In a faction filled with some insanely good ID's like 419, Geist and Leela on the one hand and some bottom tier runners like Khan, Iain and Fisk on the other, it can be refreshing to see a new identity that is middle of the pack.

Az's last name is McCaffrey, which is no coincedence. He is Kate's son after all! And the resemblance is not only striking in the looks department. Just like his mother, his ability allows you to install hardware at a 1 credit discount. This discount also extends to Job and Connection resources, as opposed to Kate's Program discount.

So, first off, it is a fact many people aren't the biggest fans of "money" ID's, like Kate, Az, Azmari or ETF. And while I do admit these abilities aren't terribly exciting, I think there is something to be said for an ID that just allow you to have efficiency as your talent and focus on deckbuilding.

And deckbuilding for Az has definitely been a challenge! Because it is not as easy to install resources and hardware on the corp's turn as it is programs (especially in shaper due to smc), Az's ability will not fire nearly as often as his mother's. You could try to make up for this by adding a ton of cards to your deck to install something every turn. But I think it is a trap to want to lean into his ability too hard and run suboptimal cards like Armitage Codebusting or 3 copies of Flip Switch.

One way to play Az is as a goodstuff crim list, giving up 419's econ denial/turtle strength or Leela's disruption in favor of straight up econ. Boomerang spam is perfect for Az, as he can repeatedly install it for half the price. In combination with his console, Masterwork (v37), you are looking at a consistent clickless install + a free card. If you don't have a Boomerang handy, Flip Switch, Lucky Charm or even HQ Interface are all nice too. Az also gets discounts on strong crim connections like The Class Act and Hernando Cortez. If you feel like spending influence Professional Contacts, Beth and Aesop's Pawnshop are all great choices.

If you're feeling a bit more spicy, you could play Az as a derez deck, focussing on Rubicon Switch in combination with Mantle and Keros Mcintyre. Maybe add in stealth breakers like Afterimage while you're at it? Or pretend he's Sunny's godchild and focus on link. Security Nexus, Sports Hopper and The Archivist are all discounted after all.

I don't expect this boy wonder to win a big event any time soon, but I am happy he is in the game. Next time you wanna play Criminal and you are up for a new ID, maybe give Az a chance!

1180

With Uprising released over half a year ago, Gachapon is one of the cards that hasn't been seeing a lot of play. Which is interesting because in a set chockablock with amazing cards, this might be one of the best, in my opinion.

What does it do? After trashing Gachapon, you get to install a program or virtual resource out of the top 6 cards of your stack for 2 credits less, remove 2 cards from game, and shuffle back 3. The card is comparable to Career Fair and Modded, except that the discount is lower. While Modded doesn't see a ton of play, Career Fair does. Gachapon does lose points against it because many great resources aren't virtual (even those that should be, looking at you Daily Casts).

Despite these drawbacks I think this hardware is not to be underestimated. First off, while not obvious at first, Gachapon saves you a click. Since Career Fair installs the target from hand, you need to draw into both cards first, as opposed to the one draw you spend on Gachapon. I think this more than makes up for the fact that that you can not find a target in the top 6 cards.

On that note, its supposed downside (removing 2 or 3 cards) is secretly an upside. Most runner decks have bloat, extra copies of key cards and a few silver bullets they don't need in every match up. Gachapon helps you get rid of these, making your deck more lean and mean. It is also worth noting that the text says "may", so even if you have a valid target, you can always decline to install it.

Another huge advantage of Gachapon is that it can be used during any paid ability window. In a pinch, it can get a breaker during a run (if you're lucky), and if the corp doesn't rez their ice you can get Turning Wheel instead. You can dig for No One Home after being hit by Economic Warfare. Or you can install Data Folding after the corp ends their turn.

So why have we seen so few anarchs add this card? I think partially that has to do with the bin breakers. These programs are better installed without spending a click at all, rather overdrawing with Zer0 and I've Had Worse and then dumping them in the heap. Another reason is that the same Anarch lists have been pretty solid for years, meaning players have little incentive to try out new cards unless they are obviously fantastic. And I think this card is great, just maybe not at first glance. Syd7 won the American Continentals with a Hoshiko list on Gachapon. That list forgoes anarch staples like Liberated Account for more Companions, who are prime targets.

