Mala Tempora Review

Mala Tempora Review

30/12/13

 

We've had the chance to tinker a little bit with Reina and company and have decided to bring you our usually late set review. As well as Dave H and myself, Callum 'Flipswitch' has provided his thoughts as well. Let the arguments over score begin!

 

Scoring Key

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

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

3 = Bread and Butter, an average card

4 = Strong card, almost always played in faction

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

 

Reina Roja

Dave H - 3.5

I'm really pleased to see a new Anarch identity that people are excited by. Anarch hasn't been getting much play of late due to Noise being severely weakened by Jackson Howard, and that's a shame, as Anarch is an interesting faction which I would like to see get more love. Unlike Whizzard's ability Reina's is almost always useful and leads into resource denial gameplay, especially when teamed with cards such as Xanadu and Rook. I think this is an average to strong identity that I'm most excited about due to the decline in Anarch play which I hope this will address.

 

Callum - 4.5

Reina is a huge addition to the Anarch card pool. First and foremost she has a very flexible ID power, giving her a large degree of versatility when approaching deck building whilst retaining usefulness. Her ability itself is a continuous drain on the corporate wallet which is only bolstered by cards in her own faction, like Xanadau and Rook. The 45/15 deck size and +1 Link is just a bonus on top.

 

Dave P - 3

She's a very viable ID, but nothing that pushes Anarch out of mediocrity. I still maintain that Noise is perfectly viable in the post Jackson world we find ourselves in, and most of the decks I try to build with Reina seem to have more than enough viruses to warrant choosing Noise. Ultimately, I'm not convinced that denial decks are actually that effective in a meta which often relies on a cheap ETR ICE and make no mistake, Reina requires a denial deck to be built around her to be effective. I don't think Andromeda will lose any sleep.

Deep Red

Dave H - 3

I've not done much testing with this yet but it seems okay. If you are running lots of Caissa's it will be something you want to consider but is no way an auto include. If you aren't running Caissa... Well, its rubbish.

 

Callum - 3

Deep Red is a healthy addition to the growing Caissa suite. Its effect is a useful time compression when installing multiple Caissa on the fly but requires being out early to get the most out of it. The bonus MU for Caissa is very nice, but the console itself is a bit limited outside of a pure Caissa deck until we have more pieces to take advantage of.

 

Dave P - 2

Even with a Cassia/Parasite deck, how often you do really think you'll use all 7 memory that this console would provide? I'm betting not very often, certainly not often enough to justify using a console which has a pretty niche ability, even in a Cassia deck. I think Grimore is a better choice for any Anarch deck currently, including a Cassia deck.

Knight

Dave H - 3.5

This is definitely one of the better Caissa programs. It allows for remote control or R&D dig access. The fact that this is an AI breaker isn't much of an issue as currently only Swordsman can hurt it, even the coming Wraparound is broken by this due to being strength 7. I think I'd like to use this in a parasite recursion deck as the only breaker.

 

Callum - 2.5

A useful breaker for VIP ICE either in, or out of Caissa decks. The 2c per sub is a bit of a sting on VIP ICE such as Archer and the like, but makes a great combo with the usual Anarch support cards for the advanceable ICE that the fixed Anarch breakers cannot normally reach.

 

Dave P - 4

I don't think it's stronger than Femme for Shaper (who have plenty of tricks to lower its cost and recur it) but in Anarch, it is a very strong card. It may even see some play in Criminal decks. The fact that it can move around to where you need it, when you need it is incredibly strong and at 2 influence, it's not backbreaking to bring it in out of faction.

 

Expert Schedule Analyzer

Dave H - 1.5

This card has some use as it can show you ice, how far towards the combo the corp is, if they have agendas etc but I just don't think this information is as useful to the runner as it is the corp. Generally it is better for the runner to just access. It won't be making my Criminal deck anytime soon.

 

Callum - 2

The main weakness of this card is its opportunity cost, it’s a great idea on paper, but tricky to fit into decks, most Criminal decks cannot spare the MU cost to afford it, whilst the influence cost is tricky to balance into other factions. That said, it’s good at scouting runs on whether you think it’s worth hitting a 5 card hand for a potential agenda, or just plainly finding what the Corp is keeping tabs on.

