Oh, in case it was me that pitched Unregistered S&W, I apologize. That was a joke.
While Interdiction and Councilman do make the gun a bit less unwieldy (you no longer need to run a remote, see them rez Caprice, run HQ, fire the gun, run the remote, which takes five clicks), it’s still just not good enough, not to mention is less flexible than Pol Op, only hitting a fraction of cards you need to deal with.
There are other options that deal with unique assets and upgrades a little less directly. Consider:
Efficient R&D multiaccesses
Slums and Archive Interface to prevent Friends recursion
Yeah, just get better at psi. I find it a lot more exhilarating to be kicking ass at psi than it is disheartening to be losing. It’s worth thinking about game state and past behavior and then bluff or counter bluff from there. I don’t think most people roll a die and do what it says.
Obviously you’ve got other upgrades, but we all know Caprice is what it’s all about.
In my experience, splashing a singleton Pol Op isn’t really going to matter much unless you have a build like Pitchfork where you can tutor it easily. I realize Pol Op isn’t included in the variant of the list I posted, but I know @spags had been playing a copy in a different version.
I played against him in a Chicago King of Servers event last year where I was playing Palana and I thought I had a bulletproof remote, only for him to run HQ, sacrifice a Fan Site and tutor Pol Op on the spot to bust my Caprice. To this day, that play was the most effective use of Political Operative I’ve seen.
The problem post MWL 1.2 is that any deck worth its salt playing defensive upgrades is going to have the ability to recur them with FiHP. Granted, there was a time when Palana/RP/EtF would use Interns, so perhaps it hasn’t changed much, but I think the general consensus is that FiHP is vastly superior. This means you can expect your singleton Plop to save you just once, which I’m not convinced will be enough.
Other posters in this thread have already identified that the other avenue that works great against defensive upgrades is to deny the corp economically with cards like Account Siphon, Vamp, etc. Obviously it’s going to come down to personal preference, but I would honestly err towards this route rather than packing my deck full of silver bullets which may or may not matter, the edge case being a deck that can actually tutor out the Pol Op with something like Artist Colony or even Hostage (click 1 HQ, 2/3 Hostage Plop, 4 run remote).
Personally, I don’t think Political Operative is that much of a help against this kind of deck for several reasons:
You need to play it early or the HQ run will be too expensive or blocked by one of the upgrades or assets you want to kill.
It doesn’t stop Batty. Batty is not as worrysome as Caprice, so this is mostly an issue with Criminals, which are already spending one additional deck slot on Tracker.
It’s very awkard slot-wise.
Personally, I think the answer to this kind of decks is not letting them develop the board, making sure the nasties don’t return with Slums and pressuring HQ (Sneakdoor Beta, Omar and Hacktivist are all very annoying). Of course, it’s easier said than done because you can have a server with Caprice, Mindgames and Snowflake working by turn four.
Ultiamtely, if you reach the point where Sandburg is online and pumping all ICE by +4, you’ve already lost. And now with Bryan it can be far, far more than a +4.