I’m going to give a rating from 0 to 5 for each card.
5: Best of the best. Game defining cards. Ex: Account Siphon, SanSan City Grid.
4: Strong staples. You want it in most decks of this faction and many decks of another faction. Ex: Sure Gamble, Corroder, Ice Wall.
3: Playable cards. It might make the cut, or be good in the right deck. Ex: Armitage Codebusting, Enigma.
2: Niche. It’s only good in the right deck, and even then it’s not amazing, just reasonable. Ex: The Helpful AI, Peacock.
1: Bad Cards. It’s always bad, and only in its best conditions does it rise to reasonableness. Ex: Aurora, Shipment from Mirrormorph.
0: Terrible cards. You actively hurt your game by using it. Ex: Data Dealer, Tyrant.
Exile: 3/5 (But with future potential)
Identities are hard to rate, especially if they aren’t clearly amazing (like HB: EtF) or clearly terrible.
Exile is very build-around-me, and wants to play with things like Clone Chip, Scavenge Test Run, Retrieval Run, etc. The upcoming card Pawn from the Spin Cycle might be the card that actually gets Exile going. With a couple pawns rotating through play, Exile gets to be like Desperado, but with card draws instead of credits.
While exile works well with Clone Chips, so does Kate, she installs them for $0, while he draws a card for them. Maybe Exile works well with Personal Workshop in a way that Kate doesn’t, but still uses his ability.
I think Exile wont be top tier at first, but if the Pawn interaction ends up being very strong, could become amazing later. Alternately, more strong discard-recursion cards could make exile awesome.
The Professor: 2/5
I don’t feel that an identity with no in-game power is very good, even with tons of influence. His influence cant even get you account siphon. I think the professor will let you build the fun, super combo program deck, with Self Modifying Code tutoring for every imaginable program, and Sahasrara putting them into play cheaply. Unfortunately, he has only 1 influence for 1 Stimhack or extra copy of a needed program like Datasucker, so he cant do the Stimhack/Self Modifying code combo very well.
Still, he does get to tutor for (with Self Modifying Code) a Djinn, stick it on an Omni Drive, and then tutor for 1 of every Virus with it. This is your identity for fun decks, not competitive decks. he would require more extremely strong but high influence programs in order to get better.
Rielle “Kit” Peddler: 4.5/5
Now this is a strong identity power! She is pretty much the opposite of the professor, with an insane in-game power but low influence. When combined with something like Dino-Yog or Yog+Datasuckers, Kit is like a free Inside Job every turn. And we all know how amazing Inside Job is. I think Kit is the best chance that Shapers have to make a strong, competitive deck, because she gives them an ability that actually helps you attack. Kit does way more than just save you $1 a few times or make your deck a bit more efficient. She actually changes how you play the game.
I feel that Kit is the strongest Shaper identity. She is the only one that is based around actually running and winning the game, rather than dinking around with your rig for ever and ever.
This card can be insanely useful, but is also highly conditional. You have to be in at least the midgame, with a number of rezzed ice, to really use it effectively. When it works it can be pretty devastating, moving their unrezzed ice to the place you want to attack, sticking their biggest ice in the most useless spot, and moving their Chums to the base of servers.
Escher punishes vulnerable ice. If you play several small code gates, and they get out a Yog and Escher them all onto R&D, suddenly you’re in big trouble. Alternately, if Kit with a Dino-Yog goes and Eschers all your best ice to the front of each server, and then runs through one each turn, that could be devastating. Escher also helps out the Shaper breakers, putting all the Sentries in one place, the Barriers in one place, etc. It makes Snowball actually useful, as all their Barriers are in one server in ascending order!
This card forces corps to be very careful with their ice installs. If you install any ice on archives against shaper, but didn’t really need to, then that’s where your best ice is going later. Escher really punishes you for having small 1-ice remotes guarding things like Pad Campaigns, as suddenly your small ice guarding it has swapped places with your Tollbooth.
I doubt you’ll want 3 Escher in your deck, it seems more like a 1-of to me, maybe 2, but a powerful midgame 1-of. You need to get some of their ice rezzed first.
Scavenge: 2/5 or 3/5, dependent on a ruling.
Its unclear whether Scavenge can be used to trash a card and then return the same exact card to play. If it can, its pretty strong, as it lets you Test Run for (Femme/Morning Star), and then Scavenge, trashing the program and putting it right back into play, in order to avoid Test Run putting it back on your deck. You could even make the following turn:
Test run for Femme, Femme a card you need to run through this turn (like a remote server).
