I'm not here to tell you about anything the other reviewers are talking about on here. It's MWL 3.3, and certain decks of the month (https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/56560/daruma-s-wild-ride-2nd-at-gencon-undefeated-in-swiss) have been seeing some extensive play on jinteki.net lately. Well. Let me tell you a story. A story about a little criminal card that at first glance appears merely great. Stack 8 creds on this guy, cash out 7 of them, leave him on the board to chain with any type of trash ability like aesops or whatever. Blah blah. But against the above agfusion deck, it makes Labyrinthine Servers and getting hit with an Inazuma + agfusion combo into an 8 token advanced Junebug or Cerebral not only survivable, but actually mildly hilarious as the corp wastes his precious 2 Labyrinthine tokens and you, being the wise runner you are, only take a few credits off of Bank Job at a time and float it on the board to avoid his Kill Servers like the unholy plauge upon Netrunner that they are. Is it worth it to splash? I think probably not. But it is an easy include to crim decks in my mind with this nonsense running around "Standard Legal" for the moment. 11/10 amazing card for crim decks

note i would only float that many credits on bankjob against this particular ID. —

I am absolutely the wrong person to evaluate this card on its playability. I am about as casual a player as it is possible to be; I still want to make a brain damage/click-denial HB deck with cards like Heinlein Grid and Kamali 1.0 and Mason Bellamy work. So when other people say that Whistleblower is generally not powerful enough to be playable right now, believe them. I'm not going to review this card on playability.

What I will review Whistleblower on, however, is its design, because I think Whistleblower opens design space in a way that gets missed when we only talk about whether or not it's worth a deck slot.

Whistleblower owes its lineage, of course, to Film Critic. Film Critic is a Runner tool for getting around nasty, hard-to-steal agendas like Obokata Protocol. It's also been Restricted since the beginning of the Banned/Restricted list, particularly because it's so damn good at what it does. At one influence and 1 to install, Film Critic is the gold standard tool for getting around defensive agendas. Want to have an easier time stealing Obokatas or Degree Mills? Slot Film Critic. Want to shut down SSL Endorsement? Slot Critic.

Film Critic, in other words, has the Jackson Howard problem: it's head and shoulders above anything else in its field. It's a first-order optimal card. While there may be niche cases when you pick something else before it (cases artificially made more common by Restricting the card), it's generally going to be an optimal pick. And that's boring and stifling from a design perspective.

Whistleblower is assuredly not a first-order optimal card. If more seasoned players are to be believed, it's actually pretty lousy. But weirdly, I find this encouraging. Jackson Howard, after all, wasn't supplanted by a single newly optimal card, because then everyone would have simply replaced Jackson Howard 1.0 with Jackson Howard 2.0. Instead, FFG recognized that Jackson's ability to sneak agendas out of Archives and back into R&D was critical enough to be available to all factions, and provided a number of powered-down options so players had choices based on the decks they were making. Attitude Adjustment, Gatekeeper, Genotyping, and Drudge Work all brought faction-specific Jackson effects on a variety of different card types. Preemptive Action and Distract the Masses were neutral options, both with their own costs or drawbacks. Breaking down Jackson's functions and divvying them up among multiple suboptimal cards opened up design space.

I think Whistleblower, underpowered though it may be, shows that NISEI recognizes that there's value in protection against defensive agendas and is interested in making that more accessible and varied. Maybe the next piece of protection against defensive agendas will come in the form of three faction-specific answers. Maybe it will be a neutral run event similar to Direct Access that ignores the abilities of any agendas accessed. Whatever it is, I have hope that future cards continue to explore this design space, so that the answer to defensive agendas becomes more interesting than "just slot Critic", and for that reason, I applaud the design behind Whistleblower.

As mentioned in valerian32's review, this card is likely to replace Scavenge if that card rotates along with Creation & Control (as is allegedly going to happen at the end of 2019).

