Council of the Crest Community Review and Meta Predictions (Corp)

Welcome to the Corp side of our meta predictions for Council of the Crest! Trash this article to force yourself to encounter the Runner reviews again.

Kuwinda K4H1U3


Grog

So…one brain damage is clearly not good. Two brain damage if you have Defective Brainchips out isn’t terrible, but a lot of Runners are already doing that by just playing 2+ Stimhacks. If you can constantly recur this behind light ice (via HB shenanigans) I can see the tax getting to be annoying. Annoying != good, though. They can also just trash it. Seems like a worse Door-to-Door.

Sanjay

Kuwinda just keeps on trying to brain damage you and I find their persistence really endearing.

TheBigBoy

2/10 I just want to kill someone by spamming this out of some awful Museum deck. Realistically, if this is going to sit in your remote for ages, it probably should just be an MCA Austerity Policy.

Saan

It does seem like the brain damage from this doesn’t do much in most games. If you can find a way to make the Runner take a few, though, the tax of them trying to beat the trace each turn might be okay, but as TBB points out, there are assets that you probably would rather have in your servers instead that will end up serving you better overall.

tvaduva

Another asset that has the “Bioroid” subtype, which is cool because there are ways to get synergy (AoT, CFC, etc.). But, the cost (if you don’t have a way to reduce) means you’re either trading a click and three credits for the Runner to spend a click and three credits to trash it, or it occupies a defended remote for two or more turns until the Runner feels like they need to trash it. But, this could be the missing piece in the brain damage deck (Defective Brainchips, Sentinel Defense Program, etc.) if you’re looking for a more consistent way to land them. And in the current Stimhack meta, maybe it’s finally time for the brain damage deck to shine. Those blade feet are very cool though.

Sanjay, Again

Oh frig I forgot to mention Unregistered S&W as anti-Kuwinda tech.

  

NEXT Sapphire


Grog

Great ice. Similar to Architect in that it doesn’t ETR but helps the Corp too much to just keep running through it. Too bad they restricted MoGo. Also too bad 2 of the other 3 NEXT ice (Silver, Gold, Opal) are not great without ETR ice as well. Even just this+Silver might be fine as a NEXT Suite. The facecheck is very good early game (can you imagine letting this recur Violet Level Clearance?! RIP). And even against Anarch presumably one of the subs will fire as I don’t expect they’ll often pay 6. Unlike Miraju the “up to” means Runners can’t just baby-Keyhole through it as well. I don’t know how yet, but this card seems ripe for degeneracy. You can infinite combo with The Twins to draw your deck.

miek

This effect feels like I’m playing a worse Miraju. Potentially this is a good thing given that a) Next ice can get really ridiculous and b) Miraju is Jinteki so more appropriate for the effect there. I’m unsure how much play this will see. My suspicion is not very much at all, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong.

TheBigBoy

6/10 This actually seems pretty good to me. It sort of pays for itself on rez if you can get back a Hedge Fund, after which it boosts your NEXT Silvers. I’m not sure if NEXT will get good, but if it does you’re running 3 of these and you’ll probably be pretty happy with it. ALSO, there is a bizarre combo using this and The Twins to create an infinite loop where you draw your whole deck and archives. I have no idea if this is good, but if it is, the rating of the card should obviously be way higher. Such interactions are so hard to evaluate (and so likely to be intervened with by MWL when too strong), that I’ve decided to only rate the card on its “fair” use-case.

Saan

NEXT used to be rush ice that turned into taxing ice. Now it’s just kinda midling facecheck value ice, which is an odd change for it. Either way, this ice has good enough subs that it’s probably worth running in a NEXT deck.

tvaduva

You don’t get the click efficiency that Architect provides by installing cards, but you can get operations from Archives and an extra subroutine.

  

Anansi


Grog

lol what an ice. 5 strength! Precognition! Take 4 net! Oh and that free draw of whichever card in top-5 you want. Also hilariously un-Femme-able. The tax is very high, costs 9c with the most-played Killers to not take 3 net damage. Seems quite brutal in any Jinteki deck, but that rez cost is no joke considering Jinteki already have some juicy high-rez cost ice to choose from (DNA Tracker, Chiyashi and Komainu).

miek

I like this card a lot. It’s super expensive so you will probably be cutting DNA Tracker/Chiyashi from your decks for it. Being a sentry is actually a really nice buff here, as the most powerful decks right now are semi-weak against repeated attempts to get through sentries (Anarch and MKUltra). MKUltra also specifically cries because it cannot just break 2 subs and let the weakest one fire. Na’Not’K can potentially make this worse in glacier, but if they have to boost to meet it you’re happy. I would usually bemoan the fact that this is un-Femme-able (see my complaints about Kakugo) but given that you can actually break this to stop its effects, I think it is fine.

