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A thread to clarify IT Department

I know there is already the “IT Dept is bad for the game” thread, but its already 300 posts long, and the specific question of how the card works is buried in the thread. So I’m going to create this new thread, for the sole purpose of defining how exactly this card works. I’ve run into several people now on OCTGN who I’ve had misunderstandings with, and want to clear it up.

To the best of my understanding, given the recent “clarifications” by Lukas, this is how IT Department works.

You spend a counter from IT Dept on an ICE. That ice gets +1 STR off the bat. It then creates an ongoing effect for that ICE for the rest of the turn giving it +X STR, where X is equal to the number of power counters on IT Dept.

**Example: You have a rototurret (STR 0). You have 3 power counters on IT Dept. You spend one. Rototurret gets +1 and +X STR, where X is now equal to 2 counters (because you spent one), for a total of +3 STR.

If you spend another power counter from IT Dept, it would get +1 and +1 (for 2 counters spent) and +X and +X, where X is now 1 (because there is only one counter left on IT Dept), leaving it at a total of +4 STR.**

So the general rule of thumb is that each power counter from IT Dept adds a (X+1) counter to the ICE, where X is the number of power counters left on IT Dept.


And here is Lukas quote that IT Dept is an ongoing ability:

So, is my understanding correct? I’ll amend this post if anyone finds error in my understanding.


Your understanding is correct. I think the easiest way to think about it/represent it is to move counters from IT dept to the ICE you’re targeting. Each counter grants +(X+1) strength, where X is the number of counters on IT dept.


I don’t think your understanding is correct.

Here is where you go wrong. Each token spent creates on ongoing effect. This effect 1+X strength boost. So if you spend two tokens, it would get +1 for the first token spent, +X (where X is 1 as you correctly state). It would also get +1 for the second token, +X (where X =1). So you are looking at two instances of +2 strength, for a total of +4, not +3.

Every spent token creates a new, constant effect of 1+X strength, where X refers to the number of tokens remaining on IT Department.

Lukas clarifies he mucked up his maths in that tweet in later tweets.

mediohxcore describes it correctly above, but incorrectly states you’ve got it right in your post.


And this is why I made the post. I think I found the twitter quote, I’ll amend the original post with it.

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And to be completely explicit:

Until the end of turn, a constant affect remains on any targeted ice that grants that ICE X+1 strength, where X is the current number of counters on IT department.

So, each further use of IT department will cause X to shrink for all active instances of the ability.


  • There are 5 counters on IT deparpment, you target ice wall once.
    (X=4, so X+1=5, so Ice Wall is now a 6 strength ice). The runner is
    now encountering Cell Portal, you give Cell Portal an instance. (X=3,
    So X+1=4, Cell Portal is now 11 strength, and Ice Wall is reduced to
    strength 5)

You just said the same thing twice.

So as the Runner, is it safe to say I calculate the strength boost from IT Department as
No. of ITD counters on the ice * (No. of counters on ITD + 1)?

Not only safe to say, it’s 100% correct. Now just convince you local meta players who don’t follow twitter or stimhack

Therein lies the problem with this card. There are a great many players that won’t believe the way this cards works based on “But I read on Twitter…”

That’s the problem with this card that I was trying to express in the other thread. It’s poorly worded and poorly designed. It’s going to require too damn much time-wasting discussion during matches.

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Well obviously you shouldn’t say it like that. Say “That’s how Lukas ruled this card works”.


I guess that will work for most competitive players, but I’ve run into several people at my store that won’t believe anything until it’s in an official FFG errata/FAQ.

Simple solution:

  1. Ensure the TO is up to date on the ruling in advance.
  2. The second someone wants to debate you on how the card works, and disagrees with the Lukas ruling - call the TO over. Have them say you’re right. Rince/Repeat until everyone is forced to accept it.

In the event that the TO disagrees with the ruling due to being one of the guys who only believes things if they’re officially printed in erratas/rulebook printings - you’re boned.


Yeah, our TO is really on-point with this stuff. It really won’t be an issue at my store… there may be some folks who won’t totally “believe” it, but in the end, everybody will abide by his decision. I guess I’m worried more about the broader Netrunner community.