Monday, May 25, 2015

1.6 Neutral - Core Set

The Neutral cards were originally pitched to allow the core set to have less total number of cards but still make legal decks for each faction. The idea, because of the faction system, also allowed cards to be designed that are so ubiquitous to the game, or so important as to make the game playable, that all factions could use them without worrying about using up their influence.

While some neutral cards have gained an influence cost since the core set was released, they are outliers. For the most part neutral cards are to fill holes in the design space, and provide answers that should be available to all factions equally.

This article was written with the meta up through “Breaker Bay” having just been released. This article is about the opinions of the writer, and a review of cards as they are seen throughout the length of the game. The main goal of the article is for new players to have an understanding of the history of the cards as the meta evolved, and for experienced players to maybe re-look at a cards they long since dismissed. (It is a nice side effect that the writer learns more about the cards as well).

Infiltration Event (#49 Core Set)

InfiltrationImpact 3 out of 5

The best thing about Infiltration is its double use. Expose is not always useful, but the ability to either gain a few credits or expose is a nice pairing. Some runners will pack just one in their deck, using Same Old Thing to reuse it if they want to expose again. Its main weakness is that it is only two credits. Some cost this as neutral - a click to draw it and a click to play it is the same as clicking twice for credits. The thing to remember is that its not really designed as an economy card, rather an information card that can also be used if there is no reason to expose. While it has not seen a ton of play, it also hasn’t been overlooked entirely. It is a good card to include if you want to expose before making costly runs on what could be nothing, but it is often cut as runners become more experienced in the flow of the game.

Sure Gamble Event (#50 Core Set)
Hedge Fund Operation (#110 Core Set)

Sure GambleImpact 5 out of 5

What is there really to say about Sure Gamble/Hedge Fund other than it is the benchmark all operation/event economy cards are measured against? Pretty much the standard economy gain, four credits for a single click on a single card. Either they give less, but require less investment (Easy Mark / Beanstalk Royalties), give more but require a higher investment (Restructure) or have drawbacks beyond just the investment cost.

These two cards are played in almost every single deck, and because each player starts with five credits, and five is relatively easy to reach, they continue to be played in pretty much every deck.

Crypsis Program: Icebreaker - AI - Virus (#51 Core Set)

CrypsisImpact 4 out of 5

The very first AI Icebreaker, and the back up for many decks. Crypsis is often played either as insurance against losing a single copy of a breaker, to replace paying influence for a breaker that faction does not have a strong variety for, or as an alternative for early aggression that can get into any server, for a cost.

That cost is great. While Crypsis is very efficient in breaking ICE, the requirement that an extra click be spent to power Crypsis up for each piece of ICE he needs to break, he can quickly eat up time. Early game this is fine - a single piece of ICE is often all that protects a server and the ability of Crypsis to get in and allow powerful cards such as Account Siphon to land is a useful tool. It is also worth mentioning that if there are other ways to pull a runners standard breakers into play, that there is no reason to power up Crypsis for only a single piece of ICE. Just break and trash him to get that Account Siphon off, then drop normal breakers as needed now that the ICE is rezzed and the runner knows what type it is.

There are other AI breakers that have come around, and it becomes a bit of a runner choice on which to use. In general, having an AI breaker, even just a single one, in a runners deck can add a lot of flexibility to their attack plan, without losing consistency to their deck. But as with all AI’s, they have a steep cost in trying to make use of them as the only breaker in the deck. Even with options, Crypsis can and will be useful into the future for that flexibility alone.

Access to Globalsec Resource: Link (#52 Core Set)

Access to GlobalsecImpact 1 out of 5

Link is, sadly, one of the most underused mechanics of the game. Although this may change as the ‘Cloud’ subtype of breakers starts to become more popular, Access to Globalsec is still not going to be the go to choice for runners to find link. It simply is too narrow a card, only providing one benefit for a mechanic that is rarely used. Even if Traces become the most popular thing the corp can use, the other methods that provide Link are still going to be more popular than Access, if just because they generally also offer something else as well (Memory, deck thinning, recurring credits) Sadly this means that Access to Globalsec is likely never to have much of an impact on the meta.

