An ice tailor-made for Pravdivost.

In most NBN decks. this card is just kinda ok. Its subs are good, having both a somewhat painful face-check and an ETR. But at 5 cost, it isn't exactly cheap. Sure, Tollbooth is even more expensive, but it has a 'guaranteed' "lose 3 credits on encounter" ability that doesn't require any upkeep on your part. And at 5 strength, it is very annoying to break for Black Orchestra, as a nice bonus. You could advance this ice manually, but spending a click and a credit to make the runner lose 3 during a run on one specific server doesn't seem great. Still, NBN can always use more code gate options. On the cheap you have Authenticator (Pop-up Window doesn't even count imo) and funnily enough you often see Enigma. The aforementioned Tollbooth is the BIG one. At 4 - 5 credits you have Archangel (pretty good), Funhouse (good in tag decks), Peeping Tom (eew) and Sandman (EEEEW). Especially in a glacier deck, Mestnichestvo might see play due to being straightforward.

However, in Pravdivost this card becomes a beast. Because you can keep charging it for free, I think Mestnichestvo goes from ok to great. A 5 cost ice that cost the runner 6 - 7+ credits to get through every time is nice value. My big complaint here is that your ability is only once per turn, and if you are constantly using it on this ice you won't get value elsewhere. Still, on turns where you don't have anything else to advance, you can just keep parking counters on Mestnichestvo. Too bad its ability is only once per encounter. Vasilisa + this also allows you to trade more efficiently with the runner (1 of your credits for 3 credits of theirs), so you can use your ability for other purposes.

So yeah, neat little ice. One of the backbones for 1 ID's ice suite, and might even see play in other NBN decks. Probably not out-of-faction. Except maybe Eternal because of Tennin Institute. Is that a thing? I assume it isn't, but then again I usually stay with Standard and away from the shark-infested waters that is the Eternal pool. Anyway, happy to have Mestnichestvo.

EDIT: Oh god, I just remembered Cayambe Grid is a card in not-Standard...

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<p>Built to Last may also like it enough to spend 2 inf, as it's much better when charging it up pays you a credit</p> —
<p><a href="/en/card/27007">Cayambe Grid</a> is available in Startup and it pairs well with this ice.</p> —

As the corp, would you rather have 7 credits, or 3 cards? The answer to this is almost always the former, and that's why several weeks after the release of Borealis, I have yet to see this card make an appearance in any HB deck, and I don't expect to see it pop up in (m)any decks going forward.

Is this agenda any good? I think it is right on the edge of "playable". And that's not good enough. Sure, drawing cards is usually nice but as the corp, cards come pretty cheap to us anyway. The skipping of discard is quite sweet, especially since on the turn we score we are most likely to be over our hand limit anyway. If we're Asa and we start next turn with 10 cards (6 + 3 + mandatory), we can empty it out with a bunch of installs. Too bad Lateral Growth just rotated. We could play something like Hansei Review to get more value out of the extra cards. But is that worth a deck slot in a world where shuffling cards back is cheap and easy? Nah.

This card's biggest problem is that even with the recent ban of Cyberdex Sandbox (and SSL a while back), most corps aren't starved for good agendas. And as a 4/2, this just doesn't make the cut. Not in a world where every corp can play Offworld Office. I understand and agree this could never have been printed as a 3/2 (Sports is already looking super strong). But as already established, even with all the support we have gotten, 4/2 is still a bit of an awkward type to score. So the ability has to merrit its inclusion. And with M3, that isn't the case.

HB even has other decent 4/2's you could consider. Hell, I think Architect Deployment Test is a outright good agenda. Even Remote Enforcement is arguably better than M3. When is the last time you've seen either of those? Right. And then there are truly amazing agendas like Vitruvius, Luminal Transubstantiation and now also Élivágar Bifurcation.

So yeah, I think this agenda will probably be binder fodder. Or at least it will be in Standard, until we get a big shake-up of the agenda suites.

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And here we have a sort-of reprint of I've Had Worse, although there are some key differences.

They both draw you 3 cards for 1 credit when played. But Steelskin only draws 2 cards instead of 3 when it gets trashed. To make up for this, it now triggers off any type of damage, meaning all the newly released core damage cards will have you drawing 2. If any corps are still brave enough to be on cards like Cerebral Overwriter with the release of Borealis, Steelskin will help you recover from that.

