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Interesting and Useful Interactions

I’ve noticed there are a number of interesting and/or useful interactions between cards that tend to not see much play despite seeming pretty decent – or just ways of playing already popular cards/combinations that provide benefit and aren’t commonly considered. I wanted to create a thread to gather some of those together, if there are folks that have noticed the same.

Ideally, this isn’t going to be just a bunch of janky combos. I know I’m not some great player or big name, and I don’t think that’s a requirement, but if your combination is that Akitaro Watanabe and Chimera go well together… well, yeah, but it’s probably not worth running him alone, or just for that. Parasite is everywhere, tutoring is many places, Chimera is not nearly as good as it used to be, free each turn or not.

The big one I’ve stumped for is the synergy between Security Testing and Medium. Ideally, yeah, Desperado as well – and given that they’re the same influence if you’re splashing them I’d grab two Desperadoes first. But the thing with Medium is that, especially after a virus wipe or when it first hits the table, you usually know your first run will be a throwaway. You need to get in twice to have a real chance of seeing something useful, and it’ll snowball from there.

If you intend to run twice in a turn, setting Security Testing to R&D allows to get a bit of a rebate on that first run. A couple of times maybe the top three cards will all be things you want to see and can interact with, because of Imp or Scrubber or whatever. But a lot of the time the top card is likely to be ice or an operation when you haven’t got Imp out.

It saves you a click vs running on Archives or an undefended remote. It makes running in on a taxing server twice in one turn a little less taxing – which is important for both Anarch and Criminal decks hoping to establish R&D lock. It means you do see two cards in the end if you’re low on credits and would otherwise fall just short. It lets you Lucky Find and make two runs to end the turn on 1 credit after seeing two cards even if the server costs 6 credits to get into each time.

Sure, it’s situational. But the other thing is, almost no corp player I’ve run into actually expects that play, even with both cards on the table.

If you’re running Desperado in Anarch, I highly recommend swapping your third for a Security Testing, or (if you have influence to spare) slotting one in anyway. I used to run a 2 Desperado, 2 Security Testing build out of Whizzard that was quite good. I was not, but I challenged much better people than I was with it because of the ability to deal with RP and NEH, and even HB (by clicking through something taxing the first time to get the cash for a proper run afterward). I’d’ve run 3 and 2 but only had access to two core sets at the time.

I know 2 and 1 is anathema to a lot of folks, but it’s like running 2 DBS and 2 Jackson in Butchershop. Consider them as 3 copies of the “efficient run economy” card that has the benefit that you can have more than one of them out at a time. Sec Test without Medium or Desperado is still decent for Anarchs running Datasucker/Parasite, or who are playing an asset spamming corp deck and just need to ability to effectively hammer an Opus once/turn to keep up with the money.

Likewise, if you’re a Criminal running Medium (and obviously you’re already running Desperado and Security Testing) then I similarly recommend giving this a shot when you have the chance. It really improves Medium digging, which I do think is generally superior to RDI if you can spare the influence. 2 Medium > 3 RDI, wooo!

What about you? Have you noticed any plays that combine decent cards in ways you didn’t expect to be so effective, or found surprisingly powerful uses people don’t normally see?

EDIT: I confess, part of this is also just that high-level player common sense is so interesting and useful for others to see. One of the big bits of NEH Butchershop “tech” is scoring astros to never-advance a Breaking News that leaves the runner open to dying in traffic or apartment collapse without requiring a run or steal or even much money first. Especially nasty if, like one poor soul that hadn’t run across the deck before (cough), you siphon them down to 0 and ditch the tags, only to have them pop the BN you thought was the Marked Account you knew they drew last turn and hit you for 6 free meat damage because you foolishly though their lack of credits plus your lack of tags meant safety from that particular outcome and one more turn of deep-digging on R&D with Medium when they couldn’t overscore a Beale or rez much ice would win you the game.

Similarly, never-advanced or otherwise scored-with-a-click left BNs can be used for the obvious resource trashing and even closed accounts, but a lot of less-veteran players forget it when going up against NBN.

These are pretty obvious plays to a lot of good runners, but they’re not necessarily intuitive and I want to promote sharing of this kind of stuff because that kind of critical analysis in-the-moment is important for developing skill as a player.


The big one is sacrificial construct+some card that would trash itself that’s powerful in and of itself. Current candidates are:

These are the only cards that interact with it at the moment that have value in my opinion

  1. Clot (means that cyberdex is not enough)
  2. Faerie (Best killer in the game becomes more permanent)
  3. Lamprey?

Also, but not good: Ixodidae, Crypsis, Pawn (for extra triggers), Q-Coherence
Cards I wish it worked with: New Angeles City Hall, The Source, Tri-Maf

But for that last list, you can fall guy instead, which turns out to not be a bad deal, especially in the case of the source. But 2 inf for the source? :confused:


Triggering Daily Business Show on the Runner’s turn is super satisfying. This can happen by resolving a subroutine of Errand Boy, or when playing NEH also by resolving a subroutine of Architect or Crick.

Keeping an unrezzed Excalibur around until a key moment can totally wreck a Runner’s plan if they’re unable to interact with it. For example if their plan is “Siphon HQ, then run remote” or “bounce off Archives (because of RP ability), run remote” then Excalibur ruins everything.

