Direct Access

Direct Access 1[credit]

Event: Run
Influence: ○○○○

While you are resolving this event, each player's identity loses all abilities.

Run any server. When that run ends, you may shuffle this event into your stack.

Get into the ducts on the roof and keep crawling till you hit that old network root. Dirty work, I know, but it beats playing by the rules.
Illustrated by Olie Boldador
Decklists with this card

Downfall (df)

#28 • English
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  • Updated 2019-04-27

    NISEI Downfall Release Notes [NISEI Rules Team]

    Playing against Replicating Perfection, can the Runner use Direct Access to run on a remote server if they have not run on any central servers yet that turn?

    Yes. The identities lose their abilities as soon as Direct Access becomes active, before the run begins and the attacked server is declared.

    Playing as Apex, can the Runner use DaVinci to install a non-virtual resource during a Direct Access run?


    If the Corp most recently named “event” with Azmari EdTech, does the Corp gain 2 when the Runner plays Direct Access?

    No. Direct Access becomes active at step 8.6.4 of playing an event, causing Azmari to lose its abilities before it would meet its trigger condition at step 8.6.5.

    Does the Runner gain 1 from Ken Tenma when they play Direct Access?

    No. Direct Access becomes active at step 8.6.4 of playing an event, causing Ken to lose his abilities before he would meet his trigger condition at step 8.6.5.

    Can Skorpios Defense Systems remove Direct Access from the game?

    If the Runner chooses to shuffle Direct Access into their stack, then it is never trashed and thus Skorpios never has a chance to act on it. If the Runner does not choose to shuffle Direct Access into their stack, then it is trashed after the run completes and the effects are fully resolved, so Skorpios has its abilities again and may remove Direct Access from the game.

    If the only successful run the Runner makes on their turn is a Direct Access run, does Tennin Institute get to place an advancement token on a card?

    No. Tennin checks the Runner’s previous turn when the Corp’s turn begins. It does not need to have its ability when the successful run happens.

  • Updated 2019-12-27

    If the Runner uses Direct Access to run a remote server against Replicating Perfection, do they have to run a central server to run another remote server?

    Yes. Replicating Perfection must register a central server run when they regain their ability, before a remote server can be attacked.


As of writing, there are 41 legal Corp Identities in Standard. Out of those, Direct Access does literally nothing to 14 of them. Among the remaining 27, about 10 are effectively blank; either you only save a credit (or no credits by using Direct Access) or you prevent the Corp from maybe gaining a credit, or the effect would only be applicable in extreme edge cases.

I think the remaining 17 Corp Identities can be separated into three groups based on how useful Direct Access might be against them:

Minor Payoff:

  • Chronos Protocol: If you would take damage during this run, the Corp doesn’t get to see your hand. This might be critical in some cases (they don’t get to prep for Complete Image) but often doesn’t matter too much.
  • New Angeles Sol: If you manage to steal an Agenda during this run, they don’t get to replace a Current.
  • Personal Evolution: If you steal an Agenda during this run, you avoid taking a net damage. This doesn’t leverage more cards in your hand to steal Obokata Protocol because you’re spending a card to play this, but it does keep you from being ground down earlier since this card is recycled.

Decent/Occasional Payoff:

  • The Foundry: Not being able to use their ability would definitely feel bad, if they’re playing this ID.
  • Industrial Genomics: Depending on the state of the game, this might let you trash a critical asset, saving several credits.
  • Argus Security: If you happen to steal an Agenda during this run, you can avoid two meat damage or one tag.
  • Haarpsichord Studios: Can let you steal more than one Agenda a turn. Combine with multi-access to nab two agendas at once.
  • Builder of Nations: Prevents an almost assured meat damage, throwing a wrench in their grinder.
  • Sportsmetal: Can save you from giving the corp a fairly significant tempo boost if you steal an agenda during the run (which might be likely if they run lots of 1-pointers).
  • The Outfit: If they rez an illicit ice, they still get a bad pub but don’t get the 3.
  • Stronger Together: Reduce all Bioroid strength by 1, saving you multiple credits if the server is stacked.
  • Seidr Laboratories: This ability rarely fires, but when it does it can be a nuisance. Preventing such a fire can be helpful.

