Monday, 19 January 2015

Discursions with Divadus - The Dark Side of the Moon

Hey y'all - so I have been in a fairly remote geographical location for the past several months with limited internet capabilities. As such, I was unable to provide any sort of update, let alone pack reviews as they arrived (which was my original intent).

Nonetheless, over the past couple months, I did manage to scrawl some thoughts on the latter half of the Lunar Cycle, thanks to text spoilers (bless you, snow-jax). Of note, my thoughts are substantially less organized than last time - these scribblings do not begin to approximate a review, nor are they intended to be any sort of summative statement about the cards discussed. Additionally, I have left certain cards un-addressed, either due to lack of any appreciably interesting thing to say on them, lack of experience/understanding of a new mechanic ushered in (would love to have talked about Leela, but felt I needed some games with her under my belt) or simply lack of time (I've been busy yo), and some of my remarks may betray ignorance of the most current of current spoilers. It just seemed like a shame to let my ramblings go to waste, even though their precise temporal standing, with respect to the present meta, is no longer especially relevant. So yeah, here's to belated housekeeping.

I hope to actually be a little more active on this blog in the coming year, so stay tuned for more (engaging) content.


Well, this is decidedly unorthodox. So, given that I presently possess a meta of precisely one, which is more than a little unhealthy (primarily congestive symptoms, but I’m on the mend), I am utterly incapable of giving any remotely authoritative advice on the matter of the second half of the Lunar Cycle (having not played with it).

The advantage about this particular arrangement, however, given that I am not actually receiving cards in instalments, is that the delineation between cards yet-to-be-released and those comprising the current card pool is irrelevant. 'Future spoilers' and 'playable right now' fall under the same category for me - I can't play with either. Hence, nothing is sacred - I'mma write on both.

Advance warning: this post be long. Grab a beverage of some description.





Well, I can’t say I’m upset to see another card that serves as anti-Parasite tech – because that hungry, hungry worm is straight ridiculous. But I digress. Architect is a very potent ice. The effect of Architect seems more akin to what you would find on a code gate – I’m more than happy to not get a 3-or-lower strength code gate any time soon though, at least until our good friend Yog becomes a non-entity (loljk that isn’t happening). That said, with the continual release of 4+ strength code gates (Lotus Field, Inazuma, Wendigo), Yog’s ever-presence is definitely on the decline. Again though, I digress. 

Mimic handles Architect well, but as the card pool continues to expand, and the list of heavy-duty sentries consequently increases, Datasucker-Mimic’s dominance teeters. And outside of Mimic, there really is no efficient way of getting through Architect – Garrote can consistently get through for 3 credits, but even that is still a non-negligible investment. I would talk about all the nifty things one can do with Architect’s subroutines, but, given that I’m more than a little late to the party, I’ll let the words of the card designer speak for themselves. Props, Jeremy – your card is good and you should feel good. 


Peak Efficiency

The ‘big plays/Timmy/ALL THE ICE’ part of me wants to love this card, envisioning lofty goals of playing it for 10 or more credits late game. The rational part of me recognizes how many pieces of ice will have to be rezzed (and by extension, how many turns on average will be required) before this card is going to net you more than a Hedge Fund. Rational Me further proceeds to elaborate that Corp burst economy really is most necessary in the early game, something Peak Efficiency does not do for you at all. At this moment, Big Plays yells “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU YOU LIKE ICE! REZ ALL OF IT! GET MONEY!” Whilst simultaneously admiring the apt use of an interrobang and decrying the all-caps travesty, Rational Me begins to form a retort, but Big Plays is already screaming about “YOU DON’T USE KRAKEN ENOUGH” and “ISABEL MCGUIRE SO GOOD AGAINST DUMB PARASITE”. It gets noisy in here.

Anyhow, Peak Efficiency, akin to Diversified Portfolio, is an economy card that rewards considerable investment in a particular strategy, and hence, is not a card you want to see early. Unlike creating new servers for Diversified Portfolio though, which is click-intensive but otherwise free, Peak Efficiency requires you to both install and rez ice, draining both clicks and considerable economy. Peak Efficiency, however, rewards you for fortifying your ice defences – something you basically always want to do – while Diversified Portfolio rewards creating multiple, unprotected servers, which pushes you into quite a specific style of play. Each card is weak to different Runner strategies – Diversified Portfolio’s naked servers are pure fodder for Security Testerado and (the admittedly rare) Hemorrhage, while Peak Efficiency is hampered by the all-too-prevalent ice destruction and Emergency Shutdown.

In short, want to like the card, probably see myself trying to use the card, but ultimately envision it to be a generally subpar economic option. BUT IF YOU USE AMAZON INDUSTRIAL ZONE AND SHIPMENT FROM MIRRORMORPH…


Labyrinthine Servers

After Weyland, I would have expected (and hoped for) Haas-Bioroid to get the second 5/3 (Project Wotan is basically testicle sweat in anything but Stronger Together), but I guess Jinteki gets that honour. To answer the implicit, budding question, no – I do not think this card is going to replace The Future Perfect in any decks any time soon. TFP’s self-defending nature just reduces its liability as a 5/3 so drastically, it’s pretty hard to replace it with any other 3-pointer, no matter how useful the effect. With that said, Labyrinthine Servers’ effect is pretty sweet. In my mind, this card finds its place in the Harmony Medtech archetype which runs 6 5/3s as a replacement for either Executive Retreats/Priority Requisitions/Fragments (alongside TFP). Lab Servers obviously only serves a purpose in a deck that wishes to create 'terror/kill' servers (y'know, the Komainu-Cell Portal-Akitaro thing) and/or runs traps, but it should be well-appreciated in those Medtech decks (except when it gets stolen as 5/3s often are).

I’m somewhat intrigued that Labyrinthine Servers appears to be the first agenda to use ‘power counters’, as opposed to the standard ‘agenda counters’. One could posit that this is an indication that cards are on the horizon which will interact with power counters and/or agenda counters, and thus, Labyrinthine Servers will be treated differently to other ‘counter-when-scored’ agendas. That, or it’s just another templating error. I’m open to either possibility.



Snake? Snake! SNAAAAAAKE! With Mamba, the snake suite of ice sees completion. The question is: how does Mamba fare against its serpentine siblings, let alone the other ice existing in the current card pool? Well, first off, it seems substantially too expensive for its entirely non-stopping subroutines to see use apart from in fairly niche decks. However, the fact that it utilizes the ‘Psi’ mechanic and isn’t flat-out abominable (see exhibit Bullfrog) means that it will be used in just about every Nisei Division deck in the foreseeable future. A Mamba power counter basically equates to a stack-able House of Knives agenda counter – which is certainly very good – but again, it comes at a steep cost. I’ll be sure to test the slithery one out in my next Nisei Division deck, but probably not anywhere else.



