Blood and Water – Community Review and Meta Predictions

Welcome to the (slightly delayed) Community Review for Blood and Water! We’ve gathered opinion samples from the Stimhack community like the world’s strangest blood drive, just for you…

Alice Merchant: Clan Agitator


Miek:

I personally think of this as the worst Anarch Identity, but Ed Kim and Reina are maybe close. Her ability is okay, but not great. As soon as a single Ice goes down on archives it is rarely worth running there anymore, so the value is in forcing an Ice there anyway or maybe getting some small value discard. Imagine the corp gets to choose which card you give them when they run HQ, would you run through Ice to see it? No way! This is similar, although mildly better. The ability isn’t super awful, but given the 50 card deck size – which is a HUGE limitation, I don’t see Alice getting played much outside of jank fun times. meh/10.

Inactivist:

Given the Corp will always choose their worst card, there’s better hand-size disruption that doesn’t tie you to a 50 card Identity. Which is not to say you can’t jam Maw, Hacktivist Meeting, and all the other toys into the ample space of an Alice deck and have a good time, but you have to have concerns when your Identity is the least effective part of the synergy.

dr00:

Comparing this to Omar, his ability works as a way to force the Corp to spread Ice and resources on Archives to help protect R&D and HQ. At any point, Omar can make a decision to run another central directly for cheaper if Archives becomes more expensive and vice-versa. Alice’s ability only works on Archives, so once it becomes too expensive to run there, her ability just turns off completely. On top of that, the Corp chooses which card is discarded. Coupled with a 50-card deck, I can’t think of a reason to want to try this ID.

Rotage:

Early on while the Corp is setting up then you can get some value from this ID as they won’t be able to defend all the centrals, however crucially the Corp gets to decide what to trash so by the time they have thrown out the less essential cards they will have probably gotten all the centrals iced giving less value to the ID. Being a 50 card ID means trying to draw other pieces to attack the other central servers will be harder too. Finally, is this a good Rebirth target? Well if you can run Archives would you prefer Omar or this? Most times it would be Omar. Overall not sure how much play this will see.

 
 

Jarogniew Mercs


Miek:

Anti tag-me kill that requires a fairly resource heavy build. In DLR style decks it is probably worse than Paparazzi, but it seems potentially good in Counter-Surveillance style decks. If meat kill is strong post-rotation, then your anti meat damage card will either be this or Citadel Sanctuary. average/10.

Whiteblade111:

It’s a replacement for Plascrete that effectively costs the same (2 to remove the tag, plus the click which you could’ve spent for a credit). It’s not going to be super exciting a lot of the time but once Plascrete rotates it’ll see more play. Tag-me decks don’t actually play a lot of resources per se so it won’t protect itself there, but in DLR it synergizes very well.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Māui


Miek:

Why would you ever play this over Gauntlet? And it’s not like Gauntlet is super meta-dominant either. butt/10.

Inactivist:

Hey, you know what’s better than conditional recurring credits for HQ? Just getting a credit on a successful run. Here, have another. Oops, I dropped another one. I CAN’T STOP GIVING OUT THESE CREDITS.

dr00:

I originally had a higher view of this card, but upon further reflection, it’s just not very good. Sure, works with Sneakdoor, only during access, and works even if the Ice is all derezzed, but how often will there be that much Ice on HQ anyway? Even at three pieces of Ice on HQ, it’s barely justifying the cost you paid to install it. And since they’re recurring, they only work once per turn anyway. Just stick with Desperado.

 
 
 
 

Bug Out Bag


Miek:

Seems like it could enable some pretty nuts Severnius Stim Implants + Faust plays, but super slow and expensive to set up. Fall Guy is pretty funny with this. Average/10.

dr00:

Like Drug Dealer, the trade off for credit per draw is worse than other options, but with no hard-coded upper limit, it could be used to enable some strong combos. Situational for sure, but could be very strong in the right situation.

Rotage:

Could see some play in the right deck, using it with Fall Guy and/or Bookmark you could get enough value to justify it

 
  
 
 
 

Keros Mcintyre


Miek:

I like this. At some point in the future, when assets are less of a big deal *crosses fingers* then this is probably going to be a key part of some super obnoxious Rubicon derez deck that everyone will complain about. Good/10.

Inactivist:

The constant, bludgeoning amount of derez support Criminal has gotten lately is going to mean builds an economy engine for a deck somewhere that you’re not going to like. Just as soon as Ice matters again.

dr00:

The glue that will hold together Criminal derez like Tech Trader holds together Geist. Absolutely vital for Rubicon and other repeatable derez abuse out of Criminal. In Los, you’re getting paid at both ends.

