Great card for criminals. At the minimum, it will give you an information on a ice in place, since it will be rezzed. Best if it but the corp in a bad position economically. Otherwise, you just trashed an ice, making your runs easier. Good things all around.

To enhance its effect, you can combine Forged Activation Orders with Hernando Cortez or Xanadu. It also combine well with Reina Roja: Freedom Fighter and Los: Data Hijacker identities, since it will trigger their ID.

But this will not combo with Aumakua to get virus tokens or with Zamba, since it is not a reveal effect.

Tāo Salonga: Telepresence Magician benefit greatly from this card, because knowing the ice will allow the runner to use Tāo Salonga: Telepresence Magician ability to switch ice in a more effective manner.

While it is a fun card to use, it often does not put the corp in a bad situation, depending on the ice you force it to rez (like forcing the corp to rez Pop-up Window). At least, it will give you information, which is always valuable, but might not change the board state.

Good art, good quote. Glad to see it come back in the meta.

1456

After Diversion of Funds, this is an iconic card to wage economic warfare on the corp. It combo best with Sneakdoor Beta and it become useful from the midgame to the late game. At an early stage of the game, there is usually few ices that are rezzed, which probably would not give you good targets to unrez.

This card can be compared best with Tranquilizer and "Baklan" Bochkin.

The advantage over Tranquilizer is that Emergency Shutdown does not require any , cannot be trashed by getting tagged and cost 0 to play. But it need a run specifically on HQ to get enabled. While you can play Tranquilizer on the first click on any ice.

The advantage over "Baklan" Bochkin is that it does not give you a tag and does not require multiple runs to accumulate enough value to be used. Also, unlike "Baklan" Bochkin, it cannot be used mid-run to derez an ice that is encountered.

Finally, at 2 influences, it is easier to splash in another faction the its two counterparts (both of which cost 3 influences).

You should use this if you want to do economic warfare on the corp. Because forcing the corp to rez a second time an expensive ice is usually not worth it. Any ice that cost 5 and more is a great target for this event. But I would play Diversion of Funds before Emergency Shutdown for economic warfare, if a choice had to be made, unless you have Sneakdoor Beta in your deck (and then again, I would think hard before I favor it over Diversion of Funds).

You should look at Tread Lightly to combo with Emergency Shutdown for greater effect.

Nice art, funny quote, still good after so many years being in the card pool.

1456

A classic card for Criminal and any other factions planning to use ressources. On face value, it seems to be worth 1 less than Sure Gamble. But that is not the case.

Let me explain : if you want to use the credits to install a ressource, with Sure Gamble you'll need to play it first, costing you 1. And then play the ressource (costing you 1). All this would have cost you 2, gained 4 and spent XX amount of credits on the ressource.

If you use Career Fair, you would play Career Fair (costing you 1) and this would install the ressource, saving 1 compared to the scenario of using Sure Gamble. On the basis that 1 = 1 (a click is worth slightly more in fact), you get the same value as Sure Gamble.

Not only that, but since it cost 0, you can play it even if you have very few (even none) credits in hand, compared to Sure Gamble which need you to have 5 in hand.

The most efficient use is when you want to install ressources that have a cost of 3 and more. But for tempo value, you can use it even on a 2 ressource, depending on the situation, to get to use that ressource immediately (like running an unrez ice with a newly installed Hernando Cortez).

In my opinion, if you can consider slotting this card if you have at least 6 ressources cards in your deck. The more ressource cards you have, the easier it is to use. Because, contrary to Sure Gamble, it has no value if you do not have any ressource in hand to play.

The other comparable card is of course, Modded. But there are more ressources to play that have a cost of 3 and more. The most common ressource cards used with Career Fair are probably : Earthrise Hotel, Daily Casts, The Class Act, DreamNet, Xanadu and Liberated Account.

Evocative art and quote. I would have prefered something that evoke more a criminal aspect. This feel like a corp card. Still, a good card that has been around for a long time.

1456

Guinea Pig is a very straightforward economy card, that nonetheless isn't playable in most decks.

