Spin Doctor

♦ Spin Doctor 0[credit]

Asset: Character
Trash: 2
Influence: ○○○○

When you rez this asset, draw 2 cards.

Remove this asset from the game: Shuffle up to 2 cards from Archives into R&D.

"It's worse than dead meat—your project is too toxic to even feed to the vultures! If you don't want to join it in the bloody memory hole, crawl onto every business show you can and wallow in blame like a pig in muck."
Illustrated by David Lei
Decklists with this card

System Gateway (sg)

#53 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
Rulings

No rulings yet for this card.

Reviews

This game has seen its fair share of broken stuff, as have most games. And in the spirit of learning from one's mistakes, we often see retrains of old cards attempting to fix those problems. Conduit replaces Medium, now in the right faction and slowed down a tad. Pennyshaver and Paragon each try to replace Desperado, each with their own twists. And I've been pretty satisfied with these callbacks and fixes. They've been balanced, fun, and still pushed enough to be relevant.

But when I saw the Spin Doctor, I thought I had something crazy in my eye. Surely they didn't just give us a retrain of Jackson "Three Influence" Howard? Jesus Howard? The savior, the staple, the must-include, the card you were surprised if a corp deck ran any less than three. While it may look innocuous to newer players, the old guard knows. Jackson was dominant. He was the face of Corp recursion and the reason running Archives was a wasted click.

So let's say it is with reserved optimism I look at Spin Doctor. On the one hand, I've seen good retrains, and the playtest teams seem to have a good finger on the pulse. On the other hand, I've been burned before. I've seen Jackson in action. I played during the Museum format, so I know how bad it can get when Corp recursion gets good. I hope the Spin Doctor doesn't take us back in that direction.

(System Update 2021 era)

At LEAST 1c to Rez or Activate - anything that kept it from being a free instant-speed safeguard. I think that's the only issue.

I started playing just as J-How rotated so never saw him in action and honestly never really understood why he was such a contentious card. Just so I'm clear on how he was used, the scenario would go something like this?

Oh no, I'm flooded! But luckily I have Jackson in hand so I: <br/>* Slap him down and rez<br/>* Draw 3 (possibly drawing more agendas?)<br/>* Dump 2 agendas into Archives at end of turn<br/>* Then use Jackson to hide them back in R&D<br/>It doesn't seem that much stronger than other recursion tools like Drudge Work or Attitude Adjustment that have appeared since, and none have become ubiquitous or problematic. So why was he such an issue?

I also wasn´t playing Netrunner in Jackson´s era, but was problematic because he was 1 influence, instant speed, gave you some tempo and helped you fight Noise

Jackson wasn't broken in any single dimension; everything he does is individually reasonable. It's just that it was a single card that had a huge number of different uses, and that sort of versatility is incredibly powerful (normally adding a card to your deck has a risk of it becoming dead, but Jackson would be useful no matter what). A good way to look at it is that Preemptive Action is a pretty good card, and you can always use Jackson as a Preemptive if you want to. But you can also use him to cycle agendas from HQ back into R&D, or dig for a particular card, or overdraw intentionally, and he was also useful in combo decks (due to being able to clicklessly stack an empty R&D). So there was no reason to choose between the various draw and reshuffle and Archives protection cards available; you'd always simply just choose Jackson.

The most powerful aspect of Jackson, which Spin Doctor retains, is that you can use the reshuffle effect in any PA-window. Meaning the runner has to comitt the click and run to check archives before you reshuffle. You almost don't need to store agendas in RnD. They are safe in archives, until the Runner has wasted time attacking it.

Similar to what others have already said, there was never a downside to using him and always a downside to the runner trying to interact with him. If they run Jackson, you pop him like an NGO front and recur 3 cards, wasting the runner's time. If they run Archives, you pop him and pull your agendas out of the bin, again, wasting the runner's time. If they run R&D, poo him and shuffle 3 non-trashable cards into R&D to reduce the agenda density. If they Index R&D, pop him to reshuffle R&D. If they... As you see, the list goes on and on.

Ok that makes sense. With that in mind then, do you think Spin Doctor is different enough to prevent it becoming a problem?

Nope. Single click card draw for no cost, with a no click reactive