The Animus synthesizes a resource called Replicase, more commonly referred to as red. If the red produced by the Animus is not used by the end of turn, it decays and is not stored.
Because an Animus produces each turn, an Animus requires the most Gold income to properly spend all of the tech resources it produces. As a rule of thumb, it costs about 8 Gold per turn to spend the Red an animus makes.
Generally speaking, red is good for making attackers, and bad at making defense. Therefore an Animus is often your best choice if you want to punish an opponent for going for a high economy build, since you know that you don't have to worry about making defense for quite some time. An Animus and Blastforge complement each other well, since the Blue from the Blastforge can handle defense, and the two Red from the Animus lets you make two attackers per turn.
Because the Animus costs 6 Gold, it's quite difficult to fit into builds. There are no efficient, animus-first high-economy builds using the base set. If you go for a low economy Animus first build, you often have to worry about being overteched - it's common to waste one Red in the opening after going for a low economy animus build, so that you can get a Blastforge out.
Player 1 openings:
Do note that Elyot Animus is a fringe opening that should only be used in the case of an extremely aggressive random set.
Player 2 openings:
- Balancing Prismata Openings Through Unit Design – part 3: Variable Rush Timings, a blog post by Elyot Grant. (June 10, 2015)