Android Netrunner - Blood Money

The whole economy is going to pot now with all the aftermath of the Titan servers going down. How are the Runner's and Corp dealing with everything? We're already on the second pack of the Flashpoint cycle - it's a bugbear to keep up sometimes! Can't wait for Arkham Horror LCG where I get to do this twice over!

To repeat a previous disclaimer, I'm a casual player that enjoys the game and can hold my own in a local store tournament despite having much to learn myself. That's all. Take that for what its worth, but maybe that will allow me to consider combos and ideas that will be fun to use rather than simply dismissing anything that doesn't make a Tier 1 level deck or whatever! So that being said, let's start. You can already check out my Android Netrunner review on my site. If you want to see all the images for each card, I recommend you visit netrunnerdb.com and use their search engine.




Credit Crash

Normally it would be great to have a card where you can trash non-agenda cards for free. However this one has a massive flaw with it. The Corp is able to stop the trash by paying the cost of the card. If it's an expensive asset like a San San City Grid, then happy days, it's a big credit drain. But what if it's an operation with a cheap play cost? I want to trash Exchange of Information the second I see it, but it's zero credits, so the Corp can keep it. And to make things worse, remember Demolition Run? Yeah I'll bet barely as nobody runs it any more, but that's still a better card effect than Credit Crash!


Rumour Mill

And here we have another meta-shifting card. This is so powerful it's unreal. The list of cards that this nullifies is extensive including some of the most popular sysop, bioroid and executive assets/upgrades out there. At two influence this can feasibly be splashed although you want to be sure you can keep it on the board long enough as it's a current.after all. Even if you don't have a specific reason to use it, chances are if you play it, it will hurt something that the Corp is using. Corp players will now need to start putting more currents than they normally would, which makes me happy as I miss using currents.


NFR

This breaker was basically designed for Null, the Anarch identity from the last pack. Use his ability to bring an ICE's strength down and then your breaker gets better and later you won't need to use more Datasucker tokens or cards from your hand. So in the late game it gets very economical, but what if you can't boost it to begin with? If you run into a Vanilla, then you're a happy panda because you can keep boosting it cheaply to your heart's content. But what about an Eli or worse? You could be stuck spending too much resources trying to boost it up and Anarch's aren't known for their long game tactics. It's going to be a hit or miss card for many.

Paperclip

Corroder may have just met its match! It may cost more to install, but when breaking an ICE above STR 2 it's actually more efficient. In fact it's one credit cheaper to break an Eli with this and for many that's more than enough reason. But here's the best part. It can be installed from your heap as and when it's needed. So if it gets trashed by the hundreds of ways it could possibly be trashed especially in Anarch, then it's not a problem. Faust, Null and even Maxx can happily eat up this card knowing it will keep coming back. Much like that annoying paperclip from the Windows help menu. One copy of this would be enough in a deck instead of having two Corroders, which saves you an influence and a deck slot in non-Anarch decks.


Golden

If you're going to come up against the most expensive sentries known to man, then maybe it's worth it, but without some janky way to get it out regularly this is just so expensive and not worth using. Did you have a big fortune, well you won't any more after using this card. The install cost is just far too high and then two credits for any feature on the card. The only thing that stops this going straight into a binder is the potential to combo this with LLDS Processor. That way chances are you won't have to spend money most of the time on boosting it's strength at least..


Khan: Savvy Skiptracer

Why can't Criminal catch a break with their cards lately? We get a good one in a second, but this identity, what's the point of it? It's got a big influence cut, it's got no link and its ability is so blah at best. You'll be lucky to save a couple of credits in a game with this and if you think this will make Golden worth using, then you're wrong because even with this, it's just too expensive. Anarch's get Null and soon the upcoming "built in Sneakdoor Beta" coolness. If I didn't know better I'd say FFG have a bias to Anarch decks here. The only redeeming feature is the deck size at 40 cards. You can build a very consistent Criminal deck with 40 cards with all the tutor abilities they have for getting your breakers out, but it needs an ID to back it up.



Temujin Contract

YES! Finally a good Criminal card! This is Bank Job on steroids. You can either place this on a remote and earn a ton of easy money or place it on a central server and reward yourself for doing runs you were planning to do anyway. Dirty Laundry's become even more lucrative, earn money while you spin The Turning Wheel or just be happy that your run on R&D cost you four credits less than usual. Andromeda is loving this card right now when combined with her other tricks. Or take Gabe with a Desperado and a Security Testing and just rake in the dough. It's worth noting as well that it doesn't replace the access so you're getting the card as well. Fantastic card and makes up for the rest of the rubbish they got in this pack.


Data Breach

I'm not sure we're in desperate need for a card that allows for another run to be performed straight after it. Criminals already have Doppelganger to do that and most Shaper decks trying to pull this trick off are using the recent From The Ashes card to spam a ton of runs at the beginning of the turn. You also have to make sure it's a successful run otherwise you waste the other side. It's not horrible, but I doubt it will see deck space.



Algo Trading

This is one of those economy cards that rewards patience to build it up, but considering that rush tactics seem to be the name of the game lately, it's not going to get a lot of use as a result. If you could feasibly get two or three of these set up, it would be a serious money gain over time, but that's a huge investment and you're just asking for the Corp player to trash your resources as soon as he tags you, which let's face it, is a big concern lately. Stick with what we're used to for now.



Beth-Kilrain-Chang

Very rarely do you find the Corp sitting tightly under 5 credits willingly for a game, so you're going to get some benefit on her over time. In two turns she pays herself back, but getting a free draw or even a full click is gravy. However consider that if the opponent is constantly giving you clicks then the Corp is likely going to be in a winning situation for being so loaded on cash, but it might allow you time to catch up. Primarily I think this will be simply used as additional drip income.