Run that server.
Scavenge the Femme, retargetting it onto a central server ice you want to bypass a lot in the future.
If you aren’t allowed to do this, the card isn’t nearly as good. You would need to get another copy of a big program into your discard before pulling off the combo.
Clone Chip: 3/5
An important thing to note about this card is that it is instant speed. Its usable mid-run, and with Stimhack Money. Clone Chip provides another way to combo Stimhack into “real money” without needing Workshop. Its great with Kate discounts or Exile draws, and could be a good piece in a Replicator deck.
It can fetch things like Parasites or Crescentus mid run to wreck ice that you encountered. It can also fetch back a used Self-Modifying Code, allowing you to use the same Self-Modifying code multiple times during one Stimhack. Its also a nice backup plan for having breakers trashed, especially 1-ofs.
Kit probably wont want it, and to me that’s a mark against the card. But I might be wrong if it contributes to a critical mass of cards that makes a Replicator Exile or Kate deck awesome.
If you need help reading what Omni Drive does, its a 3 cost Hardware that hosts a 1MU program, and gives $1 a turn to use that program.
Essentially, for $3 you get a limited Cyberfeeder for just that program, and an Akamatsu Mem Chip.
Some cards to host could be:
Djinn: You can now use the $ to use Djinn’s tutor ability once a turn, essentially drawing whatever card you want. You could use Self-Modifying code to tutor a 1-of Djinn and then use the Djinn to tutor 1-of Viruses.
Icebreakers: The obvious use. Note that if you put a Darwin in it, the Omni Drive can pay the $1 a turn to pump Darwin.
Net Shield: Lol. Free prevention of 1 Net Damage a turn instead of for $1?
Any future 1MU program with a paid activation cost: Its possible that we will get more strong uses for Omni Drive in the future.
Overall, Omni Drive is pretty good if you need extra memory. Combining Akamatsu and Cyberfeeder into 1 card is pretty helpful. However, it does open you up to increased weakness from Hardware trashing effects. If that enemy Flare happens to hit you and you lose your Omni Drive with a Femme, or Omni Drive with a Djinn containing two Datasuckers and a Medium, its going to suck.
Feedback Filter: Meta dependent, but around 1.5/5.
Haha Jinteki! You aren’t even good but cards to hate on you keep on coming.
Ever notice how runners get all the hate cards for absolutely anything that the corp tries to do, but that corps cant get anything at all that says things like:
“The runner cannot cause you to lose credits”.
“Your ice cannot be destroyed, derezzed, or bypassed”.
Nope, corps cant get a card that counters things that criminals use to crush them, but runners get cards that strongly counter even the weak corporations.
This card is far better than Net Shield. It doesnt cost MU, it can save you from Brain Damage, and it can save you from death-by-Jinteki, at a cost. The cost is high, but unlimited, which makes it more useful. You probably wont prevent non-lethal net damage with this, but you’ll make yourself unkillable if you have money.
If we ever see a surge of brain damage decks, or if Jinteki becomes really strong, this could enter play, in the way that things like E3 currently see play as an HB counter. Until then I don’t anticipate seeing this much.
Scroll up for the Chakana picture. Its a 2 cost virus that gets a counter when you hit R&D. With three counters, it increases agenda difficulty by 1.
Chakana is really bad. If you were hoping for a counter to fast advance, this is not it, though there IS a strong fast advance counter in this set, which we will get to.
While Chakana does force the corp to purge before fast advancing, it doesn’t put them under pressure to immediately purge or anything. They can take their time to increase R&D defense first, then purge, then go score their agenda anyway.
Compare this to Medium. When you build up Medium to three counters, you are getting bonus accesses. The corp needs to purge quickly or else your built up medium could crush them.
Shapers are already faced with corps icing R&D heavily against them. You have to highly defend R&D against Shaper because of R&D interface, Indexing, Makers Eye, etc. Everyone knows that R&D is the primary Shaper attack. As a result, this card is three expensive R&D runs in order to force one virus wipe, but without much pressure to do it instantly.
Chakana competes with way too many other Shaper R&D attack cards, that are all better than it.
(Exact English wording of ‘Stealth Credits’ unknown)
3 Cost Sentry Breaker, Strength 0.
$1: Break sentry subroutine.
$1: +5 strength, use only Stealth Credits to pay for this ability.
We don’t know what the stealth cards will be, but we can assume that there will probably be somethings like this at some point:
It will call those recurring Credits ‘stealth’, and they will have extra special usefulness on cards like Dagger.