How about out-of-faction? Criminals and Shapers don't have much use for this card. Two influence is not inconsequential, they don't usually run tons of virtual resources and have other ways of tutoring programs. I do think this card is well suited for the mini factions. I have been playing this card in Sunny and it has been an absolute super star. The filtering is especially good in a 50 card deck and mother loves to fetch Data Foldings and her new toy DreamNet. Apex also likes this card, as it needs the speed and all its resources are virtual anyway. Gachapon also triggers Wasteland on the corp's turn, which is fantastic. Adam could definitely use this (it tutors Logic Bomb) but can probably not spare the influence

In short, an underrated card that has a lot of versatility. It might start seeing more play after a strong Worlds showing.

1180
<p>This is a really good review and I've reached similar conclusions recently - in the right deck (Companions Hoshiko, for one) I've actually found this preferable to <a href="/en/card/08062">Street Peddler</a> primarily because of (a) the better saving, (b) the deeper dive into the stack, and (c) the ability to shuffle back important cards like a <a href="/en/card/10083">Rebirth</a> or #Labor Rights</p> —
<p>Gachapon is also really good in Val if you pop it mid run you get the bad pub as an extra credit towards the install cost and as you say, 50 card decks can use all the thinning they can get.</p> —

I was surprised to see only a flavor review on this card (at time of writing), as the "Tablet Asa" decks which exploit it were great in the 20.06 season and remain untouched going into the 20.09 season. There's even a decklist titled SFT is dumb.

So, why this card is good:

This agenda has the text "any number". Similar to the word "whenever", any card with the text "any number" of times has the potential to do broken things. There aren't any cards which let you gain "any number" of credits or draw "any number" of cards.

However, Successful Field Test's ability has a soft cap. You can't install more cards from HQ than there are cards in HQ. This presents a deck-building challenge, but still has the potential for incredible power. I once scored Successful Field Test (SFT) with over 20 cards in hand, which let me install more than a dozen cards in one turn.

Tablet Asa decks have one card which makes SFT absurd: Fully Operational. With helping setting up Fully Operational from Asa Group: Security Through Vigilance's ability, Fully Operational lets you easily draw 6+ cards in a single click. Often, Tablet Asa decks will Install-Advance-Advance this card, just so they can Advance-Advance-Fully-Operational-Score SFT next turn. This consistently allows the Corp to install 6-8 cards off the "when scored" ability.

I could ramble on about how Cybernetics Court and Lakshmi Smartfabrics also help exploit Successful Field Test to its full potential, but that's really the main combo - make sure you can draw a bunch of cards the turn your score SFT, gain 6+ installs.

5

Fun fact: did you know that a fully loaded Akhet can act as a wincon? Yeah, if you stuff a City Works Project, a trap, or, hell, a Bio Vault behind two of them, it can clicklessly charge them up while also giving you creds to use (like, say, for traps). It's great fun.

I'm surprised Security Subcontract card doesn't see much play. Now yes, the cost of a piece of ICE is 2 clicks and its rez cost, which is a "bad trade" if you spend yet another click using Security Subcontract for 4 credits. But in late stages of the game, when you no longer need to guard your drip assets, you can decommission small taxing ICE for an unexpected burst of credits. If for instance you've been siphoned to 0, have a Beale/Psychographics in hand & a Security Subcontract in a remote, and you're sitting at 5 points, you would gladly trash any piece of ICE for the win.

<p>The issue is that this use case is very narrow. It's a dead card if you draw it early, and you need to use it twice for it to be better than Beanstalk Royalties, which is generally considered a pretty weak economy card. It's best use is probably in decks that only pack ice as gear checks, and aren't trying to tax them once they find their breakers, but those decks are usually trying to go very fast, while this card is painfully slow.</p> —