The Cult of Apex

umbralAeronaut 774

Edit (17/Oct/2016) : The current Cult of Apex is constructed with the following edits to the printed list. If you wish to see justification for these changes, you can track the progress of the deck since it was initially posted by reading the comments.

  • -2 Gingerbread
  • -1 Hunting Grounds (2 total)
  • -1 The Turning Wheel (1 total)
  • -1 Employee Strike
  • +1 Rigged Results
  • +1 Overmind (3 total)
  • +1 Out of the Ashes (3 total)
  • +1 Chop Bot 3000 (3 total)
  • +1 e3 Feedback Implants (2 total)

HE COMES

You will find no Hyperdrivers, DDoS-Siphon combos, Faust-Brain Cage shenanigans, or imported Directives here. We're not desperately importing high-influence options in order to shore up perceived mini-faction weaknesses. The theory is simple: Embrace your inner digital eldritch horror! Don't burn your influence stealing the power tools of the big factions, rely on your own! By avoiding any single major splashes in this way we can spread Apex's Influence out over the maximum number of carefully-chosen cards, ones that synergize with the central gameplan (Apocalypse Now, Apocalypse Later, Apocalypse Forever) and that add deck flexibility to go along with Apex's innate raw power.

Deck inconsistency is probably the biggest problem that Apex needs to resolve. The core of what makes this deck tick is start-of-turn triggers between Apex's ID ability, Chop Bot 3000, and the 8 "from the heap" cards... when necessary you should be able to aggressively cycle your deck to find the right tool (usually an Icebreaker to threaten Apocalypse with), all while passively boosting your economy and preparing for a 5/6-click Apoc turn.

Exclusive Parties are your cultists, and Apex feasts upon their loyalty to grease the wheels of It's cosmic designs. This deck doesn't have a great need for traditional high-yield credit income, but you can't ignore credit economy completely and in the early game Apex needs cards to install facedown with a free conscience. Burn the first couple as facedown installs to Prey, Heartbeat, Chop Bot 3000, or Endless Hunger, and subsequent EPs can be played from hand as fast econ from 0 credits that replace themselves with a fresh card from your deck, quickening your inscrutable plans alongside the card draw mode of Deuces Wild.

Rise up Out of the Ashes to claim your ownership of the new Earth: install Heartbeat or Chop Bot 3000 fourth click after you Apocalypse for immunity to retaliation or to accelerate your rebuild as the matchup demands. Against HB, combo these bonus 'clicks' with e3 Feedback Implants to force your way past troublesome Bioroids (in particular Ravana 1.0) to force an Apocalypse. This is a cheaper replacement for the Hyperdriver some Apex builds utilize, but while it requires much less influence and rig commitment it is obviously a fair bit less powerful.

Apex's Endless Hunger is well known, but picking a solution to those ICE which cannot simply be devoured is always the hard question. I've chosen to run with two possible options to cover the broadest scenarios: You may either use your ageless mind to overpower ICE with unusual subroutines Apex cannot ignore, or run silent in the fathomless depths of your corrupted Network to shield your activities from prying Tracers. Don't fall into the trap of getting attached to any of your Breakers: everything that gets installed faceup on the board is just another temporary vector for your relentless attack, tentacles to shed and be reborn in the fires of your Revelation. For that reason Overmind's short-term nature shouldn't bother you, instead celebrate the fact that it is kind enough to stick around after it's counters are expended so can be burned to Apex's power tools afterwards: a great synergy with Prey to quickly erase troublesome ICE even when you can't find your Hungers.

Apocalypse early, and Apocalypse often. If a corporation manages to sit back and construct central ice forts they might be able to find an ice combination that will give you heartache (usually involving program trash in front of ETR or worse, Architect). If that happens you'll need to either use Prey creatively to set up the board wipe, or commit to a secondary gameplan involving a permanent rig and Turning Wheel. Neither result is very desirable.

