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Monday, January 5, 2015

The New Noob Review: Android Netrunner The SourceDatapack (PT 1: Corp Cards)

Fantasy Flight's "The Source" Page

Hey fans it's here....the final data pack of the Lunar cycle for Android Netrunner by Fantasy Flight Games. The Source has rezzed!  This article will take a look at the Corp cards from a relative Noob's point of view.  Again, this article is a starting point to spur discussion so together we can improve our card analysis skills.  The Reddit discussion from the last data pack review really helped me see a few cards in a different light.

Identity:



Industrial Genomics
Type: Division   Corp:  Jinteki  Minimum Deck Size: 45  Max Influence: 15
Ability:  The trash cost of each card is increased by 1 for each facedown card in Archives

Standard minimum deck size of 45 and max influence of 15.  The ability is interesting.  It is VERY handy for asset/upgrade based decks and the horizontal build. That increased trash cost helps protect your assets and as long as you can keep cards face down in Archives you keep the Runner on his toes.  They will have to spend a click each turn to check Archives (and reveal those facedown cards) before they run the remotes or spend extra clicks to make cash to offset the increased trash cost.  Jackson Howard is even more of an auto-included with this deck as you need to be free to discard any cards from your hand to keep a steady stack of cards face down in Archives...and if any are agendas you can save them or recur those must have cards...all of which makes it easier to discard if you know you can bring them back.  With all those servers, the Operation "Diversified Portfolios" (1 credit for each remote server with a card in it) looks like a nice surge economy card.


Agenda:


Helium-3 Deposit  
Corp:  Weyland  Agenda Points: 2  Advancement Cost:  4
Ability: When your score Helium-3 Deposit, place up to 2 power counters on a card with at least 1 power counter on it.


This a long one as I think this is a pretty interesting card that you can play on yourself or even the Runner...pretty slick.  So what cards have Power counters.  For the Corp you have:  Docklands Crackdown (Install cost of first Runner card installed increased by 1 for each Power Counter);  IT Department (ICE gets +1 Strength for each Power Counter); ALIX T4LB07 (2cr for each Power counter when trashed); Rex Campaign (1 Counter removed each turn, when last counter removed drop 1 Bad Pub or gain 5 credits); Data Raven (Give Runner 1 Tag); Snoop (reveal all cards in Runners hand and trash 1 of those cards); Draco (+1 Strength for each power counter); Mamba (Do 1 Net Damage); Viktor 2.0 (Do 1 Brain Damage).  Docklands Crackdown could punish the Runner's economy and delay them getting their breakers out which gives you a chance to score or build up.  Data Raven/Snoop/Mamba/Viktor 2.0 would be devastating...as long as they have a Power Counter on them before you score Helium-3.  This could be tough as you would have had to have won the Trace associated with the Runner failing to break the Sub-Routine.  Of the ICE, Draco is a nice target benefiting from a +2 Strength. It could even work on Rewx Campaign if you wanted to add counters to delay the card popping (say you didn't have any Bad Pub yet...the extra counters keeps the card in a play a little longer).

For the Runner you could target: Plascrete Carapace (1 power counter to prevent 1 meat damage); Atman (=1 strength for each Power Counter); Overmind (Break 1 subroutine for each Power Counter); D4V1D (Break 1 subroutine for each Power Counter); Cerberus CUJ.0, Rex, and Lady (Break 2 subroutine for each Power Counter); Personal Workshop (When last Power Counter removed install card for free or pay credits equal to power counters to install); Angel Arena (Reveal top card of Stack/May add to bottom of Stack); and Earthrise Hotel (Draw 2 cards when turn begins as long as power counter on card.  Remove Power Counter at start of turn).  Most of these don’t make sense to give additional power counters to...I mean why add 2 more counters to Plascrete Carapace only to prevent the Meat Damage you are trying to inflict or giving Cerberus/D4V1D more Sub-Routines to break?!?!? But...there are a few interesting targets.  Atman, Personal Workshop and Earthrise Hotel are potential targets.  If you increase Atman's Strength, you force the Runner to trash Atman and have to recur it and reinstall at the proper strength because they can only break ICE if they equal its strength.  If they are stronger, the Runner can’t raise the ICE strength (unless they have Wyrm but that is even more credits they have to spend).  Targeting Personal Workshop is another way to tax the runner.  Each counter on the card hosted on Personal Workshop is an extra credit the Runner has to pay or an extra turn to clear the counter...both or which work to your advantage.  Adding Power Counters to Earthrise Hotel could force the Runner to burn through their Stack faster than they had planned for which could cause them to flood their hand an be discarding cards faster than they had planned or drawing credits and clicks as they install their rig...both of which buys you time to build up or gives you a scoring window.

