The Devil and The Dragon Community Review and Meta Predictions (Runner)

Welcome to this month’s glut of community reviews and opinions for The Devil and The Dragon! We’ve bundled together the spiciest takes and least explicable numbers from anyone whose credentials checked out, although we didn’t exactly look too closely…
  

Glut Cipher


robotmascot

I got real excited for one-click hand disruption, but after actually reading and comprehending the card I think the number of prerequisites is just too high here. The number of turns you’re going to be sitting on it waiting for the corp to even have five cards in Archives seems unacceptably high for the amount of impact it’ll have.

Saan

This looks like a worse Legwork for Anarchs that can’t find influence for a real copy. The biggest downside is, as robotmascot points out, that it’s not any good until later in the game versus most Corps, whereas Legwork is good as soon as they haven’t scored or manipulated agendas in several turns. I guess the real draw of it is that Archives is usually lessd protected than HQ is most times, but even Archives gets iced early these days to stem the tide of the ever advancing Turtle army. I’ll leave the actual math regarding the chances of discards regarding various hand sizes, etc, to other people, but my first impression is that this isn’t really strong enough to get much play.

greyfield

Two problems here. First, the obvious one, randomness. But second, if the cards are in Archives, they’re probably there because the corp reaped their rewards before; unless they lose three agendas to this, odds are good you upgraded a couple mediocre cards in HQ to good cards. Truly the card is only good if you’re going to get lots of agendas, and at that point, why not just play Wanton Destruction or Legwork? It’s a fun concept though. D-.

Bahram

Conditional random hand discard… you mean like Wanton Destruction? A card we already had but no one played? Okay, so this is Archives instead (an easier server to get into) and this is cheaper (no extra clicks). But you need 5 card minimum, it can’t punish a underdefended HQ, and you might actually help them more than you hurt them? I don’t see it seeing play. Neat idea though.

CrushU

Too much random for not enough effect. Especially as Agendas are rarely sitting around in HQ nowadays anyway… This has too much potential to blow up in your face.

TheBigBoy

2/10 Too random and too expensive.

dr00

Randomly give your opponent all their Hedge Funds, NGO Fronts, or combo pieces back, then randomly see if they get to keep over the other potential crap that’s just clogging up their hand. Did you hit an agenda? Did you give the corp the tools they need to win next turn? Find out, next time on your run into Archives.

tvaduva

Not all cards are designed for competitive play, so in that spirit, I really wish that the Runner got to choose the 5 cards to give back. It would have made for more interesting choices and we know from the now-rotated Record Reconstructor, that giving cards from Archives back to the Corp is not too powerful an effect. Not sure why they gave it four influence either.

Sanjay

Power level aside, it’s hard not to be at least a little excited about a card which this much chaos attached to it.

Weird templating thing: unlike most other Run cards, the ability on Glut Cipher is not optional… if you start a Glut Cipher run, you are glut ciphering. You can’t opt to access instead if the situation changes mid-run. (Start slotting those Allele Repressions and Defense Constructs now!)

  

Knobkierie


Saan

Did you ever look at Memstrips and think, “I wish this cost 2 more credits and had a little extra text on it”? Man, have I got the knob for you! This looks like the intended console for the virus archetype FFG is pushing. It can snag you a virus token here and there, but I firmly believe that any console that costs 5 has to do way more than this to see play.

greyfield

Memestrips grows up. Undoubtedly this is setting us up for Freedom Khumalo, though I still struggle to figure out what’s so good about adding a single virus counter somewhere as to justify the steep expense – Aumakua, probably, though the Gravedigger combo is just close to adequate enough that I’m sure people will run it. More likely this card matters so you can afford the back-breaking memory costs of Yusuf and its presumed successors. B-.

Bahram

Interesting idea? Hard to really evaluate until Freedom drops (and whatever support he would get in that pack). If there are really impactful viruses, I can see it… but Anarch console market already has so much competition. I think this might be overcosted for non-Freedom decks. Could be funny with Consume as a little engine. Helps build Aumukua real fast which is a benefit to consider it.

