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IT Department is (probably not really) bad for the game

One thing I always liked about Netrunner over Magic is that you never get to “hard lock” your opponent out of the game entirely. There’s always a push-and-pull between players that lasts right up until the end – even if you fall way behind, you can still play to your unlikely “out” of getting lucky on R&D accesses. But now…

I’m worried about this card.

It’s pretty easy to get going in the early game with its high trash cost, especially backed up by Ash. It lets you durdle indefinitely while you set up just enough econ to rez all your ice. Then it lets you bypass the normal late-game dynamic of leveraging your money against the runner’s (i.e. with ash, sea source, or biotic/sansan), instead letting you match your clicks against the runner’s, often at a better than 1-to-1 rate. And finally, its games will always go to time.

Someone please reassure me that this deck is somehow “win-more”, or that it has enough bad matchups (I expect noise would win easily, at least) that it won’t end up as tier 1 in tournament settings?

I was trying it out in a 59-card deadcoats shell, but it’s probably better without punitives since, apart from the very early game, you’re not trying to be richer than the runner.

ITD 59

Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future (Core Set)

Agenda (11)
3x Domestic Sleepers i[/i]
1x Eden Fragment (The Spaces Between)
2x Executive Retreat (Trace Amount)
1x Hades Fragment (Up and Over)
3x Priority Requisition (Core Set)
1x Utopia Fragment (The Source)

Asset (14)
3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
3x Eve Campaign (Humanity’s Shadow)
2x Executive Boot Camp (All That Remains) ••
3x IT Department (The Source)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••

Upgrade (3)
3x Ash 2X3ZB9CY (What Lies Ahead)

Operation (8)
2x Archived Memories (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
3x Successful Demonstration (Creation and Control)

Barrier (6)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof)
3x NEXT Silver i[/i]

Code Gate (7)
2x Datapike (Creation and Control)
3x NEXT Bronze (Opening Moves)
2x Tollbooth (Core Set) ••••

Sentry (9)
3x Archer (Core Set) ••••• •
3x Architect (Up and Over)
3x Rototurret (Core Set)

Other (1)
1x Mother Goddess i[/i]

15 influence spent (max 15)
24 agenda points (between 24 and 25)
59 cards (min 45)
Cards up to The Source

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


There are a few cards in Netrunner that mostly ignore ice strength (Femme, David, Inside Job), and these are commonly played. You’re going to need a lot more ice to protect your IT Dept in most games. David + e3 (usually seen out of Quetzal) completely obliterates it. That CT/Oracly May deck is particularly ill-suited to deal with it since in my experience it is not very fast to set up, and its only trick is tons of money.


Yesssssss, the corporation shouldn’t need to pay money to keep out the filthy runner menace, they have teams of people to deal with that, aka the IT department. But inside job, d4v1d and femme definitely see play enough, that you really can’t be sure it’s safe with just one ice. But when you throw your femme and d4v1d counters away on it ice, it has done its job. Without IT department, chaos/may are unstoppable basically, and that’s pretty much a hard lock anyway.

I think it’s really hard to tell from one screen grab of a game against a deck that is clearly not set up to deal with the threat. How has your experience been in other games? As previous posters have said - throw Femme, D4V1D or Inside Job into the mix and there’s a lot more to think about. Yes once everything is set-up the runner is still going to struggle but the setup will be much harder work.

My one experience of IT Department was an opponent who sat there gaining counters until he had 20 or so. Problem was I had Incubators out and 2x D4V1D in hand. One demolion run on R&D and it was all over.

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If you just sit there getting counters for no reason, you’re just asking for shenanigans. The right way, is to use the counters as a tax, and against femme and d4v1d, you have to protect it a bit. But rototurret goes a long way on an it server. I hard rezzed a Wotan to protect my IT department, and that ended up being the right call against criminal. I mean, it could have been inside jobbed, and the guy even played it, but he didn’t have it in hand, and I eventually put a lotus field above it protecting it a bit more. Its all about timing, he didn’t have a program to offer Wotan, and if he did, who’s getting the better deal, me or him? It’s basically an alternate win condition for the corp against certain decks, if you can potentially hit someone with archer, in spite of their garrote. It takes time to nurture, and it doesn’t always work. But actually being able to advance agendas against a runner with a full rig, kind of makes you feel like the game isn’t broken.

