Honour and Profit Corp Review

Honour and Profit Corp Review

24/06/14

 

First off, please welcome John (or ZomB on the forums) as a guest reviewer for our H&P review!

Please do bear in mind when reading this review that some of them were written as an initial impression while others were written after regionals etc! Dave Hoyland and John wrote their impressions about 2 months ago and I know that Dave has changed his mind on several cards considerably since! Hopefully the runner side review won't be too far behind!

 

Scoring Key

1 = Virtually unplayable, usually better cards that do the same thing

2 = Niche, may have a home in certain deck type, but usually as part of a larger combo

3 = Bread and Butter, a decent card that will make its way into some in-faction decks

4 = Strong card, almost always played in faction

5 = Meta defining card, played often out of faction, almost an auto include

 

Harmony Medtech

 

Dave H - 4

I really like this for two reasons, first it opens up a Jinteki rush or FA style deck which was not available before and therefore makes Jinteki more variable. Secondly I like that change to six points which allows the set up of traps when at match point and combos well with Shi Kyu. Of all of the new Jinteki ID's I feel that this is the one that changes them the most.

 

Callum - 4

The sleek, new Jinteki, Harmony Medtech in my testing has proven to be a versatile and strong ID. It brings a series of new playstyles to Jinteki whether you choose to go Jinteki FA, splashing SanSans and defending with Ms Nisei, or going for the 3x6pt agenda deck and accelerating match point. What I like about Medtech is how much the 3pt match point effects the game stat. Every single ambush for Jinteki suddenly becomes live and that much more of a threat. Jinteki is already a Corp that pressures the runner when the agenda points start closing out and this is an ID that can do it quickly. The one weakness of this ID is R&D lock and losing the agendas to the Runner before you can find them. But ultimately, Jinteki is also the faction where stealing agendas can be difficult, whether the Runner is dodging ambushes as they dig, or for just being difficult to actually take them.

 

John - 3

Jinteki fast advance? I am looking forward to seeing someone make this work. Less agenda points is a double edged sword in a deck that only needs to see a third of its agenda points and 15 cards to win (11 turns). And Jinteki with porous ice... This will likely call for an especially spiky Jinteki deck and some ETR ice to pull off. Possibly featuring a Caprice/Ash combo. Now where have I seen that before...

 

Nisei Division

 

Dave H - 3

This provides Jinteki with some extremely solid economy over the long game. It means that you don't bankrupt yourself using Psi cards which is one of their major weaknesses. I think that this will become stronger as we see more useful Psi cards as currently a number of the Psi cards are damage focused and in many cases I would rather play Personal Evolution to maximise damage. I think when we have a bit more versatility with non-damage Psi cards I think this will be a solid ID.

 

Callum - 2

I’m going to start off with my thoughts on Nisei Division by saying the effect is stronger than it reads, but it’s still narrow, which is its biggest problem. Gaining credits for Psi Effects (there being 6 Psi cards) is nice for reaping something back from your input into them but I don’t feel it’s strong enough to build a deck over compared to the competition that Jinteki has to offer. In particular, you don’t gain anything new to utilize this ID compared to say, Medtech, Tennin, RP or PE, so why take this? I may be missing the point of the ID but one credit per Psi Game does not feel strong enough to build a deck identity around. Love the art though.

 

John - 3

Encouraging the slowest corp in the game to major in a game mechanic that makes it even slower. Yay, thanks. Though it actually looks playable, just don’t expect to see it do too well at tournaments as their players are likely to drop points due to a higher frequency of timed out games.

Tennin Institute

 

Dave H - 3

I like the idea of this ID and I believe that there will be solid decks built around it, but I don't believe that it is going to be the next big thing. Currently the runner attacks early and often, therefore I believe that this ability will not be useful until later in the game when the runner is locked out, and against some ID's such as Gabe this is harder. That said, Jinteki is definitely the right faction for this ID, as it has the most power to make the runner stop and refresh allowing for the ability to kick in. You need to have something to do with the counters, such as Ice Wall or Trick or Light, so it is something that needs to be built around.

