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Code Siphon Tactics

So I’m really interested in Code Siphon - in-faction, not as a splash - but I’m wondering what are your thoughts on it, Stimhackers? What’s the best way to utilize it? Is it best used as simply another card tutor, playing it out against a lightly-defended R&D just to get a cheap program (Datasucker, Sharpshooter, etc.) for basically the cost of a tag? Alternatively, should it be used to get something expensive (Torch, Femme, etc.) by hitting a more defended R&D? Is it even worth bothering to include?

Right now I’m looking forward to it for my Oracle May Doubles deck. After using Test Run to find the first breaker for whatever is on R&D, Code Siphon can be used to take some of the pressure off having to find the next Test Run. The deck definitely wants another event based tutor to up its reliability. That being said, outside of this fringe case I’m not quite sure what Code Siphon does for Shaper that any of its other tutors can’t do better.


I hadn’t considered it for CT Oracle. That deck could definitely put it to use! Beyond that, I’m with you; I’m not sure it’s worthwhile for most Shaper builds.

Well, the only costs you pay are to break ice and shake the tag at the end. Not tiny, but it’s a good way to turn burst econ into an Opus or complete an expensive breaker suite without Test Run/Scavenge (or while allowing Test Run to focus more on recurring cards as well).

I’m not sure how realistic it is (or, to be honest, if it even matters), but I feel as though Nasir and the Professor will probably be most happy to run it. Whether many folks’ll be happy to run them, well…

I’m thinking it’s better at the beginning of the game. If there’s only one piece of ICE on R&D, you can: Sure Gamble, slap down an SMC, play Code Siphon, grab the breaker for the ICE you just hit, break it, and then go get another breaker with Siphon, with a 3 credit discount. Click Four, you clear the Tag. Two breakers in one run?



Kit likes it when there is only one layer of ice on R&D.

Put out a decoder (or SMC one), Code Siphon for Omega, clear tag, party down on whatever servers you want for a few turns.


Seems pretty bad unless you want to float tags, and then probably just average.

If you don’t want to float tags, it’s generally a extra click and two credits (like installing and using SMC) to deal with that tag.

If there is no ice it’s ok but you get no cost benefit. If there is ice, it needs to be pretty cheap or free to break. In a world with Blue Sun and RP how do you get away with playing this card over SMC, which is more flexible since it can be used during the run?

Possibly good in specific situations against decks like NEH, but I’d rather not have my tutors require me to break some ice in order to be good.

I would like it more if it were less influence and could be splashed in criminal with cards like Faerie and Inside Job.

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I don’t see it breaking the meta open but this is definitely the card the Oracle May all-events deck has been waiting for. The biggest problem that deck has is finding breakers early when you can’t run SMC and have no influence for Special Order.

I can’t wait to Test Run Femme onto R&D early on, Code Siphon to install Battering Ram / Torch at a discount, remove tag, then either Scavenge the Femme, or click Oracle May and Eureka next turn.

It’s pretty common vs NEH to have a 2-deep taxing R&D with something like Pop-Up -> Eli and you can just Code Siphon through that to get a breaker for $6 less. Even RP often has something like Pup -> Komainu which you can bust with your Test Run plan.


I’m looking forward to using it in 2017 when Test Run rotates out of the card pool. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s such a bizarre card. To get the maximum usage out of it, you need there to be multiple ice on R&D, but they need to be ice you know you can get through. Maybe it’s better used to fetch non-breaker programs - if you’re running Keyhole in Shaper (where Keyhole stands for ‘some expensive high-influence program’, obviously not actually Keyhole because you have a better in-faction R&D attack) maybe this is how you force it out once you rig is assembled, instead of Test Run + Scavenge or Test Run + draw + install.

A thought occurs to me: against an undefended R&D, it’s basically an SMC that doesn’t take memory but requires an extra click. (2 credits to remove the tag instead of 2 credits to Siphon.) The more ice you can break through, it just gets better, but in an optimal situation it’s an SMC + 1 click.

