No Free Lunch

No Free Lunch 0[credit]

Influence: ○○○○

trash: Gain 3credit.

trash: Remove 1 tag.

If there's anything to be learned from our android cousins, it's that there's no shortcut to perfection. Consider all your options.
Illustrated by Bruno Balixa
Decklists with this card

Midnight Sun (ms)

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

    Can the Runner trash No Free Lunch to gain credits while another ability is resolving, such as when they are installing a card with Gachapon or contesting a trace from Punitive Counterstrike?

    No. The Runner can only use No Free Lunch when they have priority in a paid ability window.

  • Updated 2023-10-01

    Can the Runner use No Free Lunch to remove a tag gained from the rezzing of Ping before the Corp can remove that tag with B-1001 to end the run?

    No. The Corp has priority when they rez Ping, and its ability resolves in the immediately-following reaction window. After the ability resolves, the Corp receives priority again in the same paid ability window, and they can end the run with B-1001 before the Runner’s next opportunity to use a paid ability.


This card is unassuming looking but incredibly powerful.

A close comparison is No One Home. NOH counters any number of tags so it's a lot better against Hard-Hitting News. It also actually avoid tags, which means it won't trigger R+'s ability. However, while the numbers on No One Home are good (especially for runners with link) the corp can still overcome it with a strong economic lead. No Free Lunch also works during any ability window, which makes it a lot more versatile than NOH's "first time".

Sure, No One Home also prevents damage, but if you face a corp that neither tags or deals damage, it is completely dead. The definition of a silver bullet. NFL is at least an Easy Mark, not the strongest of cards but still a +1 in value. And at 1 influence, it is easy to add out-of-faction and not feel bad about it, whether you use it for tag hate or money.

Since it is a resource that interacts with tag removal, it is hard to counter. Sadaka comes to mind, which I think will be more of staple in tag decks going forward. There is also Best Defense, since NFL costs 0. However, none of these solutions are elegant. Tricking the runner into accessing QPM tagged or getting Public Trail combos off just got a lot more difficult. Tag deck will have to adapt to this card going forward. Whether that is a good thing is personal preference.

(Midnight Sun Booster Pack era)

I like that it counters Free Lunch

Having 3 credits on demand during a run (given the sheer number of paid ability windows) is surprisingly nice and versatile. Can catch a corp off guard by suddenly being able to fund an ice breaker, or the runner can react to a rezzed ice they weren't sure they could break or how they wanted to handle it. Similarly if a runner is unsure they will even make it through a server, then they do, they can get the credits before accessing to give more trash potential. Definitely a well flavored and fun Criminal card.

The value of this card is mainly in that it allows you to instantly remove a tag. It's extremely good against quick-kill combos starting with a card like Drago Ivanov or Public Trail or Distributed Tracing. If you're good at identifying Quantum Predictive Model situations, it could also be very valuable for removing a tag during a run.

If you have enough time/funds to clear a tag without using this card, I'd suggest avoiding wasting this card prematurely. It only saves you $2. What this card gives you (that a click and $2 cannot) is the ability to easily survive a tag inflicted on the corp's turn. Relatedly, some tournament players favor Stoneship Chart Room over Diesel. Yes, the effect is small, but the timing is GREAT.

It also gives you a bit of flexibility mid-run if the run is a few credits more expensive than you were expecting.

(Parhelion era)

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