Be Hungry, run aggressively without programs to force the corp to show you what's happening with their board state before you commit your first breaker. Access to Heartbeat, Hunting Grounds, and Prey as well as the threat of Apocalypse means that Apex plays Naked Netrunner really, really well, especially when his deck is being cycled rapidly to show you your good cards. Use the expose/run side of Deuces Wild to sniff out the corporation's power ice (Archer, central server Turing, and Architect are your primary nemeses) and nibble around them until you're ready to crash through them in order to wipe the slate clean. Then blow up the world and play Naked Netrunner again!

47 comments
24 Jul 2016 esutter479

Am I missing something? Is there zero need for Wasteland? The synergy is there...just curious. I really like the deck, though, don't get me wrong. :)

24 Jul 2016 umbralAeronaut

@esutter479Wasteland just isn't good enough for an Apex that wants to Apocalypse twice in a match in rapid succession, which this deck very much wants to do. You don't have the time to wait for it to make it's money back, and this deck makes incidental money pretty well just off of EP.

24 Jul 2016 esutter479

Fair enough. :) This definitely will be something that I will play at my local store soon...thanks for the explanation.

25 Jul 2016 DavidMac

One look at your supporting graphic and I realised that I'd be sleeving this one up. Great job.

26 Jul 2016 tendermovement

Cool deck. By the way... For a janky bypass of problem ice there's always Rigged Results... Not exactly reliable but interesting option nonetheless.

26 Jul 2016 umbralAeronaut

@tendermovement So, sort of like this, except the candidate is real and lurks somewhere in the web. I like the flavor! When it works the power level is there because you'll be enabling a surprise Apocalypse, but freeing up the influence would mean getting rid of more pragmatic neutral splashes like Employee Strike, The Turning Wheel, and/or Utopia Shard. If you're on Apex though maybe you've given up on pragmatism and want a little random madness. I certainly wouldn't criticize that. You should feel free to experiment with it, tell us how it goes for you.

@esutter479 @DavidMac Thanks for the kind words!

26 Jul 2016 umbralAeronaut

@tendermovement Honestly, the more I think about it the more I love your suggestion. I'd go gentle on it (just -1 The Turning Wheel // +1 Rigged Results to begin with) but I think the value is there.

26 Jul 2016 tendermovement

Haha! I always felt Turning Wheel is a bit slow for Apex. It's a good post-apocalypse play for closing the game out but otherwise you just don't get enough mileage out of it before it's time to drop another bomb on the corp. So if anything, yes, drop a Turning Wheel for some Rigged Results. I'm currently playing a very basic Whizzard runner deck but Apex is close to my heart so I'm always interested in seeing some new ideas for him/it/her.

28 Jul 2016 Sedatedfork

I kind of tweaked your list, mainly because I didn't want to pull some of the cards out of other decks. I slotted in a single rigged results which I thought was kind of helpful if there was a piece of ice that was a problematic piece of ice to deal with. Maybe it it is too high strength or just doesn't seem to be a tracer or an ETR or damage that you can't break. I also thought that crypsis over overmind might be more help. I see someone else suggested rigged results up above.

29 Jul 2016 Sedatedfork

By the way I love the concept and had a blast playing it last night. Thinking this through more, I am currently doing +3 cache, +3 wasteland, +1 rigged results, +2 crypsis, -3 deuces, -1 turning wheel, -3 dirty laundry, -2 overmind. I assume if I let my crypsis trash say on an apoc setup, I get wasteland credits. The cache seems a little bit more valuable with wastelands and chopbots. Theoretically you could get 5 credits + a card or some other bonus.

