Monday, June 29, 2015

2.2 - Jinteki - Genesis Cycle

This article was written with the meta up through “Underway Grid” having 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).

Jinteki: Replicating Perfection Identity: Megacorp (Trace Amount #31)

Jinteki: Replicating PerfectionImpact 5 out of 5

Currently one of the most powerful corp IDs, Replicating Perfection didn’t start out that way. Like most Jinteki at the time, it was broke, unable to power even the ambushes that are so common for the red clone corp. That changed when economic cards like Sundew and Mental Health Clinic came out. Abandoning the kill plays, Replicating Perfection strove to tax the runner into being unable to do anything when they want to, in terms of both econ and clicks, and be rich while doing so.

Throw in a Caprice Nisei and a scored Nisei MK II token, and there aren’t often enough clicks in a turn for a runner to get in. Not only does a central have to be run, then at least two runs on a remote, assuming the Psi game from Caprice can be won, anytime an agenda may be in there. That leaves, in the best case scenario, only a single click to money up and get into that server on demand.

That is where RP has become so powerful, being rich with all of their economic assets that are so expensive to trash, and really taxing the runner. Even though the run on a central doesn’t have to be successful, its common to put a prickly ICE on the outside of those servers, forcing them to use up something or take damage in some way just to be able to run on a remote.

It is no wonder it has become so strong of an ID with Fast Advance being a wary proposition for some players. Yet it is asset heavy, and as discussed last week, Whizzard is a key answer to that. The meta does seem to be advancing around this concept quickly, so only time will tell how RP continues to play.

Braintrust Agenda: Research (A Study in Static #72)

BraintrustImpact 1 out of 5

Possibly the least used agenda in all of Jinteki, Braintrust doesn’t give much bang for its buck. Requiring a double turn scoring window in order to get any bonus out of scoring it, and its effect is not going to be as needed once those ICE protecting it have been rezzed to keep that scoring window open. It is a three for two, which in a Fast Advance strategy is just what the doctor ordered - Some Jinteki have tried that approach, but it has never really caught on.

It could be used for some crazy positional ICE Whirlpool Cell Portal infinite loop combo kill server, but the number of moving parts in there is simply so complicated, it is unlikely to ever be pulled off with any sort of consistency. It is possible that Braintrust would see more use with Fast Advance strategies out of Jinteki, a place where most players have not forged ahead - and that means for at least a little bit, it could be quite a surprise deck to see.

Fetal AI Agenda: Ambush (Cyber Exodus #53)

Fetal AIImpact 3 out of 5

A five for two is an unusual agenda cost, and because of that it doesn’t see as much play. Not only is it difficult to score, but unlike a five for three, it doesn’t reduce the number of agendas in a deck as well. It has two difficult drawbacks because of that. Yet it still sees a lot of play.

This is simply because of the fact it protects itself. It bites back when accessed, and if the runner doesn’t have the credits to steal it, it stays there. It is used with other agendas like it that protect themselves, and creates a difficult situation for the runner. Not only is damage a threat, but a number of credits has to be kept on hand ‘just in case’ during every run which might encounter these kinds of agendas.

While Fetal AI hasn’t seen as much use out of the currently powerful Replicating Perfection, it still is a common agenda that has been a staple part of many Jinteki plans at world domination.

Dedicated Server Asset: Facility (A Study in Static #72)

Dedicated ServerImpact 1 out of 5

Like Braintrust, the point of this card is to help keep rez costs low. The most use out of it is going to come if the runner has to run over multiple turns, encountering multiple ICE that needs to be rezzed. That is where it fails, and why it has had very little impact on the game. It isn’t cost effective, and it has to be seen early to get any real benefit out of it. See it too late, and the ICE is already rezzed; see it early and that is great, but it still requires at least two runs on separate turns to save the corp any money.

It is slow, and ineffectual at helping to advance the win condition of most decks, and that is why it has seen very little use - and likely, will see very little in the future. The economy is there, and strongly, for Jinteki now, this kind of band-aid economy isn’t needed anymore.

Edge of World Asset: Ambush (Cyber Exodus #53)

Edge of WorldImpact 2 out of 5

A card that maybe should see a little more use as a one off in glacier style decks, Edge of World is hard to pull off but a very strongly designed card. Because it cannot be advanced, that makes it hard to bluff out as an agenda and force the runner to run on it. Not only that, but the timing has to be critical - the runner has to have enough credits to get in, but it can’t look too easy. If the runner is simply richy and can access whatever they want, seeing a card go down with no advancements isn’t an incentive to run unless there are some other factors.

