Cradle 4[credit]

Program: Icebreaker - Decoder
Memory: 1 • Strength: 5
Influence: 3

This program gets -1 strength for each card in your grip.

Interface → 2[credit]: Break any number of code gate subroutines.

... clack... clack... clack...
Illustrated by Adam S. Doyle
Decklists with this card

Reign and Reverie (rar)

#6 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
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  • Updated 2022-05-27

    ANCUR UFAQ 24 [Michael Boggs]

    Can Cradle have negative strength if the Runner has 6 or more cards in their grip? If so, what ice can Cradle break if its strength is negative?

    Yes, strength on both ice and icebreakers can be negative. An icebreaker's strength being negative does not affect its basic functionality; it can still only break subroutines on ice with strength less than or equal to the icebreaker's strength.

    Audited by NISEI Rules (2022.05).


A far more interesting and balanced decoder to its predecessor, Yog.0, Cradle is the newest Anarch fixed-strength decoder with a condition that can end up being quite the hindrance: modified icebreaker strength based on current grip-size. Shapers and Criminals have plenty of options at breaking code gates with Gordian Blade and/or Abagnale so I think I can safely say this won’t be seeing play outside of Red.

While cheap gearcheck ICE like Enigma or Thimblerig have been the bane of Black Orchestra for a long time, Cradle eats those two up for breakfast. Unfortunately, the presence of the big 3-subbed code gates: DNA Tracker, Fairchild 3.0, and Mausolus make Cradle a liability. Without strength modifiers, a runner would need an empty grip to break the latter two (after which they would commit neural suicide on a potential Kakugo) and suffers a painful facecheck against the former.

I see two potential options then to playing Cradle: using strength-modifiers and grip-size-managers like Dedicated Processor and Patchwork respectively or consistently maintaining a near-empty grip to keep up Cradle’s high base strength. It’s a high upkeep for a card that no longer says "0: Break code gate subroutine."

While previous Yog.0 decks only had to worry about boosting the decoder’s strength up, decks utilizing Cradle have to worry about that and keeping its base strength manageable through their grip. Outside of Gnat or Noble Path decks, I think this card’s strength-modifier keeps it from seeing any competitive play.

(NAPD Multiplayer era)