Thursday, 8 August 2013

Android: Netrunner - My Journey in a Dystopian Future - Part 8: What Lies Ahead

Being a Living Card Game, Android: Netrunner is supported by regularly released Data Packs that add new cards to the game.
There are 60 cards in each pack – 3 copies each of 20 cards – 10 for the Runner and 10 for the Corp.

In this post, I’ll be including what I think are the top 3 cards for the Runner and the top 3 for the Corporation in the first two Data Packs released for the game. You may have different opinions to mine of course, and more experienced players will be more informed on a card’s uses than me, but this is how I see things.


What Lies Ahead is the first Data Pack in The Genesis Cycle and the very first pack released for Netrunner.


1. Ash 2X3ZB9CY
By the time the Runner reaches the end of a run, a lot of the time, he will now be low on cash. So to rez this card when he hits the server you have a good chance in beating him on the trace. In which case, he won't be able to access any cards but this one - allowing you to protect an agenda for you to score it next turn, or bluff and conceal a trap or other asset.

2. Project Atlas

A Weyland agenda, that when advanced beyond that needed to score, allows you to add agenda counters which you can use to search for things in your deck. The only downside is you have to reveal what you just looked for, but you could still use this to play mind games with your opponent.

3. Draco

Though dependent on whether you have plenty of credits when you rez this Ice, Draco allows you to dictate how strong this is going to be. Of course, then you have to have the money to try to trace the Runner to tag him and end the run. By no means a great card, but useful if your pockets are deep.
And if you're curious about the Latin text. It translates as Do not mock conquered dragons.


1. Imp

When Imp is installed, place 2 virus counters on it. You can then use these - once per turn - to trash cards. It being a virus card it will also trash the top card of R&D if you're playing as Noise, when you install it.

I like to install these cards on Djinn to save on the memory slots, but whether you're doing this or not, Imp will always be just a temporary install. Once the virus counters have been used, this is a dead card, which makes it a good one to use in combo with Aesop's pawnshop - at the beginning of your turn, sell Imp to Aesop for 3 credits.

2. Peacock

Reasonably cheap to install, Peacock has a base strength of 2, but 2 credits will boost this by 3 when needed. It is then another 2 credits to break a Code Gate subroutine, so this is certainly not the most efficient Ice, but it is notable that this is the first Decoder for Criminal - an identity that has, until now, had to splash Decoders or rely on Crypsis.

3. Plascrete Carapace

And here we have the answer to Scorched Earth. A neutral card, Plascrete is a great defence against brain damage and if you manage to get two of them out, you are set to run on servers without fear. Your average Runner is clever enough to avoid tags without needing a third copy of this taking up a slot, but I'd certainly recommend adding at least one, particularly if you're going up against Weyland.



The second data pack in the Genesis Cycle. Here are my choices from the 20 new cards.


1. Fetal AI

This card marks the first time the Runner suffers damage upon accessing an agenda and on top of that, has to pay an extra 2 credits to steal it. How often have you used up your last credit during the run and have nothing left when you access the server? Quite a few, which makes this card an essential addition for Jinteki.

2. Sensei

Not drawing Ice with the invaluable End the Run subroutine? Fear not with this in your hand. Sensei adds the End the Run subroutine to all other Ice encountered during the remainder of this run.

3. Jinteki - Replicating Perfection

And a third Jinteki card - this time a whole new identity. If you're using Replicating Perfection, your opponent will not be able to run on a remote server unless he has first run on a central server. The run on one of the centrals doesn't have to be a successful one, but nevertheless, that's a click used up for a run he didn't particularly want to make.


1. Liberated Account

Still one of my favourite Netrunner cards. An Anarch card (but with just 1 influence, so this can go elsewhere), that is an expensive 6 to play, but the pay off for a Runner is superb. You place 16 credits on Liberated Account when it is installed and then for a click you can take 4 credits off it. Picture this: Install it on one turn and then on the next, 2 clicks to take 8 credits and then the third click make a run with money to burn. Brilliant.

2. Dyson Memory Chip

A neutral Runner card that for a cost of 3, will give you +1 memory and +1 link. Simple and effective, especially if you have no link strength to begin with.

3. Vamp

An Anarch event card of 2 influence,  Vamp is used to deplete the Corporation's funds. Providing you're doing ok in economy yourself to be able to afford to play this and pay the X amount of credits, this card could come in very handy.

And there you have it. We'll be following this post up with my picks from the next two data packs, so watch out for that.

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