O₂ Shortage

O₂ Shortage 3[credit]

Influence: 2

The Runner may trash 1 card from the grip at random. If they do not, gain [click][click].

"Is the lack of oxygen causing distress, friend?"
-Gregory 3D3R6Z
Illustrated by Wenjuinn Png
Decklists with this card

Free Mars (fm)

#90 • English
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Free Mars

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First off, let me say that this card is a huge missed opportunity. It is a HB card which deals with oxygen shortage, and it does NOT do brain damage? Lame. Why could they not make this a card in which the runner has to choose between taking one brain damage or giving the corp something really good, like an extra click and a card? Or do something really creative with it, like a psi game in which the runner could potentially take brain damage? Such a shame.

But ok, let's review it for what it is. And it's not that great. Giving the corp an extra click to work with, especially HB, means they will get to fast advance their agendas, something the runner wants to avoid at all cost. So 99% of the time, the runner will choose to lose a random card from their grip. In that scenario, this card falls flat on its face. Paying a click, a card, and 3 credits to make the runner lose a random card is bad. The only situation where this might be somewhat decent in is in HB damage decks (which are trash tier) or possibly in a Jinteki fast advance deck, like Tennin, which can also win with damage. But outside of that, there is little reason to play this card.

(Free Mars era)
I see it used in Skorpios. —
Your reality is not even remotely similar to my own. —

The obvious comparison here is Biotic Labor. There are three differences:

  1. O₂ Shortage is one credit cheaper.
  2. O₂ Shortage is two influence cheaper.
  3. O₂ Shortage allows the runner to trash a card at random to avoid having you gain a click.

The last difference is obviously the big one. Whereas Biotic Labor will do the job if you pay the cost O₂ Shortage lets the runner mess with your plans.

Taking 1 damage will generally be the lesser of two evils for the runner, the alternative being one or two agenda points for the corp in a fast advance. Unfortunately that ruins the use of the card for fast advance, it's almost guaranteed not to give you a click.

An alternative use would be to fake a fast advance in order to get the runner to take one damage, but beside the risk that the runner may understand what you're doing and let it O₂ Shortage fire it's also relatively inefficient to spend 3+ just to deal one damage.

As @quailman2101 says it could be used in Skorpios Defense Systems but there's a bit of an issue there that that ID is not ideal for fast advance, Weyland only has Project Atlas (which will rotate out in a few months) and Merger as 3/2 options. A runner with a hand they want to keep may just let you have a single agenda point while a runner with a less awesome hand may simply take the hit.

If you use O₂ Shortage for fast advance and the runner takes the hit you've given away information that you have a 3/1 or 3/2 agenda in your hand. You can bluff this of course but then you spend 3 on a bluff and if the runner doesn't take the hit you've bought a click for 3.

While most cards can be made useful in the right deck in the right meta I suspect the only time O₂ Shortage will see actual use is in draft format.

(Free Mars era)

I feel like this is a missed opportunity of a card. Imagine if it read: The runner may trash 1 card from their grip at random. If they do, return O2 shortage to HQ. If they don't, gain click click.