 

Callum - 3.5

I didn’t rate this card too highly initially, but then I played against it. The biggest criticism I can muster against this is that the Runner is in control of it. But there’s the catch, it’s difficult to continuously and successfully run every turn against Jinteki. Jinteki is a Corporation that slows the Runner down by nature and forces them to second guess decisions as the game progresses. The new taxing ICE suite that Jinteki have received really helps limit runs (as does Caprice), so you can’t always run just for the sake of it. One thing I really like about this ID is how it works with the 4/2 and 5/3 agendas in particular. You can install a card into your scoring remote and if the Runner doesn’t expose or run it, it can be effectively scored in the following turn using its ID or Trick of Light, which is incredibly powerful. Tennin Institute is a very strong and thematic ID for Jinteki.

 

John - 5

A fun identity with bags of potential. Making spiky and unpredictable, even spikier and unpredictable. This is one to indulge yourself with as Jinteki. I am hoping for something special to emerge from this and not just something predictably boring.

 

House of Knives

 

Dave H - 4

This is great, especially in Jinteki kill decks. In Personal Evolution you are doing 4 damage over several turns for scoring an agenda, that is a strong ability. It also combos very well with many of the new Jinteki cards that do damage based on each card in the runners grip. However I am most excited by this cards interaction with a future card, and that is Chronos Protocol, since the Jinteki one will win, its won every event I've been too and heard about, and it is great with this card.

 

Callum - 4

This agenda is brutal and really amps up the threat of Jinteki’s ambushes and facechecking any ICE. House of Knives forces the Runner to begin respecting the cards in a Jinteki deck as it begins to twist the math on survival against the Runner. It’s a great work compression card in particular; every point of damage inflicted by a House of Knives is another action the Runner has to spend drawing up. God help any Runner if the Corp has more than one of these scored.

 

John - 4

An excellent agenda ability for Jinteki, balanced by the advancement cost. But it’s a 1 point agenda so not making the top grade.

Medical Breakthrough

 

Dave H - 4

I love that this card gives Jinteki more rush and FA options, and in the right deck it will be amazing. In the not so distant past this card would have been rated higher, but with the arrival of some great 4/2 agendas recently it isn’t as good as it could be. Jinteki gets some strange agendas, the option of scoring a 2 pointer from hand with no fast advance is great, but a lot has to happen to get to that point.

 

Callum - 4

This agenda is strong and I love the design space that it has. Anyone who reads this knows why it’s strong, but the main question to evaluate is how often does the third one fire off in a game? Is it worth warranting the deck space? My answer is a yes; I see all three of my Astroscripts in my NBN decks often enough to warrant this in a Jinteki FA-esque strategy. The first one is the trickiest to score as a 4/2 but Jinteki is the faction to bluff that one through if need be. You’ll be pretty sad if the Runner steals the other two though.

 

John - 3

Looks good in theory but doubt this will work too well in practice. As a 4 advancement agenda (at least for the first one) it wont be a prime pick.

 

Philotic Entanglement

 

Dave H - 5

This is a bit better than Director Haas' Pet Project isn't it?

A 3/2 which has the ability to flatline the runner when combined with another Jinteki damage effect such as Ronin, Snare etc. Great for damage decks, great for rush and FA decks, just an all round amazing agenda, I think that Astroscript is better but there aren't many other agendas that are!

 

Callum - 4

The future of 3/2 agendas? Being unique makes this one stand out and it fits in a nice place by being a 3/2. The effect itself can be pretty brutal in any Jinteki deck but it really stands out in a PE death by thousand cuts deck. If the runner has 3 agendas and you score this, you’re looking to reap 5 net damage for your trouble which can be pretty vicious. I don’t feel that it’s an auto-include like some think, but it’s always worth considering because the effect is always strong and 3/2s are a thing of beauty.

 

John - 5

Agenda of the set. Only one in a deck making it very swingy but its so much fun to play. Or Fast Track one of these in the mid to late game and the runner has to throw caution to the wind to steal it.

The Future Perfect

 

Dave H - 4

The risk with running 3 point agendas is that a runner top decking one early can be game breaking. This cards ability mitigates this risk, and therefore is in my opinion the strongest 3 pointer in the game right now. It is also in the faction where IAA is the most deadly, because of all the traps, therefore this card is not just a great card because it mitigates the risk of top decking but because even when it is installed it has defense because you are playing Jinteki.

 

Callum - 4

I hate this card as the runner and adore it as corp. It can be a nightmare to get through most Jinteki central servers anyway, when you consider a 2/3 chance that you net nothing if this crops up (just add Caprice!) and players will go on tilt. I love this card in particular in HQ where you’ve got to try to find it in between the Snares!, Shocks! and Shi.Kyu’s where it can get ridiculous fast. The hardest part of this card is actually scoring it, so you’ve got to watch those scoring windows carefully. Brilliant 5/3 agenda for Jinteki.

