Ansel 1.0 is an attractive, if expensive, sentry with fairly high strength and a nasty facecheck.
For this review we will focus on the startup format, which is my preferred format right now.
Points in favor:
- 3 impactful subs, so even if the runner Boomerang's it, they likely have to spend a click as well.
- Similarly, resists Botulus for the same reason
- 4 STR is a sweetspot for sentry strength right now, putting it just out of range of Mimic, and forcing Odore to pay 6 to raise strength to match.
- Runners using Echelon likely also need to pay to raise strength, costing 6 to break total
- Runners using Bukhgalter need to pay 6 outright, and 4 net if they get the bonus
- Runners using Afterimage need to pay 1 stealth to raise strength and 2 credits to break
- Because this is a bioroid, it makes Ravana 1.0 much nastier once it is rezzed. In a Haas-Bioroid: Architects of Tomorrow deck you are almost certainly going to play Ansel 1.0.
- Costs 6 to rez. For 6 credits, you could also rez Brân 1.0. Brân 1.0 also has 3 impactful subs and ends the run. It will usually cost the runner more credits to break this ice, whether they are on Corroder or Cleaver, or at least, they will need a lot of Leech counters or something. This leads into the next point.
- A runner with Ice Carver, which is many Anarchs and some Criminals nowadays, reduces STR to 3, and now it is in range of Mimic, substantially cheaper to break with Odore, or Echelon. At this point the rez-to-break ratio doesn't look so good anymore.
- Because it costs so much to rez, this ice has a tendency to get Chisel Charm'ed, or Tranquilized, or Shutdown. That can be a significant tempo hit to the corp.
As a result, this ice falls into sort of an odd niche:
- It isn't quite as nasty of a facecheck as something like Hagen, which can't be clicked through, but it is substantially more expensive
- It doesn't fall off in strength quite as badly as Hagen does, but it is very likely that a runner will be able to break this for relatively cheap in the late game
- In particular, it doesn't really have the staying power of Brân 1.0, or nastier sentries like Archer.
My take is this:
Most runners won't facecheck ice unless, they have a killer out, or they can Boomerang it or put a Botulus on it with two counters, or they have no cards on the board to trash yet. Against HB, they also usually won't run last click.
Because of this, the first subroutine will almost never fire, and then it is a toss-up whether the second or third will fire, if either.
Therefore, I tend to view this card sort of like a very big Drafter.
If you are running a deck with
- Lots of impactful assets
- Fast advance assets like Bass CH1R180G4
- Defensive upgrades like Crisium Grid or Manegarm Skunkworks which are likely to get trashed and which you would then like to recur
then Ansel 1.0 may do a lot of work. E.g. a runner doing a Khusyuk run really must break not only the third sub but also the second sub, or you will re-install Crisium Grid just in time before they reach R&D.
If the second sub isn't likely to do very much in your deck, you might want to consider a different ice IMO.