I don’t think I necessarily have a slot for it in anything right now, but the potential is there to get expensive things for very cheap if you can get in reliably.



This could work with The Professor, I think. He often lacks the memory for an SMC, and wants to keep installing programs even when he has his breakers out.


Keyhole is good enough to be worth running in Shaper, as is medium. Obvious alternatives include imp, sneakdoor, maybe faerie. Tagme can’t be a default any more, but many decks can have a tag me mode that code siphon benefits from. There is an awful lot of ice that costs less than 3 to get through - I think Torch could be a valid target or Morning Star.

The CT + events + oracle deck loves this card. That deck is Jank, but not horrible. One could plausibly take that to a tourney.


Seems like one way to reap a real benefit is if the run is funded by recurring credits. I have a Kit stealth deck that could slot this in reasonably well. But even there, it’s a tossup with SMC – Code Siphon could allow for a more aggressive early game (fetching Dagger or BlacKat, depending on the matchup), but at the risk of being a dead draw if I’m temporarily locked out of R&D (which is normally precisely when you’d want an SMC…).

to me, this card screams “to be used later with card yet to be released.” I’m imagining high power, high cost programs (a la rachel beckman or hades shard) that aren’t necessarily breakers. Thinking along the lines of MO, Keyhole, or Sneakdoor, but in the 9+ credits/power range. A quick run through a couple of Ice walls and an enigma could tutor a big combo piece and pay for it.

the other “wait and see” combo I’ll be looking for is more shaper “only play if you’ve made a successful run on R&D this turn events” along the thematic lines of emergency shutdown.

That said, this card mostly looks like garbage. :frowning: Too bad too, when I heard the name and the basic Idea I was really hoping for a way to pressure R&D without always risking multi-access.

I think ideally this is used to get your second atman, once you have your atman set for the lowest ice on R&D, and hopefully before they put a second layer. A tutor and a discount is solid, even if you have to tag off. If you can float for a few turns, then no big deal.

If you run no resources and plascrete, then hiding behind opus to fight closed accounts makes this an alright reason to float tags if you can find a useful program.

I like test running a femme on HQ, siphoning, then scavenge to R&D (or don’t if they’re broke) and code siphon if you’re all in on tags. Shaper AoA with dual siphon recursion XD. Pipe dream…but a brutal one.

I think the problem is for every pipe dream game there is going to be a game where you are sitting with Code Siphon in your hand and no way to break something silly like a Wraparound on RnD. And you’ll wish that Code Siphon was a Diesel or something that can get you closer to a less conditional tutor.


It gives some credence to Tinkering–one of my favorite shaper cards that often just doesn’t make the cut. And Kit can Tinker through 2 ICE for a 6 credit discount, 9 if she Paintbrushed. So I mean, there’s that.

I would probably play it in a stimhack/CT deck or Kit, as both are inclined to run tinkering–I’m not saying you NEED tinkering, but it seems otherwise unlikely that you were in such dire need for a breaker when you could still run on R&D.


Absolutely I think you have to find out which slot it does better in, tutor or econ, and slot it appropriately. If you’re already femmng your way around, it could feasibly be more of an econ than a tutor card.

I think as the portfolio of utility programs expand, its flexibility will help it merit a spot in decks to find back breakers like sneakdoor, keyhole, or another utility.

Also having a good way to self tag can bring life to a new shaper archetype…tag me shaper anyone??

Is anybody sure with the interaction between Code Siphon and Medium? I think Medium would have to be in play when the successful run happens and runner can’t trigger Code Siphon first and then the Medium so no counters. This is same case with Supplier and Daily Casts. I feel this makes Code Siphon even worse otherwise you could Code Siphon to one ICE R&D with SMC in play and getting a bit more accesses with medium if the ICE is cheap to break or Corp doesn’t rez it.

A Siphoned Medium won’t get a counter, for the same reason a Parasite auto-installed off Workshop doesn’t get a counter - imagine it as taking a snapshot of the board state when the trigger happens, and then resolving all applicable effects in the order of your choosing.

Medium isn’t part of that polaroid, because it’s still in your stack at that point.