Umbrella 3[credit]

Program: Icebreaker - Decoder - Weapon
Memory: 1 • Strength: 5
Influence: 2

This program can only interface with ice hosting a trojan program.

Interface → 2[credit]: Break up to 3 code gate subroutines. If at least 1 subroutine was broken this way, each player may draw 1 card.

"However bad it gets out there, know that weʼll still have each other."
—Tom "Spider" Milhas
Illustrated by BalanceSheet
Decklists with this card

The Automata Initiative (tai)

#27 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
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  • Updated 2023-10-01

    If the Runner uses Umbrella to fully break a subroutine, what order do players draw in?

    First, the active player chooses if they will draw a card. Then, the inactive player chooses if they will draw a card. Then, the player(s) that chose to draw will do so simultaneously.


After a long list of fixed strength breakers (including Cleaver, Buzzsaw and Mimic in the current rotation), we now get a fixed strength breaker. This alone makes Umbrella an exceptional program. So let's look at what we've got here ...

Typically, fixed strength breakers need a way to meet the strength requirements of big ICE by either getting strength support (the way) or reducing the ICE strength (the way).
So what ICE exactly do we need to deal with? Let's start an NRDB search for Code Gates with more strength than Umbrealla ... Oh, what a suprisingly short list! Let's filter it for rotation ... And we found Valentão. That's it. Only one (in numbers: 1) Code Gate in the game that's out of strength reach and it's arguably a rather niche ICE that won't be found in most Corp decks, unlike the rotated Macrophage or DNA Tracker. And we don't even have "growing" Code Gates like we have with some Barriers that can get more and more strength over the course of the game.

So, basically, we have a fixed strength breaker with simply enough strength. Not 3 strength and you cover the rest, but just enough strength.
Now we can go and break any Code Gate for just 2, right?
Well, there's another catch. With strength out of the way as a requirement we have a breaker that can break any Code Gate that hosts a Trojan, no matter what.
This means, instead of a breaker that needs support for high strength ICE we have a brekaer that needs support in the form of 1 Trojan per Code Gate.
That's potentially a lot of you might need if the Corp is running a lot of Code Gates.

When we check the list of all Trojans in the current rotation we find 14 programs, half of them in faction with Umbrella. Quite a list.
We have Hush for Tollbooth, obviously.
We have newcomers like Pichação that are designed with a whole Trojan based runner archetype in mind ("Hello, Arissana, nice to meet you.").
We finally get to see the sleeper card Kyuban back from 5 years ago shine.
And I'm pretty convinced that the second half of the Liberation cycle will only bring us more Trojans.

So, yes, really an exceptional new Icebreaker we got here. One that really feels different.

(The Automata Initiative era)

Umbrella is a card that needs support from many Trojans and their corresponding support cards, but with that support, it can provide incredibly cheap (possibly free) access to servers and a draw engine.

First, let's look at the numbers. Umbrella can break practically any ICE it can interface with for 2, but it can only interface with ICE that have a Trojan hosted on them. Kyuban is the perfect mate in this regard, with this combination allowing for the ICE to be broken for free provided you can front the 2.

Second, let's look at the targets. Valentão is the only Code Gate out of range at this time (though we know Revolution Without Rehearsal will bring at least one more), but combined with K2CP Turbine, there is no Code Gate out of range. We can do better, though. Egret is a Trojan, and it can turn anything into a Code Gate, meeting both conditions required for Umbrella to work. There are currently no ICE with a strength higher than 7, so with a K2CP Turbine and an Egret, nearly every piece of ICE can be broken. There are a few pieces of ICE that can be raised to a strength higher than 7, such as Pharos, but Hush can bring all of these back down to strength and it is also a Trojan. Further, Arissana Rocha Nahu: Street Artist can install a Trojan during the run, overcoming the weakness of Egret only being installable on rezzed ICE and saving us the click. Combined with Urban Art Vernissage, the Egret can be moved each turn, providing a threat to any server.

Umbrella also pairs very well with Ika, which can be moved to a Code Gate for 2 in a pinch if you find yourself encountering one without a way to install another Trojan.

Now, in my books, all of this makes Umbrella worth including in a Trojan-heavy deck. It requires enough MU to support these Trojans, but it makes breaking ICE predictable and cheap, enabling early aggression as soon as an Egret is available. But it also provides card draw for both the Runner and the Corp, during a run, and that makes it very interesting.

For the Runner, the benefits of this are obvious. Especially in a deck that benefits from continuous running through the use of cards like Conduit or making use of Run events, this keeps everything flowing and can put a lot of pressure on the Corp.

For the Corp, the card draw can often prove beneficial as well, but there are ways you can limit that as the Runner. First, if you are using multi-access on R&D, like Conduit, the Corp is letting you dig deeper if they draw. This will likely discourage them from doing so. Second, if the Corp is drawing a lot, they are likely to end up with more agendas than they can deal with. Since the draw is happening on your turn, you can take care of any Spin Doctors on the table and use multi-access on HQ to clean up those agendas before the Corp can do anything with them.

All in all, I think Umbrella is a great card that builds a strong board state once a few Trojans are in play, but it can only be included in decks that go all-in on Trojans.

(The Automata Initiative era)