                                   
Utopia Fragment  
Type: Source  Corp: Neutral  Agenda Points: 5  Advancement Requirement:  3  
Ability:  As an additional cost to steal an agenda, the Runner must pay 2cr for each advancement token on that agenda.    Limit 1 per deck                                      


Oh yeah...this is sweet.  Imagine the Runner trying to Steal an NAPD with 2 counters on it...6 credits to steal after that!?!?!  It really throws the math off.  But it is a "one of" and you have to score it before you get the goodness.  Still, oh so tempting.








Asset:

IT Department      
Corp:  Haas-Bioroid  Rez Cost:  2  Trash Cost:  4  Influence: 1
Ability:  CLICK:  Place 1 power counter on IT Department                        

Hosted Power Counter:  Choose a rezzed piece of ice.  That ice has +1 strength until the end of the turn for each power counter (including the one spent) on IT Department
       
Not too bad.  You can add Power Counters by spending a click...similar to Weyland advanceable ICE where they get an advancement for 1 Click and 1 Credit. The Weyland ICE, however, keeps the +1 strength, here you lose the a Power Counter to use the ability. Unlike the advance able ICE, IT Department lets you choose any ICE each turn.  If I am not running advanceable ICE I am considering using this card in the deck.


Turtlebacks
Type:  Clone   Corp:  Jinteki  Rez Cost: 2  Trash Cost: 4  Influence: 1
Ability:  Gain 1cr whenever you create a server        


This really combos well with the Horizontal build cards.  Identities such as Near Earth Hub (First time you create a server each turn, draw 1 card), Replicating Perfection (Runner can’t run on remote servers until they run a central server first), and Engineering the Future (First Time you install a card each turn gain 1 credit) work well as they either get more for the same action (NEH gets a card  and a credit for the first remote created that turn and ETF gets 2 credits) and RP helps protect all the remotes by forcing the Runner to spend a click (and any credits) running a central server first. Turtlebacks could also mix with the Director Haas' Pet Project (create a new remote server) agenda letting you get and additional credit at the same time. Operations such as Diversified Portfolio (1 credit for each remote server with a card installed in it), Mushin No Shin (Install asset, agenda, or upgrade in new remote server & place 3 advancement tokens on that card) continue the money train.  Trash cost of 4 is pretty solid and just puts it out of Whizzard's "Trash for Free" ability (he has 3 recurring credits for trashing).  

ICE:

Errand Boy
Type: Sentry  Corp: Weyland  Install Cost: 4  Strength: 1  Influence:  1
Sub Routines:
= The Corp gain 1cr or draws 1 card
= The Corp gain 1cr or draws 1 card 
= The Corp gain 1cr or draws 1 card            

Is this a Weyland form of HB's Architect (Rez 4/Strength 3 Sentry with sub-routines of:                    
 = The Corp looks at the top 5 cards of R&D and may install 1 of those cards ignoring all install costs  
= The Corp may install a card from Archives or HQ (paying all costs) )?  

I'm not too fond of the 4 Install cost for a Strength 1 Sentry.  The 3 Sub-Routines are nice if they trigger and make your hand bigger and reduce the odds of the Runner snagging an agenda from your HQ...but a Strength 1 card for 4 credits?  Its not strong enough for late game when you would have cash and costs too much for early game when 1 Strength Sentry is dangerous.

Markus 1.0
Type: Barrier/Bioroid  Corp: Haas-Bioroid  Install Cost: 4  Strength: 3  Influence: 1

The Runner may spend CLICK to break any subroutine on Markus 1.0                                                                                                   
Sub Routines:
= The Runner trashes 1 of his or her installed cards   
= End the run                

A Rez 4/ Strength 3 Barrier with 2 Sub-Routines...sounds almost like Eli 1.0 (Rez 3/ Strength 4 with 2 End the Run Sub-Routines). Both ICE have Click through Sub-Routines.  Markus might make it in a deck with other rig killing cards, but I like Eli 1.0 better...it’s cheaper and stronger.