29 Jul 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Zybot The choice of Overmind vs. Crypsis gets to the heart of what an Apex deck is really about. Overmind is cheaper to install, using power counters makes it cheaper to break subroutines with, and it is immediately "On" as soon as installed. After setting it down you don't even need any credits to break past Vanilla, Rototurret, Resistor most of the time, or Quandary. It is the optimal AI icebreaker for Apex in two different situations: When you just need an icebreaker for one turn to claw past a few pieces of ICE to Apocalypse, and right after you've Apocalypsed as a tempo play to keep the corporation on the back foot with immediate accesses, leaving no time for them to dig for cards or click for credits or try to double up ICE on Archives or HQ or pray to a gentler sort of God.

Choosing Crypsis instead means that you don't anticipate either of those situations occurring often enough for you to value Overmind's particular strengths, and instead have chosen to embrace Crypsis' slow and steady approach to icebreaking. That's a different kind of deck, and it's not The Cult of Apex.

I don't consider Cache to be a better usage of 1 influence than Deuces Wild, regardless of the Wasteland synergy which as I've discussed I believe to be a mistake for an aggressive Apocalypse-fixated Apex. First of all it's a memory problem if you have Endless Hunger installed without Heartbeat, or if you do have Heartbeat but have a secondary breaker out, second of all and far more importantly it's completely inflexible compared to the value of Deuces.

+2 cards/+1 credit immediately is a stronger play than +3 credits and a card next turn, and that's ignoring all of the other modes that Deuces Wild offers you. Refusing to rez critical pieces of ICE until the last minute (usually Destroyers or Tracers) so they can try to disrupt your Apocalypse turn is a common corporate strategy to try to outfox Apex, and the ice expose mode of Deuces is excellent at ruining their planned surprise. Credit expenses come from two things in Netrunner: breaking the same ICE multiple times over and paying the trash costs of installed cards, which means you're installing a rig and need drip econ, which means you're not Apocalypsing, which means you should play another deck. But based on the AI icebreaker discussion above you already sort of are, so I guess I can't be too critical.

4 Aug 2016 Arlong

So in this deck your answer to turing and swordsmen is prey and apocalypse correct ? And you depend on keeping the board clean, any sort of damage goes with heartbeat correct? Any other situation I am missing ?

4 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Arlong You are absolutely correct about having a clean board-state. Optimally this deck would love to Apocalypse on turn 3 if the cards fall out right and the corporation allows you (against decks that you know will try to retaliate like NBN:CtM or any Weyland the hard part is usually just getting Out of the Ashes into your heap first, but if you can't find one quickly Utopia Shard can be a useful substitute to crack whatever card combo they were holding in hand to punish with). An early first Apocalypse is the single best way to set yourself up for landing the Second Apocalypse, and that is usually the breaking point when even a strongly-built corporate deck will fall to pieces.

Almost all of the major trouble ICE for Apex comes out of Haas-Bioroid. Architect is the absolute bane of Apocalypse, and that was really what prompted consideration of Overmind as an extra icebreaker option. Ravana 1.0 installed in front of an Eli 1.0 can be pretty close to a lock-out. Swordsman is really less troublesome than you would think: it can't end runs on it's own, Apex laughs at the 1 net damage, Endless Hunger isn't AI so ignores the program trash and you usually aren't going to install Overmind until the corporation rezzes a reason for you to (or you just Apocalypsed in which case Swordsman is probably one of at most 2 ICE on the board now and you're just happy it can't stop you).

Aside from ICE Apex needs to be mindful of a few corporate Upgrades that tend to end up on centrals. Crisium Grid is a piece of corporate tech that helps them dodge "successful run" triggers... which includes the requirements on Apocalypse. Trash it when you see it and just Apocalypse next turn. Caprice Nisei may end up on a central server, which could be problematic if there is strong ICE in front of her. On the other hand Ash 2X3ZB9CY doesn't really matter at all because he doesn't cause unsuccessful runs.

Like dealing with problem ICE, your best defense against Upgrades is a good offense: Apocalypse before things get out of hand. No single corporate card can stop you, only a bunch of cards installed in careful sequence and supported by money. Destroy everything constantly and never let them build to that state.

