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Monday, December 1, 2014

Android Netrunner: Data Pack Review ---All That Remains Corp Cards

http://fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4859

Welcome...Welcome...Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many reviews and discussions of Android
Netrunner by Fantasy Flight Games.  Since ANR has been out awhile, we will start our discussions with
the latest Data Pack release...All That Remains.  Starting at this point, I assume a little
understanding of the game by the reader.  I hope to continue future articles on other topics, with many
of those being more beginner friendly.

Now to start with, I am not a "super ace" ANR player.  I haven't won any tournaments...heck, I haven't even made the cut to the finals in any of the ones I have had played in.  I play mostly casually, but do hit the
local tournaments.  I am average, but I think that is where most of us are.  So, this is an "Everyman's" look at the Data-Packs to stir discussion with the end result of the discussion providing a thorough in-depth analysis of the Data Pack...Together we are more than the sum or our individual parts.  Let the Average Player Consortium ARISE!!!!   ;-)

OK... with the formalities out of the way, let's start our review with the Corporation.

*************** Update*************
The article has been updated based on comments from a great Reddit thread.  Thanks all for pointing out great points that make this review better
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Agendas: 

Bifrost Array 
Corp: Haas-Bioroid  Advance Cost: 3  Agenda Points:  1
When you score Bifrost Array, you may trigger the "when scored" ability of another agenda that is not a
copy of Bifrost Array in your score area.

Interesting...but remember you can only use the abilities of other HB and Neutral Agendas.  This is limited to the "When Scored" abilities.  So this limits you to Director Haas' Pet Project (build
another server and install 3 cards from HQ/Archives); Accelerated Beta Test (look at top 3 cards in R&D and install ice for free); Profiteering (Neutral Agenda to take up to 3 Bad Publicity and gain 5 credits for each Bad Pub taken); Veterans' Program (Neutral Agenda that removes up to 2 Bad Pub); Chronos Protocol (Neutral Agenda that removes all cards in Runners Heap from the game); Corporate War (Neutral Agenda that lets you gain 7 credits if you have at least 7 credits); and Priority Requisition (Rez piece of ICE ignoring all costs) for sure.  It also lets you refresh agenda counters on those Agendas that get counters placed on them when scored (Efficiency Committee, Project Vitruvius, Project Wotan, and Executive Retreat)  Not too bad.  Some really cool effects there you can leverage.  Thing is those agendas have to be scored first.  But, you could replace one of the 3/5 Agendas with 3 of these to extend the life of that agenda.  As I said interesting.

************* Update ***************
Flipmaester pointed out that the interaction with Project Vitruvius might not work.  Big discussion on this Reddit thread.  SiggNatureStyle also pointed out that for Profiteering it is UP to 3 Bad Pub, not a mandatory  3.
***********************************

License Acquisition
Corp: NBN  Advance Cost: 3  Agenda Points:  1
When you score License Acquisition, install and rez an asset or upgrade from Archives or HQ, ignoring
all costs.

A little deck recursion for NBN.  Not too bad.  Better than Interns that only installs card at no cost (mostly usual for additional levels of ICE) because this card installs and REZs that card!  Helps save money and clicks.  This would get all those expensive cards into operation.  Cards like SanSan City Grid up for free...yes please!  1/3 Agendas for NBN Fast Advance don't hurt and this card fits right into that
model.






Superior Cyberwalls
Corp: Weyland  Advance Cost: 3  Agenda Points:  1
All Barrier ice have +1 Strength.  When you score Superior Cyberwalls, gain 1cr for each rezzed Barrier

My favorite of the pack, but I like Weyland anyways so  :-)  But you cant go wrong with adding strength to your Ice and getting money for any razzed ice at the same time?  Very nice.  I am thinking this would work well with Blue Sun since that Identity likes to have the expensive ICE rezzed so it can pull it back to make money.  This card only feeds the Weyland Monster. 





Assets: 

Hostile Infrastructure
Corp:  Jinteki  Rez Cost: 5  Trash: 5  Influence: 2
Whenever the Runner trashes a Corp card (including Hostile Infrastructure), do 1 net damage

More "Death by a 1000 cuts" by Jinteki.  Trash of 5 makes this card stand on its on with little or no ice...and the Runner takes the Net Damage when he trashes the card on top of spending the credits to trash it...double whammy. At 2 Influence you could see this splashed in other Corporation decks as at least a "one of."