The economy aspect of the card is easy to understand: pretty much every Netrunner player knows how powerful Sure Gamble is, and the credit effect is a substantially better Sure Gamble (instead of paying 5 to gain 9, you're paying 4 to gain 10, a strict upgrade on both halves of the card). If you can live with the downside, you can get a lot of gain from a card like this.

However, in order to play Guinea Pig and gain that sort of absurd economic boost, you need to trash the rest of your grip. So playing this card is all about building your deck to minimize the downsides. Downsides plural, because there are two of them:

  1. Trashing cards means that you're losing the tempo you spent to draw the card, and in most cases losing access to the card itself. If you have critical cards in hand along with a Guinea Pig, you can't really play Guinea Pig. (A special case of this is if you have two Guinea Pigs in hand: you can only play one of them.) Losing one good but noncritical card (something like Daily Casts) isn't the end of the world; but losing two is enough of a cost to make Guinea Pig not worth it.

    So in order for Guinea Pig to be viable, you're going to need a deck that never has useful cards stuck in hand. In particular, you need to run very light on situational events – and most events are situational. Cards like Sure Gamble are going to be OK because you can usually just play them first, and the Guinea Pig afterwards; but almost any other event is out. Likewise, programs/resources/hardware (other than Paperclip and its friends, who don't mind being trashed) will typically need to be installed before playing Guinea Pig, meaning that you need the clicks and credits (and MU, in the case of programs) to play them.

    As a consequence, Guinea Pig is mostly only seen in decks that are all-in on a resource economy, and run few utility programs (in particular, they avoid cards which you might need to delay the install of, like Botulus). That's a pretty rare combination, and you're probably going to have to design your deck around it.

  2. Guinea Pig leaves you low on cards, and thus very vulnerable to flatline combos. This is less of a problem in today's metagame than it used to be, but even so, there are still cards like Neurospike, Clearinghouse and Ronin and some of them even get played on occasion. If you want to be on the safe side, you probably want to play damage mitigation alongside it (and the standard Anarch damage mitigation I've Had Worse doesn't work, so you'll probably need to import something). Or you could just go for the full-on Anarch attitude and play it anyway, hoping that the consequences won't be too bad.

Guinea Pig is therefore unusual in that it's one of the least synergistic cards in Netrunner. Normally in my reviews, I think about "what support does this card need to make it playable?". Given the strength of its upside half, Guinea Pig is sort-of the opposite: it doesn't need support, so much as it needs to avoid anti-synergies, and it anti-synergises with almost everything. So you aren't looking at what makes it playable, but rather at what doesn't make it unplayable. (It used to have a notable synergy with Bookmark, but Bookmark has rotated, and it wasn't a very strong combination anyway.)

My best results with Guinea Pig have been in a deck that's almost entirely resources, hardware, and conspiracy breakers, with lots of redundancy. The idea is to operate on very few cards in hand, installing everything as it's drawn except for redundant copies of cards that you don't need. A construction like this can give you a very strong economy, but at the cost of taking a while to get started.

It's also worth noting that Guinea Pig isn't the only card that anti-synergises with situational cards or cards that you'll need later but that get stuck in your hand: pretty much any other self-damaging card has the same issue. As a result, Guinea Pig works quite well alongside cards like Zer0: if you have the sort of deck which Guinea Pig is playable in, then Zer0's downside will also be smaller than usual.

In conclusion: there's obviously power in Guinea Pig, so it's initially a little surprising that it isn't played more. However, the downside really hurts it, limiting what decks it can go into. In particular, decks where Guinea Pig works tend to be slow to initially set up (because this is the main downside of resource economies); and they also tend to be slow to react to what the Corp does (because they can't hold situational cards like Inside Job in hand). Given how fast the metagame is at the moment, and how often the Corp will try to get away with scoring in a dubious scoring window (thus forcing the Runner to react), its relative unpopularity therefore shouldn't be all that surprising after all; the sort of deck that wants to play Guinea Pig will suffer from having a bad matchup against more or less everything that's popular, which is not a good place to be. That said, there's definite potential here: I can easily imagine Guinea Pig becoming a very strong card if the metagame ends up getting a bit slower and giving resource economies their time to shine.

