Sunday, 12 January 2014

Android: Netrunner - My Journey in a Dystopian Future - Part 15: Control, Alt, Delete

I wouldn’t have noticed this myself, but it was mentioned on a Netrunner podcast and I’ve since looked it up on BoardgameGeek.

There’s a potential “broken” combo in Netrunner – i.e. too powerful and could be a candidate for restriction.

It involves the following cards: Jackson Howard, Sea Source, Scorched Earth and the new ones from Mala Tempora – Power Shutdown and Accelerated Diagnostics.

•    In his previous turn, the Runner makes a successful run.
•    As the Corp’s turn begins he rezzes Jackson Howard (already in play).
•    Click 1: He plays Power Shutdown for 1 credit – Play only if the Runner made a run during his or her last turn. Trash X cards from the top of R&D. The Runner trashes 1 installed program or piece of hardware with an install cost of X or less. What the Runner trashes doesn’t really matter because that’s not why the Corp is doing this here. The Corp trashes his entire R&D.
•    The Corp trashes Jackson Howard and puts a Sea Source and 2 Scorched Earths back into R&D from Archives.
•    Click 2: The Corp plays Accelerated Diagnostics for 1 credit – Look at the top 3 cards of R&D. If any of those cards are Operations, you may play them (paying the install costs).
•    Having looked at the only 3 cards now in R&D, he gets to play them all:
1. Sea Source for 2 credits – Play only if the Runner made a successful run during his or her last turn. Trace 3 – if successful, give the Runner 1 tag.
2. Scorched Earth for 3 credits – Play only if the Runner is tagged. Do 4 meat damage.
3. Scorched Earth for 3 credits – Play only if the Runner is tagged. Do 4 meat damage.
•    Flatline……………..

There are a couple of variations. You might have to do it in 3 clicks if you don’t already have Jackson Howard installed for example.
So, do we think it’s going to get restricted?

It’s reliant on quite a few things – Jackson Howard being in your hand or in play; Power Shutdown being in your hand; Accelerated Diagnostics being in your hand; having enough money to play these cards and succeed with the Trace from Sea Source; being able to kill the Runner with the Scorched Earths.

Also, would a deck designed to do this combo (3 of each of these cards to increase the chances of success), be affective at anything else? Or would the Runner be all over the Corp while the Corp was waiting to get this combo set up?

The combo could be easily broken up with a restriction – i.e. you can’t use Power Shutdown in conjunction with Accelerated Diagnostics or Jackson Howard.
Or a card errata – Accelerated Diagnostics cannot be used to play a card that gives the Runner a tag perhaps? Or it cannot be used to play more than one copy of an Operation?
Or simply a restriction on the number of cards you can trash with Power Shutdown.

But should our attention be focused elsewhere? Does the problem actually lie with someone else? I'm looking at you, Jackson.

We'll explore more in the next post.

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