Humanity’s Shadow Set Review


Humanity’s Shadow card review/ratings.


I’m going to give a rating from 0 to 5 for each card.  

5: Best of the best.  Game defining cards.  Ex: Account Siphon, Crypsis, Melange Mining Corp.

4: Strong staples.  You want it in most decks of this faction and many decks of another action.  Ex: Sure Gamble, Corroder, Ice Wall.

3: Playable cards.  It might make the cut, or be good in the right deck.  Ex: Armitage Codebusting, Enigma.

2: Niche.  It’s only good in the right deck, and even then it’s not amazing, just reasonable.  Ex: The Helpful AI, Peacock.

1: Bad Cards.  It’s always bad, and only in its best conditions does it rise to reasonableness.  Ex: Aurora, Shipment from Mirrormorph.

0: Terrible cards.  You actively hurt your game by using it.  Ex: Data Dealer, Tyrant.



Runner Cards:

Cost: 3
Play only if you stole an agenda this turn.
Choose a server. The Corp trashes 1 piece of ice protecting that server.

Rating: 2.5/5 ?

Sometimes, this can just kill the corp if you get an agenda.  I don’t like how much luck there is in this card.  Run your HQ/R&D.  Got agenda?  Completely ruin the corp by targeting a server with this that only has a single, rezzed, expensive ice.  Didn’t get agenda?  Corp is fine.

That said, it’s worse than Emergency Shutdown, because you have to score something, not just get to HQ.   Also, if they only have big ice in a fort with another small ice, they can pick the little one to trash.  Kraken is situationally game winning, but sometimes will make you sad.

Edit: Actually, lowered the rating because this is pretty hard to use, and it costs $3.  Shutdown, this is not!  While the effect is a better shutdown, in that it trashes, if there is only ONE ice in the server, sometimes you cant hit the ice you need to hit, if the corp builds correctly. 

Its an IMPORTANT card.  As a corp, it effects your deck building, and how you play out your ice.  Do you really want to make a server with only one expensive ice in it?  At least get another ice in there.

The runner has to sit with this card, manage to find an agenda, and then pay $3 to kill something, with some control over what dies.  Not sure that thats going to be a genrally playable card in reality.  It certianly targets and hamemrs big expensive ice.

At what point do we get to the corp just playing a ton of $0-$1 ice?  Popup, Chum, Hunter, etc.dec?  Just race?

All this ice killing/derezzing stuff is just murdering the playability of big expensive ice.  It

The shift toward small ice is changing the game so much.  If you have to play small ice and race, you want 3/2 agendas that you don’t have to defend.  You don’t want that 5/3 agenda that you have to advance and then say go.

All of the drawbacks, end up making this card weaker than similar cards like Shutdown, and even Crescentus.  Derezzing a big ice is practically as good as killing it, and those other effects are easier to use and don’t cost $3.

In the end, I’m rating Kraken as a swingy, high variance card with high upside and that’s difficult to pull off.  Like Whirlpool!   So they get the same rating…





Rating: 3/5

This is efficient at any point when you would be willing to pay $2 per extra virus counter.  (At which point, this is similar to a sure gamble).   What Virus counters are worth $2?


Medium counters definitely are.  Often you will make an entire run just to get medium counters, so that your next run hits for more.  Surge used in this way is similar to Maker’s Eye, with the benefit that it also leaves the extra counters on Medium, forcing immediate clearing.

Nerve Agent Counters are too.  Imagine:  Play Nerve Agent with Grimoire.  Surge.  Run HQ.  Access FOUR.  You just got the agendas, so now you can ignore the hand.  But they have to clear viruses too or else you can access the whole hand at will in the future.

Sometimes, Parasite will be worth it, to kill a big ice before they expect/before they wipe virus counters.  But this isn’t quite as strong as the bonus accesses.


Note that its harder to use Surge on things like Medium, without a Grimoire.  Once they clear it, you’ll need to go: Run, Surge, Run.  But it’s still fine.

I think there is definitely a place for Surge in some Anarch decks, but what do we cut?  It probably has less of a place outside Anarch, because its best with a Grimoire as well.


(Edit: I am not saying this costs you $2 per virus counter.  Clearly its free.  I’m saying that putting it in your deck was worth it, if when you get it, you can generally find uses for it that you would value at $2 per counter.  Since that means it was as good as a Sure Gamble, which is a good card).




HQ Interface:

Rating : 4/5

This is a strong card, and for 0 MU, it’s basically an always-2-counter Nerve Agent!

