The Truth about True Colors

Yep, you know how my ratings work by now.  5 is amazing, game defining cards.  4 means good in many decks.  3 means good only in particular decks.  2 is weak, but might have some possible use.  1 is really bad, and 0 is when its so bad that its funny.

As always, these are initial ratings, having not played the cards yet, so all I’ve done is think about them.  Some of these ratings will turn out wrong.  Hopefully not lots of them, or not too wrong.

Another way to think about this is that a really high rating means ‘I think you should put this in your deck, right now.  A decent rating means ‘You should probably test this if it looks like it fits in a particular deck’, and a low rating (below 3), probably means ‘You’re safe ignoring this card unless you see a bunch of people start playing it a lot/saying its good’.

Keyhole:  4.5/5

Costly in terms of MU, but very scary.  So scary, in fact, that I believe this will be right up there in ‘game defining cards’ with R&D interface.   Run R&D, “access” 3 cards without accessing them, avoiding things like Snare, trash the agenda you found into archives.  Or some other card.  Then, because it shuffles, you can do it again!

It’s essentially infinite Maker’s Eyes, but you have to run archives afterwards, and the corp can save their agenda with a Jackson that’s in play.

Against an undefended R&D, you can essentially look at NINE cards a turn and then hit archives, which is a lot scarier than a Medium!  On turn 1 if the corp doesn’t Ice R&D, you can play this, hit 6 cards, and run archives (so that they don’t just play Jackson and shuffle in the agendas).  R&D defense just got even MORE important, if that was possible.

In reading people’s comments on various sites, it seems that there are a ton of people out there who are not understanding / not appreciating keyhole.

What is Keyhole?  It’s the most efficient way currently in the game, to hunt lots of R&D cards for agendas, in a short period of time.  (Other ways like Medium and R&D interface can be better if you wait between runs for the corp to draw through the other cards, but Keyhole refreshes R&D with new cards immediately).

It’s not a milling tool, or a way to trash key cards for the corp or anything like that.  Yes, that happens some, but it’s a side effect of the times when you miss agendas, not the main point.  The main point is to GET AGENDAS.

This card ATTCKS the hell out of R&D.  Really, really fast.  And additional Archives run is required to finish the job, which is part of the cost of using this card.  It also does it very safely, avoiding Shock!s and Snares and Fetal damage, so it’s still good against Jinteki.  Only the painful 2 MU cost keeps this from being a 5 for me.  R&D interface still has the advantage that it costs no memory.

 

 

Activist Support:   1.5/5 

I’m not going to say it’s totally worthless, but it’s pretty hard to get this to work.  You have to play it, eat a tag on the corp’s turn, and then have them not blow it up.  This could see play in a tag-me deck, overwhelming the corp with Joshua Bs, DLRs, and this, so they don’t have time to kill everything, to tack on a bad publicity.

 

 

Lawyer Up: 3.5/5

If your plan is to Account Siphon, and remove the two tags, then this card is a good way to remove them.  You get to save $2 and net +2 cards in the process.   Alternately, it’s a good recovery from a Snare!  I’d say this card will see some play in non-tagme Siphon decks.

In fact, the more I think about this card, the more I like it.

Consider the following:

Let’s say you need to remove ONE tag.  Compare the result of these two plays:

A) Pay $2 and a click removing a tag.  Play a Diesel.

B) Lawyer up.

 

The result of both plays is that you spend 2 clicks and $2, and gain +2 cards net!  So if you had to remove 1 tag, then this card is a diesel!  Removing a tag is a thing that occurs, in Netrunner games, and Diesel is a thing you would love to put into your criminal deck for no influence.

 

If you look at it this way, playing Lawyer up after a Siphon to remove TWO tags is incredible.  It’s like playing a Diesel that also removes a tag!

 

Lawyering up buffs Account Siphon!  Anything that buffs Account Siphon is probably good and will see play in some decks.  I’ll be trying to make room for it in my criminals.

 

 

Leverage: 1/5

More Jinteki hate, we needed that!  (Yeah right).

This also hates on things like Punitive Counterstrike, but there is a problem.  If the corp knows they have a way to kill you, guaranteed, they can eat the 2 bad publicity, and then kill you.  I think there are better damage prevention cards out there, like Plascrete and Deus X, and they actually work and stick around if unused.   It’s better in situations where you run HQ, play it, and then run the card that might be a Junebug, because then the corp has to decide whether to take 2 bad publicity before they know if they’re going to be able to kill you.

 

 

Garrote: 2/5

A very expensive Sentry breaker, the worst part of the cost is the 2MU requirement.  For that, you get a Femme that is better against big ice, except that you can’t bypass one ice (like that big piece of ice you are now paying to break).