Interestingly, I don’t feel the HQ-subroutine mechanical interplay of this card really makes sense within Jinteki. Celebrity Gift certainly encourages having a large hand, but Weyland, lest we forget, has had the indomitably fearsome Research Station since Core Set, son (its time will come; you’ll see). Perhaps this is an instance of name/concept/flavour trumping semi-established mechanics. For obvious reasons, Ashigaru couldn’t be Haas-Bioroid, despite Haas-Bioroid’s HQ/draw-related cards (the Clearances, Panic Button), on account of the fact that it slides too perfectly into Cerebral Imaging, to not hit them with exorbitant splash costs. 

Oh, how good do I think the card is? At 4 strength, and an average of 4-5 subroutines, its capacity for taxation against any standard fracter not named Morning Star is exceedingly impressive. But it’s not cheap, that’s for sure. And at 3 influence, it is unlikely to see use outside of Jinteki (and certain CI variants). While it might be worth considering running over Wall of Thorns in a taxing Replicating Perfection deck for its greater stopping power, the 2 net damage face-check punishment on WoT is very welcome and goes in a long way in justifying its 8 rez cost. And therein lies the primary issue of Ashigaru - akin to costly barriers like Hadrian’s Wall before it, Ashigaru suffers from the fact that its sole function is ending the run. The ice offers no retribution against the Runner for failing to break the subroutines; the Runner simply bounces off your 'end the run' (forthwith to be acronymized as ETR) subroutine and takes to exploiting another, newly vulnerable server, on account of you spending an inordinate amount to rez Ashigaru. As such, I imagine it will see little use. 


Reversed Accounts

Yikes. ‘Hostile’ indeed. Reversed Accounts is VERY strong. This card basically reads “The Runner will lose money, no ifs, ands or buts about it”. The trash cost of 3 is what really pushes this card into dire territory. Install-advance-advanced in a glacier scoring remote, this card epitomizes “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, even more so than the likes of its Weyland cousin, GRNDL Refinery, and nigh on guarantees a scoring window. Either the Runner runs the ice gauntlet only to find a moderate trash cost asset at the end (thus, the Runner loses lots of money), or the Runner leaves it alone, allowing you to fire it next turn (thus, the Runner loses lots of money). Basically, bad times (or good times, depending on whose perspective one is taking) are inevitable.

I hope to get in some empirical testing on RA, but, on paper, it certainly looks to be fairly vicious.


Universal Connectivity Fee

Closed Accounts in the form of ice. Unlike Closed Accounts, however, Universal Connectivity Fee (definitely not writing that in full again) punishes a tagged Runner on the Runner’s turn, which changes the dynamic somewhat, and so involves different support pieces (though Data Raven is great for both). While it also theoretically doubles up as a minor tax to the Runner, you likely don’t want to rez this unless the Runner is tagged, given that it’ll ultimately be functioning as a half-Popup Window (taxes the Runner, but doesn’t give you monies) which costs 2 credits to rez. As such, it’s going to be hard to justify this card in a deck (again, similar to Closed Accounts), when Popup Window is so much more universally useful. I wonder what Weyland’s trap ice will be – also, speaking of Weyland…


Blue Sun

Blue Sun is ludicrously good, to the point that it offends me (even more now) that GRNDL only has 10 influence. There are SO many reasons why this ID is phenomenal which, by this point, will have already been belaboured to death for many of you (for those of you who have the misfortune of knowing me in person, I likely have been the belabourer), but here’s a brief recap of why BS is BS:

(Dang it, Blogger. Please excuse this formatting travesty.)

  • Oversight AI and Curtain Wall = revoltingly puissant fiscal gain. Jackson-shuffle Oversights for maximum good times.
  • Hive becomes basically the best ice ever. Ridiculously taxing early and may be returned to HQ late game to recoup the rez cost (thereby further quelling any misguided hope of using Security Subcontract).
  • Adonis/Eve/Private Contracts/The Root/virtually any economic asset is improved enormously.
  • Silly, ineffectual combos in any other Weyland deck, like Crisium Grid & Off the Grid, suddenly become legitimately awesome (Niagara falls, the Milky Way galaxy, choirs of angels singing in unison, the whole shebang). Even Amazon Industrial Zone can actually put in work (sort of).
  • Ability to bankrupt oneself for a turn to keep the Runner out (only to pull the same ice back to restabilize economically) makes big ice no longer a liability and allows for earlier scoring windows. 
  • Related to the previous point, Blue Sun’s ability allows for the on-demand economic superiority essential for SEA-Scorch via pulling back expensive ice, when their mode and role has since been superseded, i.e. flatline victory conditions have been met.
  • Allows for the resetting of installed traps and the psychological headgames associated with such delightful monkeyshines.
  • Does a number on Femme Fatale (she is practically useless against the Sun). Tollbooth remains a taxing monster.
  • Screws over Parasite hard (must contain arousal). The Runner is forced to instakill with a combination of Parasite and Datasucker counters, otherwise the ice is just coming back to hand and getting reinstalled next turn, dewormed.
  • Lol Caissa. F*** outta here with that chess sh**.

Above all though, versatility is why Blue Sun truly is the apex Weyland ID (‘baɪəs’? What is this ‘baɪəs’ of which you speak?). Blue Sun is not pigeon-holed into any particular strategy. Yes, Blue Sun definitely lends itself to certain card choices (again, Overcurtaining is absurdly strong). However, as established, Blue Sun also does jank (as well as non-standard yet effective card interactions) better than any other Weyland ID by a long shot, advance-able ice aside (most of which, let’s be real, snort elephantine fecal matter). Blue Sun’s ability renders it truly adaptable to just about any viable Weyland strategy (as well as a few less-than-viable ones).

Blue Sun, ladies and gentlemen.



I truly adore the art on this card – Wylie Beckert (who also illustrated the Lunar Cycle’s two other morph ice) really outdid himself here. Of particular note, Changeling accomplishes what the other morph ice do not – visual-conceptual-mechanical agreement or cohesion (neeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrd). That is to say, the particular visual elements of the card aptly illuminate and tie together the conceptual and mechanical aspects of morph ice. To elaborate, I see the art as depicting the transient intermediary stage between advancement (which, of course, does not exist as an actual in-game, mechanical step), as Changeling sequentially metamorphoses from barrier (fortification in foliage form) to sentry (bald, spear-wielding warrior-man). The visual ‘roots’ motif just brings everything together beautifully. But I digress.

