Market Forces

Market Forces 0[credit]

Operation: Gray Ops
Influence: 3

Play only if the Runner is tagged.

The Runner loses 3[credit] for each tag they have, then you gain 1[credit] for each credit lost this way.

"Once we have enough data, we can make the Invisible Hand more like an Invisible Fist."
Illustrated by Caravan Studio
Decklists with this card

Kampala Ascendent (ka)

#117 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)

No rulings yet for this card.


When scoops first came out for this card, it got a lot of hype as being the “Corp Siphon” (although let’s all admit we were a bit delusional given that Son of Siphon was spoiled at the same time). Since then, the card has been discarded as mere binder fodder. Let’s take a look whether or not it’s worth playing.

Current tagging win conditions include Exchange of Information which causes huge point swings, High-Profile Target which puts fear into runners’ hearts, and Psychographics (+ Beale). Other traditional tag punishment includes Closed Accounts and Self-Growth Program which see some play but don’t quite win games alone like the prior 3 cards mentioned. One possible reason they still see play is that they don’t require scaling – they work even at one tag which means it only takes one mistake from the runner to end up with a tempo loss. Market Forces, on the other hand, requires quite a few mistakes to be worth its slot.

First, the runner would have to take several tags. Let’s be very conservative and say 2 is justifiable. Easy enough, tagstorm or a Hard-Hitting News can do the trick.

Second, the runner must not have the money to clear the tags or chooses not to. But wait, the runner does need enough money that we can actually siphon them, right? So they need to go tag-me.

Lastly, the runner has to maintain a sizable credit balance AND the corp requires a need for the siphoned credits.

With so many caveats to getting the full value from this card, it’s hard to justify its presence in any tagging deck. My own personal experience with the card in a tagstorm SYNC deck is having to wait and wait and wait until the right moment when the card finally becomes “worth it”. Unfortunately, by the time that does happen, either I’ve won the game from PsychoBeale/HPT or my opponent’s odds of winning are already zero. All in all, I like the card, I just wish it didn’t require scaling.

(Reign and Reverie era)
While I believe you are right and this card is hard to justify including, using this when the runner has only one tag would be worth the click. That's a six credit swing! —

This card is a cool concept for scaling tag punishment cards. Unfortunately, Market Forces is never the best option and rarely a good option.

  • If the runner has no tags: Predictive Planogram is usually played on zero tags and Best Defense can target 0-cost cards (most usefully a Progenitor hosting Hivemind, a Misdirection, No One Home, and Tapwrm).
  • If they're on 1 tag: Exchange of Information is usually the most valuable option. For economic gain, a 1-tag Predictive Planogram (+$3 to Corp, +3 optional cards) is usually as strong as a 1-tag Market Forces ($3 to Corp, -$3 to Runner).
  • If they're on 2+ tags: BOOM! is usually game-winning. In-faction, Exchange of Information Shipment from Vladisibirsk is more likely to be game-winning than a 2-tag Market Forces.

In every scenario, there is a much better option than a 6 credit swing per tag. This card is blank for 90% of the game (no-tags) and not very useful in the remaining 10%.

As long as cards exist which can reliably win at 2 tags, it's hard to slot a scaling card like Market Forces unless it has some effect at 0 tags. I hope that we get a tag-optional version of this card like "The Corp takes $2 from the runner, plus $2 for each tag". This has more utility at 0-1 tags than the current Market Forces and is less likely to instantly bankrupt a wealthy runner on many tags. If this new card had a cost of $1, it'd be similar in impact at 0-1 tags to Predictive Planogram, which is strong enough to play in a variety of situations without creating balance problems or gutting any runner archetypes.

(System Update 2021 era)

It's a new era, and I just watched this card get played 7 times in one game. My god. The horror. The horror.