Armitage Codebusting Resource: Job (#53 Core Set)

Armitage CodebustingImpact 3 out of 5

One of the earliest ways that money was generated for the runner, Armitage has fallen a bit out of use. With the likes of Daily Casts providing a similar amount for no spent click, and other economic options flowing into the game, it is just another option. However, consider the fact that it can generate credits much to the same ratio as Magnum Opus, without the hefty install cost or the MU.
Armitage can allow an almost broke runner to be back in range for Sure Gamble the next turn, or enough to break into a lightly defended server. While it doesn’t stick around like Magnum, its well known that the ability to ‘Take eight’ that Magnum provides can be vicious. That is a solid amount of burst, even at the cost of a full turn, and Armitage can provide that without the drawbacks that Magnum can, if for a much shorter burst. It deserves to be looked at again for economy options where the runner doesn’t want to put a lot of event economy into their deck, or would like something a bit more flexible but not as difficult to install as Magnum

Priority Requisition Agenda: Security (#106 Core Set)

Priority RequisitionImpact 3 out of 5

Big ICE and low agenda density is what leads players to use this agenda. Five for Three’s are often used to keep the chance of accessing them out of RD lower, and out of many of the five for three’s, Priority Req at least has a chance of being worth some hefty discounts. Rezzing a Hadrian's Wall or Wotan for free is very nice! It is also one of the few ways to rez ICE outside of a run, which can be useful - though trying to score this to prevent a Blackmail run is a very tricky proposition.

It sees play in decks that have big(er) ICE, that want to build big tower servers. There are still so few agendas in the game that often when trying to find a suite of agendas that works well together, sometimes Priority Req just is the only five for three worth it. It is a drag however when all there is to rez with it is a Pop-up Window.

Private Security Force Agenda: Security (#107 Core Set)

Private Security ForceImpact 2 out of 5

Early on when there weren’t a lot of choices for agendas this was seen, sometimes. Even then it wasn’t regarded as a great card - four for twos are usually just as difficult to score as a five for three, and don’t provide as much of a jump in points. They also clog up RD and add more cards that can be stolen by a runner to the deck.

PSF at least has a really great ability. PSF Lock it was called, where the runner gets tagged and the corp just spends three clicks a turn doing three meat damage. Not only would the runner have to clear the tag but also draw back up as quickly as possible - throwing tempo very quickly in the corps favor.

Tagstorm may see this agenda return, but compared to the other four for two neutral agenda, NAPD Contract it is a bit lackluster - that four credit cost to steal is a much more guaranteed tempo hit for the runner than maybe getting a PSF Lock - PSF is a bit lackluster, even though if scored it can be a real big threat to any runner who sees a tag.

Melange Mining Corp. Asset (#108 Core Set)

Melange Mining Corp.Impact 4 out of 5

Though this doesn’t seem like a great trade off (a whole turn for seven credits?) it is a huge swing of tempo for the corp. A few bits of ICE protecting this and even just two turns using it straight up before the runner comes up with a way to trash it, can be a real huge swing of momentum for most corps.

It continues to find its way into decks and while it doesn’t seem to make a lot of a fuss, it is a workhorse. It continues to provide huge amounts of credits for corps to play with, and that’s what gives it such a fantastic impact.

PAD Campaign Asset: Advertisement (#109 Core Set)

PAD CampaignImpact 4 out of 5

Like Melange this card is undervalued at first, until experience shows it to be a great money maker. Four credits to trash is high for the core set - it is even high for most of the cycles - and that gives it a lot of staying power. If a PAD campaign of two get going for even just a couple of turns and start paying out, free, clickless money it can really hurt the runner’s ability to deal with what tricks the corp might have.

Yet trashing it as the runner, as vital as that may be to keep a corp poor, is so very difficult. It costs so much, killing a lot of momentum for runners who are not swimming Scrouge Mcduck style in credits, and wastes the runner’s time. It must be dealt with though, or the slow drip of money will strengthen the corps game plan considerably.

(For Hedge Fund see above, Sure Gamble)
Hedge Fund

Enigma ICE: Code Gate (#111 Core Set)

EnigmaImpact 3 out of 5

A very strong and stable early game piece of ICE. For decks that want early game protection, for rushing agendas or building up a credit advantage off of Adonis or Melange, this card can do a lot of work. As a Code Gate it is not something most runners will be seeking to break early (Unlike Sentries which carry harmful effects) and the first subroutine is a great time waster for runners - while they won’t hit that subroutine more than once and let it fire, that single click wasted can be the difference between scoring an agenda, and them finding their breaker and having the time to use it to get through.

