Apex - disposable redundancy

Krams 818

This is my current try on building an Apex deck. So far it's pretty okay, but has it's problems.
The main idea is that every card is redundant and it doesn't hurt to install any of them facedown with the ID ability or Hunting Grounds. When in doubt, just throw away all of your stuff, Levy and repeat. Most of the cards are disposable anyways.

Any comments welcome :)


The rig usually consists of Endless Hunger, e3 Feedback Implants, Heartbeat, 1 free , a Clone Chip and Deus X, Disrupter and Sharpshooter in heap. But I'm running with missing parts of the rig all the time. If I hit anything I'm not prepared for I just shrug it off and continue. None of my stuff is really expensive and everything is redundant, so I don't care much if I take a hit.

Dealing with Traces

ICE of the subtype tracer deserve an extra chapter :D

  • In most cases, I just let the trace hit me and shrug it off. My rig is cheap, my console protects me against damage and tags can easily be cleared after running.
  • So far I have made no use of my Disrupters and I don't know if I should keep them. It could just be installed and left there as a shield against Punitive Counterstrike and other operations if I see them coming. And it could be used to pass ICE with a single high strength trace, even if they are neither AP nor Destroyer. But in practice, I just let anything hit me that Disrupter would help against.
  • The original idea was to use Gingerbread instead of Disrupter, but it's more expensive in influence, install cost and usage and it sticks around, using up . It's just sad that this weird little program didn't find a place in this deck. It would be so fitting. And it would save me the trouble of installind Dysons for .
  • I only install Dyson Mem Chip if I really need or . Most games I install not a single one. But I think it's not the worst idea to have any option if I need to prepare for a server with APs or Destroyers and don't want to overdraw to get my stuff in the heap. And having a is pretty much the only thing I can do against servers with lots of tracers, especially if they end the run like Caduceus or Viper. It's either that or paying a lot of money I don't really have.
    (Seriously, why does noone play Viper? It's one of my default fallback cheap ETR ICE when building corp decks. I use it more often than Eli 1.0!)

Card choices

  • Grifter has proven itself to be MVP, much to my own surprise. I didn't even consider the card until a friend of mine used it in his Adam deck ("Hey, im Always Be Running anyways, I might as well get paid for it!"). Grifter suits Apex nicely because it's not that hard for him to have a run be considered "successful", even if you may have to throw a dozen cards in the heap for that success. Though I have to admit, I did make some pointless runs into all-faceup undefended archives just to prevent Grifter from being trashed.
  • Not sure if I should add Dorm Computer. I find myself clearing tags a lot and most of them because I run head first into rezzed Observers.
  • Cache is a very uncertain canidate. It mainly serves as an "installed card", but I can get enough of those other ways.
  • I'm unsure about a third Clone Chip. It's a dead draw if the corp doesn't use APs or destroyers, but it's so important if they do!
  • This deck needs some drawing power badly, but I'm unsure where to get the influence from, since neutral draw power only comes as non-virtual resource.
  • Apocalypse is used only when the board state calls for it. Usually the rig should get into any server. But if the corp goes horizontal fast, this can be the answer.

Problematic ICE

So far I haven't seen most of these ICE. But theoretically, if I would see them, I'd have to Prey them fast or be damned! This is my first runner deck without a complete rig, so I made a list of things I can't break. Tracers excluded, although I technically can't "break" them either. ICE that do nothing except dealing damage are also excluded. That's what I got a console for ;)

Non Code Gates:

  • Pachinko can stop me if positioned correctly. I usually don't float tags, but against a lot of ICE I take them and clear afterwards. Paired with Bandwidth that's a problem.
  • Snowflake is a hard stop. I'm just glad noone plays it.
  • Susanoo-No-Mikoto has costed me a game. The corp was scoring behind it and I had no Apocalypse in hand to turn that successful and completely harmless access on a trapped archive into a nightmare for the corp.
  • Excalibur does what it does against anyone not using AI breakers.
  • All traps will fire and I'll just bear it. To be honest, it's less a problem for Apex than for most others.

Code Gates:

  • As a runner I haven't seen a Builder in play so far. Ever. Which surprises me, because I play it often myself. I geuss against Apex it must be destroyed before it puts Weyland's advanceble Walls beyond 11 strength. Seriously, I haven't encountered any ICE with more than 11 strength so far, but as a corp I had some in play. More often than you'd think.
  • I haven't seen Bullfrog or Clairvoyant Monitor ever and I probably won't. But theoretically, they kill my current Apex deck. I would need to try to beat the Psi first and if I win the Psi game I'd have to apocalypse them that turn.
  • I haven't seen Crick at all except in some very strange Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions builds. It's unbreakable for my Apex, but I'm not sure if that's even a problem.
  • Inazuma basically reads "You can't break the ICE behind this one. Ever." I'm screwed. (Note that this is only problematic if the ICE behind it ends the run - in other words, if Inazuma is used in a way you would normally never use it!)
  • Shiro could do nasty stuff. I'm just lucky most traps that fire off R&D are soaked by Heartbeat. So it's not really a problem, but still an unbreakable ICE.
  • Turing is supposed to be an anti-AI and I don't run AI, so theoretically I should be good. Too bad it's not " end the run", so I need to pay if I ever want to pass it. Absolutely unbreakable behind an Hourglass or a second Turing. I would need to Prey the first one, then pass the second ICE next turn.
  • Wendigo in front of an Ice Wall is probably the cheapest way to shut me out. And I use Wendigo a lot in my own Weyland decks! I'm just glad noone else uses it, otherwise my Apex would be in trouble.
  • Wormhole is basically the same as Wendigo. I use it often, other players seem to ignore it and my Apex can't do shit against it. I can't even Prey it as long as a rezzed ETR exists.

