Exploit 2[credit]

Influence: 2

Play only if you made a successful run on R&D, HQ, and Archives this turn.

Derez up to 3 pieces of ice.

1) Find the weakness.
2) Exploit the weakness.
3) Repeat.
Illustrated by Nasrul Hakim
Decklists with this card

Daedalus Complex (dc)

#4 • English
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Exploit is one of five cards that require you to run all centrals so it makes sense to compare it with other cards that have the same requirement:

Apocalypse is easily the card with the biggest impact in terms of game state change of the five, in fact it's arguably the card with the biggest such impact in the entire game, only rivaled by Government Takeover on the corp side.

Encore and Quest Completed can under the right circumstances lead to extra points. Notoriety is an extra point, period.

So how does Exploit compare? Rather favorably I have to say. While Exploit doesn't wipe the board clean it doesn't hurt your own board state like Apocalypse. And while it doesn't let you access a card like Quest Completed it does let you weaken defenses so you might get in to a server that's been previously too well defended.

But the real value of Exploit is tempo. If the corp has even medium-expensive ice (4-5) derezzing three pieces either makes the corp have to spend a fair amount of credits on rerezzing or it makes them scramble to get more credits or cheaper replacement ice. In either case it takes time away from advancing the corp's agenda(s).

Like many cards how valuable Exploit is depends on your timing. If you can play it on the right server while the corp is low on credits you can generate opportunities for scoring agendas. If you play it while the corp is rich you'll probably only make the corp a bit poorer. Not the worst outcome but not very satisfying given the investment required.

And an investment it is. You need to spend an entire turn executing an exploit plan. Running three centrals in a single turn is not easy even with efficient breakers like Passport. Of course there's no reason you can't make those runs valuable in their own right, for example with Legwork and Security Testing on archives.

Given the difficulty of pulling a three central run (is there a cool term for that?) off Exploit is not a card to just throw in your deck because it looks good. Your deck and your game plan need to work to support it. And once you pull off the exploit you need to have a way to, well, exploit it before the corp can react.

Exploit/Encore/Hyperdriver combo anyone?

(Earth's Scion era)
Do you not know of https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/43233/cold-ones-us-nationals-1st-place-undefeated- —
Not really. I'm not much of a decklist reader. —

Pair really well with sneakdoor beta. Corp usually doesnt ice up archives, so deop sneakdoor click 4, corp has 3 clicks to protect archives. Next turn, run archives, use sneakdoor to run HQ through archives, run R+D, drop exploit, and watch the corp squirm.

After just playing this in a tournament for fun, I'd like to make a case for Exploit as a very interesting 1x to some criminal decks right now, and maybe in the future depending on the meta (though it is next on the rotation chopping block so get it while its hot!).

The criminal mentality is very much a "run fast, run often" type of game. You are either running and getting value as Sable or Zahya, or your ID is blank for those turns. Most of the common crim money cards are run-based and don't have an easy way to passively make money like Telework Contract or Liberated Account. Sure you can import Paladin Poemu but it's not like you can get 3 of them out like we used to with Underworld Contact or Data Folding.

Usually these runs are easier early to mid game, because the corp hasn't fully set up (physically not putting ICE on the board, or not having the money to rez against every single threat you have). As the game goes on though, corps have quite a few ways to make money and put some scary ICE on the field. ICE like Drafter and Ping can be a minor tax, but Pharos with 3 advancements is going to be a whole 12 credits to break with Curupira, and you might need to do it 3 times before you have a chance to bypass in some matchups.

Into those sorts of ICE, crims are for the most part relying on Boomerang or other forms of bypass to get into a server. The Built to Last glacier matchup is currently very reliant on either going REALLY fast, relying on Boomerang for the one or two runs you really need to hit, or both. The Reeducation Azmari decks that are out there run ICE like Tollbooth and Hydra, which are huge drains on cash that cost you even if you've got the Boomerang to get through. Generally speaking, these glacier decks are going to be some of the worst matchups unless you can stop their setup, a daunting task for a lot of the matchups.

Corps can be brought to their knees early game with a good Diversion of Funds, in a lot of late-game cases the corp losing 5 credits doesn't help too much (and sometimes the 5 credit gain is a negative with how much it took to break ICE). But what if instead that -5 could be -20, or even -30?

Sure, it'll cost you a ton of money. A Pharos on HQ still costs 12 to break (my advice is to preinstall Boomerang or just be Sable). You'll need to build up your credit pool to hit them everywhere at once. It looks suspiciously like a Deep Dive and the corp may have prepped for it.

But at the end of the day, playing the Exploit can be a soft reset to the early/mid game. Sure, you've both got a lot of cards at the table, but it's your chance to take advantage.

Sometimes this expresses itself as fully bankrupting the corp, effectively opening up one or two servers to free runs again. Other times it's more like a reverse Apocalypse with credits instead of cards, where you're both broke but you can ignore that problem a little bit better with more Boomerangs. Worst case, you've set tempo far enough back that you only receive the benefit of a smaller deck, which will let you draw and play Boomerang more often (HUGE in some glacier matchups). It's a slight, hard to measure advantage, but when you're putting the corp 20+ credits back it's sometimes really worth it.

This isn't the one-stop answer to glacier for crim. In fact, if you can probably just play Deep Dive and try to get the win instead if you've got the influence. Exploit is almost for certainly a dead card into a lot of matchups where getting even 10 or even 15 credits of derez value might not be worth it. You probably need some sort of support to justify the archives run too, such as being able to charge Bankroll or Aumakua.

But I believe there is a place for Exploit against those criminal matchups that are very difficult at the moment. If you're short on influence, maybe consider it as a one-of in a meta with a bit too much glacier for comfort.

(The Automata Initiative era)