SimonMoon

This is a pretty cool ice. Unfortunately, at 8 Rez out of Jinteki it does not compare great with DNA Tracker which punishes facecheck more harshly and similarly taxes their corresponding breakers (MkUltra, Na’No’Tek). I wish this had the same idea just a bit lower costed and a bit less punishing. I don’t think it is that much worse than DNA Tracker and maybe you can run one (with either 2 or 3 DNA’s), but I wish it fell in less of the same niche as DNA.

Sanjay

This card is ruder to Nero than DNA Tracker.

TheBigBoy

4/10 I really hate playing expensive ice that gets broken for 0 by I’ve Had Worse. This is basically only good on R&D and that’s not where I want to put my 8 cost ice. On the remote they’re just going to draw up and take damage. 3 DNA tracker is enough. Anansi isn’t a total embarrassment but I think it misses the cut.

Saan

The comparison to DNA Tracker is obvious, and I think that in most decks that want DNA Tracker-esque ice, they’ll probably be happier with just DNA Tracker. It’s a pain to break fully with most Killers that are run, and you really want to break it, due to the 3 Net clause, so it might be worth running 2 DNA and 1 Anansi, just to keep runners guessing.

tvaduva

Often compared to DNA Tracker, which gets played in Jinteki a bunch. The option of diversifying ice types when Code Gates are currently the most worrisome ice to encounter is a pretty good thing.

  

Code Replicator


miek

If you’ve ever played The Twins with ice like Komainu, Brainstorm, or Grail then you know how powerful repeatedly having to encounter an ice on the same run is. The Twins itself is not so flash because it’s so combo heavy. Code Replicator is a more mellow version with way less combo required. Unlike The Twins, you’re never going to get that crazy kill going where you straight up win the game – however even if the Runner will probably jack out, they will have wasted resources getting as far as they did and you might have gotten an important agenda out of it. This seems like it would be a natural buff to the Palana glacier decks running Nisei Mk2, Marcus Batty, Obokata, Kakugo, Data loop, etc..

Whiteblade111

I’m skeptical of the power of this card. Encountering an ice again is strong, but the Runner being able to jack out seems like it neuters a lot of the power. I don’t think it will be splashed outside of Jinteki (Perhaps in Sol Glacier to jam people into tollbooth twice?) and played sparsely in Jinteki. It will probably help the Palana/Aginfusion glacier builds but they aren’t even very strong right now and I don’t see it making a massive different. Maybe if it was 0 to rez, but I think it just gets crowded out by other cards right now.

Inactivist

I’d have had a bit more time for this if it forced the encounter, but there’s enough fairly brutal ice in-faction now that the thought of facing the same DNA Tracker or Kakugo again might be enough to force the Runner to reconsider. It has to fight for deck space with Batty, spare ice for Aginfusion or other tricks though, and I don’t think it has quite enough impact to displace any of those.

TheBigBoy

5/10 This seems OK. The Komainu combo is good. Being 2 cost hurts. Unlike Batty, this does nothing when in a remote by itself. I think Batty is actually overplayed right now so I don’t have a ton of faith in this, but the game is STARVED for defensive upgrades so this might be worth trying.

tvaduva

Since the Runner can just jack out before having to encounter the ice, it’s more like a milder Ash.
Unless you got the Runner to not have the option to jack out, in which case this is another card to consider for your death server deck.

  

Reverse Infection


Whiteblade111

If Freedom ever becomes a problem, we know where to look. In a virus-heavy meta where Freedom emerges with an absolute dominating virus deck, reverse infection will probably see play in some rush builds. It’s nice to see silver bullets printed that have secondary benefits if you don’t need the hate in that matchup, but I think right now people will probably stick to Cyberdex Virus Suite unless things become a bit more dire.

TheBigBoy

2/10 Just play CVS.

Saan

This is pretty clearly a safety net card in case virus-based decks get out of hand. As a matter of fact, it seems like a brutal enough punishment to very virus-heavy decks that it might be hard for them to take off at all.

tvaduva

I like the two credit Netrunner cantrip mechanic. I agree with Saan that this card is likely preemptive insurance against virus-heavy decks (but you might need some kind of flatline threat to really get it to stick). And, at one influence and the cantrip mechanic it’s not a high cost to include this if you’re expecting a few of those decks at your next event.

