Has anyone figured out how this card is useful yet? It's obviously a powerful effect, but seems harder to use than most damage prevention tools. What distinguishes Davinder:
- potentially permanent damage prevention, only other card that does that is Paparazzi which renders itself trashable
- handles both meat & net damage
- is a Connection & thus tutorable with Hostage
Those attributes don't set Davinder apart very much. Running down a few other commonly-used alternatives:
- Plascrete Carapace costs no influence & is far superior against meat damage decks since it's hardware & not a trashable resource
- Deus X is 1 cheaper against large sources of net damage & has utility as an icebreaker
- Net Shield is far cheaper against continual net damage pings (Bio-Ethics Association, House of Knives) but doesn't scale well to large quantities of damage
- Feedback Filter is the most comparable card & perhaps a bit worse than Davinder except against continual small net damage pings or brain damage
- I've Had Worse doesn't prevent damage per se but it does make surviving meat or net damage bursts easier, at no cost
Given the spread of available options, I don't see Shapers turning to Davinder much, and it's unclear in what situations Davinder is superior for other factions, too. The most obvious synergy is also present in The Liberated Mind with the new grip-less Anarch archetype encouraged by The Noble Path & Emptied Mind: run with an empty grip, work around damage with Davinder. But is it worth spending even a single influence • when a) brain damage could still flatline you (facecheck an Ichi 1.0 when the corp has more credits? You're dead), b) there are other options that don't cost influence, & c) Davinder is outrageously expensive?
If we think of corp archetypes that use both meat and net damage, Davinder doesn't look terrible. Against Weyland supermodernism (which almost always packs Snare!), Davinder is reasonable yet still expensive, basically an upgrade over Plascrete Carapace only in that the Snare! net damage can be avoided. Against Personal Evolution (which often packs a singleton Scorched Earth), Davinder provides flexibility & hampers Ronin or Project Junebug flatlines severely. But there are far more decks that focus entirely on one type of damage & Davinder doesn't address those well at all, in particular being weak to cheap, small damage sources like Bio-Ethics Association & Traffic Accident. Meat damage decks always need to tag you first so they'll just trash Guru Davinder & then kill you.
The one use case that jumped to my mind: if you're doing a False Echo-DDoS type deck that builds to a ridiculous single-turn multi-Medium dig (see the Seattle regionals winner), then Davinder will absorb multiple Fetal AI & Snare! accesses in a way that's cheaper than Feedback Filter & more likely to ensure survival than I've Had Worse. But it's still a fringe application that requires a substantial amount of credits & spending an influence pip in a deck that's very short on them.