As of writing, there are 41 legal Corp Identities in Standard. Out of those, Direct Access does literally nothing to 14 of them. Among the remaining 27, about 10 are effectively blank; either you only save a credit (or no credits by using Direct Access) or you prevent the Corp from maybe gaining a credit, or the effect would only be applicable in extreme edge cases.

I think the remaining 17 Corp Identities can be separated into three groups based on how useful Direct Access might be against them:

Minor Payoff:

  • Chronos Protocol: If you would take damage during this run, the Corp doesn’t get to see your hand. This might be critical in some cases (they don’t get to prep for Complete Image) but often doesn’t matter too much.
  • New Angeles Sol: If you manage to steal an Agenda during this run, they don’t get to replace a Current.
  • Personal Evolution: If you steal an Agenda during this run, you avoid taking a net damage. This doesn’t leverage more cards in your hand to steal Obokata Protocol because you’re spending a card to play this, but it does keep you from being ground down earlier since this card is recycled.

Decent/Occasional Payoff:

  • The Foundry: Not being able to use their ability would definitely feel bad, if they’re playing this ID.
  • Industrial Genomics: Depending on the state of the game, this might let you trash a critical asset, saving several credits.
  • Argus Security: If you happen to steal an Agenda during this run, you can avoid two meat damage or one tag.
  • Haarpsichord Studios: Can let you steal more than one Agenda a turn. Combine with multi-access to nab two agendas at once.
  • Builder of Nations: Prevents an almost assured meat damage, throwing a wrench in their grinder.
  • Sportsmetal: Can save you from giving the corp a fairly significant tempo boost if you steal an agenda during the run (which might be likely if they run lots of 1-pointers).
  • The Outfit: If they rez an illicit ice, they still get a bad pub but don’t get the 3.
  • Stronger Together: Reduce all Bioroid strength by 1, saving you multiple credits if the server is stacked.
  • Seidr Laboratories: This ability rarely fires, but when it does it can be a nuisance. Preventing such a fire can be helpful.

Strong/Reliable Payoff:

  • CtM: Saves you 2-3 credits, depending on your link. You can use this reliably to trash assets.
  • Architects of Tomorrow: Costs the corp 4 pretty reliably.
  • AgInfusion: Stops you from getting sent elsewhere for critical runs.
  • Acme Consulting: Depending on what ice you hit, can save you loads of credits.
  • Replicating Perfection: Saves you clicks, credits, and cards as you avoid having to run a taxing central before hitting the remote.

My thoughts: Direct Access is a far more balanced and well-designed version of Employee Strike. It does not smother Corps as unilaterally, but can really shine in particular matchups. I think if you slot it, you will use it to surprising effect in some games. However, whether or not it is worth a slot is dependent on the state of the meta, as well as what Runner ID you’re using because oh yeah, it blanks yours too.

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Nice list. You really want to highlight what makes it so unique - its ability to shuffle back into your stack for repeated usage. It may be an Event but it can see multiple uses during a game. —
Yeah, I realized after writing all this that there's a whole other side of the card to go into; how it shuffles back into the stack. For example, playing as RP against this might be a nightmare. As the game goes on, it just gets easier and easier for the Runner to get into your remotes as the stack thins out. Lots of little nuances that come up on the Runner side of things that are worth thinking about. :) But I think for now the bigger question is: should you play the card? —

They have different names, art and abilities, but none of that matters. Yagi-Uda is basically a replacement/reskin of Braintrust, and will serve the role as Jinteki's blank 3/2 agenda you can play three of, in addition to the one Philotic.

And that is fine. 3/2's have always been great no matter what their text was, because of their easiness to score vs 5/3's while still keeping the agenda density of your deck low. In that regard Yagi-Uda is perfectly serviceable.

The ability isn't even that bad. Swapping cards during a run is potentially powerful with the right card in hand and can lead to great mindgames. It is just not enough to make you want to plan around overadvancing it. If you're gonna score 4/2's, Jinteki already has the best one in the game. So save your clicks.

In short, already sees play and will continue to do so on account of its stats. Not terribly exciting otherwise.

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A cute ambush, but too niche to see mainstream play. In NBN, unless you expect most of your tournament match-ups to be Val (and if that is the case, my condolences), this card will probably be dead. You could make a deck with Reality Threedee and/or Game Over, but wouldn't you rather play any of the other great yellow assets and operations?

The Outfit can definitely benefit from this, but many builds straight up ignore the bp in favor of rush and kill strategies. And if the publicity is getting too heated, you could always just hire a Roughneck Repair Squad. That won't cost you any precious influence either.

I won't say this is a bad card, since removing bad pub has always been difficult and handy in some situations. And it is definitely nice that it fires everywhere, including archives. If you fear Val and Mining Accidents, feel free to include a copy. Just don't blame me if you only face Hayleys and 419's.

685
Short, sweet, and concise. Great review. —
Thank you! —

Similar to Accelerated Beta Test except more versatile since it can install non-ice cards, and MUCH safer since it doesn't discard any agendas. Also has the additional benefit of showing you what R&D has in store for you on the coming turns.

Unfortunately this card hasn't seen a ton of play despite being a strong agenda. I think this is because HB isn't in the best of places atm, with only Sportsmetal doing pretty well. It doesn't help that it's a 4/2 and that there are a ton of great agendas to compete with, both purple and neutral. Making it a 3/2 would have been game-breaking though, so it is just an unfortunate reality.

I think this is a solid agenda to include, and I hope to see it more often. But in reality it is probably not quite good enough to make the cut.

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"Gotta go fast" - Sonic the Hedgehog

Swift hasn't been around for long but is already making waves in the community. And even though I am not a crim player, I can see why. 2 credits for a 1-MU console is good value, and then there is the effect. The first run event you play every turn is clickless. Since there are dozens of run events, many of them good or even amazing, this means your investment pays off in no time.

The obvious synergy is with Ken, whose entire shtick is run events. By not only gaining a credit but also effectively a click for the first run event each turn, you are rewarded for hammering the corp early. This is effectively his console, lore be damned.

But our favorite clone is not the only one who can benefit from this hardware. Plenty of aggressive anarchs, such as my personal favorite punk rocker, also love run events and free clicks. And at 2 influence, Swift can be incorporated into those decks. But the real kicker comes in the form of Apocalypse. The free click gives you some leeway to pull off the three runs required to fire this monster event, and still being able to do things afterwards. This synergizes with Ken and Lizain particular, since most their cards will be events anyway, so there won't be a ton of runner cards to turn facedown.

Swift does have some in-faction competion from the amazing Paragon, and Geist and Az McCaffrey will probably prefer Masterwork. Still, I expect to see this console a lot both in criminal and out of faction.

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