With the rotation of Lunar and C&C, I was interested in seeing how Smoke would adapt to the loss of Cloak, Ghost Runner, Dagger, Switchblade and Refractor. But then Nisei printed very similar replacements so all that worry is now water on the bridge.
In the case of Afterimage, despite being able to breaks subs for real credits like Dagger, I think the similarities to Switchblade are more immediate. Both need to be imported from criminal (and you should, because what other killer are you gonna play. Fawkes?). Afterimage costs 1 more credit and 1 more influence though. On top of that, while Switchblade breaks nearly any current sentry for 2 stealth credits (Orion, a well-placed Surveyor and overadvanced Colossus not withstanding), Afterimage needs to be boosted twice or even three times to deal with higher strength sentries.
However, to bring up similarities again, once per turn you can bypass any sentry for the cost of 2 stealh credits. This is fantastic, as it essentially allows you to deal with even the most insurmountable of ice, like say a 16 strength Surveyor for an affordable price. And as an added cherry on top, you get to ignore annoying encounter effects such as with Data Raven. Don't use this abillity on Anansi though. Also keep in mind that due to timing, you can't use Pelangi to make something a sentry and then bypass it.
Due to starting at strength 2, this breaker also deals nicely with lower strength ice, such as Cobra, Sapper and Rototurret. All cost 1 credit, two subs or not. It also breaks almost every sentry of strength 3 and 4 for a regular and a stealth credit, instead of 2 stealth. News Hound, Cortex Lock and Drafter come to mind. Then again, Switchblade is great vs Tour Guide, a card you need an answer for. Although Afterimage can also get past it via bypass...
So all in all, I think the takeaway is that Afterimage is a very strong successor of Switchblade, better and worse in different aspects, and a card that keeps Smoke relevant in the current meta.
I think that you cannot ignore encounter effect like data raven with the 2 stealth bypass effect— spleen86
@spleen86 Both the Icebreaker and the Ice have "when encountered" effects, so they happen at the same timing window, which allows the active player to choose which happens first. It is the same as the old Femme Fatal vs Tollbooth issue.— Daddy249Kart
@spleen86 you are incorrect for reasons stated above— Cpt_nice
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