As of Downfall, setting up 5 or 6 installed cards with the same cost is surprisingly difficult in practice. Realistically the cost must be 1, 2, or maybe 3. Otherwise it's too resource intensive to set up, and the number of cards of a given cost drops quickly beyond 3. Ideally there is a core installable (or more than one) that you intend to install multiple copies of. E.g. Tech Trader, Gang Sign, Akamatsu Mem Chip, Clone Chip, NetChip, and Power Tap are all cheap and can be central to the game plan. There are also some generic cards of those costs to throw in, like Astrolabe, Bankroll, Datasucker, "Baklan" Bochkin, Beth Kilrain-Chang, Hippo, Kati Jones, Rezeki, and The Turning Wheel.

However, if your deck happens to align with those constraints, it is an incredibly efficient R&D access card for mid-late game. Seeing up to 6 cards makes seeing a value target extremely likely even in a sparse R&D. Shuffling afterward means no need to wait for the seen cards to filter through HQ to see fresh ones, R&D remains just as porous afterward. A forced shuffle is a rare effect, which you can use strategically, such as immediately after a CBI Raid, akin to old Keyhole runs. And unlike Indexing, you only need to run once to access what you reveal (with no possibility of being interrupted.) It's only 2 influence a copy, which means it can easily find room in Anarch or Criminal.

Despite a few advantages, it's clearly not as powerful as Indexing was. Reliance on installed cards means you can't blitz R&D with it turn 1. Shuffling post-access means you're left with no information about what the corp will draw afterward. Accessing one card means that even if you reveal several agendas or crucial trash targets, you only get to access one, and if it has a steal-restriction then you can't try again later (this can be mitigated with Film Critic.) And there's the fact that it costs 3 credits.

Because of its restrictions, I find it unlikely that you can build a deck around it like you can Insight + Top Hat. And you don't need to, there are other options for R&D pressure. But if you're building a deck, take a peek at your install costs. If you're already close to critical mass, consider the pros and cons of tweaking it to allow for a powerful and efficient R&D access event.


I think this is a pretty good console - 2 mem is great, extra hand size is incidentally useful and you only need to fire twice to break even (barring the click to install).

The real skill test is figuring out when it is right to get those creds, and when it is better to do something else.

The Corp's counterpart to Deuces Wild, and just as good if not even better!

TL;DR - This essentially lets you either compress two different basic actions into one card or take an action for free at the cost of 1. For a less compressed review, let's go over each of the options one line at a time:

Draw 2 cards.

This lets you cycle Red Level Clearance and lets you dig more quickly for options. If you are playing a rush deck, or just need more options here and now to refill HQ, you can't go wrong with this.

Gain 2.

Not nearly as great as the old Green Level Clearance, this refunds the cost of Red Level Clearance for a profit of 1. This is just taking the basic action, but it does synergize with cards like NASX, and you get another action to pair with this.

Install up to 1 non-agenda card.

Important to note that you still have to pay all costs to install and you can't rez until Red Level Clearance has fully resolved (no Jinja City Grid into two cards). This action is overshadowed by the next option (since they are effectively the same if you spent it towards installing) but there are still reasons to pick this option if your ID cares about it in particular (MirrorMorph: Endless Iteration for an install that stacks with the basic install).

Gain .

This just makes all the above options better and why this card is never a bad pick for a deck. As noted much earlier, this lets you do any of the above actions for "free" - efficiency HB would be proud of.

  • 2 cards for 1 and still have 3 to use them all is fantastic.
  • Gaining 1 for free is good, if you just need that extra credit to rez or make a trace.
  • A clickless install can be great. Even though you can't install an agenda with this, you can start to spam assets and upgrades at a higher rate or just pull off some cool combos. Calibration Testing and Bioroid Work Crew say hi!

At 2 influence, this isn't the worst import you could make. It's a Transaction, which means Weyland Consortium: Building a Better World gets invited to the party. MirrorMorph: Endless Iteration likes this for more options towards triggering the ID. But honestly, any ID can make good use of it.

(As an aside, for those who follow the color spectrum and Paranoia, this is the lowest level of clearance, aside from Infrared. Even lower than Green, so we still have Orange and Yellow clearances to go! Check out the Green Level Clearance review for more info.)

One jank combo for the enthusiasts: Red Level Clearance to install a Roughneck Repair Squad or Eliza's Toybox and use it on the same turn. —
or Echo Chamber / Lady Liberty! —
Or score a 4/2 from hand with Reconstruction Contract and Dedication Ceremony. —

4/3 is arguably the most powerful type of agenda in the game. The only other of its kind is Improved Protein Source, and just like Vulnerability Audit it comes with a downside. The former gives the runner money, this can't be fast advanced. Having to install advance this seems like a huge liability but... Oh hi there Jeeves, didn't see you there.

If you have a deck with 4/2's and ways to never advance, I think this is a good agenda to consider. If your plan is to iaa, you probably would prefer SSL Endorsement, or an in-faction protective agenda. Especially since this does take up influence. It is a good alternative over Global Food Initiative though since it doesn't take up your unicorn spot.


Shapers have The Maker's Eye, Criminals have Legwork, Anarchs now have both. Sort of.

Climactic Showdown is a potentially powerful resource with a ton of versatility. It stacks with other forms of multi access, like The Turning Wheel, eXer or the aforementioned run events. It works on either central, thus you can pick the optimal server at the time. You also get to choose which server the corp has to trash ice for to dodge the access effect, so if the corp only has a rezzed Tollbooth or a Chiyashi on the remote, this is one of the cheapest ways to trash an expensive piece of ice.

Unfortunately, CS comes with a fair share of downsides as well. First off, the corp has a whole turn to prepare for your shenanigans. This makes it a lot worse than multi access run events, which benefit a lot from the surprise factor. Not only that, the corp has a choice in the matter. If they just installed a mediocre piece of ice on the server of your choice, they can just opt to trash that. And if they'd rather take their chances on your run, that is up to them. Also, this WILL trigger at the start of your turn, as the effect is mandatory. If something came up that makes you not want to use it yet, too bad. You could play Dr. Lovegood to blank this card so you can keep the timing a surprise, but that might be going into jank territory. Last but not least, it removes itself from game, so you have no way to recycle this.

I think this card is good enough to see play, but it won't be an anarch staple.