 

John - 2

Good if you like reducing the number of agenda cards in the deck to make it less likely the runner will hit one on any given run and its hard to steal from R&D or HQ. But it's even harder to score and its ability doesn't work while you are trying to score it. A 3 pointer will also make it a very swingy game if the runner does grab one. Will need to build your deck and play style around this one more than most.

 

 

Chairman Hiro

 

Dave H - 2

I like the idea of this card, however I think there is very little need so it in the majority of decks, including kill decks. Adding in another card that can be scored as an agenda is a bad thing even if it does come with the cost of 6 credits attached. The advantage that this card has over Director Haas is that if Chairman Hiro is rezzed then it is likely game over and there is no worry about the runner knowing about him and stealing him.

 

Callum - 2

This card is well balanced with its rez/effect/downside/trash considered. This card isn’t as immediately powerful as his counterpart; Director Haas, in my mind, but the effect in Jinteki can be brutal. Combined with RP Encrypted Protocols, the Runner is looking at up to a 9c trash, potentially backed by Caprice? Yuck. The effect is pretty powerful when combined with brain damage effects to make running R&D and HQ pretty scary, not to mention potential Ronins or Junebugs. I’m not sure there’s a deck there out of it, but the combination of effects can be quite strong.

 

John - 2

OK this worries the runner about a potential scorched earth flatline, and about overly aggressive running on Jinteki. However with 5 influence it is a special deck that can pull off that combo without suffering elsewhere. It appears more tempting than valuable, though the huge trash/steal cost does help sell it a little. On the surface not as strong as the similar style and little played Director Haas and just as much a liability. It doesn't appear special enough to offset its agenda liability, especially when in R&D or HQ. I suspect it will work better as a trap lure than for its expected purpose.

 

 

Mental Health Clinic

 

Dave H - 2.5

This is a solid card in a horizontal deck or a taxing deck, though obviously terrible in a kill deck. That aside I have one significant issue with this card, and that is that the runner is almost always going to kill it, it is well known that the best thing to do is kill PAD Campaign, if possible, and this card having a lower trash cost is going to make that even more likely to happen. This is likely to be good in a specific decks but is not something that you can rely on for economy unless backed up by other cards.

 

Callum - 4

I love this card, the payoff is immediate and the downside is a lot smaller than a lot of people are making out. The +1 hand size for Runner isn’t really a downside if I’m not intending to flatline you and they still have to draw up to take advantage of it. Some people spite the low trash cost, but it’s still a net for the Corp because you didn’t pay anything except the installation action to begin with and possibly gained your credit back! Great card.

 

John - 4

Very playable economy asset with no tempo loss. Though I doubt the minor runner benefit will prevent them from trashing it, even against Jinteki.

 

 

Psychic Field

 

Dave H - 2.5

This is going to be great in certain decks, for example decks that focus on the flatline, or a FA deck wanting to protect a San San. However I think that these cases will be uncommon and generally it is difficult to get the runner to run on unadvanced cards, however this may change with Philotic Entanglement, Medical Breakthrough and House of Knives coming out.

 

Callum - 2.5

This card is an interesting one, it’ll never flatline on its own but wiping the Runners hand is a strong tempo hit to anyone and it will always be a surprise. The fact it works off expose is interesting and can take advantage of cautious Runners (or Silhouette). It comes with an influence cost of 1 but I’ve yet to figure where I run this outside of Jinteki. Possibly in a never advance style deck as a quick throw down to disguise other cards.

 

John - 3

Nasty. Lose a turn redrawing or worse as a runner. Another reminder not to run last click. The downside is it is an unadvanced card occupying a remote server so unlikely to be ran. So you have to work at making the runner run on this. Works well in Tennin Institute or with Mushin No Shin where you can advance it and against Silhouette.

 

Shi Kyu

 

Dave H - 4

This is an amazing card and it has so many possibilities, you can use it in Harmony Medtech running only 3 pointers so if the runner hits one of these they need 3 of your 6 agendas to win. Alternatively you can use it in a kill deck, giving you more option for killing them as they will need more points. The key thing to be aware of here is the cost involved, with a full hand of cards it would cost 6 credits to force the -1 AP, that is a lot, now depending on the board state that may not be needed but its not a cheap card to activate. If you are adding this to your deck also check what other cards you have that are trashable as you could be making R&D very weak to repeated runs.

