Fermenter

Fermenter 1[credit]

Program: Virus
Memory: 1 • Strength: -
Influence: 2

When you install this program and when your turn begins, place 1 virus counter on this program.

[click], [trash]: Gain 2[credit] for each hosted virus counter.

“Thereʼs a tension to a cook. Each processing cycle sweetens the pot and raises the heat. I stir all night, but few have my appetite for danger.”
–René “Loup” Arcemont
Illustrated by Cat Shen
Decklists with this card

System Gateway (sg)

#7 • English
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Rulings
  • Updated 2021-10-11

    Can the Corp use Cyberdex Virus Suite in the middle of the Runner using Fermenter to stop them from gaining credits?

    No. Paid abilities can only be used when a player has priority in a paid ability window, not in the middle of resolving another ability.

Reviews

Here's something I've been wondering about. As the corp, when is it worth it to purge viruses to get rid of the virus counters?

Ignore all the complicating factors. Imagine there are no agendas about to be scored, no unusually vulnerable servers, etc. Just other things being equal, when is it worth purging to take away credits?

My first thought is that the cutoff is 3 counters. I'm usually happy to spend 3 clicks as the corp to take $6 from the runner, but I wouldn't spend 3 clicks to take $4 from them. But I suspect that's an overly simplistic analysis... it doesn't sound right that putting a Fermenter on the table takes away every third turn from the corp forevermore.

(System Update 2021 era)

The problem is, as you say that even if the corp purges, the fermenter is still getting counters.

The alternative to purging is rushing. Force the runner to pop their own Fermenter, because you make them need the money :)

The runner gains a click when you purge (i.e. they save the click they would've had to spend trashing fermenter) so I think it's better to purge when it gets to 4 counters

I usually purge at 5, sometimes (when a scoring window needs the runner broke) 4. The total cost of fermenter is 4 (draw+install+install cost+pop), and your cost to purge is 3, so it doesn't become good until the money they'd get-4 > 3, aka 4 counters, but an entire corp turn is usually way more important than just 3 credits

My answer is, in short, "It depends on board state". If the runner is on 0-2 credits and you have a La Costa Grid or start-of-turn assets ticking as the corp, meaning you are slowly winning by doing nothing, and you designed your deck with big ICE to play a long game, it may be correct to purge Fermenter on even 2 counters. If you are a rush corp, it's often lose/lose to let Fermenter get to 4 or 5 counters or to purge it, and you probably just need to include at least 2 Mavirus in your deck (also for Physarum/Botulus/Aumakua).

This card compare to Algo Trading, you can let it stew on the board and trash it to make a big money grab.

But there is a catch, it is virus based. The more counter there are on it, the more value it gives to the corp by purging. So, there is a balance of risk versus reward based on using this to gain creds.

But this card combine well with Hivemind, Cookbook, Friday Chip, Virus Breeding Ground and Knobkierie. All of which will let you accumulate virus faster, to get a big pay day faster. Of note, Virus Breeding Ground let you do the equivalent of clicking for 2 , not the best use of a click, but better than the basic action of clicking for 1 .

Since, just like Virus Breeding Ground, it self accumulate a virus token every turn, it will combine well with virus breaker (Musaazi and Yusuf). It will also get you additional draw with The Nihilist.

And of course, it is a additional card for Freedom Khumalo: Crypto-Anarchist.

In faction, it is an easy card to get a good amount of credits. At 2 influences, it is unlikely to see play outside of anarch, since there is equivalent cards like this for every faction.

Unless you plan to use The Back in criminal. In which case it might be valuable to use it multiple time, but that would be quite the setup to make it worth it.

While the art is quite beautiful, it is difficult to see the relation with fermenting. The quote is flavor full, but does not really seem related to art. The name of the card is well related to the effect of the card, which makes it easy to understand. So, like the effect of the card, it is a mixed bag, but a worthwhile card for the proper deck, in my opinion. Good design all in all.

(System Update 2021 era)
4021

Magnum Opus objects to the idea that there is any action better than clicking for 2 credits.

Clicking for 2 cards is better. Velasco agrees...

I'm not sure it is actually good with Hivemind. When you use Consume with Hivemind in play, counters on both are removed. I suspect this would happen the same way here.

@FreqKing - negative, the text of Fermenter does not say the virus counters are removed, just that you trash Fermenter as a cost. It counts the virus counters but does not remove them.