Astounding art aside (adept alliteration acknowledged), Changeling is pretty decent, if a bit costly. For a credit more than a Bastion, you get a 4 strength barrier that also gear-checks as a sentry (which also reduces its susceptibility to Quetzal). Hence, the usefulness of Changeling is entirely dependent on the prevalence of AI breakers in your meta (as are all of the morph ice, really). If Overmind and Atman are the primary breakers you face, Bastion is clearly the better option (though neither is really great). Against standard rigs, Changeling will compel the Runner to find both their fracter and killer, and also promise moderate taxation thereafter. Just don’t expect it to light your world on fire.

Also, no – the existence of Changeling (even alongside the other morph ice) is not sufficient reason to start running Because We Built It. We’ll wait and see what Order and Chaos brings to the table before touching that ID again. I’ve been hurt too many times.



Reuse is one of those cards that exists within a specific faction (as opposed to being neutral) solely to ensure that the decks that would benefit from it are required to pay influence for it. In faction, Weyland has very little use for Reuse, apart from exceedingly fringe case scenarios, many of which rely on the great Jackson Howard to be even moderately effective, e.g. double-draw with Jackson, Reuse to trash agendas and extraneous cards for cash monies (still not a great strategy as it thins your hand out, meaning you are now prone to being agenda flooded in HQ again, which is the very thing Jackson is designed to prevent). It isn’t even a Transaction Operation, so Building a Better World does not gain its signature pecuniary advantage from playing it.

The ‘combos’ I see with this card are Cerebral Imaging (wherein Reuse may provide a massive credit surge mid-late game by recycling redundant ice and/or additional copies of combo pieces) and Industrial Genomics (where you want face-down cards in Archives to increase trash costs, and the money is always a nice bonus). Again though, even within these ‘combo’ scenarios, Reusing involves removing supposedly superfluous cards from HQ – the problem being that cards in HQ are never truly superfluous, as they always at least serve as either agenda dilution (more cards in hand means lower chance of hitting agendas) or obfuscation of Runner information-gathering (those extra Ice Walls I’m holding in hand lower the chance of you finding my surprise Punitive Counterstrike). 


◆Hades Fragment

2nd of the Fragments. Also, almost certainly the least useful, given that it doesn’t endear itself to any particular Corp strategies – e.g. Eden Fragment in glacier decks – the only exception perhaps being The Foundry, which gets to frequently shuffle desired cards away from the bottom of R&D into the main body again. Hades Fragment seems narrowly useful against Noise, and the rare non-Noise, mill-focused Runner, and only if you were intending to run 5/3s in the first place. Hence, if you do expect to find yourself up against Noise in your meta (Cache is still a thing, after all), it still likely only finds a place in a Corp deck which is aiming for the long game and doesn’t have any better 5/3s available to it in faction – perhaps the occasional HB: Stronger Together (which will likely prioritize Project Wotan) or Weyland: Because We Built It (which would probably opt for Government Contracts or the upcoming High-Risk Investment in Order and Chaos). To justify Hades Fragment on the grounds that it ‘recycles economy (assets)’ feels a little antisynergistic, considering the Fragment places them on the bottom of your deck, as opposed to shuffling them. 

With that said, yes – a glacier Foundry deck oriented toward the late game, in a mill-happy meta, may well make great use of this Fragment. Which is admittedly a rather specific scenario, requiring a seemingly collusive confluence of multiple variables. What I’m trying to saying is, Hades Fragment isn’t very good.


Docklands Crackdown

I am very ambivalent about this card. On the one hand, I’m always pleased when FFG explores new design space with card abilities, and Docklands Crackdown certainly falls within that category, encouraging a controlling strategy wherein the Corp protects and clicks Crackdown over time, until installing anything becomes prohibitively expensive for the Runner. Furthermore, I like that Crackdown is a build-around card (SO DO I), encouraging non-standard, control archetypes (of which I am a sucker for). Against less-aggressive decks that sit back and accumulate multiple resources and programs, Crackdown will put in some work (then again, fast advance will likely just win before they set up, but hey, it’s an alternate strategy at least).

On the other hand, Crackdown requires a ton of Corp investment, both in clicks (using Crackdown and installing ice to protect it) and credits (you need to be able to rez the ice after all), all of which will divert defences from your centrals, leaving you extremely vulnerable to R&D and HQ assault (which an adept Runner will be more than happy to exploit). Two clicks for each power counter is a full two-thirds of a Corp’s turn – which leaves you with 1 free action, which is not nearly enough to shore up the multiple weaknesses you open yourself up to by using the card. What’s worse, the card does not ultimately contribute to a win condition – it certainly makes the Runner’s life harder, but so does rezzing a SanSan to score a 3/2 out of hand (and hence threatening to score another the following turn). Being an asset (and a high-priority trash one at that), Crackdown necessitates its own separate fortified server, independent from whatever scoring remote you were hoping to establish with the clicks and credits you don’t have because you spent all your resources enforcing your continued Crackdown. I’m labouring a point here, but I think it is an important one – using this card will frequently impede the Corp just as much as it does the Runner. Finally, this card needs to arrive at a very precise time (nghhh – save it for later) in order to be useful – too early and you won’t be able to protect it; too late and the Runner will already have installed most of their necessary cards, thus nullifying your Crackdown.

I am loath to discourage y’all from getting your jank on (that would make me profoundly hypocritical), but unless you’re a highly skilled player with specialized training in ‘meta appraisal’ and ‘not drawing agendas’, I think you’d be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure by Cracking down.



Back on track with unequivocally great cards. Inject is the shot in the arm (I went there) for draw optimizing that Anarchs have been wanting for SO long. Seeing four more cards in one’s deck for a single credit is a beautiful thing. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that Inject is simply suboptimal card draw and dismissing it for that reason. Yes, it will, from time to time, trash multiple key programs that you wanted at this very moment – even in those instances however, it will reimburse you monetarily for its failure to deliver exactly what you desired. Inject is indeed a true gentle(wo)man.

Inject is obviously not for every Anarch deck, however. If you aren’t running any form of program recursion in your deck, in the form of Deja Vus and/or Clone Chips (what the hell is wrong with you?), and/or multiple copies of key programs, then yeah, Inject probably isn’t the card for you. 

(For serious though, just run Clone Chips and Deja Vu – your win rate will skyrocket dramatically and entire strangers will loudly extol your praises in the streets).



