Malia is a strong card. There are many possible scenarios that Malia works fantastically, but let's talk about economy resources. Especially Liberated Account and Daily Casts.

Runners who want money use these cards. So all runners use these cards.

But why not Armitage Codebusting? Six-time Magnum Opus, with 4 less credits. And it's neutral! Every runner can Armitage, and must Armitage!

The thing is, the rule of this game already gave you somewhat useful-and infinite-economy: click for credits.

1 credit/click. You can always do this. Every other economy cards should be MUCH better than this ratio.

Dumb calculation. You can net 11 credits from Armitage. (12 minus 1) Sounds cool. What did it cost? Everything...... 1 click to draw, 1 click to install, 6 clicks to get all credits on Armitage. Result: 8 clicks for 11 credits. 1.375 credit/click. (Why am I calling it 'Dumb' calculation? Because some smart people always argue that 'draw' should be less than 1 click... but I don't care because I'm dumb.)

So why not armitage? 1.375 credit/click sucks. And spending eight freakin clicks for 1.375 credit/click really sucks.

So why Liberated? It's 10/6, 1.67 credit/click, and pays you back quite fast. So why Daily Cast? It's 5/2, 2.5 credit/click. You must wait for it, but ratio is just fantastic.

...and now Malia kicks in....

Case one. Runner doesn't care about their kidnapped economy. Well nice, You just spent 6(3) credit and one click and one card for nothing but my kidnap-bioroid. Yum Yum.

Case two. Runner tries to get back their economy paying some ransom. Another dumb math time. Liberated? (10-3)/(6+1), 1 credit/click. Dailiy Cast? (5-3)/(2+1), 0.67 credit/click.

Wow, it becomes more ridiculous with some ice and upgrades. Sometimes runner should forget about their past,-and be hard at work, click for credits, otherwise they'll-have to click for removing tags.

Thus, I like Malia as an asset form of Economic Warfare. But it baits run, rather than requires run.

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I love the phrase, "Kidnapped Economy." I also like your math, as I calculate my costs the same way. Just ignore those haters who don't count draw as cost! :P —

Out of Spark, if you were to install and rez one of these, then the runner immediately ran and trashed it, you’d have spent 1 to gain 1 and cost the runner 1 and 4. A 5 swing for a click isn’t too shabby, though I’m not sure it’s quite strong enough to make the cut. Slots be tight, as they say.

A comment on both of your reviews: I like tiered subscription in Spark because it's free, and it's not an ice. Spark really wants to be rezzing a *lot* of ads fast, and those two attributes are the ones ads need to have in order for that to happen. My Spark doesn't run any ad ice, because the runner has too much control over when you can rez them, and that means their additional synergy with your ID fails to outweigh the fact that Slot Machine is just better. —

The obvious comparison for this is Pop-up Window.

The differences are:
• Nets you 3c instead of 1c (if the runner doesn’t beak it)
• The runner also nets 1c is they let the sub fire
• Doesn’t tax the runner if they’re willing to let you gain creds
• 3str instead of 0
• 1c to rez instead of 0
• 2 inf instead of 1
• No conditional ETR

They’re both cheap, mildly annoying NBN Code Gates. Being Advertisements, they both gain extra value out of Spark. So which to include?

So far I’ve yet to see it take over Pop-up as the de facto cheap/annoying NBN ICE. I think they’re pretty evenly matched power-wise but I think the fact that it gifts the runner creds and doesn’t tax if they let it fire are keeping it from seeing play. Out of Spark, it might be worth including a couple of both, but otherwise I think Pop-up still wins out.

Regardless, it’s a well designed Nisei card that boosts a fairly fringe ID. It‘s great to see them releasing cards that have the potential to make underused IDs more viable.

While it makes sense to compare this to Pop-up Window being cheap ad NBN ice, I think the more appropriate comparison is to Slot Machine. Despite Slot Machine costing slightly extra to rez, its swing is almost always better than Congratulations. You're only going to be playing this ice for its subtype in Spark. —
That’s fair, though I’m not sure the two ICE would be necessarily competing for the same slot. SM is taxing while this generates income. I’ve seen people suggest that it might work out a deck like PE that doesn’t care too much about the runner having money, though I’m not sure it’d be worth the 2 inf a pop. —
Overall I agree. If you're not using it for its subtype, it's still just a net 2 credit swing (+3 for you +1 for the Runner compared to Popup: +1 for you -1 for the Runner) with the difference being that Popup takes away from the Runner whereas Congratulations! doesn't. I've heard it said before, that in a world of infinite money, the runner always wins because your ICE and assets then don't really exist. You probably don't want to stack this in a heavily ICEd very high either, considering its monitory gain would be offset by the increased ICE cost. That being said--perhaps Congratulations! Perhaps this is more of an early asset protection card? Maybe a, "Sure, you might trash my Marilyn campaign, but you just paid me 3 credits to shuffle it back into R&D" kind of thing. —
It seems likely that there will be an ad-based NBN ID in the next Nisei pack. I think that despite the subtype this is a huge nombo in Spark. Spark wants the runner broke and miserable. It doesn't want to be playing anything that says 'give the runner money'. —

Much like the last review by Lupis from 2015, I'm amazed that there aren't more reviews for this ID. I started playing ANR around the Red Sand Cycle in 2017, so while technically RP hadn't rotated yet, it wasn't a dominating part of the meta (or at least my meta) and so I didn't get a lot of chances to analyze how to play against it before it rotated.

Now that it's back, I'm forced to analyze how to beat it.

