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!)
- 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.
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.
- 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!).