Program • Install: 0 • Memory: 2 • Influence: 3

2credit, trash: Search your stack for a program. Install it.

Consider this: the most notorious tool in cyberterrorism is one that, in isolation, does nothing.
Shaper • Chiara Biancheri • Uprising 90
All sets:
Links: Decklists | ANCUR
Self-modifying Code
MWL Entries

No MWL Entries for this card.

  • NISEI Uprising Release Notes [NISEI Rules Team]

    This card is a reprint. Has anything changed about how Self-modifying Code works?

    No. We cleaned up this card's wording by removing the redundant directions to pay the install cost and to shuffle after the search, but those are still required parts of the ability. We felt that players would enjoy having a version of this iconic card with clean and concise text, so we opted not to include the frequently-used "(Shuffle your stack after searching it)" reminder text in this case.


Commonly referred to as 'SMC'.


  • can tutor for any program, including non-icebreakers
  • can be used midrun to tutor a program needed to break a just-rezzed piece of ice


  • can be difficult to have available in mid-late game
  • Can be expensive to pay full install cost of an expensive breaker + 2

Notable interactions

  • Leprechaun is the perfect place to install this, as the MU cost of programs is irrelevant to Leprechaun
  • can also be installed on Djinn, and then used to install a breaker (installing the breaker elsewhere, not on Djinn)
  • Clone Chip can be used to install this, then immediately use this to get the program you need - effectively turning Clone Chips into extra SMCs - this can even be done mid-run
  • with an installed and sufficiently loaded Datasucker, SMC can be used to fetch a Parasite and destroy an ice on facechecking it, before its subroutines fire - this technique is known as 'Parasite bombing'
  • including single copies of efficient one-use breakers like Deus X and Sharpshooter is powerful with SMC able to fetch them exactly when needed
  • As a 0 program, it can waste Kate "Mac" McCaffrey's program install discount
    • However, it can be used during the Corp turn to get Kate's discount a bonus time (since the discount is once per each player turn)

Final Thoughts

  • a faction-defining card for Shaper, it fits into many, many different Shaper decks
  • Clone Chip very frequently pairs with it, to get the same instant-install effect from the heap
  • it is an interesting contrast with Test Run
    • SMC shines as a way to safely facecheck ice, but can require a large amount of credits on hand to pay ability cost, install cost of breaker, cost to boost breaker, and cost to break subroutines.
    • Test Run on the other hand shines as a way to affordably break a rezzed ice this turn, as it lets you to temporarily install any breaker without paying its install cost - perfect with Femme Fatale
(Up and Over era)
One other thing that can be done is fetching Atman and tuning it to break the ICE you're currently encountering. This can be cost prohibitive (credit-wise, this costs 2 for SMC, 3 for Atman install, the strength of the ICE to tune Atman, plus 1 per subroutine) but similar to Femme Fatale it solves the problem of that specific ICE permanently. The case to use this over Femme is that it's actually cheaper against ICE with strength 5 or less, there's no influence cost, and Atman can use the efficient break it provides on multiple different pieces of ICE; Femme is a better option against ICE with strength 6 or more or if the corp has a number of low power Sentries. Of course, if the influence for D4v1d can be afforded it covers the holes Atman leaves at the higher end of the spectrum quite neatly. —