RP seems innocent and simple enough--you can't run my remotes until you run (running being the important distinction) my centrals. The obvious strategy in RP is to then ICE up centrals while having lots of nasty things in your remotes. Sundew is probably an auto-include, but it's tough as a runner when you start also seeing things like Synth DNA Modification, Hostile Infrastructure and Bio-Ethics Association. Suddenly "trash Sundew on sight" can no longer be your only option, especially when you're having to break through the central ICE each time you want to do it. It's also fairly common to see Enhanced Login Protocol as well, which just adds salt to the wound. Now suddenly you have to spend 3 clicks a turn just to trash one thing--it can get pretty tough pretty quickly.

I certainly don't have extensive experience against this ID, but from what I can tell, you have to be very precise against RP. You can't run and hit centrals in hopes of getting lucky. You can't trash every single asset on the board because you're probably not going to have enough money and time. Instead, it seems best to stay patient, build up money and installables, and then strike after you see RP draw up and they either A) Install a few assets or B) Don't install anything. Chances are higher that there's something in HQ during these times, and if you happen to miss something good in HQ, you can spend your next click getting rid of a key asset. ELP is particularly oppressive if you don't run currents, as you can never be truly sure when you can grab an agenda to turn it off. I know that every Runner game is a game of odds, but I usually feel more-so like I'm grasping at straws when I play against RP, even when I win.

That's kind of it from what I can tell, and I know it's not much. Partly, I'm writing this review in the hopes that players with more experience than me will add their thoughts via comments, or perhaps make a review of their own. What am I missing? Is there more to it than that? How do you keep up with the combination of taxing ICE that you're forced to run and the onslaught of assets? Any insight is appreciated. :D

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I feel it's important to note that 'you can't access my remotes until you access my centrals' should state "run" instead of "access". Huge distinction. —
Nice! That's definitely a piece of the puzzle that I was missing. Now I understand why all the RP decks I see use spikey ICE. This means if they stack ICE on centrals, you can break just one and jack out to save a bit of cash if you don't want to access. Likewise, you might also let an Envelope or two fire if you don't care about your hand and want to save a few creds. —
Exactly. If it were access, RP would be quite a bit stronger (and less fair). —
I think diagnosis is a big deal with RP. If they're doing some big asset spam combo, you need to work out the key thing to trash. They often have quite a lot of moving parts, which means there are vulnerabilities if only you can work out what they are. Conversely, if they're basically running a glacier with a few strong econ assets then you can afford to spend time moneying up. In that instance they want you to faff around trashing things because then you'll be broke and they'll be able to score Nisei Mk II —

歌え or Utae is the Japanese word for "sing." ... look, that's all I've got for the translation bit of this, I'm just happy I have IME installed on my computer so I can even type out the Kanji.

Anyway, holy crikey! A decent Decoder coming out of Anarchs!? What is the world coming to?

In our modern world of Netrunner, we have the luxury of comparing any new card to a wealth of older cards, and through this we can build a basis of comparison for whether or not something is good, or bad. One of the most obvious comparisons for Utae is the tried and true Gordian Blade, since their break and boost costs are rather comparable. Out of the gate, Utae has a much more palatable install cost--2 versus Gordy's 4 . 2 is pretty stinking cheap for any breaker that doesn't have limited uses or that doesn't trash itself. It does come at the cost though, of starting off at 1 Str, whereas Gordy has 2. This means that after needing to boost Utae by at least 1 during two different ICE encounters, you've broken even with Gordy, and afterwards Gordy would just be cheaper. That's assuming that you're not facing more than one higher strength Code Gate stacked on any single server though--Gordy keeps its Str during the run, so if at any point this becomes relevant, Gordy is also going to be much more economical in the long run. It doesn't stop there though; unless you have 3 Virtual Resources installed, Utae is a one-per-run-and-done kind of breaker, only being able to break subroutines on a single piece of ICE before requiring its back-up breaker ability to move forward. This means you'll need to make sure you're running at least 3 virtual resources that you not only want to install at some point, but also stick around--not impossible to do, but certainly not a situation every runner deck finds themselves in. Lastly, Utae is Anarch at 2 Inf and Gordy is Shaper at 3.

Ultimately, influence and faction are a big factor when choosing whether to use Utae or Gordian Blade. Most of the time, you'd rather have Gordy--so if you're a Shaper who doesn't use Virtual Resources, you're never going to splash for Utae. That being said, if you're in Anarch and you're already using Virtual Resources, Utae seems like a pretty attractive non-influence option. It is clearly meant to synergize with the new Anarch Virtual Resource Companions. Additionally, the benefits of Gordy's persisting Strength will never really appear if the runner is trashing all of the Code Gate ICE on a server--something that Anarchs are known to do from time to time. Likewise, the lower install cost makes it an easier and faster card to play in the early stages of the game, as well as a less punishing target for program trashing. If your deck focuses on these kinds of strategies, (moving fast, Virtual Resources and ICE destruction) then Utae's downsides are mitigated anyway, and in fact, you may never need to break more than one Code Gate in a run anyway.

I should also point out that Adam can slap this down turn one and not have to worry about the Virtual Resources angle--all of his Directives are Virtual. With the lower influence cost and lower install cost (considering Adam tends to want to play cards fast to get the Safety First draw) this is a pretty solid choice for his Decoder if you're focused on speed. In a pinch, your Logic Bombs are also Virtual Resources, so if someone trashes any of your objectives, you still have a bit of wiggle room.

At the end of the day, Utae isn’t immediately going to blow any runner’s rig into god-tier status. That being said, it’s a fairly unique little tool that will be appreciated by those whose decks it finds a fit with.

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