 
 
 
  
 
 

Daredevil


Miek:

This seems pretty cool. Supports a more aggressive style of Shaper play, which unfortunately its not the best faction at. Probably worse than Astrolabe in the general meta, but the fact that this actually gives 2 MU unlike Ubax is a pretty big deal. Good/10.

Zankoku:

As Miek mentioned, the console’s ability lends itself to aggressive Shaper play, which unfortunately runs into problems with its relatively expensive 5 install cost. Common aggressive Shapers like Prepaid Kate, Smoke, etc. usually aren’t going to be shelling out that many credits all that easily, for a non-immediate benefit. Gets a bit of a bump out of Au Revoir runners, though.

Inactivist:

Like Gauntlet, a 1inf Console that offers an effect that you already had in spades in-faction feels like more of a splash target (Crim could use the draw, and it’s fun with Faust), but anything that gives Shapers more options than their only two viable console options in Astrolabe and Akamatsu Mem Chip is worth a look.

dr00:

Best Shaper console since Astrolabe, but I suppose that isn’t saying very much. But at 1 influence, this could very easily find its way into decks from other factions.

 
 

Mass-Driver


Miek:

too expensive for its upside. Butt/10.

Zankoku:

How did this end up in the same cycle as Inversificator? Between 8 install cost, 2 MU, 1 base strength, and 2 to break a sub, nothing here seems costed reasonably.

Inactivist:

For this to work, you’re relying on your opponent to be playing their Ice in your favour – even in a scenario where you could just surprise your opponent by casually throwing down an 8 credit, 2MU card, the Quandary is just as likely to be behind the Chiyashi and not the other way around. And then it won’t be for long.
To say nothing of the fact that a cursory glance at the Ice coming out lately would tell you it’s the Code Gates you want the discount on. When an 8 cost program costs you 10 to break Fairchild 3.0, how much can you possibly be saving? And sure, maybe you’ve fit Egrets in this MU setup somehow, the Corp has stacked all their Fairchildren, and you’re Kit. Have you heard of Gordian Blade?

dr00:

This is completely unplayable. 8 cost, 2 MU, extremely conditional ability that is also quite limited because it only bypasses up to 3 subroutines instead of the whole piece of ice. Depending on the board state, it’s either an aggro tool or economy option with a massive tempo-destroying install cost.

 
 

Warroid Tracker


Miek:

Good card. Seems best in a glacier style build to protect your assets/upgrades in the scoring remote. I saw someone make a Skorpios Glacier/Rig-shooter deck with it which was pretty funny. Don’t know if it’s time to shine is right now but the card itself is nice. Good/10.

dr00:

I like that defensive upgrades are punishing like that without simply being a credit war. Compared to Ash, you either pay the trace now and access the whole server, or you pay to trash and hope you can get in again. Here, you pay the trace or trash up to two installed cards. It’s a nice punishing upgrade that has some ability for the runner to play around and make meaningful decisions when interacting with it. How useful this will be for the corp at protecting their servers, that’s another matter, however.

Rotage:

I think there is a good deck out there using this card, not sure what that will be. Has an amusing combination with Oaktown Grid as you can either be traced twice by it or pay extra credits to trash it from Oaktown Grid.

 
 

Loki


Miek:

Mother Goddess frequently just got abused for its ETR that needs an AI breaker, and I suspect this will just be another addition to that suite. Unlike MoGo it is much more expensive to rez and much worse on its own. On the flip side, it has the potential to be a nasty facecheck when the board state is more build, which MoGo is often just a waste of a rez in that scenario. Okay but ugly / 10.

Whiteblade111:

The ability is nice but the rez and str do not justify it. Any deck worth its salt has an AI breaker or a way to get past mother goddess so while the MoGo combo is real, it’s not very potent. The real deal breaker is the 3 str. Even if you do get to copy a fairchild, or a ichi it’s in perfect range for fixed str breakers. Hard pass.

 
 
 
 
 
  
 

Obokata Protocol


Zankoku:

Just gives even more justification for slotting those Film Critics in a meta that already heavily encourages them. The net damage steal cost falls just short of a maximum hand size, so this fits best in a corp that taxes with cards, like various flavors of prison and Personal Evolution/Potential Unleashed – otherwise, you’re only making it annoying, but not impossible, to steal.

