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Jakodrako's Primer on Netrunner Abilities


Spike + Wraparound disagrees totally with your 1 then 2 then 3.

No chief, it doesn’t. In fact, it’s a great example of why paying doesn’t occur in 1.

If paying occurred in 1, then @ step 2, it would:

  1. Not fire because spike isn’t active.
  2. Not fire because Wrap is strength 7 (assuming that Spike was the only breaker).

But given that paying happens in 2 (and given that step 3 is guaranteed to fire after step 2 succeeds), we have the following flow:

  1. Pay for spike; trashing (step 2)
  2. Wrap hits +7
  3. Break a barrier sub (step 3)

It doesn’t matter that wrap got +7; step 2 fired, so step 3 is firing.


No, no, no. Paying a prereq always intervenes before the prereq is met. Core rules…

Effects exist weither the card is still active or not (Allele, Peddler, all trash paid). Effect of this one is break sub, so it breaks subs. Regardless of the str.

If you pay in 2 then pause, you have that perma wrap that still bump str so your own reason blocks you.

You don’t dup effect at 2 or 3, you dup effect at 1. The effect is in the list of stuff to solve, waiting their 2+3, given simultaneousity problems, nested triggers, cascading stuff or special rulings if I don’t forget anything.

Nothing can intervenes between 2 and 3 besides prevent/avoid. So why making them two if in fact it’s the same, allready described by core rules ?

There is no lists of 2 waiting, and lists of 3 waiting. Problem if this is priority of 2 vs 3, 3 vs 2, 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3. This is generating this way 4 times the actual problems.
There is only a list of 2+3 waiting, eventually broke by prevent / avoid.


Actually, just looked at the core rule manual. There is absolutely no precedent in here that paying costs has to occur at 1 vs. 2.

Under Triggered Abilities:

In order to use a triggered ability a prerequisite must be met. This prerequisite is either a trigger cost that must be paid (paid ability) […]

This just says that the pre-requisite must be met before execution (step 3). Doesn’t say it needs to be when evaluating if it can actually be triggered.

Under Paid Abilities:

In order to trigger a paid ability, a trigger
cost must be paid. The most common trigger costs are […]

Likewise, this doesn’t specify that it has to occur when evaluating if triggering is available.

So, if we use Jako’s steps, on entering a paid ability window, we have:

  1. All paid abilities that are valid for the window are determined to be able to trigger.
  2. Of the abilities that are able to trigger, the runner decides if they will trigger by paying the cost (proccing any abilities fitted by paying the cost).
  3. Resolve the paid ability.

This is an equally valid interpretation of the core rules. So don’t make this sound like it’s Jako’s model vs. the rules. It’s Jako’s model vs. your interpretation of the rules. There’s no rule contradiction.


It’s not jako’s model vs the core model, it’s the way you understand the jako’s model vs the universe dude :wink:


This is jako’s 1. Core rules say, you quoted those, that in order to meet prereq, cost must be paid.
That is happening before 1.


You’re right it is my interpretation. But it is interpretation vs. interpretation; don’t make it sound like you have high ground here.

Anyway, unless there’s a specific card interaction you think Jako’s model is busted for, I think our discussion on this front is done. Feel free to ask for clarification if you feel like something specific and tangible is broken with the model.


Well, like I said 2 lists vs 3 lists priorities in that model ? This is complicating prio by 4 :confused:


Dammit, now I want to build a Comet deck around Uninstall - Comet Trigger - Apocalypse.


While it was under conditional abilities, it makes sense to be a general triggered-ability concept right? Perhaps with some rewordings on step 1 to indicate your choosing to later trigger it, and on step 2 to indicate that’s where costs are paid.

There’s nothing wrong with having something separate for paid abilities either. My only train of thought is that it’s nice if there’s a general model, because not all paid abilities occur in paid ability windows (ex: disrupter), and it would be nice to have a generic model that ties in how paid abilities work in conjunction with triggered abilities that potentially happen at the same time.

But that’s more a design level thing than it is a rule-discussion level, I suppose.

Edit: I forgot disrupter was a prevent effect. Nevermind my musings on that front. But I do think the resolution of paid and triggered could follow the same flow.


I’d also add to the article that replacement effects and delayed effects trigger at “static speed”, i.e. faster than triggered abilities (reading the Salsette Slums + NBN: CtA ruling).


I agree, the division in two stages rather than 3 seems more natural to me too (without the intention of diminishing the great work done by Jakodrako to lay out the rules as simply as possible).

The way I understood triggered abilities is that of two stages:

  • trigger (some effect triggers as a certain game state is reached or a cost is being paid) and
  • resolution (where the rest of the ability other than the trigger and related cost come into effect).

The problem is that triggers can be nested: paying the cost of a trigger to trigger an ability might set off a second trigger and so on.
In this cases my understanding is that the triggers have the precedence over the corresponding resolutions and, quite literally, pile up. Then, once all the triggers have fired, you start to resolve the triggers pile from the top all the way down to the bottom so that the corresponding effects come in to play starting from the top triggers down to the bottom one.