N.B. The way Origami is worded (the “for each copy of Origami installed” clause, in particular) means that the growth provided by Origami is exponential (exponent of 2), as opposed to linear. As such, how this works, functionally, is that the ‘number of installed Origami’ provides the ‘number of installed Origami, squared’ in additional hand size. Thus, 1, 2, or 3 installed Origami result in 1, 4 and 9 increased hand size, respectively. /math

Origami is a card that is clearly not meant to be evaluated in a vacuum. This is a card which requires a number of support pieces to work. In truth, it would probably be more accurate to say that Origami requires support to work as support - both increased-memory support and efficient-draw support are required in order for Origami to function as hand-size-maximizing support. But why, pray tell, would one want a grip of 14 cards when Komainu (nomnomnom your hand) and (especially) Sweeps Week are a significant part of the current meta? Well, you’ll just have to wait until the next data pack to……



If you can set up a few of these early enough, with a Lamprey or two, and have a reasonably uninhibited path to HQ (and run a few Deja Vus), the Corp will loathe you terribly. In most cases, however, I imagine that this is a scenario that will not arise terribly often, as the Corp will either set up too quickly, or you simply won’t be able to assemble the requisite pieces fast enough (this is Anarch, after all). I don’t feel equipped to evaluate it further until using it though.



Well, this is interesting – Criminal click economy. My filthy, combo-fiending mind goes straight to Savoir-Faire, but I don’t think any combos are required to make use of this card. The ability to install a Faerie free even of the click needed to install it seems pretty sweet to me (I tend to run three Faeries in many of my non-Iain Criminal decks, of which there are not many). In truth though, unless you’re packing a lot of cheaper, likely one-shot programs, you would likely be better served running another ‘economy’ card instead of Autoscripter. Atop Faeries, I’m thinking Caches, Gorman Drips, and Grappling Hooks (peeps really should run this card more; with E3 support, it’s fantastic against 2.0 bioroids, Blue Sun’s Curtain Walls and Jinteki: RP’s Tsurugis/Komainus).

While I can imagine some will try Autoscripter in Noiseshop to regain the click lost to Wyldside, Autoscripter’s three influence cost and the fact that it is hardware (and hence, probably means multiple copies are needed to consistently find it, as it is untutorable outside of Trade-in, which eats more valuable influence) makes me think that such an idea is ill-advised, especially given the important imports Noiseshop already runs (Clone Chip and Aesop’s come to mind). 



Here we have the all-or-nothing stealth breaker. Switchblade offers ridiculously efficient sentry-breaking at the cost of being completely unusable without stealth support. This is a card that leaves the Runner with difficult deckbuilding decisions – one will want some preliminary method of sentry-breaking until one has acquired one’s full stealth kit, which is admittedly something that Criminals are rather good at doing. Faeries are amazing, but, with a full stealth complement, deckslots will be a serious issue. Furthermore, being 0 strength, Switchblade feels like a card that would benefit considerably from Datasucker support, especially against low-strength ice like Komainu and Tsurugi – and now we likely have MU (and influence) problems, assuming you were looking to use Cloaks also. 

However, if you are eventually able to equip your Switchblade with Silencers (flavour fail), you get to enjoy the phenomenal efficiency of a sentry breaker that gains +7 strength (or breaks 4+ subroutines) for a single stealth credit. And that is a pretty propitious prospect. 

I’ll be sure to give it a stab.



I’mma give this thing a pass. Truthfully, it looks fairly underwhelming – using it to tutor one-of hardware requires you to have drawn into (and installed) a piece of hardware that you are not terribly attached to (why are you including hardware you don’t really want in your deck?) and Trade-in, and then you have to trash your hardware, at which point Trade-in puts the hardware that you want into your hand (notably, it does not install it, so it doesn’t even save you a click). Many wasted clicks for little profit. Mathematically, it comes across pretty poorly. 



Astrolabe is one-fifth the cost of Dinosaurus, the second cheapest Shaper console. Feel free to let that sink in.



Good? Yeah, so this thing is pretty nuts. For a single credit, you get an MU and a nifty ability against the ever-popular NEH and Jinteki: PE (though Evolution can potentially also use this against you, forcing you to overdraw only to splat into a Psychic Field) and asset-spam in general. For any Shaper deck not currently running a console, on account of not wanting to cede tempo, here's your answer. Card is really, really good.

Also, Trade-In 'comboes' with it, which is to say that it takes up additional deck slots, which could be used instead as additional copies of desired hardware, and reverts back to ceding tempo. 


Angel Arena

I really don’t like this card. Way too expensive for a draw optimizer. As stated last review, regarding Rachel Beckman, however, if you are running some dedicated Eureka!-Motivation build (have mercy), throw in some of these suckers. Otherwise, probably not - every faction has more efficient methods of drawing into important cards (yes, even Anarch). 




Bifrost Array

Hmm. As many others would tell you, 3-for-1 is an inherently poor advance-to-point ratio, so unless the agenda’s effect is just generally the shiznit (see: House of Knives, Gila Hands Arcology) or especially well-tailored for your specific gameplan (see: False Lead in ‘Tag-and-Bag’ with Snare, Chronos Project in ‘1000 Cuts Jinteki: PE’), you’re probably better off not playing it (see: Unorthodox Predictions, Vulcan Coverup). Especially in one of the two factions with access to two sets of 3-for-2s. 

So which group does Bifrost Array lean toward – ‘awesomesauce’, ‘gameplan-specific’, or ‘yeah… nah’? Well, sadly, probably the last. Bifrost Array is inherently a combo card – it cannot be the first agenda you score (if you want it not to be a blank 3/1), and the previously scored agenda has to have a “when scored” effect, not to mention one that you want to trigger right now. That really hurts it. Yes, having a scored Cleaners, Private Security Force and a perma-tagged Runner means you can deal 6 meat damage each turn – but it ain’t ever happening (I realize that Bifrost’s requisite conditions are nowhere near this specific; I just like hyperbole, y’all). 

I am well-aware that Bifrost shenanigans can certainly be had in conjunction with the likes of Efficiency Committee (I can think of a few new comboluted ways to score 7 points in a single turn in Cerebral Imaging), allowing you to place 3 more agenda counters on your EC for use whenever you so please – an effect which will always be welcome. Other “when scored” effects, however, are considerably more conditional, such as Accelerated Beta Test. Plus, given that it has the same advancement requirement as Beta Test, if you wanted to replicate the effect of a Beta Test, you could have just scored another friggin’ Beta Test and gained an extra point in the process!

Man, it's hard to make 3/1s work.



The second of four zodiac ice this cycle (that’s not a subtype, just a descriptor*). As many of the thoughts on each are bound to overlap, an individual dissection of each is perhaps ill-advised (especially given my complete lack of testing with any of these cards). Thus, I intend to discuss the zodiac ice as a full set when I get to The Source’s Virgo. 

As an inconsequential aside, although I’m not terribly despotic when it comes to spelling issues, the misspelled ‘Sagitarrius’ in the flavour text grieves me terribly. I think it’s the inconsistency (that Sagittarius is spelt differently in the title and the flavour text) which really troubles me. A petty gripe, to be sure, but internal consistency is mad important yo.

