Welcome back everyone and sorry for the long hiatus, I am transferring my employment to a different hypercorp so I lost my handle on the blog.
Today I would like to discuss the big box expansion for Weyland and Anarch factions that will be released shortly. More specifically, the Anarch cards that will add much needed power to our runner decks.
With these cards looming in the distance, I feel the current state and future of the Anarch faction merits discussion. Order and Chaos may be the push that Anarchs need to become dominant in their own right. When you look at stimhack they seem to be occasional dark horse winners and a glance on any deckbuilder will reveal them to be the most borrowed from faction, and yet they are not dominant at high levels of play.
To understand we must first ask ourselves what do these orange cards do? Based on my experience Anarchs are good at interfering with the corporation’s strategy and circumventing the game’s “normal” mechanics. Parasite and datasucker are the most heavily borrowed anarch cards besides corroder and they directly change the value and impact of ice in the game. Ice destruction reduction/destruction continues to be common and looking at the roster from worlds 14 of the top 16 decks used datasucker and 6 of them used parasites. So pervasive is this strategy that cards such as lotus field and architect have created new ice mechanics in order to balance them.
When dealing with the corp, no matter what is popular, the tools to disrupt it comes from Anarch. Currently, asset
economy and big ice is strong with the strength of RP, NEH and Blue Sun in the meta. Imp and d4v1d are potent cards that can cut the legs out from under these decks and they are both Anarch cards. With the prevalence of Blue Sun,d4v1d has been pervasive in Shaper recursion decks as the most cost effective way of dealing with curtain wall and oversight AI.
So Anarchs have the best toys that everyone wants to borrow, and yet besides the Anatomy of Anarchy and a few Noise wins relatively few seem to play Anarch competitively. Competitive play is all about consistency and true to their theme they are chaotic and unreliable in their play. They are meh at money and super meh at drawing cards without a catch as with wyldside, duggars and inject. Also, the tools they need to borrow cost more influence than the tools they lend to other factions.
To use Noise as an example, utilizing the fantastic economy engine of cache and aesop’s pawnshop costs 9 out of 15 influence where as the entire Anarch breaker suite with datasuckers costs Andromeda 7 influence. Two datasuckers and two parasites for your ice destruction Katman hybrid costs you 6 influence, where the account siphons for anatomy of anarchy cost 12 influence.
The big box will add a lot of consistency across the board but certain cards in particular are going to make Anarchs more dangerous and successful. Bad pub control cards such as Valencia Estevez, Protestors, investigative journalism and blackmail will reduce economy problems while allowing Anarch to continue its long tradition of circumventing the corp strategy. Clot, the dark god of San San cycle (while not in O&C) will be a one cost, one influence virus that trashes on a purge that reads “The corp may not score any agenda on the turn its installed”. While far from a deathblow, the low cost and potability of this card will force fast advance players to work in other avenues to victory instead of putting all their eggs into the astro basket.
FInally, the four cards that will be most impactful overall to the Anarch playstyle are eater, forked, spooned and knifed. Eater is the AI breaker that Anarch has needed, a universal breaker that with efficiency of corroder and the low cost of a zero card access. You can still siphon, build virus counters, use keyhole,dirty laundry, quest completed and use the cutlery mentioned above to destroy ice setting up for future turns when you access more cards and get in more efficiently with your other breakers.
Time blast some punk rock and remember only posers get flatlined