5 Aug 2016 Arlong

Tried it VS core HB and Argus, I noticed early game without overmind Enigma is a problem didn't get prey or e3 thought I had 2 apocalypse in hand and couldn't use it at all. Still won later on after few lucky runs on R&D and HQ. And o loved the fact that money wasn't really an issue poor and rich I never felt pressured. After more tests I might consider this deck gor the upcoming tournament. Nice deck you have made!

10 Aug 2016 Tempus

So I play tested it and been absolutely loving it. I think I may discovered my new favorite runner, so thanks for posting this up. However, I had match in hell when I played against SYNC sorched earth. Pachinko + gutenberg, + Hard-Hitting News absolutely murdered me. I managed to hold out until I ran out of cards, until a jackson shuffled all of his scorched earth on his R&D and killed me afterwards.

So: changes I made, based on all the games I played. Putting a single Levy in favor of Employee Strike and Turning Wheel. Hell, I've been missing recursion a lot in this deck. Sometimes a bad Wasteland throws all my breakers in the trash, sometimes I mess up. And I really didn't miss employee strike or Turning Wheel, too chaotic for that kind of consistency. And I slotted 2 paparazzi. It's more protection vs damage decks as sometimes I didn't see the Heartbeat and it's more food for Hunger in case of other matchups. A little unsure about this include, honestly.

I do think this misses one more Chopbot, absolutely essential in this deck. I don't know what to cut though, influence wise.

What is your ideal opening hand?

Thanks again, really having a blast. I played a lot of runner decks in the past two years, trying to find the perfect one for me and this is the style that I absolutely love. Total and reckless destruction. :D

10 Aug 2016 Arlong

@Tempus Paparazzi isn't a good idea, especially vs NBN they'll torture you. Levy might be an "okay" idea bit you don't want to make the game last long. The main objective is to run too agressively leaving the corp exposed to drop apocalypse on his/her head cleaning the board then run everywhere and hunt those delecious agendas. Hail the ender of times! The terror of the digital and physical world! Hail the Apex!

10 Aug 2016 Arlong

@Tempus Also the paparazzi givessel you a tag and that's easy trash for the corp. Ideal hand for me is to have Apocalypse in hand with Endless hunger and maybe either harbinger or heartbeat. When it comes to chop bot it's a good fishing tool to get cards from your deck instead of clicking. The best way to see the corp hates his life is using out of ashes to run mid game then destroy with apocalypse any plan the corp had on the board like: fast advancing cards, biotic scoring or whatever. Though beware of leaving any tags if heartbeat isn't on the board otherwise youLL become an octupus in a frying pan.

10 Aug 2016 tendermovement

@Arlong``@TempusPaparazzi is not a virtual resource so it can not be installed with Apex.

10 Aug 2016 Tempus

@tendermovement (facepalm) thanks. I will see what will go in those slots. Probably wasteland or a third overmind and something

11 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Tempus The ideal opening hand varies quite a bit depending on matchup. I will nearly always keep any hand composed of Chop Bot 3000 and any economy at all however, since that early deck acceleration usually guarantees you will see what you need in time to pull off the first Apocalypse. Chop Bot is excellent but a third copy simply doesn't feel necessary. Often when it can't be found early it just means you already have all of the cards you need to Apocalypse with due to the redundancy of the deck.

I will note that Gingerbread has been feeling a lot less necessary for this deck ever since the inclusion of Overmind. This is simply a matter of what kinds of tracer ICE you expect to see: If HB isn't relying on Ichi 1.0 or Sherlock 2.0, and NBN's most problematic tracer nowadays tends to be Resistor (Archangel has been getting uncommon lately and you hardly care about the subroutine anyway) which is pretty easy to brute-force the trace on the Apocalypse turn. Usually this deck will simply tank the tags that most of the rest of the commonly-played Tracer ICE give, but with BOOM! on the way that might no longer be an option. So with all that in mind: if your meta allows, you might wish to go -2 Gingerbread and +1 Overmind, giving you 4 influence and 1 deck slot back.