While it’s probably not as strong as R&D interface will be, when that card is printed (maybe this set, maybe not), it’s still great.  A shaper can play this and double the effectiveness of HQ runs, if they have gotten to a position where the corp is too afraid to install their agendas, since the runner can get through anything.

Gabe can make his HQ hits even more deadly.  I don’t know that Anarch would play this over Nerve Agent.   But a non-virus focused Anarch might.

A very strong card, will see play.  The fact that it costs 0 MU is a big deal.


Kati Jones:

Rating: 4/5

This is an important card, and it effects the metagame.  By providing an efficient but limited economy source to any runner, this can give any runner a better lategame.

However, it makes the runner vulnerable to being tagged, if they weren’t already.  Not only that, but a Kati Jones with $12 on it means that if the runner becomes tagged at end of turn and cant clear it, that they lose both the Kati AND the money sitting there!  Or if they get hit with a Breaking News/Posted Bounty on the corp turn, he can trash her.

If you play Kati Jones, you are forced to care about tags, similar to if you play things like Workshop, Wyldside, etc.

This makes tags better.  It makes NBN better (Breaking News!)  It makes tags in decks that otherwise cant punish them well better (HB for example), since it’s one more important resource that runners might be playing.

This card might potentially be the card to provide Criminal a lategame, since it has good long term income.  However, if you use it, you suddenly have to care about tags in criminal, whereas without it you could probably play a Plascrete and ignore them.


Program: Icebreaker – Killer – Cloud
Cost: 5, 1 MU
1 Influence
If you have at least 2 link the memory cost of Creeper is 0, even if it is not installed.
2: Break Sentry subroutine.
1: +1 strength

Rating: 2/5

It’s pretty Niche.  $2 per subroutine sucks.  Rototurret laughs at you.  Lots of things laugh at you.

It’s nice that its 0 MU, and 1: +1 Strength and all, but seriously, you’re better off with a Crypsis in play, breaking those Sentries.  This thing is pretty much the same efficiency as Crypsis.  There isn’t really any point, imo, to use an inefficient breaker that breaks only one type.  Using efficient breakers and Crypsis is far better.


Cost: 2
2 Influence

Whenever you install a piece of hardware (including Replicator) you may search your stack for another copy of that hardware, reveal it, and add it your grip. Shuffle your stack.

Rating: 3.5/5 ?  Maybe better if the deck it makes is actually great.  Maybe worse if it doesnt pan out.

Wow.  You play a Personal Touch and get another.  You play an HQ interface and get another.  In the future, you play an R&D interface and get another!?

Inside Man gives you the money to plop those cards out for free.  Honestly this card makes Inside Man a ‘thing’.  Also, you don’t even need to play those other cards to make this good.  Play your console, go fetch the other console.  Now you won’t waste a draw on it!!  You can take a damage, and your hand could be full of extra, unneeded copies of hardware, that you didn’t even spend time drawing!

Some more ideas:

Kate plays Akamatsu Mem Chip for free and gets another.  With a Pawnshop, all these Akamatsus are Easy Marks.  And you only had to actually draw one of them.  You pick the others up free.  So 1 draw + 3 actions => $9.  That’s better than Opus, and it also thins your deck, and it also lets you have mem chips instead of money if you need.

After youre done tutoring up your hardware, you pawn this and recover $3.


Quality Time
Cost: 3
Influence: 1
Draw 5 cards.

Rating: 4/5

Wow.  It’s Bodyweight, but at least they increased the cost by 1.  And at least you can only put 3 in your deck, and there is no Organ Donor in new netrunner.

At 1 influence I think this will get played in a ton of decks.  Do you want to draw lots of cards?


Program: Virus
Cost: 2, 1 MU
2 influence
X recurring credits.
Use these credits during runs on HQ. X is the number of virus counters on Pheromones.
Whenever you make a successful run on HQ, place 1 virus counter on pheromones.

Rating: 2.5/5 ?

Initially I thought it gave you X credits PER run, but it doesn’t.  You get them back at start of turn.  If they wipe viruses, then at the start of your turn you get $0.  But if you are trying to hammer HQ and can get in cheap, it’s pretty helpful.  If you managed to blow up all the HQ ice so you get in free, and you have a Workshop, then its free money.

Maybe this ends up being great in Noise Workshop or in Criminal.  I feel like Cirminal wont want to spend the MU.


Identity: Natural
1 link
You draw a starting hand of 9 cards.
“I run with the best.”

Rating: 4/5 ?

