After testing this card in a few different decks, I have come to the conclusion: don't be fooled by the yellow border, this is a Jinteki card.

Blacklist is one of those cards which is "fine" for value. It's 0 to rez and 3 to trash, giving you a small advantage even if it does nothing but force the runner to run it. The main value interactions are against Shaper recursion cards like Simulchip and Harmony AR Therapy, which are normally economically important to the decks that run them (sometimes even vital to their operation), but are blanked by Blacklist (thus forcing a run on Blacklist to trash it). Blacklist also gives nice value against heap breakers like Black Orchestra; they have to be installed manually, costing an additional click and a card (heap breakers are often discarded to hand size after accidental overdraw or to pay a cost, but if you can't use them after discard you'll have to use some other card instead).

All this value is very nice, but it isn't really worth a deck slot on its own; if you wanted a card that forced the runner to run it or else let you accumulate a slow drip of value, you might as well just use a drip economy card like PAD Campaign, or indeed any other economy asset with a fairly high trash cost. Rather, Blacklist is at its best when it's part of a combo. So what combos are available?

  • Blacklist can win the game by itself if you trash the runner's only copy of a particular breaker; for example, if you trash the runner's only fracter, you can put Blacklist behind any ETR barrier (say Vanilla), and the runner suddenly has no way to break barriers, nor to trash Blacklist, an advantage that can often be exploited for a forced win. It's far from unheard of for runners to use single copies of breakers, found with cards like Test Run (which also serves as recursion to recover from a trashed breaker). The main downside to this is, how are you trashing the breakers in the first place? The most convenient way to do this is from the grip, hoping to hit the breakers using random trashes; in other words, damage. So in order to set this combo up, you want a deck that naturally deals a lot of damage, but which doesn't primarily aim for a flatline (who cares which cards you trashed if the runner is dead?).

  • In the current metagame, MKUltra is one of the most widely played killers in Anarch decks; many Anarchs will rely on it as their only method of beating sentries, and even if they know they're about to encounter a sentry, they will typically attempt to install MKUltra from the heap (saving a click), rather than from hand. The heap install only works when they encounter the sentry, though; and there's a window to rez Blacklist during the approach, after the Runner has already committed to not jacking out (this is the same window normally used to rez ice). If you rez Blacklist in that window, the Runner will suddenly have no ability to install their breaker and will end up slamming face-first into your sentry's subroutines. Depending on which sentry you're using, this can flatline the runner, or at least set them back several turns.

    (This trick is also possible, if a little less effective, with code gates; it doesn't work as well with barriers because Paperclip's MWL status means it often loses the deckslot competition with Corroder, and because faceplanting into a barrier is rarely harmful.)

  • Some damaging decks (especially those based on meat damage) are aiming primarily to win via flatlining. However, there's a second way to win via damage, the "thousand cuts" style (or in Netrunner's case, 45 cuts): if you can exhaust the cards in the Runner's grip and heap, they become unable to sustain any damage, or to draw up to buffer against future damage, and will become helpless against whatever it is that you're using to inflict damage (whether traps like Snare!, ice like Kakugo. or identities like Jinteki: Personal Evolution). Most runners are prepared for this sort of deck, with a common counter being the use of mass recursion cards like Harmony AR Therapy and Trope to buy additional time. Blacklist acts as a counter to these counters, ensuring that your thousand-cuts strategy can work at full capacity.

There's an obvious natural synergy between these combos: Blacklist is thus at its best in a deck which does a large amount of damage in small quantities over the course of the game, without aiming for a flatline combo (or with Blacklist itself as one of the main flatline combos), and which contains at least some sentries/code gates with a large facecheck penalty (I like Saisentan and Anansi for this). That sounds like net damage to me, and in particular it sounds like a common core strategy for Jinteki decks. (You could perhaps run it out of Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations too, but I haven't tested this.)

I think Blacklist is best as a 2-of in this sort of deck, giving you a high chance of drawing it by the time you need it. Going to 3 is probably too much: sometimes, the runner will have no targets for it (this happens with some Criminal decks), so you don't want to be flooded with Blacklist copies. (That said, it still has some use in these circumstances: you can follow the normal procedure for otherwise useless assets, of dropping it unrezzed into your scoring remote in the hope of baiting the runner into running it, something that works surprisingly often.) However, against Anarchs who use heap breakers, or Shapers who rely heavily on recursion, it has a decent chance of winning the game by itself, often games you couldn't have won without it. Given that that describes a large proportion of the runner metagame at the moment, Blacklist is definitely worth the deck slots when you play it for the combo. At only 1 influence, it shouldn't be hard to pay the deckbuilding costs, either.

<p>Really great review. I like that you both give strong suggestions as to where Blacklist is strongest and offer some analysis of the present meta to make your case.</p> —

Pretty weird, that this card has no bioroid flavour as that seems the primary role for this card (shout out to any NEXT players out there tho keeping the flame alive!). For me this card is a huge flavour win otherwise as it is exactly what i pictured when i first heard the lockdown mechanic. The puny bioroids you were clicking through before suddenly turn ROIDED (I'm sorry).

As to its usefullness i think HB can profit from this card plenty. Sportsmetal can get a nice scoring window and the Fully operational archetype with multiple one ICE servers benefits as well (Just watch out for Inside Jobs/Spear Phishing!). The aspect of telegraphing a score isn't as much of an issue with HB in my opinion. Hell, you can probably goad the runner into somme value runs with your Architects of Tomorrow deck! Excellent card: Bioroid/10

In my opinion by far the weakest lockdown printed so far. This might not be obvious at first glance. Caprice Nisei was pretty strong, right? And it's even 0 cost! Well...

