Finally.... a decent Current for criminals.

Corporate Grant plays on a criminal strength - keeping the corp poor. Because of its trigger, it only truly shines in builder/horizontal decks. However, most criminals (e.g. Gabe, Ken, Los) are aggressive. They get their rig up fast, and run, run, run.

Meet Geist (if you somehow haven't already):

  1. Geist installs a lot of cards, constantly triggering the ability throughout the game.
  2. Counters Scarcity of Resources, which has shut down staple cards like Fall Guy, Tech Trader, and Street Peddler for a long time.
  3. You can use Street Peddler during the corp's turn, triggering Corporate Grant out of turn.
  4. Slows down Rush and FA decks, letting you build up before they can win.
  5. Cheap to play.

As a Criminal "main", it makes me proud to finally see a solid Current after several years.

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The one true Criminal answer to asset spam, and one of the few Criminal H&P cards to withstand the test of time.

It has a (literally) free install cost of 0, potential gain of 2 for a , not to mention synergy with other run cards. These days, Criminals are also packing Tem├╝jin Contract and Tapwrm for a "successful run" economy powerhouse.

Criminals have the least in-faction asset trashing and/or long term economy cards as compared to Anarchs and Shapers. This often means that they struggle to play the stamina game. Commonly rigged with Desperado, each SecTest is effectively ": 3" for every open server.

While SecTest can still threaten Archives in the early game, naturally, it is not as effective against glacier. That is what cards like Los, FAO, and T-Contract are meant to deal with. Having a balanced deck is important so that you actually stand a chance when playing your weaker match-ups.

Fast forward a few years, SecTest is still a core staple of (aggro) Criminal decks, as it forces the Corp to ICE every server, or risk giving the Runner a fortune.

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A good benchmark to compare Bulwark with is Hadrian's Wall. The strength of Hadrian's is in its sheer stopping power. However, the Runner can choose to just End the Run, set you back 10 credits and start targeting other servers.

Bulwark has that same stopping power, but it also sets the Runner back. This is the biggest advantage that Bulwark has over Hadrian's Wall or Curtain Wall - the Runner will definitely lose something for it. Of course, it comes with a cost of taking 1 bad pub.

Bad pub comes back to haunt you the longer the game drags on. Fortunately Bulwark does something which counteracts this - create an opening to score a solid 3/2 or even 5/3.

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The most popular use of Advanced Assembly Lines is in Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future. This is due to its ability to install a card on the Runner's turn, before he/she takes any action. Doing so maximizes HB:EtF's ability (as Manu l Humain has pointed out in his comment).

AAL has a similar effect to Lateral Growth, with a few notable differences.

Early in the game, it is played like an operation with a net effect of "When your turn ends, gain 3 credits and install a non-agenda card." This is potentially 4 credits (from HB:EtF) if it was the only card you installed during your turn.

Once you've built your scoring server, you can also place AAL there and bait the Runner to check it. In that case, you gain 2 credits, the Runner spends a bunch of clicks/credits breaking ICE and trashes AAL. Otherwise, you can pop it at the end of the Runner's turn to install Political Assets.

Naturally, AALs will be sitting in archives as the game goes on. Team Sponsorship allows you to put your AALs back to work again (because AAL! AAAAL!).

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At 2 influence, it's hard to find a spot for The Source in most decks. It requires the support that a (Criminal) connection deck provides.

Hostage is a tutor for The Source, so there is no need to waste influence and deck space for more than one copy. (notice Thomas Haas in both card arts)

Fall Guy prevents it from being trashed when an agenda is scored/stolen.

Dr. Lovegood can blank it during the Runner's turn. It's worth noting that this not only negates the 3 drawback, but also prevents it from being trashed when an agenda is stolen. This lets you save your Fall Guy for a rainy day, or use them for other cards.

But wait, what does The Source even do?

It essentially does two things; choke agendas in HQ, and/or give the Runner a window to steal if the Corp attempts to score. Detailed explanation below.

When the Corp installs a card in a server, it can be an asset, upgrade or agenda. If it is a 3/2 agenda, the Corp can score it in the following turn. It is often very inefficient (and unsustainable) for the Runner to run every card the Corp installs. The Source solves this problem.

With The Source on the board, 3/2 agendas become 4/2. Without the assistance of FA cards (Biotic Labor, SanSan City Grid), these agendas have to be installed and advanced once to score it the next turn. Which means the Runner will know that the installed card can be advanced. This narrows down the possibilities: an Agenda, an important Asset, or an Ambush. Either way, it makes the Corp think twice before laying down an Agenda.

Of course, this does not only apply to 3/2 agendas, but to ALL agendas. 5/3s takes a long three turns to score. 2/1s and 4/2s lose a lot of their tempo. Naturally, Criminals have the best cards to maintain and take advantage of this board state.

**This is my longest review yet, do leave a like if you enjoyed it. See you 'round the net. ;)

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The Source is the core for one of my favourite tactics. Being able to stop insta-scoring in its tracks is something Iain Stirling profits off greatly, and the combo with Dr Lovegood lets you score without breaking the lockdown. The goal is to grab enough agendas to make Corp unable to win, by selling them to a Data Dealer. —