This card is fantastic, and I plan to play 3 in every deck, completely replacing the need for Plascrete Carapace. "What's the point of Steelskin then if it can't save the runner from certain death?" The point is that you very rarely have only 2-3 cards in your hand, especially against Weyland. What's more likely is that you have 5 cards, the corp plays Scorch, and you lose 4 of them. Even if you're only holding one of these, there's an 80% chance that the first Scorch will hit it. You'll go back up to 4 cards, which is conveniently just out of range for the second Scorch. Better yet, they didn't know you had it, so it's harder for them to plan around (unlike Plascrete). A crafty corp can figure out a triple-Scorch if you have a single Plascrete out, but if they don't know for certain that you have some kind of defense, they probably won't.

Honestly, if this card is as good as I predict, we may see more Traffic Accident than I was thinking. An Accident has a 60% chance of dodging a single I've Had Worse, and will put a 5-card hand down to 3 (just in range to Scorch without worrying about the I've Had Worse). But the 2-tag requirement makes it harder to pull off. Either way, it makes the deck weaker, and only works 60% of the time, so I'm super okay with that strategy existing.

Anyway, the main thing this card has over Plascrete (besides the secrecy I mentioned earlier) is that it doesn't become a dead card in non-Weyland matchups. Even against a deck that you're certain doesn't run any net/meat damage cards, this is still a 1 Diesel. If Diesel costed 1, would you still play it? I know I would, especially in-faction. This card is fantastic in Anarch, and I'll probably still be shelling out 6 influence to put it elsewhere.

The last great thing about this card vs Plascrete? If you're uncertain about what your opponent is playing, you can wait to use it, and all it does is take up a spot in your hand. When you're running Plascrete and you find yourself against NBN: Making News, you're never really sure if they shelled out the influence for Scorch. Do you shell out the 3 credits and a click (or 6 credits and two clicks if you want two of them) for your Plascrete, or do you take your chances and not play it? You won't find out the correct answer until it's too late, but 3 credits is a lot of money sometimes, especially early on. It's just another reason I hate playing Plascrete and love about this card.

So, to summarize, this card is better than Plascrete because (1) Your opponent has a harder time playing around it, (2) it can be used as a draw card if you don't need damage prevention and (3) it doesn't cost anything to use as protection. The only things Plascrete has over this is (1) Sometimes that first Scorch will miss it if you're only holding one, (2) it prevents one fewer damage, so if you're only holding 4 cards, they can still get you with 2 Scorches, and (3) it costs 2 influence outside of Anarch.

The decision between the two seems pretty obvious to me.

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It occurs to me that it would be entirely possible to build a deck using entirely 1-point agendas; you'd only need 7 different ones, and there are 5 in Weyland and 5 Neutral. With that deck, and this card in play, it would be impossible for the runner to win.

There are plenty of things that could go wrong with this plan; with such high agenda density, the runner could win before you get The Board in play. If you do get them out, you'd need to protect them fiercely; once the runner gets enough agendas, they can kill them to trigger a win immediately as all their agendas jump back up in value.

Still, it seems like a fun deck concept to build around... might be able to make it work.

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Call that deck "the Midseason board meeting" —

I find it amusing that although this card is called "Self-destruct," it will probably most-often be used more like an escape pod. Director Haas, Chairman Hiro, The Board, and whatever card completes the cycle when NBN gets a big box... they will all love using this card as a safety net to make sure they're never trashed while being accessed. The fact that it might also do some net damage is just a bonus.

I guess if you think of trashing the server as literally just destroying the data (which is what it really is), it makes sense that all the top executives will make sure they can quickly wipe their sensitive data in case of an intrusion. Director Haas is never going to let you have access to her personnel file, even if it means destroying it to keep you away.

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I do not recommend The Board. —

My first instinct with this card was to think of it like Window; why would the cards on the bottom of the deck be any better than the ones on top?

But I realized this card does actually have a use (besides just superstition). This card is for those times when you want to make the most of a small window of time when you can get into R&D. Maybe your Parasite just ate a big piece of ICE, and you want to hit R&D hard before they re-ICE it. Maybe they spent too much scoring an agenda and forgot to leave enough money to rez their central server protection.

Especially with some muli-access, this can be a big deal. Say you have Medium with a counter or two, or especially R&D Interface. You run, see a few cards, but all of them are Operations and you don't have an Imp. If your multi-access is Medium, you could run again, but you'll only see one additional card. With R&D Interface, there's no point.

But now, with this card, there's suddenly a point again. Play this and see a whole new selection of cards. That's actually really powerful.

Will it see a lot of play? I kind-of doubt it. But I wouldn't call it useless.

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This is my favorite ICE.

I've been playing NBN since shortly after Core, back before it got any good. I was splashing Ice Wall, just because it was a 1-credit ICE that ended the run. Even though Barriers are the easiest and least expensive ICE to break, it was still worth it to keep them out for a few turns until they got a Corroder out.

And then this beauty came along.

Now, for one credit, and more importantly, 0 influence... I can get a run-ending ICE. Not only that, it's a Code Gate. Decoders like Gordian Blade cost twice as much as Corroder to play, and that's a bigger deal than you might think, in the early game. Sure, there are other Decoders, but none without some kind of downside. At the end of the day, Code Gates are just straight-up harder to break than Barriers, especially in the early game.

And the 0 strength? Who cares? Unless a Code Gate has a strength of 3 or more, Gordian is going to break it for one credit anyway.

Some people will still argue for Enigma, the closest comparison to this card. Yes, the first time they hit it, Enigma will probably drain a click. And yes, if they're running on any click except for the last one, it will cost 2 credits instead of 1 to break with Gordian. Is that worth two extra credits to rez? Not even a little bit. Not to me, anyway. Cheap ICE will hold them off for a few turns while you build things up. It's easier to make money if you already have money (Restructure is the perfect example of this) so if you're not wasting two extra credits on keeping them out in the early turns, you're two credits closer to reaching the "filthy rich" stage of the game, which isn't as far away as you think.

All in all, as I said before, this is my favorite ICE. It has been a 3-of in every corp deck I've built since it came out, and that isn't likely to change.

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