Backstitching

Backstitching 2[credit]

Resource: Virtual
Influence: 2

When your turn begins, identify your mark. (If you don’t have a mark, a random central server becomes your mark for this turn.)

Whenever you encounter a piece of ice during a run on your mark, you may trash this resource to bypass that ice.

One step back. Take cover. Two steps forward. Repeat, then secure well.
Illustrated by Adam S. Doyle
Decklists with this card

Midnight Sun (ms)

#19 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
Printings
Midnight Sun
Rulings
  • Updated 2022-09-10

    Does the Runner’s mark stay if all mark cards leave play, or does it leave and return when a new mark card comes into play?

    When you identify your mark, that server becomes your mark for the turn, even if the card that instructed you to identify your mark leaves play. If an event instructs you to identify your mark, that server continues to be your mark for the remainder of the turn after that event resolves.

  • Updated 2022-09-10

    If the Runner does not have a mark, and they install a card that says “When your turn begins, identify your mark.”, do they get a mark for the current turn?

    No. The Runner only identifies a mark when an ability instructs them to.

  • Updated 2022-09-10

    If the Runner has multiple “mark” cards, how do they identify their mark?

    The first time each turn the Runner resolves an instruction to identify their mark, they will randomly choose a central server. That server becomes their mark for the entire turn. Resolving another instruction to identify their mark will have no effect.

  • Updated 2022-09-10

    If the Runner encounters Konjin protecting their mark, and they are forced to encounter ice protecting a different server, can they trash Backstitching to bypass the ice that Konjin forced them to encounter?

    Yes. The attacked server is still the Runner’s mark, so the forced encounter from Konjin still meets Backstitching’s trigger condition.

Reviews

This seems like a potentially very powerful card for criminals at first:

At 2 cost, it seems comparable to Inside Job, which is a great card for many reasons, and a big enabler for criminals getting past big taxing ice.

Compared to Inside Job, Backstitching:

  • Has the advantage that it can bypass any ice in the run and not just the first encountered ice. So, corps that try to harden a server against inside job by putting a cheap ice on the outside won't have success vs. this threat.
  • Inside job can't be used to help you land another run event like Legwork or The Maker's Eye, but this card can. This card can also be used with Inside Job to bypass two ice (and perhaps multiaccess with The Twinning?)

However, it is also a lot less flexible than Inside Job:

  • You can only use it on centrals, you can't use it to crack the remote
  • You can't control which server is your mark, so if you really need to get into a specific central, this card won't reliably help you do that.

For Nyusha "Sable" Sintashta: Symphonic Prodigy the most obvious consistent use of this card is that it may help you translate Easy Mark into a successful run and a free click on a turn when you might not otherwise have been able to. So this card may enable opportunistic access, possibly more cheaply if the corp is playing big ice.

The argument against this card I think goes as follows:

In the new Cezve meta, centrals are already very porous. Cezve helps you get where you need to go no matter what your mark is. With Bukhgalter and Cezve you are breaking Drafter for free. With Corroder and Cezve you are breaking Gold Farmer for two. Instead of breaking Gold Farmer, you could bypass it, but then you paid two to install Backstitching. So why bother with Backstitching?

If there's something big enough in your way that Backstitching would be cost effective, Boomerang would probably also work, and Boomerang has a lot more flexibility and utility. You can use it to crack the remote also for instance.

On the plus side, Backstitching will always be able to help you on the turn where you play deep dive.

Overall, I expect this card to be somewhat niche.

(Midnight Sun era)

For the FAQ (unofficial):

In regards to when the Corporation rezes an ICE with an "On encounter" effect: Similar to Inside Job, Backstitching would bypass that ice before the "On encounter" happens (but all "On rez" effects still trigger) due to the nuance of run timings. It is the runners turn so they get priority in paid ability windows.

Examples:

Funhouse would not apply a tag.

Anvil is bypassed before it's on encounter ability window.

Anansi would still deal damage.

Wave would still allow the Corp to search an ICE and reveal it.

(Parhelion era)
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