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Monday, January 12, 2015

The New Noob Review: Android Netrunner The Source Datapack (PT 2: Runner Cards)

Fantasy Flight's "The Source" Page

Hey fans its here....the final data pack of the Lunar cycle for Android Netrunner by Fantasy Flight Games... The SourceThis article will take a look at the Runner cards from a semi-competitive player's point of view....well okay....a Noob's view point,  The purpose is for the article to be a starting point to spur discussion and together we can improve our our card analysis skills.  The Reddit discussion from the last data pack review really helped me see a few of those cards in a different light.


Code Siphon        
Faction: Shaper  Play Cost: 0  Influence: 4
Make a run on R&D.  If successful, instead of accessing cards, you may search your stack for a program and install it, lowering the install cost by 3 for each piece of ice protecting R&D, and then take 1 tag.  Shuffle your stack

I heard some call this the Shaper version of Account Siphon...but this is a nice tutor and can bring in that high cost ICEBreaker or your support programs (i.e Magnum Opus) for dirt cheap.  Worst case the server is open and you pay full price for the program...but, you get the program you want right then and there.  The one down side I have seen is that to benefit from the cost breaks you have some breakers installed to break ICE protecting the server.  Self-Modifying Code and Clone Chip are king here if the ICE is unrezzed and a Test Run or two earlier in the turn can help you set up for the Code Siphon later in the turn if the ICE is known. 

Type: Run  Faction: Criminal  Play Cost: X  Influence: 2      
Make a run, During this run, the Corp must pay X credits as an additional cost to rez the first unrezzed piece of ice approached

If X equals Play Cost:  Nice tax to rezzing ICE, especially when mixed with the other Rez Tax options such as False Echo (pass unrezzed ICE, TRASH False Echo and Corp must rez that ICE or add it to HQ), Rook (Rez cost of each ICE in server is +2), Cortez Chip (TRASH Cortez Chip +2 to Rez Cost of ICE or...), Xanadu (Rez Cost of all ICE +1), and Reina Roja's Identity (Rez Cost of first ICE rezzed each turn is +1)


Type: Virus  Faction: Anarch  Install Cost: 3  Memory: 1  Strength: NA  Influence: 3
When your turn begins, place 1 virus counter on Incubator.                                                      
CLICK, Trash:  Move all virus counters from Incubator to another installed virus program

Virus players have been waiting for this card a LONG time. Combined with Surge (Event, add 2 virus counters to virus that has gained virus token) and Grimoire (Hardware/Console Each virus entering play gains 1 virus token) you can get a A LOT of viruses applied to a single virus card very quickly.  Corps will have to monitor the virus tokens on Incubator closely and time their Purges carefully.  This means cards like Cyberdex Trial (Operation, Purge Viruses for 0 creds and a single click) are very valuable. But, if the Runner pairs Incubator with Fester (Whenever Corp purges Virus Counters, they lose 2cr if able) you can penalize the Corp financially as well as the tempo loss they get for purging.  Good news is that Incubator only loses the virus tokens on it and doesn’t get trashed in the event of a purge.

Type:  Virus   Faction:  Anarch  Install Cost:  1  Memory:  1   Strength:  NA  Influence: 2
Whenever the Corp loses at least 1cr, gain 1cr.       Trash Ixodidae if the Corp purges virus counters

Not sure about this one.  Maybe for a Criminal deck that hits the Corp in pocketbook or just as another virus for Noise to install mill a card from R&D.  Other than that not a fan.

Collective Consciousness
Faction:  Shaper  Install Cost: 2  Memory: 2  Strength: 0  Influence: 2
Draw 1 card whenever the Corp rezzes a piece of ICE

Interesting card and a way to stimulate card draw.  At 2 Install cost it does offer a throwaway program for Power Shutdown (Operation/ Trash Hardware/program of cost equal to or less than the number of cards the Corp just trashed from R&D).  The 2 Memory turns me off of it though.

Type: Icebreaker/Decoder/Fracter  Faction: Shaper  Install Cost: 4  Memory: 2  Strength: 0  
Influence: 3
Sage has +1 Strength for each unused MU.   2cr:  Break Code Gate or Barrier subroutine

A split personality breaker?  It’s a Decoder...It’s a Fracter...No, it’s Sage!!!!! This brings about the new style of Runner that creates a big rig with LOTS of memory...lots of EXCESS memory to act as a "battery" to feed the strength of its ICE.  So Cybersolutions Mem Chip (+2 MU) and the combo of Origami (Program where max hand size is increased by the number of Origami in play and 3 in play that’s +9 to hand size) and the Ekomind console (Memory Limit is equal to the number of cards in your hand) that MU battery can be quite high!  As with all combos it is dicey and card draw engines and tutors will be key to get the cards you need out into play.  The 2 credit to break a Code Gate or Barrier Sub-Routine can get to be expensive, so tech like E3 Feedback Implants (Whenever you break a subroutine on a piece of ice, you may pay 1cr to break 1 additional subroutine on that ice) will help big time.

Au Revoir
Faction: Criminal  Install Cost: 1 Memory: 1  Strength: 0  Influence: 2
Gain 1cr whenever you jack out

Nice way to make a little something out of failed or partial run.  Mixed with Desperado (Make 1 credit for every successful run) you can get a 1 credit no matter how the run turns out.


*Earthrise Hotel 
Type: Location/Ritzy  Faction: Neutral  Install Cost: 4  Influence: 0
Place 3 power counters on Earthrise Hotel when it is installed.  When there are no power counters left on Earthrise Hotel, Trash it.  When your turn begins, draw 2 cards and remove 1 power counter from Earthrise Hotel           

I love this card for Shaper....heck I love it for Anarch too (Criminal can make use of it too I guess, but I don’t play those low lifes  ;-) ).  The downside of Wyldside is that the Runner draws a card and loses a click EVERY turn.  With Earthrise Hotel, the runner doesn’t lose a click and it turns itself off after 3 turns.  This helps you manage your hand size and your draw/install rate.  It’s just right.

That completes the Runner cards.  How do you see the cards?  What are your favorites? Come join the discussion on the forums or in the comments below and let me and others know.  Together, we can crack the servers of those evil Corps.

All images are from NetrunnerDB

SonBae (AKA Jeff Flint) is a long time wargamer and painter and lover of Flames of War, Android Netrunner/40k Conquest/LOTR LCGs and Advanced Squad Leader.   From cardboard to lead to cards, he has lost at them all.  Follow him @wwpdSonBae on Twitter.


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