CrushU

A necessary piece for the Yusuf-suite, but I’m not sure it’s actually good enough. The problem Yusuf-suite had is that there are plenty of ICE setups that require more than the one counter per run. This fixes that, to an extent, but I’m not sure it’s strong enough. The MU bonus on it is pretty necessary as well to get virus-spam working, and it isn’t costed too much, though still on the high side. What is needed is a new Cache-like Virus, one that pays for its Virus counters…

TheBigBoy

3/10 Too expensive.

dr00

Obviously not as good as Grimoire, but i think we don’t have to fault it. This encourages runner interaction instead of Noise sit-around-and-install-crap-all-day mill. Probably too expensive at this point for it to really pay off, but if you play to have a lot of viruses and need the extra MU, at least it does a bit more than memestrips.

Sanjay

I adore Yusuf as a breaker and I’m happy for it to get support. There are so many cool Anarch consoles with so many cool abilities it might be hard to part with all the rest of them to play this though.

miek

It is a bit weird that the this is the main console for Freedom but its really a card for supercharging your Imps. Do you even want to play Imp in freedom? Or is that overkill? I don’t know. 5 credits is definitely too expensive for what this is, even despite the fact that it’s effectively 3 MU in decks that want it.

SamRS

The cards that really liked +1 virus counters are gone outside of maybe Chakana, and that’s fringe at best. The Yusuf rig wants virus counters in bulk, and this doesn’t really do it, so this is a 5 credit memstrip. The Yusuf rig will need a 2 MU console to function but I’d honestly rather pay 1 more for maw at that point. This has potential in the future if some kind of hivemind deck comes back into play, but that’s not going to happen in the current cardpool. 1/10

  

419: Amoral Scammer


greyfield

First time I saw this card I thought it was garbage but in early testing I’ve been reasonably impressed by his pairing with Aumakua. Put those two in the Timmy Wong Nero Severn Happy Fun Deck and you’ve got yourself a strong archetype. Still don’t think Zamba will ever be a thing though. In practice, the expose itself is pretty marginal, since a good player should be able to guess a fair number of the cards the Nigerian Prince would be exposing anyway. But as we’ve seen from Corporate “Grant”, consistent drip-taxes are actually quite annoying, and the choice between feeding the turtle or paying a dollar is nothing to sneer at. B.

Bahram

A link Criminal that enables a normal style of deck with a good ability and normal influence? I see a lot potential in this. Does let the corp play some classic Netrunner by playing the dollar semi-randomly or strategically, which I am 100% for. Since he also has some support cards in this pack, I am excited for this guy and think there’s some real potential to him. I’m excited for a non-Shaper ID. Need I say more?

CrushU

Like Knobkiere, 419 is the payoff for a strategy that Kitara’s been building toward. Ultimately I think he’s probably above average for a Criminal ID, but not in the top tier of power. Once we get Siphon 2.0, he will become more playable as an econ denial strategy would become possible once more. As greyfield noted, his synergies with Aumakua are very strong, and Zamba might be a red herring. Just watch out for Psychic Field…

TheBigBoy

5/10 Has link and an ability that’s better than Nero’s. Crim is kinda bad though…

dr00

Great ID. I disagree that we should rate this poorly because Criminal is in a bad place currently. Criminal will eventually be back and 419 is an ID that has legs. With all the recent Bio Vaults, NGO Fronts, and Rashida Jaheems, knowing when and how much you should commit to checking out what’s at the end of the remote can be invaluable. And if you don’t get any information, you can tax the corp for keeping their secrets.

Sanjay

I love the flavor of this card, especially in combination with Falsified Credentials: corps have to pay for extra security measures to keep amoral scammers from getting access to privileged information, and sometimes they mess up and sometimes they won’t bother, and sometimes that is okay and sometimes it is not.

Also, I read the flavor text insert for this pack and I think 419 might benefit financially from being a little more amoral. Unless his title is a typo and there is supposed to be a space after the first “a” in “amoral”?

tvaduva

As with Azmari, I’m really interested in how opponents play around this ID after some time. My guess is that most ice and econ assets will be exposed, and the Corp will only pay (unless there’s another bonus effect) when they’re going for a bluff or risky agenda, as well as try to sequence their installs to expose low value cards before higher values ones. It will also give us quantifiable data on how valuable hidden information is to the Corp.

miek

This ID seems decent to me. Leela is probably better at most types of things, but if you’re doing a link-style deck (see Timmy’s Nero) then this is an obvious swap in. I think even with the “may” clause, a Psychic Field deck just absolutely destroys him. Even if you don’t get the kill, you can often do things like turn one install Psychic Field to destroy his starting hand (of cards chosen for their value). Currently it doesn’t really feel like Jinteki Asset Spam Kill is that good, but when Mti comes out 419 is probably going to cry.

SamRS

Best generic Crim ID by default, that isn’t saying much but it’s where we’re at. Leela and Steve’s strengths were tied to power cards that are now gone, so a link and an ability that fires regularly make him the best of the bunch. Note that he’s very weak against Jinteki asset kill because psychic field will be present. 5/10
  

Falsified Credentials


Saan

Queen’s Gambit is back, although the numbers are slightly different, and it’s blue now. This card seems pretty good, because I’m going to say that most times in a game of Netrunner, when the Corp installs a card, the runner should have a pretty good idea what kind of card that is based on the game state. Obviously this is even better in 419, but I’m going to say that this is a good card in basically any criminal, and is almost just Sure Gamble numbers 4-6. Since two Influence seems steep for only 4 credits, it’s probably staying in Criminal, though.

greyfield

I’m probably higher up on this card than most, since as mentioned you should already be reasonably well-positioned to guess correctly (though Bio-Vault is a spanner in those works). However, it does demand a lot: that there be a face-down card, in a remote, which is reasonably identifiable, and that your opponent doesn’t play around Falsified Credentials. Certainly if your hit rate with this is no more than, say, 50%, it’s not worth it, even with the extra Aumakua counters available. So your mileage may vary. I rather doubt it’s ever worth playing outside 419 and even then your opponent may just rez everything from the start. C+.

Antler

With the lacking Criminal economy options recently, it’s good to see some fairly straight forward and fair econ show up, but with a Criminal twist. Feels like a versatile enough card, it’s enough money to be happy, and now with NGO Front and Bio Vault (If that catches on?) expose isn’t all that naff. A useful card in both more glacier-y and horizontal matchups. And can we talk for a second about the hecka cool art? Apart from the fingerless gloves, that’s a bomb ass outfit, and the colours are so nice. At worst a decent card, cool art, in the best faction. What’s not to love?

Bahram

Seems good. It’s a Sure Gamble if you know what it is, and more experienced players should be able to land that very often. And it’s an expose effect… if I say agenda and end up being wrong because its NGO or a trap, I will gladly pay a dollar to not waste my time running through the remote. Simple but good.

CrushU

At best, it’s a Sure Gamble. At worst, it cost you a credit and you still have to run the Gene Splicer server to keep the Corp off 7 points. It’s also a good way to get turtle counters. I was talking with local meta guys about this, Drive-By, and Spot the Prey. Basically, Spot the Prey is the middle of the road between the other two. Drive-By is best if it’s an NGO. Falsified is best if it’s an Agenda. Spot the Prey is better than Drive-By against Agendas, and better than Falsified against non-Agendas. I think this will see play only in decks with Expose synergies (Zamba)

TheBigBoy

6/10 More Sure Gambles but sometimes they don’t work. Some value is added from sniffing out NGOs, but if you are in a match-up where you don’t have targets for this when you need them (or if you miss with it, like guessing asset vs CtM and seeing MVT) then it’s a huge disaster.

dr00

1 credit more expensive than Infiltration but with the possibility of paying you. With 419, you can sometimes have the option of just getting some guaranteed money if you need that instead.

Sanjay

Expose walks a tight line between being unfun because the corp has no secrets and being unfun because it is too unplayable to include in your deck. I think this card hits the balance pretty well!

tvaduva

Might be good to think of it as another type of cantrip for Netrunner: expose when you need it (with a chance at money) or money when you don’t (with a chance at botching it up).

  

Rogue Trading


Saan

Let’s break down the numbers on this card. Using 2 clicks for 6 bucks is 3 bucks a click, which isn’t bad at all, netting us 4 bucks above just raw clicking for money. However, adding clearing a tag onto that makes this 4 bucks over 3 clicks, which is just 1 buck over clicking for credits, which is downright vomitous. If you throw something like Citadel Sanctuary at it in order to clicklessly clear that tag back off, effectively this becomes something akin to a limited lifespan Kati Jones, where you click it once a turn for money. If you can do this, it seems like a pretty great card, although it does need that extra card support of Citadel + Link and/or Power Taps, or some sort of Tagme support. Tagme seems to mostly be the domain of the Anarchs these days, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this leave faction, at only 2 influence, to go power God of War decks, or some other fun time.

greyfield

The synergies with Citadel Sanctuary are well-observed at this point and are quite impressive (though the fact that the setup required to make it economical and the fact you couldn’t take money more than once per turn will probably hold this card back from superstardom), but I myself wonder if this could be a role-player in tag-me strategies. Probably not, even if you’re playing Wireless Net Pavilion, but the number of tag-me runner cards are so sparse that it may make the grade anyway… Ehh, I’m probably just getting hot-boxed by my nostalgia for Account Siphon. B.

Bahram

0 to install is very rad. Enabling the crap out of Power Tap/Citadel lists is very rad. Enabling Counter Surveillance lists further is… sure, why not. Being Best Defense-able makes it a little risky, but if I use this only once, and you spend the Best Defense on it? I’m happy. Good card all around I think.

CrushU

Finally some good Crim econ… Wait, no, this, like all the other ‘econ’ cards Crim has gotten, needs support to be better than just clicking for credits. That said, you have two routes of support for the card. Either you go tag-me, or you use Citadel Sanctuary to clear the tag. With Power Taps, and our new 1-Link Criminal ID printed in this pack… I know I want to at least try Taps 419 to see how it plays.

TheBigBoy

5/10 Could fit into a Citadel or Tag-me plan, but wont be the difference-maker as to whether or not those decks are good.

dr00

Needs some support to be good. Removing the tags with Citadel Sanctuary and Power Taps or Crash Space, or going tag me with Wireless Net Pavillion and Fall Guy/Dummy Box. With the banning of Temujin, this is a solid econ card for Criminal, Sunny, and probably tagme Clanarch.

Sanjay

Mechanically, one of the things Criminal is best at is tag removal. Crash Space is in the core set, and Criminal has gotten plenty of interesting tag removal options since then, from Paper Tripping to Geist’s console Forger. Their most powerful option, Aaron Marrón, is currently under such intense scrutiny from the NAPD that runners can’t even use his services. It’s interesting to speculate how we would think of Credit Kiting and Rogue Trading if we had Aaron on our side, and makes me wonder when Crim will get their next bit of tag removal support.

tvaduva

Other than Citadel, which is probably the best synergy for this card, other cards that can remove this card’s tags somewhat effectively: Crash Space, Deuces Wild, No One Home, Qianju PT, and Forger. Most of them are one-time use or just marginally effective, so hopefully there’s more interesting tag-removal cards in the future for Criminal because there is now more uses for them.

miek

I’m most excited for this as a tag me card for Criminal. Since Siphon has gone, God of War became the only really reliable way to self-tag, and Counter-Surveillance being the only way to generate enough value out of having so many tags. With Credit Kiting and Rogue Trading, Criminal might be able to import these cards out of Anarch rather than the other way around. When you’re not clearing the tag, Rogue Trading numbers are very very good. I disagree with thebigboy specifically in that if this deck ends up good, Rogue Trading is the #1 reason why its now playable.

SamRS

This and 419 will be a major buff to Citadel decks, as this is a ludicrous amount of money if you have help shaking the tag. I don’t think Crim has the means to go tag-me anymore so that’s out, but this card costs 0 and says 18 so it can’t be that bad. 6/10

  

Because I Can


greyfield

I unreasonably love Singularity. This is better than Singularity. But Singularity was only good because Eater was good, and Eater was only good because Account Siphon and Vamp and Keyhole existed. What really is the upper bound on this card? Shuffling back a thick stack of defensive upgrades? That seems both super narrow and not even worth it on those merits. Either way, the Corp has dragged you through the server without losing anything of value, and that’s a win for them. Or you’re using it on a naked and expensive-to-trash card, but that probably means the Corp has a lot like it and is already winning. C.

Bahram

Maybe if your meta is all CtM and you are super tired of the Bankers/MVT remote? Maybe to force a shuffle on a bad Indexing? I think this goes into the binder. Fun art though.

TheBigBoy

2/10 Get rekt Mushin.

dr00

This is what Analog Dreamers and Exploratory Romp wish they could have been. And at one influence, it’s very splashable. Is that Mushin card an agenda or a trap? Is that a Mumbad Virtual Tour or a Prisec protecting the Commercial Bankers? Who cares? Off to R&D with all of you.

Sanjay

I’ve seen some people nickname this card ICANN which is a reference to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is the reason you can get a dot horse url, but also the reason you can’t get a dot civet url. Or at least I think so; I don’t really understand the internet. I don’t understand the nickname either.

miek

I think most people have said enough about what can be said for this card, however it is worth noting that this is one of the few runner cards in the game that forces a shuffle. If your opponent has been a degenerate “hide the agenda” corp deck, then not only does this provide value against the unstealable Obokata remote play, but it helps bring back the other agendas to random positions in R&D for later stealing.

Inactivist

At last, the forced-shuffle card we were waiting for to make CBI Raid playable again after its obvious dominance before Keyhole rotated.

SamRS

This is what Exploratory Romp wanted to be, unlike that card, Because I Can has actual uses in beating the following cards: Ash, MVT, Upgrade stack servers in general, Obokata, QPM Raven, Hostile Inf Breaker Bay, Ikawah click servers and Mushin no Shin. Also just value removes high trash cost assets and upgrades. If you would stimhack a remote to remove something, BIC does the same thing for less. 7/10

  

Nyashia


Saan

This seems like a card that would work fantastically in a build with Clone Chips and Aesop’s, but sadly the restricted list has made that an impossibility. However, even a list with Technical Writers and Clone Chips might be fun. I had originally thought that one could spend as many counters as one wanted, which makes this card substantially better. Sadly, one can not, and as such it’s effectively a limited use, program based R&D Interface. The MU cost is going to be what really holds this card back, although I’d be a little surprised if it didn’t get some play somewhere.

greyfield

The limitation on counters isn’t that substantial, since three pokes with an R&D Interface usually did enough damage to the corp’s long-term prospects to pay for itself, so the real question I have is whether a 2 credit discount is worth both the loss of a memory and the temporary status. I think it is, though more specifically this seems like a card that is best when you have all three of them (via Hayley probably) and are doing something abusive to get into R&D for cheap. It’s a program, so stealth is out. Maybe Cyberdelia? Whatever the answer is, someone’s going to find it, and it’ll be aggravating. B+.

Bahram

I love it. Cheapo RDI replacement that I can Aesops… all about it. I think the card is actually just “fine” though, but won’t see a ton of play. Can’t burn it all at once, but you can burn 1 from multiple copies at once. Seems okay, just fits my favorite style of deck so I’m jazzed up.

