A really, really bad card. Consider that, in many cases, this is essentially a blank card with a trash cost of 3: the runner just pays those 3 credits into a trace rather than for a printed trash cost. A 0/3 upgrade with no ability is unplayable. The only two cases in which this card would seem to do anything are as follows: 1) The runner has fewer than 3 credits when they access it -- possible, but unlikely. In this case they can spend 2 clicks or take a brain damage, which is like a mediocre encounter with a piece of Bioroid ice. 2) The corp has enough money to make the trace component relevant. Ok, then you have paid some number of credits to, once again, force the runner to spend clicks or take brain damage. The only thing that might look mildly appealing about this card is the words "brain damage" -- but if this simply said "the runner discards a random card," it would be even easier to take the tinted lenses off and realize that this card is no good.

About the only mildly exciting thing you can do with this card is put it in a remote server with Warroid Tracker and tempt the runner into spending more credits to trash it -- in which case, you've just built the world's worst Manegarm Skunkworks.

There should be a review that mentions this: because of a rules change that makes the runner access any cards installed in a server mid-breach, Ganked! can form an infinite combo with Ansel 1.0, Drafter, or any other ice that can install from Archives on a subroutine, if the runner is unable to break the Ganked! encounter with the ice. Although there are janky ways to turn this into a kill, the main thing to note is that Ganked! + Ansel 1.0 by itself allows the corp to trash every installed runner card, and then leave a fresh Ganked! parked behind the Ansel.

<p>And expanding on this for the jank fans out there: the simplest instant kill with this involves <a href="/en/card/31045">Ravana 1.0</a> rezzed in front of the Ganked!, with <a href="/en/card/30038">Ansel 1.0</a> rezzed anywhere, plus an <strong>ambush</strong> that works while installed and unadvanced in HQ or Archives – you can reinstall Ganked! and the <strong>ambush</strong> every time the Runner hits Ravana (and if the Runner accesses Ganked! first, overinstall the <strong>ambush</strong> using Ravana's subroutines and try again – you have infinitely many attempts so eventually the Runner will guess wrong and hit the <strong>ambush</strong> infinitely many times). Good options for the <strong>ambush</strong> include <a href="/en/card/30045">Urtica Cipher</a> and a second copy of Ganked!.</p> —
<p>Something I realized in a game is that since the encounter occurs <em>after</em> it's been successful, you could use credits from <a href="/en/card/26007">Fencer Fueno</a> to pay for the encounter with the ice.</p> —

Lots of reviews mention janky interactions between Loki and other niche ice types, like Trap or Mythic. But Loki does have a more powerful, if equally unconventional, use in the current environment heavily featuring the conspiracy breakers (MKUltra, Black Orchestra, Paperclip). Because the runner's on-encounter effects (including on-encounter checks from the heap, such as bin breakers!) happen before the corp's on-encounter effects, the bin breakers will miss their timing window to install versus a Loki; it has no subtypes from the runner's perspective other than Bioroid when encountered. If, therefore, the corp elects for Loki to copy an ice type for which the runner does not have a breaker installed already, they will be unable to do anything about the subroutines, despite having the relevant breaker available in their heap. Unfortunately, for Loki to copy a piece of ice, that ice must already be rezzed, and the normal play pattern of Netrunner means the runner would have therefore encountered every type that Loki could copy at least once. But, how might the runner encounter Loki without having the relevant bin breaker installed?

There are a couple situations in which this can occur:

1) The runner previously encountered a kind of ice for which they did not have a relevant breaker at the time, and have not encountered that type again prior to encountering Loki. No guarantees that this will happen, but if the runner for example bounced off a Vanilla in the early game, they might not have tried to hit the Vanilla again before hitting Loki.

2) The runner has trashed a previously installed bin-breaker to make room for a new program. In this scenario, the runner make have encountered a Barrier on server 1, installed Paperclip, and then trashed it later to make space for an MKUltra when encountering a Sentry. Now, when they encounter Loki, Loki can counter that other rezzed barrier and be unbreakable. Not an especially common scenario.

