So, I was thinking the other day about the Professor. I’ve tried several times now to make a deck for him, but every time I do it ends up being an Exile deck, or a Chaos theory deck, or once an Andromeda deck. So what’s wrong with the professor that there isn’t really a deck for him?
To address this, let’s first look at what the Professor does and what type of deck should be built around him. With his ignoring of program influence (once per program) he really wants to be a toolbox: play one of every good breaker and then tutor out what you need at the time based on what the Corp is playing with. So what’s wrong with this game plan? Well, firstly is his influence: the Professor only ignores influence for programs. And the tutor for ICE breakers is a 2 influence criminal card, Special Order, meaning he can’t even play one of them. Further, you only get one of each program for free, but the current game is such that there really isn’t a diversification of breakers: instead of playing the best sentry for case A and the best for case B and dropping the one that’s pertinent for the current situation, you’re playing one copy of the best sentry breaker and one copy of the next best sentry breaker. Now, the AI meta that’s coming will likely help with this as we see another shift in the meta, but really only a diversification of breakers will change this dynamic.
The Professor’s next big issue is that he simply isn’t the best at toolboxing. Because of that same diversity issue – and the fact that the Runners are only fragmented in thirds – you can easily make a toolbox deck off 15 faction points, meaning you’re better off gaining an ability. Exile is especially good at this as his discard recursion pairs nicely with toolboxing: trash what you don’t need right now and then bring it back if you should need it again later.
Finally, the biggest nail in the Professor’s coffin at the moment is the lack of faction expensive breakers. Other than the Morning Star there are not many good programs with a faction cost above 2, meaning that any identity can import them without too much trouble.
And there’s the problems with the Professor as an identity. None of them are unbeatable: a few new cards for his deck, some changes in the meta by FFG, and you could see him come into his own quite nicely. Really he was just badly overshadowed by the other identities in Creation and Control, especially since there was nothing in that set for him specifically since it was all in faction. We’ll see if FFG gives the Prof any love going forward.