*Brilliant segue into the topic of irrelevant ice subtypes. ‘Observer’ comes to mind. ‘Observer’ appears to be a purely ‘residual-concept’ subtype, and does not actually appear to have any in-game mechanical significance, unlike ‘destroyer’ (trashes programs), ‘AP’ (deals damage) and ‘tracer’ (initiates trace(s)). For reference, here are the four ‘observer’ ice currently in the game (notably, all of which also possess the actually mechanically-significant ‘tracer’ subtype, further emphasizing the redundance of 'observer'). That the most recent (and arguably most obvious) candidate for ‘observer’ ice, Snoop, does not actually possess said subtype feels to me like FFG has recognized that the ‘observer’ subtype is irrelevant and are not intending to print further 'observers'. Either that or it’s a major oversight and I shan’t forgive them for such a grievous transgression. 



See above regarding Sagittarius. Also, preeeeetty sure the Gemini twins were supposed to be male. Castor and Pollux be mad shady.


License Acquisition

A free SanSan rez (including the click to install it) is a pretty strong effect. An asset-spammy Near-Earth Hub would be more than happy to recur a trashed City Surveillance (which might also save deck slots used on Interns). For regular (boring) NBN (fast advance), however, it's so hard to even think about replacing the ridiculousness that is Breaking News (which License Acquisition directly competes with in the 1-pointer slots), let alone any of the other pieces of the perpetually-stagnant agenda suite (3 Astroscripts, 3 Project Beale, 3 NAPD Contracts, 2 Breaking News). 

F*** you, I'm not salty.


Daily Business Show

This card is really something. Up till now, Corps have only gotten tools for draw power, i.e. cards that allow one to draw more than normal; Daily Business Show is the first example of Corp draw optimization/filtering, allowing the Corp to get a clickless ‘Mr Li’ for their mandatory draw. While DBS provides a ‘free’ filtered draw each turn though, it is restricted to a single use per turn, unlike Mr Li, whose ability can be used multiple times each turn. 

Notably though, draw filtering is considerably stronger for the Corp than for the Runner, for one major reason: it reduces agenda flooding. Draw filtering allows you to redirect unwanted agendas to the bottom of R&D where they are safe from filthy Runner hands (except for the Show Offs among them), whereas 'draw power' cards like Anonymous Tip potentially do the opposite. 

Of course, occasionally, DBS' effect will run counter to your interests, e.g. whilst looking for your flatline combo, you may draw 2 Scorched Earths and be forced to 'bottom' one of them, but the majority of the time this card will pay off enormously. And with the same rez-to-trash ratio as PAD Campaign? Yep, straight into Near-Earth Hub and well-worth splashing a couple of copies (one influence, after all) elsewhere.



If this card had come out half a year ago, it really would have been relentlessly derided, as it gets utterly defecated on by the then-ubiquitous killer-decoder duo, Yog and Mimic, of Andy-sucker (0 and 1 credit to break it, respectively). In the new ‘Lotus Field and co.’, beefy code gate era, however, Lycan is still overcosted – the majority of half-decent icebreakers are going to get through Lycan for 3 credits or less. Even considering that program-trashing sentries tend to have lower strength to compensate for the potency inherent in targeted program-trashing (all the more so for Lycan, given its ‘surprise code gate eats your program’ nature), 6 rez cost for a 3 strength sentry/code gate with a single subroutine and no stopping power is more than a little substandard. 


Snatch and Grab

A response to the connection-saturated meta that never was. That being said, this card is more than decent, if a tad narrow. Kati Jones is a very good card and several decks do use her for long-game economy. Snatch and Grab also utterly screws over decks that make use of Rachel Beckman. 

Interestingly, the tattoo in the flavour text clearly describes a chimera, which is a nice tie-in to the Android novels (well, one of them at least).



Why yes, I do intend to build a grail ice Foundry deck solely to allow for the (highly unlikely) scenario wherein the Runner flatlines him/herself on a first turn HQ faceplant, as I rez my Merly and reveal two more old men from my hand (this precise turn of phrase sounds mildly disturbing) – thank you for asking. This grand plan is, of course, contingent on wizards arriving precisely when I mean them to, which is perhaps not a reasonable assumption to make. 

(Dammit, I just realized I made this joke last review, albeit less fittingly, about Chronos Project. Yay for hackneyed reliance on reference humour. I just like Tolkien, y’all).


Shell Corporation

Here we have the Corp Kati Jones. Of course, Netrunner being an asymmetric game, Shell Corporation and Ms Jones actually function reasonably differently. As a resource, assuming the Runner is untagged, Kati Jones is immune to trashing, aside from a few niche effects, such as the concurrently-released Snatch and Grab. Shell Corporation, by comparison, is an upgrade (it would be pretty awful as an asset) and is readily trash-able. Being an upgrade, however, Shell Corporation enables certain fun plays - most notably, placing a Shell Corporation in the same server as a trap and then amassing bank with impunity (though Singularity would certainly make one very sad). Alternatively, you can simply install it as an upgrade on a heavily-defended central server (which you obviously want to protect anyway), thus prompting the Runner to make impractically costly runs solely to trash your Shell Corp and gain a random access.

The primary issue with Shell Corporation again lies in the asymmetric nature of the game: one Runner click does not equate to one Corp click. Spending a third of your turn 'charging' your economy laser is nowhere near as good as spending a quarter of your turn doing the same. Despite the aforementioned strategies being fairly feasible, I think the overly time-consuming nature of this card will really hinder it from seeing much play.



……find out. Oh hi again. Yeah, so Ekomind is the apparent culmination of the hand interaction tools that Anarch received this cycle. And it is Jank City, Snitch.

I want to like this, but the setup required to pull it off, just seems unreasonably convoluted. Plus, Komainu and Psychic Field will just make you weep. I'm reserving judgment on this until I actually get the opportunity to use it.


Cerberus “Cuj.0” H3

Heh. Literary reference. With the arrival of Cerberus “Cuj.0” H3, Anarch finally has access to a full set of in-faction pumpable breakers (I would forgive you if you forgot about their pumpable decoder Force of Nature; I frequently attempt to do the same). And it’s… well, it’s not that great. The best application for the first (well, third, if we’re going by the card title) head of Cerberus* is probably its ability to break Rototurret without paying a single credit. Whoop de doo. At an unimpressive 0 strength, and 1-to-1 strength-to-credit increase ratio, Cuj.0 is surprisingly inefficient for something that can only be used a maximum of 4 times – the fact that it does not have to pay credits to break subroutines is largely undermined by its decreased strength, compared to most sentry breakers. Notably, many of the currently popular sentries do have multiple subroutines (the aforementioned ‘Turret, Tsurugi, Komainu, Archer, Caduceus, etc); however, any ice with odd numbers of subroutines (the 1’s and 3’s) don’t play nice with Cuj.0’s power counters (Grim, and Ichis, especially).  

