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Jakodrako's Primer on Netrunner Abilities


Good points all around.


Note that this was for conditional abilities I’m pretty sure (IE: if a conditional succeeds step 2, is guaranteed to perform step 3). Maybe it’s the same for paid abilities (I feel like it probably should be), but I’d need to think about it more as to if there are counter examples.


Psst, yes it does…
Psst, you don’t know the reasons :wink:

If you just want moar angry noobs on tweeter asking questions in frengrish, just tell me to stop to act like a buffer for questions in my country ?

I need exactitude for this or I can’t transmit your words and work guys :slight_smile:
I also need exactitude because the general feeling there is “it’s all illogic, ffg break Netrunner, it’s stupid” etc.

I’d admit I’m not the last one to say “it’s stupid”, so I’m stupid too… Haha.


Wyldside doesn’t trigger. It’s a constant. Constant does not trigger. Trashed constant break its effect immediately (unless it launched trigger effects).

Only paid ab copy their effects just after being paid. See Allele and Peddler precisions, or Spike-Wrap, or stuff like that.

The problem on advancable trash paid, or peddler was “hey if I trash the card, I trash stuff hosted on it, so I can’t use the ab ?”

Lukas said effects on trash paid are copied before being trashed and that solved this.

This solved the reason why you can call back Allele with a counter on it, or break Wrap with spike.


You’re replying too early in the thread! Read the whole way through, you’ll see I’ve come to a better understand than that :slight_smile:

Also Wyldside most definitely is triggered. “When your turn begins” is like the basic definition of a conditional triggered ability.


Does anyone else feel like they know the rules of Netrunner pretty damn well, read these threads, and feel like they don’t know what the hell they are doing afterwards? I spend my days interpreting hideously complicated federal regulations for a living, and statements like this:

make me reach for my coffee and reevaluate myself. Not a slight at all on you ironcache or anyone going through these rules - I really appreciate it and perversely enjoy lurking on these threads. They crack me up, frankly.

Side note: I have a couple of casual friends who play, and I tried to explain the logic behind the SDB / ST rules and they just looked at me like I was a lunatic.



All triggered abilities exist independently of their source once triggered - paid or conditional. See IT Department.


Ah great, I though it was only paids. Thanks !


I think you can, but you need a 0-1-2c program in your heap so you can pretend it was the card you wanted.
Applying the effect is “install a program from heap”. Now you got 2+3c, you can choose whatever you want costing 5c or less.

Paying cost examine the effect. If you can play the effect and can pay the cost, then you can validate prerequisites (which is cost only, for 90% of payings). So pay.
Then there is a pause here, for simultaneous.
After that pause where you can solve all simultaneous effect with the priority rules you know, you can say the effect is triggered and apply the effect. With no pause (in corerules at least).

The effect can fizzle if priority made you fizzle prerequisites (Femme - Tollbouth), or the effect directly (Ixo Fester on corp’s purge, I think, but not sure, and we’re not talking payings anymore there)
If you can apply it, there you can choose taking new targets of your effect if you want.

That would be because the “triggered effect” are not part of the prerequisites that trigger the ability.
Effects checking are just a “can change boardstate” check made with “can I pay”, before paying a cost to validate prereqs and eventually wait for the effect to trigger & solve.
To me, only additional cost acts like a prevent/avoid in phase 1. So the acting player can avoid paying and not trigger an effect.
Then 2+3, amended by prevent / avoid and fizzling stuff.

That’s how I see the Scavenge ruling working naturally, anyway.

Recap for Scavenge:
You can’t use Scavenge if the only program is on table and not in grip or heap or if you would have money problems targeting those grip/heap cards.
If you have one in grip or heap, and also can pay for it minus a scavenge reduction, then you can pay the additional trash installed prog cost, so you there triggered a paid, and for the effect change your mind about the target for the program you just trashed.

Typically, an empty Cache or Lady to refill, with a SMC sitting in heap.

In your original exemple I think you could install a 3c prog with no tech playing first install with Kate, but that’s an “I think”. Quite sure but meh I just forgot that, I would have to check.


Wyldside is a conditional ability. The condition is “When your turn begins.” Let’s keep things straight here.


I think I’m going to start listing cards and their ability types. Maybe you already have, Jacob. :slight_smile:


In the past, identifying what type of ability each ability is has been a problem. This would be a super useful reference resource.


It would need to be done in a manner that handles the edge cases though (which is usually where the confusion lies). Things like Slums setting up a constant ability within a conditional trigger, or sneakdoor setting up a constant ability within an action.


Paperclip has issues with this. As far as I know, you can pay 2 with Paperclip to pump and then break a Wall of Static, and not, for example, 2 to pump and then 1 to break.