That will make Dagger be a Shaper version on Ninja, that sucks if you don’t get stealth cards, but is better if you do. Its a niche card for a Stealth deck, but a good one for that deck. Note that if you only have like 1-2 stealth credits, you will only be able to break 1-2 large sentries a turn. I think this card will really require a card that provides two stealth credits to combo with it.
Note that a Ninja whose pump ability is limited and combo dependent is probably going to be weaker than Mimic+Datasucker, which are strong 1 influence cards. However, if the stealth cards are strong, and other effects provide extra benefits for using stealth cards, this could end up becoming great.
Overall I feel like the Stealth deck will have a problem in that it will only be able to run once a turn, and then it will be out of stealth bits, so its breakers wont be pumpable. On the other hand, that one run could be very efficient, so you can R&D lock them very well.
Paricia: 3/5 (meta-dependent, only good with Pawnshop, otherwise weak)
Paricia really crushes decks that put out undefended money assets like Pad Campaign, Marked Accounts, etc. In a meta filled with enough of those cards, Paricia and Bank Job are stellar.
Paricia also combos well with Aesop’s Pawnshop, essentially being an Easy Mark with upside. Pawnshop removes the meta-dependance from Paricia. It makes it never worthless.
If you use Paricia once to trash one asset, and then you Pawn it, it was worth more than a Sure Gamble. That’s a pretty low bar for usefulness.
I wouldn’t play Paricia outside of a Pawnshop deck however.
To summarize: Paricia is great in a Pawnshop deck, especially in a meta with lots of Pad Campaign and stuff. Its pretty questionable without Pawnshop.
The main effect that I think Paricia has on the game is to further discourage unprotected money assets. You really need to defend your Adonis or Eve Campaigns, and you simply shouldn’t play things like Pad Campaign and Marked Accounts in almost anything. Those cards are bad now. Whizzard crushes them, Paricia crushes them, and Bank Job crushes them. Replace them with burst economy operations in corp decks (which we nicely get another of in this set).
Self-Modifying Code: 4/5
I am thrilled about this card, because its a cheaper Test Run that works mid-run at instant speed, using Stimhack Money. This is the program tutor Shapers have been waiting for.
Its actually a lot better than Test Run in most cases (except when returning a lost program from the trash, or using Scavenge). I think this replaces Test Run in most Shaper decks and is massively superior to it for most uses.
It also allows you to get things like a 1-of Sneakdoor for a surprise attack, 1-of Imp as a counter to Scorched Earths or Fast-Advance cards in their hand, 1-of Djinn as an MU source an tutor engine, etc.
This is a powerhouse card for decks that install lots of programs (like Anarchs), and once you’re done with it you could always pawn it for $3. Even the weakened reprint of Zetatech is still quite strong! Free Parasites that kill an ice and then free up your MU are amazing. Free Imps that do their Job and then go away are amazing.
That said, you wouldn’t play this in every deck. A deck that just wants to install a small rig and doesn’t have pawnshop wont really get enough use out of this. Its best in Anarch decks and Professor decks. That said, any Shaper deck might Self-Modifying Code out a Djinn, stick it in an Omni Drive, and begin pulling out various viruses.
This card might replace Personal Workshop in many Noise decks. Its half the influence and provides twice as many credits a turn, while also not increasing your reliance on resources! At 2 influence however, you can fit in three of these, two Pawnshop, and still have 5 influence left over for other goodies, like a surprise Account Siphon.
I expect this to see significant play in Anarch and Shaper.
Borrowed Satellite: 1.5/5
Meh. It does what it does, and if you need link and hand size you could play this card, but its not very exciting at all. I’d actually like this card a lot more if it was Hardware, since it wouldn’t be trashable if tagged, and people could get discounts on it.
Professional Contacts: 2/5
Shaper is the faction with the good in faction draw, in Diesel and Quality Time, and those cards will draw half your deck already. Don’t fall into the Shaper trap of spending all of your early game investing for lategame efficiency gains and cards that take an eternity to pay off, and then lose to a good corp before you actually start doing much of anything. Instead, play the economy cards that actually speed you up.
In short, play Diesel and Quality Time, not this.
Edit: with further analysis, is not QUITE that bad, in the right deck.
I do think its better than Magnum Opus. But I think Opus is terrible now, and you can do a lot better with a deck full of Diesel, QTime, and burst economy cards.