*On a somewhat related note, the thematic-consistency part of me (partially acquainted with Rational Me; gets on strangely well with Big Plays) feels that having the Cerberus breakers fail to interact with Hades Shard in any way, even in indirect fashion, was a missed opportunity on FFG’s part, during the design process. That said, I feel the same way about Burke Bugs and Swarm (WHY DON’T YOU PLAY THOSE CARDS MORE BURKE BUGS IS SO GOOD IN MAKING NEWS YOU CAN SECURITY SUBCONTRACT IT LATE GAME), so ignoring me may be advisable. Nay, I encourage it.


Zona Sul Shipping

Fits into my Supplier-funded (I do so love that card) Iain deck, which spends considerable time rig-building and economically setting up. Given that the deck plays Rachel Beckman anyway, and thus, runs Decoys and New Angeles City Halls, Zona Sul Shipping’s “tagged=trash” weakness is mitigated considerably. That being said, ZSS is a card for a veeeery specific deck type – mine - and even there it isn't phenomenal. Outside of a slower, board-building deck that hopes to establish drip economy (and a fast advance-averse meta that allows for such strategies to flourish), ZSS has no place whatsoever. While it doesn’t require the additional set-up of Underworld Contacts, Zona, with its additional click requirement, is undoubtedly too slow to see use against the likes of Near-Earth Hub Fast Advance (the notorious Astrobiotics).


Cybsoft Macrodrive

Meh to the tenth power. Here we have the boring Shaper version of Cyberfeeder. Effect is both crazy vanilla and entirely unspectacular. This is the kind of card that is basically impossible (for me) to get excited about. In future, even if the scenario arises wherein we reach a critical mass of extremely useful, cheap breakers/programs that work fantastically in tandem with each other, where you are basically installing a program(s) every turn (akin to the SanSan Cycle’s Chameleon), thus fully optimizing the recurring credits provided by your Macrodrive engine, then Kate McCaffrey will be hideously overpowered (getting a discount on each Macrodrive, as well as each program), compared to other Shapers, and my ability to enjoy the comparative faction balance of the game will be drastically reduced. [Breath.] Basically, in a world where Cybsoft Macrodrive is a good card, Kate is too stronk, therefore the game is not in a good place.

I realize that my previous fulmination of a paragraph sounds like I desperately hate Kate – I really don’t, but she certainly doesn’t need any targeted help, to the exclusion of the other Shaper IDs.


Cerberus “Lady” H1

Easily the best hound-head, in my personal opinion (why one would claim someone else’s opinion as their own is beyond me – but I digress). Part of the reason for its supremacy relates to the fact that a certain barrier tends to warp metas with disproportionately high representation – Eli 1.0. Lady gets through Eli four times for a grand total of 8 credits (4 credits for install and 1 credit per break), compared to Corroder’s 18 (2 to install, 4 per break). Only Atman at 4 and Morning Star even come close to that level of efficiency at 13 credits (3 + 4 to install, 2 per break) and 12 credits (8 to install, 1 per break), respectively.

Its superiority over the other Cerberus breakers is further compounded by the fact that Shaper has Scavenge, Clone Chip and Test Run in faction, allowing for it to be reset when its counters are depleted. There will be certain matchups and/or games, where you will have to be judicious with respect to fracting, but in most matches, you will have won well before you've exhausted your Ladies. 


Utopia Shard

I like this Shard a lot. Leagues better than Eden Shard, and more universally applicable than Hades Shard (even though I prefer ye latter Shard). Forcing two random discards from HQ is basically never a desirable prospect for the Corp. Utopia Shard just makes me all the more excited for the upcoming Wanton Destruction (which is a beautifully Anarch name for a beautifully Anarch card) in Order and Chaos – HQ is destined for some rough treatment in the near future, I tells ya.




Helium-3 Deposit

Hey, that’s a neat-looking effect – I wonder what I can do with it? Let’s see – how about I open up a list of known cards that Helium-3 Deposit is able to interact with

Huh. As you may notice from this list, there is not a single Weyland card on it (apart the agenda itself). Until Weyland acquires some native cards that make effective use of power counters, this card basically serves the purpose of messing with Atman strength, thus mildly inconveniencing a Shaper opponent, as they are forced to Scavenge it back to its original strength. Pipe dreams of gaining 2 extra brain damage counters on a Viktor 2.0 (as beautiful as that sounds) seem like a very bad idea to attempt to construct a deck around. 



Errand Boy

While Errand Boy is the epitome of porosity and Parasite bait, three subroutines on a sentry is never something to be sneezed at (a further testament to just how good Tsurugi really is). Particularly when those subroutines give you money/card draw on the Runner’s turn. Admittedly, the card draw option makes me a tad worried that it will just encourage the Runner to run on HQ to steal the three agendas my Errand Boy handed* me. And by that, I mean that I am extremely paranoid about R&D being a dick.

*That is indeed a truly disgraceful pun informed by the card’s art, one which was unintentional, though I could have seen fit to revisit my choice of words. I did not. I’d say that I was sorry, but I’m not even remotely contrite.


IT Department

Card has been spoiled since a while back, minus the trash cost, which, as with any asset/upgrade, can make or break a card. At 4 trash cost, IT Department is very happily situated, and its (not inconsiderable) potency is further elevated. I really like IT Department as a different spin on HB’s (I feel underutilized) strength-increasing sub-focus (see Corporate Troubleshooter and Experiential Data). Against an old-school Andy-sucker deck, following an Efficiency Committee score, ITDep has the potential to establish almost total lock-out, assuming all centrals (and the ITDep-containing remote) are iced.* Despite being both fairly click-intensive and an asset (as opposed to its upgrade cousins), ITDep, I think, would have been a terrifying strong card if it weren’t for the recent arrival of D4V1D (Criminals are still f***ed though). In light of the giant-slayer’s newfound presence, the Department is still very functional, but its ability to snowball the Corp’s board state out of control is kept in check. You done good, FFG; you done good.

*IT Department thus functions similarly to Docklands Crackdown, in the sense that it can snowball board dominance to dangerously unwinnable levels for the Runner. The two cards are clearly designed to work against different decks, however - Docklands punishes installs, thus making building board position more difficult, while ITDep strengthens ice, thus making running a less desirable prospect. As such, Docklands is well-situated against slower, rig-building decks (which is undermined somewhat by the fact that its use drains so much Corp tempo), while ITDep serves to check more rush-oriented strategies (though it falls flat against D4V1D recursion). Hence, as is often the case, it is largely a meta call as to which you should use – though I definitely think ITDep is generally the better option, primarily because it works faster. Whichever you choose, however, almost certainly Haas-Bioroid is your Corp – the synergy with Efficiency Committee (and HB’s general affinity for click-gaining) is too much to pass up. 


