There's something interesting with Fawkes in that for a naked Smoke (I mean a Smoke with no other stealth credit source than her own — don't feel aroused) it's basically a Gordian Blade for sentries. Keep your stealth credit for Fawkes use only and it's like it has a 2 strength value.
From the magician-themed breakers (Houdini and Blackstone being the 2 others — remind that they keep their strength during the whole run), it's far from being the more efficient, but is the one that give you the more leeway in pumping, since whatever the higher strength of sentries stacked on a server, you'll never ever need more than 1 stealth to deal with every sentries during that run.
Well, that's in case there is no surprise : an unrezzed Archer behind a Veritas is a problem, considering that throwing away credits just in case is a problem. Also, the Corroder/Gordian Blade pattern is nice, but it has its limit against pieces of ice with high strength and/or many subs. There stand a problem, because due to Mimic popular sentries are sub-heavy or have strength > 3, often both. Hence, they're taxing for Fawkes.
Now a simple solution could be playing more stealth provider, something you want if you play a stealth deck after all. From that point, I'm not sold of Fawkes being better than Dagger, a card that is just so-so for many and plain bad for some. Comparisons :
- Both of them fill the same niche : an influence free killer for Shaper stealth deck.
- they are strictly equivalent for ices of strength = 0 : Tour Guide, Rototurret.
- Fawkes is better for ices of strength = 1 : Cobra, Komainu.
- equivalent again for ices of strength = 2 : Lancelot, Swordsman.
- Dagger is better for ices of strength > 2, the more the strength, the more the save : Data Raven, Architect, Archer
- Ichi 1.0 : this fucker deserves its own bullet in this listicle. It is already a pain for Dagger, such as if there were a need for Dagger hate, they'd just have to print Ichi 1.0. Fawkes just cries and asks 7.
- Install cost : the Dagger the better.
- Sentry stacking : Dagger ask for load of standard and stealth credits, Fawkes demands few stealth and a buttload of real money. Let's say draw game.
Is it lost ? Maybe time for dusting off Deus X and Sharpshooter ? That takes slots. Better play Dagger and more Net Mercur, I think.