Another problem is that triggers can be simultaneous, in which case the player that controls all the simultaneous triggers decides the order they fire and resolve. If triggers are controlled by both the players, the active player’s triggers and effects go first. Notice that simultaneous triggers are not nested, i.e. they do not pile up like nested triggers do and their effect are resolved before the other simultaneous triggers are considered. It is then possible that resolving a first triggers sets the game to a state where the second trigger is not actually triggered anymore, like with femme fatal and booth.

In this scheme the interaction between Geist, CC and tech trader is clear, right? Trashing CC (and selecting at the same time a legal target) sets off both Geist’s and tech trader’s triggers which are simultaneous. The pile then contains the CC trigger, at the bottom and Geist+TT triggers on top, at the same level. The controlling player has to break the simultaneity of the two top tiggers and decides, say, that Geist goes first, resolving it. At this point the pile contains two nested triggers: CC on the bottom and TT on top. You first resolve the top one, TT, and then the bottom one, CC. Does this make sense?

As for Salsette Slums and CtA my understanding is that, by using Salsette Slum your are paying the trash cost to remove a card from the game, not to trash it. In this way CtA does not trigger.

I find this a bit confusing because to trigger an ability you have to pay its cost, for instance you trigger clone chip by trashing it so there shouldn’t be any state of the game in which CC is triggered but still in play.


This is what I thought at first, but I think in the case of paid abilities you have to view both the cost and effect as part of the ability. Like for Corroder the ability isn’t “+1 strength”, it’s “1c: +1 strength”. There are potentially weird things that happen if it’s structured such that you pay the cost before the ability is triggered. Like spike vs wraparound, if you trash Spike before you’ve triggered the ability, then Spike can no longer interact with the now 7 strength Wraparound.


I believe the interaction between spike and Wraparound is similar to the one of sneakdoor and something that trashes it during the sneakdoor run.

The effect on spike says: “trash: break 3 subs” and can only be triggered if spike matches or overshoot the strength of the ICE being encountered. Once you trigger it the effect resolves independently of the strength of the ICE. If spike said “trash: break 3 subs on an ICE with strength 5 or less” I would agree with you.


Psst, it’s not worth it :wink:


This is exactly my point. If you pay the cost before triggering the ability, Spike can no longer interact with Wraparound because Wraparound goes to 7 Str.


Spike can no longer interact with wraparound because it was trashed but the effect of its paid ability, that was triggered by trashing it, persists and still resolves breaking three subs on a str 7 wraparound. It is like the case in which you were running with sneakdoor beta on the archives and sneakdoor beta gets trashed. If the run is successful you are still transferred to HQ.

In other words I believe that the ICE strength check happens at the moment of the trigger only. Even when you use corroder you check the STR of the ICE at the moment of the trigger: if the ICE is stronger you cannot pay one cred and therefore you cannot resolve the related ability. Does this make sense?


So you’re checking if you can trigger before paying costs? Maybe instead of trigger - pay - resolve, it’s more adequate to word it evaluate - trigger (paying costs) - resolve. But regardless, there definitely does need to be a point of consideration to determine if an ability can be performed before actually paying for the ability. Otherwise you get into trashing clones with Geist just for draws and no clone effect (which we know is not right).


Alternatively you could say that evaluating if a paid ability can trigger is just outside the timing structure altogether, and then it devolves into trigger (pay) - resolve.

If given this, what does pay - trigger - resolve do tangibly different than trigger (pay) - resolve?


What we’re looking at is a way to repurpose the 1-2-3 steps Jacob created for resolving conditional triggered abilities. Those steps are:

  1. Trigger condition met
  2. Trigger
  3. Resolve

What I’m saying is that

  1. Pay Costs
  2. Trigger
  3. Resolve

Will not work in the case of Spike for the same reason that you don’t get to draw 2 cards from Wyldside after you’ve sold it to Aesop’s Pawnshop (the example given in OP). When you pay the cost in step 1 by trashing Spike, you haven’t triggered the ability yet. If when you reach 2 you can no longer trigger, then the ability fails. Wraparound is 7 strength and spike can no longer interact.

So then triggering the ability must be either instantaneous alongside paying the cost or must be a step before paying the cost.


Yes, exactly. Evaluating a trigger is on the same ground as evaluating if I can spend a click to play a card/initiate a run/draw a card; essentially you are checking that your next action will not violate the rules, so this is external to the trigger-resolve timing.

Definitely, because with the second wording it seems, for instance, that there exist a board state where you triggered the clone chip ability but the clone chip has still to be trashed.

Likewise distinguishing between paying and trigger shadows the fact that triggering is paying the cost


From the core rules:

Paid abilities- In order to trigger a paid ability, a trigger
cost must be paid. The most common trigger costs are spending
clicks, credits, or hosted counters, and trashing cards. A
card’s trigger cost is always listed in its text box before the
effect, following the format “cost: effect.”

The very first line is making me lean towards triggering the ability and the cost being simultaneous rather than 2 steps. :+1: