Android Netrunner - Intervention

It's been super busy, but don't worry, here's the next Netrunner pack! I'll try to get the next one out a little bit quicker - let's hope FFG give me a bit of a time break though!

To repeat a previous disclaimer, I'm a casual player that enjoys the game and can hold my own in a local store tournament despite having much to learn myself. That's all. Take that for what its worth, but maybe that will allow me to consider combos and ideas that will be fun to use rather than simply dismissing anything that doesn't make a Tier 1 level deck or whatever! So that being said, let's start. You can already check out my Android Netrunner review on my site. If you want to see all the images for each card, I recommend you visit netrunnerdb.com and use their search engine.




En Passant


As if Anarch needed any more ICE trashing cards, this one is just plain sick. Already we're seeing tournaments dominated by Val using this card in combination with Blackmail, DDOS and Run Amok. Makes a change from Whizzard I guess, but be prepared for Anarchs to focus a ton on trashing ICE in the foreseeable future. Cheap to play, easy to play, it's about as solid as you can get. The only thing I'm peeved off about is that despite being a Chess term, it has no synergy whatsoever with Reina or her Chess breaker suite. Come on!!


Frantic Coding


If you're really desperate for that one card, this is a fun way to find it, but that's a lot of cards you're getting rid of to find it. Also we already have Inject, which is a very popular digging card in Anarch as it is. 3 credits is certainly not cheap and as unlikely as it is, this can still whiff if you don't find exactly what you need and what a drawback you just took - that would be a sad panda moment.


The Gauntlet


2 extra memory is nothing to be sneezed at in Criminal especially or even other Runners given the really low influence cost. What makes me sad though is that this is supposed to be the console given to Khan, one of the more rubbish Runners for Criminal out there and yet it has no synergy with anything she does. Seriously I do wonder what the designers of Netrunner are up to these days where they seem to just be unleashing cards upon the world without enough thought as to whether they are any good! At best it's an alternative HQ Interface.




Saker


If you're really desperate to save some influence in Criminal, this isn't too bad a choice for a Barrier Fracter breaker. Certainly it's 100 times better than the horrible Aourua from before. But it's never going to measure up to the other faction fracters so this is definitly only an influence saver consideration - we've already established that the whole bird suite routine is just too expensive for what it does.


Blockade Runner


Compared a lot to Mr Li - I quite like this card. When used in a 40 card Runner deck you can sift through to find the piece you need relatively quickly and if you're got a card you don't need right now like a spare console copy or event that's not required, then shuffle that back in the deck. Now yes, click for click, Mr Li gets you more cards, but it's also twice as much to install and this one is more flexible.



Ele "Smoke" Scovak


And a big fat welcome to one of the best Shaper identities we've seen in a while. If you like Stealth builds, this is the one you use now. A free stealth credit every turn that powers that Net Murcur card I mentioned before? 40 card deck limit? 15 influence? Yeah she's pretty solid all round and already we're seeing plenty of stealth decks about - in fact I've got one myself, it's a lot more enjoyable to use Stealth now. And you don't even have to use it as a stealth credit - it's a recurring credit at the end of the day, use it with any icebreaker.


Top Hat


I'm not really seeing the potential of this one. It's still a guessing game what you're going to access unless you've previously run an Indexing, but then why don't you just layer the deck that way? The best thing I can think of for this besides its cheap cost is that it's almost like a poor man's R&D Interface. You access one card which you can't trash or steal and so on a second access, you opt for the next card down. I suppose with The Turning Wheel that's not a bad deal, but I don't think the potential benefit is that high and even then, what if the Corp has iced that server up making it costly to break? How many times are you going to access R&D in a turn?


Blackstone


Stealth decks are set for a great sentry breaker and now a great code gate breaker. As barrier breakers go, this is more unwieldly. An odd starting strength and a lot of credits required to pump it up. And how often do you need 7 STR on a barrier breaker? I'm seeing many Stealth decks simply resort to a normal barrier and I'm one of them. It's not awful so if you want a full stealth suite, go for it, but if you have the influence, there are better options.


Government Investigations


Ok, since when were Psi games so prevalent in the meta that you need a current designed to deal with them? And it doesn't even deal with them it simply reduces it from a 33% chance to a 50/50 chance. Straight into the binder with you never to be used!


Citadel Sanctuary


It's nice to see some cards dealing with the insane tag meta right now, although how effective is this card? Clickless tag removal is pretty handy providing you have the means to win the trace. If you're piling on the link, then it won't be an issue at all. It has the potential to really increase the effectiveness of cards like Account Siphon and can even stop a Hard Hitting News / BOOM tactic in its tracks. You remove two tags manually and then let the Citadel remove another - they can no longer BOOM you to death. Of course will they simply tag you by another means who knows? As for the second ability, it's not particularly efficient, but if it saves you from certain death, anything is worth doing and it's a nice little "bonus" to have - but don't make it your primary armour!


Wetwork Refit


At first glance it seems great to add more brain damage to a card. However there's some caveats here. Firstly most of the time you add a sub-routine to a piece of ICE, it's usually just an additional credit for the Runner to get past and if it's on a bioroid, then chances are it can just be clicked past. Also ICE destruction is a big part of the meta currently and this card is going to do nothing to really stop that apart from make it more costly for you to lose. Maybe in the future, but for now it's not worth it.


Haas-Bioroid: Architects of Tomorrow


Every single HB identity is going to get compared to Engineering the Future which is still most likely the best ID in the game right now. Whereas this can be a saving of a ton of credits it's also very conditional. The Runner has more control over when this ability triggers because they are the ones who choose when to run so a good Runner can minimise its effect. Also you have to have the credits to rez the initial Bioroid ICE that the Runner has to pass so it's not an early game credit saving. The 12 influence can also be a factor as a lot of HB decks will have Eli and Architect which are on the MWL list and then 3 Jackson Howards - that's 9 influence of your 12 gone instantly. I'm not convinced it will see much tournament play, but if you want a fun casual deck just so you can go mad on Bioroids, then this is perfect for you.




Fumiko Yamamori


4 rez cost for 4 trash? That's not a good ratio and chances are you'll want to protect this asset. Even then it's not likely to fire that often and 1 meat damage is not really that problematic. In a Nisei deck you may have a little bit of fun, but 4 rez is very pricey when it can be trashed easily by Whizzard and isn't a huge tempo hit for other Runners.


Hasty Relocation


Naturally Jinteki can utilise a few great mind-games by putting traps on the top of the deck which will certainly scare the Runner a bit. Other factions can also pull some funny shenigans though. Imagine Haas-Bioroid being able to set up 3 ICE on the top of their deck before scoring Accelerated Beta Test. It's going to be more of a janky card than something like Heritage Comittee, but some fun decks could make good use of it.


Data Ward


Oooh, very nice! Some refer to it as a lesser-mans Tollbooth and in a way it is. But if you can pair this up with a Data Raven or just run a deck that ensures the Runner remains tagged, this is a nasty ICE to break. Already it has that great 3 credit tax on it regardless, but then to potentially have 4 sub-routines to end the run if they are tagged and all for less than the Tollbooth costs, that's pretty solid. I don't think it's a 3-include, but any NBN tag deck would be silly to not run this.


Drone Screen


It's not bad, but other similar cards have come out that don't have the specific "Runner must be tagged" clause on it. Simply saying it can't be prevented isn't a massive boost to the ability. It also only works for one server and costs money to rez. As a deterrent to run a server I'd rather just have a really solid piece of ICE protecting it.


Chief Slee


It all sounds great, but to build him up will take time and he's going to be someone who needs protecting as you just know the Runner is waiting to trash him as soon as you spend the effort to get counters on him. 5 damage could be a flatline, but the Runner will have time to prepare for that with either a subsequent Plascrete or I've Had Worse. Not bad, but just too unwieldly to use effectively.


Bulwark


Illicit ICE are always a tempermental affair. The ICE will have great effects but many players will not like to give the Runner any bad publicity at all. However Bulwark is a pretty nifty piece of ICE. Firstly there are very few barriers that trash programs. Sure the Runner picks it, but a program is a program. Secondly if they have an AI installed, it's an instant 20% rebate on the cost of this ICE. If they then can't break it, it's another 20% back. Face-checking this will be rather painful. But it's a case of whether you can make effective use of it to warrant that bad pub.



Best Defense

It is unlikely you're going to be targeting anything particularly expensive with this card, but depending on your deck anything up to say 2 cost is within your reach reliably. Even if you don't do tagging at all, you can still use it to target a card with zero cost. There's plenty of Runner cards worth nuking at zero cost and if they decide to get liberal with Account Siphons or DLR, then you can launch a new surprise. I can't see it working beyond a one of in a deck though and deck space is already tight.


Preemptive Action


Trying to be a less-effective Jackson Howard, it certainly manages that. You can't use it as a reaction during a run and it doesn't have the added power of over-drawing cards. So really the only reason to have this is if you are agenda flooded and don't have a Jackson out or to get certain cards back in the deck as a threat to the Runner, i.e Jinteki traps. It will be a while before Jackson gets cycled out so maybe it will become useful then, but for now, we got Jackson.


Summary


Not that awesome a data pack overall but a couple of gems to find - certainly if you want to resurrect your Stealth builds from a while ago as Shaper, you owe it to yourself to get the identity from this pack. En Passant is also going to make Anarch even more annoying than ever before with destroying all your ICE. It's getting hard to keep up with the meta currently, but I don't think things are going to change much before the end of the cycle. This new campaign expansion though . . . .



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