Strong/Reliable Payoff:

  • CtM: Saves you 2-3 credits, depending on your link. You can use this reliably to trash assets.
  • Architects of Tomorrow: Costs the corp 4 pretty reliably.
  • AgInfusion: Stops you from getting sent elsewhere for critical runs.
  • Acme Consulting: Depending on what ice you hit, can save you loads of credits.
  • Replicating Perfection: Saves you clicks, credits, and cards as you avoid having to run a taxing central before hitting the remote.

My thoughts: Direct Access is a far more balanced and well-designed version of Employee Strike. It does not smother Corps as unilaterally, but can really shine in particular matchups. I think if you slot it, you will use it to surprising effect in some games. However, whether or not it is worth a slot is dependent on the state of the meta, as well as what Runner ID you’re using because oh yeah, it blanks yours too.

ADDENDUM: This ID is slightly better against Argus, Personal Evolution, and Sportsmetal than I originally stated if you have multi-access such as The Turning Wheel (or against Mwanza PE), since these Identities trigger every time you steal an agenda. Avoiding 3 net damage, 3 tags, or denying 6 credits to the corp during a deep R&D dig is very good value, although this is a niche occurrence.

(Uprising Booster Pack era)
Nice list. You really want to highlight what makes it so unique - its ability to shuffle back into your stack for repeated usage. It may be an Event but it can see multiple uses during a game. —
Yeah, I realized after writing all this that there's a whole other side of the card to go into; how it shuffles back into the stack. For example, playing as RP against this might be a nightmare. As the game goes on, it just gets easier and easier for the Runner to get into your remotes as the stack thins out. Lots of little nuances that come up on the Runner side of things that are worth thinking about. :) But I think for now the bigger question is: should you play the card? —
Could be decent in a deck that wants to run through itself quickly. —

It should also help

It should also help against Earth Station: SEA Headquarters

Hey! It's Toilet Hacker from Inside Job! And the flavour text of each card makes it clear that he's a specialist in meatspace hacking shenanigans. I don't really have any mechanical insight to add, I just thought it was neat.

(Midnight Sun Booster Pack era)

This card appears to be overpowered.

Turning off the runner ability is not going to bother most runners.

Turning off the corp ability will enable safer accesses and agenda steals.

This is another 3+ copies of Employee Strike without being on the MWL.

Maybe this is a knee jerk reaction, but I think this card should not exist.

(System Core 2019 era)
This hammers a few Corps very hard: Mti, AgInfusion, maybe even Argus. But to others, this is waaaaay different than EStrike. —
"2019 MWL: Announced 22 April 2019, Effective 3 May 2019" it's hurts mostly op corps, and it's perhaps with ES and Film Critic removal on next MWL in mind. —
FC for Whistleblower —
Not really. NO, absolutely not. If you are running Mti or AgInfusion, just use their ability after Direct Access run. Just block them with border, batty, nisei, etc. than use your ability as nothing happened. —
This card gives you E Strike for 1 run in exchange for: —
>_< Anyway, this card blanks the Corp's ID for one run and cannot be combined with other events (such as Stimhack, Maker's Eye, Diversion, etc). It's a very tame implementation of E Strike, and I think it'll be hard to slot them. —
Good to see this sparked a little conversation. I'm still not convinced. I shall see once I start playing with it. —
Does this event remove the Runner's link? It's very odd that it uses the strange wording 'loses all abilities'; how does that differ from the standard 'identity text box is blank'? —
We'll have to wait until the update to the NISEI Rules Document is released to find out. That should be next week. —
This hurts Haarpischord Studios a lot. :( —
Now that MWL 3.2 has thankfully axed ES, this card is the best answer to corp IDs that punish you for running. It'll be interesting to see how much play this'll see now. Even though Mti has also been shown the door, there are still plenty of IDs which are hurt by this card and its self-recursion means slotting just one or two should be enough. The inf cost is a pain though. ES also cost an inf but was much stronger so it'll be harder to justify using one up to slot this. —