Cyber Bureau is an undisputably wild ID. It's the first asymmetric multiplayer ID we've seen so far, it has about five regular IDs worth of abilities, and with its unlimited influence and access to every agenda in the game, building decks for this thing is one heck of a ride.

On paper it looks like it could build in a lot of ways, but I've found that fast-advance is the best way to build it, since you have twelve clicks of angry Runner that want to sneak into your house and kick over your sandcastle. The sooner you can score out and close the game, the better!

I've played two games with it so far, winning one and losing the other. Both were pretty close games! I believe there's a lot of really interesting gameplay to be found here.

Anyway, let's go over its assortment of abilities.


1: Basically Andy - draw an opening hand of ten cards.

This is huge, especially when coupled with a minimum deck size of 40 cards. You can clear out up to a quarter of your deck before you even take a turn! Your mulligans are legendary, too.

2: Better NEXT Design - install up to five cards, rez any number, reducing the total cost by up to 20.

Cyber Bureau's trademark ability, this lets you get set up really quick. I think ice is the main thing you want to install with this - it's hilariously easy to keep people out when you start the game with beefy ice on all of your servers. Stuff like Tollbooth and Anansi are ideal here. Keep in mind you can rez above 20, since you start with five credits!

Other cool stuff you can do is drop a 3/X agenda in an empty server, then score it on the first turn! With the help of Jeeves Model Bioroids, you can even score out a 4/X, or over-advance a Project Atlas, before the Runners even get to take a turn.

There are MANY possibilities with this ability. The way you play it out can make or break an earlygame!

3: Punitive Siphon - the first time a Runner runs each turn, steal credits equal to the agenda points in their score area.

Of all the abilities on this card, I think this one is the least powerful, even though it looks busted. In a lot of cases, the Runners can coordinate to have a single player steal your agendas, leaving the other two to run without fear.

The Runners get up to all sorts of horrible, nasty stuff against Cyber Bureau. It's very rude.

In cases where you can get it to fire, it's a very good source of funds, and an even better form of econ pressure.

4: Mega Mopus - : Gain 3.

Your best friend in this deck - the Runners can tax you out very very quickly if they gain ground somehow. Emergency Shutdown, Diversion of Funds, Corporate "Grant" and even stuff like Hijacked Router hurts you a lot, since you have three clicks to their twelve. Figuring out your econ plan is crucial in this deck, and Mega Mopus lets you care a little bit less about how you get that money. Clicking for 12 with Jeeves is a great feeling, too.

5: Anonymous Tip on a Stick - : Draw 3 cards.

You probably won't use this much, or shouldn't, since it can very quickly flood you. Clicking it once on a turn where you're low on cards can be really good. Otherwise, maybe there's some weird plays with Reuse or something? I feel like this has combo potential, but I'm not the player to figure it out.


So, with all of that at your disposal, it's... still kinda Runner-sided? You get punished real hard by any sort of cohesive plan. Even with the infamy system, which makes it so that only one Runner is "in play" at a time, you still have a lot to worry about. Twelve clicks is a lot of clicks to defend against!

Employee Strike turns off your tax power and your two super click abilities, which is very very saddening. Apocalypse can straight up undo your initial foundations, if they can find a way into each of your centrals. Since you're usually pretty top-heavy with ice, Emergency Shutdown or anything else that hurts your ice will really ruin your day.

Particularly against fast-advance, a cheeky well-timed Clot on the right turn can buy the Runners a whole extra round. Beth Kilrain-Chang is usually pretty good against you, firing for the + on any turn where you're moneyed up. Indexing is just endlessly sad - one Runner can do the reordering, while another runs and collects the goods.

Conclusion

I think the best way to play with Cyber Bureau is to throw three regular Runners at it. If the Runners specifically tech against you, you're screwed. Rather, if you're up against three decks that are just sort of doing their own thing, that's where you find the best gameplay.