 

Dave P - 1.5

A Criminal players main advantage is aggression, and this card is slow and ultimately counter productive. Knowing there's an agenda in hand doesn't make you any more likely to score it, in fact you've just spend 2 clicks installing and using this card when you could have already looked at 2. If this was a truly dangerous ability, Jinteki players wouldn't be running X3 Celebrity Gift!

Grifter

Dave H - 2

I like the idea behind this card, if you have Desperado, Datasucker, John M and three of these out it creates very profitable runs. However the profitable runs were already there without this card. I don't think it is needed, and it limits you, similar to Wyldside (The difference being you can choose not to), there will be times when you don't want to run but feel like you have to in order to keep this card.

 

Callum - 1.5

I’m not sold on Grifter. I don’t like being forced into actions and I like my options open. Not to mention it takes three successful runs over three turns to see a profit on Grifter. Criminals especially have better economy and tempo cards to take before this one.

 

Dave P - 1.5

The runner should be dictating the tempo, not letting the cards dictate it to them. The reason why this card is bad and John M is good is because it's forced if you want to keep it (and because data leak reversal decks are fun). John will quite happily sit there, gelling his hair until called upon.

 

Running Interference

Dave H - 2.5

This card seems okay, if the corp has limited credits and you want to bust into a remote. But I feel it is quite situational and therefore not that great. It seems to fit better in a credit denial deck like Reina than Criminal. I really want to like this card but cannot think what it will give you other than one access or cost the corp a few extra credits, is this worth the deck space?

 

Callum - 4

Another brutal Criminal event to add with a bit of a steep cost, but it’s definitely worth that play if you absolutely, positively, must get into that server at any cost. Important to note that cards like Rook or Xanadau are added first, then multiplied, making this card quite a vicious multiplier! A great two-of in most Criminals decks, but the influence cost stops it being seen in other factions.

 

Dave - 1.5

Exactly the card Reina needs... wait, it's a criminal card? 4 influence? Don't they already have Account Siphon to take the corps money away completely which has a 0 cost and is a single event? Surely you're better off playing Same Old Thing as Criminal and splashing for Account Siphon as Anarch?

Torch

Dave H - 3

This is a great card with one downside, the cost. If you plan to cheat this into play with Test Run / Scavenge it is much better. I don't think this will see lots of play as it needs the right deck, but it is a solid card. I think it should be included in most Kit decks.

 

Callum - 3.5

The Torch to lead the way for wiping Code Gates and Kit loves this one. With the methods that Shapers have for cheating cards into play like Test Run -> Scavenge (Or Eureka! If you’re one of those minded people). Torch can find itself lighting its way into several Shaper decks. Special note goes to Kit for being able to really abuse its strength on whatever ICE happens to be installed on the outside. The influence cost stops it being imported into other factions, not to mention the obscene price tag.

 

Dave P - 2.5

Is it 5 credits better than Gordian? It's certainly not 7(!) credits better than Cyber Cypher, even with its downside. Yes it can be cheated out with Test Runs but Cyber Cypher costs a credit less than that too, without having to use the extra card and a click. Kit probably wants this the most as she can get the value out of it but even then, I'm not entirely sold.

Woman in the Red Dress

Dave H - 2.5

I think that this is a card that isn't great right now, but will be considerably better in the future. It has been hinted at that there will be cards that pair well with Fisk's ability and this seems like the first and I hope decking the Corp or other over drawing shenanigans become more common. Mostly because its good to have alternative victory conditions. So 2.5 for now, maybe 3.5 in the future.

 

Callum - 2

I’m not sure on this one, it’s an interesting information card on whether you want to hit R&D that particular turn (Or HQ if it’s an agenda the Corp decided to draw). It’s a situational card to play however, it accelerates pressure on the Corp on drawing additional cards, potentially allowing for agenda flood in HQ, or potentially giving them pieces of their combo quicker.