Options to spend that influence on:

  • A third Out of the Ashes. This doesn't require any explanation, and I think it's the strongest possible option.

  • A second Employee Strike because it's just an amazing matchup-altering card against glacier decks (HB and Palana) which are the toughest to Apocalypse against, and it will be important vs. CtM and BoN going forward.

  • Levy AR Lab Access is a reasonable include because you might find yourself highly dependent on certain of your power cards and need to cycle them back (Prey and Endless Hunger are usually what I end up wishing for fourth copies of in my experience). It's a nombo with EP and OoA though and usually wanting the deck back means you missed a window to land an early Apoc, which means you're struggling anyway. That's why it isn't in the current deck list.

11 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

I missed a big one:

  • 2nd e3 Feedback Implants. This would make up the loss of Gingerbread in a huge way vs. HB. It's also huge against Weyland.
11 Aug 2016 Tempus

Great, thanks for the input. There's actually not a lot of tracer ice in my meta, so I'm going to make that change. I went with the 3rd Out of Ashes and the 2nd e3. I also included levy, trading turning wheel and Employee Strike. I'm play testing it now, curious to see if I really need levy or not. I may end up replacing it with a 4th OoA and a 3rd Chopbot, or just go back to the turning wheel. Will see, this ID needs a lot of testing to get it right, what cards to put down, how to fight kill decks so the Levy may be me just jumping into untested solutions.

17 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

@umbralAeronautgreat write up. I always thought a second e3 feedback implants were needed so thought (because I don't own one) run +e3, +1overmind, -utopia and employe strike. Employe strike does seem pretty helpful however.

I find it difficult to know when to use prey, are there specific ice or situations that a better to use this for?

17 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

The value of Prey changes a lot from game to game, even against the same matchup. A major factor in how you use Prey will be the ease with which you are landing Apocalypse in that specific game. If you're doing well, you can use Prey to clean up whatever ICE the corp player was saving in hand for after your first Apocalypse. If you're doing poorly (ie. haven't landed an Apocalypse for whatever reason) then sometimes Prey is your only out and you'll use it just to clear a path to one of the central servers, hoping to create a window. Unless you know for an absolute fact that you won't experience any difficult ICE in the matchup though, it's best to hold onto Prey and not waste them as a facedown install because it can be a huge difference in your deck performance if utilized well.

Prime candidates for Prey are porous, taxing ICE with 'conditional ETR', click/money loss, or program trash subroutines like Turing, Enigma, Resistor, Caduceus, Cobra, and Fairchild 2.0. Fortunately most of these ICE are lower-strength by design. The corporation is likely to install these on central servers in a pathetic attempt to trip up the juggernaught that is Apex, and these are all ICE that you don't want to have to deal with on your Apocalypse turn. If it's a tracer with an ETR effect make sure the balance of credits is such that you won't be wasting all of your money with nothing to show for it, though sometimes it can be worth using Prey just to force the corporation to panic and spend all of their cash. That alone may be enough to let you Apocalypse next turn.

17 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

Thanks @umbralAeronaut that's very helpful. Any thoughts on how to run against the plethora of tagging decks?

18 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Pilgrim It's difficult to establish a single set of guidelines. Tag decks tend to fall into one of two camps: Soft punishment and Hard punishment. Hard punishment is exemplified by Scorched Earth and The All-Seeing I, cards which win the game by annihilating your life or board state. Apex has been historically strong against this style because your ID doesn't even let you have any real Resource econ (especially if you ignore Wasteland), and the digital predator is quite hard to flatline so long as you are fastidious about maintaining Heartbeat and a loaded board state to soak up damage. However the imminent arrival of BOOM! is going to skew this analysis, and I cannot predict just how much that card is going to take over the meta. I suspect quite a bit, since it is 1 influence cheaper than Scorched Earth and thus will easily snap into place in Midseason Replacements NBN decks. Apex can survive Boom slightly more easily then two Scorched Earth, but the problem is that it is now only a 2-card combo for the corporation instead of 3 and so the threat is easier to realize.