3) The corp has rezzed ice by abnormal means, such that the runner may have never had an encounter with that ice type at all. There are numerous ways to do this, but I want to highlight the easiest and potentially most devastating way to do it in Standard: with Haas-Bioroid: Architects of Tomorrow. Imagine the following layout: the runner has not yet installed MKUltra, having not encountered any sentries -- non are rezzed. The runner then runs on a 3-ice deep server, with a rezzed bioroid on the outermost position, and two more unrezzed ice behind it. They pass the first bioroid; AoT triggers and the corp rezzes the innermost piece of ice, a sentry such as Ansel 1.0 or Tyr. The runner continues the runner, and the corp rezzes Loki in the middle position. None of their bin breakers can install on the Loki, and the Loki now copies that innermost bioroid, guaranteeing all the subs can fire. If it's a Tyr, that means 2 brain damage, a trashed card and 3 credits, and a hard ETR. Crucially, there is literally no way to circumvent this without hard-installing an MKUltra, using some form of ice destruction, or potentially using a boomerang to break the ETR so they can pass: with no other rezzed sentries, the runner has no way to encounter a sentry and get the install trigger for MKUltra.

I won't say that situation 3 makes Loki either a top-tier ice or that it happens with extreme consistency, but I have had multiple games as AoT where this combo has let me toast a rig! I've copied Ansel and Tyr before, but the best one was copying a Ravana 1.0 who then copied the same Tyr sub twice, trashing 2 installed runner cards and gaining the corp 6 credits. Could have also opted for 4 brain damage, which is like face-checking a Janus with no clicks left, except there's also a soft-ETR attached. Loki is a great and tricky piece of ice, only held back by its low strength.

<p>Pretty cool review!</p> —

An incredibly strong economic tool only held back by its low trash cost, which makes it less appealing to place undefended than its counterpart Marilyn Campaign. But it goes +7 and a card draw over 3 turns, compared to the longer cook time of Marilyn Campaign (+6 over 4 turns) and Adonis Campaign (+8 over 4 turns, with a higher up-front cost). In addition to paying out faster, Nico is credit positive the turn it is rezzed, costing the corp nothing in tempo aside from the click spent to install. A frankly amazing asset to place in a scoring remote for a turn or two. Even if you cut it off a turn early and don't get the last 3 credits and card, it still goes +4 -- that's a Hedge Fund!

A solid form of punishment, but runners can play around it. Unfortunately, it doesn't trigger on Stargate, as the trashed card isn't accessed. If the runner doesn't see it coming, however, it is easy to bait with a naked piece of asset economy. This sort of thing depends upon the corp already having a credit lead, however, and if both players are floating around 15 credits, HBT probably isn't worth it. Where this really shines is against a built-up runner who has just pillaged the remote, perhaps trashing some defensive upgrades, a Rashida Jaheem, or some other asset meant to bait an agenda. In that case, the runner has likely expended a good chunk of credits passing ice, more trashing cards in the server root -- and they've certainly satisfied the trigger condition! Then, HBT can be a blowout, potentially trashing a console, another piece of important hardware or a resource like The Turning Wheel, and if the runner is now over MU from hardware trashing, they are likely to lose some programs as well. If the runner going through the remote didn't open a scoring window, a choice HBT certainly will; if there was already a window, HBT might stretch it to several turns -- or, frankly, win you the game, if the runner's deck was already low and they had binned important duplicates.

The bad pub clause is almost unimportant, but hurts one niche use-case for HBT: the situation where the corp can fork the runner by only bidding a middling amount of money on the trace (enough for the corp to keep cash for rezzing ice, say, or advancing cards), but enough to hurt the runner either paying through the trace or losing econ resources. Taking bad pub to do this makes the option less attractive, though it technically still exists for end-game scenarios.

Most corp decks would rather run Hard-Hitting News instead, given all that one can do with tags, and that HHN's trigger condition is easier to meet. Still, for a deck in HB that doesn't want to invest all the influence necessary for HHN and tag punishment, HBT can serve as an acceptable replacement for ways to punish a run.