<p>It feels like (and must be, taking into account the set it was released in) the pet card of <a href="https://netrunnerdb.com/en/card/22001">Gnat</a>. I tried a deck using other cards supporting this ID, like <a href="https://netrunnerdb.com/en/card/10077">The Noble Path</a> and <a href="https://netrunnerdb.com/en/card/12102">Respirocytes</a>, which I never used before. And as you say <a href="https://netrunnerdb.com/en/card/08106">Bookmark</a> can come in handy here. Maybe with <a href="https://netrunnerdb.com/en/card/12021">Severnius Stim Implant</a>? Doesn't feel really viable in the end but was fun to try once!</p> —

There are two ways to look at Thunder Art Gallery: as a tech card against tags, or as part of a synergy deck based around tag removal or avoidance.

Thunder Art Gallery as a tech card

First, the uses as a tech card. One of the things that Thunder Art Gallery does is that it effectively upgrades the "remove tag" basic action, to allow an install at the same time (once per turn). It's much easier to see what it does if you think of it as upgrading the "install" action, though, making it more or less equivalent to the following hypothetical resource:

Once per turn, when you install a card with an install cost of 1 or more (not through a card ability), you may pay an additional 1 to remove a tag.

That's a pretty good effect, against some decks! Removing a tag for 1 and no clicks is much cheaper than tag removal normally would be, and most decks have quite a few cards they want to install.

There are two real problems with using this as a tech card, though. The first is the hit to install it; you're spending 3, , plus a card and a deck slot, on installing your Thunder Art Gallery. The second is the fact that it only works once per turn. Taking these two facts together, to be worth it as a tech card, you would probably need to untag yourself on four separate turns (installing something each time) to get a meaningful gain. It's certainly possible to imagine a Corp deck which likes to repeatedly land single tags on you, without directly punishing them; some SYNC: Everything, Everywhere or NBN: Reality Plus will, for example. However, only a minority of tagging decks use this sort of "tag-based grind"; more often you're going to come up against Hard-Hitting News or Public Trail or the like, and Thunder Art Gallery is the wrong tech card to use against those sorts of decks – and of course, many Corp decks don't tag at all! So in short, this is an effect that you could plausibly want in a sufficiently weird metagame, but it's unlikely that the metagame will ever reach a state in which playing this as a tech card is worth it; generally speaking, you'd prefer a more generally applicable tech card like Networking.

Thunder Art Gallery as a synergy card

So if you can't rely on the Corp deck to tag you often enough to make your Thunder Art Gallery worthwhile, what about placing the tags yourself? Thunder Art Gallery is obviously no good in a "tag-me" deck (which relies on floating a lot of tags), so the main form of Runner self-tagging is out. However, there's also a less popular Runner strategy involving tags: using a combination of cards which tag yourself in exchange for a benefit, and cards that clear the resulting tags more cheaply than basic actions would (thus giving you a larger benefit than the tagging card would give you naturally). Thunder Art Gallery is, in effect, a support card for this strategy, giving you cheap clickless installs while your deck does what your deck does (and this sort of deck really likes clickless installs because it's spending so many clicks tagging itself). A discount of 1, on installs once per turn is obviously crazy (imagine if you could play as Hayley and Kate simultaneously and with no card type restriction!), but as the tradeoff to obtain that, you're going to need to design your entire deck around tagging and untagging itself (or avoiding the tags) as often as possible.

In order to make a self-untagging deck work, we need two main components: the cards that tag yourself, and the cards that cheaply remove or avoid the tags.