Miek:

Losing 4 cards to steal 3 points is usually worth it. If you just put this into a palana glacier deck you’re at a much worse place than if you instead used The Future Perfect or Global Food Initiative. Where this card shines is in obnoxious prison decks, where the runner can afford the 4 cards to steal the agenda but knows that they are likely to lose the next turn to Bioethics/Ronin/Philotic if they do. I played against an IG deck with TFP, this and Fetal AI, accessing 17 points of agendas during the game and still losing. Very obnoxious and really the main reason to be playing Film Critic right now, even more so than Hunter Seeker or Lakshmi Smartfabrics. Good but Ugly / 10.

dr00:

Finally another playable 5/3. I predict this will make make a big showing in a lot of Jinteki decks going forward.

 
 

Mirāju


Zankoku:

A fairly interesting Ice that, due to its forced effect, doesn’t have a terribly impactful subroutine, but can result in some crazy disruption against certain strategies – Indexing and Find the Truth come to mind. Unfortunately its effect can also backfire against simpler R&D multi-access tools such as Medium, forcing you to give them a fresh batch of cards to look at each time as the shuffle effect on the subroutine isn’t optional. Along with Kakugo earlier in this cycle, Jinteki is getting some neat “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” ice designs.

dr00:

Put it on Archives behind a DNA Tracker and waste all of your credits trying to force the runner into it. Or just ignore it if you’re the runner and keep hitting R&D to see new cards.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Shipment from Tennin


Miek:

One of my friends hates this card. The 2c cost is just the same as the money you would have spend advancing, so it is effectively a free click just for making the runner not run. If you’re something like AgInfusion you can easily setup an early game scenario where the runner really doesn’t want to run, although that’s more of an issue with AgInfusion being problematic than SfT. Personally I like this card. I think it is a strong power card to a faction that kind of needs it, and the influence and restrictions are reasonably fair. Jinteki has reasonably weak fast advance agendas, providing little tempo when scored even if they have a decent number of them, so the fact that this buffs them in that area isn’t a huge deal. My ideal use of this card is to never advance a Nisei Mk 2, installing it naked in the server and bluffing it is a Caprice/Batty. Great/10.

Side note: With Successful Field Test we now have 2 cards vying for the acronym of SFT. Even though Field Test was first, I feel like this should get it, since the SFSS/SFK/SFMM set of acronyms was strongly established.

dr00:

I actually disagree with Miek here. I think this is basically a replacement for Trick of Light that just has a different requirement: no run on the previous turn instead of 2 advancement counters on a card you aren’t trying to score. Until ToL rotates, these could be used together to try to fast advance 4/2s with ease out of Tennin, but once it’s on its own, i worry about the usability. It requires having not made a run, and installing something in a remote is just too enticing for some runners.

 
 

Escalate Vitriol


dr00:

If this card had come out two years ago, I think the backlash would have been immeasurable in the era of Midseasons + PsychoBeale. Now, with the ease at which runners can remove tags and avoid being tagged in the first place, the usable once per turn limitation almost seems like too much of a restriction.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Reeducation


dr00:

Average ability on a 5/3 in NBN means this card will likely never see any meaningful play. Enables the Brain Rewiring / Show of Force kill out of yellow, but this agenda is much harder to score than BR.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Traffic Analyzer


dr00:

Janktastic combo of the day with 3x Aryabhata Tech, 3x Traffic Analyzer, and a low-cost Ice that derezzes itself. Then cry when the runner starts stealing agendas somewhere else after you spent so much deck space and time to set up this garbage.

Rotage:

If this made the runner lose 1 credit instead it could be more interesting, as it is its just an econ card and one that is not that impactful, it won’t see much play. Could be amusing in a Successful Field Test/Surat City Grid deck.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meteor Mining


dr00:

SEVEN credits or SEVEN meat damage?! Yes, please! On a 5/2 agenda? NOOOO thank you.

Inactivist

Have you ever Boomed a Runner and thought I wish this was slower and more conditional?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

Standoff


dr00:

After the clarification that you can trash your opponent’s cards, this agenda completely changes on its head. What before seemed like a decent Jemison tool, this now seems better in a deck with inexpensive or temporary Ice, assets, and upgrades. In Skorpios, the trashing the corp does becomes much more meaningful since you can RFG the right breaker. Install and advance this in your remote so you can Hunter Seeker something or install some Ice to redefend your servers if you end up scoring it.

