Welcome to our first installment of INCOMING DATA, where we’ll be reviewing the new Android Netrunner Data Packs, as they’re released.
Joel’s Runner Reviews:
Faust — I typically play Criminal Runner decks, and I usually don’t have much recursion, so this card kinda scares me. Throwing away cards seems like such a waste. However, it definitely seems like a good “in a pinch” icebreaker, like most AI breakers.
Street Peddler — Throw this in a Hayley deck, use it on the Corp’s turn and boom! You’re rig-building even faster than you thought! You can also think of Street Peddler as an Anarch’s Clone Chip/SMC. You’re able to install something on the fly, and the Corp won’t know what’s coming. Also a nice include in our next card…
Armand “Geist” Walker: Tech Lord — Geist has arrived! Perhaps we finally have an ID that allows the breaking and entering suite(Crowbar, Shiv and Spike) to be viable. Geist also has synergy with your normally good cards, Same Old Thing, Clone Chip, SMC, etc. Might be worth trying some form of Crescentus in a Geist deck. As with most new IDs, I’m sure there’s more support coming later in the cycle, or perhaps in the next cycle.
Drive By — Possibly an answer to Caprice? Also would be a nice include for a Silhouette/Blackguard deck. Force HB to rez their Eve Campaign, and then make them trash it. Seems like this is better than Infiltration, especially if you’re already using a Criminal ID. Saves you another click of having to run and some credits to trash a particularly unsightly asset.
Forger — The jury is still out, on this one. Perhaps if you’re in a tag heavy meta? I don’t see wanting to include this over Desperado. Ever.
Shiv — Filling out the Breaking and Entering suite, that I mentioned above. We have our Cloud Killer. I recently built a Geist deck, with all three of the breakers, and it was pretty good. I wouldn’t consider it better than standard breaker suites, but it’s definitely not bad. The free install cost is nice, but so is Faerie, and Faerie can take care of a 5 subroutine Komainu easier.
Gang Sign — I’ll be honest. When I opened the pack, I read Gang Sign, and I didn’t really think much of it. Then, I played against it. Wow. Obvious synergy with HQ Interface, or even Nerve Agent, if you’re playing Anarch. I’m considering an Edward Kim deck, with a few of these in it.
Muertos Gang Member — Would it be awesome to lay this down, and force Blue Sun to derez their Oversight AI’d Curtain Wall? Yes. Would it be sad if the Corp just derezzes a Jackson Howard? Yes. It’s very situational, which I guess could be said about most Netrunner cards, but this one seems to be overhyped, in my opinion. Even if there’s ONE more piece of ICE rezzed, or any other asset, chances are, the Corp will be able to derez something cheap/free, and then when they find a way to trash this, they can rez their expensive stuff. Consider this a high risk card.
Chameleon — Hello, London Library. You’re looking mighty fine, today. Mind if I throw a Chameleon onto you? No? Okay, good. LLDS Processor might be coming out of the woodwork, too, with Chameleon.
Hyperdriver — Seems pretty straight forward. You want more clicks on a turn? This is how. Combine a few of these with a Data Leak Reversal, or a Wanton Destruction, or whatever else you might want. Better throw them on Leprechaun, too. Save yourself some MU.
Andrew’s Corp Reviews
Test Ground — Probably the worst card in this pack as it has minimal viable use cases and all of them are pretty fringe. Do you want to recycle an Adonis or Eve campaign? Sure. But there’s already Archived Memories and Interns that do that at a better efficiency. Best case scenario, Test Ground derezzes an ICE the runner Parasited so the Parasite ends up stuck in limbo taking up MU.
Defective Brainchips — Pretty strong current if there were an easy way to force a brain damage… oh yeah, we have that now in our new favorite sysop. I can see Defective Brainchips seeing minor play in Batty Cybernetics decks, but probably no where else.
Allele Repression — The best of the new Advanceable Trashable Asset Suite (TM) of The Underway, Allele Repression allows a unique way of card recycling. Best use case is turning your late-game extra ICE into more Sundews out of RP or getting back the winning agenda after a Jackson pump-and-dump. At 2 to rez, the big question is whether or not it is economically a good play since it costs a minimum of 2 clicks + 3 credits to get a single card back and you most likely won’t ever see this advanced more than twice. If you’re trying to add this into your decks, you may just want to stick to Interns purely based on the credit savings.
Marcus Batty — What’s there to say besides this is one of the most powerful cards in the game. Even just using this to fire an ETR is crazy powerful out of modern RP forcing the runner to win two back-to-back psi games when coupled with caprice to get into your scoring remote. Batty also single handedly opens up the viability of blacklist lockouts, just general rig-destruction to slow down the runner, and even Brain Damage focused kill-decks. Midrange HB that runs 2x Caprice will now be running 2x Batty instead with two extra influence for another Tollbooth. Runners will forever fear the mad scientist… well at least for 5 more cycles.
Exposé — NBN Bad Publicity removal. Doesn’t seem like a bad card, but I don’t think there are many decks that care about getting rid of Bad Publicity. The Bad Publicity mechanic doesn’t seem to even exist outside of Valencia Estavez and it’s pretty hard for the runner to capitalize on a corp that intentionally takes Bad Publicity. My feelings are this card is maybe going to be relevant in the future depending on how the Bad Publicity mechanic expands in functionality.
Pachinko — A really solid barrier for NBN is nice to see. Combos well with some other powerful ICE. Put it behind a Data Raven or Gutenberg on R&D and you have a pretty strong server for cheap. It’ll definitely see play out of Making News Tag Storm style builds.
Underway Renovation — A nice addition to the utility 3/1 agendas, but I doubt this card will see much play. I could see it going into some sort of Blue Sun glacier build that likes to take it’s time to set up. It seems like a good way to add awkward pressure while you’re waiting for the runner to stall out. This could be a solid tech card against Prepaid Kate specifically because hitting her econ is a hard thing to do these days.
Contract Killer — A mini-Ronin mixed with a cheaper version of Snatch and Grab? Awesome. Kill the runner or kill their friends. Really strong against a few certain runner archetypes. Headlock Reina with a dead Kati Jones can’t vamp. Noise that can’t pawn off his junk is going to have a really bad time. If your Weyland deck is packing Snatch and Grab, you might want to swap it out for a Contract Killer.
Spiderweb — A great anti-lady card all around. A pretty decent barrier just in general. A bit easy to hit with parasite, but is a really solid taxing barrier for 0 influence for Weyland. I think it’s a decent Hive replacement or maybe best used side-by-side with Hive. Has anyone built a good Midway Station Grid deck yet?
Underway Grid — A good card that doesn’t quite fit in the current meta. Both the anti-expose and anti-bypass mechanics specifically hit Criminals and it is widely accepted that criminals are at the bottom of the totem pole right now. Unless everyone starts playing that stealth Silhouette deck from Belgium, I doubt this card makes the cut in any of the top decks.