Hunter ICE: Sentry - Tracer - Observer (#112 Core Set)

HunterImpact 2 out of 5

Low rez cost and high strength makes Hunter a good piece of ICE on first glance. A subroutine that is a trace is a little less appealing, which probably is the reason for its strength to rez ratio. Hunter is often times cheaper not to break, if an extra click to clear the tag is available. It can also be a danger to a corp, who puts money into it to boost the trace to land that tag might be something the runner doesn’t care to fight.

Hunter has been overshadowed as other ways of tagging the runner have been released, but if a tagger is needed, this is at least a neutral card that can easily slot into any deck for that purpose.

Wall of Static ICE: Barrier (#113 Core Set)

Wall of StaticImpact 3 out of 5

Like Enigma this is a solid, low cost, End the Run piece of ICE, and that makes it ideal for early game protection. Though it is solidly a binary piece of ICE (as soon as a Fracter is installed it is trivial to get past) that is often all that is needed to rush an important agenda out behind it.

Wall of Static is just such a basic, but fundamental piece of ICE, filling a role that all corps need - early game protection. It can be rezzed for cheap, and still leaving enough credits on the table for another piece of ICE or whatever plan must be accomplished on turn two, and being neutral can easily find its way into any deck.

Neutral in Core

Neutral cards in the Core Set were designed to be able to be played in almost any deck, and indeed to be useful in most decks. For most of them, that is exactly what they were. Though a few of them have not seen a lot of impact on the game, they may one day see some light, and while not exactly game changers, they fill needed slots in every strategy.

Next Week, Weyland

Next week Wyldside looks at the green money grubbing meat damaging blow up your entire city block corp, Weyland!

Reminder: This article was written with the meta up through “Breaker Bay” having just been released. This article is about the opinions of the writer, and a review of cards as they are seen throughout the length of the game. The main goal of the article is for new players to have an understanding of the history of the cards as the meta evolved, and for experienced players to maybe re-look at a cards they long since dismissed. (It is a nice side effect that the writer learns more about the cards as well).

Monday, May 18, 2015

1.5 NBN - Core Set

NBN has had a long and successful career at the top of the food chain. Fast Advance was pioneered using yellow cards, and Astrobiotics has been one of the top running deck types for several cycles. The core cards to those strategies are all in the core set - SanSan City Grid, Biotic Labor, and Astroscript Pilot Program.

Yet during the early days this strategy didn’t pan out for NBN so much as the tools were often imported elsewhere. There simply were not enough Three for Two agendas yet, and it wasn’t until Project Beale that NBN Fast Advance took off like the rocketship it was. As economy grew and ICE became thicker and more varied, it only got stronger.

That left the other strengths of NBN in the dust. Traces and tagging are big things for the yellow news network. While some decks may have splashed a few Scorched Earth to take advantage of this, most went all in on advancing and scoring as quickly as possible. It was a brittle strategy that may have seen its end in Clot. Certainly since Clot was released NBN Fast Advance has not had the prevalence it once enjoyed. This is not the end of NBN however, simply the turning point it needs to find its footing on other strategies and diversity.

This article was written with the meta up through “Breaker Bay” having just been released. This article is about the opinions of the writer, and a review of cards as they are seen throughout the length of the game. The main goal of the article is for new players to have an understanding of the history of the cards as the meta evolved, and for experienced players to maybe re-look at a cards they long since dismissed. (It is a nice side effect that the writer learns more about the cards as well).

NBN: Making News Identity: Megacorp (#80 Core Set)

NBN: Making NewsImpact 3 out of 5

The least impactful of all the core set Identities, Making News started the Fast Advance train, but it quickly moved over to The World is Yours* for the smaller deck size (increasing the chance of getting the pieces needed) and larger hand size (holding more). The Trace bonus of Making News, while thematic to the strengths of NBN, simply did not help the Fast Advance strategy.

As such, Making News rarely see’s play. Its ability can be very strong, given how many pieces of ICE and operations NBN carries that have a Trace effect, but the question is how is that Trace effect used to win the game? Too often when faced with a Trace either the corp will not boost it at all, making it (often) negligible for the runner to match, or the corp will boost it out of the runners reach, so the runner does not boost at all.

There is a strategy that has not yet been explored however. Like the Jinteki shell game, one of bluffs and posturing. When a Trace is boosted a little, but not enough that blows the runner off from being able to match it, it can be a powerful bluff or an interesting tax. What does the runner do, match and beat the trace, spending valuable credits that might be needed on the next piece of ICE or let it fire and take the punishment for it? This strategy requires traces that have an effect the runner wishes to avoid; Either effects that are immediately dangerous, or tag punishment cards in hand such as Closed Accounts.

