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Type: ICE: Sentry - Destroyer - AP
Cost: 3
Faction: Corp Jinteki
Faction Cost: 1
The Runner cannot use AI programs to break subroutines on Swordsman.
[Subroutine] Trash 1 AI program.
[Subroutine] Do 1 net damage.
Strength: 2
Set: Second Thoughts Number: 033 Quantity: 3
Illustrator: Adam S. Doyle
Recent Decks Using This Card:
[Core 2.0] Jinteki
Nisei wants to play (1)
Super-Heavy ICE
Jentki Speed
Replicating Frustration
Want to build a deck using this card? Check out the Android: Netrunner deckbuilder!


What's that? a darwin/Atman deck?

It's far from being the death of Atman. It'll be difficult to build a deck that solely relies on Atman, but it's still an amazing support card.
Swordsman needed to happen though.
Yeah, the GenCon winning deck is dead, but Atman with support is still very strong.
With no AI programs you rarely need to break this anyway. One net damage is not often going to be the death of you, even against Jinteki. There are a lot of times you'd just run through this.
Aug 09 2015 02:25 PM

Even with no AI programs on the table, against the upcoming Chronos Protocol Jinteki ID you really want to break this. Because the corporation is able to make that 1 net damage matter.

    • Meadbeard and Kitescreech like this

Any decent sentry breaker gets through this for a single credit, so I'd be inclined to break it regardless of ID. Swordsman does great work against certain builds, but in my experience more often than not it's a totally dead draw. I rarely include it in my decks anymore.

Aug 10 2015 08:40 AM

The best and most expensive Killers in the game (Garrote/Femme) are more than "decent". Decent Killers (like Cuj.0, Ninja or Creeper+E3) need more than a single credit to break the net damage subroutine. Mimic? I don't run this thing without an installed AI as a backup. It's too risky. So in Mimic's case, there are 2 subroutines to worry about.

Yeah, Mimic and Femme are what I had in mind. The stuff you classed as decent is never played in my experience, so they don't enter my mind when deckbuilding.

Aug 10 2015 10:31 AM

Swordsman is a meta card; it waxes and wanes based upon the commonality of degenerate AI breaker decks in a given meta. 


The card's real value is simply existing in the card pool as a natural brake against AI only breaker suites.


And it's never truly a "totally dead draw" as even against a no-AI runner it does do 1 net damage if they don't break it. It usually translates as a $1 tax per run. Not very impactful, but still not "totally dead". A totally dead card would have zero impact / be completely irrelevant when drawn or played; a card that has low impact / is mostly irrelevant is still slightly better than that. 


So, yeah, I think I have only 1 deck that still runs Swordsman and it is a seldomly seen card these days. But, that makes the line of play that much more disruptive when Swordsman gets sprung on an unwary Runner using, say, Eater. Etc.

    • Meadbeard and bozfoogle like this

You'd want to stack this with, say, Trap or Mythic ICE.


Force the AI out, then force the support out to keep the AI on the table. Swordsman works well with Excalibur, for example (imagine that? The Swordsman wants a really good sword . . . ).


That's the bigger tax: forcing the Runner to drag out the whole rig.


Sensei > Excalibur > Swordsman: 8 to rez the whole thing, requires AI to beat (or a Femme on a card that rezzes at 2), can't only have AI but must have a Killer installed, can't be Yogged without support . . . things are getting awfully heavy for the Runner.


That's not an unbeatable server, of course, but it's only 8 to rez and it takes time to handle. It also works pretty well for a corp that can win well enough running no ICE at all.


Chronos Project or Blacklist to threaten the AI with extinction.


Or, forget the combo: Swordsman is useful in front of R&D for slowing down Eater + Keyhole, which is and will remain a thing, at least for a while. Anarch remains poor at tutoring breakers, so the time to get more out is expansive.


Also, let's all remember that Jinteki doesn't really always want to stop the Runner (which is why things like Susanoo-no-Mikoto exist). Getting "just 1 more" net damage out of a run is exactly what Jinteki wants, all the time, whether a flatline is on the table or not.

    • KillerShrike, Kitescreech and AdorablePython like this

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