To address the elephant in the room, as others have aptly noted, this keeps MaxX afloat. But in a slow the bleeding to a trickle sort of way rather than unleashing the torrent anew when the Levy breaks. Dam, that one slipped out sorry.

This is a strong utility card that I’m happy to see as a neutral for one influence. Everyone pays to play, very splashable, but not thoughtlessly so. There are a lot of really strong contenders for that 1 influence splash across all the factions with PAD Tap, Hunting Grounds, Rezeki, and the economic juggernaut that is Stimhack only scratching the surface.

On its own, it’s a decent silver bullet against 1000 cuts style decks trying to grind you into oblivion, Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations, Black Tree and their buddy Kakugo. It even lets you decide which card to save against Breached Dome.

But kudos to the designers, it by no means completely turns the threat off.

And, you at least keep one of the cards in your deck when you need to faceplant an Obo, City Works Project, or good old fashioned trap.

But wait there’s more! If none of that floats your boat, simply use it as copy 4-6 of any card of any type! Or copies 2 and 3 of that huge influence spend…

Notable Interactions

Patchwork: Completes the circle nicely. Notice that Patchwork can trigger on the Corp turn as well? Buffer Drive has got you covered, and there are more ways than ever to make this happen.

For extra spice, play this in Wu. Patchwork any program, Buffer Drive it to the bottom, then summon it back at your leisure. With 2 Chameleons in hand (a more attractive option than ever when you’re chilling with Talut at the Café), you can Patchwork the first to install the second free, then Wu the first one back for 1 cred. 2 clicks and only a single credit is not bad to refresh your subtype and cyber up. With even 1 Technical Writer installed, the whole operation is credit positive.

NRE: Need to get that 5 strength lizard up to a 6? Buffer Drive will mitigate the risk of installing Net-Ready Eyes.

Reclaim: Now only 2 clicks rather than the unplayably bad 2 clicks and a card.

Dummy Box: What if the first time each round, I didn’t actually trash the card I pitched to Dummy Box? Yeah…

Stimhack: Doesn’t it suck when you brain your damage and lose your stash? Only users lose drugs! This allows you to bounce that to the bottom instead of losing that card.

Emergent Creativity: Adam can place the card (or one of the multiple) on the bottom of the deck rather than the trash for the same economic value. Alas, Monolith is rotating…

Null: Whistleblower: Once per turn, when you encounter a piece of ice, you may save 1 card from your grip for later...

Making an Entrance: Can be used to bounce one card to the bottom of the deck rather than drawing it.

I could go on about Mad Dash, Clan Vengeance, Respirocytes, and more but I’ll leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

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This card also thrives in Reavershop Wu.
Step 1. Draw Spec Work.
Step 2. Wu to install Harbinger. Don't use the one in your hand or on the table, pull it from your deck if you can.
Step 3. Spec Work the Harbinger, drawing 3 cards and netting 3. (It's called Reavershop, you have ways to ensure Reaver is on the table by turn 1 or 2.
Step 4. Sell that not-at-all removed from game heap of trash at your local pawnshop for another 3 and an additional card draw at the start of next turn.
Bonus round: Clone Chip the Harbinger back into play on the corp's turn just before your turn begins, triggering a Reaver draw, pawn is for a second draw and 3 at the beginning of your turn.
Although anyone could gain the efficiencies that Reaver offers, the combo is particularly effective for Wu because she will reliably have Reaver in play and needs only 1 to both draw and install Harbinger. Sweet, sweet efficiency.

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Emergent threat on the horizon. Holy wow this card in an incredible power boost for Adam and, as of its release, may be the strongest tutor in the card pool. Self-modifying Code? That costs me 2 and the install cost of the program. Special Order? Just as many clicks and I'm still paying. Test Run/Scavenge is in the neighborhood in terms of efficiency, but it's a two card combo.

Oh, and did I mention it also puts the available hardware tutors to shame? Tyson Observatory is laughably inefficient. Trade-In rarely sees play and needs fodder installed first. Outside of that you're looking to more general use tutors like Artist Colony (and partner in crime Fan Site) or Logos, each of which have considerable restrictions.

Now, firing it without trashing anything is an option, but that shouldn't be your first thought. Dream big. Your looking to trash a Femme Fatale for...another Femme Fatale. 2 2 Femme Fatale. Yes please! Magnum Opus anyone? Need a console, duplicates now help pay for themselves! The possibilities are endless! Silver bullets oh my! Get Monolith. No wait. Dial it back.

And yes, you will be tempted to pay the whopping 5 influence. I doubt it will ever be a common choice but the lure of jank is strong! Hmm, Ayla "Bios" Rahim: Simulant Specialist with NVRAM, maybe two of Emergent Creativity, why not Logos to round it out....[shuffles off giggling maniacally].

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I like this card a lot with the conspiracy breakers. Oh, I'm out of memory and can't install my primary breaker? I'll just tutor for my Brain Chip/console/additional memory/ and trash my MKUltra only to install it on my next run. —
Yes indeed, that's great synergy. —

What if I told you that every extra copy of that unique card or console that you play to keep your deck consistent was no longer a dead draw, but was 2? What if each Sure Gamble netted you 6 instead of 4, and each Daily Casts was 7 instead of 5? What if, every time you pawned something, you made 5 instead of 3? What if I told you that all this was yours throughout the game for one and 4, and the 'combo piece' doesn't need to go down first?

I think that this card is really good. Potentially Most Wanted List good, but it's too early to say. Criminal loves this, they rarely recur anything anyway. Anarch loves this, particularly punk rockers. Even Shaper loves this to filter their next Levy AR Lab Access for maximum effectiveness. I'm predicting this card will find a home in many, many decks.

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Good idea for filtering Levi. —

Tutor is a term borrowed from Magic the Gathering for a card effect that finds the card you need from your deck. It's not as though Shapers were hurting for program tutors. So, what does Customized Secretary have to offer that the others don't?

The thing that makes Customized Secretary unique is that it could potentially fetch you up to 5 programs. However, this also makes it only a pseudo-tutor since this random sampling of programs may or may not contain the one you need right now. In almost all cases this is inferior to SMC which installs the card you need in any action window, or to Test Run which can fetch programs from the heap as well and pairs nicely with Scavenge.

So, can we find any reason to play this card? Clearly, we need a deck chock-full of programs to get value here. If that were the case, Customized Secretary becomes like Batman's utility belt allowing you to pull out just the tool you need for each job. What charming academic do we know that loves playing lots of programs? None other than The Professor: Keeper of Knowledge. Of course, even in a deck full of program you can easily miss the one you need. Sure, you could Scavenge Customized Secretary to use it again, but there are far better targets. You are already playing the The Professor: Keeper of Programs and Customized Secretary, might as well go full jank and slot Brahman to recycle this. Sahasrara makes it free to install.

Frankly, at time of release, I can't see any reason to slot this other than love of jank. So, throw this binder fodder back where it belongs. Or join me, mild mannered academic by day, digital Batman by night...

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It's a bit far fetched but you could use the secretary to reduce the program density in your deck once you've got your rig set up. In that case you'd host programs that you already have copies installed of to make Diesel and the likes more likely to turn up cards you do want. —
you can also use Brahman to return an already/near empty customized secretary to host up to 5 more cards —
Maybe Silv's idea isn't bad: The idea of this programm is that it lowers your program density, while at the same time giving you those you need. Additionally you can use it to get programms in your heap. And the programms won't get trashed by damage. Would I play it? Probably not. Too inefficient. —