Marcus Batty

♦ Marcus Batty 0[credit]

Upgrade: Sysop - Psi
Trash: 1
Influence: 3

[trash]: You and the Runner secretly spend 0[credit], 1[credit], or 2[credit]. Reveal spent credits. If you and the Runner spent a different number of credits, resolve 1 subroutine on a rezzed piece of ice protecting this server. Use this ability only during a run on this server.

Illustrated by Frederic Pinson
Decklists with this card

The Underway (uw)

#74 • English
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The Underway

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The Flare that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Marcus.

The 1980s weren't nearly as good as everyone thinks, although they were certainly better than the '90s. Nothing went right in the '90s outside of the birth of CCGs and the golden age of Sportcenter. Like everyone else I ushered in the new millennium a year early just to be grateful to flush away a grungy, ten year old flannel-wrapped, turd.

If you're not old and grumpy like I am, you may not be aware of just how massive of an Easter egg Marcus Batty is. You probably won't care - which is fine because everyone gets sick of old people telling them in one breath how easy they have it at the same time as saying how much better things used to be.

Not only is he the sort of card that makes you immediately do a t:ICE search just to see how much evil you can pull off (66% of the time, it works every time!) but he happens to share the surname with Roy "I want more life, fucker" Batty from Blade Runner WHILE being a direct call back to Dr Dreff, a sysop upgrade in the original Netrunner CCG. Dreff himself was a call back to Dr Emmett Brown of the Back to the Future franchise (still leeching money from Gen X pockets today!), who was in turn a call back to Albert Einstein. That's three layers of call back regression in one great, great card. Lastly if I'm not mistaken our good man Batty bears more than a passing resemblance to John "Cyrus the Virus" Malkovich. I may be reaching with that though.

The best and funnest card in a little while for me. Until Turbeau Delacroix v2 comes out with Data and Destiny at least. I know you're in there!

(The Underway era)
The best review I've read in ages. Delightful. —
This card is too strong... —
Isn't Turbeau Delacroix v2 basically Bernice Mai? I mean, sure it's not trace 10, but trace 5 is very respectable. —
How would this work with the Kitsune? Would it basically allow me to use Kitsune potentially 6 times instead of only max of 3 (3 copies of each assuming no recursion)? —
For the benefit of anyone fortunate enough to have avoided the 1980s, I would like to state that the 1990s were objectively better than the 1980s in every possible way. This does not apply if somehow, you enjoy listening to Kajagoogoo while wearing head-to-toe stonewashed denim and praying that you don't die in a nuclear holocaust. *insert something about Netrunner here* —

A weirder, one-shot Caprice Nisei. Batty's power level is equal to whatever ICE you rez over him. Here's a wishlist of the game's most brutal subroutines:

  • Flare shoots off a trace6 for unpreventable meat damage, trashes a piece of hardware, & ends the run
  • Either NEXT Gold subroutine can win the game, though importing the whole NEXT suite into Jinteki isn't feasible so this means splashing for Batty out of HB
  • Heimdall 2.0's second sub does ends the run with brain damage thrown in for fun
  • Neural Katana has fallen out of favor due to its meager one-credit cost with Mimic but Batty's ability to land the 3 net damage may bring it back
  • Cortex Lock early can be as much or more net damage than Katana

Those are what come to mind but the potential with Batty is pretty crazy. Depending on your deck's needs, there's probably a killer subroutine that makes winning easy (think Data Raven or Gutenberg in Butchershop, Taurus in any Scorched Earth build) & Batty gives you an ≈67% chance of landing it no matter the opponent's icebreakers.

Dreams of brutal subroutines aside, Batty is also a solid Ash 2X3ZB9CY replacement in glacier decks. I'd expect Replicating Perfection players to save 2-4 influence by resorting to Batty.

There are some interesting timing issues with Batty too that I haven't had a chance to fully experience in my few games with him. You can fire his ability during any window, unlike Caprice, so the only holdup is ensuring you get your target ICE rezzed first. In glacier builds where Batty is used for an ETR, he'll function much like Caprice & be triggered after the last ICE is passed. But I can imagine scenarios wherein a runner anticipates a Batty kill & jacks out before you have a chance to fire. There are also probably many edge case scenarios where you'll want to trigger him because of ICE placements, e.g. to trigger a Gutenberg in front of Universal Connectivity Fee, a Chum in front of Neural Katana, etc.

Is Batty broken? Are we all sick of Psi Games? IMO, Batty is actually more balanced than Caprice Nisei. The one-shot nature combined with the ICE rezzed limitation makes it much harder to get value out of him. That said, his upside is enormous & will only continue to climb as more fearsome ICE is released. With a rez cost of 0, you can even circumvent Drive By or anticipate Hacktivist Meeting simply by installing him rezzed.

