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Pawn + Deep Red + Exile (Infinite Draw?)

OK so Kroen’s thread about Exile on BGG has got me thinking. I’ve had this going round in my head for a while now and thought I’d share/ask you guys on here first.

First consider the wordings on Pawn and Deep Red.

I think we’re all agreed that Deep Red lets you host the pawn on ICE for free, upon installation. Correct?

Now look at phase 4.4 of the run timing structure on p.13 of the FAQ: “The run is considered to be SUCCESSFUL. (‘When successful’ conditionals meet their trigger conditions)”.

So, if I make a successful run, in phase 4.4 I can do the following:

  1. Trigger a Pawn’s ‘when successful’ text on the innermost ICE of a central (trashing it)
  2. Install another pawn from the trash
  3. Host it for free using Deep Red

But note that it’s still phase 4.4, so the Pawn I just installed also meets its ‘when successful’ conditional, meaning I can repeat the process - in fact, I can cycle it indefinitely.

Now imagine that I’m Exile and each installation from the trash draws me a card… this combo means I can replenish my hand, drawing as many cards as I like! Moreover, this may only need one Pawn to achieve because you can possibly install the same Pawn you just trashed (depending on interpretation - does this work like Scavenge or Account Siphon?).

Could this actually be a thing? There’s nothing explicit to say that the Pawn needs to be in play at the start of phase 4.4 in order to meet its ‘when successful’ conditional. So if I’m right Exile could potentially be a huge draw engine. This needs a single ICE on a central server to work, but that’s good because it will change Corp strategy: they have to double up early on any central they want to defend. Exile can respond by employing ICE destruction tech to control his central of choice.

What do you guys think? If it’s a legit combo then Exile just become super viable. He can draw his whole deck in one go to effectively tutor for any five cards he likes (Possibly using Levy AR Lab Access to recur the deck).


this isn’t a combo, but it’s an engine. your 4.4 abilities don’t continue to trigger after you resolve all of your simultaneous successful run triggers. You get one pawn effect per installed pawn, per successful run. 1 pawn does recycle itself, you don’t need 2 pawns to get the free exile draws.

3 draws per run isn’t bad, especially if it’s a remote you can slam into for free.

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I wondered that, but I don’t see an explicit rule that covers this. The trigger, conceptually, is instantaneous but the way the rules are worded they’ve taken that single, indivisible moment in time and stretched it out into a whole phase. It just says that in phase 4.4 all my triggers are met, if I put more triggers into play in that phase, what’s to stop them triggering?

If the wording was “after”, like Crescentus, such that it had to be immediately without anything else happening then it might be more difficult to argue. But I don’t see a rule that supports your argument; just an implicit statement that supports mine…

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I agree, there may be an argument within the current rule structure to support the idea of a potentially infinite draw phase. However, this would completely break the game (and not in an Account Siphon way – I mean a Freelance Coding + Levy to get 30 credits in 2 clicks kind of way). If this is how people will interpret this combo, they will release a FAQ to clarify the interaction.

My best bet is phase 4.4 triggers are set at the beginning of the phase and are executed in the order of runner’s preference. Any additional triggers that could have executed had they been in play at the time of the successful run wouldn’t be eligible. Just my guess on the ruling.

4.4 says successful run abilities trigger, once they trigger, they aren’t going to keep triggering. desperado doesn’t give you infinite credits per run simply because it doesn’t say “once per successful run”

So, if I make a successful run, in phase 4.4 I can do the following:

  1. Trigger a Pawn’s ‘when successful’ text on the innermost ICE of a central (trashing it)
  2. Install another pawn from the trash
  3. Host it for free using Deep Red

But note that it’s still phase 4.4, so the Pawn I just installed also
meets its ‘when successful’ conditional, meaning I can repeat the
process - in fact, I can cycle it indefinitely.

Keep in mind that 4.4 is not a PHASE, it is a STEP. That step happens to contain a WHEN SUCCESSFUL trigger condition.

WHEN SUCCESSFUL is a non-durational trigger condition. It occurs, at which point conditionals are checked and handled in sequential order. This means that if a WHEN SUCCESSFUL conditional adds a card to the board that also happens to have a WHEN SUCCESSFUL conditional, that second conditional does not trigger – it was not in play when the initial trigger condition happened.

Here’s a similar situation:
You have 1 credit, a rezzed PAD Campaign, and an unrezzed PAD campaign. At step 1.2, Your turn begins. You cannot use the one credit you gain from the rezzed PAD Campaign to rez your second PAD Campaign and get a credit from it as well.

Steps are non-durational things. Some steps happen to contain “Paid Abilities can be triggered”, which behave an awful lot like “windows for stuff to happen within”. Step 4.4, however, does not allow for this possibility.


I absolutely agree that those are the “Rules As Intended” (RAI), my concern is that this isn’t elucidated in the “Rules As Written” (RAW). Everything about the structure of the game is implied from flow charts, and every other step works in the sense that you may do as many (legitimate) things as you want, non-simultaneously.

The rules don’t say that there is a single trigger, or that triggers are non-durational. They just say that there is a step (4.4) in which such conditionals are met. I’m putting new triggers into play during that step and don’t see anything written that says I can’t trigger them. So I’m asking for a page in the rule book or FAQ that tells me I’m wrong.
Note: I think this should be wrong, but that just means the rules and FAQ need clarifying to reflect this.

Additional Note: I know it’s a different game, but in AGoT responses work exactly like this. If I can put a new card into play in a response window which itself has a response, I can trigger it even though it was not in play when the initial condition occurred.

You’re talking about something subtly different. You have one desperado in play, which clearly triggers once and only once. In my example each Pawn is a different instance, also triggering once only. I’m not re-triggering the same Pawn repeatedly - well, it is the same physical card, but in game terms they are different instances and so any “knowledge” of prior states is forgotten (c.f. what happens if you Scavenge a Femme to re-install it).

There is no such rule in the rulebook. However, Lukas has ruled that “At start of turn” conditionals only trigger for cards which were in play when 1.2 was entered, and any cards which enter play during 1.2 don’t have their “At start of turn” conditionals triggered (I’m fairly sure the test case was Parasite and PW - if you use PW’s ability to remove the last counter from Parasite, you can’t then trigger Parasite to get a virus counter). It seems fairly clear that the same principle will apply here.

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Cool thanks Jeremy, that was the kind of clarification I was after. It makes sense that it doesn’t work, but I’m always looking to push the boundaries :slight_smile:
Again, they could still probably do with making this explicit in the FAQ. Most tournament organisers are probably not familiar with all the minor rulings and clarifications that appear on BGG.

Case closed I guess.

Yeah, I thought they might have put it into the FAQ, but I checked the most recent version and there’s nothing about it in there at all. I completely agree that it should be though. I guess it’s not really something that comes up very much at all apart from in inquiring minds that enjoy trying to break the timing charts (and as the person who instigated the PW/Parasite discussion on BGG I guess I fall in that category), and FFG don’t really write for us as their intended audience…