 

Dave P - 3

Will be brilliant with Fisk as it will force additional pressure on HQ and archives (due to them needing to discard). That aside, the corp being able to choose whether to draw is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it can save an expensive R&D run, but on the other it can give the corp a significant advantage in deciding where to place their agendas. Interesting card though, one for the future.

Raymond Flint

Dave H - 3.5

I'm a big fan of this card, for a couple of reasons, firstly against Weyland you can get free accesses when they are scoring Hostile Takeovers or using Frakking. But mainly it is difficult to fit Infiltration into decks, there just isn't enough space. However you can run one of these and then tutor for it if needed with Hostage. It means Hostage is even more of a toolbox card, getting you economy, card draw, anti TnB and now expose cards.

 

Callum - 2

I wanted to rate this card higher, but I still think bad publicity is something the Corporation has almost complete control of which makes Flint more of a meta call than anything else. HQ Interface loves this card, “that’s a nice Hostile Takeover, let’s see that hand!”. The trash effect is useful as an emergency infiltration if desperate at match-point though.

 

Dave P - 3

It's a connection, so it only needs to be a 1 of in a Criminal deck (which is where this wants to live) that runs Hostage, so it's not a huge ask to find room for. Bad pub is definitely common at the moment with cards like Hostile Takeover, profiteering and illict ICE so this is a nice way to gain more value out of it.

Isabel McGuire

Dave H - 2.5

This is an interesting card, I like how it can protect against Parasite if they aren't killing it instantly. Is useful against Femme'd targets etc and generally provides a useful bonus for no cost and has a solid trash cost. I particularly like her ability to return Adonis/Eve Campaign allowing them to be reused. My main problem with her is that she isn't exceptionally useful and therefore she is often cut due to corp deck space. I can see her being used in a high asset deck but that's about it.

 

Callum - 3

A card that has a place in a deck built around it. The first part is her usefulness in combating the ever aggravating Parasites and the new Caissa cards, drawing the ICE back into hand for later play is useful. But a special shout out goes to her use with clickl-ess assets and ambushes. You can use her to effectively yo-yo Adonis/EVE campaigns before they expire and re-use them, not to mention recall failed ambushes for a later day. The 1 influence makes her a fun splash into Jinteki, that is for sure.

 

Dave P - 2.5

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to find room for her and her crazy Jedi golf club in my decks, but I like the ability and especially her trash cost. This card kills a lot of Anarch decks and can shuffle ICE around on demand effectively. It also means you can bring failed traps back to hand and bluff again or score a cheeky agenda. I don't think bringing back Adonis or Eve campaigns is particularly great with credits left on them (I don't think the math adds up to make it worthwhile) so I wouldn't use her for that. Having said all that, it's tough to make room for her in a deck, a real luxury card.

Hudson 1.0

Dave H - 3

This is one of the more interesting cards to come out of the pack and I like it. It definitely isn't right for every deck but as a one of in a HB Fast Advance deck this makes a lot of sense as R&D lock is one of the main ways to lose. I don't think this will see lots of play but will be an occasional one or two of in the right deck.

 

Callum - 2.5

A meta dependent card, if your scene has a lot of multiple access, then this card forms as a nice throttle card to limit the damage, especially with such a high strength. He’s also not a shabby placement over archives if you want to limit any milling damage that the Runner has done to you. Unfortunately, that’s all he does.

 

Dave P - 2

5 str for 3 credits and 2 subroutines isn't to be sneezed at, but being able to click through them is. I will (un)happily pay 3 clicks to run on R&D if it means I see 3 or so cards (esp with a Makers Eye or Medium) in the lategame, which is the only time this is more useful than a cheap ETR piece of ICE (which stops them seeing any cards!). Still, 3 clicks is better than 1 for the corp, so it may see an occasional deck.

 

Accelerated Diagnostics

Dave H - 3

Is this card amazing? No... Is it worth while in every deck? No... Is it interesting and does it allow crazy combos? Yes... I'm not sure I'm happy about the introduction of crazy combos in Netrunner. I hope this remains just that, crazy. But it will definitely be interesting and that's a good thing for the game.

