Punitive Counterstrike

Punitive Counterstrike 3[credit]

Operation: Black Ops
Influence: ●●○○○

Trace [5]–. If successful, do X meat damage. X is equal to the sum of the printed agenda points on all agendas the Runner stole during their last turn.

"Don't think we don't care. We are very upset."
Illustrated by Zoe Cohen
Decklists with this card

System Update 2021 (su21)

#78 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
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No rulings yet for this card.


THE Scorched Earth alternative. Let's do a comparrison. For a Weyland deck to run Scorched Earth, it probably needs to include some of the following:

It can add up to a lot of cards to focus your deck around. The influence cost is pretty significant, and it can be hard to include some other tricks into your deck. This isn't to say that Scorched is a bad card, because clearly it's not. This is to highlight the wonderful alternatives that Punitive Counterstrike affords while still keeping the flatline play in your deck. To run Punitive, you need:

That's really it, although Archived Memories and some other cards are nice to help support the multiple Punitive combo. But, there you have it: Punitive Counterstrike needs itself and Agendas to work. In Weyland, it doesn't need as much influence. Outside of Weyland, it's less of a hit than Scorched. The deckspace and influence you save over the Scorched combos can be saved for other surprises.


  • Doesn't need tags to work.
  • Can potentially punish multi access like no other card without multiple copies.
  • Playing with it frees up deck space when compared to Scorched.
  • Combos with itself.
  • The Combo is cheaper to pull off.
  • Only Plascrete and Riches can protect the runner from your eventual wrath.


  • Is even more vulnerable to Plascrete Carapace.
  • It goes away in the late game, as the runner gets closer to winning by setting it up.
  • You need to include mostly 3 pointers, which limits your agenda options.
(Order and Chaos era)
One important note, though, is that Punitive is still a trace. A strong trace, it's true, but if the runner has money a Snare!+Scorch will kill much more reliably than Punitive. —
I keep trying to fit Closed Accounts into my Weyland flatline decks for this purpose, but even though the Influence cost is only 1, I still can never seem to find the space. —
Additional Pro: One of the best flavor texts in the game, imho —
Does punitive work off stealing the executives like chairman hiro? —
metafoxx - no, it does not. Any card that says (Add to your score area) instead of (steal an agenda) does not activate Punitive Counterstrike. This applies to executives like Chairman Hiro, as well as taking agendas through Film Critic. —
I find that Punitive is best combo'd with Argus and Scorched. If they take the tag they open themselves up to Scorched, if they take the meat damage your punitive might be in kill range. I love it even more against multi access decks. —