Pro Contacts should be compared to using Diesels and QTime, because its a draw bonus. It makes your natural draws worth +$1. But it costs 5, and is a resource, so it forces you to care a lot about tags.
If you install pro Contacts, and draw 25 cards with it, thats pretty good. Thats nets you +$20, though over the course of the entire game. What is the alternative way to gain +24 cards?
Pro Contacts: 26 clicks = Net: +24 cards, +$20.
Play 2 Diesel, 2 QTime, and draw 12 cards: 16 clicks = Net: +24 cards, -$6. That leaves me 10 clicks to try and recover $26, which I probably cant do. But I can probably get $20. So pro Contacts pays out a few more credits in the end, in return for its up front cost.
That does look to be evidence for Pro Contacts having a place, but don’t forget the three problems:
1) Puts you in a big hole to start.
2) It doesn’t work well with Diesel/QTime, because if you use those to draw, you wont be using it enough to make it pay off. You lose out on the speed of the burst draw cards.
3) Tag vulnerability.
However, in a deck that doesnt use other draw cards, AND doesnt want tags, it could be decent. Its kindof like a big Underworld contacts. Its more expensive (but no link requirement), and tends to net you more like $1.5 a turn. I guess that might be okay. Unfortunately its slow. I think the Diesel/QTime deck is just better because its faster, even though this gives a few more credits in the end.
Dirty Laundry: 4/5
This card is really good.
Its an Easy Mark plus a bonus click, if the run that you made was a run you actually wanted to do. In a pinch, it can probably be used to run Archives as an Easy Mark, with no influence cost, but it also combos with Desperado and Datasucker to provide bonus value. In the best case, its basically a Modded that triggers on making a run instead of installing a card that costs 3 or more.
As more and more cards are released, Netrunner will continue to get faster, and decks more efficient. The value of a click will continue to grow. Right now, a click is generally worth close to $2. (Which, by the way, makes Magnum Opus pretty bad). Eventually, we will have decks full of strong economy cards like this and Sure Gamble and others, strong draw effects to get them fast (for less than a click each), and the average value of a click will go above $2. In original netrunner, you could do cycles of Bodyweight Synthetic Blood and Sure Gamble that would net you $2.8 per click, or in a “Tag-me” deck with Drone for a Day, $3.6 a click.
As Netrunner efficiency grows and moves above $2 a click, cards like this that don’t cost a click to play become better and better. At $2 a click, this card, when it works, is a full $1 better than Sure Gamble. At $2.5 a click its better still.
Andromeda especially loves this card on turn 1, as it allows her to run some undefended server the corp places to try and get you to run it (and have to discard), or potentially its an agenda and they are hoping you wont run it because you don’t want to discard. Or a central server they didn’t ice on turn 1. Its like a Modded in Andromeda that costs no influence! Additionally, Andromeda can play a Desperado first and make this a Sure Gamble that also runs. She can even play turns like: Sure Gamble, Desperado, Datasucker, Dirty Laundry. The Dirty Laundry is then a Sure Gamble that gives a Datasucker counter.
Alternately, Andromeda can heavily punish a turn 1 undefended remote with the play: Bank Job, Dirty Laundry (take Bank Job money). No discard is required and this provides immense income.
Kit also uses this card extremely well, with a Code Gate breaker against a 1 ice server.
I will pretty much be putting this card into all runner decks. If your deck has problems playing this card because it can’t get into servers then you should consider that a weakness of your deck that needs to be remedied.
Same Old Thing: (4/5 with Account Siphon. 1/5 without it)
So here is the thing about this card. Its usually bad, on most events. Generally if you add two clicks to the cost of an event, it becomes bad. In some cases like a Makers Eye or Emergency Shutdown that you really need to replay, it could be decent.
But there is one card that is SO good, that its still insanely good if you pay two extra clicks for it. Account Siphon.
Some decks are going to play three Account Siphon and three Same Old Thing after C&C comes out. And they are just going to keep siphoning you, over and over. And probably not caring at all about the tags.
This strategy is pretty abusive. Honestly, if you see a Same Old Thing enter play, just do anything you can to pile ice onto HQ. Because you’re about to get hit with Siphon, plus a repeat Siphon. Possibly in one turn, followed by a run on your remote server after you’re broke.
You remember how criminals often paid 2 influence for Deja Vu so they could have extra Siphons? Well, this is like that, but without the influence cost.
Basically this card just helps runners pound corps into the dust even more and take their money. You can play this in any faction, and with a couple splashed Account Siphons, just hit the corp with it over and over and over. Don’t play it without Account Siphon.
