I'm surprised Security Subcontract card doesn't see much play. Now yes, the cost of a piece of ICE is 2 clicks and its rez cost, which is a "bad trade" if you spend yet another click using Security Subcontract for 4 credits. But in late stages of the game, when you no longer need to guard your drip assets, you can decommission small taxing ICE for an unexpected burst of credits. If for instance you've been siphoned to 0, have a Beale/Psychographics in hand & a Security Subcontract in a remote, and you're sitting at 5 points, you would gladly trash any piece of ICE for the win.

<p>The issue is that this use case is very narrow. It's a dead card if you draw it early, and you need to use it twice for it to be better than Beanstalk Royalties, which is generally considered a pretty weak economy card. It's best use is probably in decks that only pack ice as gear checks, and aren't trying to tax them once they find their breakers, but those decks are usually trying to go very fast, while this card is painfully slow.</p> —

The best comparison to this card is Quality Time.

Quality Time lets you draw 5 cards. Customized Secretary lets you look at the top 5 cards of your stack and install them later for a click, which is quite similar drawing those cards.

Except, of course, Customized Secretary is restricted to programs. In exchange for getting only programs from the top 5 cards of your stack, and taking up a point of MU, Customized Secretary costs 1 credit less than Quality Time. This comparison is very unfavorable for Customized Secretary.

It's very rare for a Netrunner deck to be more than 40% programs. If a Customized Secretary deck is less than 60% programs, you're going to get less than 60% * 5 = 3 cards on average, which makes Customized Secretary comparable to a Diesel which costs 2 more and takes up a point of MU.

If you want to go into deep theoretical situations, I'm sure there are situations where Customized Secretary is better than Quality Time or Diesel. Maybe a Runner deck which also has London Library and Aesop's Pawnshop, or if a Runner deck really needs more card draw after maxing out on Quality Time / Diesel, or against a Corp deck running Student Loans. However, in typical cases, I expect Shaper's event-based card draw to be much better.

2

In the bright new future of 2020, this card has gotten marginally better. In particular, Leave No Trace has made this, at the very, least, playable:

  1. Install this card (maybe a few of them).
  2. Play Leave No Trace.
  3. Use the trash effect on each of these during the run.

Is this good? No, and especially not better than Emergency Shutdown. But it does work...

<p>New times. New horizons.</p> —

Formicary is a good Weyland sentry. It's no Archer, Surveyor, or Colossus, but it is a cheap sentry you can slap down on your remote and then have magically defend your centrals when you need it to. Its sub isn't the greatest in the world, it lets the Runner pick their poison after all, and its rez-to-break ratio isn't all that great either, but it's effect is punishing enough that Runners would rather just end the run if they facecheck it and its effect practically begs the Runner to facecheck it when they least expect it to. I think 2 creds for it is a steal, honestly. Also, Formicary was the central part of a hilariously degenerate combo that led to the first banned NISEI card.

<p>So that was the reason Cayambe grid was banned!</p> —

With the NISEI standard ban of all corp cards with the "current" subtype, we've finally gotten the blank 45/15 ID that NBN has always needed. As everyone knows, this card was very problematic in the meta, and I'm sure we're all glad to see it go.