This card is weak, because it is designed with crippling limitations.
On first sight, the effect is super strong.
- It can get you through a lot of ICE cheaply. If it has only a single ETR, you can pass it. No matter the strength.
Is that 5+ str barrier taxing you? "Break" for 1.
Is the enemy trying to rush behind some cheap gear check ICE? Break any of the list with one card.
- It counters one-time ETR effects like Nisei MK II, Border Control and Bio Vault.
This is huge! Robbing the Corp one of their Nisei counters can easily win a game.
This is where it gets ugly.
- "Use this ability only if you made a successful run on HQ this turn." is the main showstopper.
If this would instead read "Install Lucky Charm only if you made a successful run on HQ this turn." the card would be actually usable.
This basically adds the cost of running HQ on top of the card costs and, even worse, makes the card useless on HQ runs, aka the runs where it would be most useful for in faction.
- The "Remove this hardware from the game" part is both a deliberate lack of synergy with Geist and The Back and the reason why this card can't keep doing it's job.
The Corp player can recur his Border Control with Preemptive Action, but you can only defend against it once with Luck Charm.
Circumventing this by slotting 3 copes is just ridiculous, since it won't be useful in a lot of matchups.
- The fact that this is a ♦ card is probably important for balancing reasons.
Specifically, for the same reasons that you can't have multiple Boomerangs out.
Still, it is a limitation, since this can't get you though multiple ETR ICE or multisub ETR ICE.
This is basically another limitation of LC: The alternatives and lack of synergy.
- As already mentioned, it has no synergy with The Back, which is a huge letdown for Az and Geist, the main IDs that would want to use it.
Az can still install LC for free, which is always nice, but far from enough to make it viable for him.
Apex could make use LC, since he mostly cares about getting through and way less about hurtful s than most other runners. But paying 2 influence for this card? Not really gonna happen.
- Boomerang does the job of "get me through this ICE once" way better. It has it's own limitations, but they are by far outweighed by the self-recurrence.
Heck, the lack of a "remove from game" alone would make Boomerang better.
That, and the protection against nasty non-ETR subs.
- Jak Sinclair is so non-existing in the meta that he is barely worth mentioning here, but I still do it, because of another deliberate lack of synergy.
As a hardware that can make runs successful, Jak would love this, if it wasn't for the need of running HQ first, which completely kills any synergy between these two cards.
So after a run on HQ, when you make a run on any server and "trash" LC, the corp cannot end the run in any way, even if there is 2 Border Control, one Bio Vault and one counter on Nisei MK II. Is my understanding correct? If it is correct, this would save me a lot of grief when trying to steal the win from the corp on that last turn.— Diogene
It prevents one ETR effect once. So you get by any of the mentioned things, but only one of them at a time.— Krams
Not, it says prevent ability, not abilities, else it would mean "<span class="icon icon-click"></span><span class="icon icon-click"></span>, remove this hardware from the game: Make a run on HQ, if succesful, access the card in remote server"— m.p
Sorry, Krams´s comment wasn´t there when i was writing that post— m.p
@m.p and @Krams, thanks for clearing that up. It would be a lot of clicks investment to install 3x of this for the remote chance of having a server with 2 BC. Still, when the meta was favoring asset spam and Tour Guide, this could make running a remote much cheaper (unless I misundestood and it is only one ETR that is prevented). This make me a bit sad for a card with such a good name.— Diogene
Agreed! NISEI understandably erred on the side of caution a lot in Downfall. This is an unfortunate casualty. I think even just having the text say "Install only if you made a run..." instead of "Use only if you made a run" would have been a fine compromise to make the card playable, since it is unique.— dnddmdb
@Diogene - unfortunately it will only stop 1 of those ETR subs - you will need to have a grappling hook installed to deal with the others— Baa Ram Wu