Hardware • Install: 0 • Influence: 1

Whenever you make a successful run on R&D, instead of accessing cards, you may choose 1 of the top 5 cards of R&D and access it. You cannot access any other cards in R&D during this run.

"I usually find something interesting in there. Just not what I was looking for."
Shaper • John Ariosa • Intervention 67
Links: Decklists | ANCUR
Top Hat

"you may choose 1 of the top 5 cards of R&D and access it."

Can you guess what is missing from this card? Two words are conspicuously absent, what are they?

Give up? The answer is "look at". (I also would have accepted "reveal", although that's not how the templating normally goes) That's right, folks, without looking at the cards, you get to decide which of the top 5 cards you'd like to look at. "I'll look at.... number 4"

Is this good? Maybe, but not without some support. Accessing the top card of R&D is not much different from accessing a random card from R&D, if anything it's slightly worse, as the top card goes into the corp's hand, so that's extra info. So, when is this ability good?

If you have some info about the top few cards of R&D, accessing a particular one may be beneficial. Perhaps a digital friend or your bioroid programming have already told you that the top card isn't anything you want. Maybe you've already got R&D locked down, and your R&D Interface can only dig you so far. Looking one card further may help you grab that pesky final agenda.

Is this worth a card slot? Not in most decks, but it does have advantages. It's hardware, making it resistant to trashing, and it's install cost is priced just right, so it just may find a place in decks that already like hardware

Does Top Hat work with Eater so that you can access the card? It's an access replacement effect, right? —
It seems like this would be amazing with Indexing + Doppelganger. ***It's been so long since I've been on this site, I've forgotten how to hyperlink to the card page. —
@DGB123 Without an official ruling, I would have to say no. While replacing the access step normally allows synergy with Eater (i.e. account siphon, keyhole), top hat replaces it with an access effect. I believe Eater would prevent this access as well. "You cannot access more than 0 cards for the remainder of this run." —
I think it should be noted that this can also, turn off Prisec, Product Placement, Mumbad Virtual Tour, Disposable HQ, and Cyberdex Virus Suite when they are installed in the root of R&D. Still a niche card at the moment. However, if we see more upgrades with 'on access' effects get released, this card may become worth a slot. —
@Gilgamesh_KoH This is worded just like any other access replacement effect (qv Account Siphon). In this case, ee replace "accessing cards" with an access effect. It's counter-intuitive, but I feel that this does in fact work with Eater —
Eater should not work with this for the same reason it does not work with I formation Sifting. Just because the nature of the access has been changed does not change the restriction of Eater, which is that you access 'no more than ZERO'. In the case of Information Sifting, the official ruling of a 'pile' is that it contains at least one card. You would pick a pile, than access ZERO, and no more. The same would occur for Hat Trick, the normal access is overwritten, sure, but you end up accessing tje card you pick, which Eater then nullifies. —
Just a thought here. If I have 3 Top Hats installed, can I access more than one card from the top 5 of R&D? If I've seen the top card of R&D through another card effect (& there's enough of those), can I opt to access 3 of the other 4 cards instead? 'I'll look at cards 2, 3 and 5, please!' —
@MarkyG: only one replacement effect can be applied, so there's no point in 3 Top Hats installed (as only one of them can be used). —