Quicksand 3[credit]

Ice: Barrier
Strength: 0
Influence: 0

When the Runner encounters Quicksand, place 1 power counter on Quicksand.

Quicksand has +1 strength for each power counter on it.

[subroutine] End the run.

Illustrated by Dmitry Prosvirnin
Decklists with this card

Chrome City (cc)

#60 • English
Startup Card Pool
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Chrome City

No rulings yet for this card.


If the runner encounter it 3 times or less, Wall of Static is a better choice. So, obviously, you'll want this one where the runner will run (very) often.

It can be viable protecting archive against any deck with Datasucker or on centrals in Jinteki: Replicating Perfection, but not on periphery since the runner will just bounce on the ERT routine (after Pup or Komainu maybe?)

Personally, I use it in Jinteki: Replicating Perfection to protect my economy assets (Sundew, Mental Health Clinic, PAD Campaign and Melange Mining Corp.). Every time the runner runs it to trash my Sundew (and you know he will) it's become more and more expansive.

(Chrome City era)
If we assume that the runner has a 0 strength ice beaker that pumps and breaks for 1<span class="icon icon-credit"></span> each then it's actually 5 runs to break even with [Wall of Static](/en/card/01113). The stronger the base strength of the runner's breaker the better [Wall of Static](/en/card/01113) gets by comparison (because [Quicksand](/en/card/08060) will eventually get stronger assuming enough encounters. —
Gah, comments don't get markdown syntax. Here's the plain text version: If we assume that the runner has a 0 strength ice beaker that pumps and breaks for 1 credit each then it's actually 5 runs to break even with Wall of Static. The stronger the base strength of the runner's breaker the better Wall of Static gets by comparison (because Quicksand will eventually get stronger assuming enough encounters. —
what 0 strength fracter is there besides maybe Sage (which can't boost itself)? —
I don't think there's a strength 0 fractor besides Sage, but there are plenty of AI breakers that start at 0 or 1 (Darwin, Crypsis...a misplayed Atman...). Interstingly, Wyrm would be effective against this the first time you run it! —
It could be also a nice card synergizing with cards that incentivize running, such as (also neutral) Subliminal Messaging. —
Might not be bad as a single Archives ICE, I guess? If you're concerned about Runners farming Datasucker tokens this puts a limit on that behaviour at relatively low cost. —
I also use it as central protection in Replicating Perfection and I think it has an additional psychological benefit because the runner may forego early accesses in order to keep its strength low for 'future' accesses later in the game - but there is no guarantee for the runner this kind of avoidance strategy will pay off. I would also like to point out that the strength is not zero on the first encounter but 1, since it will get one counter, zero strength is only relevant to instand parasite plays or if the runner is using hunting grounds. Against some multi-pump fracters, AI or pseudo-AI breakers (i.e. Pancha-bread) it will take a long time (possibly not during your game) to out-perform a Wall of Static so that is a downside worth considering. I'm not sure using it to protect medium/low value 'permanent' assets like PAD campaign or Mental Health Clinic is a worthwhile use of ICE in a horizontal deck, if you ice and rez Quicksand on a PAD Campaign the runner might just ignore it in favour of hitting more valuable remotes and then you will have invested $5 and 2 clicks to 'set up' a pad campaign. —

So the key thing you need to ask yourself when you are deciding whether this is the ice for your deck is "how many times do I expect the runner to break this?" and "Where would I install this?".

After being broken 5 times, Quicksand costs 1 credit more than Wall of Static would have, at 11 to 10

After being broken 9 times, Quicksand costs 1 credit more than Eli 1.0 would have, at 37 to 36

(The costs above were determined for breaking with Corroder)

Of course, where this should be installed is also an interesting question, the most obvious answer is R&D if you tend to lose due to R&D Lock, or to a lesser extent R&D Digging, but it may also be good installed elsewhere, for example, against Gabe it may be a very good idea to plant one of these on HQ, and archives to make his Sneakdoor Shenanigans less effective.

The other thing is that if you can somehow cause the runner to encounter Quicksand more than once per run (Cough Mumbad Cough) then Quicksand could become very taxing very quickly, Assuming it doesn't get Parasited or Knifed immediately of course, and Quetzal just laughs in it's face.

(Data and Destiny era)
I'm not sure that the economic comparison with Eli 1.0 is entirely fair. After all Eli 1.0 is somewhat porous and can be clicked through, whereas Quicksand requires a breaker. This makes a big difference if you are using it to protect a central and they play a run event like Account Siphon, Vamp or Maker's Eye - it even matters if you are installing an agenda behind it in a remote —
I'm not claiming that the comparison to Eli 1.0 is entirely fair, I was fully aware of that, but felt it was a valuable comparison to make anyway. —

I always love to see power counter cards, because I feel like we need a few more to make the strategy viable. This card may have a place when paired with Helium-3 Deposit, IT Department, and Data Raven. You could also include Snoop or Viktor 2.0, but it's probably not a good idea to put too many eggs into the power counter basket just yet.

(Chrome City era)
It's a neutral card with no influence cost. It's in-faction for everyone, silly. —
Bwahahah you're correct! Apparently my brain flags anything with a greenish tint as "Weyland". Womp womp. I'm still a fan of more power counter synergy, though! —
I thought this would be a great R&D protection. It costs more every time you go through it! But it usually gets Parasited as soon as it is rezzed. —
I don't think I'd mind having this Parasited. It's just an ETR piece of ice, and that means there's one less Parasite for the damaging stuff :) —