Soft punishment is actually more troubling for Apex and I think will continue to be so even after we have Boom. Psychographics and Exchange of Information allow the corporation to win by exploiting tags to manipulate their own score area, and without a way to disrupt the operation economy of the corporation it can be difficult to meaningfully interact with unless you can simply keep yourself clean of tags. The economy and icebreakers of The Cult of Apex aren't really suited to combating multi-tag taxation NBN, and so often the right answer past a certain point will feel like to start ignoring the tags you accumulate and try to win before the corporation can line up their combos. Sometimes this is the right call, and sometimes it's not.

Your ability to judge the game-state and gain information on the corporation's cards in hand will be critical, so that you can determine whether you're facing Hard tag punishment or Soft, or a mixture of the two. Utopia Shard is a very important out if you can use it to crack the combo (be sure you know they actually have the cards in HQ to lose). If you determine that you cannot afford to give away the win condition against tagstorm it would be wise to hold Deuces Wild in hand for the "remove tag/+1 credit" option, and Chop Bot can also dig you out of tag hell in a pinch. Both cards are especially helpful against SYNC.

I think a well-piloted Apex deck can be just as strong against tagstorm as any other reasonably-teched runner, but it requires a lot of practice seeing how the various tag decks function and the water is getting very muddy with all the tag punishment this cycle is giving the corp.

20 Aug 2016 Cmeyn

Have you made any recent tweaks to this deck since blood money has been released? This deck is a breath of fresh air compared to the redundant stuff most runners play.

21 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

@CmeynThe deck I am piloting as of today has the following modifications from the above list:

  • -2 Gingerbread
  • -2 The Turning Wheel
  • +1 Rigged Results
  • +1 Overmind (3 total)
  • +1 Employee Strike (2 total)
  • +1 Out of the Ashes (3 total)
  • +1 e3 Feedback Implants (2 total)

All of those changes have been touched upon in previous comments, and while it's now a 47 card deck I cannot imagine what I would cut from it. Gingerbread was mainly inserted to be a hedge against Resistor, Caduceus, and Assassin. The strongest answer to those cards is to simply brute-force them away with Apocalypse or Prey (using a throwaway Overmind if required). Spending money on a permanent cash icebreaker is always going to be an uncomfortable solution for Apex and so it became obvious that it just didn't have a place.

Similarly, The Turning Wheel would nearly always languish in hand, waiting for an opening between Apocalypses that was never there. It takes a leap of faith to believe the deck could function without any multi-access to fall back on at all but I have found that it streamlines your goals, leading to cleaner lines of play. Once the opponent has no ice to even install anymore everything is easy, even plucking single agendas out of HQ or from the top of R&D.

25 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

Ha, just kidding. You can probably go -1 Hunting Grounds to get back to 46 cards.

18 Sep 2016 Horse85

Any thoughts on the Cerberus breakers? I feel like Cujo would do well here, maybe Rex as well. Lady is probably not worth the influence.

2 Oct 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Horse85 Not a great plan for this deck. Without either program tutors or recursion tools, Apex really needs his Icebreakers to be universally useful no matter the matchup or board state (like, say, an AI breaker, or one that breaks any ETR subroutine no matter the ICE type). Moreover the deck is already designed to be naturally resilient to the worst traits of most Sentries and Code Gates, by use of e3 Feedback Implants, Hunting Grounds, Out of the Ashes, the ICE reveal of Deuces, and Prey where needed. The Cerberus breakers are simply way too much influence for cards you may never see when you might actually need them.

