Hello again, everyone! Welcome to another installment of DJ Hedgehog reviews. I know we’re a little ways past the release but it’s still worth diving deeper into the cards for this pack. Looking over the pack I’m not seeing a lot of stand-outs. There may be some utility offered, but overall nothing released that seems game changing.
Bifrost Array- 3/10
This card is in a group that I always tend to like, which is where something new is brought to the game. I’m not sure if there’s anything game breaking or even great that you can do with this, but a well-timed Accelerated Beta Test or reloading your Efficiency Committee may have some game changing effects. Given the card interaction of ABT out of The Foundry, I would suspect this card would find a home there.
After low-balling Architect, I’m a little wary of rating new ICE. This guy has a potential to pay 8 to destroy a program. That’s a pretty big deal, considering what lengths some people will go to destroy programs. The glaring downside is that he is a strength 4, 1 subroutine ICE that costs 5. You’ll probably see this in play, but it is probably not as effective as “hard” program destruction- read as Grim.
Hostile Infrastructure- 6/10
This asset is tremendous. It’s taxing in every possible way, and has great synergy with taxing and damage builds. In PE, things like Ronin, snare! and the advanceable traps all gain some teeth and become a real pain to deal with. The first time you hit a “Snare!” and can’t trash it (because trashing it will kill you) you’ll gain all the respect you need for this card.
Low rez cost, high strength. Those should combine to make a really great piece of ICE, but this falls short just a bit because the effect isn’t all that great. At trace “2”, most Runners will be paying the link cost to break the trace as opposed to paying to break it. If you want to pay 3 into the trace, you could do 1 and potentially a second damage. Not good enough to make the cut amongst a good amount of damaging ICE.
License Acquisition- 4/10
What a world we would live in where NBN would want to play with 3/1 agendas. The effect of the card is really strong, and may be a good springboard for more Fast Advance strategies with SanSan City Grid tomfoolery. This will probably be played by folks who want to do interesting “no advance” or more taxing strategies to keep costly upgrades in play. Otherwise, this card is going to be passed over for all the other great agendas available to NBN.
Daily Business Show- 6/10
It’s kind of like Mr. Li for your start of turn draw, which is definitely a cool effect. The rez cost could be lower in my opinion, but the trash cost makes it seem worthwhile. This seems like something that will fight with other cards for the final few deck slots and lose out to more utilitarian cards. I suspect this will see play out of faction in decks that want card draw to get specific cards but don’t want to actually draw (glacier?).
You want Grail ICE? You got it. This is the card “everyone” has been waiting for to make the Grail suite work. A code gate that does 2 net damage? Sounds good. Potentially killing someone? That sounds amazing. God forbid you hit a grail ICE you can’t break and your opponent is palming 2 Merlin. I’m not so into the “combo” ICE but some people are, and that is going to add to the long list of cards Runners have to look out for. This would be a lot better if the Grail ICE didn’t have an influence cost.
Snatch and Grab- 4/10
This is a neat card for several reasons, best of all is that it has no prerequisites to be played. No successful run or “resource played last turn” clauses means your connections are never safe. If you choose the “tag” route the corp can just pay 2 to trash the resource as their next click. This card will probably suffer from “50th Card Syndrome”, but it looks playable to me.
Shell Corporation- 5/10
I’m having a hard time placing a score on this because my initial reaction is “YES!” but I have a very “no” aftertaste. Pros- It’s an upgrade so you can put some nasty trap over it to dissuade trashing. Cons- The runner will want to trash it, which means you’re unlikely to see “Kati Jones” levels of efficiency without high risk and protection. This is one we’ll have to see in action before a real determination can be made. Also, this and other upgrades might be enough for cards like Singularity to show up more frequently.
