Hello everyone, and welcome!
You will find below my ratings for the new “Up and Over” data pack. I know that these reviews can be contentious, so I want to start out by saying that I don’t think I know everything about Netrunner. My experience with this game is a reflection of my local meta, and the ratings below are no different. If you think I’m wrong please head to the forum and tell me about it because I would love to hear your feedback and am definitely open to other’s opinions.
This pack is a good one! More interesting cards to play with on runner side, and more powerful cards for corp. I feel like corp side has been getting a lot of love lately, and this pack is no different. Put this cycle together with the Spin Cycle (load up the washing machine puns) and it’s not hard to see why it’s getting harder to earn a runner side win.
Trade In- 5/10
I’m giving this a rating of 5/10 because it fills a technical gap in the design space. Personally, I don’t think the effect is too strong because you have to have a hardware you don’t want in play, then draw this card, then sacrifice the hardware to find the one you want. Not a hard task in a replicator/rabbit hole build. What hardware are you going to get at this point that you have to search for? Overall not a game breaker but it will see play.
This is the first Shaper Console that will see mass play. If you’re playing Akamatsu as a memory solution chances are you will be dropping it for a 3-of Astrolabe. Its ability isn’t mind blowing but you’ll probably draw a few cards over the course of the game given the current popularity of asset based economy.
The rating of 1/10 is only because every time I see this card I think of the Eve 6 song “Inside Out” (for those of you who weren’t alive in the 90’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DudgmaXQRQc). It’s probably better than rated, but not by much. You’ll see me “swallow my pride” if someone can make this a thing. I would rather have Public Sympathy if I was ever inclined to increase my hand size.
I like cards that fill design space within the game, and this is cool from my point of view. It would be a deterrent to corps who want to purge viruses, which is a cool thing to add in. The real problem is that most of the time I want the corp to purge viruses. This card may cause them to think twice. I don’t see Anarchs adding this to their decks with how tight deck space is or others splashing this even at 1 influence.
Yes, a “6”. I know, I know, you’ve all been collectively drooling over this. All of the answers I have heard and seen have been to run program recurrence (retrieval run, clone chip) to mitigate discarded programs. And sure, you can deck build to increase the chances that this works. I hate randomness. Even if you set up correctly and make all the right choices, you could still end up paying 1 to gain 4 and discard 4 programs. Anarchs have always had issues with card draw and I don’t think this adequately addresses this issue. Better than nothing, I guess.
This may seem like a high rating, and maybe it is. I value a click very highly, and gaining a click for something I want to be doing seems really good. The down side is that it is fragile, so it may see play in Noise and Iain Sterling decks that don’t plan on running too often. Another down side to note is that it specifies installing programs from you hand, which means it is a “nonbo” with popular program recursion. Say hello to Savior Faire, mother f***ers.
Switch Blade 7/10
A lot of promises were made when this game came out. One of which was that the concepts would be fleshed out and more options for play would be available. Stealth is finally to a point where it’s fleshed out enough to be playable as a main rig. Switch Blade is Dagger’s big brother, with the only downside being that it’s going to cost stealth credits to make it do anything. Breaking all subroutines for 1 stealth credit definitely makes this downside a lot more manageable. Look for switchblade in non-stealth rigs alongside datasuckers for a cheap and consistent answer to popular multi-subroutine sentries.
Angel Arena 0/10
“I heard runners are having a hard time keeping up with corporations economically. I was thinking of making a card that gives the runners more control of their draw with a 1-for-1 up-front cost in credits. What do you think?”
“PRINT THAT SHIT IMMEDIATELY. IT WILL BE PLAYED IN EVERY DECK FOREVER.”
At least that’s how I envision it going down. Complete tomfoolery. Just play Mr. Li or draw the cards like a normal person. Put this card in your box and walk away slowly, ignoring the pungent shit-smell it emits.
On to the Corp cards!
Universal Connectivity Fee 7/10
Well, I’m a big fan of this. I like to imagine that Near Earth Hub fast advance doesn’t exist. In that world, tag storm is starting to look amazing. Man Hunt and information overload are both super solid, and this ICE fits right in with them. First of all, let’s note that it is a 1 cost tax if the runner is not tagged and it is not discarded as a result unless the secondary effect fires. It’s a trap which makes it hard to break and with some planning you can ensure a runner loses all their credits (behind a data raven, perhaps?).