As a Corp, you get to wield UNLIMITED POWER, with a deck beyond your wildest dreams. As Runners, you get to actually be friends with your fellow hacker-peers for once! The cooperation space is immensely deep, and I'm sure people will be exploring it for a long time to come, especially if more IDs like this ever get made.

I've been tinkering with an Apex deck for quite some time, to some effect, and one of the biggest challenges aside from assembling combo pieces was sustaining in the endgame. I blow through my deck really quickly to pick up everything I need, but the endgame gets really stagnant, and if your key breakers end up in the bin, it's often difficult to recover.

Until now!

Reboot looks pretty simple - it's a Retrieval Run, but instead of one program face-up, it's five face-down. This has some obvious interactions with:

Previously, Aesop Apex had no decent way of getting bin stuff back en masse, so this is a big deal for that archetype in particular.

I don't know of any way to get face-down events back to your hand on the Runner side, but there could be applications there.

It does count as a run on Archives, so there's some slight synergy with Apocalypse - with an Assimilator in hand you can bring some of your trash back, nuke the board and start setting up next turn.

You can even throw out a couple of these in a turn to get a whole bunch of burst installs... but be really careful of Death and Taxes.

Overall it's a cheap card that has wide applications within Apex.

Apex can't install non-virtual resources. So, no pawnin' with Aesop there. It might potentially enable Chop-Bot as a semi-reliable draw engine, so... —
As Reboot installs cards face-down, you could use the card to install non-virtual resources face-down and then Assimilate them up. —
I don't know what to say. What a sick, sick thing. —

I played with Bacterial Programming for the first time tonight in my Punitive Evolution deck, and for the love of Apex this card is out of control.

The specific play that sold me on it was discarding two copies to Archives (it was a calculated risk) and the Runner stealing both (0-0 -> 0-6), letting me draw 14 cards.

Ponder on that for just a moment. Seven cards is a lot of cards, but fourteen? That's... that's a lot more than a lot of cards.

At that point the Runner knew for sure a Punitive was coming up, so they moneyed up, but it wasn't enough.

Mandatory draw up to twenty cards.

Click one, Punitive Counterstrike, no boost. Runner spends half their credits to avoid 6 damage.

Click two, Punitive Counterstrike, no boost. Runner spends their remaining credits to avoid 6 damage.

Click three, Punitive Counterstrike, no boost. Runner is dismayed at the sight of the third Punitive.

Runner is eviscerated.


For a more serious discussion of why it's good, it's a 5/3 with a hugely swingy effect that happens regardless of who gets the agenda. Being able to put seven whole cards wherever you want them is a huge boon, and I'm sure with even the slightest bit of creativity, seasoned Jinteki players will be able to get loads of mileage out of this card.

Give this one a whirl sometime, just the once. You'll be glad you did.

Played The Maker's Eye with 4 cards remaining in hand against a PE deck, what could go wrong? Saw 1st card Bacterial Programming, corp proceeds to order the remaining cards and I access a Snare! and another agenda for a total 5 net damage and flatline. Saddest moment ever. —
Brilliant. Truly the most Jinteki of plays. —

Gbahali is the counterpart to Kongamato, with its only differences being that it hits the last subroutine rather than the first, and that it costs one more credit to play.

You play both in the same way - either drop it on the turn you need to access something to bamboozle the Corp, or leave it on the board as a threat to force them to ice more aggressively.

I think Gbahali costs the extra credit because there's more ETR subroutines in last position than first? Enigma comes to mind, and I vaguely recall a bunch of Jinteki ice that has "Do X damage" and "End the run" as their two subroutines.

At any rate, both Gbahali and Kongamato are excellent cards that can squeeze you through a stack of ice in a pinch.

Kongamato is a wonderful resource that acts as a powerful access-enabling tool. It's cheap to install, free to use and doesn't care about ice type. Of course, it's only good against certain pieces of ice.

I find there's enough use cases for it to be worth including, since you can always use it to save money in the worst case.

It's also virtual, which means it's usable in the tentacles of Our All-Consuming Overlord! You can use it for its intended purpose, or if you don't need it you can ID it and sell it to Aesop or your pet bug.