It’s a fair point; the pictured game was definitely an easy mode matchup. So far I also played against andysucker; I ended up losing by misplay but the game was definitely winnable (despite losing 6 points early before getting IT going). IJ and femme do make set-up harder, but with two ETR ice on the IT, they need both IJ and femme, and 3 ice is a lock. Need more games before I get a sense for whether setup can still be fast enough.


So was 22 tokens on IT really necessary?


Myself and a friend have been testing a Foundry ITD deck and it can get REALLY crazy. The games tend to be long (as you noted), with a final push on R&D accessing the only 3 cards of his deck winning it.

That card feels very kill on sight. If it even gets to like 5 counters it can feel really absurd, and that only takes one turn of them not being able to get in.

I’m worried too actually. The games I’ve played against it felt a bit helpless (far more so than, say, RP with two Niseis scored) and I’m not sure I’d want a new player to play against ITD for that reason.

I’m pretty sure no situation is more helpless than RP with double Nisei…


we’ve been playing around with it quite a bit, and honestly it’s not any worse (in fact a bit more clunky) than a SanSan City grid, and out playgroup has simply started to treat it that way.

–It has a very high cost to get up and running (in one case creds, in another case clicks)

–It requires others cards to be played or in hand to be truly useful (agendas and ICE; even more ICE and credits to rez them)

–If the runner just “lets the corp keep it” for a few turns, the game is almost certainly over (the corp has a huge AP lead/has already won; all ICE is now nearly impossible to break)

My opinion is that most of these games are going lopsided because players just aren’t treating this card as what it is: must trash


I’ve treated it as a must trash and it can still get out of hand if used at the right moment. It protects itself, too.

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I’d rather face ITD than Caprice and Nisei tokens.


IT department requires good timing, and the right ice. Rototurret seems to be the ice that really shines with it, or archer, as they can both end the run. But those cards are vulnerable enough, and HB needs a boost, have you seen those worlds results?

On a side note, double nisei tokens, mmmmmmm

Just make sure that new player has inside job and femme fatale in their deck, and teach them about bluffing, and then they become a man/woman.

So far 3-0 vs shaper (2 katmans with femme and parasite and the 1 oracle may) and 1-1 vs crim. Haven’t gotten a chance to try vs noise yet.

Thoughts on card choices so far: Executive retreat is actually really great in this deck. I’d cut the utopia fragment for a 3rd copy (eden is better since runner creds don’t matter but corp creds do). Enigma seems better than datapike, and I suspect it needs to have 2 lotus fields (instead of 2nd TB maybe) to be able to beat noise.

I’ve been having some luck combining all three together

someone hasn’t yet had the JOY of playing anarch against a BS weyland with docklands crackdown. My opponent, like yours, felt that it was worth his time to make his opponent suffer.

Crackdown is nothing compared to ITD as it can never lock you out of the game completely. Sure, Crackdown hurts your econ a lot, but it doesn’t mean you lose if it gets to a big amount (and it doesn’t really protect itself) - if worst comes to worst you can always out-race them with plain old clicking for credits.

I just realised it’s not limited to once per run per ICE. That sounded so logical that I didn’t properly read the card.

Even letting it sit for a turn you are looking at +7 str on a very damaging piece of ICE. Wow, that’s just scary


I’m probably not as good of a player, but I tried out my own version of an IT deck the last couple of days. It did well against “established” runners that I’m used to seeing, but got face-checked pretty hard but some off the wall builds. Lost to Account Siphon Reina, Quetzal/Overmind/E3, and anyone with David in general. It is pretty powerful, but it takes a lot to get set up. Inside job means you really have to prep against criminal, and it can be really click intensive to set up. Trying to load IT plus makes money and keep the runner out of HQ/RD at the same time is a lot. I was using efficiency committee and bifrost to try to set up turns where I could put massive numbers of counters on IT dept in one go, but only rarely was able to pull it off.

Not saying one way or the other, just my experiences thus far.