And last, but not least:

  • TL;DR in front of any of the above :D

Looking at that list (that turned out to be a LOT longer than I orignally thought!) I think that maybe I should grab a Decoder... A ZU.13 Key Master maybe?

P.S.: I just realized I can't beat most of my own corp decks since I'm a great fan of using Caduceus, Viper, Turing, Builder, Wendigo, Wormhole and Weyland's advanceble Walls (Yes, even the big one!).

5 Nov 2015 bubbathegoat

I really like your write up for Apex. This really helps me understand how Apex runs and doesn't fear anything corps may throw at it. I think you missed Heimdall 2.0 as a problematic ICE, since its second sub will give Endless Hunger trouble.

My focus recently has been on taxing, multi sub ICE with Midway Station Grid to tax runners breaking into servers, but my next build idea is to tax runner's recusrion with program trashing via Ichi 1.0, Keegan Lane/Marcus Batty, and/or Wormhole. Lots of runner's aren't shapers, and they are limited on their recursion abilities. I don't know if that will hurt your deck much or not, since you have 2x Clone Chip and 2x Levy AR Lab Access.

I suppose my concern with this list is limited tutoring and card draw. If you are facing a lot of trashing, you may need to fire off a Levy, and then you need to draw again to find your missing pieces. I think you are safe from Ichi 1.0 and Archer, which are the main culprits, but Keegan and Batty may form a nasty combo that utilized program trashing to stop runners.

Sorry I don't have much to add, but I like your list and am interested to start seeing how this and similar decks play out!

5 Nov 2015 siahofmars

@Krams nice build, i have been building apex alot lot lot lot... and testing soo much with him. i think a good simple with less mu problem answer for alot of the problematic ice is faust. If i may give my 2 sense on your build, first things i would do is #1 get card draw #2 -2 disrupter +2 dorm computer (it cost nothing, is same influence, doesnt eat up MU and u have more times to use it) u can save another influence by cutting one of the levi's and putting in a deja vu to get it back instead. #3 you have 0 Multi Access.

Hope my Apex experience helps your build :). Happy running!

5 Nov 2015 Pinkwarrior

@Krams I found the same thing with Grifter it really fits him personally id drop the Disrupter and probally a LALA for some I've Had Worse this will help with Punitive Counterstrike & a Scorched Earth after you Apocalypse it also doubles up as general draw if your sure you don't need it.

6 Nov 2015 Capstone

This looks really interesting. Have you experienced any problem due to not having any cards for card draw? Also I would drop the Distrupters because tracers usually are not that problematic. Instead try to fit in a ZU.13 Key Master! You have the link with the mem chips anyways, so either you have a full rig and no problems with code gates anymore or you have an emergency breaker ready that you can throw away since it's not essential and you can get it back with one of the chips. Did you try replacing the Caches with Ghost Runner? It's basically the same thing for you, but you can save some precious influence!

6 Nov 2015 Krams

Thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate it :)

@bubbathegoat Yup, missed Heimdall 2.0 completely. I guess I can do nothing but click through him. Which could be problematic with other nasty things like Heinlein Grid and makes Zed 1.0 a 2 card tax for Heartbeat instead of just ignoring him.

@siahofmars Yea, multi-access... I just don't know how. I don't have the or influence for Medium and Interfaces are expensive. Especially if you flip over the table with Apocalypse.

@Capstone Hey, I totally overlooked Ghost Runner. It really is pretty much the same as Cache for me. Yay, 2 influence freed up, thanks!

I will make some test plays with -2 Cache, +2 Ghost Runner, -2 Disrupter, +1 ZU.13 Key Master, +2 Dorm Computer and -1 Wasteland. I'll let you know how that works out for me!

Still no draw power though... :/

6 Nov 2015 bubbathegoat

@Krams Honestly, I forgot e3 for Heimdall, you can still break his 3rd sub with Endless Hunger and use e3 to break the other 2 for 1c each

6 Nov 2015 Krams

@bubbathegoat Oh, yeah, right.

6 Nov 2015 Krams

So far I'm not really happy with the Ghost Runners. I install them, wait until I need to use e3 two times (which can take quite some time against some ICE suites) and trash them with Hunger/console. I can't even use the third cred or they'll just trash themselves.