Edge of World can lead to some surprise kills though. As only two influence, popping a single one into any glacier deck could be very surprising. Especially if there is a Never Advance sort of strategy going on (install card, but do not advance. Only advance the next turn to score a three for two). Even if it is seen early in RD or HQ, the threat of it it will put the runner on alert, causing them to run more cautiously when facing un advanced cards in servers with a lot of ICE.

Ronin Asset: Hostile (Future Proof #112)

RoninImpact 3 out of 5

A staple of Jinteki kill decks, this card relies on the fact that a ‘failed trap’ is often left alone. Install and advance advance and a runner will go after the card, assuming it to be an agenda. Install and advance only once, and the runner will stop to consider, look at the board state - maybe they won’t run. Maybe they will assume it is a trap and let it be. A few more slow advanced turns and all that is left is waiting for the runner to drop below three cards in their grip.

In combination with Industrial Genomics this is a rather common strategy, boosting the trash cost to high levels, in combination with Shock!s in archives and Hostile Infrastructure as an additional cost, leaving a runner in a potentially bad state. Ronin has other uses, and when played in the right manner is a great way to snag a kill.

Bullfrog ICE: Code Gate - Deflector - Psi (A Study in Static #73)

BullfrogImpact 1 out of 5

Bullfrog has seen pretty much no play at all, due to its very strange nature. Once Susanoo-No-Mikoto came out, while a more focused deflector, Bullfrog dropped off whatever little bit of use it might have had. The Psi game requirement makes it not a guarantee to fire, as a four strength code gate it may be slightly more difficult for Yog.0 to break, but not really - there are lots of ways to get -1 strength for Yog’s benefit. It really could not be relied on to fire more than once, and even if it did, it meant that it was no longer on the server originally, making it easier for the runner to get into that server on the next attempt. Outside of a combo heavy ICE trap kill deck, where Bullfrog might be used to put the runner into that server after it is setup (but without other cards, the run doesn’t even have to continue) it is unlike Bullfrog will ever see much use.

Sensei ICE: Code Gate (Trace Amount #34)

SenseiImpact 2 out of 5

Positional ICE is always difficult to make use of. See it too early, and it is useless without support cards to move ICE. See it late and it is nice, but did it really do its job then? Sensei is at least a piece of ICE that is not only difficult to break at five strength, but also adds subroutines to all other pieces of ICE after it. That adds the tax factor up really quickly. Given also that token breakers are becoming more popular (such as Lady) an additional subroutine could run those kinds of breakers out faster, opening up scoring windows for the corp.

It is positional, and that is its greatest drawback for certain. It is an average of three of four credits to break though, which can be good - more so the more ICE that it is in front of. On average it  probably is only going to be an additional two credits to break those subroutines it adds to the ICE behind it (assuming it averages out most often as the third ICE on a server), meaning its high tax to break will never be paid in favor of the smaller addition to further ICE.

Snowflake ICE: Barrier - Psi (What Lies Ahead #15)

SnowflakeImpact 2 out of 5

Out of all the Psi ICE, Snowflake is possibly the best of the lot. It is cheap to rez, which is good because spending money on the Psi game is an additional cost, and it simply ends the run. A good combination that may be often overlooked.

The drawback is of course that it is Psi. The cost to keep the runner out can add up very quickly, and it is not a guarantee that it will do so even if there are no breakers on the table for it. The cost is reduced out of Nisei Division, but that ID hasn’t seen enough reason to be run yet.

Whirlpool ICE: Trap (Humanity’s Shadow #94)

WhirlpoolImpact 1 out of 5

Positional (ish) ICE that is really the key to any ICE Kill server style deck. Not that those decks are very effective, or even have a winning percentage, but if the concept is going to be explored, Whirlpool is the key to doing so. As a Trap it is far more likely to fire, as long as those pesky AI breakers aren’t in position to break it. It really needs to be on the outermost bit of the server, and it would need a lot of combination with other pieces of ICE set up in just the right places, some cost reduction for rezzing those ICE, and a way to get the runner to run on it when the corp is ready for them. So many moving pieces make it difficult to pull off.

