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(New Player) How do I use Account Siphon correctly?

Disclaimer!!! I am a new player and my store is doing a slow progression league where we implement two data packs every two weeks until we are caught up. We are now on humanity shadow.

Everyone keeps telling me that this card is awesome and sometimes it is. A lot of other times it’s sitting in my hand and I can’t figure out how to use it.

Against decks that want to burn my house down, I have to clear my tags or die.

Against deck that are playing fair, I still have to clear my tags because they will click money, click money, trash my kati jones, or other important resources.

So I’m never sure when to fire off account siphon correctly.

Any help is appreciated.

You can clear tags for 2 credits and a click each; a common play is:
Click 1: Install breaker to break whatever is on HQ
Click 2: Play Account Siphon, gaining 10 credits
Click 3: Clear Tag
Click 4: Clear Tag

Alternatively, you can play with less resources and not care about being tagged, just make sure you use Plascrete Carapace.

I did a league like that! It’s actually how I got into Netrunner and it was a blast.

Let’s see… Humanity’s Shadow, first cycle. Welcome to the era of Weyland & Scorched Earth.

Account Siphon is a difficult to use card. I’d say it has 3 uses:

  1. Early game (just to create a lead and let yourself continue attacking or set up in peace while the Corp recovers)
  2. If the corp has a bunch of unrezzed ICE somewhere other than HQ (Common strategy is Account Siphon, run remote most likely with agenda)
  3. As an econ card and to simply disrupt plans.

Of course, if you want to protect Kati or yourself, simple save up a turn so you can run Siphon click 1, so you can double click the tags. Crash Space is a good card for this click 1 Siphoning you want to be doing.

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Account Siphon can also be a decent way to force them to rez ice over HQ itself, either making runs elsewhere easier, or helping you do something else. Not a big concern for you where you’re at in the cardpool, but still a generally useful play (even if less ideal than most).

Depending on the skill level of your opponents, you can also use the mere threat of account siphon to get a lot of free early accesses. As corp against criminal, you often have to let the runner into HQ for fear of showing them what ice type they have on HQ, which will let the runner special order for the right breaker then siphon. Likewise, if they have an expensive ice on r+d (like tollbooth), they won’t want to rez it until HQ is secure, for fear of siphon and/or emergency shutdown. These are especially true if the corp mulligans.

Losing kati jones is not a big deal as you should be running multiple copies of her. You just have to decide whether the impact of siphon is worth it (such as getting into a remote for free), and of course take all your credits off kati that turn.

Ok so I should just start using it more often and let it do it’s thing. I keep being hesitant to fire it off.
Is there a time when I shouldn’t use account siphon? Like against certain decks?

Make sure when you AS, you always have 4+ cards at the end of your turn to avoid a single scorched earth killing you. Or have a plascrete carapace up for meat damage protection. If you know they’re running scorched earth, don’t run AS mid/late game (when they may have double scorch in hand) unless you can handle taking 8 meat damage (which is what a double scorch does) or unless you have time to remove both tags.