She is going to get off to a powerful economic start, if you build your deck around it.  Andromeda isn’t an aggro criminal like Gabe.  She is all about playing/installing 4 economy cards turn 1.  While Gabe runs you turn 1, Andromeda want to get down to 5 cards.  The 9 card start and powerful mulligan it gives, let you find your copies of key economy boosting cards right away, such as Underworld Contacts, Personal Workshop, Wyldside, Inside Man, Magnum Opus, etc, depending on how you build your deck.  Andromeda’s first turn could be something like: Sure Gamble, Underworld Contacts, Modded out Dyson Mem Chip, Magnum Opus.  And now she is gaining $1 a turn and has Opus. That’s a powerful criminal economy to fuel those Siphons, Vamps, and Shutdowns.



Cost: 0
1 Influence
Remove 1 tag. You may pay 1 to add Networking to your grip instead of trashing it.

Rating: 2/5

It reduces the cost to remove tags by 1.  But it occupies a hand space to do it.  They still cost you $1 + Click to remove.  Crash Space is better at removing tags cheaply.  This does nothing to help you if you ran and got Snared as your last action.  I don’t think it’s that useful.  If I really wanted this effect I think I’d play Crash Space.


Resource: Virtual
Cost: 3
2 Influence
The Rez Cost of all ice is increased by 1.

Rating: 3.5/5

Best with ice destruction or resource denial. Parasite, Kraken, Account Siphon, Shutdown.

If you get it working it can be devastating, and you’ll have a broke corp with unrezzed ice.  If you draw it late is bad.  Economically, it takes a few ice being rezzed before it pays for itself.  It’s similar to Compromised Employee, though denying the corp a credit is better than getting one yourself in most decks that would want this.  Pretty good.

In a resource denial deck, this is going to wreck corps pretty hard.


Corp Cards:


Cost: 0
Trace 7 – If successful, trash 1 virtual resource or 1 link.

Rating: Meta dependent.

This is a pure meta card.  It crushes certain cards, while doing nothing against people without them.  That trace is huge, it’s going to work or drain a ton of money.  It’s hard to rate specific counter cards like this, because their strength is entirely determined by how many people are playing the things they counter.


Eve Campaign
Asset: Advertisement
Rez Cost: 5
Influence: 3
Place 16 from the bank on Eve Campaign when it is rezzed. When there are no credits left on Eve Campaign, trash it.
When your turn begins, take 2 from Eve Campaign.
Trash Cost: 5

Rating: 3/5 ?

Trash cost is 5.  You play this undefended, and at end of turn you can rez it, losing 3.  If they run and kill it for 5, thats not too bad, but it could still hurt.  As long as you can keep it alive for one more turn you do great.

Still, a net of +$11 is amazing, so there is a place for this card, potentially a strong place.  I wish Jinteki could get a card like this so it (Jinteki) could become playable.  HB is the faction that doesn’t need more of this card.

The fact that it defends itself with a high trash cost makes it very good against people without Imp, Whizzard, Scrubber, etc.  Of those, only Imp is good.

HB fast advance might love this card.  Later on, install this in your remote.  The fact that its occupying your remote kindof doesnt matter, since by then your plan is to out-of-hand every agenda.


ICE: Code Gate – Tracer
Cost: 2
2 Influence
Strength: 0
Salvage can be advanced only while rezzed and gains “-Trace 3 – If successful, give the Runner 1 tag.” for each advancement token on it.

Rating: 0/5

Wow.  This is the actual worst ice ever now, taking over that title from Tyrant.  Completely nullified by a Yog or Parasite or 3 Link.  Don’t waste your time.




Rating: 2/5

A Niche card, you basically want this for only two things:

1) You drew too many agendas early / are against criminal, and want them back in your deck.

2) You drew Snare/Fetal AI against a runner that medium digs you, and you want them back in the deck for the potential kill.

I think this will end up being disappointing for people that play it, on average.  Sometimes it will be good, sure.  But on the whole, it’s still a tempo loss, is just negates a bad draw.

Note: If you’re doing something like sitting there mining every turn, and you have too many cards, this is not an answer to that “problem”.  In that case you either take a turn to install 3, or you discard.  It’s fine to discard in that situation, really.





Rating: 2.5/5

The best thing about this card is that it enables silly combo-kills using ice like Bullfrog to teleport them to a kill server, or Cell Portal to loop them through a series of ice until they die.  These kills will look awesome when they happen.  But how often will they actually work?  I think not that often.  Unless the runner just runs in unprepared against Jinteki a lot (which is dumb!)