Daily Business Show
Corp:  NBN  Subtype Cast  Rez Cost: 2  Trash: 4  Influence: 1
The first time you draw a card each turn, draw 1 additional card.  Add 1 of the drawn cards to the
bottom of R&D

A free "Mr Li" for the Corps?!?!?  Getting a choice of 2 cards with your Mandatory Draw each turn worst case?  Very nice.  There are also times where the Corp might have to draw a card during the Runners turn Eden Shard (Corp draws 2 cards) for instance. Women in the Red Dress (When the Runner's turn begins, reveal the top card of R&D. The Corp may draw that card.) has a strange interaction the Runner needs to be aware of...you are giving the Corp a second card that you don't know what it is.  At 1
Influence this is very splashable.  The 4 Trash cost makes it survivable too.

Executive Boot Camp
Corp:  Weyland   Rez Cost: 0  Trash: 3  Influence: 2
When your turn begins, you may rez a card, lowering the rez cost by 1cr.                               
 1cr, TRASH: Search R&D for an Asset, reveal it, and add it to HQ.  Shuffle R&D.

An Asset tutor is always nice.  This is also another way to rez ICE outside of the runs; Amazon Industrial Zone being the other, but AIZ is limited to only when the card is installed and this card allows you to rez a card that is already installed.  5 Trash makes it very survivable.  Should work well with Blue Sun's ability and save you a little money so you can make money.  Initial cost of 5 is a little steep, but Weyland likes to make the credits.





***************Update***************
FlipMaester pointed out that I had the Rez & Trash costs wrong.  Writeup corrected to reflect correct values.
************************************

ICE:


Sagittarius
Corp:  Haas-Bioroid  Type:  Sentry/Tracer/Destroyer  Rez Cost:  5  Strength:  4  Influence:  2
(Subroutine) TRACE2 - If successful, trash 1 program.  If your trace strength is 5 or greater, trash 1
program

Gemini
Corp:  Jinteki  Type:  Sentry/Tracer/AP  Rez Cost:  3  Strength:  5  Influence:  2
(Subroutine) TRACE2 - If successful, do 1 net damage.  If your Trace strength is 5 or greater, do 1 net
damage

I am going to group these "Zodiac" pieces of ICE together.  TRACE2 is fairly weak and doesn't tax the
Runner THAT much.  The bigger benefit here is the high Strength.  Not much else that I see here.  I
think there are better choices elsewhere.

*********Update**********
Flipmaester from the Reddit article pointed out a great thing on Sagittarius.  By spending 8 credits (5 to rez and 3 to get Trace5) you automatically can trash a program...maybe 2 if they can't beat the Trace.  All this assumes they trigger the subroutine.
*************************

Lycan
Corp:  Weyland  Type:  Sentry/Destroyer/Morph  Rez Cost:  6  Strength:  3  Influence:  2
Lycan can be advanced                                                                               
While Lycan has an odd number of advancement tokens on it, it gains Code Gate and loses Sentry.        
(Subroutine) Trash 1 program

The Morph ICE is cool (and its Weyland too so that earns it bonus points).  Strength 3 here is nice for a Code Gate only a few programs can break it without increasing their Strength or lowering the ICE's strength (Atman, Cyber Cypher, Knight, Leviathan, Torch and Yog.0) but then you can change it to a Strength 3 Sentry and only have to fear (Atman, Knight, and Mimic).  Been toying around with a Morph Ice deck that targets programs and then I can change the ICE to whatever he doesn't have a breaker for >:-)  Still tweaking it though.