This just isn’t as good as a combination of Faeries and Femmes.   If it cost 1 MU is would be pretty interesting.  There is a reason battering Ram doesn’t get played, and this is similar.

 

 

LLDS Processor: 1/5

I’m not sure how you will ever fit this into your deck.  It doesn’t really do enough.   It helps you out the turn you tutor up a breaker, or play a Faerie, but really, there are a lot of better hardware pieces to fill your deck up with, and space is very hard to come by these days.

 

 

Sharpshooter: 3.5/5

It’s a Shaper version of Faerie, but instead of breaking all sentries, it only breaks the program trashing ones.   For Rototurret, it costs $1 more than Faerie (unless you’re Kate).  For Ichi and Grim they are both the same cost.  For Archer this is $1 less.

This is a pretty nice way to save your programs in an emergency.  It could be splashed by Anarch as well, given the low influence cost.  I’d rather have a Faerie, but in most Shaper and Anarch decks, I’d rather play this than pay 3 influence for Faerie.

I’m pretty sure that at least 1 of this deserves to be in any shaper deck that doesnt have a Faerie, given the ability to tutor for it in an emergency and safe your programs.

 

 

Capstone: 1.5/5

Maybe someone makes a replicator deck work with this.  But it seems that  competition for deck slots seems too fierce, and the game too fast now, for replicator to work out.

This could become important if replicator actually does ever become good.

 

 

Starlight Crusade Funding: 0/5

The first double you play each turn breaks even.  The second double you play, you save a click.  And if you don’t play any doubles, you lose a click.  Yikes.  I don’t think there are enough doubles.

It doesn’t let you do anything like avoid forfeiting the agenda on frame job, which could actually make this good.  I think that this won’t ever see play unless we get some double event with ‘as an additional cost to play this, <pay some enormous cost>’.

 

 

Rex Campaign: 1.5/5

Unlike the better asset economy cards like Adonis, Pad Campaign, etc, with this one you’re vulnerable for three turns, during which you lose $1 if they come trash it.  With the others, each turn it lives you get some of your money, so if they don’t trash it the turn after you rez it, you don’t lose any credits.

I’d play Veterans Program or Elizabeth Mills to remove your bad publicity, and Adonis/Eve/etc to make money, instead of this.

 

 

Fenris: 3/5

The best Illicit ice, imo, because there is a deck (Jinteki damage) that wants this effect, really badly.  You play this in a damage based deck, where a brain damage makes it much easier for the runner to die.  I wouldn’t play it in non-damage decks, but it’s really good in the right deck.  You don’t put this in normal decks.  You DO put this in decks looking to kill the runner via net damage.

 

 

Panic Button:  3.5/5??  (I’m pretty unsure)

It’s good but I have no idea how good it really is yet.  Maybe really good.  Maybe not.  I’m not going to pick a number because I don’t really feel that I have a good handle on this card yet, but I do think we will be seeing it.

This card is very interesting.  You can use it as much as you want, so for some decks it might be: “Oh you ran HQ?  Draw tons of cards until I have my kill combo.  You will lose on my turn”.

Never underestimate cards that allow you to convert one resource into another at an efficient rate, without limit.

It also can function as a Siphon counter, draining your money in a useful way so they can’t steal, while finding you the Beanstalks and stuff you need to recover.

 

 

Shock!: 4/5

Very strong disincentive to run, and the fact that it works in Archives is amazing. Get some in there, and every time they check it, they suffer a penalty.  You can make them want to wait a while to check archives, at which point you Jackson back the agendas.

While Keyhole is a good counter to it while the runner is digging R&D, because they’ll avoid it, Shock! is a good Keyhole counter while they go to Archives to pick up their agenda that they trashed.

Against anyone multi-digging R&D normally (Medium/R&D interface), its super annoying.  They take a damage, and if they want to get it out of there so they can keep digging safely, they have to lose $2!  It guards your hand well, sitting there pinging them for a damage when they hit it, and requiring $2 to make it go away.

A very strong way to help defend yourself, at no cost to the corp other than deck slots.

 

 

Tsurugi: 2/5

This would be a solid piece of ice if Parasite wasn’t around, but it’s way too easy to Parasite to death for a 6 cost ice, and Parasite is too prevalent in the meta.  Maybe in some other meta in the future we will break it out.

 

 

TGTBT: 3/5

A great tax on the runner, possibly turning into something more if the tag catches the runner off guard.  Also, if you can get the runner to access this but be unable to score it due to a Red Herrings, that’s even better.  The main drawback is the deck space required.  I think it’s quite reasonable to use a plan of just scoring your other Agendas for actual points, and leaving these around as little bombs to slow down the runner.

If you are going to lose a couple agendas anyway, it’s pretty nice if they are these, and slow down the runner. And you never know when a surprise tag from these near the end of a turn will crush the runner and give the game to the corp.