I am sure that lots of people are going to go out and build their silly, combo kill Whirlpool decks now.  And they’ll manage to pull off their ridiculous kill/infinite loop scenario, and it will be super fun.

In terms of being tournament worthy however, it’s pretty borderline.


Hokusai Grid:

Rating: 4/5

In terms of Jinteki cards that help you kill the runner, THIS card is fantastic however.

First of all, it’s an UPGRADE TRAP!  You play it, and if they run it, great!  Take 1.  If they don’t, you stick something else on top of it.  Which could even be a Snare/Edge of World/Junebug/Fetal!  It adds one more damage into your trap combo, bringing them that much closer to death or being Neural-EMPable.

Secondly, it’s economical!  You play it, pay $2 when they hit it, and they take damage AND they need to pay $4.  If they don’t pay the 4, they take damage every time they hit it in the future, until they pay the $4 to kill it.  The fact that you are always getting a net gain over the runner when they hit this makes it a fantastic card.

This is going to be a seriously frustrating card for the runner to deal with.  I’ll definitely consider splashing it outside of Jinteki as well.  Even if you aren’t trying to kill them, the annoyance of the damage disruption and the economic gain is excellent.

If you play a Hokusai Grid into an empty fort, and they run through the ice to get to it, then you just gained EVEN MORE value from it!




Data Hound:

Rating: 1/5

Honestly, this is a bad card.  It compares unfavorably to similar ice that tag the runner.  For example, Matrix Analyzer is higher strength and has a bonus advance.  Hunter is higher strength and higher trace value.

So to want to play Data Hound, first you need to be in a situation where milling 1 card from them is much worse than a tag.

Data Hound really only does much if it denies them something important, a significantly above average card for their current situation.  If you beat them by only 1 in the trace, your milled card will be just the top card, and on average will be an average card in their deck.  This will only affect them if they eventually run out of cards because you’re doing tons of damage.  If you beat them by at least 2 you get some selection, and your chance of effectively hitting something important goes up.

But seriously now, with the weak trace, and an effect that has to get lucky to be better than a tag, how much does this ice really do?

If you would play this, I think you’re generally better off with Matrix Analyzer or Hunter.  (And you can put a Chum in front of those more effectively as well).




Bernice Mai:

Rating: 4/5

Another fantastic UPGRADE TRAP!  Finally some upgrade traps.

Bernice initiates a trace 5 to tag them, and if successful, sticks around unless they also pay $3!

If you are NBN and make it a free trace 7, then they have suffer in one of two ways:

A) They pay $7-Link to beat the trace.

B) They get a tag and pay $3 to trash her.

Both effects are strong value for a FREE card.  You’re probably costing a zero or 1 link runner $6.

In addition, if you play Bernice into a server and she causes the runner to run it, you add on their cost to break all that ice to her value.  That can be a massive economic gain over the runner.  If they infiltrate her, then cool?  You saw my trap but I don’t even have to trash it to put down another asset/agenda!  You’re still getting nailed with the trace later.

Bernice Mai is a fantastic card in a deck that will install things face down in a server, threatening that they are 3/2 agendas, and say go.


When the worst case is that you get an economic gain over the runner, and the best case is that you get a HUGE economic gain over the runner because they broke your ice as well, that’s amazing.

Additionally, if you fail to draw enough ice early on, you can put her on a Central Server as a faux-ice.  If they run it turn 1, they probably get a tag and lose $3, slowing them down a ton.  She acts kind of like a Hunter guarding that server.

Honestly, I’m even considering her in things like HB fast advance.  Since any face down unadvanced card could be a 3/2 that they want to run, you play her in a remote and they might run it, wasting lots of money.  But if they don’t run her it’s not bad, they still have to deal with her later.



Simone Diego:

Rating: 3/5

Simone is a decent economy card that works in a deck trying to advance ice.  You can also advance agendas with her, in that fort, which helps her provide decent economy.

If killed quickly, she should at least be breakeven, costing the corp $2 (since you used her twice the first turn advancing ice, right?) And costing the runner $3. Ideally, you can get value out of her and then tax the runner a bunch for the run in to kill her, gaining value.  Alternately, if they let you keep her, you should be prepared to use her a TON, setting up a huge commercialization ice, and rushing agendas through that server for free.

I think she is a decent economy card in Weyland.  I probably wouldn’t put her in a non-Weyland deck, though maybe some other Commercialization deck could use her effectively.

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