For NBN, knowing when you can make a 3 point Beale is really important. For example install unadvanced to feign something they don’t need to check, then Biotic, 4-advance, Astro token.

Stimhacking with Hayley and a Workshop or SMC, then using your bonus ID install to install something from hand with Stimhack money. Combine with Replicator to search the second copy for something like double Silencer or double RDI.


Sacrificial Construct + Faerie does not work. Faerie’s trash ability is a paid ability. If you prevent it from being trashed, you’re not paying the ability cost, and thus the effect does not happen.

EDIT: Nevermind, I’m dumb!

No, it’s not a paid ability. It triggers when you break a sub.


Ah, you’re right, nevermind. I guess it’s been a while since I looked at Faerie closely. My bad!

I’m a big fan of this move. Other modes: this is just an NAPD don’t run it game, maybe in a server they already know has ash or caprice. Next turn, advance 3x’s and astro. Its similar, but satisfying. A player lost to me this morning when he could have biotic’d and double astro tokened a beale for 5 3 points. The five point beale is real, and I never see people do it enough.

Similar, a low pressure tag deck can make a very efficient psychographics FA deck. 2-3 tags is all you need to stick and then the card is 2x’s as efficient as biotic. Getting that 2-3 tags to stick is the hard part. Its sometimes easy to just get 1 when you need the kill, and occasionally you can flood them out; but trickling is tough. Anyone who has ideas on getting tags to stick in low quantities gets a high five from me at worlds.


Wait, 5 points? The astros net one… IAA, double Biotic, the astros? Am I missing something, was that the play they had, or did you mean 3 point Beale with 5 advances scored from hand with the one Biotic?

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He means scoring it as a 5/3.


Subconsciously; I tynk eye tipod


Along a similar line Eater + Sec Testing + Cutlery. You want to trash ice on a particular server, so you set your sec testing there and recoup some of the credits lost for cutlery, and it’s not like you were going to access anyway. You can push this further with Doppelganger (bounce back in on the same click, works well with sec testing anyway), Desperado (recoup more money, also works well with Sec Testing), Spinal Modem, Lamprey, etc…


Big fan of this; Spinal Modem’s my jam because as the server gets more expensive it allows you to exchange those recurring credits for real credits. Gets better with suckers & cyberfeeder too… And out of criminal pheromones is a good source. You hold onto desperado and maybe to central only breakers. I’m brewing an andy list that does this, but it needs more testing…

Two of my favourites:

Heinlein Grid is a great Wanton Destruction counter.

Hades Shard lets you score agendas in Archives without triggering Midseasons or Punitive Counterstrike - just make sure to fire it at the start of the Corp turn.


…wow. That’s so obvious, and yet… I mean, they can Jackson 'em out, but so often they might leave some in there still for later, and… oh my god that’s beautiful.

[quote=“erinrockabitch, post:11, topic:3835”]
Eater + Sec Testing + Cutlery
[/quote]Hadn’t properly considered that, but seems pretty viable, yeah. Good way to make Eater less of a drawback, at least. Knew the same trick with Lamprey, but of course you can also Sec Test HQ with Lampreys if you care about the econ swing more than the access.

[quote=“gumOnShoe, post:12, topic:3835”]
Gets better with suckers & cyberfeeder too…
[/quote]I’m so sad that Cyberfeeder usually isn’t worth it. 3 recurring credits for icebreakers is so much fun with Sec Test (or to supplement bad pub). Have usually stayed away from Spinal Modem due to Ash trace concerns, but I suppose that has the potential for 5 icebreaker credits each turn, 2 from the Security Testing. Even for just the R&D run I was talking about, that’s a total of 7 credits rebated over two successful runs, putting two counters on your Medium. Not bad, though in that particular case Desperado does as much econ work – but I can see it helping get through taxing servers to turn recurring into real credits or collect datasuckers. Huh.

A friend did the Pheromones/Lamprey/Nerve Agent thing, it was surprisingly frustrating but too slow to get going.

I dunno that it’s a particularly useful interaction overall, but I know @crossbrainedfool has had a lot of fun with his one-of Archives Interface. It’s that card that’s probably not great even in his Kim deck and should be something else, but which has screwed over multiple people because they forget he has it and he goes in and removes super valuable stuff one wants to Jackson later… like trashed Jacksons, high-influence operations, and things like that. I don’t want to claim it’s great (it really shouldn’t have had the cost increased), but if you’re doing a lot of trashing/milling and cleaning up on archives, might be worth toying with for the trouble it gives decks that want to have cards cycle through the deck again and again with Jackson.

Crick is not optional, it must install a card from archives if there is a card that can be installed.

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A similar trick is to Retrieval Run when you suspect agendas are in archives. If they don’t Jackson, you can decline to trigger Retrieval Run and access instead.


I prefer to try and avoid relying on account siphon as an economy piece for similar reasons. Being able to use it to twist the knife, rather than relying on those credits yourself, is quite satisfying, as is watching them trying to blow all their credits on rezzes when you were planning to just access anyway.

Self-Destruct behind an Architect is funny.

It doesn’t add to the trace, though. You can use it to add other cards to the server before blowing it up, but only cards that actually get trashed matter to Self-Destruct.

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I tend to think of the damage as secondary, I wouldn’t run self destruct to a deck that wasn’t trying to deny server access, personally. And 1 trace isn’t really a significant burden on the corp, imo. I hear you though