The Art of Intrusion 103: Streamlining

pang4 831

"Welcome back, students. From your assignments, it seems some of you have decided to get a little TOO fancy with your rigs. While style points might count for something if you plan on casting your runs, the assignment asked for efficiency. Challenge yourselves. Ask yourselves, how can I invest less and gain more? Each problem you will face has a variety of solutions, but only one will ever be the RIGHT solution."

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With the NAPD Most Wanted List, The Professor suddenly shot back into the spotlight. The man with the keychain of solutions is back in business, and he's back HARD. This deck has overperformed in my hands, though it can always be tuned further.

Having come down from the initial "professor shock" (wanting to slot ALL THE PROGRAMS, regardless of their efficiency), we're now running a more streamlined breaker suite with more efficient support programs.

Personal Workshop is still the way to go for this build. It's just too strong with Femme Fatale, Sharpshooter, Cyber-Cypher and Stimhack. It allows you to not solely rely on SMC's and Clone Chips for mid-run installs, and is also a half-decent economy card. 1 drip per turn isn't amazing, but it's also not particularly bad.

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General play tip is this: get Magnum Opus into play. Mulligan for it, SMC for it, Test Run for it, do whatever it takes to get the great work into play. Once you do, you have credits for the rest of the game.

After that, PRACTICE! This is not a deck you can netdeck and play in a tournament the following morning. You need to get to know your deck. You have too many options and possibilities to not know what you're doing. Your rig must be incredibly fluid, and you must be willing to trash programs to install others. The professor is the epitome of Shaper shenanigans, and you can't play him without knowing what you're doing. Prepare for some embarrasing defeats while you learn to play him.

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Strategy guide:

Against meat damage decks, get your Imp and Keyhole out to pressure HQ and R&D, and try to dismantle their kill. Use Opus to stay out of Sea-Scorch range, and you should be fine. These matchups come down to playskill more than enything else, so stay safe and pick 'em apart.

Against net damage, Deus X is your best friend ever. Your second best friend ever is Keyhole. Dismantle their decks, run remotes only if absolutely necessary. Sometimes I don't even score against these decks for fear of PE or Shock. I just mill them out. Which is surprisingly effective.

Against fast-advance decks, make sure you have Imp ready for SanSans and Biotics, and can install a Clot when you need to. Your win is probably going to come from abusing Medium and efficient runs, so build up to to that endgame. They typically can't gearcheck you on account of you having answers, so stay ahead in credits with Imp and Opus and you should be fine.

Against rush decks, keep your gearcheck breakers ready. They will try to sneak agendas out behind Enigmas and the like, thinking you're too slow to catch them. Use Nerve Agent to stop them from storing agendas in hand. Force them into remotes, and snipe 'em from your workshop.

Against Glacier, keep them honest. Glacier decks thrive on slow runners. Don't be one of them. Make them rez ICE while you build your workshop, and trash assets when you afford it. Your endgame is quite powerful, as you can provide serious pressure on HQ, R&D or remote servers, and pretty seamlessly swap between the three. Spread them thin, and punch through their servers when it truly matters.

Finally, combo. To be honest, you're a bit soft to combo, since they can masquerade as other archetypes until it's too late. If you get a stray access on a Diagnostics or Power Shutdown, you need to switch gears fast. Get Imp and trash combo pieces from their hand until they beg for mercy. Target Jackson Howard with extreme prejudice and, if your rig can support it, start Keyholeing their combo pieces.

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"As you can see, students, being a sysop isn't as pleasant as it first may appear. A clever runner can adapt to whatever you throw at them, and send you your own resignation papers in the morning. You must be as clever as the runners, and as determined, in order to succeed."

"Professor? Corporations develop and employ the strongest intrusion countermeasures possible. How could runners even be a problem anymore?"

"The runners develop malware and intrusion programmes on a daily basis. Whatever you build, they can match it. New technology destroys the old."

3 comments
23 Jan 2016 Heartthrob

Favorite include by far is Incubator. So much pressure from that in Professor due to Medium, Parasite, Nerve. Great build!

23 Jan 2016 Heartthrob

Quick thought, would Djinn be a good 1-of replacement for a Cybersolutions Chip? Allows you more memory and lets you fetch one of your favorite viruses without burning precious SMCs. Maybe??

23 Jan 2016 pang4

Djinn is a cool thought, but I'm reluctant to remove any Cybersolutions. When building a big rig, drawing one of them is absolutely necesssary. Because I'm paranoid about rigshooting, both Djinn and Leprechaun are stupidly scary programs for me to run.

Test it and see if it works, though. Maybe we could run a more extensive virus suite with Deep Thought or Pheromones?