The Source: 3/5
Finally, some anti-Fast Advance hate! Though the influence cost for everyone and the drawback of being self-trashing limits its power.
This card helps balance the corp strategies, punishing the decks full of 3/2 agendas. As a neutral card that costs influence, it represents a new deckbuilding mechanic, and makes me wish that Account Siphon had been a neutral 4 influence cost card, so that criminals wouldn’t be a completely dominant faction.
The drawback of The Source, costing you $3 and going away when an agenda is stolen means that as the corp, the best play will often be to simply feed the runner an agenda to get rid of it, and then continue fast advancing.
The Source is a real game-changer, and alters the value of a number of cards. Low cost agendas get weaker, which is nice. Fast advance cards get a bit weaker too. Tagging becomes stronger, and this card is yet another in our growing list of reasons to want Freelancer.
The Source makes the Tag-me strategy worse, because Tag-me can’t really play it. It also rewards a sit-back-and-build-up strategy, that appeals to many Anarch and Shaper decks. Often, the bane of these slow lategame decks is Agenda rushing, especially the rushing of 3/2 agendas that don’t give themselves away.
Note that The Source goes away if the corp scores an agenda too. As a result, the corp is heavily incentivized to install a card and advance it. If its an agenda, either the runner will get it and trash The Source and pay extra, or the Corp will score it, also trashing the Source. If its a trap, you will have baited the runner into your trap.
I think the Source will work best in soemthing like a Noise deck that tends to score agendas in bunches with a hero run of Archives or R&D Medium dig. Its also a deck that’s weak to central server/agenda rushing, and The Source forces the runner to reveal that they are trying to score something.
Anarchs have an additional combo with The Source that is pretty neat, and improves the card greatly for them. They can play Imp, and then when they access an Agenda, they can Imp it to trash it, (because you’re allowed to not pay the $3 cost). That means that you haven’t scored an agenda yet, so the Source stays around, until you’re ready to run Archives for the win. Pretty annoying!
The best counter to The Source is probably 2/1 agendas. You can simply stick them face down in your remote server, and say go. If the runner runs it, they have to pay for your ice, lose $3 for the Source, and trash the Source, all for 1 point. If they don’t, you triple advance next turn and score it, also trashing The Source.
Another good counter to the Source is overadvancable agendas. Atlas, Vitruvius, and Beale all benefit from overadvancing anyway, and The Source doesn’t take away the overadvancement bonus. In fact, The Source makes it $3 hard for the runner to get in an steal these.
In the end, The Source is a reasonable, but not overpowered counter to fast-advance. It has enough drawbacks to limit its usefulness and playtime, and make it not simply stomp all over every corp deck. Which is a good thing, because runner have enough cards already that let them stomp all over corp decks. Like Account Siphon. You won’t want to mindlessly throw this into all decks. Any time when the corp can score an Agenda and trash The Source, its a big win. And if the runner just barely failed to get your agenda, because of the extra $3 cost, then you actually turned their own card savagely against them.
HB: Custom Biotics: 1/5
This is terrible. No in game power, and all you get is +7 influence. And you also advertise to your opponent that they don’t have to fear Snare, Neural Katana, Junebug, Ronin, etc.
Seriously, do not play this identity. The thing about HB is that their cards arent actually that awesome. They have some great cards like the pair of 3/2 agendas, Adonis Campaign, Biotic Labor, Rototurret, Ichi, Eli. Aside from that, they are a faction of ice that doesnt actually stop you on its own and doesnt force you to play breakers, a faction that is being strongly carried by its identity: +$1 a turn.
Lose the $1 a turn and HB becomes a lot weaker. Its no longer the best corp, and is actually below average. NBN has better agendas than it, and more good pieces of ice, with Popup, Tollbooth, Flare, and Data Raven. Weyland would have better economy, and more utility like Oversighted Archers and Scorched Earth combo.
This identity is just bad. And if you are thinking that no one is going to expect your tag and bag combo out of HB, think again. When you see this stupid identity, the first thing you should think is: “Oh look, he is probably spending 22 influence on Scorched Earth, Dedicated response Team, Data Raven, and Sea Source”. It should NOT come as a surprise, AT ALL. I mean, what the hell else are you going to do with all that influence? Just put out your Plascrete and laugh at their stupid deck, which gave up the ability to get $1 a turn in order to play a Scorched Earth combo that you just countered.
