Identity: Natural • Link: 1 • Deck: 45 • Influence: 15

When your turn ends, if you have the same number of cards in your grip as the Corp has in HQ, you may draw 1 card.

Shaper • Luminita Pham • Downfall 19
All sets:
Links: Decklists | ANCUR
Lat: Ethical Freelancer
MWL Entries

No MWL Entries for this card.

Rulings
  • NISEI Downfall Release Notes [NISEI Rules Team]

    Which comes first, Lat’s ability or discarding to hand size?

    The Runner discards to hand size first, then checks whether to draw a card from Lat’s ability. They don’t check hand size again that turn.

    If Lat has Safety First installed, which comes first?

    Both Lat and Safety First meet their trigger conditions when the Runner’s turn ends, so the Runner can choose to resolve them in either order. Note that both abilities check the number of cards in the Runner’s grip when they resolve, so the ordering of the two abilities can affect whether each other draws the Runner a card.

Reviews

I've played Lat a fair bit, and I wanted to offer the flipside of BlackCherries' review. To be clear, I think that review is a valid way of thinking about him, but rather than go over the same points, I'm just going to make a strong argument for the opposite analysis so hopefully the reviews will function as yin and yang.

I think Lat is a good vanilla ID, and the best way to play him is not to worry about his ability too much. Play a standard shaper deck with plenty of events and other easily playable cards, and triggering his ability is really not that hard. There's no need to include special combos, just get used to the fact that most turns the corp's handsize will dictate how many times you draw and how many cards you play out. This is generally not that onerous, and if it is you can just sacrifice your bonus card for a turn.

The corp might choose to do weird handsize things to faff with your ability. That's fine; they usually hurt themselves more than they hurt you. Go ahead and let them play as if they have zero handsize if they want. They're really showing you.

I agree that The Artist is a good card for Lat, but I'd like to highlight the other ability. The option to spend a spare for 2 is good because Lat's ability often leaves you wanting to burn a click without drawing (generally this is a parity problem; it happens when your handsize is even and the corp's odd, or vice versa).

Playing Lat as a vanilla shaper makes Hayley Kaplan the obvious comparison. Both give click compression at the cost of some faff. I won't deny that Hayley is better, but Lat has some advantages. Early on, he feels much smoother - you're not scratting round for s to fire your double installs. And he can play events without them getting in his way too much. I think these factors give him a slightly faster early game. Then there's his . That is very much not nothing at the moment, as IP Blocks and similar are still a common sight, and even taxing the corp a credit when they Hard-Hitting News you can prove crucial.

But Lat's biggest advantage over Hayley is one that goes outside pure strategic analysis. He simply takes much less brain space for the player. I took him to a small tournament for that reason and he was solid. I firmly believe that not having to process all Hayley's combos and options helped me to avoid burnout during the later rounds.

I prefer Symmetrical Visage to ProCo. It drops onto the table much more easily, and Lat's draws are a pretty big nombo with ProCo's 'I'm planning to spend half my s drawing' ethos.

(Magnum Opus Reprint era)

An identity I initially underrated at first, Lat has the ability to draw you a large chunk of your deck, which is something only a few cards in the game’s existence can brag about. Let’s explore him further, shall we?

Lat’s “minigame” revolves around matching the number of cards in grip at the end of your turn vs. the number of cards in HQ. The minigame is checked after the hand-size discard is completed so if Lat draws you a 6th card, a discard down to a hand size of 5 is not needed. While the minigame is fun in itself (and really, that’s all that being a Shaper is about), it can also be a great pressure tool to force an opponent to consider playing sub-optimally. This can come in the form of excessive ice installs or perhaps even excessive drawing on your opponent’s part; this sub-optimal play almost reminds me of what a Criminal like Leela or 419 can do.

Actually playing Lat can be a bit intimidating at first especially given the analysis paralysis that can come with planning all 4 of your clicks (or more) to capitalize on your ability. Common combos with Lat to fix your Lat number (cards in grip – cards in HQ) include:

Patchwork: If you’re +2 with one click to go, “Lat-chwork” gives you the option to save 2c on a play/install and earn a draw.

The Supplier / The Artist: If you’re +1, these are both great ways to unload a card from your grip with savings.

Professional Contacts: If you’re -1, ProCo is a great way to make that last click draw into a Build Script. Alternatively, the same thing could be applied for Artist when you’re 0 after your 3rd click to get a Process Automation.

I hear you asking how Lat stacks up versus 40-deck Shapers, and it’s a fair comparison – both can get through their decks quickly. However, if you can fire Lat’s ability every other turn, the 5-card difference can be made up in only 10 turns with any further Lat-drawn cards just being icing on the cake. And trust me, when you earn enough experience, firing Lat’s ability 60%+ of turns becomes muscle memory.

What about Hayley and Wu? That’s a tougher question as those two have click compression abilities that allow them to spend slots/basic actions on draw while Lat is trying to spend slots/basic actions on everything besides drawing.

I actually think the biggest thorn in Lat’s side is the fact that a lot of his gameplan is controlled by the Corp’s actions. There have been many times where I’ve been screwed over by a Sportsmetal off-turn trigger, an Audacity, or just an empty HQ. Ultimately, these factors make me believe that Lat is slightly worse than those competitive Shaper powerhouses for the time being. However, if he’s given a few more hand manipulation cards - just enough to enable him to fire his ability 90%+ of the time - he has the potential to become the best Shaper in the game.

P.S. I don’t recommend playing this guy in Eternal.

(Magnum Opus Reprint era)