(The Underway era)
I think, the best choise for Markus is "cannot break" subroutine of Inazuma. —
Here's an idea to blow your meat mind. How about using Marcus on... Cell Portal!? —
You would have to have unrezzed Cell Portal (ie. with broken sub), then fire the sub only to derez it. Not some huge value... —
In RP, batty is just hilarious. Resolving a Susanoo after someone painstakingly broke it with Faust/Datasucker Mimic is a whole new level of satisfaction. —
Nice synergy with wormhole if you ever wanna try something crazy —
Thanks for ruining the joke, quiciuq. I hope I never play against you. —
Wormhole is an awesome idea with this. Lets Batty reach everything. Why didn't I think of that? —
Dont forget utility ice and program trash. Combo babatbatty —
I saw someone use this with grail ice. The runner ran at HQ. The corp rezzed Lancelot and Marcus. Using Marcus right away, they trashed the runners killer. Then, as it was the first piece of ice, the 3 subroutines triggers trashing another program, doing 2 net and EtR. Super cheap combo that can't be stopped unless the runner has 2 killers installed; or guesses right of course. —
Don't forget that you can Chum your Chum with Batty. Using Batty during the approach means that the next ICE he encounters is Chum itself, and he can't jack out! —
Or, if you have a chum that fires and the runner decides to push through, Batty can double the chum's effect on the next ice for +4 strength and 6 net damage. —
I'm particularly fond of using Batty on Inazuma's "cannot break" sub during the approach window when you would have the chance to rez that Inazuma. This means the runner can't break either of Inazuma's subs, and thus suffers both, so they're forced to walk into the deathtrap ice after it (Brainstorm if you want to meme harder, but there are plenty of ways to almost guarantee a win after that). —

This card is way too strong. I really feel this card broke Netrunner. Him paired with Archer will end the game 66% of the time if both players have credits. Even if you play the best Netrunner game of your life; if the corp has 2 credits and a scored agenda, if you guess wrong, they blow up your sentry breaker, you then run into Archer and lose your other two breakers.

Even with NEXT Gold, if you guess wrong, you could just lose...

I'm fine with a card doing something like Marcus Batty, but not on a guess....

Any thoughts on this please post them in the comments.

