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Frisky's Corner

by Frisco Del Rosario

Dr. Frisky's Guide to Home Remedies and Antibodies

Reader Peter Eng wrote to ask, "How much mileage can you get out of the antibodies from Proteus?"

Lots. The best thing Proteus gave the corporation was the agenda -- ambushes and World Domination -- but the antibodies and the upgrades were useful additions, too.

Peng wrote, "I was studying the Bel-Digmo Antibody, and I realized that the major problem with it is that using it in enough of an amount to make it worthwhile will delay the Corp badly."

Bel-Digmo Antibody's value is not in the one net damage it does if the runner accesses it from RD -- Setup! or TRAP! are much better in that regard. Bel-Digmo's interesting ability is that it is shuffled into RD when it is rezzed. Say the runner discovers an agenda with Technician Lover, plays Promises, Promises twice, and makes a Lucidrine run for the bit burst he needs to pass all the ice. After he passes the last piece of ice, Bel-Digmo should be rezzed gleefully. Similarly, an RD Protocol wiseguy can also be surprised.

Rezzing Bel-Digmo also rearranges RD if a Planning Consultants brings bad news -- kind of a Rescheduler Light.

The first idea some people get for Bel-Digmo is that it will save the corporation from being decked. That's only true until the runner gathers the bits to trash it from RD, but who knows? -- maybe that will prove to be enough someday for a corp to scratch out a win.

Stereogram Antibody intrigues some players, including me, too much for their own good. Its only ability is in the single point of net damage it does when the runner accesses it from the archives. Clearly, Stereogram was meant to provide a small deterrent against runners who run the trash with Karl deVeres, and perhaps Wilson, Weeflerunner Apprentice.

Stereogram was surely not meant to create a haven for agenda. I'm trying to forget that I once thought of pitching a heap of Stereograms into the dumpster, along with some agenda, until I was ready to Off-Site Backup, and Project Consult. There are several flaws to that plan. Net damage is so easily prevented. A runner with an Militech MRAM Chip has to access nine Stereograms before he dies. How many Off-Site Backups go into that deck?

Stereogram death is a rather hopeless plan. However, Eng's letter caused me to think, and I've implemented a Stereogram deck with a psychological twist. The corporation scores a Security Purge without Planning Consultants, and perhaps has to trash an agenda. I suspect some runners will run the trash before drawing cards.

Someone once asked the Wizards listserv how to engineer the discard of Stereograms without drawing cards uncomfortably. Install them, then overwrite them.

Doppelganger Antibody is a terrific card, the only corp card besides Closed Accounts which directly drains the runner's bit pool. It's easy to conceive of a multiple Doppelganger deck which completely disables one's opponent. Even a single Doppelganger in a corporate deck is an annoying, simple ambush which cannot be prevented with hardware, or a shield program.

While Doppelganger is an effective ambush in any corporate deck, it works especially well in a Newsgroup Taunting deck -- the runner loses bits to start his turns, and then pays bits to run later. If the runner takes the time to remove Doppelganger counters, the corp can increase the Taunting pressure.

The corp pays one bit fewer to give a Pattel Antibody to the runner than the runner pays to install a Clown, which slightly favors the CEOs. Also, the runner can't remove Pattel counters -- he can only overwrite his programs. That strongly favors the corp.

I have a feeling, though, that most corp players would rather hit the runner with a Doppelganger counter than a Pattel counter. Doppelganger costs less for the corp, and if the runner accesses Pattel before he has any icebreakers installed, there's no effect at all.

I include Pattel Antibody in a Black Ice Quality Assurance deck, because strong brain-wiping ice might be unassailable after a low-cost breaker like Shaka or Loony Goon becomes stricken with the antibody. Conversely, I wouldn't put Pattel in a wall deck, because an infected Pile Driver is not much worse (Pile Driver can be installed reasonably in an Imp or Afreet for the same reason).


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