 

Callum - 3.5

Another ambush for Jinteki, Shi.Kyū takes a new design space as it functions as either a net damage slap, or an agenda point sink for the Runner which I love thematically. I’ve found this ambush works especially well in Harmony Medtech for stacking the ID in favour of the Corp. Things to note with this card however is that it doesn’t fire from R&D, which can be a bummer if the Runner finds them first and is aware of their existence. A nasty surprise that can force the Runners hand by simply paying +1c over their hand size if you have the funds.

 

John - 4

Effectively the corp loses one turns worth of cash to force the runner to lose 2 turns worth of agenda hunting - on average. Very situational. Also if you are running mostly 2 point agendas the -1 agenda point may not actually impact the runner and you may need to land 2. Fun and demoralising but not too reliable. As a runner its one you don't want to trash if you ever want to run R&D again. As a corp be careful you aren't just account siphoning yourself. As a runner do you just always take the negative agenda and try and bluff the corp you are willing to take the damage to get them to bankrupt themselves? Will we see runners splashing a single Data Dealer for a late game clean up and economy burst?

 

 

 

Tenma Line

 

Dave H - 2

This is definitely better than the other cards such as Sunset that we have seen previously and do a similar thing, however it is still very rare that a deck will need to do this on a regular basis. I think it will be something that a few specific decks want to include but will often get cut because of deck space.

 

Callum - 2

The effect of this card is nice, but narrow. The rez to trash cost is nice and it isn’t a particularly high target for the Runner to trash. Being able to swap ICE on demand to adjust to threats on the table is actually a fairly powerful ability, especially with the higher end ICE. The obvious combinations are using cards like Sensei and Inazuma to and swapping them late-game into optimal positions, but I’ve found I actually just like using it to move my ICE around to respond to threats. It isn’t going to be making splashes into many decks, but it’s always a welcome card when it pops up.

 

John - 2

Not feeling the love for this one. I guess the thought is it makes setup ice more playable like Chum and Inazuma, which it does, but can't see it being worth it often enough to include this.

 

Dave P - 3

I'm going to weigh in on this one as the dissenting voice because I think this card can do suprisingly good work. Yes, it's great at recovering ICE combinations for Inazuma and the like but it can also be used to protect key servers (which Callum alludes too). Moving rezzed or even unrezzed ICE around can really make a difference when you're expecting a Siphon or a powerful R&D attack. Equally, moving a key piece of ICE to a remote to score behind can be game winning. At 4 trash cost, no-one is going to bin it and it can solidfy your board position nicely. Very useful card.

 

 

Cerebral Cast

 

Dave H - 3

This is good if you are able to benefit from which ever choice the runner makes, therefore you need to be trying to kill them so the brain damage is useful and you need to be running tag punishment such as Scorched Earth. That is a very specific deck type, and also suffers from the randomness of Psi. An interesting card that will see play but in specific decks. But that's what is so good about H&P, there are lots of the 'will see play in specific decks' type cards.

 

Callum - 2

I’m not really sure on this card, the biggest weakness as a combo piece is that the Runner chooses what to take from this card. The brain damage is never welcome against Jinteki, but I’d rather take one brain damage than the tag, scorch, scorch that may just follow. With more tag punishment coming down the line, Cerebral Cast is a nice enabler for those cards, but this is one of those cards I think I’d end up cutting for deck space.

 

John - 3

Playable if the deck has any sort of tag punishment.

 

 

 

Medical Research Fundraiser

 

Dave H - 3

This is a solid economy card for Jinteki. This is Restructure levels of money but with a downside of giving the runner money instead of having a high use cost. I like this card as it is a needed, in-faction operation economy card that allows for rezzing of ice early game such as Komainu and Tsurgi. Celebrity Gift isn't right for all Jinteki decks and this should help fill in that gap.

 

Callum - 4

I love this card, absolutely love it. Some people will hate it, and that’s fine. It really is dependent on how you math out the efficiency of what a card does. For me, I honestly don’t care about giving the Runner 3c to give myself 5c, especially if it pushes me ahead in the game state. No other card can offer that much of a payout for that small of an investment. If you get Account Siphon’d down to 1-2c credits, this is a card that can get you back in the game ASAP. Hedge Fund and Restructure can’t do that.

 

John - 1

Giving the runner click free money? Why would you do that? Feels like a combo card and I can't identify the combo.

