Sentinel Defense Program

Sentinel Defense Program 4/2

Agenda: Security

Whenever the Runner suffers at least 1 core damage, do 1 net damage.

"Why limit our best assets to our own servers? The enemy doesn't stay passively at home, waiting for us to come to him. Why should we?" -Director Haas
Illustrated by Ed Mattinian
Decklists with this card

Creation and Control (cac)

#7 • English
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SDP is a great example of a card that could be quite good in the right circumstance, but is way too conditional to ever be used. Due to its "at least" wording, it does not combo well with cards like Cerebral Overwriter—you only get 1 net damage extra. While that's not completely horrible, it certainly doesn't justify throwing this in your deck. So, what is it supposed to work with?

I'm convinced the only thing that could warrant putting this in a deck is Janus 1.0. SDP will double the damage of any executed routines from Janus 1.0, albeit in the weaker net damage form. This will easily flatline an unprepared runner, especially one who runs with their last click. But there are several problems with this strategy.

The first and most obvious one is economic. Janus 1.0 is arguably the most expensive piece of ice in the game right now, if one considers that Orion has a built-in way to lower its own cost. Keeping 15 credits in your pool at all times might as well tell the runner, "Hey, I've got an unrezzed Janus 1.0 on the board, and feel free to Account Siphon me at any time."

So, there must be better ways to get Janus 1.0 into play—and there are. Bioroid Efficiency Research, Accelerated Beta Test, Priority Requisition, or out of faction Mutate / Oversight AI are the most blatant, but it's pre-rezzed so you lose any hope of flatlining. Isn't there any way to make this work?

Howler seems to come to the rescue, but it too has a problem—the runner can simply jack out instead of encountering the Janus 1.0 you threw down, unless you had them already resolve a Whirlpool, or they were daft enough to walk into your An Offer You Can't Refuse while you already had SDP scored. There are too many pieces involved to ever put this puzzle together.

Of course, all of these options assume you already have SDP scored, which by itself screams "It's a trap!" louder than Admiral Ackbar. Quite simply, if you really want to flatline a runner, there are just too many easier ways.

(The Universe of Tomorrow era)
What about a Twins-based Foundary build? That's a good combo for Janus already, and scoring a single 4/2 agenda isn't too tall an order. It's still unlikely, and there are probably better uses for the agenda slot, but it bears considering. —
Dammit, Pikeman, I was just about to publish my Foundry-Howler-Janus-SDP-Offer You Can't Refuse deck. —
Cybernetics Division might theoretically use this if they go for a thousand-cuts style handsize reduction. But it still has to compete with NAPD and other 2 pointers. —
Markus Batty makes this a bit more likely. But yeah. —
It does however shutdown anarch tricks like Stimhack or Amped up or even Stim Dealer! Though those cards don't pose such a big threat at the moment. —
Might there be some value in *bluffing* the Admiral Ackbar? Put something crazy like Mandatory Upgrades or just some other 5/3 like Priority Requisition into your OBVIOUS TRAP server, and use the second-guessing to pull off a slow advance? —
Awakening Center helps with the no "pre-rezzing Janus" part. Then again, Awakening Center itself is pre-rezzed and the cost is still quite steep. Still, might work as a deterrent. —
Wait, this is the perfect card to spite that Sipinel modem that causes Jinteki so much greif... oh wait its a Haas card. —