Inside Man

Inside Man 3[credit]

Resource: Connection
Influence: 0

2[recurring credit]

Use these credits to install hardware.

Few corporate employees have such wide-sweeping security clearance as the janitorial staff. Most corps foolishly think they're too dim-witted to take advantage of it.
Illustrated by Mauricio Herrera
Decklists with this card

A Study in Static (asis)

#68 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)

No rulings yet for this card.


Inside Man is a card I want to like, as some of my decks have a significant amount of hardware. But, sadly, the play cost is so high, I almost never include it. You need enough hardware to justify Replicator and then some to warrant including IM, as it takes a minimum of two uses to pay for itself. Add on top of that the opportunity cost of not drawing something that would probably be more useful to you at the time, and the click to install, and you'll see why this card rarely sees the artificial light of your local game store.

Okay, to be fair, it's not all bad. If you have loads of hardware, and you get this out early, it can easily pay for itself and then some. But therein lies the problem—getting it out early. Usually one of these, maybe two in some special circumstances, are all you want in play, but to be effective it really has to be out in those crucial first few turns. So naturally, you'd throw three of these in, to increase the chances you get one early. But then, when you draw the other few later on, you realize how myopic your plan was, and you give up altogether.

So why not tutor for it? Well, cards that tutor for resources are slim, but Hostage works here. Though, honestly, if you're going to go through the trouble of tutoring for a connection, this probably won't be at the top of your list. Maybe a specialized deck with Paige Piper can take advantage of it, but that's another animal entirely, and not often seen. So, an oddball deck here and there may find this attractive, but most will pass it by—and be better off for it. If only it cost just 1 less...

(The Universe of Tomorrow era)
I tried it in Darwin Deck along with: 3xCyberfeeders, 3x Personal Touch, Spinal Modem, 2x E3 Feedback... With Wyldside —
I've got two in a Haley stealth deck with 17 pieces of hardware... not that I've played more than a few games with it. —
Yep, almost everyone has "that one deck" with insane amounts of hardware that can really make use of it. And in those cases, it can be a great include. It's just something that doesn't see play in very many decks. —

There are a few cards worth comparing Inside Man with, Modded and The Supplier. Modded is a free one-shot that pays you back the to play it and saves you up to 3 on one card. The Supplier has the same cost and the same installation discount per turn for a single card. Both Modded and the Supplier also give you the flexibility of installing Programs or Resources respectively, which in most cases at least double their potential utility. The only thing Inside Man can do that these two popular cards cannot is that it can give you free installs for two pieces of 1 hardware. That kind of hardware points to Hayley Kaplan: Universal Scholar who loves installing multiple pieces of cheap hardware (or cheap anything) every turn. However Hayley usually uses Personal Workshop for installing Hardware and Programs since it lets her install during the Corp's turn as well, getting a bonus trigger of her ID ability. Unfortunately those runners seem quite finicky about letting Inside Man into their Personal Workshops so these two cards do not synergise - in fact they overlap and work at cross purposes.

I will make one last comparison: Daily Casts - it's also a 0 influence 3 resource that gives you 2 a turn. Daily Casts starts paying back the first turn after it's installed and will quickly boost the runner's economy. Inside Man on the other hand either demands the runner tank his or her tempo by installing a lot of hardware immediately or wait a long time before seeing a positive return on investment for installing Inside Man. Don't forget that Daily Casts credits can be spent on anything.

I think it's fair to claim that in at least 90% of the runner decks in the meta Daily Casts will make more money more quickly than Inside Man ever will. This is why an overwhelming number of runner decks include Daily Casts and do not even consider including Inside Man.

(Democracy and Dogma era)
"in fact they overlap and work at cross purposes." Not quite. The Supplier's creds are for the hardware you are installing from your hand during the corp turn. —
I see what you are saying, to really make use of that strategy you would need something like 15 hardware 3x Personal Workshop and 3x Inside Man in the deck. The other thing is around half of that hardware has to be expensive - as in cost $2+ for the discount to matter. At this point the strategy no longer works well with Hayley/Aesops, Hayley/Netchip or Hayley/Stealth the point I'm trying to make with my review is that you would need to wreck your deck composition in order to 'utilise' Inside Man. —