Furthermore, Steelskin also works when trashed from the stack, which is a nice bonus. This would crucially have worked with MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock's mill ability, which would have been a bit ridiculous, but she is now rotated. Frantic Coding and Labor Rights are runner cards that can put this in the bin. There is also Persephone but... yeah. On the corp side there are janky cards like Aimor, although you are very unlikely to run into those. Engram Flush can trigger Steelskin (relevant in Startup) but since it says "may", the corp would need a good reason to let you draw cards for free.

So is this better or worse than IHW? For being so flexible and with Esa probably being a force to be reckoned with going forward, I would rate this slightly higher. But time will tell.

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<p>Some other fun cards this works with: Patchwork, Carnivore, and Moshing.</p> —

A fuctional reprint of Amped Up. Will see tons of play in the new anarch Esa because of xir ability, but other anarchs (especially the ones who are still pulling off Apoc post-rotation) will happily consider this card as well. Also worth considering if you're on Deep Dive. Not much else to say about it. Putting yourself in harm's way to get a chance at messing up the corp. Still as anarch as ever.

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<p>I don't know about pairing this with Deep Dive though, unless you like to take risks.</p> —
<p>So it's like, play Running Hot, trash Deep Dve from your hand (doh!), run all three servers (possibly sustaining damage), then trash Buffer Drive to put Deep Dive on the top of the stack, then draw and play Deep Dive?</p> —

If Okorina taught me anything, it's that Puppet Master is one of the coolest agendas in the game. Being able to have this ability right out of the gate led me down a rabbit hole of otherwise non-viable cards, cool deckbuilding and new win conditions. And now, we can do these kinds of shenanigans in Standard. Well, sort of. Puppet Master was not limited to once a turn, while Pravdivost is. But ofcourse, not having to score a 5/3 agenda is a big upside.

So how do we play this unusual ID? I think there are 3 options:

Value Strat

Boring, but a free advancement counter is still a free advancement counter. Build a monstrous remote (with some nasty defensive upgrades?), let the runner fish for points on centrals and they will advance your agendas/NGO/Vladisibirsk City Grid for you? There is also Ubiquitous Vig to keep charging. I don't know if this is really viable, but I am sure someone will make a list work. Maybe Embolus could help with this strategy?

The Tennin Strat

Advancement counters can go on ice, advanceable ice can get pretty good. Tennin Institute showed that this CAN work outside of Weyland, you just need a good way to not waste precious clicks on advancing ice yourself. Pravdivost is probably better than Tennin too, since outside of the few install-runner turns at the start of the game, runners do want to run and pressure (nearly) every turn. But just like Tennin, most worthwhile advanceable ice will have to be imported. And with ice like Akhet or Mausolus costing 2/3 influence a pop, this will quickly become... untenable. Still, NBN already has some pretty amazing ice, and maybe an ice suite with yellow staples, Weyland ice and Vasilisa + Mestnichestvo for support, could work?

Master of Puppets, aka the Trap Strat

NOW we're talking. We have some truly nasty traps that care about the number of advancements on them. And since the run is declared succesfull right before the access, you can give the runner extra net damage, core damage or tags. Furthermore, you can also play mind games by including cards the runner WANTS to access before they get too many counters. I have gone on record as really disliking False Flag, but in this ID I could see it actually working? There are also the newly spoiled Drago, Reversed Accounts, Ronin and Gene Splicer. Will this be a super competitive deck? I seriously doubt it. Falsified Credentials is a card, and historically trap decks have never been a super strong force in the game. But I'll be damned if I am not gonna try to make this work.

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<p>"Advancement counters can go on ice, advanceable ice can get pretty good. Tennin Institute showed that this CAN work outside of Weyland, you just need a good way to not waste precious clicks on advancing ice yourself." I don't think Tennin can function without Mass Commercialization.</p> —
<p>This feels like an identity that could get some serious use out of <a href="/en/card/30061">Clearinghouse</a>. It's even (slightly) cheaper to import than <a href="/en/card/31053">Ronin</a>!</p> —