By Andrew– February 4, 2013
Some of you already know me from Rogue Thoughts and the “Running the Nets for Fun and Profit” series of articles. If not, you make me sad and force me to introduce myself more formally.
Hi. I’m Andrew. Or AndrewRogue. Or ARogue. Hell, sometimes I’ve even just a rogue, my mood pending.
I play games. All sorts. A lot. Since I was a kid. And since I’ve played games quite a bit and for a fairly long time, I tend to know a decent amount about them.
Android: Netrunner was simply a chance play that I fell in love with. You see, there was a whole in my heart. I had recently quit playing the World of Warcraft TCG after some changes in their design caused me to like the game a lot less. Besides, it was a serious time investment! And I had tons of other games to play! Yet, no matter what shiny new video game caught my eye or what cunningly devised board game dominated my time on Wednesday nights, none of them filled that hole that WoW had left.
I’d ALWAYS had some sort of CCG in my life! Always! Magic, WoW, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, L5R, Rage, Wyrm (okay, they weren’t all winners, but I did still have them) and without one, my life just didn’t feel complete.
Then along comes Android: Netunner. I had never played the original because, at the time, I trended more towards sword and sorcery then cyberpunk (something that remains mostly true), so I didn’t really have any expectations when we played. Yet I was blown away. The game just played so differently then what I was used to. It was full of mind games, hidden information, variable play from both sides, and Neural Katanas.
What? Neural Katanas were integral to my initial experience. Don’t judge me.
Ahem. Anyhow, the rest is pretty much history. I dig the game. I already liked the LCG model (and was only not involved in any of the existing LCGs due to lack of local playership) which was an added bonus. Now I participate in tournaments (and even run one monthly in Berkeley) and am looking to help the community expand and make sure the game gets the love and attention it deserves.
Which is why I’m here today instead of on my own blog! A game depends on its community, and Netrunner’s community needs a little bit of help in growing! So I figured I should contribute to a growing blog.
Oh, and because I could seriously use some free stuff. Can’t forget that.
Anyhow, I think I’m here to talk about what I think are the top 3 cards in Android: Netrunner or something, right? These are going to be in no particular order, because, frankly, all three are pretty awesome. Of course, there are a lot of cards I’d consider honorable mentions as well, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see my opinions changing later.
1. Corporate Troubleshooter
Corporate Troubleshooter, you are so good. I have rambled about you so much. But for the sake of new readers here, let me count the ways you are so good:
1. It is one of the few abilities that can disrupt Runner math once ICE is rezzed, allowing you to force through the subroutines on rezzed ICE. This is particularly useful when said ICE itself has powerful abilities (Archer, Rototurret, etc).
2. It allows the Corporation to leverage their money directly against the Runner. This also stacks effectively with cards that require the Runner to spend additional credits to score meaning that, even against a rich Runner in the lategame, it is possible to float an agenda without it being stolen.
3. It costs 1 Influence, meaning it is very easy to slot into any deck. This also means that it is, realistically, a threat in almost any deck.
2. Scorched Earth
Not a lot to say here that hasn’t been said somewhere else already. Scorched Earth is a card that defines how the Runner plays the game. You don’t end your turn with a tag and/or less than 4 cards. If you do, you risk death. Every time.
That simple. You play around Scorched Earth or you get blown up.
Even if there are a lot of ways to play around it and some rough counters for it, the very fact that you need to know all about them is pretty telling.
3. Account Siphon
I was being a little Corp biased with my analysis, since, on the whole, the Corps tend to have individual cards that are relatively nasty in isolation, while Runners tend to have nasty combinations of things. Of course, that isn’t to say Runners don’t have cards that ruin the Corp’s day all by their lonesome.
Account Siphon is backbreaking. Plain and simple. Assuming the Corp has at least 5 credits when you hit them, and that you need to clear the tags the hard way, this card STILL nets a 9 credit swing in the Runner’s favor. That hurts. A lot. If you can ignore the tags (say you’re facing Jinteki and you’ve seen 12 Influence and no Scorched Earths or something)? Then that can rocket all the way up to a 15 credit swing in the Runner’s favor. 18 if you’re a Criminal with Desperado in play.
That? Is crippling.
Suddenly, ICE that the Corporation was counting on can’t be rezzed. You can punch through servers that they thought were secure for another turn or two. The Corp is wasting full turns to take credits thrice to try and get the money flowing again.
Good times. Good times.
So there you have it. My picks for top cards in Android: Netunner. Like I said, there are a few honorable mentions that I think are comparable to these cards (AstroScript, Stimhack, Archer, Medium, Parasite, etc, etc, etc), but, Rototurret to my head? These are my picks. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they remain my picks.