Imp 2[credit]

Program: Virus
Memory: 1 • Strength: -
Influence: 3

When you install this program, place 2 virus counters on it.

Access → Hosted virus counter: Trash the card you are accessing. Use this ability only once per turn.

Something wicked this way comes.
Illustrated by Wen Xiaodong
Decklists with this card

System Core 2019 (sc19)

#13 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
  • Updated 2023-03-25

    Why is Imp’s ability written differently than in previous printings?

    The previous wording for Imp and similar cards did not fit into any of the modern ability types that the Comprehensive Rules supports, and it was not clear exactly when it could be used. The new “Access →“ flag lets this type of ability be written as a paid ability and gives it clear timing and structure.



  • Trashing two cards for 2 is nearly always good value
  • ability to trash normally untrashable cards like Operations and Ice is very powerful
  • applies strong pressure to R&D, HQ and cards in remote servers all at once
  • sufficiently fears by Corps that sometimes installing it can provoke the Corp to spend a turn purging virus counters


  • only two uses then it runs out
  • uses up MU for a non-breaker, so your rig may require extra support hardware to support all programs at once
  • Corp can purge virus counters to completely disarm an installed Imp

Notable Interactions

  • The extra virus counter provided by Grimoire is particularly valuable on Imp as it gives it +50% more usage
  • Great for trashing powerful combo-piece Operations the Corp is holding onto, such as Scorched Earth, SEA Source, Neural EMP, Biotic Labor
  • Also worthwhile using to trash expensive assets or upgrades like SanSan City Grid or The Root
  • A good virus to use with Noise since you want to keep re-installing it, which will re-trigger Noise's ability, plus the extra trashing synergizes with all the milling from Noise's ability
  • Scavenge can be used on an Imp to trash it then immediately re-install it to refresh its virus tokens
  • Once used up, this can be sold to Aesop's Pawnshop, then recurred to your grip with Déjà Vu
  • As long as you don't use the last virus counter on an Imp, Virus Breeding Ground can be used to recharge it every turn

Final Thoughts

  • Deceptively powerful card, this is often brought into other runner factions, even for 3 inf
  • One of the most powerful Anarch cards, worth throwing into many Anarch decks even if they don't particularly synergize with the rest of the deck
  • Don't forget it can only be used once per turn,
    • although multiple installed Imps can each be used once a turn
(Order and Chaos era)
"As long as you don't use the last virus counter on an Imp, Virus Breeding Ground can be used to recharge it every turn" —
Why is that? I don't see anything about Imp being trashed when the last virus counter is removed. —
Never mind. I didn't read Virus Breeding Ground closely enough. —
If my logic is correct, you could also use this to trash a card already in the archives. Sounds useless, but imagine the look on the corp's face when you trash that Director Haas they thought was safe in archives and score it. —
...nevermind, found the ruling on that. Dang. —

I found the most beautiful and fascinating one. <a href="">Givenchy Jacket</a>

In addition to the straightforward uses of Imp (trashing expensive things for free and trashing operations), Imp can be used as a poor man's Film Critic. Against, for example, Obokata Protocol, you can trash it in the remote and pick it up later in Archives when you are ready for it. Against The Future Perfect, you can play the Psi game, lose, then trash it (or win and steal.) Against Punitive Counterstrike, you can delay the steal by trashing the agenda, waiting until you can beat the following trace or just straight win from points first. You can trash any agenda because the window to trash occurs before the window to steal.

Imp does not, however, avoid any on-access punishment just as trashing an ambush does not prevent its negative effects. Casting Call/TGTBT will still tag you, Quantum Predictive Model will still jump into the Corp's score area if you're tagged, City Works Project will still do meat damage, and Explode-a-palooza will still give the Corp credits, whereas Film Critic avoids these effects. And you still have to steal the agenda from Archives to take its points (assuming the Corp doesn't recur it back with Preemptive Action or Archived Memories.)

(The Devil and the Dragon era)

This card is about to become insane when Friday Chip becomes legal. Especially if you can install multiples of them. Trash something with a token off of Imp to place a token on Friday Chip, then replace it (or multiples, if you have multiple Friday Chips installed) at the start of your next turn. Wew! Progenitor support to keep the Corp from throwing their hands up and purging the paper-shredder you've put together.

(Crimson Dust era)
you don't even need a Progenitor, almost all Corps will have something to trash once anyway, trash one for the iron price and go back to shreddering ;) —

If you want to trash a corp card, Imp is the best for that, followed only by Stargate. Imp give you the option to trash the card, even if it does not have a trash cost (this last part is important).

This will deny the corp options for their game plan. It does not matter if the card is expensive to trash, like SanSan City Grid or Jeeves Model Bioroids.

This will also let you trash agenda. This is especially useful against Jinteki: Personal Evolution, since it avoid the cost of stealing the agenda. But it also avoid the problem of the corp using Punitive Counterstrike after you would have stolen the agenda. Since it was not stolen, it cannot be used against the runner. Note that recursion tool can be used by the corp to safeguard themselves against trashing effect (Spin Doctor, Genotyping, Preemptive Action).

This is nearly a mandatory card for René "Loup" Arcemont: Party Animal, since it enable the ID in a major way..

You can combine Imp with Friday Chip or Knobkierie to keep it relevant throughtout the game, since it will then never lack virus token.

Of course, like any virus, this will combine with Cookbook, to get more mileage from Imp.

At 3 influences, it is tough to use it out of faction, but it is often worth it. In the early game, Imp is devastating for the corp. 2 to trash 2 cards (no matter what), is a bargain. So much so that it is worth it for the corp to purge as soon as the card is on the board.

Great art, good (but semi relevant) quote. Amazing card.

(System Update 2021 era)