The issue is that Paperclip couldn’t have broken the sub if you compare Strength on activation. But if you compare strength on resolution, Spike/Wrap has an issue. As far as I can figure, we do compare strength on resolution, but for the special case of self-trash effects, we have to look back at the board state before the self was trashed to determine if the ability could resolve/do anything. At that point, Wrap was 0 and Spike was 1+ so it works.

So it sort of goes like:

0: Spike is strength 1, Wraparound is strength 0.
1: Spike's trash cost paid.
1.0: Spike is strength 0, Wraparound is strength 7.
1.1: Tech Traders trigger and resolve, increasing credit count.
1.2: Resolve Spike's subroutine. We refer to state 0, not state 1.0 to determine if it's broken.

States 0 and 1.0 are more of State of Game then they are any triggers that are happening… (Things that are True; Constant abilities.)

It’s possible that we wouldn’t even be able to activate Spike unless it could break the subroutine, under the ‘Must change gamestate’ ruling?

For SOT:

0: Levy in trash, Deja Vu in trash, 2 credits in pool, 3 Tech Traders, SOT on board.
1: Pay SOT costs.
1.1: Tech Traders trigger and resolve; 5 credits in pool.
1.2: Resolve SOT: Choose an Event in Heap and pay its play cost, then play that Event.
1.2.1: Choose Levy.
1.2.2: Pay 5 credits.
1.2.3: Play Levy.

As far as I can tell, the difference is that SOT is not self-referencing during its resolution. Spike is referencing its own strength, and for that it has to look back before it was trashed. Street Peddler, likewise, is referencing cards that were hosted on it, which once it’s trashed, are no longer hosted on it, so it must look back before it was trashed. SOT does not have to look back to before it was trashed, as it isn’t referencing anything on itself, but instead just instructing you to pick an Event from the Heap.

(That said, I’m always super confused by that ruling that you can’t activate things unless their resolution would do something without taking into account costs/triggers. So I’m open to me being Entirely Wrong here.

It’s entirely non-sensical and now that Caissa is fixed, holds the title for ‘Least Intuitive Ruling’ in my mind. Just because I don’t support or understand it doesn’t mean I’ll pretend it doesn’t exist, though, so I always try to follow related rulings… There were a couple times I would’ve liked to Scavenge but couldn’t due to the ruling. :stuck_out_tongue:)


The problem is that the latest FAQ directly contradicts your flow:

When a card has a trash ability that is triggered, any reference to the game state within that resolving effect is based on the game state as it was at the moment of trashing, but with the trashed card considered a new copy of that card in Archives or the heap.

It’s a little rules-lawyer-y, but anyone who reads that section of the FAQ would assume they can’t play levy (despite that likely not being intended). The game state at the moment of trashing did not have 5 credits available to play levy @ step 1.

Similar arguments could be made for geist drawing the intended SMC target, or CC/SMC + TT.


1.0 spike effect get a copy upon activation.


The only reference to the game state that SOT has is that the Event has to be in your Heap at the triggering point of SOT. ‘Pay its play cost’ doesn’t reference the game state, it’s an instruction that you carry out when told to do so, like ‘draw a card’ or ‘gain a credit’. ‘Break a subroutine’ is also an instruction, but it carries a connotation of ‘Icebreaker with this ability must have Strength equal or greater than ICE strength to resolve.’ so when checking that restriction, we refer to Before-Trash strengths.

You could argue that ‘Pay cost’ has a connotation of ‘have the credits in pool to pay cost’ and that’s why it’d refer back, but I feel that’s stretching it a bit? :confused:

Also note that ‘Paying its play cost’ in SOT and ‘Paying its install cost’ in SMC/Clone Chip are all parenthetical, which may have influence here?

With regards to Geist drawing the intended SMC target… Nothing is saying you still can’t resolve SMC. Although then we get to the extreme case where there’s one card in Stack, a Program, and you trigger SMC, draw the card with Geist, and then can’t resolve SMC… But in general, it works as you’d expect it to: You search your stack, which doesn’t include the card you drew from Geist, since it’s not in your stack now.


There’s no problem. See my last lenghty post, this is similar to a Scavenge reinstalling a Lady.

The installed Lady is not in grip or heap but it can still be reinstalled.
You can always choose how to apply effects if you have a choice at the time of resolution.


When you resolve SoT, it results in an event being played. The resolution of SoT is to play that event, so we’re referencing the board state at that time to determine if we can play the event (we can’t). The rule as listed doesn’t say to only reference the board state for the purposes of XYZ; it says any reference, which (by definition) makes no exceptions for core mechanics, such as determining/counting available credits to play events with.


Perhaps to make this more concrete, you aren’t allowed to try and play Sure Gamble (normally; no SoT shenanigans) with 3 credits. It’s not a matter of trying and failing, chucking it in the heap; you straight-up are not allowed to do it. We check the game state to determine if cards can be played or not. Since all references to the game state are pulled back in time to before the SoT trash, we’re now facing down that exact situation by trying to play levy in the SoT + TT example.