Program: Icebreaker - Decoder • Install: 5 • Memory: 1 • Strength: 1 • Influence: 1

2: Break up to 2 code gate subroutines.

1: +1 strength.

It always strikes twice.
Anarch • Ed Mattinian • A Study in Static 62
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Force of Nature

No rulings yet for this card.


While this card does not have great numbers, post Most Wanted List it fills a very important role: Being able to break code gates in faction, using no influence. The primary target here is Turing which puts a hard stop to the Anarch AI breakers. If you're going to be using a decoder as a primary breaker, this is not an option. But if you need to get into a central for successful run purposes, this will do in a pinch. Also it's service able against Quandry and Enigma. Not great by any means, but if you cannot spare a single point of influence, this will do the trick.

What kills Force of Nature for me is the high install cost. Yes, I know, Yog.0 costs the same, but Yog requires no upkeep costs whereas FoN does. If this had cost 2 or 3 to install, it wouldn't be such a tempo hit to install in the early game. —
Anarch isn't supposed to have good decoders in faction though. —

As most people have said, Force of Nature is one of the worst decoders in the game. Not only is it expensive to install, but it is strikingly inefficient. Peacock is almost as inefficient, and for at least some ICE Peacock is strikingly more efficient. Force of Nature is the only pumpable decoder in faction for Anarch, but when you take a look at the alternative in faction - Yog.0 - it might become obvious why it is so bad. Yog is simply so good. If the runner doesn’t want to include the support cards that make Yog even better (Net-Ready Eyes, Datasucker, or even a few others) then perhaps, but spending a few influence might be a better choice than Force of Nature.

What is most interesting is that ZU.13 Key Master is only a credit or two cheaper to break most ICE, but used far more often as an alternative decoder, especially when it needs to be splashed. Why is that? When one looks at Sneakdoor and compares Zu to Force of Nature, the cost to get through is very very similar. Of course, of the course of a game that single extra credit per ICE can really add up. A single credit can make the difference between being able to steal a NAPD Contract or not. It can make the difference of getting through that Pop-up Window window or not. It can make the difference in a Psi game. Zu is also so much cheaper to install, part of which gives Force of Nature its bad rap. Yog exists too, which is simply so much better - with a few support cards, most code gates are simply free to get through, and D4v1d exists for the rest.

Half a credit cheaper. —
What I don't understand about this card is the 5 install cost. Yes, it should be worse than Gordian Blade, but it is so in nearly any way possible: +1 cost, -1 str and confined breaking. This makes this the second to worst decoder in the game. (Mind the whale!) —
I think Zu is the right comparison here. Basically the same abilities, but Zu is in the decoder faction and is therefore cheaper to install and gains Cloud. Still, the steep install kills FoN. And I feel like Anarch typically has low-cost cards compared to the other factions, too. What a weird, lame card. —