 

 

Mushin No Shin

 

Dave H - 4

A great card for Jinteki decks running 3 pointers and traps. The thing that makes this so strong is that it doesn't cost you anything, and allows you to get to 3 advancements in one turn, and that is stong. It is also a reasonable influence cost, and therefore could see some interesting applications in other factions with advancable agendas or traps. One of the key things to note is that it can be used on cards that cannot be

advanced for example Snare, so you can use this to draw the runner into traps in different ways.

 

Callum - 2.5

Mushin No Shin is a very good compression card (netting you effectively 6 clicks for 2) and has a place in certain deck archetypes. The fact it works on upgrades is great, is it a Junebug? Is it a Cerebral Overwriter? Is it a Caprice? The Future Perfect? A Snare? Goes hand in hand with Zaibatsu Loyalty or even Trick of Light, which is key for really getting this card to pull its weight. A thing to note though is that the card gets installed into a new remote server, so you might consider installing ICE as your third action. It gets a 2.5 not because it’s poor, but it does require combos to fire to get the most out of it.

 

John - 4

Jinteki mind games at its finest. Great for installing an ambush or was that a big agenda that looks like an ambush?

 

 

 

Inazuma

 

Dave H - 5

I have been looking forward to this card ever since it was spoiled, the reason being that it stops the common practice of dropping a sentry breaker and then running care free. Now with Inazuma out you have to worry about code gate breakers as well on any server with two ice. It gives the corp more danger, and I think that at 2 influence we will see this turning up in a lot of factions soon.

 

Callum - 3.5

Well this card is scary. I face-checked this once without the ability to break it and the following Archer made me really, really regret it. Doesn’t do anything on its own and functions as a great one-two piece, much like it’s little brother Chum. 3c rez for 5 STR Code Gate is a brilliant ratio to pay for and it’s one that you have to break. This card forces those Datasucker tokens from a want to a must when cards like this are on the table, now against Jinteki I heavily recommend getting your decoder out after your killer, just for safety.

 

John - 5

Ice of the set. This is the best setup ice in the game and makes early facechecking more dangerous. We will see it put in front of ice with brain/net damage and trash subroutines. Low cost for a 5 strength code gate is hard to ignore. 2 influence means we will see it splashed in many decks. It even works well with bioroid ice, Ichi 1.0 anyone? Possibly we will see this played instead of Grim.

 

Komainu

 

Dave H - 3.5

This is a solid card that will traditionally cost the runner a minimum of 4 or 5 credits to break due to the fact that no one runs with few cards against Jinteki. Jinteki is starting to get some great taxing ice and this is definitely up there with it. The obvious downside to this card is the low strength which means that it is weak vs Parasite. Even with this weakness it is a strong card and I think I prefer it is Tsurugi.

 

Callum - 3

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. 5c rez for 1 STR sentry doesn’t look good and it is parasite food, but this card is strong. The rule of thumb against Jinteki is to run with a 4-5 card hand size and this punishes you for doing just that. Mimic is a 1-per card break which feels awful, it’s even worse if you’re partial to Ninja. Facechecking just got that little bit more dangerous and this card can be a killer with House of Knives scored.

 

John - 3

An OK sentry with good damage but a high cost for low strength makes it less desirable.

 

 

Pup

 

Dave H - 3

Similar to Pop Up Window, this card doesn't force out a breaker but it does tax the runner every time for very minimal cost. There is great value for this card in taxing decks but most will benefit from it. It doesn't lose any of its ability to Yog which happens with Pop Up Window, and it is pretty damn cute, though it is in a competition against Quandary!

 

Callum - 4

Love the art on this card. Pup is the Jinteki Pop Up Window, which is brilliant. I’ve had three of these as my HQ defence in a few games against non-Criminals and it’s a 6 credit just to pay through? Great stuff. Very, very taxing for its rez cost, it’s just a nice card to have in a server that didn’t cost you much, but will cost the Runner every time to go through.

 

John - 4

Cutest card in the set. P(op-)UP window Jinteki style. A good taxing ice too and only 1 influence, so likely to be a popular splash ice.

 

 

 

 

Shiro

 

Dave H - 1.5

I don't really see the point in this card, Yagura does a similar ability at a fraction of the cost. This is a very thematic card as it is another card that lets you look at R&D and re-organise. However we already have something better...