Inactivist:

So theoretically you could exploit a symmetrical effect like this – just build your deck in such a way that having your own stuff trashed is less valuable than the presumably insane value trash you’d be getting from the Runner. This is Netrunner, however, and no effect is symmetrical when the game is asymmetrical to the core and Corp has so much more to lose from a game of Rabbit Season/Duck Season that they were the only one paying to play. And even then, in a tight spot they’ll just let you take your slow Green Level Clearance instead.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Success


dr00:

The third operation for Jemison, after Sacrifice, Audacity, and now Success. Notable, this is the first card that actually advances cards, as in the action, instead of simply placing advancement tokens, so it triggers things like Oberth Protocol and public agendas. You can’t use this with Accelerated Diagnostics though, since you won’t have had forfeited an agenda to gain any tokens, but Jemison gets to place its free tokens before you start advancing, letting you get to the second tier advancement benefit on the public agendas faster.

Inactivist:

Oh hey, another Jemison Fast Advance trick. I don’t think it quite counts as synergy when they’re all competing for the same slot. I think this will fall down to the usual Jemison problem of drawing your agendas in the right order, and it needs support from Biotic or you’re forced into some odd Never/Fast Advance strategy and catching the worst drawbacks of both. At the very least it’ll interact in some fun ways with the Public Agendas (and NAPD Contract with bad pub, but good luck with that one).

 
 
 
 
 

Whampoa Reclamation


Zankoku:

At first glance you’d think this fits right in with IG, and then you’d notice the 3 rez cost, and the 2 influence cost. Outside of IG, you can still use this to slowly fix your hand by trashing and immediately bottoming a card each turn, but the rez and influence costs are still there. There might be some justification for this to be slotted after the rotation, but as of now there are cheaper and more readily splashable options for similar effects in the cardpool (notably, Jackson Howard).

Inactivist:

It’s definitely not Jackson Howard, but it’s the first pretender to the throne that’s not just watered down (Preemptive) or plain disappointing (Alexa Belsky) and does something different that’s worth unpacking a little.

For a start, as a paid ability it bypasses the need for an overdraw, which makes it arguably a little stronger than Jackson as a pure flood control measure. If you really need this to fire, you’re going to get a trigger on the turn you install it and one on the runner’s – which you can hold off on until they threaten HQ or the Whampoa. No clicks to overdraw, no risk of drawing more agendas. Just _zip_, and the Whampoa remains.

Second, bottoming a card into R&D is a lot different to shuffling one. Post-rotation shuffling R&D is going to be a little harder on both sides (no ubiquitous Jackson, no tutoring like Atlas, no Keyhole) so it’s more likely that a buried card is going to stay that way until the fabled Showing Off meta finally arrives (in which case sure, just Whampoa another card or two under your Agenda). It also makes it pretty bad recursion outside of reloading MCH or Consulting Visit.

Notable exception of course, is Fast Track. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a post-rotation Asset deck that buried agendas until it could whip them back out with Fast Track+Bioroid Work Crew when there was a scoring window. But then that’s another story about Agenda suites.

And did I mention it’s not unique?

Ultimately I think it’s too high a rez and influence cost for something that’s frequently only going to work on not losing games instead of winning them. Which I’m okay with, because if it wasn’t it’d be utterly disgusting.

dr00:

Strong card with a decent rez and influence cost but overall inferior to Jackson. Once he finally rotates, I expect this to show up in a lot of decks, probably not 3 copies in every deck though, and until then, I don’t expect to see it much.

 
 

Mass Commercialization


Zankoku:

This card was so good that it became neutral instead of Weyland. Enjoys play in archetypes that advance a lot of things, which generally means advanceable ice. This might include various Red Planet Couriers Weyland builds and anything involving Tennin Institute.

Inactivist:

So you’ve got a bad leg. You’ve had it all your life. And despite the doctors telling you it’ll be fine one day, they’ve tried everything and you still just can’t keep up with some of the other Corps with your limpy, slow tempo leg. Then, one day, the doctors have their eureka moment. “How about,” they say, “every time you walk somewhere with your bad leg, we give you a bajillion dollars. You’re cured! A medical miracle! Except you still limp around everywhere. But now you wear a glorious pimp coat while you do so.

What I’m saying is that your bad leg is Advanceable Ice, and Mass Commercialization fixes Advanceable Ice like ethanol subsidies fixed corn farming. It’s still mostly bad, but will make you scads of cash. Enjoy your Anson Roses and your Satellite Grids I guess. I mean it costs zero to play goddamn

dr00:

This card is neutral so it triggers Indian Union Stock Exchange. That’s the only thing I can think of. This is very clearly a Weyland card that has the potential to get insane value. Mass Commercialization is the advertising strategy the big W should have been trying all along.

Continue the discussion at forum.stimhack.com

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