Whee. Another card of the "run all the centrals to do something amazing" archetype. And this one probably delivers on the amazing part. 8 cards is a LOT, and you get to pick one to access. Or two, if you can contrive a way to run 3 servers, play an event, and still have a click left over!
In a lot of ways, this is a supercharged version of the old shaper staple, Indexing. It gives you a good chance of seeing an agenda, and a ton of information about their deck in the process. It allows you (effectively) a huge multiaccess, except that it completely ignores all the nasty traps and surprises that are traditionally the bane of huge multiaccesses.
Except there are some really interesting differences, between Deep Dive and Indexing. Indexing requires you to run on R&D twice (or more) to get real value, since the first run just tells you what's there, and lets you reorder it. This means that Indexing was usually either a very early game card, (great if they don't ice R&D first turn, or have only one ice that you can break cheaply), or a very late game card. (For when you're rich enough to raid a well-guarded R&D multiple times in a turn.) In contrast, Deep Dive requires you to hit all three centrals. So you're more likely to need more than one breaker type to complete your triple-run. So it's harder to Deep Dive early - it feels like more of a late-game card.
Also, Deep Dive happens all at once - the viewing and the accessing are part of the same effect. So Deep Dive is not vulnerable to instant-speed deck reshuffles that were always the bane of Indexing. It used to be that a well-timed Jackson Howard, (or his new minions, the Spin Doctors) could completely invalidate an Indexing run, but Deep Dive has no such troubles.
On the other hand, Indexing also let you have some control over what the corp was going to draw. Whether or not you managed to scoop any agendas in the process, if the corp was poor, you could move their Hedge Fund five cards down, to keep them poor a little longer. If they were having trouble drawing ice, oops, guess Eli is four or five cards down now. Deep Dive forces a reshuffle, so no such games are possible.
But enough about what Deep Dive does. What it does is amazing. Let's talk about how to best pull it off!
Like most cards that require multiple central runs, anything that gives you free runs or extra clicks is a godsend. Especially if you want a spare for that delicious second card access!
- Jak Sinclair can give you an extra run, as long as you can get into a central with no breakers. (Might be possible with the boat!)
- Beth Kilrain-Chang can give you an extra click, although waiting until the corp is rich enough to do so will almost certainly mean they can rez a lot of nasty stuff in the process.
- Running Hot gives you a bunch of clicks, although the core damage runs the risk of sniping Deep Dive out of your hand.
- Algernon also gives you a free click, but the influence cost is kind of prohibitive. At least it's a program, so shapers can include only one, and just search for it.
- Swift can get you an extra click when you play run events, but it takes up a precious console slot.
- Nyusha "Sable" Sintashta: Symphonic Prodigy gets a free click when she runs a random central server, which actually seems pretty great here - It doesn't matter which server is her target for the round, since we want all of them. She'd have to import Deep Dive though, and at 5 influence, that's a bit rough.
Really, Jak Sinclair seems like the best of these if you're playing shaper. Playing it out of criminal in a Nyusha deck seems possible also, although I'm not sure how the influence would work out. It's a pity that Out of the Ashes just rotated, because that card was perfect for this sort of thing.
Cards that let you get extra value out of runs are also probably worth looking at, as support for this card.
- Dirty Laundry, Bravado, Into the Depths, etc, can help make sure you have enough money to make it through all the servers, without having to stop and spend a click to get it.
- Leech is a classic way of making runs pay for themselves.
- Multiaccess run events like Jailbreak, Legwork and The Maker's Eye can make your HQ and R&D runs more profitable. (And if you can trash/steal cards off the top of R&D, you'll see deeper when you do your Deep Dive.)
- Cards like Inside Job or Tread Lightly, that disincentivize the corp from rezzing ice (or help mitigate it if they do) can make things a lot cheaper. Especially if they don't know what you're going for, and think you're just probing centrals hoping to get lucky!
Deep Dive seems like a pretty good card. It's a BIG card - not in credit cost, but in effect and the effort it takes to play. It can can easily end games in a hurry though, if you snipe 1-2 agendas from R&D, along with a lucky hit on Legwork. That's a lot of points in a turn. Obviously it's possible to get bad draws, but you're almost sure to get at least some points out of your Deep Dive turn.
I am guessing we will see this card in decklists going forward, as an alternate win condition for runners. It will probably need at least some portion of the deck built around supporting it, but the effect is powerful enough that I think it will be worth it.