17 Oct 2016 umbralAeronaut

I've added some italicized text to the very top of the deck description that updates the deck list to it's most current form (at least as I am playing it presently). I want to add a disclaimer that I haven't been able to get in a lot of games with Escalation legal yet, and the two cards that most concern me from that pack are Fairchild 3.0 and DNA Tracker due to the extreme taxation they represent and how quickly many corporations are welcoming those cards (particularly Jinteki with DNA). With any luck the arrival of Reaver in a few packs will provide assistance to us, until then it may be a rockier road for Apex.

17 Oct 2016 umbralAeronaut

And then of course there is Ark Lockdown which can threaten Out of the Ashes and Exclusive Party if the corporation is aware of this decklist and knows that we otherwise don't care about recursion of cards. I'm less certain that card will be embraced by a plurality of corporate deck archetypes at this time though, as near as I can tell it principally seems to exist in HB so as to be a 2-pip influence tax on the new Jinteki identity.

17 Oct 2016 Pilgrim

@umbralAeronauti agree that Escalation presents some challenges, mostly Fairchild 3.0 and Arc sucks. I like the changes you have made, mostly 3 chop bots. I have added in 2ddos which are nice for an early apocalypse before you get a full rig set up. Then again it doesn't force ICE to be rezzed so the corp has more creds for their rebuild.

17 Oct 2016 Arlong

With the newest Edit levy isn't in the deck correct? there is no way it can be there otherwise it'll be 28/25 influence.

17 Oct 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Pilgrim Out of curiosity, have you seen Ark Lockdown coming out of any decks that you weren't anticipating? My early impression is that the decks which will actually run Ark Lockdown are the same kinds of decks that rely on chip damage and rig sniper builds, both of which Apex can be quite resistant to if piloted well. If Ark Lockdown becomes a common utility splash for corporations as a meta call against Anarchs it could be problematic, but I think it's probably possible to play around with Out of the Ashes which is the most important card we have to lose in this case. Simply leave OoAs installed facedown as long as possible, then on the turn you need to use one Chop Bot it into the heap for a card draw and fire it immediately. Loss of the econ upside from Exclusive Party could hurt but feels like something that can be overcome.

I really like the idea of DDoS, but clearing influence for enough copies of it to matter (2) is very painful and somewhat against the overall deck influence value goals of the Cult. I feel that if you need that sort of effect maybe you can achieve similar results with a few more splashes of Rigged Results...

@Arlong No. I've never felt that Levy AR Lab is necessary for a functioning Apex deck. In fact I have never personally played a version of this deck that ever had Levy in it, and I have never ended a game where I felt that lacking Levy caused me to run out steam where more careful deck piloting wouldn't have saved me.

17 Oct 2016 umbralAeronaut

Actually, it's possible that the timing restriction on Out of the Ashes means it can't be legally played the way I described above. It might need to already be in your heap before all Start of Turn triggers occur. If true that could be a significant weakness against Ark Lockdown decks, which would be a shame. Relevant card text below.

"When your turn begins, if Out of the Ashes is in your heap..."

Like I said before though, hopefully the decks which actually slot that card are mostly just ones that seek to snag Icebreakers and key cards through chip damage effects (Apex is already a plus in that sort of matchup with Heartbeat and Apocalypse against generally-porous ICE). If we start seeing decks with BOTH Ark Lockdown and that threaten out-of-turn death/punishment effects after an Apocalypse, then I'll get more worried.

18 Oct 2016 Pilgrim

@umbralAeronautwe don't have Escalation in the South Pacifc yet so no experience. I don't think you can trash and use out of the ashes on the same turn unfortunately. That being said ashes is nice but not always needed with a well timed apocalypse. I would say a work around is to only ever have one ashes in your heap to force a less effective Arc, using Parties after one or two are heaped and using a couple on one turn if you can. If Arc is a problem going back to two Ashes may be sensible as it's getting less use.