Markus 1.0

My Stronger Together deck gon’ luh dis one. At 1 more to rez and 1 less strength, Markus 1.0 is certainly inferior to its bioroid barrier cousin, Eli 1.0, though I do not consider this a remotely bad thing (Corps don’t need another ice of Eli’s magnitude any time soon). With that said, Markus looks remarkably solid (the first subroutine means face-checking pains, which Eli doesn’t do), and may well see use (alongside Eli – again, I don’t think many decks are going to be replacing your boy) in decks that need to diversify the strength of their ice against the Atman regime.


Industrial Genomics

Shocks, Shi Kyus, Hostile Infrastructure, assets, assets, assets. Reuse. Subliminal Messaging. LolpaytotrashmySnare. There is much potential for jank herein, my child. Time will tell if any of these silly synergies ever manage to create a halfway decent deck. That is to say, I look forward to testing this ID out immensely, but at this point have basically nothing to say of any relevance about it.



I dislike this card more than I should. It just seems so underwhelming, even compared to the likes of ye olde PAD Campaign, even in the most asset-spammy of asset-spam decks. Unless you are installing multiple (yes, more than one) assets every turn (and doing so is somehow contributing to a potential victory condition), there is genuinely no reason to run this card over any of the other asset economy options. Unless you find yourself really, really attached to chelonians. Or derive disproportionate entertainment from the idea of playing the ‘shell’ game with Turtlebacks.


Shoot the Moon

More multi-tag leverage, a.k.a. Midseasons love. In-faction, I feel that Psychographics would basically always be the preferable option (overadvanced Project Beales and regular ol' Astroscripts are really hard to say no to), especially because every Corp deck includes agendas, though not every deck includes big ice, which are required in order to maximize use of this card. That said, even something as simple as rezzing a pair of Tollbooths for 3 credits and 2 click is a delightful prospect. I can also foresee (ridiculous) aspirations of using this card in Custom Biotics to rez swathes of high-end Bioroids (YESYESYES). Gargantuan potential payoff. Fun card that combo hunters will love. 



Troll warms my heart. I figured it was just a matter of time before we got an ice without a subroutine. Clearly only worthwhile in Making News (MN has indeed gotten a fair amount of love this cycle), but with the rez cost of a single credit, it seems pretty sweet there. Of note, the 'lose click or end the run' does not mean you can simply run last click (akin to Enigma), on account of the fact that there is no 'if able' clause. If you lose the trace and have no clicks to lose, Troll stops you cold.



Hmmmm. I'm very ambivalent about the zodiac ice. Base trace of 2 means that it’s a significant drain on the Corp to even hit the Runner once with the guaranteed effect – thus, the rez cost of each of the zodies is functionally three higher than the printed, assuming you actually want to connect with the effect (unless you're running Primary Transmission Dish from Upstalk, but, let's face it - you probably aren't). Consequently, unless the effect is pretty potent, that's a pretty big money sink. And truthfully, Sagittarius (trash program) and Taurus (trash hardware) are the only two effects that I would classify as such. Virgo's 1-2 tags is decent, but 7 credits for a guaranteed tag just feels exorbitant. Gemini's 6 credits for 1-2 net damage is very unimpressive, even if its strength to cost ratio is excellent. Even in the case of Sagittarius, while 8 credits for 1-2 programs trashed sounds lovely, I think I would basically always opt for the three-sub Ichi 1.0 over it. Taurus is the only zodie with a uniquely powerful effect that really carves a specific niche in a deck (outside of Flare, it is the only ice to trash hardware), though I would only use it in Blue Sun where the 'activation cost' can be recouped (again, Blue Sun is revoltingly great).

All this being said, I feel that I should give Primary Transmission Dish a bit more shine, as it was clearly designed to be used in tandem with this ice suite (the fact that it gives you precisely three recurring trace credits is the tip-off). Notably, Primary Transmission Dish changes these cards from 'hit you once for much pain' ice to sustainably boostable, taxing ice to deal with. I guess I just feel that the zodiac ice are not good enough to justify building a deck around them. If anything, just run one or two in Making News (with or likely without the Dish) and have it as a nasty surprise.



Last of the grail suite. Notably, does not have the standard grail ice ‘on encounter’ clause (hence, can be revealed by other grail ice, but if encountered normally, does not actually reveal other grail ice from HQ). Obvious synergy with RP (far more reasonable way to achieve the same effect than Uroboros). Grammatically incomplete sentences.

To atone for my facetious (and reprehensibly trite) comment on Merlin, I should briefly comment that I think the grail ice suite (particularly Merlin and, to a less extent, Lancelot) are actually extremely good together and may well catch many a player off guard, as they get their rig busted by a barrier, or become the deaded by a code gate. They certainly have the potential to (w)re(c)k an unprepared Runner’s day. Expect to see them.



Heh. When I saw the original O:NR Self-Destruct (, I was amused by the fact that there was no way that A:NR would bring the card back without substantial adjustment (OG Self-Destruct would be overpowered beyond belief in glacier decks). Though I did certainly hope that they would find some way to incorporate some such mechanic into the game. And here we are.

Self-Destruct is certainly weaker than its original iteration (=good), and has some amusing synergy with the agenda-executives, especially Chairman Hiro – Self-Destruct trashes the installed exec before the Runner can access them, and in light of Hiro’s hand size reduction, the 3 net damage is especially dangerous.

I do however dislike the ambiguity of the “Trash all cards in or protecting this server” clause, as ranted elsewhere. To copy-paste myself, in appropriately self-aggrandizing fashion (and to make up for the fact that I have little else to say about the card itself):

Sadly, the English language being the ambiguous vessel that it is, one interpretation would be that it does work exactly as saetzero describes. "Trash all cards in or protecting this server" - presumably he is suggesting that, assuming you had two Self-Destructs installed in a remote server, you could trash your first Self-Destruct to trash all the ice protecting the server (thus, satisfying the latter of the 'or' conditions, by trashing all cards protecting the server), and then trash your second Self-Destruct to trash any remaining assets/agendas/upgrades installed in the server (satisfying the former condition). Syntactically, this is a perfectly acceptable reading of the card, using the 'exclusive or'.

I am inclined to believe that 'or', in this instance, is being used instead of 'and' (which, on first glance, might have removed the above ambiguity) to avoid any possible confusion about cards being able to 'protect' and 'exist in' a server simultaneously. An alternative, more unambiguous phrasing might have been: "Trash all cards in, and all cards protecting, this server".

FFG, hire me, yo.



