Azmari EdTech: Shaping the Future: A Broken ID?

The ID has been out for enough time now for people to have had quite a dabble with it, and what have people reported back?

This ID makes bonkers money...

We have a situation here that is much like Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker and Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future, basic plays of cards mean money is made. Of course, there is the argument that Azmari EdTech: Shaping the Future is different because runners can play around the IDs ability, but I think most of us would agree that's not realistic if the runner actually wants to be competitive.

Runners in the early stages of a game almost always play events or resources. They want to money up, so they can setup their rig. Alternatively, they want to draw up (say with Earthrise Hotel or Diesel etc.). And more often than not, runners want to link those cards together; E.g. Sure Gamble into Daily Casts, or Career Fair into Earthrise Hotel/Liberated Account. Or even if require just playing one of those cards, if they didn't get a great draw.

So just play around it right? For instance, just play a console or program when the corp says event or resource. Let's see how that looks. Click one, install Paperclip, click two, three, and four, click for credits. So now you're back to 5 creds, with one program out and not a run made. No one wants to do that, they'd rather give the corp 2 credits with a money event or resource. Forget consoles, they are usually even more expensive, that's just a crazy tempo hit.

Azmari EdTech: Shaping the Future is there just to boost any deck archetype that wants to money up, or retain a good cash flow throughout a game. So Glacier and Rush works well here, or anything where you'd like to out trace and tax a runner. So that's likely 90% of deck types in NBN.

This ID in my opinion is just too good. I think we may end up finding ourselves in the same tired situation of Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future, where you look at other IDs and just end up going back to the one that makes you passive income because everyone needs money.

Employee Strike of course is an answer, but one has to wonder when you need silver bullets about how good an ID is for the game. Besides, even with a Strike out, you're likely just dulling the economic impact, as many corps will pack a range of econ options in the deck, and use Azmari's ID ability as that extra boost to make an economic competition untenable for the runner.

I'm not saying this ID is going to break Netrunner, but I think it won't promote creative and interesting archetypes, which is what is so great about the game at the moment (April 2018). We seemed to be moving past these sorts of "best in all cases" situations, and adding some real variety and flavour to the game. I hope this trend in IDs does not continue.

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The review that will probably get a lot of flak but actually has a very good point. Counterplay usually boils down to 2 ways IMO: 1) trying to hold hordes of the named card type until the corp gives up and switches types or 2) trying to play as many of the named card type in a single turn. Both ways, as people have pointed out, are sub-optimal for the runner. The only downside I've found in testing is that the ID itself doesn't have any tagging synergies like other popular NBN IDs CTM, SYNC, etc. It doesn't matter too much though since Azmari can just pump their SEA Sources with their exorbitant amounts of credits. —
And as far as Employee Strike being an answer, this ID will likely pack three copies of Scarcity of Resources which 1) taxes nearly every runner in some way and 2) clears other currents. Surprised that wasn't mentioned. —
@LynxMegaCorp that’s a good point, let alone a sneaky 15 Minutes score. —
@BlackCherries I figure I might get a bit of push back on this one, as it’s a popular ID at the moment (which isn’t surprising). The major saving grace for the ID is that it doesn’t inherently promote degenerate play (perhaps unfairly, but there’s an argument to mount against Gagarin with an incontestable asset spam). Azmari at least just gives money. —

The usual reviews for this have gone up for this particularly good piece of ice, albeit in specific situations (when the runner is using virus cards). So now, I'll talk about a hilarious weakness I found for this ice, as a runner, while I was running a Medium. Note to corps, look out for this card combination:

  1. As the runner, I had two Power Taps installed (3rd one still to be drawn)
  2. I had two Festers out
  3. I had a Medium installed, corp installed Macrophage over R&D to keep me out!
  4. I ran R&D 4 times, only beating the trash virus program trace
  5. I drained 16 s from the corp when they repeatedly purged viruses
  6. I gained 32 s (minus beating the trash virus program trace) on these runs through Power Taps

A peculiar situation, but hilarious should you find yourself in it as the Runner, and soul destroying as the Corp.

P.S. It's possible I got the exact math wrong, but basically you drain the corp a lot, and you gain a bunch of credits.

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I guess it can generally be said that rezzing tracer ICE against Power Tap is not necessariy a good idea. —
I think the bigger point is that tracer ICE with subroutines that the Runner can afford to fire are a bad idea against Power Tap. Most traces are for stuff like tags, damage, or program trashing, so it's not a big an issue. Macrophage, though, can be safely bounced off repeatedly for $$$ —

A good general purpose review already exists for this card, so I'm going to say something different.

This card is meh, most of the time, and can seem like it sucks, compared to juggernauts like Employee Strike, and "Freedom Through Equality" (let alone Rumor Mill); all of which anyone could feasibly fit into any deck archetype.

So where does that leave Net Celebrity? In a stealth deck.

Whaaaat?! You say incredulously.

Well stealth decks are built around recurring stealth creds, and to be sure, this is not one. HOWEVER, Net Celeb takes the sting out of cards like Blackstone, or even Houdini, which also require real creds. Blackstone is, arguably, the best stealth barrier breaker, but none of them are great, and they are costly to pump.

Net Celeb of course can be used just as easily for any other breaker, to break a sub, or help trash an asset, at any time.

Coupled with its ability to clear a corp current, and then give you a little boost, consider it a simple addition to a stealth deck that is looking for some more economic support, and might not have the influence for other more popular currents.

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Generally, ice in the Flashpoint cycle, has taken on more interesting design choices which have been effective in taxing the runner, and making a runner think. Veritas unfortunately fails to make the runner think, and will almost surely be broken. A number of ice breakers will break this for 3 – 4 . Low strength, multi-sub ice like Veritas could have presented the opportunity for the runner to consider not breaking the subs, because the costs of each one is not that high. Considered together however, they almost always will, and then the corp has other options, where a face check ends the run, or causes more damage. Just look at Mausolus; same cost, higher strength, the same number of subs, however each one is arguably less impactful (bar a trace on Veritas to give a tag). The corp wants the subs to fire on Veritas, simply from an economic perspective. Ice designed in this way, in my opinion, must present the runner with a real option to not break the subs. Veritas does tax a runner for 3 , but doesn’t do much else to differentiate itself, and the corp has other more damaging options to pick in a Sentry.

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I don't think this ICE is meant to leave the runner with a choice. Breaking it is a credit swing of 3-4 and faceplanting it is a credit swing of 5-6, so breaking is always better (unless you WANT tags because of Obelus, but even then you should break the first 2 subs). But I agree that it's not a strong ICE overall compared to the other great new ICE of the cycle. —
People don't play Shadow, they won't play Veritas. —
Mausolus comparison is moot. They don't share the same subtype. Also, while Mausolus is better if the Runner breaks the subs, I feel I'd rather go handsfree through a Mausolus than I'd do for Veritas in many cases. Like exhausting a Temujin or stealing a rushed agenda under Midseason threat for instance. —
@Krams - I agree with you. I guess the point I was trying to make (with my limited 200 words because it's my first review), is that I believe it should give the runner pause, and consider actually just letting the subs fire. At the moment we Veritas which seems exciting at first, but ends up being mediocre. It does tax the runner, but not much else. I think Mausolus (or even Baliff) is more interesting, because in the former the subs often fire, making for a more interesting game, and Baliff gives a credit trickle to the crop, which can be used to protect the same server with more ice later. —