  

Azmari EdTech


Grog

IDs are always a bit tricky to evaluate since sometimes they’re released before relevant support in the cycle or following cycle (c.f. CI, Gagarin). Obviously people are drawn to that sweet credit number on the ID. And if the entire world is on Adam decks then it seems like it would trigger a lot. Actually, you can probably trigger the ID more than you think– even if you just keep them from playing the named type for a turn that’s not too shabby. That being said, the major disadvantage EdTech has is that it competes with other good economic IDs in this faction, and post-MWL 2.1 CTM seems quite strong.

miek

EdTech seems really nice to me, as its both an ID with an easy trigger that allows for control and economy, and it is also only 40 cards. Unfortunately for EdTech, NBN is one of the most competitive factions for strong ID abilities, so it’s difficult to know whether or not EdTech will cut the mustard compared to say CtM, NEH or Sync.

TheBigBoy

7/10 I like this. I’m probably going to get suckered into some stupid fair deck using this that ends up being too underpowered, but this does pay out quite a bit of money I think. Getting 10 credits from your ID is quite good, and I don’t think that will be too hard to do. There is of course a win-condition question, but we have to just hope that one reveals itself in later packs. The potential is definitely here.

Saan

This clearly plays well with all these NBN cards that can add stuff back to the top of the Runner’s stack. With one hand, you force the Runner to lose tempo, having to reinstall something key to their gameplan. With the other hand, you gain tempo, calling the card type you sent back to the top of the stack and getting paid when they re-install it (or simply don’t install it, forcing themselves to remain behind as well). Even without these cards, calling “resource” against most runners in the early game is going to get you some money. Heck, punish them from multiple directions and play Scarcity of Resources, and then call Event. This seems like a fun identity, with a slight glimmer of perhaps being good.

tvaduva

Full 15 influence (though not 17!), 40 deck limit, and easy economic benefit. And, you get it on both turns (for those Hayley and Corporate Grant decks that would normally want to use both turns). In some games you dictate what the Runner cannot play, which is a pretty cool dynamic.

  

Degree Mill


miek

Oh look another card that makes Film Critic the more and more important restricted choice. I think this card is actually pretty cool. It’s essentially unstealable turn one. If CtM ended up having to drop GFI for whatever reason this would definitely be a nice substitute, but for now I suspect they stick with GFI.

TheBigBoy

6/10 Unlike Ikawah Project, which ended up being a little better than I thought it would be (stay tuned for my write-up on cards-that-I-got-wrong), this doesn’t protect itself when the Runner is on game point. That said, it is unstealable for the first few turns of the game, which is pretty nice. This is pretty cool against Val, who at times has almost nothing installed. NBN is the faction that uses GFI the most and bleeds so much access that it really depends on it, but this is definitely the next best option.

Saan

This seems like an okay choice for NBN when they don’t want to use GFI for some reason. It might be less good against the Hayley decks that install a bunch of small stuff that they don’t care a whole lot about, or that they can easily tutor back up again, but any agenda that protects itself is usually about good enough to see play. I’m really, really happy at the direction that 5/3s are being taken in these days. I’d prefer maybe less protective agendas that make it annoying for the Runner to steal, though, and more like Elective Upgrades that give you win conditions. It’s a little less boring.

  

Personalized Portal


miek

What’s another card that gives you 3c a turn? Commercial Bankers Group. I think Personalized Portal is very good. I mean we can be real here, the downside of giving the Runner a draw is really huge. The upside is that a) you can actually defend Personalized Portal with ice and b) no influence in NBN. I don’t know if this is quite at the power level of CBG, and ultimately it probably isn’t. That said I still think this card is very good, and I believe that CtM will probably find room for a couple over some PAD campaigns.

Whiteblade111

It’s like a weird mix of Agroplex and Commerical Bankers Group mashed together. You’ll probably be down a buck on the initial rez, but if it can live a turn it’ll be making you 1-2 a turn which is not bad, and potentially 3 depending on dream scenarios. Giving the Runner a draw is really good, and for that reason I am skeptical that it will see play. If any deck is going to run it it will be tempo CTM, but they don’t want to give the Runner a draw each turn. It might be experimented with, but overall I don’t think it will see wider play.

Saan

Boy I don’t like giving the Runner stuff. The only time I like giving the Runner stuff is when I know they don’t have any money at all to install it. To that end, this might be good in a Making News Door to Door deck, focused on making the Runner too poor to function. Getting even 2 credits out of a single asset is great, and if the Runner can’t make use of the downside, then bonus for you. However, if Sunny gets good enough to get played more, than this deck is dead before it starts.