1-cost virus – mill-happy Noise says woot. And that’s about it. Pawnshop Noise-mill, i.e. treating this as a blank 1-cost virus, is about the only use for this critter. ‘Combos’ with Lamprey, which is to say that, upon a purge, you lose both combo pieces (so not really, no). Lamprey is drastically better, and doesn’t explicitly require building around in order to cause corporate disruption. With Clot (another much better 1-cost virus) promised in SanSan’s The Valley, however, the sheer profusion of Noise’s cheap viruses may truly reach the point where Cyberdex Trial (or equivalent anti-virus tech in O&C) will become highly valued.


Code Siphon

With the other tutoring tools available to Shaper presently, I struggle to find a convincing justification why one would run this card. I can envision idealistic scenarios wherein, having ignored R&D all game, Vamp followed by Code Siphon (hence, the Corp cannot rez their R&D ice) could net you a free Torch/Femme Fatale (YEEAAAHHHHH), but that requires a whole lot of variables falling in your favour, not to mention, forces you to ignore R&D until mid-game and leaves you with two tags (AWWWWWW). And then I remember how effortlessly Test Run-Scavenge achieves the same result (of getting a big program tutored for free). “Colon open bracket” indeed. That said, if you do manage to achieve the aforementioned scenario, the Corp is basically screwed (especially if you follow up with a Maker’s Eye or Indexing), so there’s that.

I would really only recommend Shaper Siphon’s use if you especially needed card slots (in which case, I don’t know why Code Siphon makes the cut), and/or Test Run mercilessly slaughtered your whole family. I jest, of course – maybe just your parents.

Perhaps in a well-tuned Kate/Chaos Theory Siphon deck* that plans to float tags anyhow, CS could put in some work? As evidenced by the first (highly improbable) example, Code Siphon seems best-served as a follow-up to either a Vamp or Account Siphon, ensuring that the Corp is thus unable to adequately defend R&D. That said, with all the new tag punishment, and Crisium Grid being a thing, such a deck seems increasingly less feasible. I do of course intend to conduct corroborative testing; until the opportunity arises to do so, however, this card gets little love from me. 

*Man, these used to be an absolute terror to play against. Remember when everyone and their grandmother (though notably not their professor) splashed 2-3 Account Siphons in all of their Runner decks, because Corp economy was not sufficiently strong to recover from the rigors of early Siphon spam? Those times suuuuuucked.


Collective Consciousness

A Runner card with an effect that triggers upon ice rezzing - it would seem that Compromised Employee would be a fair point of comparison. Drawing a card for each ice rezzed is arguably better than gaining a credit (point in ColCon's favour). As a program, however, ColCon is prone to being trashed (by the very ice that is rezzed to trigger its ability), while Compromised Employee remains safe until tagging measures are brought into the picture (and Compromised Employee's recurring trace credit provides it with a measure of protection against those... measures). Furthermore, ColCon is not just any old program - it's a memory hog at 2 MU. 

Practically, I think this card should be viewed as an alternate form of early card draw, with some weird ice rez punishment thrown in. Install it as your first program and just start running - the Corp is now hesitant to rez pure ETR ice, unless it has some additional deleterious effect(s). Either you get accesses or you get to draw cards; if they rez a Rototurret on you, well, no biggie, you were going to install over it eventually.

That being said, I wouldn't even think about putting Collective Consciousness in a deck unless it already has 3 Diesels and I still feel I need draw power. Also, I really don't think you want to play this card anywhere except Shaper. Do test out the new cards, but don't be crazy, people.



This is exactly the kind of ridiculous card that I like – potently rewards you for being a little creative in your deck-building. Dinosage = 6 strength decoder and fracter (7 if you’re playing Chaos Theory). Throw in a Personally Touched Mimic, a D4V1D with some Scavenges/Test Runs, some Akamatsus, (possibly E3 Feedback Implants) and you’ve got yourself a deck right there (or so I tell myself). Let the good times roll. Definitely look forward to testing this ish out; whether it turns out to constitute an effective deck is another matter entirely.



Ugh. This seems so much worse than Inside Job (which already gets cut reasonably frequently from Criminal decks). In order to work, Bribery is predicated on the Runner being substantially richer than the Corp (far from a guaranteed scenario). So situational; so little pay off. I would play Running Interference long before I played this (and it has been a long time since I used Running Interference). Heck, I would probably play Cortez Chip before I played this (that physically wounded me to say). Seriously ungood card.


Au Revoir

Wow. Criminals are really ending on a high note this cycle. Snitch-Au Revoir-Joshua B-John Masanori-DLR-Crash Space-NACH ahoy! In all seriousness, this card is currently really poor. It is antisynergistic with almost every standard Criminal, nay, Runner, card in the available card pool. It takes up a valuable MU slot in the faction that can least spare it (and at 2 influence per copy is very unlikely to see use elsewhere), is only a useful tool economically in multiples (thus, wasting more memory, tempo, card slots, etc.), and, to top things off, even costs a credit to install just to ensure that you have to fail an additional run before the card begins to pay itself off. 

To address the combogasm potential (HOTDIGGITY) – with a full triad of Revoirs out alongside a trusty informant (, you can run against any server with unrezzed ice as the outermost layer (or any naked server), jack out with Snitch, and have the run equate to a hyper-Mopus ‘click for 3 credits’. The ever-so-minor flaw in this otherwise immaculate rig is that one’s exquisite, 4-MU-borrowing, ‘Snitch-Revoir’ econ engine is incapable of breaking a Paper Wall. Unless you’re relying on recurring Blackmails (and presumably multiple HQ/R&D Interfaces for multi-access) to get into servers, good luck. 

Almost certainly, Au Revoir is a portent of cards and/or mechanics to come, but at present, it’s really not worth considering even in the most egregiously failure-relishing, excrement-bathing swill. 


◆Earthrise Hotel

Extremely solid card draw not exclusive to Shaper. Noice. I imagine this is going to replace Quality Time in many Criminal and Anarch decks currently looking for cheap (influence-wise) draw. Obviously the two function reasonably differently (QT bursts you five cards, while Earthrise feeds you 6 over the next 3 turns), but the 0 influence on this kid will definitely sway some people. 4 credits is a not insignificant entry fee though, so be careful not to open a scoring window for the Corp in the process of deck digging.


And that's all he wrote. Whew. Believe it or not, this post was originally intended to be merely a 'highlights reel' of sorts, but, due to my penchant for superfluity and inability to be concise, ultimately morphed into the mighty textual assailment you see before you.

Anyhow, I'm still very much in 'Netrunner catch up' mode and need to re-familiarize myself with certain key aspects of the game and major players in the current card pool/meta (I've heard Astroscipt Pilot Program is still okay - confirm/deny?), so hopefully, next article is more well-informed/organized/relevant/short.

Run well, you beautiful people.

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