After the release of Swift, I figured I'd have a bit of fun by building around a faction I didn't use all that often: . And who better than Ken?

This is a Run event, meaning it would interact with Swift, Ken, and other cards that require run events, like Always Be Running. It does have a steep cost at 3, though, but if you can survive the run, the 6 or more credits you make from it can be quite useful. Even if the run ends prematurely, such as from a Nisei counter or a Border Control, you still net 3 credits. Of course, that's taking into account you're paying out of pocket. This feels like an analog to Dirty Laundry, but it doesn't rely on a successful run. Is it a better version of Dirty Laundry? Yes and no. Yes because you can potentially net more than 3. No because of its 3 influence cost. This is probably a must for Criminals, but I'd recommend exercising caution before slotting it in elsewhere, especially if you don't have a lot of influence to begin with.

As Cpt_nice said, this could be an excellent way to ditch your heap breakers or additional console copies. However, with the rotation of Clone Chip, we now have Simulchip, so any program can be tossed with one in play. When I look at it, ignoring the additional cost, I see an Easy Mark with a Diesel in one click. I'm not the best at Netrunner, but let me compare it with some notable cards.

Moshing vs. Sure Gamble: 3 cards and 3 for 0 and one click against 9 for 5 and a click. Sure Gamble's a staple Runner card, right? I wouldn't say one or the other, but I think both would be a good combination.

Moshing vs. Easy Mark: 3 cards and 3 for 0 and one click against 3 for 0 and a click.

Moshing vs. Diesel, I've Had Worse or Fisk Investment Seminar: Here's kind of where Moshing shines. Each card allows for 3 draws in one click. Each is situational: Diesel is good in any deck where you need fast draws, I've Had Worse is good in damage-taking decks, and Fisk Investment Seminar is good for milling the Corp. Moshing forces you to trash 3 cards, but you get three back and 3.

However, with its three influence cost, I can't really justify using it a lot outside of Anarch, especially when each faction already has its own "Draw 3" card. If you have influence to spare, put one, maybe two in if you run something like Simulchip.

<p>I think it's unfair to compare Moshing to Fisk or Diesel. Moshing allows for card filtering, not card draw. In terms of cards you have access to, Moshing actually reduces them by 1. If you have 5 cards in grip, ypu play Moshing (down to 4) trash 3 (down to 1), then draw 3 (up to 4). I think a better compatison is Easy Mark with card filtering attached.</p> —
<p>I <em>did</em> say I wasn't the best at Netrunner.</p> —

GameNET looks at first glance to be very powerful.

"Hey look, it's a 'whenever'! It's always the 'whenever's that are the broken cards!"

Sadly, there's a bit more to this.

ICE is often bemoaned for either never firing or not doing enough, and that's for a good reason: the runner has the choice to let subroutines fire or to pay credits to break the ICE. These "punisher" effects that let your opponent choose what happens always play much less powerfully than they appear on paper — remember, when evaluating cards, you shouldn't look solely at the best case scenario: you need to consider the average case and the worst case too.

GameNET falls down because when the ID fires is almost entirely dependent on the runner. They choose when to run, they choose when to let subs fire, they choose when they spend credits on traces. Would you want your economy tied to the actions of your opponent?

Let's also look at it from a different angle: economy is most effective early in the game when you want to be setting up: you need money to install ICE, to rez ICE, to advance agendas, to play Hard-Hitting News. When does GameNET come into play? When your Gold Farmers and Turnpikes are already rezzed. GameNET starts raking in the money when you can force the runner to run through your servers over and over... but how did you get to that point? How did you get the money to rez the ice and to score enough agendas to force the runner's hand?

The answer is that you were Azmari EdTech instead.

Maybe GameNET would be less underwhelming if it had been released a few years down the road. As it is, the shadow of the slightly-too-pushed Azmari will loom over GameNET for most of its Standard-legal lifespan.

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<p>I agree that Azmari can make a lot of money over the course of the game. This ID makes the runner play differently. I have noticed that runners are way more cautious when running through ice like Slot Machine, Turnpike, and Gold Farmer because of the money you get. Servers start having a lot more weight and in NBN that is sort of strange. Azmari forces the runner to consider whether they will play a type of card but after that they don’t care if they run through your servers as long as they can get in.</p> —
<p>Whoops hit post a little early. I don’t think this ID is dead you just can’t play it the same way you play Azmari. Don’t rely on the ID money but use it to position to defend multiple servers. If they run through a server they give you enough money to Rez the rest of your ice. Early glory runs with Link runners also give you extra cash because they want to just pay through the cheap trace for one coin.</p> —

It's going to be compared with Black Orchestra, let's face it, so let's do just that.

Common code gates:

Looks like it's mostly just comparable rather than anything else. Over the course of a game, Utae could save anywhere between 2-8 credits. (Or more, obviously, but let's not look at the best-case — more useful to consider the average-case)

The worst-case is that you need to break two code gates and you don't have three virtuals installed yet, at which point the much more flexible Black Orchestra is looking a lot better.

So the golden question for whether to run this or Black Orchestra: Does the extra efficiency of Utae make up for the set-up cost of three virtuals, and the need to pre-install it?

I think for a lot of decks the answer will be no. Black Orchestra's not being dethroned, but cracks are showing...

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I've had a bit of fun with this ID already. Hoshiko and her console, Keiko, give me the impression of how to build a companion deck. If you're running Taka, Fueno, Maemi or Poemu, Keiko helps lessen the credit loss from Mahou Shoujo.

Speaking of which, we finally have a flip identity for a Runner! Let's talk about Untold Protagonist for a bit. 4, 45 minimum, 15 influence... I'm not the best at Netrunner, but I feel this is pretty standard. Her ability, though, is what sets her apart: "When your turn ends, if you accessed at least 1 card this turn, gain 2 and flip this ID". In other words, you have more of an incentive to run. 2 credits as a reward for an access seems good, but then we come to the flip side: Mahou Shoujo.

Side note, my Japanese isn't the best (only two semesters in college), but I think it translates to "Magic Girl". And this magic girl has three things going for her. First, she now has a link. In my LGS meta, there weren't a lot of tracers, but there were way too many Weyland Kill decks. Second, she's Digital. Correct me if I'm wrong, but only one other ID had the Digital subtype, and it was Apex. A card also released in Uprising, DreamNet, can be used without needing to spend time on link. I'm not sure if there are any other digital interactions, but I think theoretically, you could run a cloud suite if you had an additional link, such as from The Archivist. Third, her first ability: "When your turn begins, draw 1 card and lose 1". If you remember earlier, I mentioned how Keiko helps mitigate the credit loss. Simply drop a Fencer, and you get your credit back. Or just install a resource with Poemu. Get your credit back.

Of course, one must always awaken from their dreams. If you don't access any cards while you're playing Mahou Shoujo, she flips back over to Untold Protagonist. So the pressure's on to get accesses each turn, or return to the waking world. As such, you can be kind of screwed if the Corp decides to put a server behind a paywall, force you to trash your precious allies, or simply end the run with an earlier score.

My thoughts on Hoshiko? This ID, if done correctly, can be a lot of fun for you. Hoshiko might be an easy ID to build around. Just make sure you aren't wandering into an ambush blindly.

<p>Great first review. One thing I'd love to see more of is some comparisons vs other Anarch runners. Should someone use Hoshiko compared to Val, for example?</p> —
<p>I'll keep that in mind in the future.</p> —