(The Underway era)
He has to be trashed in order to work, so without recursion he's pretty useless. Even with JH you have to draw back into him, and a card like batty isn't something you give 3 deckslots to. He requires the right setup to use properly, and 3 is going to guarantee 1 will be useless. That being said, yeah, archer hurts. Even if you're prepped for plain archer, it hurts. As a runner, though, there are plenty of tools to get past him, though. Hell, Batty chops your sentry breaker, it's useless if you have clone chip, SMC, anything that installs mid-run. Even Savior-faire counters that combo, with another breaker in hand. I promise, he can be undone, you just have to have a backup plan. —
I don't think think Marcus Batty breaks Netrunner. He just forces Runners to play a bit differently than they would have otherwise. Now you can't just pay your way through any server you want without consequences. So don't play a Runner that only pressures one server in case that server becomes too dangerous to run. Or play aggressively and trash him out of R&D before a really dangerous server is made. Or slot in a Sacrificial Construct or two. Certainly it has an impact on the game, but it can be played around. —
I actually really enjoy the cards he's bringing back to the table (turkishvancat mentioned Sacrificial Construct; Marcus and Geist are totally bringing it back and that's awesome). Marcus breaks the game in the same way Gang Sign does; he provides a couple possibly major shifts per game and forces your opponent to play differently. Game-breaking? No. Meta changing? Not even as much as Clot. Gnashing and wailing of teeth? About as much as Will-o-Wisp causes. —
I think when you write "I really feel this card broke Netrunner", you mean you haven't figured out a way to include cards in your deck that respond to a Marcus Batty effect. —
Nope, I mean he broke Netrunner. I'm pretty sure he's an auto include in any non-combo deck, and if not, then I feel you're playing wrong. —
Wouldn't let me stack my comments, so a second one I guess. NEXT Gold and Marcus Batty just straight up kills the runner on a guess that is in Corps favor. With any ICE that trashes a program, you can lose a vital piece of your rig on a guess. That's my issue, that it's a guess. I'm fine with trashing my programs, but things that make Netrunner not Netrunner is game breaking. Point, @turkishvancat said, "Now you can't just pay your way through any server you want..." But if I gave up the early game and took the time to build up a full rig and solid econ engine, then that's what I should be doing. So just screw big-rig? I play aggro criminal, and I can't run against him because I can just lose my everything, or even the game if he triggers a cortex lock that I can break with few cards in hand....all on a guess. Not because the corp played better than me, but because literally every runner has to change the way they play in order to survive Marcus Batty because they guessed wrong —
#Sacrificial Construct —
So you say he wouldn't be that gamebreaking/-destroying without the Psi-Game? o_O —
Exactly. Look at Corporate Troubleshooter. Basically the same thing, except it's money game, which is part of what makes Netrunner, Netrunner; the money game. Same thing with SEA Source and Midseasons, it's part of the money game. I think the best comparison can be made to the Scorched Earth combos, SEA Source and Posted Bounty. Posted Bounty, I can't stop with money, but they (more often than not) have to install --> advance --> advance. So I still have a chance to get into that server. And if they played well enough to create a scoring window to where I can't, then they get the Scorched win because they played well. SEA Source/Midseason is the same way, they play well enough/I made some mistakes to set up for the tag n' bag. But Batty, it really doesn't matter how well I play or really how well they play. If lose the Psi-Game, I pretty much lose unless I'm running recursion. You can't say the same about Plascrete because like I said before, you can play in a way that they really have to work to get the I just have to guess wrong... —
I think most people agree Psi Games that aren't breakable subroutines (Caprice Nisei, Cerebral Cast) make the game less fun. I'll totally give you THAT. But if you think Batty can't be played around, you're just wrong. You keep saying you "LOSE" the game on a single guess, implying you lose the game if a single ICE subroutine fires. If your runner deck can't handle a single program trash, your deck has bigger problems (even before Batty). Your argument boils down to "Netrunner is a MONEY game, not a GUESSING game". Netrunner is literally a guessing game. It sounds like the only way to like to play is slowly, with a giant rig and huge econ. The corp gets a card that complicates your (single) strategy? That's wonderful. That's how the meta stays healthy. Adapt. —
Actually, I play aggro criminal. And I'm pretty sure any deck can handle a single program being trashed...but not when I'm then forced to encounter a piece of ICE (that I can't break now) and that trashes the rest of your rig. I'm not saying Batty can't be played around, but not all deck types can play around him. So my worry is that he is going to be too strong and end up shaping the meta completely by himself. I've been a competitive MTG player for nearly a decade now, and I went through a complete and total meta shift all because of one card before. I don't want to see that happen to Netrunner. I could totally be wrong and he won't get played that much, but I personally believe that he strong enough that people should be running him in a rig trashing deck teching in Blacklist. If I'm right, this will literally force out certain runner types for a while. Not to mention my aggro criminal style being completely crushed unless I start sacrificing aggro for cards necessary to tech against a card that, as you stated, works off a mechanic that just isn't fun. —
Also, I disagree with you saying Netrunner is literally a guessing game —
First (from my perspective) Netrunner is neither a money nor a guessing game, but a game of bluffing. —
(sorry for double comment, acidentally hit enter...). Second I still don't think Batty will be that gamebreaking. It's not like that every Corp deck can add it and then kick 80% of the runners ***. You must have ICE in the deck, which can all those things you wrote, that ICE must be in the same server as Batty AND it must be rezzed. Also, it's not reliable! While the Corp has a 66,6% chance to destroy your rig or do other nasty things (which will be, as far as I understand you @UminWolf, one of the strategies behind these decks) it has a 33,3% chance that it does nothing! I don't think, that this is a reliable chance for a winning strategy. For an ermengcy plan: Sure. But to concentrate a lot of effort into things like this... Well, I don't think that it is worth it. Jackson Howard was far more "gamebreaking" (as in it is a staple in 80%+ Corp Decks nowadays) than this card is. —
The objective of a bluffer is to turn it into a guessing game. In netrunner there are ways to circumvent each bluffing mechanic. For example, Vamp'ing a corp to 0 credits completely eliminates the psi game. Marcus Batty will be very strong so long as the runner isn't prepared for him in one way or another. —
I've read the comments here, and I have to admit, I'm slightly disapointed by the arguments against him being gamebreaking.First: The conditions to let him fire are trivial to fulfill. Rezzing an ice and rezzing an upgrade are both happening all the time. Second: —
second: He might do nothing, but if he does he generally wins the game. (I won the last 3 games on that way.) And there are enought ways to get him out of your archive. Add to this that he is cheap to use (just install him, while you have enought money to use him) and you do get a annoyingly strong card. Yes, you can use sacrifice constructs. I hope you have 5 of them and a netshield when you meet my NEXT Gold, since otherwise you are completely broke or flatlined —
The problem here is that it really doesn't depend on who is playing better. It is more like "I'm losing!" and the next moment "I've won". —