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Type: Program: Icebreaker - Decoder - Fracter
Cost: 4 Memory Units: 2
Faction: Runner Shaper
Faction Cost: 3
Sage has +1 strength for each unused MU.
2 [Credit] : Break
code gate or barrier subroutine.
??? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ??? ?? ???????
Strength: 0
Set: The Source Number: 117 Quantity: 3
Illustrator: Alexandra Douglass
Recent Decks Using This Card:
Speed Kills
Kate - "Unlimited" MU
Want to build a deck using this card? Check out the Android: Netrunner deckbuilder!


The Greek quote is from Heraclitus: "You cannot step twice into the same stream."

    • JonathanFolkert and AdorablePython like this
Jan 08 2015 01:01 AM

I can kind of see this in a Kit deck...sitting on a Dinosaurus for instance. Drop some mem chips and a decent sentry breaker and go to town.


Also, if your deck is really cramped on deck slots, this offers the opportunity to free up a couple of card slots, and makes program tutors a little stronger as you get two kinds of breakers in one card, but that's pretty nominal.


Otherwise, 2 MU and $2 per subroutine and having to hoopjump to get a non-trivial fixed strength make this a no go for me.

    • Meadbeard likes this
Jan 28 2015 03:14 PM

MONOLITH!!! But yeah, not going to happen!

Jan 29 2015 07:17 AM

This should also have the subtype "icebreaker". It didn´t show up when I did a search for "icebreaker".

I haven't considered this breaker, but here are a couple of things:


1) Throw it on a Dinosaurus and run (KS mentioned this above): that's strength-6 on install; get it out early and go


2) Plays well with Overmind and E3: good synergy there


3) Grows in strength as you add MU. Need more? Drop an Akimatsu on the table


4) It's a Decoder, even when it's breaking Barriers, so go ahead and use credits from Lockpick to break Barrier subroutines


A weird and terrible icebreaker, possibly "terrible" in both senses of that word.

I think Sage is better on a psychological level then he is on a practical level. If you have a 10+ strength Sage in play and a bunch of credits in the bank, then you know with almost total certainty that no matter what that unrezzed ICE is, you can get through it.


Sage provides the same sense of control a Runner derives from a Valencia + Blackmail deck, only Blackmail occupies three deck slots and is played immediately at trivial cost, whereas Sage and his accoutrements occupy a dozen or so and are played piecemeal over several long turns before a run can be made, which then costs more credits.


Apples and oranges I know, because Valencia needs to be highly selective with the use of Blackmail, whereas the whole point of Sage is his (eventual) general utility. My point is that they provide the same 'feeling' of power, which in the case of Blackmail is more real, and in the case of Sage is more imagined.

    • Meadbeard likes this

I wonder if Sage could work well Sunny and a suite of cloud breakers. Sage is cheaper to use against any ice he's qualified to break, and the cloud breakers won't cramp his style. Depending on the ice you face, you could break even on his play cost after 1-3 uses (as compared to using Sunny's native cloud breakers).  However, using him well would involve refraining from using other programs, and you might be better off with something else that increases versatility rather than just saving a few creds.

Nov 17 2015 10:00 AM

My problem with Sage is the 2 MU on a card that needs unused MU to be effective.  Other than that, yeah, it'd be a decent fit in a Sunny deck.

I have used it somewhat successfully loaded onto Dinosaurus with Chaos Theory. Using Quality Time/Diesel to draw into the combo quickly and and Personal Workshop/Stimhack to play it, I can very reliably have a Str-7 Sage in play and breaking subs on turn 3 or 4. Problem is, the trick is only decent, not great. You still need a sentry breaker, and paying 2 creds/sub is expensive if your opponent stacks low-cost ice with multiple subroutines on a server. The benefit of having a solid-but-not-perfect fracter/decoder is just not sufficient to justify the trouble involved. I may try recreating some variation of that with Sunny, but I fear the influence cost of all the support cards will render it even more cost-prohibitive for her than for CT.

    • KillerShrike likes this

There are plenty of solutions to getting +MU for Sage, but what I like best about it is how effective it makes my Cortex Lock ;)

    • Kitescreech likes this

Been getting back into the game and actually did surprisingly well with a Kit deck leveraging this, Test Run, Eureka, Lockpick and Dinosaurus. 


It's not tier-1 by any means. But it was fun to run and simple enough that it would be good as a teaching deck (will probably be playing almost exclusively with casual players anyway). 

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