TheBigBoy

4/10 Boy this is a tough one. I have probably thought more about this card than any other in the pack. I might be REALLY wrong with this rating but it seems like if you rez this and it’s going to be good, the Runner will just trash it for 3 if it’s naked and you’ll have lost out slightly more than you do if they trash a PAD the turn after it’s rezzed (you maybe lost net 1, but they drew a card and paid 3 instead of 4). This means the right plan is probably to protect this, but now you’ve committed an ice to it which really hurts the payout curve. Once you’ve made this commitment, the Runner has a really clear counter-play: Try to end at 2 cards as much as possible. There are just enough angles for the Runner to combat the value gained from this card that its bad stats (3 to rez + 3 to trash is NOT good) come back to bite it. I was wrong about Agroplex being bad but that was 1/5 which is a FAR cry from 3/3. I don’t think this card is going to make it but I hope you can prove me wrong!

  

Armed Intimidation


Saan

To me, this seems like an agenda with promise. It’s very aggressive, and gives the Runner a tempo loss while it scores you points. Sadly, it has that bit where the Runner gets to choose whether they’d rather suffer 5 meat damage or 2 tags, so you’re always going to get whatever your opponent prefers, which is usually not very good. Also, the most powerful punishment for the tags, BOOM!, is hard to fit around the scoring constraints of a 4/2 agenda, meaning that you’ll have to install it unadvanced one turn, then triple advance it the next, then finally score it the following turn in order to threaten the BOOM!. In this case, the Runner just needs to make sure they have 5 cards in hand and choose the option where they don’t die. However, a single Fast Advance tool pushes this in the Corp’s favor. Also, as has been pointed out to me, Neural EMP makes the 5 Meat damage a poor choice as well. Heck, even if the Runner opts for a non-lethal dose of 5 meat damage with no punishment follow-up, that’s still a great win for the Corp. You can also use this with other tag punishment tools, such as Closed Accounts or Exchange of Information, assuming you have maybe a Hostile Takeover or a Standoff scored. Speaking of Hostiles and Standoffs, this looks like a fantastic agenda to abuse 24/7 with (and in the time since I wrote this, I won an SC with a Jemison deck that does just that). I think this finally gives Weyland another 4/2 to consider alongside Oaktown Renovation, though for more specific decks.

TheBigBoy

4/10 Another almost respectable card that is REALLY hurt by the existence of I’ve Had Worse. If you score this into an I’ve Had Worse trigger you’ve basically spent 10 to make the Runner lose very little (10 is the opportunity cost of this not being a Corporate Sales Team). There is of course the dream of scoring this when the Runner for some reason must take the tags and then murdering them, but I’m really not sure how likely that is. This is kind of OK in rush, but rush kind of sucks…

tvaduva

The Runner (non-Adam, non-Origami) just needs one brain damage for both choices to be really tough. Maybe that’s why Ol’ Blade Feet is in this pack. And I hear that Stimhack is really popular. But as others have pointed out, you need a couple of clicks left over when you score this to threaten BOOM! So, you should really think of this as a 2/6 agenda that could end the game.

  

Death and Taxes


Whiteblade111
In Weyland glacier builds this current is actually pretty good. Shaper will typically install a lot of cards against you and runs current light, so I could see this making the Corp a lot of money. Against anarch I’m less impressed. Overall I do not think this will see play simply because it only slots in Weyland glacier builds, and no weyland glacier builds are viable right now. In the faster ones like rigshoot or Titan FA, they don’t have the slots or time for this current.

Saan

It seems like Weyland loves to get mediocre cards that make them a little bit of money. They’re supposedly the big money faction, and get a lot of cards that give them cash, but few of them are good enough to see play. In my opinion, this is another card that lives in that category. With a play cost of 2, it will take a while before this makes any appreciable amount of money, and that’s assuming the Runner doesn’t just steal an agenda or play their own current instead. Compare this to the other two currents Weyland is likely to play: Scarcity of Resources or Paywall Implementation. Paywall makes you money as soon as the Runner makes their first run, and doesn’t cost you 2 to play it. If your goal is to punish the Runner for setting up, as Death and Taxes would suggest, Scarcity of Resources is much, much better right now, as almost all Runner economy is tied up in resources, and also costs 1 less to play. Also, I guess it’s a transaction? Not like it’s super good for BABW, but it’s something to note.