This agenda helps facilitate the low-defense rush archetype for NBN, which can be pretty effective.  Essentially, you focus defense on an agenda server and pushing things through it, trying to race.  The runner is allowed to get through your flimsy central server defenses, but when they do, they run into TGTBT, Shock!s, and other annoyances.  Hopefully this delays them long enough for you to win the race.

When NAPD contract comes out in the future (4/2 agenda that costs the runner $4 to score), it will give this archetype yet another tool.

 

 

Sweeps Week: 5/5

Wow, talk about a counter to Andromeda, you can get $8 with this if you have it turn 1!

In other cases, it’s a Hedge Fund against a runner with a full hand, and if the runner is keeping a less than full hand to deny you money from this, maybe you can find a way to punish that.

This card pretty much saves NBN three influence that they were probably spending on economy cards, and also improves the expected return from those cards.

 

So how much does it hurt Andromeda?

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1103638/how-much-does-sweeps-week-hurt-andromeda

To summarize, Andromeda expects to face an NBN corp (or a corp splashing 3 of these), with about $2 extra to start the game.  Spotting the corp a free $2 (actually, about a 50-50 chance at $4), is a significant penalty, but not so devastating as to make Andromeda bad or anything like that.  More like ‘brings her in line with other runners, in a meta where NBN is prevalent’.

 

This would be the best card in the set even if Andromeda didn’t exist, because it’s extra Hedge Funds that can be played from a starting point of only $1!  And the more Hedge Funds you have, the easier it is to play Restructure and get ALL the money!

 

 

RSVP: 3/5

This is an interesting card, with strengths and drawbacks.  One obvious drawback is that Yog + Datasucker breaks it, but pretty much every Code Gate dies to that.  The other is that it usually doesn’t work alone.

You can use it to guard assets, or to guard an Agenda + Red Herrings, and it will work even without other ice behind it.  For other uses, it needs an ice behind it that will stop the runner, or punish them if they can’t break it/beat its trace.  Unlike Chum, the runner can’t just ignore it if they can beat the ice behind it, but it also costs $3 instead of $1.

This card is great in front of a Fetal AI (like, REALLY great), and all future agendas that get printed which have a cost in credits to take will also make it better.

Overall, I’m interested in this ice, its niche but it might have uses.  Still, an Enigma is often better in most decks, unless your plan is to trick the runner into getting nailed by whatever is behind it, like a Fetal AI, or some combination of mean things.  Make a server with TGTBT, Bernice Mai, Hokusai Grid, Red Herrings, and this defending it, and just laugh at the runner if they can’t break it.

 

 

Curtain Wall: 3/5

It’s good to oversight, but not to pay for.  It’s similar to a Wotan without a painful way through, but loses value if you put something outside of it.  Still, it costs a Corroder $11 to break if it’s on the outside, which means that this + Oversight AI will keep a server safe until they are willing to pay a big cost.   Oversight Ai is a strategy that gets better the more people play things like Reina + Rook + Xanadu, so I definitely think there is a place for this card in some decks.  I wouldn’t play it with a plan to always pay $14 for it though, it’s clearly an Oversight-deck card.

 

 

Punitive Counterstrike: 4/5

This really ups the amount of meat damage the corp can put out, helping to burn through Plascretes.  In playing against the GRNDL deck, this card, along with the copious 3 point agendas, made running quite scary.  The nice thing about this card is that no tag is required.  I expect to see this in not only Weyland, but other corps as well, especially in Jinteki decks that will follow up your running into a Fetal AI, with a combination of this and Neural EMPs for the kill.

 

 

Veterans Program:   3/5

Useful, and clear.  Obviously you don’t play it in decks where you don’t have a need to remove bad publicity.  If removing Bad Publicity is what you’re looking for, this card does a great job of providing it.  When that’s not a concern, you know not to put this in your deck.

 

 

Overall:

True Colors is a very powerful set, with a number of strong corp cards, one very scary runner card (Keyhole), and a good Faerie replacement in shaper, and a card that makes a no-tag Account Siphon plan even stronger.  (Lawyer Up definitely leans me back towards wanting to play a no-tag version).  There are a lot of playable cards in this set, lots of cards I am eager to try out.

The corp gains more from this pack (and the corp gains a TON of new good cards), but the runner also gets several cool toys.  Unlike the last several packs which each tended to help the corp out a medium amount and gave almost nothing to the runner, this pack gives to both sides, but more for the corp.

Andromeda is dropped one notch by Sweeps Week, and while not dead, she is probably no longer so dominant that she is the only thing you should reasonably play if your goal is just to win.  I think she’ll be more like ‘1st among equals’ , close in power to the other good runners.

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