15 February 2017 | Android: Netrunner LCG

Kakugo

Be Prepared or Perish When the First Data Pack in the Red Sand Cycle Arrives

 

#Netrunner

Jinteki. The name inspires fear in even the most seasoned of Runners. The name promises not just death, but a painful one—a death from one thousand cuts. And on Mars, each cut slices a little deeper. 

It’s a matter of course that all Corps are dangerous, but lethality itself is built into the essence of everything that is Jinteki. Beating the trace can foil NBN’s best efforts to close your accounts. Investing in a Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead, 9) can protect you from Weyland’s scorched earth tactics. And keeping a click free can prevent HB’s bioroids from frying your brain. 

But nothing—nothing—can protect you from every point of Net damage that Jinteki can deliver. Your Guru Davinder (The Liberated Mind, 84) may prevent a Ronin (Future Proof, 112) from flatlining you. And your Feedback Filter (Creation and Control, 37) may protect you from a Bio-Ethics Association (Democracy and Dogma, 50) for a turn or two before it gets too expensive. But as you count the cards remaining in your deck, the question isn’t whether or not you’ll run out, but when. Can you find that last agenda before simply initiating a run will spell your doom?

The arrival of two new Jinteki cards— Kakugo (Daedalus Complex, 13) and Synth DNA Modification (Daedalus Complex, 12)—in Daedalus Complex, the first Data Pack in the Red Sand Cycle for Android: Netrunner, makes this dilemma more challenging for Runners than ever!

Be Prepared

Jinteki’s ice is notorious for delivering net damage with its subroutines. From Neural Katana (Core Set, 77) to DNA Tracker (Escalation, 53), it’s always been clear that Runners took their lives into their five-card grips anytime they facechecked Jinteki’s defenses without the proper suite of breakers. 

But Jinteki’s newest barrier, Kakugo, threatens to disrupt even those reliable and stalwart defenses. Instead of dealing damage when its subroutines fire, Kakugo delivers a point of net damage when the Runner passes it. With this in play, its seems that installing the right breaker will only end up killing you faster.

And if the Corp installs a few copies of Synth DNA Modification, you may find yourself experiencing those one thousand cuts just as fast as you can replenish your grip with a can of Diesel (Core Set, 34). When it’s rezzed, Synth DNA Modification  does a point of net damage the first time a Runner breaks a subroutine on a piece of AP ice each turn. Although breaking multiple subroutines doesn’t increase the damage dealt by Synth DNA Modification, rezzing multiple copies of it will. If you install all three, breaking Kakugo’s sole “End the run” subroutine may only cost the Runner 1 credit with most fracters, but it could end up also costing them four cards. 

Of course, with a rez cost of four and a mere one strength, Kakugo is a likely target for Parasite (Core Set, 12) and Knifed (Order and Chaos, 38), or even Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus, 43). And with a trash cost of only two, Synth DNA Modification may not stay on the board very long after it’s rezzed. So, if you’re hoping to make the Runner really bleed, you may need some Friends in High Places (Martial Law, 90). 

Death Can Be Beautiful

Jinteki seeks harmony in all things—even death. Other corporations may seek to punish runners for their transgressions by trashing programs, melting brains, and ending lives in sudden, violent outbursts. But Jinteki builds these dangers into every mainframe and infrastructure on its grid. Death doesn’t come as a surprise to the enemies of Jinteki; it hovers in front of them every second of their attack. 

Runners take damage against Jinteki in proportion to the frequency and depth of their runs. Take a point of net damage every time you spend a click running into Hokusai Grid (Humanity’s Shadow, 95). Dig deep enough into R&D and take three damage from a Snare! (Core Set, 70) There’s a balance in all things—but Jinteki’s sysops are paid to ensure that maintaining balance means keeping their corporate masters on top. 

To do this, Jinteki’s defenses don’t ever warn the Runner, “If you move against us, you will suffer.” Instead, they seem to be saying, “You will act against us and you will suffer. Now, let us see who is better prepared.” 

Bear this in mind Runners, as you attempt to throw the rig you made from some spare parts and specs you found in the darker corners of the net against Jinteki’s psychic detective, army of cloned samurai, and ice modified by synthetic DNA.

Who do you think is better prepared? 

Find out when Daedalus Complex arrives in your local game store next week!

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