Let's Talk About Sandburg

Stupid card. Not cool design. Any card that takes an archetype from being really quite useless in the current meta (glacier) and instantly, with just one card, makes it super strong, is not good. It also isn’t hugely fun to play against, unless you love going for a massive grind.

You say “Pol Op it!”, I say “Interns? Jackson? Museum”?
You say “Account Siphon and control those credits!”, I say “Sometimes I like to play Shaper…”

It’s a massive problem that many of the decks I’ve designed just cant deal with without super specific tech’ing, which, unless I’m very much mistaken, was the main problem with IG Museum decks…having to so particularly tech your deck against one specific type, it neutered it against others.

And…grinding against a deck that has 3 centrals with a combined total strength on it of 80+ strength…No wonder they added D4vid to the MWL!!

Bleh, it’s ruining my Netrunner, and I’m finding i’d rather just concede when that first sandburg is rezzed, much like most of us did when we saw IG on the table across from us.

Anyone else all salty like me? Anyone think this card is fine/well balanced?

1 Like

It seems like everyone on Jinteki is playing it, which means I need to play a very specific deck and if I make any misstep I’ll be locked out of all servers simultaneously when this thing gets rezzed. (If Sandburg pumped the ice on ONE server it would be a challenging, but not insurmountable obstacle.) I have had some limited success with Political Operative, Drive-By, or a weird Panchatantra/Deus Ex thing, but ultimately it seems like the best play is Val, Rebirth, D4V1D, and cutlery. (Plus ça change, hein?!) If I do manage to Drive-By it, 3 x Archived Memories puts it right back the next turn, then 3 x Jacksons shuffle the whole pile of slop back into the deck.

I’ll admit, there’s something about the tone of the original post that makes me suspect a l33t player reverse-trolling people like me who are relatively new to the game and find some playstyles or card combos ubiquitous, alienating, and counter to the tense, hail mary, never say die mechanics that got me into the game. If not, can someone give me advice more practical than “keep the Corp low on credits.” Thx.

Here is a list of Solutions, several of which can be applied to Shaper if you want:

  • D4v1d

  • Cutlery

  • Quetzal or Whizzard

  • Account Siphon or Vamp

  • Political Operative or Councilman

  • Femme Fatale

  • Inside Job

  • Parasucker

  • Panchatantra + Deus X / Sharpshooter

  • How are you letting the corp get up to 80 credits while they are protecting 3 centrals, a remote for Sandburg, and a scoring remote? What did you do as a runner for the first 20 turns of the game to allow this boardstate? If you durdled that hard vs a Fast Advance deck, they would have won 6 turns ago.

We’ve seen a version of this card before with IT Department. It was totally a beatable card then, and this is totally beatable too.

Try adapting your game to some of the solutions above, and you will notice an improvement.


Sandburg is quite a slow deck. The two solutions you could go for are hayley spycam. And packing 2 Kati with pumpable breakers. Once you are set up you can click Kati click for 3cr and wait for the Corp to make a play. Leele seems very good keep legworks and rdi at the ready and wait for the install to bounce it back.

I really don’t think the card is broken maybe just playing a few more games against.

1 Like

If they were not playing sandburg (probably with NEXT or other cheap ice), then they would have 80 credits to spend on installing and rezzing better ice. Or 80 credits to pour into Ash traces and Caprice psi games. Or 80 credits to trace and scorch. Money is power and sandburg is just the latest way that the corp can convert money into winning.

It’s an interesting card in that it allows you to convert rushy cheap ice into late-game glacier ice, but it’s vulnerable to getting sniped and once it’s off the board, the corp is very vulnerable. That and the fact that it requires a second protected remote seems like a good balance to me.

More importantly (to me, anyway), the list of solutions given by @snake3yes above are not sandburg-specific. These are good general purpose tools that fit into a wide range of runner strategies.


Wait to use your PolOp until the turn you are running. Make a few high value runs instead of many low value runs.


Its very balanced. If it were an upgrade it would be OP.
Take that with a pinch of salt if you like.


As others have said, if the Corp is able to get 80 credits before rezzing Sandburg then you’re doing something wrong right off the bat.

The biggest impact I see Sandburg having is completely ruining Mimic as a sentry breaker, since its ice coverage goes way down, it can’t be pumped to compensate, and such ice can slip by alternate coverage by Atman/Deus/Shooter. Is it time to look at Ninja again? Maybe Shrike? Mongoose is still good.


agree on this - shrike starts to look like the better splash in shaper, because of this reason and also because its a good answer to Tour Guide, sandburg or no.


I won’t mourn for Mimic being ‘unreliable’ as a solution!

Sandburg doesn’t look the most fun card ever printed though.


I’m not sure it’s ever time for Ninja. Shrike is reasonable in Shaper though, and Faerie is, as always, great for Crim.

I think one effect of Sandburg is to encourage more Criminal in the meta, which is nice. They have credit denial, Pol Op, and bypass, all of which are good against it. Whether this is intentional or not, I don’t know, but I won’t complain about it.


The toughest thing about Sandburg is when the assets get out of control you can’t ignore them and just attack centrals anymore. the rezz to trash cost ratio…is quite aggressive too.

I will say so far it seems Damon is not afraid of " deal with this or lose bro" card design. I’m not sure if this or good or bad. I guess we’ll see by the end of the cycle.


San San City Grid is the ultimate ‘Deal with this or lose’ card, and has been in since the core set. This is not a Damon card design thing, it’s a Netrunner card design thing.


Yeah, it will probably be MWL-ed in a few months. Wish it was a weyland card.


I would have liked to see it as a Weyland 2 inf card. Would make more sense.

Also Palana/HB would have needed to think about including 1 or 2 sandburg in their decks. Now it’s too easy and almost an auto include.

It’s not broken, it’s just strong.


I highly doubt it will be MWL’d because I don’t think its that strong for the reasons listed above for it to become ubiquitous within the meta. The next candidates for MWL are GFI & Tech Trader with a few things coming off IMO.


I remember saying a few months back that GFI was too strong and needed to go on the mwl, but was shot down since it doesn’t really restrict design (or so they said).

Welcome to the dark side my friend.

1 Like

On the plus side, it does what no other card has done yet; convince the corp to defend two remotes.

We’ve gone from a meta where most decks didn’t even make a scoring server to one where it’s a viable strategy to create two defended remotes. Suddenly the game is back to being about ice and how to efficiently break it and the game is the closest it’s been to “real” netrunner for a while.

The only problem I have with Sandburg is that it’s way under-costed for its effect. Assets that can win the game for the corp shouldn’t cost more to trash than it costs to rez but this is something that FFG has failed to realize over 2 cycles.


Ugh, Account Siphon, such a stupid OP card. Money up you say? That’s impossible because they have Same Old Thing! I can’t believe I have to build my deck to counter Account Siphon!

Personally, I am glad that we have a new meta defining card instead of more milquetoast cardboard valium. Yeah, it requires some new thought and deck tweaking, but are we going to cry about every card that does?


I think by now we know the answer to this.