Rejig is interesting because it allows you to achieve a couple of niche effects. Two that seem most useful are re-installing programs that come into play with counters (Pelangi, Imp, Cerberus "Lady" H1, D4v1d) as well as allowing Kabonesa Wu: Netspace Thrillseeker to keep cards she tutors in play. Unfortunately, Rejig has yet to see much use in serious decks. The modern praxis is that it is typically easier to sacrifice spent cards to Aesop's Pawnshop or even Spec Work, and then recur them as necessary with Clone Chip (or simply install a new copy). Wu typically uses Self-modifying Code or Scavenge to get around the downside of her identity ability. Clone Chip and Scavenge simply have greater versatility compared to Rejig, and as such see much more play, even in Anarch (and sometimes Criminal).

While Rejig hasn't been seen in top-tier play, beneath the surface, in the seedy Netrunner underbelly of the jank-pits, Rejig does enable one trick: re-hosting icebreakers.

In decks that attempt to build a mega-breaker with Dinosaurus or Baba Yaga, drawing your icebreakers before the cards they should be hosted on is not ideal. However, Rejig essentially functions as copies 4, 5, and 6 of Scavenge, and allows you to easily uninstall your breaker, then place it on your newly installed dinosaur friend or spooky AI. This allows these decks to be on track to steal their first agenda by turn 14.

In casual play, it allows you to move Savant from Dhegdheer to Dinosaurus, a move that instills fear in the heart of any Corp, granted they have not already scored 5 points by now.

TL;DR This card is worse than Scavenge, but is neutral, so there you go.

There's something incredibly satisfying about this card.

It's a super-charged Aesop's Pawnshop in event form with two cards for your trouble! Since you don't want to deplete your stock of cards twice as fast (usually), I'd recommend against having both this and the shop. Since this only hits programs, it's a great pair with Cache for net 5 and two new cards! Turn your dead Pelangi into cash! Recycle that digital doggo!

It's also great to smelt your unused silver bullets like Misdirection and Clot into something useful outside of their given matchups. Also, if you have memory to spare, it's perfect for the rest of your SMCs after your rig is up to speed.

Hayley is typically the best with this, as her ability thrives on having a ton of low-cost cards at the ready. Obviously, it also loves to be in Levy AR Lab Access decks for even more profit!

Also, I don't know what its art is supposed to be, but I think it's a re-purposed typewriter turned into a music box. It's lovely regardless!

274

I've played Lat a fair bit, and I wanted to offer the flipside of BlackCherries' review. To be clear, I think that review is a valid way of thinking about him, but rather than go over the same points, I'm just going to make a strong argument for the opposite analysis so hopefully the reviews will function as yin and yang.

I think Lat is a good vanilla ID, and the best way to play him is not to worry about his ability too much. Play a standard shaper deck with plenty of events and other easily playable cards, and triggering his ability is really not that hard. There's no need to include special combos, just get used to the fact that most turns the corp's handsize will dictate how many times you draw and how many cards you play out. This is generally not that onerous, and if it is you can just sacrifice your bonus card for a turn.

The corp might choose to do weird handsize things to faff with your ability. That's fine; they usually hurt themselves more than they hurt you. Go ahead and let them play as if they have zero handsize if they want. They're really showing you.

I agree that The Artist is a good card for Lat, but I'd like to highlight the other ability. The option to spend a spare for 2 is good because Lat's ability often leaves you wanting to burn a click without drawing (generally this is a parity problem; it happens when your handsize is even and the corp's odd, or vice versa).

Playing Lat as a vanilla shaper makes Hayley Kaplan the obvious comparison. Both give click compression at the cost of some faff. I won't deny that Hayley is better, but Lat has some advantages. Early on, he feels much smoother - you're not scratting round for s to fire your double installs. And he can play events without them getting in his way too much. I think these factors give him a slightly faster early game. Then there's his . That is very much not nothing at the moment, as IP Blocks and similar are still a common sight, and even taxing the corp a credit when they Hard-Hitting News you can prove crucial.

But Lat's biggest advantage over Hayley is one that goes outside pure strategic analysis. He simply takes much less brain space for the player. I took him to a small tournament for that reason and he was solid. I firmly believe that not having to process all Hayley's combos and options helped me to avoid burnout during the later rounds.

I prefer Symmetrical Visage to ProCo. It drops onto the table much more easily, and Lat's draws are a pretty big nombo with ProCo's 'I'm planning to spend half my s drawing' ethos.