Reversed Accounts 5/10
A lot of people are gaga for this, but I think it’s more of a “win more” card. Corp seems to be putting a lot of economic pressure on the runner by simply having enough money to rez ICE. I see this being good in a Mushin no Shin build, but those decks don’t care too much about the runner’s economy. Most other decks would much rather score an agenda in this window, making this a choice for more cautious corps who would rather blow out the side of the house than just utilize the window.
Peak Efficiency 3/10
I don’t think this card is so much “bad” as it is unnecessary and unreliable. Most decks would take Beanstalk Royalties over this just for the early game playability, and even though it scales through the course of the game, it will be a while before it reaches Hedge Fund levels of payoff. This may be a great card in an Eliza’s Toolbox build, or with Amazon Industrial Grid.
It’s another great sentry that you don’t want to hit early game. Slap down a mimic and it’s just an annoyance. While the subroutines are especially good, most people are prepared to face a sentry either by having a breaker or by tightening their buttholes. If you could somehow guarantee that this fires at least 1 time I would rate it an 8-9. Otherwise it’s a tax of 2 against most runners.
A definite add in your Nisea Division deck, this card is on the fringe where cost doesn’t quite add up to effectiveness. Pros: Strength 4, does damage as a subroutine and potentially does damage during a run. Cons: Cost 6, strength 4 (atman, anyone?) only 2 subroutines. This card competes with deck space with a bunch of other really strong sentries: Komainu and Tsurugi are both excellent options over this, with the only caveat being the strength versus parasite.
Labyrinthine Servers 2/10
All we need to know is that this is compared directly to “The Future Perfect”, and that’s like comparing a pile of shit to a candy bar: they’re both the same color and that’s where the similarities end. You may see this in some fun cell portal deck. Hilariously, it has 2 counters.
More ICE to give you nightmares. This ICE has the chance to make you miserable out of CI, but otherwise it’s an Eli strength ICE with 1-3 additional subroutines that costs 6 more than Eli to rez. Overall I see this as a 1-2 of in Replicating Perfection as opposed to wall of thorns but not seeing much play elsewhere.
Maybe I’m not inventive enough. Maybe I don’t know how to think outside of the box. I cannot think of a reason I would want to discard cards in my hand. Even in Cerebral Imaging the cards in your hand are important for no reason other than defending the agendas in HQ. There are just better (read as “more efficient”) ways to make money than throwing away clicks to draw to then discard for money. Feel free to prove me wrong: I love being surprised.
Strength 4, 1 subroutine: nothing to write home about generally speaking. It’s interesting conceptually that it could be either a barrier or a code gate. This ability is the saving grace of this card and could have value in a game. The problem is that it costs a click and a credit to change. Maybe use it with trick of light for extra buffoonery. I see this being a Blue Sun only ICE and never seeing splash.
Blue Sun 10/10
It’s about f****ng time Weyland gets something new. Excuse my language but seriously: f**k. This ID is NEH levels of bonkers. It may even surpass NEH in craziness because it adds in a 0 opportunity cost for rezzing ICE and assets. Absolutely I’m going to rez a 10 cost piece of ICE to protect an Adonis Campaign I imported in from HB. Next turn I’m going to gain 7 from Adonis and the turn after that I’ll gain the 10 back from the ICE that was rezzed. This interaction is enough to make this ID good, but having punitive and scorch in faction makes these card interactions “kill on demand”. It makes every rezzed card a piggy bank and screws up Runner math in a bad way. I expect this to be one of the ID’s that define the meta for this game.
Hades Fragment 5/10
Not much to say about this one. It’s a solid 5/3 with an ability that seems pretty good. Overall I think Eden Fragment is much better and Utopia Fragment will be better. You could potentially run all 3, so why choose?
Docklands Crackdown 4/10
This is a case where the designers made something absolutely new. Opposed to Fester above, this card piques my interest. This is a cool way to tax the runner, and is especially brutal early game. The problem is how slow it is to get going. I challenge all of you out there to see how many power counters you can get on Docklands Crackdown in one game. Post your results in the Stimhack.com forum so I can commend your efforts.
Thanks everyone for reading. Feel free to commend me or put me on blast in the stimhack.com forums.
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Corwin “DJ Hedgehog” Brindley