Fairchild 2.0

The original Fairchild 1.0 was received with high praise and this is a solid big brother to include as well. Now it's not as cost effective as the previous one as that was dirt cheap for how it taxed the Runner, but again here we are taxing on clicks, credits or programs, but we have this nice brain damage addition. If the Runner intends to click through this, then it's likely they'll pay the additional credits rather than take a hit to the brain cells. In the rare case they face plant this with no clicks spare then it could hurt them pretty badly. With the upcoming identity on its way for Bioroid goodness I look forward to resurrecting this archetype with lots of these ICE.


Aiki

This is a very weird piece of PSI ICE. Firstly you're actually trying to spend a different number of credits here so the Runner is more than likely having to spend credits to draw those cards. Hopefully they haven't managed to do so before they hit the net damage afterwards, but then these sub-routines can easily be broken by a typical code gate breaker. I'm not seeing a lot of love for this and personally I think it's not that good either. If anything it even doesn't synergise well with the Hyoubu facility from the previous pack that paid you credits when revealing them.


Enforcing Loyalty

Not sure such a card deserves a trash cost, but anyway. This isn't the most powerful trace ever, but if you're confident you can fire it off, this could target quite a few important cards. Most of the time when a Runner puts non-faction cards in their deck, there will be very critical cards. Corroder for a kick-off when you're not playing Anarch or that pesky Medium splashed into Criminal. Now this is very dependent on your opponent which is what lets this card down and any Runner with link will probably be able to survive this easily so I'm not sold on it personally. I would have liked this to have been similar to Voter Intimidation with the PSI game.


Hatchet Job

Pick your targets carefully so reserve this only for the most expensive breaker or loaded economy cards out there. However it's a pretty sizable trace so if the Runner wants to stop this, chances are they are paying enough money anyway to upset their tempo. It does cost you two credits to play though so the credit difference probably won't be that high. Although if you're running one of those Aryabhata Tech decks, this could result in a huge tempo punch to the face to the Runner.


Special Report

Basically a slightly better version of Election Day because you can choose which cards to shuffle back in, but otherwise it's nothing particularly special. I don't know anyone who's using these "hand refresh" cards.


C.I Fund

The Weyland version of the Algo Trading card from earlier, except now you have to pay 2 credits to take all the money off the card if you want to. I'm still not sold on it though, that's a lot of money you have to give up to get this going and given that the trash cost is only two, why wouldn't you use Commercial Bankers instead for 3 credits a turn? Sure you can't protect them with ICE, but are you going to devote ICE to this either? Protection against Siphon? I'd rather just put a decent ICE on HQ to begin with. Or a Crisium Grid. I just can't see the value of these janky assets.


Liquidation

This is an interesting economy card to make use of any cards that are no longer useful and can amount to a considerable amount of money. However what cards you would get rid of remain to be seen. Reducing ICE defenses is unlikely to be a good idea, most economy assets trash themselves upon completion and hidden trap cards won't work as they have to be rezzed. I find other cards such as Commercialization and Diversified Portfolio to be more lucrative and less damaging to your situation.



Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations


As soon as this got spoiled, everyone was making decks trying to bring back The Cleaners and boost the meat damage as much as possible. However scoring 5/3's especially in Weyland can be a slow process. Without a boost, 1 meat damage is unlikely to do more than gently annoy the Runner from time to time, but if you can combine it with a Dedicated Response Team or a Snare you might cause some unexpected flatlines during a run. So rather than boost the identity meat damage, maybe it would be better used as a tempo hit and stick with the Rush style. Note the deck size limit of only 40 cards, so you can build a tiny deck to help you draw the cards you need and if you try my Snare idea, well they will crop up more often. I think it has potential, but it's early days and needs some more testing.




Financial Collapse

Shed a tear first for poor Chaos Theory with a picture that feels all too real. However the card itself is a meta-call. If everyone is going resource heavy, this will be a really cool card. A Runner with 6 credits and three resources will have to choose between going broke or losing a card which could be a major part of their strategy. Now some resources a Runner will be happy to just chuck away (Fall Guy's from Geist), but otherwise it could be a tough decision. The main issue is that the credit loss is based on the number of resources out there. If they have a resource that's going to be a right pain but it's their only one, then they'll just take the two credit loss and have done with it. Not broken, but not amazing either.


Prisec

Prisec is essentially half as powerful as a Snare in comparison, but let's take note of a few things here. First, it's not unique, so it stacks with multiple copies. It's also 3 to trash, not just 1 so you may find the Runner can't even get rid of it when they hit it, so it gets to fire again. This can be a pain particularly in Argus decks where you've got the added insult of dealing damage or tags on steals. But I suspect it's best used with the new Builder of Nations deck as it's an extra point of damage to co-incide with the identity. Even other factions could make use of this. NBN won't say no to more tagging ideas and even though Houkasai Grid is technically slightly better, Jinteki would love to abuse this in Replicating Perfection or worse, Industrial Geonomics - a Prisec you can't easily trash.


Summary

Not quite as many game-changing cards as previously, however I can see asset spam decks and even some glacier builds running in fear from Rumour Mill if it gets used often in the meta. Criminal for the most part still suffering with binder fodder cards and even the Corp didn't have a ton to scream about in this pack. However it's worth it if not just to grab Paperclip, Temujin Contract and Rumour Mill alone. Not the best, but we're escalating to something big soon. . . .

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