Seriously, you would have better luck putting the Scorched Earth combo into normal, good, HB: EtF, where your faction ID doesn’t give away the fact that you are trying to do some silly high influence cost thing, and they actually wont expect the combo. And you’ll be able to enjoy your free credits as well.
Director Haas’ Pet Project: 4/5
This card is really good. The ‘nine 2s and two 1s’ agenda mix is strong, and unlike False Lead, this card has an ability thats really helpful for HB.
Rather than using the power to recur ice from your archives, the best use of this card is to create a new server of extreme annoyance, that the runner has to go in and pay lots of money to trash.
For example, score this and pull the following out of archives: SanSan City Grid, Adonis Campaign, Bernice Mai.
Man, that’s annoying. If they don’t deal with it, you rez your Adonis and eventually gain $8, and then you rez the SanSan and fast advance something. And they STILL have to go kill that SanSan, and pay to beat the Bernice Mai trace or eat a tag. That is some serious economic annoyance there. If the runner just runs the server, they probably lose more than $10.
Basically you want to combo this card with one money asset and one or more annoying upgrades, most notably SanSan, and just burn a lot of their money killing them.
Project Wotan: 3/5
While this power is pretty good, it competes with things like Priority Requisition. That said, scoring this card greatly increases the chance that you can defend one run in the future, or at least force them to pay plenty of money to manually break your Bioroids, helping you to score another agenda. A 3 point agenda that can lead to your scoring a 2 point agenda in the future is really strong, if you can manage to score it in the first place.
While 3/2 agendas are just a lot stronger in general than 5/3s, this is a pretty good 5/3 if thats what you want.
Note that you cant add subroutines after they start breaking them. You have to add them before hand.
Director Haas: 2/5
I dont like this card, because I feel its drawback is quite extreme. Using Director Haas essentially inflates the number of agenda points in your deck. The runner can score this by paying the $5 even if found in your R&D or Hand.
If you use this card to Fast Advance something, then you are STILL sticking a card thats worth 2 points to the runner into play where they can get it. And you paid $3 to rez her.
SanSan is far stronger. Its an upgrade not an asset, so it can exist in a server with other things. It basically does a similar thing, but doesn’t give the runner 2 points when trashed. You can of course self-trash Director Haas in the future if it survives a turn, to prevent the 2 point gain, however if you do that then you basically just used a really risky Biotic Labor.
So we are left with one case where Haas is actually really good. If you can actually keep the runner from getting to her. At All. And just keep milking the click a turn, and sometimes scoring a 3/2 agenda immediately. Therefore I see this card more as a way to punish a weak player, than an actual good card. If your opponents deck sucks, and they don’t play things like Crypsis and Stimhack that can actually get them through whatever you have, then this card can crush them really hard. But if they are a strong player with a good runner deck, then you’ll probably get to fast advance once but then feed them points, and you might also feed them points with it out of R&D or HQ.
Alix T4LB07: 3/5
I strongly suspect that the activation is: Click, Trash: $2 per counter.
Okay, so you install this in a remote server, guard it, and put a counter on it each time you install a card. Then, either the corp has to run through and pay to trash it, or you install a couple more cards and then net like $8 or so.
This is a nice economy or economy drain card. The best way to use it is probably the following:
1) Install it face down some turn. Say go. If the runner runs it, paying to get through ice, and paying $2 to kill it, that was good value.
2) Rez it an install a couple cards. Now the runner needs to run it, getting value (assuming its well defended).
3) If its still alive, install whatever you have left and take the money.
Alix really shines when you have extra ways to install cards, such as Midori, or Director Haas’ Pet Project. Using Midori to swap ice on the runners turn gives you both an HB install credit AND an Alix counter. That’s kindof cool. Getting this in play, defended, then fast advancing Director Haas’ Pet Project lets you put three extra counters on it, forcing a run, or a big economy gain for you. (In addition to the other run you forced to kill the SanSan and Adonis you brought back with the Project!)
I like this card, and at only 1 influence, I think it could be good in Jinteki as well, especially replicating perfection, where forcing runs is even more costly, and you have Midori in faction.
Thomas Haas: 3/5
Thomas is the trap that, if not run, allows you to recoup your money investment. That’s pretty decent, because it reduces the downside of traps. Of course, it also has less upside, it wont wreck someone like a Secretary would, if they run it.
If someone plays a card and advances it, and I dont run it, and they advance it more but don’t score it, I’m probably leaving it alone forever. Unless I think its a Ronin I’m leaving it alone. So there isn’t really that much to gain from continuing to advance it. If it failed to induce a run at first, its not going to induce a run later.