First, the self-tagging cards. Based on the name, and the set it came out in, Thunder Art Gallery was probably designed with Liza Talking Thunder in mind, but she has been banned; and the most popular card which tags yourself in exchange for a benefit is Account Siphon, but that has rotated. So nowadays, we typically need to rely on cards that don't see much play outside this sort of deck. By far the best is Rogue Trading, which is likely to be an automatic 3-of in any Thunder Art Gallery deck; it's an economic card with a lot of longevity, but a value that scales based on how cheaply you can remove a tag (and the whole point of this sort of deck is to cheaply remove tags, so Rogue Trading is likely to be quite good). There's also Hot Pursuit, which has the issue that you need to be able to make successful runs on HQ, but which gives a decent amount of economy in return for a tag when you do. (I've also had decent success with Credit Kiting in a deck that's designed around it, but that's a lot more niche.)

Second, the self-untagging cards. My first thought (and many others' first thoughts) will likely be Jesminder Sareen, who is able to avoid tags as her ID ability. This synergises well with Hot Pursuit (which is normally an automatic 3-of for her despite being out of faction). The problem is, it doesn't really synergise well with anything else nowadays (you would have to resort to obscure cards like "Baklan" Bochkin to do more self-tagging during a run). The other problem is, Jesminder is a Shaper, but Thunder Art Gallery is a Criminal card, as is almost every self-tagging card. So Jesminder will end up running out of influence very quickly when trying to make a deck like this, and will have to play very suboptimal cards to do it. I don't think that sort of deck can work; Jesminder loves her Hot Pursuits, but can't go further enough along the path of self-tagging to make Thunder Art Gallery worthwhile on top of that.

Even though the main untagging identity is a Shaper, though, there are still good self-untagging cards floating around in neutral and Criminal. Networking, for example, saves you 1 whenever you remove a tag and does not require installing; that might be enough of a benefit to make this sort of deck work, but probably isn't enough by itself. However, there's also Citadel Sanctuary, which is close to a perfect fit for this sort of deck; it allows you to untag yourself once per turn with a trace[1] (in addition to acting as tech against Punitive Counterstrike, Clearinghouse and City Works Project). One drawback of Citadel Sanctuary is that you need to be fairly rich to avoid disaster, as you'll have no chance to react if the Corp pumps the trace. Another is that you will need link to keep the expenses down (in particular, it works much better as a 1 runner than it does as a 0 runner). However, unlike the drawbacks of the various other possible combinations, these drawbacks are managable (especially because Rogue Trading itself will help you get out of the economic danger range).

Conclusions

Given the current list of banned and rotated cards, I think that (at least in Standard) Thunder Art Gallery works in exactly one deck: a Criminal deck that is based around tagging and subsequently untagging itself most turns, using at minimum a combination of Rogue Trading, Citadel Sanctuary, and link. (You won't play against appropriate Corp decks often enough to make it a viable tech card, and it doesn't have enough synergy to be playable unless you're playing those two cards specifically.) You'll also need a lot of things to install (meaning, most likely, you'll be running a resource economy), making the deck it goes into even more specific. So this card is likely doomed to be niche forever; you can't put it into just any deck, you'll have to be designing your entire deck around it.

"Niche" doesn't necessarily mean "bad", though; a card that only goes in one deck can nonetheless be playable if it's a sufficiently good deck. And based on my testing recently, I think it is indeed a sufficiently good deck. (This shouldn't be all that surprising, given that the Rogue Trading + Citadel Sanctuary combo is strong enough to have seen play even without additional support cards beyond a 1 identity.) I've been winning above 50% with it in practice games, which is much better than I normally do as Runner, especially given how Corp-friendly today's metagame is; the Thunder Art Gallery deck is probably the strongest Runner deck I've ever built (although I'm much better at building Corp decks in general, so being a good Runner deck by my standards probably doesn't mean that you'll be winning tournaments with it).

So I think this is a well-designed card; its inflexibility means that it won't be dominating the tournament scene or anything like that, because it isn't going to fit into the goodstuff/"regular" decks that Criminals often end up playing, and is even less likely to work out of faction (with the possible but unlikely exception of Sunny); but it has the right sort of power level to make the one deck it does go into playable, and help make the world of viable Runner decks a little broader.