Banner 4[credit]

Program: Icebreaker - Fracter - Weapon
Memory: 1 • Strength: 5
Influence: 3

Interface → 2[credit]: Subroutines on the barrier you are encountering cannot end the run for the remainder of this encounter.

Above the maze of smoke and swinging fists, they saw the banner waving.
Illustrated by BalanceSheet
Decklists with this card

The Automata Initiative (tai)

#5 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
  • Updated 2023-10-01

    If the Runner uses Banner to prevent Meridian from ending the run, what happens?

    Meridian’s subroutine offers the Runner an opportunity to pay the cost of adding Meridian to their score area to prevent it from ending the run. If the runner chooses not to pay that cost and uses Banner’s ability, the Corp will gain 4, but will be prevented from ending the run.

  • Updated 2023-10-01

    Can Hafrún prevent Banner from using its ability?

    No. Banner does not break subroutines.

  • Updated 2023-10-01

    If the Runner uses Banner to prevent Tree Line from ending the run, does the Corp gain 1 when the subroutine fires?

    Yes. Any part of the subroutine that does not end the run still happens.

  • Updated 2023-10-01

    If the Runner uses Banner’s ability on Endless EULA, do they have to choose to pay 1 for each subroutine?

    No. The Runner can decline to pay for any subroutines on Endless EULA. The Corp will be prevented from ending the run. However, the Runner can still choose to pay if they want to.


I wonder if the digital figures around the banner are the ones actually getting you through the ice. The banner itself is a rally point, a symbol, but the figures around it are what carry you forward. The corp can try to beat them up, track them down and break their stuff in hopes they give up; but the corp can't stop them. They can't be stopped.

In other words, I really like the flavor text on Banner and the connection to an out-of-control riot.

(The Automata Initiative era)

The other review does a great job of giving you the gist of Banner, just wanted to point out that currently in standard, there are only three barriers that start at above 5 strength, Hagen (and banner alone drops that to 5), Sandstone (will auto drop to 5 when you encounter it) and Bran 1.0 (actually a problem). So by default, there is only one barrier that you won't be able to melt at the fixed strength. There are some that can increase strength, like Pharos, Logjam and Ice Wall, but besides pharos most of these should not get too high in strength, and a Leech Can get you through just fine. Do beware if this is your only fracter that ice like Hakarl 1.0 or Blockchain will still fire their non-ETR subroutines, which can be seriously punishing, so either bring a backup or accept that you are occasionally going to really eat it with banner.

(Rebellion Without Rehearsal era)

Banner (🚩) is an anti-EtR “icemelter” (ie. “non-breaking icebreaker”), as a fixed-strength fracter: it doesn't break any subroutines, nor prevent any non-end the run effects from resolving, but it still interacts with ICE and still must interface against ICE strength.

For example:

  • Pharos: For $2 and 1 tag, Banner “melts” past its 5 strength (unless triple-advanced).

  • Endless EULA: For $2, Banner would “melt” all six ↳ End the run unless the Runner pays $1. subroutines (though a Cleaver would still fully break it for just $3).

Banner “melts”:

  • ↳ End the run.

  • ↳ End the run if the Runner is tagged.

  • ↳ End the run unless the Runner takes 1 tag.

  • ↳ Give the Runner 1 tag and end the run. (→ ↳ Give the Runner 1 tag.)

  • ↳ Trace[X]. If successful, end the run.

It can also:

  • “melt” through unbreakable or semi-breakable ICE:

    • eg. a triple-advanced Akhet (The Runner cannot break more than 1 of its printed subroutines during each encounter.)
  • “melt” past anti-breakage effects:

    • eg. a just-rezzed Hafrún (Choose 1 installed Runner card. That cardʼs abilities cannot break subroutines for the remainder of that run.)
  • “melt” retributive ICE:

  • keep “nothing broken” checks on and “subroutines resolved” counts up:


  • Endless Hunger: also anti-EtR. cf. Interface → [$2]: Break any number of “↳ End the run.” barrier subroutines..

  • Flashbang: also an “icemelter”; it interfaces, but to derez (not to break).

  • Umbrella: also a weapon icebreaker that's "nonstandard"/"unorthodox".

PS. Note that NSG's icebreaker retemplating (ie. adding Interface → …) clarifies which abilities must match strength (eg. Flashbang’s derezzing) and which can ignore strength (eg. Lustig’s bypassing), and thus facilitates more “icemelters” getting printed.

PPS. Since Parhelion (which printed Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga and Raindrops Cut Stone), I'd been designing some custom icemelter cards that "mitigate" or "reimburse" negative subroutine effects (such as damage, destruction, tagging, zapping, and so on).

Some example "mitigators":

  • Killer with Interface → [$1]: Choose 1 subroutine on the sentry you are encountering. For the remainder of this encounter, it cannot cause you to trash installed programs or to suffer damage.

  • Decoder with Interface → [$1]: Choose up to 2 subroutines on the code gate you are encountering. For the remainder of this encounter, they cannot cause you to lose [$], lose [Q], or take tags.

And some example "reimbursers":

  • Killer with Interface → Whenever a subroutine resolves on the sentry you are encountering, you may draw 1 card. Use this ability only twice each run.

  • Stealth Decoder with Interface → Whenever a subroutine resolves on the code gate you are encountering, you may place [$1] on this program. Use this ability only three times each run. and You may spend hosted credits during runs.

(The Automata Initiative era)