Making News may see a resurgence with NBN Fast Advance seeing a setback. The other strengths of the faction may be explored, and if found to be competitive, Making News could certainly see a comeback.

Astroscript Pilot Program Agenda: Initiative (#81 Core Set)

AstroScript Pilot ProgramImpact 5 out of 5

This is it. This is the Astrotrain card. This is the one that set off the NBN Fast Advance, chaining together to allow the corp to score from hand until all they need is a single point - a point easily found in the next agenda, a two for one.

Astroscript has defined the game for many cycles now, forcing runners to get faster, and leaving slower corps in the dust. It has led the way of the aggressive corp scoring turn after turn and leaving the runner with little ability to set up before the game is even over.

It has often been lauded as a detrimental card as well, leaving several runners feeling like they just watched the corp play a game of solitaire to win, and they having no ability to counter it. The problem becomes that its ability can be used at paid ability speed - it doesn’t take a click. Any other Three for Two agenda can be installed, advanced, advanced, and an Astroscript token used to score it. If that was another Astroscript then another token is ready for the next. With the third one scored, even a Two for One can be found with Fast Track, installed, advanced, and Astroscripted to score for the win. All with only a single credit left. The Astrotrain is brutal when it works.

And work it does, given that there is some great card draw in faction (Jackson Howard and Daily Business Show) and good economy is a given now for every faction. Now the card Clot has been released,and Fast Advance seems to have hit a bit of a snag. Maybe it is people not wanting to play against Clot, maybe Clot really has put  crink in the side of FA, that is not for Wyldside to discuss.  Either way, the ability to score out of hand finally has an answer from the runner side.

Astroscript will remain a powerful card for cycles to come. Even outside of FA its ability saves a click and a credit, and that is useful even if it doesn’t score from hand. It is going to remain strong, like all Three for Two agendas, and always be something the runner has to consider.

Breaking News Agenda (#82 Core Set)

Breaking NewsImpact 3 out of 5

At first glance this agendas ability does not seem to apply easily. Most often used to score from hand the last point after three Astroscripts have been scored, its ability to give tags has not been a large part of the environment.

That is the effect Fast Advance has had, in essence turning this agenda into just a finalizing score. That is not all there is to do with it however, and many an enterprising player has used this agenda to great effect by playing upon that Fast Advance effect. Too often runners do not expect there to be face down agendas in a Fast Advance deck, believing them to be SanSan City Grids being prepared for advancing. Doing so can leave a click to act upon the tags Breaking News gives. Trashing resources such as Kati Jones when loaded up with credits can be very devastating to the runner. Now as well are resources that trash themselves automatically if the runner is ever tagged, making even a score from hand of this agenda a threat to those.

As a two for one it will see use for a long time, and while its ability needs to be played around it still can be quite powerful.

Anonymous Tip Operation (#83 Core Set)

Anonymous TipImpact 3 out of 5

When Netrunner was young Anonymous Tip was considered a bad card. The corp already got a free draw, and accelerating their draw not only increased the density of agendas in RD but also headed the corp closer to running out of cards.

As the meta grew however and decks became more consistent in achieving their winning strategy, drawing cards became an advantage. Getting through the deck to find the agendas needed to win, or get the cards together in hand that would open up the winning score or set up the flatline. While Anonymous Tip has fallen out of general use, it and cards like it are no longer considered bad cards, and will be seen every now and then.

Closed Accounts Operation: Grey Ops (#84 Core Set)

Closed AccountsImpact 3 out of 5

Closed Accounts is one of the few tag punishment cards that exists. A few more are starting to come out (Traffic Accident for instance) but they are still far and few between. That may actually be part of the design philosophy - with only a few cards that can punish the runner for being tagged (outside of the default corp action to trash a resource) it simplifies the options for playing around being tagged. Too many threats would make it an impossible situation to be tagged, forcing the runner into deadlock situations. With only a few possible fates (MU loss, credit loss, and meat damage) it can be played around with other cards, which gives a great option for the runner to make choices. Clear the tag, at the cost of time and money, or risk the fate that may come with the corp knowing the runners location.

That is good design. A choice, one that is difficult, but one that does not have a single viable option. Because there are only also a few cards that can tag the runner during the corp turn, this continues to make the tag mostly on the decision of the runner.