Ddos has def got some use for me, I think I went down two ginger bread and one ashes (total 2) for it. It alright, def made apocalypse easier but as I noted I think it makes their rebuild faster as they don't burn creds rezzing ice. I'll have to try rigged results but I don't like how if you fail the paper sisors rock you don't get to run at all.

9 Nov 2016 tendermovement

Intervention is coming and there's one card you might want to look at instead of the Turning Wheel.

That's Top Hat.

It might be faster for R&D access after an apocalypse as there's no need to collect counters and it costs 0. 3 runs would give you the first three cards of R&D. Less useful for pressuring HQ of course. Might help closing out games faster, which is what you want to do.

9 Nov 2016 umbralAeronaut

I agree totally: Top Hat's ease of install (every credit really matters to this deck) and instant availability of it's effect make it highly desirable. I would absolutely test it here as a replacement for Turning Wheel.

I'm currently holding out further major testing of the Cult of Apex until I see Reaver. That card basically needs to be a total revelation for Apex's counterplay against the incredible high-power Code Gates the corporations have been receiving (as well as one very concerning Barrier, to say nothing of what is coming in the future). If it's not, I am going to have to have a hard think about what form Apex can take moving forward against the Flashpoint meta.

9 Nov 2016 tendermovement

@umbralAeronaut Yeah. Dark times are ahead with all those conditional ETRs :'-(

11 Nov 2016 Arlong

This is absurd... Adam and Sunny got new cards, the cards with "end the run" are becoming less, and where new Apex cards are? No where to be seen. I hope it'll be worth the waiting. Cultists prepare the sacrafice Apex hungers....

16 Nov 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Arlong Well, we are gonna get it soon. Now that Reaver has been revealed, it's time to plot the next step in the Cult's activities. It's not the card many were hoping for frankly, but that's no reason to give up.

ICE are changing however. Gearcheck ETRs are still a fact of life, but they're going to be supplemented by a wider band of powerful taxation ICE, new "ETR+" subroutines that defeat Endless Hunger, and strong utility subroutines that we cannot allow to consistently fire (check the spoilers for upcoming Weyland code gates Veritas and Watchtower as examples). Overmind is more necessary than ever, but so is a higher-powered answer to the big subroutine high-end ICE that is on it's way.

Aghora is one possible solution. Overmind will remain to deal with smaller tax/pain ICE and Endless Hunger will likewise stay around because Gear-Check ETR is unlikely to go away completely. That requires clearing deck slots and influence. My first thought is to strip away one or both e3 Feedback Implants for the space. The deck would also need bigger money to support an attack against these higher-powered ICE.

I think that Reaver could potentially earn 1 or 2 spaces as a bit of Chop Bot assisting post-Apocalypse recovery tech, and to speed up the deck in matches where Endless Hunger isn't necessary but the other two icebreakers are. The partially-spoiled neutral Event card Peace in Our Time might help with money, depending on it's final wording and influence cost.

Any other suggestions?

16 Nov 2016 umbralAeronaut

For reference, here is the spread that shows Peace In Our Time, which is coming in the final pack of the current cycle (Quorum).

16 Nov 2016 tendermovement

'@umbralAeronaut Now that we get a lot of clickless card draw, Reaver with Faust might be quite a potent combination.

Having 3 Reavers and Faust would net 4 cards without spending any clicks (Chop Bot).

It might be enough to have Faust as the main breaker with Mimic to stop Swordsman from blowing it up.

This would obviously necessitate a bigger rig than usual for Apex and maybe Apocalypses would be less frequent in this build. With so mill much on yourself LEVY would be pretty much necessary for the deck as well.

10 Dec 2016 Arlong

Reaver VS chop bot. I think chop bot wins since it dosent take memory with the current rig. What do you think?

@tendermovement I don't like Faust to be honest. And the reason I liked this deck for it's semi theme style.

10 Dec 2016 umbralAeronaut

@Arlong I'll tell you what I think: The Cult of Apex: Decision 2016