Whirlpool could be used in combination with traps of course, forcing the runner down a server they don’t want to be going down. End the Run would have to be non existent then; the runner could just let that subroutine fire when they want to get out. That in turn reduces the ability for ICE in general to keep the runner out, which is a bad proposition for most corp strategies. It could make an interesting surprise, a one off in a deck that makes the runner pause and think, step back, have to really consider what is going on down there, but it would only work once, and deckslots are allways tight.

Sunset Operation (Cyber Exodus #54)

SunsetImpact 1 out of 5

One of those methods for rearranging ICE that is needed for the Whirlpool and Cellportal style decks, and is great with Jinteki having a lot of positional ICE. The problem is that instead of playing cards that are good all the time, playing this card means cards are being played that are only good some of the time, and additional card slots are being used up to shore up those cards, making more cards that are only good some of the time. That is why it hasn’t seen any play, and likely won’t.

Trick of Light Operation (Trace Amount #33)

Trick of LightImpact 3 out of 5

This is the Jinteki Fast Advance card, and it is only good if there is a place to bank those advancement tokens. Advanceable ICE for instance, is a great place to put them, and it helps relieve some of the tempo sting of advancing agendas. Scoring an agenda naturally requires time and money (clicks and credits), which means that every time the corp does so, tempo is being lost. Nothing is being done on that turn except setting up the chance to score, and if it is not fast advanced, then setting up the chance for the runner to steal as well.

Trick of Light alleviates some of that. Not only is it a Fast Advance strategy, allowing a three for two to be scored out in one turn (even a four for two), the process of putting tokens on advanceable ICE to save them for later spreads the tempo hit out over multiple turns to score an agenda, instead of all at once. It may not be the strongest of the Fast Advance core strategy cards, but it still has some uses and will still see play.

Hokusai Grid Upgrade: Region (Humanity’s Shadow #95)

Hokusai GridImpact 2 out of 5

Hokusai is starting to see some use in Jinteki decks that tax more than just clicks and credits. It is expensive to trash, and with some prickly assets like Hostile Infrastructure and ICE that is dangerous to pass through, it can lead to a critical mass of pricks that makes it very dangerous for the runner to run. Seen most often on Archives in Industrial Genomics, that is a perfect example of its use - protecting those face down cards, and adding another bite to the Shock!s that are going to be in there already.

Midori Upgrade: Sysop (Future Proof #113)

MidoriImpact 1 out of 5

She simply has not seen a lot of use yet, and that is probably because prickly ICE or even threatening ICE simply isn’t common enough yet to really make her powerful. Having to rez that piece of ICE is an additional cost as well, but at least Midori is free to rez. What she does do extraordinarily well is advance the shell game. That ICE could be anything. It could a simple trap that just is dealt with, or it could be a piece of ICE the runner won’t have the breaker or the money to deal with, leading to a very tough decision - does the runner jack out? (Her ability triggers during 2.0, the approach - meaning she has to already be rezzed before the run starts if it's the first piece of ICE, or she can only affect the second piece onward - and the runner can choose to jack out at 2.2) That insecurity of what is there ahead of them can be the key to bluffing away a lot of runners.

Reminder: This article was written with the meta up through “Underway Grid” having 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).

Authors Note: Due to real world events, Wyldside will be on hiatus next week. Enjoy the 4th Weekend for all our American readers, and play some good Netrunner!

Monday, June 22, 2015

2.1 - Anarch - Genesis Cycle

This article was written with the meta up through “Chrome City” having 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).

Authors Note: My computer fried over the weekend, and I was forced to rebuild on Saturday. This article is written almost on the fly, with very little time to reflect and go over what I wrote, find mistakes, and adjust strategy thoughts as they percolated in the back of my brain. Please excuse any mistakes this week!

Whizzard: Master Gamer Identity: Natural (What Lies Ahead #1)

Whizzard: Master GamerImpact 4 out of 5

Whizzard’s ability may be very meta dependant, but in the current view of the state of competitive decks, his ability is very powerful. Most Anarch decks are in a very interesting place right now - with the exception of Noise and a few specialty decks (Such as Headlock), Anarch decks seem to be able to swap in IDs like a revolving turntable. Whizzard has become strong of late because of the prevalence of economy assets that need trashing (such as Sundew in RP) or the many assets that might be installed just to trigger NEH. This has caused him to be the ID of choice among the ‘Good Stuff’ Anarch types.