Closed Accounts is tag punishment, and it sees play, but never to the impact of cards like Scorched Earth have, but it can open scoring windows and create opportunities for the corp. It continues to see play, and will be a powerful card as long as ways to tag the runner are included in the corp deck, or at the least ways to force the runner to consider taking a tag.

Psychographics Operation (#85 Core Set)

PsychographicsImpact 2 out of 5

As the popularity of Tagstorm style decks starts to become more prevalent, Psychographics will see more use. The card is an interesting fast advance tool, allowing any agenda, no matter how many points it requires to score (Government Takeover for instance, or an instant win over advanced Project Beale) to be scored in a single turn.

It requires money, but so does any of the fast advance tricks. It also requires the runner to have several tags, and not be clearing them. It can be used to great effect with Midseason Replacements, which is the most common combo to play Psychographics with.

An interesting development comes with the release of Clot. Because using such a card would be on the corp turn, the paid ability window (including the time to score) would be in the corp favor. That would allow Psychographics to score out even a Three for Two (such as Astroscript) without the chance for clot to be used after the agenda is advanced. The runner would have to install clot (with a paid ability) when the card was installed, which is risky and can be bluffed out easily. Psychographics can be made to work with that and may see more use in a post Clot meta.

While it has not had a lot of effect outside of score big agendas (Government Takeover, over advanced Project Beale, or Mandatory Upgrades) it could very much see use to combat Clot.

SEA Source Operation (#86 Core Set)

SEA SourceImpact 4 out of 5

The impact of this card comes from its combination with Scorched Earth. The SEA, Scorched, Scorched combo is well known as one of the primary ways of flatlining the runner with meat damage. It is a fact that new players should realize - If the runner run and ends the turn with more than a nine credit difference (adjusted by link) under the corp, then they can very well be flatlined without other protection. Money is a way to keep that safe, staying above the nine credit limit when making a run is a form of protection. If the runner does not run, they cannot be hit with cards that tag, outside of a Data Raven counter.

That is the limit of this card, but otherwise it is a very powerful way to land a tag when it is needed. The runner has to run, and because always keeping the runner out of servers and successful runs is impossible, SEA Source will be viable to land that tag. It will remain a strong card for that fact.

Ghost Branch Asset: Ambush - Facility (#87 Core Set)

Ghost BranchImpact 1 out of 5

This is a card that probably should see some more play as Fast Advance drops back a step from the dominant strategy. As NBN will need to step away from scoring agendas from hand, the ability to fake the runner into attempting to steal from taxing remotes will be needed. Cards like Ghost Branch, Reversed Accounts, and others will be useful for this.

Ghost Branch is more than that however. It is a zero cost, zero to trigger, one influence trap. The uses for dropping at least two tags on a runner for nothing but the turn and two credits to advance it could be enormous. Played at the right time, at the bottom of a deep taxing server, and those tags would be very hard to clear. Not to mention that a double advanced Ghost Branch, a trap that is almost never expected to be seen, would require three clicks to deal with by the runner, assuming one of those was to run and trigger it.

Ghost Branch has not seen a lot of use in the past, but it is a card that is ready to be brought back into the light with the changes of strategy for NBN. This is a card that might very well end up being important.

Data Raven ICE: Sentry - Tracer - Observer (#88 Core Set)

Data RavenImpact 3 out of 5

Data Raven is a particularly nasty piece of ICE. Despite not having an End the Run subroutine, and its single subroutine being a trace that can just be beaten without a breaker, it causes more runners to jack out and bail on the run than practically any other piece of ICE.

The on encounter ability of Data Raven is an ability to be feared. If Data Raven’s are being rezzed, especially outside of NBN, the runner will almost always assume that some sort of tag punishment is being prepared, probably Scorched Earth.  This piece of ICE is part of the psychological game that can, and does, make Netrunner such an interesting game to play.

Of course, it doesn’t actually have an End the Run subroutine. The smart runner will plow right through it when they are ready too. As the only line of defense it is not enough, but coupled with good strong ICE or ICE that threatens to use those tags (such as Universal Connectivity Fee) it can be a good threat.

Matrix Analyzer ICE: Sentry - Tracer - Observer (#89 Core Set)

Matrix AnalyzerImpact 2 out of 5

This ICE is not one that has seen a lot of  use, but certainly one that might in the right deck. The main issue with Matrix Analyzer is having something to advance. Certainly some great bluffs can come out of a runner hitting this - is the card you are about to access in this remote, that is now three advancement counters instead of two, a trap or an agenda? Junebug will kill and Overwriter is no slouch either.