Troll
Type:  Sentry  Corp: NBN  Rez Cost: 1 Strength: 3  Influence: 2        

When the Runner encounters Troll, Trace2 - If successful, the Runner must lose CLICK or end the run          

This is Data Raven's (Rez 4/Strength 4 Runner takes a tag or ends the run has a nasty Power Counter Trace2 and if the Corp wins the trace gets a power counter that can be used to give a Tag to the Runner) little brother.  Troll is cheaper to Rez and is a little weaker...but there is no Sub-Routine to break...the Runner must take the Trace2 and if they lose, they must lose a Click or End The Run.  That is pretty powerful.  It is a nasty way to force a tax that will either drain credits or drain clicks.  The low strength does make this vulnerable to Parasite/Datasucker.



Virgo
Type: Sentry/Tracer  Corp: NBN  Rez Cost: 4  Strength: 5  Influence: 2 
     
Sub Routine: Trace 2 - If successful, give the runner 1 tag.  If your trace strength is 5 or greater, give the runner 1 tag      

Ouch...as long as you can force the Sub-Routine to pop and can make a Trace5 (spend 3 credits on the Trace2) you give the Runner AT LEAST 1 tag!  At Strength 5 for a Sentry that is a strong possibility.  The 4 Rez cost makes me love this card.  My Weyland decks will be seeing this beauty at only 2 Influence.








Excalibur    
Type: Mythic/Grail Corp: Neutral  Rez Cost: 2  Strength: 3  Influence: 0  
Sub Routine:
= The Runner cannot make another run this turn

This will pop unless the Runner has an AI breaker.  Now it doesn’t end the run, but it does mean the Runner won’t make any more runs that turn.  In a Replicating Perfection (Runner must run on a central before running a remote server) this card on the central servers.  In other decks, by itself it is just a delay...that delay could be a nasty surprise if you save it for those times when the Runner has to make 2 runs in a turn...other than that its "meh" by itself.  It does add some more options in combination with other Grail ICE.  Also, the low strength does make this vulnerable to Parasite/Datasucker.

Operation:

Shoot the Moon  
Type: Double  Corp: NBN  Play Cost: 3  Influence: 2    
As an additional cost to play this operation, spend CLICK
Rez 1 piece of ice for each tag the runner has, ignoring all costs             

This makes a NBN Tag Hell deck even nastier. "Tag Me" Runners are warned.  There is good news for the Runner though...they won’t have to face check as much ICE. 

Knowledge is power










Upgrade:

Self-Destruct
Corp  Neutral  Rez Cost: 2  Trash Cost: 0  Influence: 0  
Install only on a remote server.                                                        
TRASH:  Trash all cards installed in or protecting this server and TraceX - If successful, do 3 Net
Damage.  X is the number of cards trashed.  Use this ability only during a run on this server            

Who says only Anarchs can blow stuff up!


O-M-G  This sends card excites me.  Yes, it is only 3 Net damage...but if this is the 3rd click of the turn the Runner can only get back 1 of the cards. In a basic, max hand of 5 cards, their hand will only survive an encounter with 3 cards (start at 5 cards, lose 3 and then get 1 back on the 4th click)...prime Scorched Earth bait.  That TraceX is going to be in a nice range as well since you can count all cards in the server to get the "X", this includes the ICE protecting the server, an asset/agenda, other upgrades and Self-Destruct itself.  So, say we have a 2 ICE deep server with an Asset and Self-Destruct...this gives us a Trace4.  Now, think of some of that ICE protecting the server was that nasty Jinteki Ice that does Net damage as well.  You can kill the runner by popping Self-Destruct just after they pass the last ICE and just prior to them accessing the server.  Result dead Runner...unless they Net damage protection; but even that taxes them more.

That's it for the Corp cards.  So, did I hit the mark on the cards?  Do you see something different?  Either way, join the discussion on the forums or in the comments below and let others know.  Together we help secure our servers from the ever present threat of those pesky Runners.


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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