Magnum Opus

Magnum Opus 5[credit]

Memory: 2 • Strength: -
Influence: 2

[click]: Gain 2[credit].

The Great Work was completed on a rainy Thursday afternoon. There were no seismic shifts, no solar flares, no sign from the earth or heavens that the world had changed. But upstalk in Heinlein, on a single Cybsoft manufactured datacore, the flickering data quantums of an account began to fill with creds. Real, honest-to-goodness UN certified creds.
Illustrated by Outland Entertainment LLC
Decklists with this card

Core Set (core)

#44 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)

No rulings yet for this card.


(Core Set (beginner) perspective)

Deprived of all the fancy options players get in later cycles, Magnum Opus shines through in the Core Set like a gigantic glowing middle-finger to Corps who not only think they can be ahead on money, but also that they can rely on the sheer presence of ICE to protect then. As most games start out, you will put down a few assets, maybe play a cheeky hedge fund and advance some agendas, all behind some basic but affordable ICE to tax the runner and keep them in check as you contend for an advantage.

Then along comes Magnum Opus and says, "Those are nice ways of making money and all, but here's the thing...I am money."

And it's not lying. It is money. Pure, infinite money. Therefore...

  • It will remove most of the lasting tax from your early-game ICE.

  • It will, with worrying speed, put even the most exorbitant toys within reach.

  • It will allow the runner, even at low link, to comfortably contend with most traces.

  • And it will, barring any mistakes, never run out, thus putting the Corp on a slow but steady countdown to being royally f*cked.

Its one explicit weakness is that at 2MU it will need set up to bring the runner's full rig into play. That will, with luck, take some time.

Another implicit weakness is that Magnum Opus is precious, and therefore runners tend to be more cautious about face-checking in the early game, for fear of losing it. This indirectly gives some added potency to your Ichis, your Rototurrets, your Archers etc. Even when they don't reaaaally need it anymore, sniping Magnum Opus from their board can be very demoralising. What's more, since runners often chase after it with such gusto, they (may) have binned their fallbacks while hunting for it in a hurry. For single Core Set players there are only two available, after all.

You must therefore seize any opportunity in the time between them getting Magnum Opus and their full breaker suite (or vice versa), to get ahead. Be merciless when evaluating your ICE. Remove what no longer works and use the install savings to get down bigger, late-game ICE, something to at least make the runner spend time clicking back up to break. Any time you give the runner to relax is time they can spend casually clicking for credits. Stall for too long trying to find a vital card and you'll have allowed them to amass a pool of cash, with which they can walk into practically any server you have, big ICE or no. Especially if you're playing a deck that is thin on traps, you will have to just keep an eye for openings in the runner's momentum.

In this way, despite the frustration you might feel at seeing this, it is an excellent card to play against, because you will become a better player trying to beat it. You will learn to value the time before it appears, and how to be efficient once it has. You will learn to make snap judgements, cuts, bluffs and gambles as the board adjusts to its presence. And you will learn to remain calm under pressure, because in the Core Set at least, it rarely gets more pressuring than this. I suppose in this way, it's actually been one of the most valuable cards for me to start learning with, for two completely different reasons.

So, thank you Magnum Opus. Thank you on the one hand for giving me all the money in the world =D And thank you also for teaching me how to play the Corporations better, you horrible, triangular bastard.

(23 Seconds era)

A resource-hungry card that helps a runner with extra memory demolish the late game. The initial cost of this card is huge, so plan carefully when you have the clicks and creds to spend on setup rather than running. However, once installed, the runner can rack up credits like a Weyland deck, 8 a turn! Kati Jones takes three turns to charge up that much, Liberated Account runs out after it returns 10, and Day Job is far less flexible in its payoff.

But the memory required can be a huge problem if you want ancillary programs. Unless you have crazy amounts of MemStrips, it'll rarely fit in a virus deck. Criminals have plenty of money making schemes without resorting to boring programs. Without a console, this card will cut a breaker suite short by one type, leaving you vulnerable. As such, this card works well with Shapers, who can often get a lot of hardware down quickly, or make runs work with only one breaker through Tinkering or Rielle "Kit" Peddler: Transhuman. Chaos Theory: W√ľnderkind is another good candidate for this card.

It is an old, boring card in a game with many newer options for economy generation. But as a reliable, reusable program it is still a solid choice for many decks.

(Order and Chaos era)

This card is one of the most powerful econ cards in the core set, as it' unlimited economy and this is quite rare. It's nick name is MOpus and is currently on the restricted list. On the other hand it comes with the costs of 2 MU. When you don't have your console you can't have all 3 breakers out, exception is you are Chaos Theory: W√ľnderkind this plays out nice in the revised core set. There are more and more consoles out that provide +2 MU, making running MOpus not such a big commitment.
When you play Magnum Opus you want to get it down Turn 1, so it's usually slotted with Self-modifying Code (install SMC, credit, credit, install MOpus, click MOpus) and often you also see Modded as it reduces the install costs significant. So running MOpus means usually mulligan for it.
With this card out, it's hard for the corp to compete the money game and often this is used for remote camping. So you are running every card installed in a remote and otherwise just click for credits. So it becomes hard for the corp to score an agenda in a remote.
You need to compare MOpus to other econ cards like Armitage Codebusting & Liberated Account and of course clicking for credits. Compared to clicking for credits (counting the install) it pays out at click 7 assuming you have the credits to install it. Compared to Armitage it will have the same efficiency at click 11 and compared to liberated at click 12. After 20 clicks the lead is:

  • Clicking = 20 creds
  • Armitage = 24 creds
  • Liberated = 25 creds
  • MOpus = 33 creds

so you need to click MOpus a lot to make it worth playing. When you install another Liberated fast, the difference is not so significant. It also increases it's use when combined with Beth Kilrain-Chang as another click means you can click it one additional time per turn.

On top, MOpus can be protected by Sacrificial Construct and as currently most decks rely on resources it's not effected by Scarcity of Resources.

When running MOpus you usually can trash every asset installed naked like PAD Campaign so preventing the corp from getting the econ advantage.

(Revised Core Set era)
Just to point out, for the purposes of deckbuilding, MOpus should be flagged as being on the current MWL (2.0) —