This card should be considered in a deck with 5/3 agendas or even Mandatory Upgrades, as a no risk trap. If they infiltrate it your time isn’t wasted, you get the money back.
This isnt an economy card, its a trap. Hwoever, there are a couple minor ways to get economy from it. First is with Simone Diego. make a big server, play him and advance twice with Simone. If they run, great. If not, keep advancing over and over. Force an expensive run, during which you STILL get his money, or simply build it to immense proportions, netting $2 a click.
Second, Matrix Analyzer can put counters on him for $1 that net $2.
Finally, if you get a TON of tags on the runner, you can Psychographics a ton of counters onto him and then double your money. For example, with 10 tags on the runner (from a Midseason maybe), you can Psychographics 10 counters onto him, then take $20.
One final use of this card is that you can have money that the corp doesnt know about. If they don’t know that its Thomas, and they run a server because you are below a critical money breakpoint for an ice that would wreck them, such as having less than the $4 you need for a Rototurret, then you might be able to use him to grab the needed money, and rez the ice.
I like him a little better now, after realizing more little things he does. I think he might end up being best in an NBN deck with Matrix Analyzer and Psycho/Midseason. He also might in some situations be able to keep an Account Siphon from wrecking you as badly.
Heimdall 2.0: 3/5 (but only in a free Ice deck)
Heimdall 1.0 sucks. This card sucks as well, except when its free. When this card is free, from Oversight AI or Beta Test or Priority Requisition, its actually pretty awesome.
Unlike 1.0, this card actually works with Oversight AI. They cant just click it away. They have to get E3, or break it.
I think we will see a resurgence of the HB free big ice deck in C&C. Maybe it wont be as good as HB fast advance, but it should see play. You’ll be seeing Oversighted, Beta Tested, and Priority Requisitioned copies of Heimdall 2.0, Archer, and Janus out of HB, and you are going to be really annoyed by them if you arent running Emergency Shutdown.
Given that, I think this card is good in the free ice deck. However, its still bad if you actually pay $11 for it, most of the time. They can break it for 2 clicks and 1 brain damage.
Ichi 2.0: 2.5/5
While Heimdall 2.0 is better than its original version, because it plays well when free, I think Ichi 2.0 is worse. All you gain for the extra $3 cost is 1 strength (usually irrelevant), E3 defense (kindof relevant), and a better trace.
This card is actually pretty similar to Heimdall 1.0, though with better surprise value. Its pretty vulnerable to Shutdown. Its bad against those Criminals who will run all over you without breakers, and then crush your expensive ice.
Better than Data Hound, but not by much, this card falls into the ‘doesn’t do anything’ Ice trap. This card just has a bit too many problems.
First off, if you have no Ice in HQ, or don’t actually want to install more ice on that server, it does nothing. You basically can use one of these effectively, on whichever central server that you want to load up with tons of ice. Its nice that it installs for free, and its nice that it gives you a bonus HB Install credit, because its the runner’s turn. If it wasn’t for those HB credits, I don’t think I’d ever even consider playing this.
Its too bad that this doesn’t install at the BASE of the server. THAT would be a great, useful card, allowing you to stick something new, of your choice, right in front of them, and with economic benefit. Scary! But as it is, this is pretty much a bad version of Popup window. If they run it repeatedly you run out of ice you want to install so it loses value. And it costs $1 to rez, not 0.
That said, I don’t think this is completely worthless, (like Data Hound is, lol). It has an actual, economic effect on the gamestate. If you’re playing against an annoying Anarch who keeps trashing your R&D ice, this might be decent (though it is countered by Yog + Datasucker or Ice Carver pretty hard). The HB installs improve its economic power. It also helps you to develop long term defense of a central server while you still use Mining Corp every turn, which could be nice.
To summarize, I think this card is questionable, and runs out of utility, and probably bad early. But its not totally hopeless. I would only ever play it in HB: EtF however.
Successful Demonstration: 4/5
This is my favorite spoiled Corp card. Its actually good, in lots of decks. A bigger Hedge Fund, this is something the corp needs really badly. It is conditional upon an unsuccessful run, however, this does serve to punish the runner for facechecking ice on turn 1, or for any failure later on. If it makes the runner scared to run your Wall of Static turn 1, thats a good thing.
This card also rewards you for making a play like Troubleshooter+Rototurret. You crush them, kill a program, end the run, and get to play any of these you have next turn. If you rez a big ice, and it stops them, but then they Shutdown that ice, this lessens the sting significantly. It even gives a bonus $ to original Weyland.
