Program: Virus • Install: 3 • Memory: 1 • Influence: 3

Whenever you make a successful run on R&D, place 1 virus counter on Medium.

Each virus counter after the first on Medium allows you to access 1 additional card from R&D whenever you access cards from R&D.

It looked like random packet loss. It wasn't.
Anarch • Adam S. Doyle • Core Set #10
Links: Decklists | ANCUR
Medium
Reviews

Pros

Cons

  • Is dangerous to use when net damage ambushes like Snare! and Fetal AI are around, but you can choose how much you want to access, so be careful.
  • Can be useless, if R&D is well defended and virus counters get purged.

Thoughts

  • Very dangerous if you can make multiple runs during a single turn
  • Multiple Mediums stack, just be aware that the total number of accesses is x+y-1 and not x+y (if the Mediums have x and y virus counters respectively)
  • This is especially dangerous with Personal Workshop since you can install Medium from the Workshop without spending clicks during that turn. It is not uncommom to blast R&D wide open and run multiple times
  • When to purge? That's the big question. If R&D is poorly defended then purging won't do any good because the virus counters can be regained too soon. So keep R&D well defended when suspecting (or facing) a Medium. This makes Medium a pretty strategy defining card. When the runner could install a Medium and run thrice on R&D, then you better get cracking elsewhere or defend R&D better.
  • For that purpose Ice with an unbreakable component probably works best to keep the runner from stomping R&D, Tollbooth or Data Raven come to mind
  • another interesting way of defending R&D against Medium is with an Ice Wall plus Matrix Analyzer. As the runner loads his Medium with counters, you improve your Ice Wall along, so you kind of "keep up". Additionally Anarchs are usually the easiest to trace, so even a Trace2 for a tag is probably a concern for them, especially when they want to use as many clicks per turn on running.
I'm confused on the Medium stacking. Let's say I have Hivemind with 4 counters on it and 3 Mediums on the board. I successfully run. Each of the Mediums get a counter, so that plus the 4 Hivemind tokens sounds like 3x5=15 cards accessed. Is that wrong? —
Not quite. Read Medium carefully "Each counter after the first". So that means each Medium is giving you 4 cards in this case, as they each effectively have four beyond the first. 3x4 =12 bonus, so 13 total. —
After the run is successful, but before the runner accesses cards, all three Mediums would get a token. This means, with the 4 tokens on Hivemind, each Medium is effectively at 5. So you should get 3x5+1 accesses, or 16. —
Sorry, I meant 3x4+1, for 13. Not enough sleep. —

Medium is possibly the fastest way for the runner to win in the game.

It's an incredible threat which can get underestimated. And is in the top two programs most likely to induce a virus purge. (After Datasucker.)

To me, the single best Anarch card, and potentially the only good Anarch card in the Core set which isn't hideously under influence-costed.

257
Nitpick : Corroder is both good and not under costed on influence. But yeah, Anarchs got screwed in that regard in core. —
Corroder could easily be a three inf card. But, yeah, it's not hideously undercosted, I suppose. —

This might be a little bit of a "no duh" kind of note for those that have been playing but: you add the virus counter onto Medium whenever the run is successful. A run is successful when you make it past the last piece of ICE, but before accessing the server.

This means you can bring this into play with Grimoire active, giving it 1 counter, and then on your first successful run on R&D you get to place a second virus counter on the card, thus giving you a chance to look at two cards off R&D on the first click.

Even if this card does not end up grabbing you any Agendas, the mere fact that it exists will either cause the Corp to think about purging virus counters, or spending clicks and money setting up extra defense on the R&D.