 

Callum - 3.5

Accelerated Diagnostics is the combo-wombo-est card that could. Great in operation heavy decks unassisted and Precog-Jinteki adores this card for trying before you buy so to speak. Not to mention the plays allowed with Jackson Howard and Power Shutdown if you really build for those type of combos. Outside of that, it isn’t a typical splash into a deck despite the low influence, but with decks built around its effects it is a very powerful card indeed.

 

Dave P - 2.5

Yep, combos! Last time I checked though, Weyland didn't really need that much help getting a Scorched Earth win. Since Jackson lets you accelerate through your deck on its lonesome, I personally feel like this card is overkill, even in the 'magical Netrunner combo land.' Expect me to moan like buggery if I get killed by this in our next tournament though!

Unorthodox Predictions

Dave H - 3.5

I like this card, it really fits the Jinteki theme (which I think is strongest of all the corps). But not only that it is a strong card, it fits well into a number of Jinteki strategies, death by 1000 cuts, and rush. As Dave/Chimpster said to me, IAA is really strong with this card, if they run it and can score it you've only lost 1 point, however if they don't you get the point and an almost guaranteed 2+ more points. It's at match point that Jinteki is dangerous!

 

Callum - 5

Quite a brutal agenda if played well, especially as a stepping stone to quickly score another agenda immediately after it. Special mention goes to Archer, score this, mark Sentry and shove a Nisei behind it and laugh inside. A solid 1pt agenda in an increasingly crowded card pool for them. It also shafts Kit quite amusingly.

 

Dave P - 4

Dave H has very effectively stolen my thoughts on this card (nothing is sacred for him, thoughts, agendas, tournament wins...) and I can't add too much. I will say that I think this is a card that will get stronger as Jinteki rush gains more pieces to its deck puzzle.

 

Sundew

Dave H - 3

When this card was spoiled I thought it was very good and definitely something Jinteki needed. However since then Jinteki has become one of the richest factions with Giraffes feeding Restructures, and some Profiteering. This is still a good card, especially for RP but its less needed than it was a few months ago.

 

Callum - 3 (4 for Replicating Perfection)

Economy is always needed for the Corp, especially Jinteki. I’m not sold on how much play this card will see outside of Replicating Perfection (which it was obviously built for). It’s possible to build this card to be worth more than the Runners time to take with a few ICE in front of it and use it as a super PAD campaign.

 

Dave P - 3

Solid economic engine for RP and even in PE, it forces the runner to dance to your tune. It does need protection as the 2 trash cost is well within tolerance for the runner but if you can get 3 turns out of it, you've done just fine.

 

 

City Surveilance

Dave H - 1.5

The cost of 5 to charge the runner one credit a turn sounds interesting. The problem is runners who are happy to enter tag me and the cheap trash cost. NBN isn't known for its amazing ice either so protecting it could be a problem. I don't think this card will be a game changer.

 

Callum - 1.5

This card screams win more and the 5 rez/3 trash absolutely kills it for me. It’s a brutal follow up after a Closed Accounts to kick the Runner when they’re down, but without that it isn’t more than a minor hindrance that cost the NBN player quite a bit to get started. The art is nice though.

 

Dave P - 1.5

Taxing the runner isn't too effective when it's cost you 5 credits to rez this thing. If this was 1-2 to rez I still wouldn't rate this card too highly, but 5 credits is just way too much.

 

Snoop

Dave H - 2.5

I've not tested this card yet, but it has things I like about it and things I don't. I do like seeing the runners hand as that information gives me scoring opportunities, however the rez cost of six puts me off. Especially since it doesn't end the run. I know it can work well with TnB to reduce the runners hand size so they can use SE but I'm not convinced this is a particularly great combo.

 

Callum - 4

I won’t lie, I love this card. It does everything I love about NBN, it plays the info-war game, it has the aggravating NBN “this happens regardless” effect to it and it has an absolutely horrifically high strength for its price. Special mention goes to Invasion of Privacy which absolutely loves this card as a setup. Finally, just seeing what the Runner can play or install at any given moment is absolutely vital to staying one step ahead of them. A fantastic card for NBN.