Where Whizzard will go from here completely depends on where the corporation meta goes. As long as assets remain a strong part of the corp strategy then Whizzard will keep working well against them and be an obvious choice to counter.

Retrieval Run Event: Run (Future Proof #101)

Retrieval RunImpact 2 out of 5

A solid and interesting bit of recursion, Retrieval Run may not have seen a lot of use but it is at least known as an understandable card. The main issue that it runs into is the three credit cost, and the possibility of ICE over archives increasing that cost even more. Given that Archives is very often a target of Anarch decks, that can limit when this card is useful. In addition, spending a click and three credits to install a card from the heap that may cost far less isn’t always the best economic idea.

Yet there are plenty of programs (mainly icebreakers) that cost far more than three, and this can be a smashingly good way to get them back into play if they were trashed. Combined with Inject it is even stronger - good card draw that is going to dump those expensive programs into the heap for the runner makes a strong case. Even for the now returning Yog.0 it is a discount to install, once it is in the heap, making Retrieval Run a worthwhile investment. Assuming of course, Archives isn’t too heavily ICE’d.

It is a solid card that has a few drawbacks that are entirely circumstantial, and can be worked around. Noise isn’t going to use it because of how fast Archives becomes ICE’d against him, but other runners can find it very useful.

Surge Event (Humanity’s Shadow #81)

SurgeImpact 2 out of 5

In the early days this card saw a lot of use - Mostly because the card pool was small, and the types of Anarch decks that were viable often used a lot of viruses. It has a lot of very interesting combinations - Raising a Parasite to the kill number two turns earlier, increasing a Darwin to an unexpected strength three after a purge to get into some server, even getting more use out of Imp if in hand the turn Imp is played.

The problem for Surge really became deckslots. It is a solid card that can see lot of use, but when the deck as a whole is looked at it doesn’t seem to be the most important and often ends up as the 46th card that gets cut. Seeing as how it is so little used now, however, might make it a good time to include one or two in a deck, for the surprise factor - Large ICE hit by parasites, a few additional Datasucker tokens in order to get into another server, there are many possibilities and for a virus heavy deck it would have many uses.

Vamp Run - Sabotage (Trace Amount #21)

VampImpact 4 out of 5

At first glance Vamp just seem’s like a much more expensive Account Siphon without the tags. It must not be forgotten however that what Vamp can do is affect the corp down to zero no matter how many credits they have, as long as the runner has more. That alone has made Vamp very useful, and the key for many decks to beat the very strong Caprice Nisei - the corp cannot spend any credits for her Psi game if they have none. They can’t even rez most ICE, which if played at the right time could allow an easy run into a server by the runner.

Vamp requires a very strong and heavy economy however, which can be difficult to pull off - Yet there are strong runner economies that can make boatloads of credits, so it can be very possible. It must be combined with keeping the corp in a poor position as well, through trashing of economy assets and forcing them to rez ICE (or other means) but when the strategy is properly executed, Vamp becomes a very strong card that can set the corp back to the back foot and keep them there for the rest of the game.

Spinal Modem Hardware: Console (What Lies Ahead #2)

Spinal ModemImpact 3 out of 5

As a Console, Spinal Modem seem’s rather expensively costed. The drawback is very thematic, but two recurring credits, earmarked only for Icebreakers, is far less powerful than Desperado for instance, which with the right tuned deck can result in many many more credits over the course of the game - credits that can be used for anything. That didn’t stop Spinal Modem from being a strong card in many decks - It wasn’t a virus based console and it didn’t eat up influence, so non virus Anarch decks used it well for a long time.

Traces are also one of the more underused mechanics of the game; most of the time when a trace comes out that the runner can’t beat (such as SEA Source) a kill is coming soon after. There are a couple of strong pieces of ICE that use Traces, but those are most often dangerous for a Spinal Modem user early game, before the console is likely to be installed.

Where that all takes Spinal Modem depends on the deck. Anarch consoles are typically the cheapest, and while Spinal Modem is not like many of its fellows, it can serve some use. In order to be picked over others however, the deck would need those two recurring credits very much.