Having advanceable ICE in the deck provides a much better chance of having something to advance, though the advancement is not free the fact that it does not take a click is. If for some reason the corp playing Because We Built It did not use the recurring credit they can use it when this ICE is encountered, but that is possibly a risk at wasting the ID’s ability.

Matrix Analyzer is certainly not a bad piece of ICE, but highly situational and that is what makes it see less play. It might come around as more cards that can be advanced appear, and it might become a very interesting linchpin as NBN meta develops post Clot.

Tollbooth ICE: Code Gate (#90 Core Set)

TollboothImpact 4 out of 5

Tollbooth is quite frankly one of the best taxing pieces of ICE in the game, despite having only one subroutine. Its on encounter ability makes it expensive to get through regularly, even efficient breakers have to pay the extra cost to proceed. Because it does have an End the Run it must be dealt with one way or another, making this both an early defense to stop runners (assuming credits are available) and a hefty tax every time they encounter it.

Tollbooth is a prime target for Femme Fatale, the paid ability window order going to the runner allowing the bypass to take effect before Tollbooth can charge for the on encounter. This means that Femme does not pay the three credits and will pass Tollbooth for only a single credit, as long as her counter is on it.

Even outside of that it means that Femme is not being used on other ICE. Big glacier style decks would have many targets for Femme, and another piece of strong taxing ICE fits well into their playstyle. Tollbooth has been splashed outside of faction for big strong taxing ICE, and it has and will continue to see  play.

Red Herrings Upgrade (#91 Core Set)

Red HerringsImpact 2 out of 5

Red Herrings is NBN’s protection upgrade, like Caprice Nisei and Ash 2X3ZB9CY, but it has not seen nearly the same amount of use. Most likely this comes from its low trash cost and its inability to protect anything other than agendas. Caprice protects herself by stopping the run, Ash costs three to trash so its more of a tax, and can protect other cards (Such as Caprice) in the server.

Red Herrings might be a card that is worth recurring however. Combined with Predictive Algorithm and maybe encountering an NAPD Contract the costs are huge for the runner to steal. As more agenda protection such as this occurs, or with other agendas that protect themselves (such as Fetal AI) this card can become more important. It would be surprising at all to see this card making a return in Never Advance style decks, especially post Clot.

SanSan City Grid Upgrade: Region (#92 Core Set)

SanSan City GridImpact 5 out of 5

The second card out of the core set that defined NBN Fast Advance, this region is the most popular corp card reason for buying a third playset.

The strength of this card is the ability, for eight credits, to score any Three for Two out of hand, and it still protects itself with a massive trash cost. Runners have learned to trash these as soon as possible, but the very act of doing so can open scoring windows for savy corp who understand how to manipulate that desire to trash. Considering that the other major fast advance card, Biotic Labor, does the same thing for seven credits, but without the ability to tax the runner, nor the ability to stick around if the runner does not trash it, SanSan is integral to fast advance.

What has often been overlooked in the fast advance style however, is SanSan City Grid’s usefulness for never advance. It is more difficult to achieve, but when scoring windows are opened a four for two agenda that has sat on a SanSan can be scored in one turn, without any advancement counters on it giving it away. It is more difficult than normal three for two never advance style, but careful play can produce the effect. Clot actually makes this a slight bit easier - runners who have access to an instant speed Clot are rarely going to believe that a four for two would just be left lying on the table, unadvanced.

Combine SanSan with Astroscript tokens, and any four for two can be scored out of hand if the SanSan is already on the table.

This card made a huge effect into the meta, and will continue to do so despite the presence of Clot. It will, however, see some change in the way that it is used, and that can only be good.

NBN In Core

NBN, despite not being one of the early corps played, has some of the strongest corp cards to date. These are cards that are seen in every Fast Advance deck, and that strategy was the dominate corp strategy for many cycles. While it may be faltering off, that only means that some of the less used cards out of NBN are ready to be plucked up and used to great effect, probably also for some great surprise for unwary runners not used to seeing such cards out of the news network.

Next Week, Neutral

We started with runners, so in order not to have two corp weeks in a row (sort of), all the neutral cards will be done at once.

Reminder This article was written with the meta up through “Breaker Bay” having just been released. This article is about the opinions of the writer, and a review of cards as they are seen throughout the length of the game. The main goal of the article is for new players to have an understanding of the history of the cards as the meta evolved, and for experienced players to maybe re-look at a cards they long since dismissed. (It is a nice side effect that the writer learns more about the cards as well).