Is the era of LLDS Energy Regulator upon us? Acacia provides a potentially powerful economic consolation prize to the Runner when they have to remove virus counters during a purge, with the downside of being trashed. However, the trash is not a cost that has to be paid to gain the credits, so can be prevented (unless future FAQs address this).

Enter this heretofore underused piece of LLDS software, with its reusable hardware trash prevention ability. Although it does require credits to do this, that’s exactly what Acacia gives you! So as long as at least three virus counters are lost (which I’m sure Aumakua and Datasucker can help you out with), the Runner is able to keep Acacia around even if they’re on zero credits when the Corp purges. Add into this the fact that LLDS Energy Regulator costs but a single influence pip in Anarch, and can be rescued with Retrieval Run, and you’ve got just enough synergy to potentially make this work.

The downside, of course, is that LLDS Energy Regulator is yet another piece you have to find to try and make Acacia builds work. For this reason, I’ve been experimenting with a MaxX build to help find the necessary bits, with the combo sort of coming together in the few games I've tested.

I highly doubt the LLDS Energy Regulator meta is finally upon us, but Acacia has no doubt given this oft forgotten card a boost.

Inspired by Silv's analysis of Flashbang to Mongoose, I decided to try something similar comparing Flashbang to another Killer that has a derez ability: Golden. I'm going to analyse them somewhat in a vacuum, so ignoring abilities like Khan's and credits from Ice Analyzer.

Because both programs are 5 to install and take up 1, we only have to consider the cost to derez to compare them.

Golden requires that you break all subs, then spend 2 to return Golden to your grip to derez an ICE.

Therefore, taking n to be the number of subs and taking s to be the strength of ICE, the cost to derez an ICE with Golden is:

(2ceiling((s-1)/4) + 2ceiling(n/2) + 7)

Where the first term is the cost to boost, the second term is the cost to break, and the third is the cost to derez. In the case of Golden this is 2 + 5 to reinstall Golden. You also spend a to do this, but for the sake of simplicity I'll ignore this from the derez cost matrices below.

In the case of Flashbang, you don't need to break anything, so the cost to derez is:

(s + 6)

Making a matrix of ICE strength against the number of ICE subs gives the following values to derez ICE.

For Golden:
|---|-------------Strength--------------|
|---| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
|Sub|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
| 1 | 9 | 11| 11| 11| 11| 13| 13| 13| 13|
| 2 | 9 | 11| 11| 11| 11| 13| 13| 13| 13|
| 3 | 11| 13| 13| 13| 13| 15| 15| 15| 15|
| 4 | 11| 13| 13| 13| 13| 15| 15| 15| 15|
| 5 | 13| 15| 15| 15| 15| 17| 17| 17| 17|
|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

For Flashbang:
|---|-------------Strength--------------|
|---| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
|Sub|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
| 1 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12| 13| 14| 15|
| 2 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12| 13| 14| 15|
| 3 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12| 13| 14| 15|
| 4 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12| 13| 14| 15|
| 5 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10| 11| 12| 13| 14| 15|
|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Golden - Flashbang:
|---|-------------Strength--------------|
|---| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
|Sub|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 0 | -1| -2|
| 2 | 2 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 0 | -1| -2|
| 3 | 4 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 0 |
| 4 | 4 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 0 |
| 5 | 6 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 |
|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

So we see, at least for anything 7 strength and below, Flashbang is a more efficient card to derez ICE, as even when the cards come out equal, you've still got the cost with Golden. As strength increases, Golden begins to become more efficient because of the 2 for 4 strength boost ability.

Now this analysis assumes that you derez every ICE you encounter with Golden, which is certainly not the case. I can see Flashbang supported by Mongoose vs. Golden being an interesting deck building decision for derez focused decks. Do you opt for the derez efficiency of Flashbang or the flexibility of Golden?

Nice analysis. Btw, I'm so gonna steal this table format. :P —
There are no str 9 sentries, but there are str 0 sentries, which would theoretically be even cheaper to derez with Flashbang. The problem remains that derezzing low strength ICE is often not worth it. So, Flashbang needs a backup killer against low str sentries while Golden is it's own backup by being a 'real' breaker. —
Nevertheless, the tables are pretty nice ;) And I do appreciate the numbers being laid out - it helps making decisions to know how much raw value a card has. —
Regarding tables. @manicmoleman, how do you get the lines to go below each other? If I put them between backticks they get placed side-by-side. —
@Silv I can see that you've managed some much better looking tables in your Berserker vs. Paperclip review, but for future reference, putting two spaces at the end of a line in markdown forces a line break. —
@Krams Yep, that's pretty much why I think it needs to be backed up by Mongoose or Na'Not'K. It's an interesting balance between derez and setup efficiency. —
@manicmoleman Thanks. Btw, for future reference nrdb allows HTML (that's how I made those tables), the technical list of what's allowed is at http://htmlpurifier.org/live/smoketests/printDefinition.php —
What happens when I encounter a Sapper while accessing it from R&D? Is the Sapper considered rezzed so that I can use Flashbang? —