 

Callum - 2

The effect on the subroutines on this card are actually pretty nice. But I’m not sold on it making the cut in a deck. It’s a great card on paper, but I’m just not a huge fan of putting in a 5c+ code gate into my deck that isn’t Tollbooth. Another card that forces more Datasuckers out of the Runner and being able to sift your Snare!/Shock!/Fetal out of the top 3 cards for the Runner to take is quite nice, it’s just expensive.

 

John - 4

A solid Jinteki card, with built in tutoring. A little on the expensive side though it is a strength 5 code gate which gives Yog a hard time. I think this will see regular play, with no more than 2 per deck.

 

 

Susanoo-No-Mikoto

 

Dave H - 3.5

This is an interesting Ice, it is expensive to rez but has a very high strength and can be used to combo into effects from cards in Archives such as Shock and Shi.Kyu. It is always going to be expensive to break but the down sides are that it is a prime target for Femme and Emergency Shutdown, additionally, unless it is comboed with something in Archives it is just a big barrier.

 

Callum - 3.5

Let’s get to grips with this. A 9c, 7 STR Sentry. That is a monster of a Sentry that Mimic really, really doesn’t like. I’ve been playing with one of these in my Harmony decks as a way to shunt the Runner out of my scoring remote into the lands of Shi.Kyū and Shock! and it’s a monster when it goes off. Consistently costing every breaker (except Faerie, Knight and a Femme bypass) a fortune to get through, this is a very strong contender for Jinteki decks that use the archive ambushes. The 9c rez is pretty big, but Jinteki is not the Corp it once was and I’ve never had issues rezzing this when it was time. A very strong card in the right deck.

 

John - 2

A very expensive but strong sentry that effectively ends the run with a Jinteki twist. Is it worth the steep credit tempo loss for a hard to break sentry with no direct trash or damage effect? On the other hand it does give Mimic a very hard time, making it a Femme target or burning a Faerie.

 

 

NeoTokyo Grid

 

Dave H - 1

So, yeah, this reduces the cost of advancing cards, but takes three uses to break even? Other cards such as PAD Campaign are superior to this as forms of economy, so I'm not sure why you'd play this...

 

Callum - 1.5

Love the art, not so big on the effect. The rez to trash on this card is great and works really well in a Tennin deck that can gain money for the Runner not running and then Trick of Light off of it. My biggest gripe with this card is that I’d rather take regular econ assets over it first, it feels very much like card #50-51 in the deck that gets cut.

 

John - 2

A natural economy card for the new Tennin Institute agenda. Everyone else might want to give it a miss.

 

Tori Hanzo

 

Dave H - 3

A really strong card in a kill deck, but limited other uses. Combos well with cards that deal singular damage often such as Hokasi Grid, Shock, and House of Knives. I think this will be a fun deck to play, not sure without testing on how competitive it will be. Worth noting the low trash cost as it is possible to make R&D very weak to repeated runs by including to many trashable assets and upgrades.

 

Callum - 2.5

The effect on this one is vicious when it goes off, but it does rely on the net damage being taken just on the run (just add House of Knives!). The first brain damage isn’t the end of the world, but the second and third can be a real issue that stacks up with Ms Hanzōs presence. She’s trash on sight for any sensible Runner and the 2c trash isn’t that high. I think she has her place in a Jinteki deck build, but you almost need three copies of her just to keep her effect going strong.

 

John - 4

Brain damage is hard to ignore, doubly so against Jinteki, making this a very dangerous card.

 

Plan B

 

Dave H - 1

This card got some folk really excited when it was first spoiled but I don't really see why it is good, you need it at 3 advancements before it can be used to score from hand something you couldn't score already. Also, often the most difficult bit when playing Jinteki is to get runners to run on things, especially 3 advanced.

 

Callum - 1

I’m going to start by saying I’ve never seen this effect go off. As a plain ambush, it’ll only ever really net you a Hostile Takeover, Breaking News or a Clone Retirement. The main issue with this card is why not just play a regular ambush instead? This is only a good card with a minimum of three advancement tokens on it, wherein lies the problem. If I’ve got three advancement tokens on it, it could’ve just been a scored agenda. If the Runner hasn’t run it at double advancement, they’re never going to run it at triple advancement. Mushin No Shin is really the only way to play this card in my mind and there we arrive right back at the first issue.

 

John - 2

Looks very good at first glance, but it relies on the runner accessing it, making it situational. How could you make this work? Again really only a Tennin Institute deck card.