It’s not bad, per se, it’s just not mind blowing. There is a niche for this card in Weyland Glacier which is one side of Blue Sun that we’re all dealing with currently. Personally I don’t know if I could find room for this over Hostile Takeover in most builds. We’ll probably see this out of an upcoming ID from Order and Chaos that really wants to play 1 pointers…
Executive Boot Camp 6/10
This card gets a little ratings boost for piquing my interest. It’s flexible, it offers discounted rezzing, it’s free to rez and it acts as an asset tutor. In Blue Sun, Adonis Campaign can be really solid but it’s a huge influence drain. With Boot Camp you can run a 1-of Adonis and go fetch it, then use the Boot Camp to rez for extra economic benefit. There are tons of other options and card interactions, see how many you can find!
I’m sure I’ll get some heat for this rating but try to hear me out. It’s potentially a code gate that destroys programs, and I get that. The glaring downsides are that it is a 6 cost ICE with 1 subroutine that is only strength 3. At strength 3, in either state (code gate or sentry), it gets ran over by mimic and/or yog. There are other more reliable program destroying options that this will probably only see play with “all in” program destruction strategies.
This is going to be a console for combo-Johnny players out there primarily, but it has some interesting card interactions with cards like Overmind and the upcoming Sage. I’d be interested to see if anyone can make something truly competitive with this card, though I doubt it just due to all of the set-up required to fully take advantage of it.
Cerberus “Cuj.0” H3 4/10
I rank this 2nd amongst the Dog Head ICE Breakers, mostly because Anarchs don’t have a good way to deal with big sentry’s in house. The low strength and limited uses are both downsides that may make this card only playable when you’re hurting against big Sentry ICE. Even with that in mind, I would make space for D4V1D before this to handle those problems. So… strength 4 sentries?
Leela Patel ????/10
Guys. Guys. Seriously, guys. What in the hell am I supposed to do with this? I’ve read a lot of theories and have some working of my own. Still have no idea. A realistic rating would be low, but I don’t know how to make heads or tails of this. There is probably an unexplored strategy that really destroys, but I have seen it or played against it. Email me at email@example.com and tell me all about the Leela deck I need to try out because it “pwns”.
Cerberus “Rex” H2 4/10
Passport is just a better card, with the obvious problem of not being able to break remote ICE. Maybe you run this and passport to not use the 1 influence on Yog? I would say that this is the weakest of the Dog-Head suite given the options Criminals normally use. It’s playable, but not optimal. Way better than Peacock in your Iain deck..
Zona Sul Shipping 2/10
Great in a meta with light tagging, or where nobody plays NBN. Breaking News is the worst. You might see this pop up in decks that are mitigating tags or where people plain-old don’t give a shit. Conceptually, this card is strong. Tags are prevalent enough that the risk to play this card is normally going to lead to more conservative and consistent economy choices. Don’t act like you forgot about Compromised Employee.
Utopia Shard 5/10
LARAMY FISK LOVES THIS. Other than that it seems like something people will use who want to surprise HQ without running Legwork. I don’t see any glaring reason to play it other than Fisk and possibly Hemorrhage decks. Still a card worth designing which may see some play.
Cybsoft Macrodrive 2/10
This hardware is probably the 50th Shaper hardware to be created that I’m not sure what to do with. Prepaid Voicepad has the same level of efficiency but is probably easier to build to. Heavy recursion decks may want to try this out, and may get some serious mileage out of it. The hard part is justifying this in an economy slot, so it may get pushed out of the deck entirely.
Cerberus “Lady” H1 6/10
Say what you will about this card, but it really excites me in regards to not blowing influence on corroder. Shapers have a lot of tools in house to recur this bad boy and it is super-efficient. The interaction that gets pointed out most often is Eli (which is 1 credit and 1 counter to break). The worst interaction is with Hive and no agendas scored, Curtain wall is up there too. I would play this over Corroder if I have a reliable way to recur it.
Well then- it looks like we have some good new additions to our beloved game. I cannot wait for next time when I review “The Source” which looks to be very exciting. You can check out other articles here at Stimhack.com, and if you like podcasts I host “Wait, Wait… Don’t Run Me!” with Ross Prather.