TheBigBoy

2/10. The 2 play cost totally kills this for me. If you need proof of how nuts a current has to be at 2-cost, just read the text on Enhanced Login Protocol sometime and marvel at the fact that it isn’t played outside of decks totally optimized for it. Even if this gains you 7-8 credits eventually, the money is gained over time and the times that you gain 0-2 will be great enough that this isn’t worth the risk. Also it’s Weyland.

tvaduva

Housekeeping is another two-cost Weyland current that punishes installs that probably get a better return than this. It would have been neat to have it cost zero so you can choose between Paywall Implementation and this depending on your expectation of playing a game of net-runner or net-installer. Also, since this pays when cards self-trash as well (i.e Daily Casts, Liberated Accounts, etc.), you’re probably getting more value than you’d expect.

  

Trojan Horse


Whiteblade111

This is a more restricted Hunter Seeker, but Hunter Seeker is good enough in Skorp to be put on the MWL, so we’ve got something worth looking at. This is going to punish Anarchs who can’t afford to remote camp Skorpios and instead need to access a lot of cards very fast through Turtle and the conspiracy breakers. Skorpios can build up a reasonable amount of money in the mid game through Hedge fund, IPO, Standoff and Hostile Takeover, so do not be surprised if Skorpios can afford to trace you out. I think what makes this card even stronger is being able to Hunter Seeker a program, have it be saved with Sac Con and then hit them with a Trojan Horse. While Skorpios is tight on slots, this will be a big power boost for the rigshooter variants.

SanjayMoon

A dark horse has just entered the race for 2018 Animal of the Year. I’m looking forward to seeing if it will leap ahead of the rest of this pack. *insert whinny pun here*

Saan

I’m with Whiteblade in that this seems most like a Skorp card as long as the conspiracy breakers are the most commonly used tool in Anarch. Like Hunter Seeker, it can also be used on non-program cards, but is most powerful when used to lock the Runner out. Because of Skorp’s usual 44 card deck size and its already natural want to play Hunter Seeker and Best Defense for Sac Cons (unless you’re playing the Hatchet Job variant, in which case you probably don’t care about this card), there doesn’t seem to be much room in current Skorp builds for this. It might give rise to a Skorp deck with larger agendas in order to make room for all the trashing tools, aiming for a longer game plan of scoring 5/3s once the Runner has had their tools exhausted.

TheBigBoy

3/10 Stop printing dumb Skorp cards! The translation of this is “pay money equal to the Runner’s credit pool and then RFG their Paperclip”. As soon as this card is good the Shapers just slot their Sac Cons back in and your deck becomes garbage again. You’ll steal some wins with this but I don’t see a meta materializing where this is good at the top level (at least not one that will find me still playing this game) Scorp can go die in a fire.

  

TechnoCo


Grog

Fights for slots for a low-trash cost effect, but when something says “whenever” you have to at least consider it. If you wanted to play a more denial version of CTM with this and Economic Warfare to land HHN, I could see that functioning. Otherwise I’m not that enthused. Good luck, Geist. Actually Geist gets that bonkers Current so he’s fine.

miek

I don’t know what to think of this card. The effect is certainly powerful, but I suspect it’s probably just going to get trashed, or be too low value in decks that make it hard to trash this. If this was a current then it would be insane.

TheBigBoy

2/10. Numbers are too bad on this. Better options exist.

tvaduva

This sits on the line of having too low of a trash cost and too low of an impact to be used fairly. At least it’s unique given the recent unbanning of Rumor Mill.

  

Final Thoughts


TheBigBoy

Tough pack to evaluate here (the hardest so far of this cycle for sure). Definitely weaker than pack #2 but still respectable. Since I rate cards on power, here are some more personal feelings:

Favorite Design – Degree Mill (Options for agenda diversity are cool!)

Worst Design – Trojan Horse (Scorpio is not cool!)

Card-To-Watch – Personalized Portal (This could be a sleeper…)

Card-To-Eat – TechnoCo (This puts me to sleep…)

Grog

can’t talk, combo-ing with Sapphire.

tvaduva

I would expect Sanjay to say great pack for animals and I would have to agree.

Saan

There’s some pretty fun stuff this pack, and the NBN identity seems nifty. Obviously as a Weyland fan boy, I’m loving the new agenda, but also am kinda unimpressed by the other 2 offerings. It seems like there’s something playable for every faction in this pack, (even if some are support cards to tier 2 decks) and that’s a great place for a pack release to be in.

 


That’s it from us, feel free to tell us how we all got it wrong on your platform of choice. If at the end of this article you did not read all of the above reviews, take 3 net damage.

Continue the discussion at forum.stimhack.com