 

Guard

 

Dave H - 3

A really interesting card. It doesn't have the trash ability of Rototurret, but it is less vulnerable to Parasite and is safe against Inside Job. I almost wish it wasn't a Sentry so it was stronger against Femme. This is a solid pick for a rush deck that wants a selection of cheap ETR Ice.

 

Callum - 3

This card fits a design space that we haven’t really had an answer for since the core set, namely card bypassing. A great piece of ICE to take in a rush deck against suspected Inside Jobs but 4c Rez is fairly high for how much of a silver bullet this card feels like. On the flip side, it is a ETR Sentry, which is always welcome. Program trashing can turn this card back on late-game as a ETR ICE, keeping it useful throughout the game.

 

John - 3

Moderately expensive for a single ETR subroutine on a low strength ice with a minor twist. Cheap to break with the most common sentry breaker Mimic. However the fact it is zero influence and a sentry and one that doesn't die instantly to parasite means we are likely to see it in quite a few decks as early game ETR ice.

Rainbow

 

Dave H - 2

Not a big fan, doesn't force out a specific breaker and even as a taxing Ice there are better options, because the runner will always use the most efficient breaker they have. They wouldn't have that option if it was only one type, and it is because of this that I think that there are better options such as Bastion.

 

Callum - 3

Love it or hate it, Rainbow isn’t a bad card. Anything can break this piece of ICE, but it is taxing to do so. 3c rez to 4 STR is good, it can’t be Yogged or Mimic’d without support cards, it costs Corroder the same as it did to rez the card which is good. This isn’t an early ETR card to force the Runner to get a breaker; it’s a mid-late game piece of ICE which is designed to add up the costs on a server on the cheap. Bonus points if you double Rainbow.

 

John - 3

A perfect balance of cost and strength means it is playable even against common breakers. A Yog for instance still requires a datasucker to break it; a corroder 3 credits. Though this ice changes from an ETR ice to a taxing ice after the first breaker is out. Making it another OK early game ice, though not sure I would ever play it instead of say a Wall of Static.

 

Diversified Portfolio

 

Dave H - 2

Seems to play well in a horizontal deck and because of that it looks like a solid card, but only in that deck type.

 

Callum - 2

This is a card almost purely for Replicating Perfection I feel, but I’m just not sold on it. It can make some crazy money late game when you’re rocking the full suite of Sundews, Mental Health Clinics, Pad Campaigns and random ambushes, but early game it’s not really a card I ever want to see. I kind of wish it didn’t have the 1c play cost. People who play Jinteki far more than I do may have better opinions of it than me, which is fair.

 

John - 2

Works best in Jinteki who just lines up the unguarded remotes. Similar to the runner card Calling in Favors in that it is a mid to late game economy boost in certain decks. A dead card in your opening hand.

 

Fast Track

 

Dave H - 3.5

I've not rated this as highly as maybe I should have, but this is for one reason. Currently only NBN really have use for this, they want it for Astroscript chaining or they want it for Psycho-Beale fun. Outside of NBN it isn't needed in the current meta, though perhaps that could change in a Jinteki kill deck with Philotic Entanglement but I think this is unlikely.

 

Callum - 3.5

An agenda tutor card always will have a place in the card pool, but what’s surprised me with Fast Track is how often I’ve used it in multiple decks. The obvious synergy is the Astro/Sansan chain which I’ve used to churn out agendas before the Runner can see them, but I’ve also had a fair bit of success with Midseason/Psychographics to find the missing piece. I’ve used it in rush decks to take advantage of scoring windows with program trashing cards but also to bait Runners into Sea Source/Double Scorch in Weyland to force their hand when behind. The thing to note with Fast Track is that it creates a lot of pressure in HQ when used, so be wary of cards like Legwork which are now in the card pool. Closing thoughts on this card is that I feel it’s a strong one in a deck that has a deck that wants agendas at key points of the game, but not mass card draw.

 

John - 4

A more reliable Astroscript train is obvious making for a more predictable NBN agenda spread. Though it is a dead card or 3 in hand until you use it and, likely it is best as a late game card, therefore reducing your options. I think this also has potential with a toolbox approach to Agendas - play a range of agendas and select the one that specifically helps against this particular runner. Its existence also allows you to have agendas whose sole purpose is to hurt the runner as you can just score your 3/2s and ignore the pain agendas. It also makes one in deck agendas much more reliable and playable thereby countering the one in deck limitation. This will just keep getting more powerful as more agendas appear.

 

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