CrushU

This one looks pretty good, actually. The limited use means that R&D Lock style of decks won’t be able to exist, easily, with this one card. However, I think it still has enough power behind it to see at least some play.

TheBigBoy

6/10. This is about the same value is The Maker’s Eye, but slightly better or worse depending on the specific deck/situation. I give Makers a 6/10 so that’s this card’s rating too.

dr00

I think the obvious comparison has to be The Maker’s Eye. It’s the same cost in credits but does have an MU cost that will last potentially several turns. It’s higher influence for non-Shapers. It gives 1 more access that TME, and furthermore, this isn’t stopped by Nisei Mk II or Crisium Grid or a failed run. You only use it when you are actually accessing, so it has a 100% chance of giving you +3 accesses. Another major downside is that TME is just one and done (and includes the run), whereas this only pays out over a minimum of 3 runs on R&D. You can combine multiples for extra accesses and can combo with TME, so I think if R&D digging is what you want to do, this is a great one to include in the toolbox.

Sanjay

Lately, it’s been a bit difficult to R&D lock the corp (seeing every card from R&D before the corp draws it). Nyashia makes the prospect a bit more possible, which is exciting if that win con excites you, and terrifying if you look at R&D lock with dread. This card strikes what I think is a fair balance between those two types of players.

  

Consume


Saan

I don’t know what Apex problem this is supposed to solve. It’s not like most Apex builds go around trashing things, other than Appoc. If I have the interaction correct, this should still get the tokens before Apoc flips it, but now it needs an Assimilator to flip it back to its relevant side for you to get the money off it. Meanwhile, if they really want the corp can just purge, and since they’re still Virus tokens, they’ll still get purged, facedown card or not. I’ve been really happy with the mini faction cards this cycle up until this point, but this one just leaves me looking at another irrelevant Apex card.

greyfield

Apex is a hallucination created by Fantasy Flight to sell the Arkham Horror LCG. F.

Bahram

I can never wrap my head around Apex cards. But I really like the idea of it? I hope it’s good but you never know with Apex. I don’t see a world Apex is very high tier, so this is just another cool card in his deck that’s fun to play but not quite good enough? Might be wild in Freedom, even at 5 influence.

CrushU

Huh, a card that pays you for Virus tokens. I think I said this was the missing piece of the Virus strategy…? At 5 influence, though, this probably isn’t what it wants.

TheBigBoy
Apex/10

dr00

On the one hand, if you have this installed and later apocalypse, you put an enormous amount of pressure on the corp to purge or let you get a lot of credits. Unless they a Cyberdex Virus Suite or Reverse Infection though, it’s going to take their whole turn, giving you free access to centrals with (presumably), no new ice. On the other hand, I can’t think of any reason I’d particularly want a bunch of credits immediately after an Apocalypse.
So I don’t think this is meant to be used in that way (or if it is, I don’t think it’s its best use). I think it’s just a solid econ card that helps Apex deal with trashing cards that will encourage purges every now and then. Also triggers off of Prey, so get to trashing those Tour Guides, Komainus, and Endless EULAs.

Sanjay

An interesting card to explore in Anarch, which is generally pretty good at trashing stuff. An interesting card to explore with Apex, who generally has economic woes (which have been somewhat mitigated by the ability to play Assimilator + Aesop’s Pawnshop). Consume doesn’t easily plop into existing Apex decks currently, but it has an unbounded effect, which is always exciting to explore.

tvaduva

Five influence is rough for non-Apex, but Anarch did get that new swirly virus tutor last pack.

miek

I think the Apex problem this is trying to solve is just his general economy engine. 2c per trash is actually quite a lot, and even just a generic Imp + Friday Chip value run could make this semi-impactful. I think this will do a lot less for Apex viability than Assimilator did, however this is probably a better include if you’re feeling more all-in on the Apocalypse plan.

  


That’s it for this end of The Devil and the Dragon, join us tomorrow as our band of amoral reviewers continue into the Corp half of the pack.

Continue the discussion at forum.stimhack.com