I really wish this was Neutral, because all corps need it pretty bad. HB probably needs it the least, sigh. (Silly big set, being in the best corp faction).
Awakening Center: 2/5
One problem with this card is that it doesn’t have surprise value. You cant rez it once they get through the server and use it to plop a new ice on them.
You have to actually rez it on your turn and install ice in it before it becomes usable. And it eats up ice that couldve gone to actual, permanent defense of your servers.
Original Netrunner had the following card:
That card was GOOD. It was a surprise, it nailed them with whatever you wanted, as a complete shock. Awakening Center isn’t subtle and tricky enough.
That said, its a decent way to buff up the defenses of an agenda server in a big ice deck, and then try to score 5/3s. The runner had better come in with extra preparations, because you’re going to bust out a cheap Ichi 2.0, Heimdall 2.0, or whatever, after they used up their clicks.
Tyr’ Hand: 2/5
Note that this card doesn’t stop the runner from simply paying to break the subroutine again. If they are breaking with an Icebreaker, this is pretty useless. When it is good is when they are breaking with Clicks, and don’t have any more clicks left. Then it crushes them. E3 crushes it pretty hard.
While this card can break the back of an unsuspecting runner, I think that good players will usually play around it and make you wish it was something else. I don’t think its actually very strong against someone who considers that it might be there, and it makes your R&D and HQ more vulnerable to trashing at low cost, letting the corp access new cards.
Gila Hands Arcology: 3/5
This is another nice 3/1 agenda, more useful than False Lead in many decks. I anticipate that my HB deck will contain: 3 Beta Test, 3 Project Vitruvius, 3 PSF (or other 4/2 agenda), 1 Director Haas’ Pet Project, 1 Gila Hands Arcology.
A Jinteki deck could play two of these along with its nine 2 point agendas, and scoring it would be useful to their economy.
Often in HB especially, and other corps in general, you want to do one thing on your turn as corp, such as install an ice or a card in a remote. And then you have two clicks where you just take $2. Gila Hands gives you $1 extra each time that occurs, and its pretty easy to score, and fits well into certain agenda mixes.
Server Diagnostics: 1.5/5
The first turn, its a Pad Campaign with 2 lower trash cost. As long as the runner trashes it fast it was weak. Unlike Pad, this needs defense for sure, and then it will occupy your server.
But unlike Pad, the runner has another way to kill it. They can simply pressure your central servers hard, maybe even killing the ice that is already there, and simply force you to install ice and kill this, or lose.
I don’t think this card will be any good at all. It has to stay out for four turns to start to be decent, at which point you’re most likely hurting really badly for more ice, and if it had been an Adonis Campaign you would have gained more money. I think its actually horrible.
Data Pike: 3/5
This is just barely better than Enigma, because it eliminates the 4th click run weakness. The $2 loss is probably a bit more punishing than losing 1 click early on. While it can be avoided by having no money, Enigma’s punishment is also avoidable. However, its cost is 1 higher, so the two are actually very close in benefit. This is worse against Yog, because you spent an extra credit on an Ice that became worthless.
I see this as fairly interchangeable with Engima. However, you don’t really want both, because you don’t want to have that many code gates in your deck that get crushed by Yog. Maybe you want 2 of each now instead of 3 Enigma or something. Maybe Weyland wants this to up its code gate count, if it doesn’t spend influence on Tollbooth or Chum.
Its a reasonable option. I’ll mix it in a bit with Enigma in certain decks, it helps you be less predictable.
That’s it for now. Since the set is shipping, full spoilers will be out in a few days, and I’ll do another review then. Overall I think there are a number of strong runner cards, and only a couple strong corp cards. Reille “Kit” Peddler, Self Modifying Code, Sahasrara, and Dirty Laundry are all great on the runner side and really help shapers. (Dirty Laundry helps all runners a ton, and Sahasrara is great for Anarch). Criminals, and anyone using Siphon, get the annoying Same Old Thing, a card whose entire purpose is simply to let runners Account Siphon the corp over and over again. Bleah.
I hope there are a couple more good ice in the set, not yet revealed, and maybe another good economy card. And I hope at least one of them is Neutral. Corp needs help! Corp did get a couple decent econ cards in the set, which is nice. Maybe what corp needs isn’t a strong economy card, but simply a really good Account Siphon counter. It is that one card that contributes to runner dominance more than anything else.