Netrunner commentary has a pair of pet phrases: “Aggro” & “Control”. Broadly, these are archetypes where the former is attempting to shorten the game with tempo and pressure, while the latter is attempting to lengthen the game with answers and efficiency. However, both terms are completely meaningless in a vacuum, and specifically have no meaning without an understanding of “Combo”.

What is “Combo”?

"Combo" is the dark object that creates and shapes the ideas of “Aggro” and “Control”: it is a statue upon which two spotlights aim that defines what sort of shape the card-game meta exists by its shadow.

Combo is ending the game by having a specific cohort of cards available plus the resources to use them. "Aggro" ends the game before the Combo is assembled. "Control" disrupts the Combo and uses their efficiency to keep above a critical gap in resources.

SEA-Scorch-Scorch is a combo. Runners are defined by if they slow down in order to deal with meat damage.

Biotic Labor–3/2 Agenda-Advance3x is a combo, especially at 5 points. Fast Advance defines the speed of the game.

Putting both of these combos together in Convenience Shop resulted in half the combos being placed on the MWL so that Runners didn’t have to “goldilock” their play- neither too fast or too slow.

Wireless Net Pavilion plus Paparazzi plus DLR is a combo. WNP’s errata reduced the number of copies you can have installed at one time.

Never forget that your understanding of the game is shaped by the way you define its terms; never allow yourself to fall into the trap of flawed definitions.


Both of the Convenience Shop combos mentioned above depended on the Corp having a multiple specific cards in HQ. CBI Raid gives Criminals (and other Runners) another tool to prevent these sort of cards from being assembled at the right time.

CBI Raid is not about winning games where you are already ahead or already behind; it is about giving you a tool that creates a strong line of play that gives you the best chance at winning.

Importantly, you should not use CBI Raid as the last click; the threat of running on R&D prevents the Corp from stacking their HQ on top of R&D and then natural-drawing the card they don’t want you to access. And because this choice is determined the step before the Runner has to commit their remaining clicks, you put the Corp in a position of having to make their best choice first, and letting you, the Runner, make your best choice. You are certainly allowed to gut-check R&D for those accesses, but you can also improve your board-state or your credit pool or your grip.

Card games are won and lost by giving yourself the best opportunity to leverage the blind luck of the draw through the plays you make many steps before you ever knew what card you were going to get. CBI Raid gives Corps fewer ability to get those draws without first burning through their clicks of things they already knew they should have.

tl;dr - Play CBI in Criminal decks that are willing to trade a card & credits to set the Corp back a turn.

There are many cards that trigger upon a successful run on HQ: Emergency Shutdown, Apocalypse et al, Desperado and Gabriel Santiago, Datasucker and others. All of these cards can benefit from a "double Inside Job" even without getting a random HQ access or ability to trash an upgrade.

However, one of the most infamous counters to the above and all of our other favorite HQ-accessing cards (cough Account Siphon cough) is the upgrade powerhouse Crisium Grid. Being five to trash is a nasty weight for most runners (outside of Drug Dealer / Faust, of course), but remember this little trick:

Our friend Feint's "if successful" trigger is a downside! Which means that when Crisium Grid prevents that trigger, you regain the ability to access, and therefore trash the Grid. Combine with an HQ interface that you probably should be considering if you're playing a heavy blue deck and you've got a nice little combo that compliments, rather than defines, your deck.

Feint accesses on Crisium HQ? that's brilliant. I've only ever used it to activate successful HQ run triggers, but I can see this working well with Gang Sign Leela. I really like this idea. —
Can't believe I never saw this before. —
Crisium on HQ seems a rare sight these days. Shame though - I'd love to Feint the living heck out of it. —

As a Jinteki asset, you should investigate its interaction within shell-game builds, especially Jinteki: Personal Evolution and Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions

The ability is a hard counter to bulk draw such as Diesel & QT, most uses of Game Day, Independent Thinking, Levy AR Lab Access, Lawyer Up and FIS, and the best counter to death-by-a-thousand-cuts Jinteki. IHW. By a quirk of the rules, it also reduces the utility of Mr. Li being used more than once.

The card works wonders with "discard your hand" abilities such as Komainu and Psychic Field, allowing for a follow-up two-advanced Ronin to nearly always flatline the runner during your turn. It also pairs wonderfully with Mental Health Clinic, as an extra hand-size you can't easily reach is a useless measure in a non-brain damage kill deck.

However, special mention should be made of cards like Drug Dealer, Astrolabe and instant-speed effects such as using "Geist" during the corp's turn to draw multiple cards outside of Genetic Pavilion's purview.

Outside of best-case scenarios and avoiding bad matchups, the effect is not strong enough to compete for deck slots. If it were to count during both turns, or even more amazingly across both turns, it would serve as an amazing counter to Faust / Drug Dealer decks that munch through their own hands while still floating above a kill-shot.

Once this is rez'ed you are hoping for three cards to be leaving the Grip per runner's turn, which outside of Ronin, Neural EMP or PE ability is dependant on the runner having to react to your plays. This means that a passive shell-game build that allows the Runner to build up their hand turn-over-turn that best compliments Ronin will not be enough to push this card over the top.

There have been better results with IG, especially in "Trash Panda" decks where you can leverage News Team to trash resources like Drug Dealer and otherwise make running archives a pain with Space Camp. Threatening to win is always a better solution than trying to assemble a kill.

Seems like it'd also wreck Faust. Does it? —
It can reduce the ability of a Faust user to put cards in their hand. Whether or not it wrecks that player's game kind of depends on what ICE you have out. It's frustrating, but I wouldn't say it wrecks Faust. Notably, if they are using Drug Dealer to buff their hand, this won't have any effect on that draw as it happens on the Corp Turn. They can still get two cards on their turn in addition to those two, which is typically plenty enough for them to do what they need to do. —
I'd say if you are worried about Faust, Lockdown is a better choice. I could see this card being really useful in Industrial Genomics though. —
It's not bad in IG at all. Throw it together with Hostile Infrastructure if you want to be just a massive jackass. Which is half the fun, really. —

Compare this to Quantum Predictive Model and Global Food Initiative.

To QPM - Both are part of the "two advancements above point value" family. However, the difference between Three and Four is a much more significant gulf than the comparative value of their points when scored. The tag is worth 1 extra agenda point when scored, while QPM doubles as a counter to a steal, meaning that it is both a swing of net 2 agenda points and also negates an entire access. The extra point of "swing" difference is not as important other than in match point or create-match-point scenarios, but the ambush value exceeds the effort of having to Install/Advance Market Research or otherwise spend a FA tool after an install, compared to the ability to Install never-advance an QPM. Ultimately, "Tag Storm" decks nod their head to QPM over Market Research.

To GFI - Both work to expand your point value; however GFI does an amazing job of also being a method to reduce your overall Agenda density. The scoring windows that allow a four advance but not a five advance are vanishingly small, and tag-application is much harder to stick into the corp's turn if you are threatening a Scorched Earth if the runner has not already started yawning off with Paparazzi. Imagine a line of IAA Market Research, hold the fort, SEA Source Advance Advance for three points. Trading a SEA Source (real card, real money) for essentially playing GFI, but you also got an extra tag on the runner and save a single influence.

Ultimately, this is a card that doesn't want to be yellow. NBN doesn't yet need to have a 4/3 in order to clean up games against tag-me runners.