This card probably shouldn't exist. Most strong tag-me cards shouldn't exist, because they reduce Netrunner to rock-paper scissors. Liza Talking Thunder is banned for precisely this reason. She crushes corps with no tag punishment and she gets crushed by tag-n-bag corps.

The one defense I can imagine for Counter Surveillance is that it has at least a possible purpose in a non-tag-me deck. It can serve as a last gasp for a runner who is losing to NBN badly enough to be reluctantly forced to go tag-me. Mind you, I've never actually seen it used that way...

Why was this card ever printed? What were they thinking?

Strong tag-me cards do not make for enjoyable Netrunner. When Liza Talking Thunder faces a tag-n-bag corp, she loses in a boring game... either she dies to a BOOM or she has to refrain from using half the cards in her deck. When Liza faces a corp with no tag punishment, she runs them over in an equally unbalanced game.

The principle is simple: the tag-me archetype cannot co-exist with tag-n-bag... otherwise Netrunner devolves into rock-paper-scissors.

<p>WotC? Now I'm confused, didn't FFG have the license up until Reign and Reverie? WotC hasn't published any Netrunner since the original game, unless I've messed up my history...</p> —
<p>Oy. Yes, my bad.</p> —
<p>They thought people would remove the tags - hence cards like the Thunder Art Gallery. She was even quite fun to play like that, although fairly weak. The problem wasn't self-tagging cards, it was the 'tags are good' cards. I'd rather have seen Counter Surveillance go than Liza.</p> —

To justify slotting this, you need to know that you're really going to want 5+ clicks on some future turn. The problem is that most of the ways to use 5+ clicks effectively are non-interactive combos... Encore, Notoriety, Apocalypse, Deep Dive, etc. You never see anyone playing Out of the Ashes for general utility, like clicking through Bioroid ICE.

IMO, this card is the last thing NR needs. It adds nothing to normal gameplay, while empowering non-interactive combo decks (e.g. one that sits around for 10 turns and then plays 3x Deep Dive). I'd love to see it banned.

<p>I totally agree with you that the card is only useful in unfun scenarios. I like to consider that the designers had the following proposition in mind: incentivise the runner to overdraw by having a card that gives a benefit when it sits in the heap (maybe even sacrifice it to pathchwork).</p> —
<p>Glad that this card is gonna be rotated. I hope the new shaper console will solve the click problem of deep dive&amp;apocalypse in an alternative way, which encourage early interactive like <a href="/en/card/26078">Swift</a>.</p> —

Here's something I've been wondering about. As the corp, when is it worth it to purge viruses to get rid of the virus counters?

Ignore all the complicating factors. Imagine there are no agendas about to be scored, no unusually vulnerable servers, etc. Just other things being equal, when is it worth purging to take away credits?

My first thought is that the cutoff is 3 counters. I'm usually happy to spend 3 clicks as the corp to take $6 from the runner, but I wouldn't spend 3 clicks to take $4 from them. But I suspect that's an overly simplistic analysis... it doesn't sound right that putting a Fermenter on the table takes away every third turn from the corp forevermore.

<p>The problem is, as you say that even if the corp purges, the fermenter is still getting counters.</p> —
<p>The alternative to purging is rushing. Force the runner to pop their own Fermenter, because you make them need the money :)</p> —
<p>The runner gains a click when you purge (i.e. they save the click they would've had to spend trashing fermenter) so I think it's better to purge when it gets to 4 counters</p> —