Darwin Program: Icebreaker - AI - Virus (Future Proof #102)

DarwinImpact 2 out of 5

There was, at one point, a Darwin deck that did very well at some higher level tournaments, relying on Darwin as its primary breaker. To do so requires a lot of support, such as Surge and Cyberfeeder's (the credit on which can be used to add a virus counter to Darwin) and maybe e3 Feedback Implants to reduce the cost of breaking multi-sub ICE. Cards like Hivemind and Virus Breading Ground that were recently released can give some great support as well. That those cards are so versatile for other virus based strategies gives Darwin some place as a support role - many decks include at least one AI for dealing with pesky ICE that is otherwise difficult for their breaker suite, Darwin with the support that would be going into other virus strategies would be strong in that role.

Now that those support cards for Virus strategies are out there, Darwin will possibly some use in those kinds of decks, even as just a one off emergency AI breaker, rather than the other possiblities.

Disrupter Program (A Study In Static #61)

DisrupterImpact 1 out of 5

Given how little trace effects are encountered, Disrupter is a solidly niche card that would be perfect for a sideboard, if Netrunner ever had such a thing. It is also great to tech against your buddie’s trace centric theme deck, but outside of that it is very difficult to play. Because it’s a program that has to be trashed, it is only good with on the board recursion (such as Clone Chip). Which means the only time it is going to be usable is when it is already installed or in the Heap, and the corp will know it’s there. Given that you can’t even clone chip it out as the corp plays an operation that would initiate a trace makes it only useful there for ICE. Any important trace that the corp needs to fire (Such as SEA Source) they will simply wait until they have more credits to fire it, or wait until it has been trashed. Never going to see use outside of decks that are teching specifically against trace decks, makes it an interesting, but unlikely to be used card.

Force of Nature Program: Icebreaker - Decoder (A Study In Static #62)

Force of NatureImpact 1 out of 5

As most people have said, Force of Nature is one of the worst decoders in the game. Not only is it expensive to install, but it is strikingly inefficient. Peacock is almost as inefficient, and for at least some ICE Peacock is strikingly more efficient. Force of Nature is the only pumpable decoder in faction for Anarch, but when you take a look at the alternative in faction - Yog - it might become obvious why it is so bad. Yog is simply so good. If the runner doesn’t want to include the support cards that make Yog even better (NRE, Datasucker, or even a few others) then perhaps, but spending a few influence might be a better choice than Force of Nature.

What is most interesting is that Zu.13 is only a credit or two cheaper to break most ICE, but used far more often as an alternative decoder, especially when it needs to be splashed. Why is that? When one looks at Sneakdoor and compares Zu to Force of Nature, the cost to get through is very very similar. Of course, of the course of a game that single extra credit per ICE can really add up. A single credit can make the difference between being able to steal a NAPD or not. It can make the difference of getting through that Pop-Up window or not. It can make the difference in a Psi game. Zu is also so much cheaper to install, part of which gives Force of Nature its bad rap. Yog exists too, which is simply so much better - with a few support cards, most code gates are simply free to get through, and D4v1d exists for the rest.

Imp: Program: Virus (What Lies Ahead #3)

ImpImpact 3 out of 5

Imp is a strong card, good for a lot of uses. Economy denial and saving money in trashing assets, tossing out important operations the corp may want to see on an RD run, possibly even getting to see more cards the next time the runner gets in with Medium. It can even be used to toss agenda’s accessed into the trash to prevent a Midseasons from being able to be played.

While Imp doesn’t go in every deck, it has a lot of use and see’s play in the decks that often run other virus strategies, if just for the ability to get more counters on it.

Morningstar Program: Icebreaker - Fracter (What Lies Ahead #4)

Morning StarImpact 2 out of 5

The last of the fixed strength breakers, Morningstar is very efficient, but very expensive to get out. A prime target for a Retrieval Run, the problem is that there are not a lot of ICE that really gets a benefit out of its ‘break any number of subroutines’ ability. Without strength manipulation, there only seven barriers that have multiple subroutines that it can break, and while all seven may be seen at one time or another, only a few of them are seen constantly enough - and Corroder, already in faction, gets through them well enough. Maybe not always cheaply, but it is far cheaper to install making it easier to get out without as much of a tempo hit.

Morningstar could certainly see some use with NRE, but the install cost is tough even as Anarch’s are finally getting some economy to play with, and while an entire fixed strength suite of breakers is very efficient at getting in, there are a few ICE that would cause a lot of problems, even with multiple strength reduction options or a D4v1d to back them up.