Merlin
Corp:  Neutral  Type:  Code Gate/Grail/AP  Rez Cost:  6  Strength:  4  Influence:  1
When the Runner encounters Merlin, you may reveal up to 2 GRAIL ice from HQ.  For the remainder of this run, Merlin gains the subroutines of the revealed ice in the order of your choice

The last piece of the "Grail" ICE.  Strength 4 Code Gate is solid and if you have the other Grail ICE, you can gain 2 subroutines from them.  Galahad (Barrier) has the "End the Run" subroutine, Lancelot (Sentry) has the "Trash 1 Program" subroutine and Merlin (Code Gate) has "Do 2 Net Damage".  So...if you keep a nice mix of Grail ICE on the table and some in hand you can mix and match your damage.  The biggest issue with Grail ICE is the 1 Influence per card.  So you will be spending between 6-9 Influence just for your Grail ICE.  That's a hefty investment.  HB's "NEXT Design" would benefit well, but only has a cap of 12 Influence.  HB's "Custom Biotics" with its 22 Influence cap could pull it off.  The biggest bet is HBs "The Foundry" with its 17 Influence cap and its ability to pull copies of ICE from R&D...but you thin the deck quickly there and increase your "Agenda Density"...or so the experts say.  NBN's "Near Earth Hub" with its 17 Influence cap could possibly pull it off as well.

Operations:

Snatch and Grab
Corp: Neutral  Type: Gray Ops  Rez Cost: 0  Strength: 4  Influence: 0
TRACE3  -  If successful, trash 1 connection.  The Runner can take 1 tag to prevent this

Love this card!  With all the talk about making "Connection Based" Runner decks, this card is deadly.  It targets some of the key Runner Resources such as: Aesop's Pawnshop, John Masanori, Joshua B, Kati Jones, Mr Li, Professional Contacts, Rachel Beckman (this one cracks me up as I see her putting up a fight) among others, and forces them to either pay to beat the trace and save the Connection, or take a tag to save it.  I am a little fuzzy on how all those handy "Anti Tag" cards like "New Angeles City Hall" and
"Crash Space" would prevent the tag as the tag is a "cost" to prevent the loss; but since the effect doesn't say "Cannot be avoided," those avoidance methods might work.  But, there have been rulings like with Sacrificial AI that could prevent those avoids from working.  More to see in the next FAQ I guess.  Regardless, it really puts the Runner in a tough spot as that tag can cause them to also lose cards that are lost if the Runner is tagged, such as Rachel Beckman and Zona Sul Shipping, and not cost the Corp an additional credit!  Trickle down destruction...I love it! Is my Weyland showing?

Upgrades:

Shell Corporation
Corp:  Neutral  Rez Cost:  2  Trash:  3  Influence:  0
You cannot use Shell Corporation more than once per turn.      
CLICK:  Place 3cr on Shell Corporation                                                
CLICK: Take all credits from Shell Corporation

Kati Jones for the Corp!!!  Very interesting card.  At first glance, it looks like a huge win for Corps...but not so fast there Cowboy (Cowperson?).  It takes 1/3 of the Corps turn to place 3 credits or
1/3 of their turn to remove those credits.  That is huge!  The Runner only loses 1/4 of their turn to do the same thing with Kati.  That trash cost of 3 is not good either; being well within the range for most Runners to be able to trash.  I just see the Runner as being able to trash Assets easier than the Corp can trash Resources.  There are also lots of good Asset based resource cards out there that I think are more efficient. Not a real fan.



************Update***********
Here is where I really missed the boat.  Flipmaester and Rawksteady09 point out that since this card is an upgrade and not an asset its worth is much greater than I said.  I have to say i agree with them.  I watched ANR Bad Publicity's review on YouTube and they talked about using the card as bait to either lure the Runner into a trap...Aggressive Secretary with a couple of advancement tokens and Shell Corp in there with 4 or so tokens as well.  Runner either lets you make money or they com into trash Shell Corp and get SMACKED by the trap.  Very Nasty.
*****************************

Summary:

There we go...that's my take on the Corps' cards from the All That Remains Data Pack.  In a few days you
will see my take on the Runner cards.  Hope this helps! Join the discussion on our forum to carry our
talks further.  We can't let those pesky, wascaly wunners keep wunning and taking our agendas.

Now get out there ICE those servers!

All card images pulled from CardgameDB...the premier choice of online deck builders of the the top Corps

SonBae (AKA Jeff Flint) is a long time wargamer and painter.   From cardboard to lead to cards he has lost at them all.  Follow him @wwpdSonBae on Twitter.

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