1) First of all this card has the HUGE downside of telegraphing your score. In a faction priding itself on deception and bluffing that is kind of bad. Now the runner can adequately prepared for the steal/your score.

2) It doesn't even do all that much. End the run, are you kidding me? From a flavour perspective this is a huge missed opportunity in my opinion. If Jinteki orders a lockdown there should be all sorts of scary things happen. Maybe accessing ICE chosen by the corp? Maybe running on a different server without the option of jacking out? Switching agendas around or refilling counters on them? Net damage? BRAIN DAMAGE? Certainly very tame for the old treefolk.

3) The effect is NOT automatic. Runners who dabble in Poker tournaments might just win the Psygame. And then what do you do? Sitting there with a bunch of nothing.

4) But isn't the role of the lockdown also to strengthen your bluffs? Lay down a trap and then play the lockdown. I have seen this reasoning pop up and think it's pretty weird. First of all: If you install a card and advance it as Jinteki you are already bluffing! There is simply no need for this card at all, just Mushin like the good old days. Well you might say, the play of this lockdown might just up the stakes for the runner! But the problem is: if you win the Psygame you end the run, preventing the runner from accessing your trap! Why would you play this card in shell game? I just don't get it.

5) Chose a server. HAHAHAHAHAHA. The final nail in the coffin of this card. If you slap down this card the runner might just win elsewhere. All other lockdowns present an opportunity to protect yourself across the board at least and i don't think those are even all that strong.

In summary this card is spectacular underpowered in my opinion. In theory i admire the design space that lockdowns present but with the cards seen so far i don't think they will get used all that much.

<p>I think the fact that this isn't the card that you want it to be doesn't make it underpowered. Plenty of Jinteki decks, including most of the competitive ones, are not any more invested in high variance bluffs than any other faction. Clearly this is designed to score a 4/2 in a well defended server, much as Caprice did. And it's not like last minute ETRs haven't always been a Jinteki thing; as well as Caprice there's <a href="/en/card/01068">Nisei MK II</a>, as well as bounce effects that often work as ETRs in practice. And how can you criticise a Jinteki card for using the psi game when the rest of your review seems to revolve around how much you like bluffing?</p> —
<p>First of: I love psygames :) That is not the point. I think both Nisei MK II and Caprice present more of a lingering threat for you scoring. This card telegraphs very clearly what you are trying to do. In that sense i think the bluffing aspect is very clearly lost.</p> —

All of the fine folks suggesting, that this card may help with Obokata scoring might overestimate this card because your install+double advance no longer works. So you either have to sneak this card out unadvanced and then play the lockdown or have some fast advance tools handy. Neither option is really all that viable in my opinion.

In the first case you you need three turn to score which gives the runner options for money/tools or even winning somewhere else. Secondly fast advance in Jinteki is really reserved for 4/2 or 3/2 agendas in my mind. If you really want to protect your Obokatas more i would suggest Ben Musashi or Data Loop (which can die in a garbage fire by the way).

I appreciate the design space of lockdowns, but as it stands they are just too awkward to use for scoring. In a grindy Weyland deck this card might see some use.

<p>La Costa Grid a card.</p> —
<p>Point taken. Still preffer Ben Mushasi because you can set it up earlier and don't telegraph as much.</p> —

I hate this ID so much. Leela is the bane of my existence when I play Corp. The first time I encountered her, I was playing a Sportsmetal deck I lifted from here called "Real Fake Points". I got swept badly. In addition, a friend of mine who I play against on J-Net continuously uses a No-Run Leela deck. As in he doesn't run, he simply relies on three Gang Signs, three Fisk Investment Seminars and three HQ Interfaces. To be perfectly honest, I feel that Leela's ability is a crutch for new players. Bringing Gabe back in the System Core was a good idea, but you couldn't save Andy or Steve? To be perfectly honest, I was hoping she'd rotate out with Lunar. Maybe I have such strong feelings about her because I don't play Asset Spam, but I still feel that Leela is too strong in any game state. Maybe I should start adding some copies Cerebral Static... Oh, wait, that's gone.

<p>I don't feel as strong about Leela, but boy is it a bad matchup with sportsmetal. In my experience you want to avoid the draw reward from sportsmetal scoring once gang signs hit the table. But your in deep waters even then. A run focused Leela is still a lot of fun for beginner players in my mind in a similar fashion that sportsmetal is funnily enough. If your opponent steals/scores you get a bonus. Ain't that nice :)</p> —
<p>I think Leela’s ability by itself it not a terrible problem. It can be strong, but it also helps keep the pacing of the game if the Corp has a strong FA strategy. The problem is when people pair her ability and make a “no run” deck. That idea goes against the whole idea of Netrunner and playing a Runner. These are decks made by “Spike” players and they usually foster NPE. I completely get that feeling as it is prevalent in all deck building games, although LCG’s tend to suffer from it less than CCG’s, where Spike players are encouraged to break the game for everyone else.</p> —
<p>That deck is frustrating to lose against, but it's plenty beatable. You just need to go fast and take some calculated risks. I think that every corp deck needs a rush mode, and I'm happy that runner archetypes exist to enforce that necessity. My main criticism of Leela is that she is enormously high variance, so when she goes from 'lucky snipe' to 'ruining your whole day' it can feel extremely unfair. That said, I actually think she's fine.</p> —