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"... These are the cards that you'll want to use, especially in any sealed-deck match you play in... you'll probably want to put them in almost every deck you program, or failing that have a plan for a reasonable substitute."
Rob & Byron, July 4th '96

The Cards You Must Use

Runner Cards

Bartmoss Memorial Icebreaker Bodyweight Synthetic Blood Gideon's Pawnshop

Hunt Club BBS Inside Job Junkyard BBS

Loan from Chiba Lucidrine Booster Drug MIT West Tier

Nasuko Cycle Preying Mantis Restrictive Net Zoning

Score! Synchronized Attack on HQ The Short Circuit

Corp Cards

Accounts Receivable BBS Whispering Campaign Bloodcat

Chicago Branch City Surveillence Corporate War

Data Naga Data Sifters Edgerunner, Inc. Temps

Haunting Inquisition Manhunt Off-Site Backups

Roving Submarine Schlaghund Scorched Earth

Systematic Layoffs TRAP! Trojan Horse

Tycho Extension Underworld Mole Virus Test Site

If you've visited before you may notice that this isn't the same list that it used to be; if not, well let me tell you about it. This is some of the oldest content on Rob's Netrunner Node. For that reason alone it's a page close to my heart.
But beyond that, it really shows how our play has evolved in the past few months. The 10 cards in boldface are the only ones that we originally picked and still think make the cut. Here are the cards that don't qualify anymore along with a few words on why there's no longer considered "cards you must use":

ACME S&L, Inc. The corp is rarely this desparate for bits. Not horrible.

Arasaka Owns You See ACME S&L. Yeah, it beats dying but the price is too high. The upside is pretty neat though (replenishing your hand).

Broker Too slow as a rule, barring some extra actions from Quest for Cattekin.

Crash Everett, Inventive Fixer Not powerful enough. Dropping it probably reflects an over-reliance on Bodyweight, but that's where we live.

Dept. of Truth Enhancement Doesn't usually last long enough to make much cash. Still great with extra actions from Remote Facility, etc.

Edited Shipping Manifests Not a stellar way to make bits. Not bad, but without a Nasuko the extra action to clear the tag makes it weak.

If You Want It Done Right... See Crash Everett. Since you're going to draw all five cards with Bodyweight anyway, what's the point of rearranging them?

Information Laundering Still a good card, but not as good as Accts Rec and BBS Whispering. Too action intensive and easy to blow up.

Mantis, Fixer at Large Justified (nay, necessary) in some stacks, but overall too painful to use. See Crash Everett.

Newsgroup Filter A great method to generate bits, but requires extra MU and planning and actions and... the guys at WotC R&D laughed at us so we started looking and sure enough, there's better ways to make the bits (if you've got the cards).

Pocket Virtual Reality A good runner breaks this, sometimes very easily. There's better ways to dish out tags, most more reliable.

Ronin Around Byron wrote me and said, "you've got to update the list, man it has Ronin' on it!". This was a favorite of his in the early days, I wasn't convinced even then that resources are that hard to find without it. We never use it now.

Social Engineering Getting burned sucks so much. Also, skipping a piece of ice isn't important to a prepared runner, very often.

South African Mining Corp See Dept. of Truth. Also, BBS Whispering Campaign does exactly the same thing and with more flexablity.

Submarine Uplink Don't get into the pickle and you'll never regret not having a way to get out of it. Also, ending the run is rarely viable.

Considered but rejected:

AI Boon Super powerful, but too expensive to just throw in willy-nilly.

Access Through Alpha Also a powerful card, but too much to pay for insurance (unless the bits are flowing like crazy).

Colonel Failure See AI Boon. Great ICE if you've got a plan to rez it, not so great if not.

Joan of Arc Great with Bartmoss, else too much insurance and MU for something that doesn't happen very often.

Precision Bribery Yeah it's powerful. Too powerful. It's the first one I want to see on the banned list. That PB/TTC strategy is for lamers, and even without Time to Collect this card was a bad idea.

Quest for Cattekin An excellent card, provided you've got some MRAM. Trouble in any case, it can be fatal without a plan.

If you've got any suggestions or comments regarding the list, write me and we can discuss them.

 Please send comments to Updated 19 Jan 97.