Ubax

♦ Ubax 5[credit]

Hardware: Console
Influence: ●●●○○

+1memory unit

When your turn begins, draw 1 card.

Limit 1 console per player.

"It is more than just a 'pretty nanite plant'. It's a complex synthetic intelligent distributed network, and a VERY pretty nanite plant." - Bios
Illustrated by Andreas Zafiratos
Decklists with this card

Terminal Directive Cards (td)

#16 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
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Reviews

Poor Shapers. Outside of Astrolabe, they never seem to get a console which is quite all round fantastic. Mirror, Comet and Maya were only half decent in specific decks, Dinosaurus has been power creeped, The Toolbox is too expensive and Monolith... is Monolith. For the longest time the choice for most Shapers was twofold: go with Astrolabe or an out of faction alternative, preferably low on influence. That is why The Gauntlet was never to be found in Criminal decks but it was in Shapers, and before the new MWL ripped ┼×ifr a new one it found a home in Smoke and Kate decks.

But enough about that, let's talk about Ubax. For 5 credits you get 1MU and one guaranteed card at the start of your turn for the rest of the game. My first thought when reading this card was: "for the price of admission, 2 MU would have been nice." Shapers are traditionally the faction with big rigs, and like 2MU consoles. 5 credits is a significant tempo hit, even in Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker. And if you only need 1MU, Astrolabe will give you more value in an asset heavy meta, possibly drawing you multiple cards a turn.

Is it a bad console? Definitely not, I think it is a solid console. A guaranteed card at the start of the turn is excellent. I expect to see fewer Shaper decks with out of faction consoles. If Ubax gave you 2 MU, I would have rated it excellent. But for now, Astrolabe still sits lonely at the top, imho.

(Terminal Directive Cards era)
1758

A slightly expensive console considering that Astrolabe is 4 cheaper and the median* cost for shaper consoles (without counting Ubax) is 4.

Compared to Astrolabe it's a much more reliable draw engine though. You get one card per turn, just as if you were playing corp side. Like Astrolabe it's unconditional draw but unlike Astrolabe the corp can't control when you draw but you know in advance when it will be.

If you would need to regularly click for cards getting a free card per turn will save quite a few clicks over the course of the game. That makes the 5 price tag reasonable.

*Due to the 18 Monolith the average cost is 6 but as you can see here all but two of the 9 consoles are cheaper. The median is more representative than the average.

(Terminal Directive Cards era)
350

As my two prestigious colleagues have already pointed out in the above reviews, the closest compariosn for Ubax would be Astrolabe. So lets dig into the two a bit and assess the differences. Astrolabe costs 1 credit and 1 click to install, and provides a card draw each time the corp makes a new server. Handy for Asset spam decks, but pretty much useless against a deck that shores up their centrals and relies on one strong scoring remote without too many additional assets. In one of these games, you would need to get astrolabe out before they set up a scoring remote in order to even have it fire once. You would need the corp to at least install 1 Asset just to break even on Astrolabes install cost. While most corp decks may satisfy these conditions, it takes a corp playing multiple assets in order for Astrolabe to be ecconomically effective.

As my two prestigious colleagues have already pointed out in the above reviews, the closest comparison for Ubax would be Astrolabe. So lets dig into the two a bit and assess the differences.

Astrolabe costs 1 credit and 1 click to install, and provides 1 Additional MU, and a card draw each time the corp creates a new server. Handy against Asset spam decks, but pretty much useless against a deck that shores up their centrals and relies on one strong scoring remote without too many additional assets. In one of these games, you would need to get astrolabe out before they set up a scoring remote in order to even have it fire once. You would need the corp to at least install 1 Asset just to offset Astrolabes install click and break even on the install cost. While most corp decks may satisfy these conditions, it takes a corp playing multiple assets in order for Astrolabe to be ecconomically effective. Making it in essence, a conditional console. Effective against some matchups, but near useless against others.

Now compare this to Ubax. Five credits and a click to install, which is a much bigger cost upfront, but I'm going to attempt to convince any impressionable young runners that it's well worth it. Ubax provides the same 1 additional memory unit as astrolabe, and guarentees a clickless, conditionless card draw each turn. Assuming that drawing cards is a necessity for all decks, this is in essence a fifth click, albeit one that does have to be used for card draw. That is incredibly powerful. A runner using Ubax has essentially increased their click efficiency by 25%. Thats a huge advantage. The comparative cards that come to mind with similar effects are beth kilrain chiang, which while only 2 credits to install, needs the corp to have over 10 credits in order to provide free card draw. Otherwise its just a free credit each turn. The additonal fact that shes a resource makes her vulnerable to trashing if the runner is tagged. The other example that comes to mind would be the absolute beast that is Rachel Beakman. More expensive to install at 8 credits and a click, but it provides an additional conditionless click each turn to do what you want with. The downside being the additional caveat of her being automatically trashed if the runner is tagged. But seeing as card draw is necessary in order to advance your game, theres a very strong chance that at least one of those clicks each turn would be spent on card draw anyways.

So if you look at Ubax in this context, if you have Ubax installed for 6 turns, it has already paid off/offset its installation costs in additional card draws. Anything longer than 6 turns, and you start to hit scary efficiency. Considering the average game lasts around 25 turns, this leaves a large window open to exploit the efficiency of this luminous little orchid to the corps dismay. Keeping your grip filled so you can use those precious clicks to rack money off of magnum opus and run the newly nervous corps servers. A 25% increase in click efficiency for five credits and a click. Thats a beast, considering the average deck generates around 50 credits in a game through events/resources/etc, you're spending 10% of the additional credits your deck produces for a 25% increase in click efficiency. Notable archetypes that benefit from this would be the obvious owner of this console, Ayla "Bios" Rahim, who essentially has a starting hand of 9, without the first turn rush that Andromeda suffers. This highly increases the chances of pulling ubax early, and allowing it a maximum number of turns in play to utilize maximum efficiency. (You can even include the in faction Levy AR acess if you're worried about drawing through your whole deck.) Ubax is equally effective with ID's that have only 40 card decks like chaos theory or Ele "Smoke" Skovak. The consistency of card draw from a 40 card deck with an automatic draw each turn is nothing to be underestimated. And at three influence, Ubax could be splashable into decks that lack a good card draw mechanism, like Leela or Sunny Lebeau. Move over stupid toy dinosaur, theres a new shaper console in town.

(Midnight Sun era)