 

Dave P - 3.5

Really interesting one, it's like the newly annoucned Chronos Protocol Jinteki ability, wrapped up in a nice little ICE package. 6 rez is expensive but 6 str makes it cost effective at the very least. Being able to target key breakers against Criminal is brutal but having said that, they also have the best sentry breakers. Really not sure on this one yet, but I think it has the potential to be quite strong.

 

Ireress

Dave H - 1.5

I don't like this card, its only useful if you are planning on getting lots of bad pub. It isn't useful early or until you have a significant of bad pub and then it dies to Yog.0. I just don't think this is worth the deck space.

 

Callum - 2.5

Ireress is an interesting card at 1 influence. If you’re the type of person that spews Bad Publicity, it’s a great way to help mitigate the weakness for taking that economic lead, especially in faction. The one downside is the prevalence of Yog, which is balanced by it being its only real counter. At worst, it's Inside Job bait, at best it’s just vamped those 5 credits of BP you’ve racked up to stop them ploughing through the rest of your server.

 

Dave P - 2

I guess it's ok in a deck with Profiteering and hostile takeovers but by the time significant bad pub hits the table, the runner is probably already at the point where they can break this efficently or just doesn't care. Pop Up Window is much better out of faction.

Power Shutdown

Dave H - 4.5

This is the card of the set, it kills some great cards for one credit, such as SMC, Faerie, and for minimal trashing of cards it kills Corroder, Datasucker, Clonechip etc. It is an extremely versatile card that works well with Jackson Howard which is mostly in every corp deck. I think this will help Corp against Criminal decks with few breakers and decks that rely on suckers. Great card.

 

Callum - 4

An early game card against minimalist rigs or low cost rigs (that’s a nice Corroder you got there!) . It’s great for stalling out the Runner to rush agendas through servers whilst they fetch their breakers back. Its main weakness is milling the wrong cards, even with Jackson Howard prevalent, he has so many needs he cannot be everywhere at once. Its weakness primarily is the prevalence of cards like Clone Chip and multitudes of low-cost programs/hardware, so be wary when you play it.

 

Dave P - 5

Take that SMC, Datasucker, Faerie, Clone Chip, early game Desperado and Corroder! Yes, you probably want Jackson out first just in case, but worst case scenario, losing an agenda to get rid of a key breaker is still worth it, after all, we all love Archer despite the cost and that isn't even guarenteed to hit. Very strong card, expect to see it a lot now and in the future.

Paper Wall

Dave H - 4

This card is brilliant in rush decks. Before people splashed for Icewall but with Corroder it is only 1 credit to break and therefore mostly moot. Paperwall is both influence free and free to rez and I can see this in my TWIY deck where I want to force out all of the breakers, at least until Wraparound is out.

 

Callum - 3

A good early game face check ICE that replaces the likes of Wall of Static in rush decks, which became little more than a quick credit bypass at any rate. It also saves influence for the decks that ran Ice Wall without any intentions of banking tokens on it for Trick of Light.

 

Dave P - 4.5

Another great card that I expect to see a lot. Who cares about this being trashed once a corroder hits the table anyway? Ice Wall only costs 1c to break, Wall of Static costs 2c. I'll often trash them myself at that stage to save some credits for other pieces of ICE. Influence free and cost free, what's not to like?

Interns

Dave H - 2

I suppose this is a poor man's Archived Memories, that doesn't work on operations. Its great for getting back San San or putting down Ice at the end of large forts. But I'm not convinced this will get lots of play outside of crazy combo decks as deck space is just too valuable for the corp.

 

Callum - 3

A good card for reusing trashed ICE or economy assets once they’ve been wiped, or even just saving credits in a huge ICE server. Good synergy with cards like Oversight AI or playing against cards like Parasite/Datasucker combos. At worst this card lets you bring back economy assets like Melange/Adonis. Or lets you bring back Oversighted Archers (with Jackson to recur the OAI) to rush through more agendas.

 

Dave P - 2.5

It's ok, and the fact it can install ICE from hand cost free is a nice bonus. That's about all I can muster on this card I'm afraid!

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