —
Oops youre right! —

Crypsis is designed to be the 'go to' universal breaker of the core set. It wasn't made to break every ICE you encounter. It was meant to break that ICE you couldn't break with the core set breakers. It was mainly intended to complement the Anarch fixed strength breakers though and while it lost some of that appeal with recent expansions there are still a few reasons why you'd want to include it in your deck.

The most important thing about Crypsis is that it's a virus. This means two things. It can be tutored with Djinn and it complements Noise's ability. In fact, before Hades Shard was released Crypsis was the tool to make sure you got into the Archives for your points in a Noise deck. Because Crypsis can be tutored it was also the standard Anarch solution for when the corp thought was secure enough to start scring. The usual surprise play was to find it with Djinn, install (hopefully getting a free virus counter from Grimoire, click for virus otherwise) and Stimhack away for great justice at that Agenda.

The thing about AI breakers is that they are all designed with big limitations you have to work around so that they're not really feasible to be your only breaker. Crypsis requires virus counters to stay on the table which you have to put there in advance or you might end up not having enough clicks to keep it after the run. However, even though it uses virus counters it's not really a good synergy with Incubator or Hivemind. If you're running the 'virus farm' toolkit and need an AI breaker Darwin might be a better choice as it's a more efficient use of that precious Hivemind.

Despite all that Crypsis still remains the most straightforward AI breaker (next to Overmind) and having one on the table can keep the corp from brazenly scoring an agenda behind that one ice you can't find a breaker for. As long as you can afford it at least.

(Breaker Bay era)

(Flashpoint cycle)

OK, so everyone knows Crypsis is terrible. BUT! - with the increased amount of card removal lately (Ark Lockdown, Chronos Project, plus heap-dwelling breakers like Paperclip etc,) I'm actually revisiting Crypsis as a backup in my Criminal deck. Money's in no short supply for runners lately, especially criminals, so that's not as worrying as it used to be. The click cost does suck. But this is the very best defense against getting locked out late-game by breaker removal. When your lone Paperclip gets sniped, or your last surviving Cerberus "Rex" H2 runs out of counters, Crypsis will keep you in the game for that last agenda.

(Escalation era)