Nerve Agent Program: Virus (Cyber Exodus #41)

Nerve AgentImpact 3 out of 5

The HQ version of Medium, it suffers from the fact that once it hits five counters, for most decks, additional runs are not gaining any additional benefit. O fcourse, being able to access the entire hand of a corp is very strong, and given that often agendas pile up in HQ while waiting for scoring windows, can be a very strong card mid to late game.

It is great for runners who want to be able to apply some HQ pressure, especially if their decks were concentrating heavily on another server to begin with. If the deck is very good at getting into RD or a remote, the corp is going to hold agendas in HQ (or try to get them in there with a Jackson draw) and a sudden swoop in of a Nerve Agent series of runs can snag many of them out of the hand when the corp is not expecting it. It is a strong card that helps bring HQ pressure, which can be useful in many decks all across the meta.

Data Leak Reversal Resource: Virtual - Sabotage (Future Proof #103)

Data Leak ReversalImpact 2 out of 5

A very difficult card to pull off, when done correctly it is hard for the corp to deal with. Combined with a series of Account Siphons and Vamps, then played when the corp is struggling to recover economy, could leave the corp spending an entire turn just to deal with it. Toss down a few Fall Guy's and suddenly even a single turn can’t get rid of that Data Leak, making it very difficult for the corp to recover after eight, twelve, even more cards have been milled into the trash.

It requires a specialty deck however, and generally is the keystone effect the deck is trying to go for - it takes a lot of cards to really make it a strong effect, and so it will remain a niche card for those kinds of decks, as their primary goal.

Joshua B. Resource: Connection (Cyber Exodus #42)

Joshua B.Impact 2 out of 5

Combined with Data Leak Reversal above, Joshua can provide a lot of clicks to use to mill, especially with Fall Guy protecting them all, and it easily provides the tag for DLR. It also goes very well with the click intensive Wanton Destruction and given that there are other click gaining cards for Anarch, it can quite quickly give the runner two turns in which to act without the corp having any clicks of their own.

It takes a lot to use, and the tag at the end of the turn is a dangerous place - a free tag to any kill deck is an invitation to watch the carpet bombing start, and with only a few credits in hand. Some way of dealing with that tag must be included, which ups the combo pieces even more. Like DLR, it generally only slots into a deck that is planning on using it for its primary strategy, or to directly support a click intensive strategy like DLR.

Liberated Account Resource (Trace Amount #22)

Liberated AccountImpact 3 out of 5

So very expensive to install, but so much money once it is on the table. Each click used in Liberated Accounts is like playing a Sure Gamble, and each Liberated Accounts has four of them ready to go. Hard to get out there, recently it has become much better with cards like The Supplier reducing its install cost (and letting you click all four times in a single turn if a burst is required, for even more money than Day Job - Twelve vrs eight total gain), or Career Fair as well.

It has a lot of strong economic power that is becoming more common to be used with the support cards as listed above. Its biggest hurdle was its installation cost, making it impossible to get out if the runner was broke. Given that those cards go well with other resources that are commonly played they make valid support cards in a deck that might make use of such economy options.

Scrubber Resource: Connection - Seedy (A Study In Static #63)

ScrubberImpact 4 out of 5

If Whizzard is popular in the meta because of asset trashing, Scrubber is going to be as well. Just like Whizzard will use his credits to create an economic disparity by denying the asset economy many of the strong decks use right now, Scrubber will do the same. At only one influence, it can be splashed into any deck, giving all of them a chance to compete against the current meta environment.

It remains strong, and will as long as the asset economy remains strong. Where it continues to go from there is hard to say, as that depends entirely on the direction corp decks take.

Xanadu Resource: Virtual (Humanity’s SHadow #82)

XanaduImpact 2 out of 5

An economy denial card, forcing the corp to pay more, it is difficult to use - Its unique status makes it a dead card to draw after the first is out, and if it is included it is going to want to be seen for its power early, rather than later. It suffers from that same problem that Ice Carver does, in that way. Yet it is a very important card in some recent decks, such as Headlock Reina - In that style the card is nice to see, but not necessary, which is perhaps the best place for it. There are so many other ways of economy denial in that style of deck that while Xanadu has a great place, it isn’t necessary.

It has seen some play in that current strong style of Headlock or Soulsiphon, and while it may not get much use outside of that place, it will be useful wherever a strong economic denial deck originates.

Next Week

Back to Red, Jinteki in the Genesis Cycle

Reminder: This article was written with the meta up through “Chrome City” having 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).