Always Be Running

♦ Always Be Running 0[credit]

Resource: Directive - Virtual
Influence: 3

The first [click] you spend each turn must be spent to play a run event or take the basic action to run a server.

Lose [click][click]: Break 1 subroutine. Use this ability only once per turn.

The Second Directive requires a bioroid to complete its primary function above all other considerations, save the First Directive.
Illustrated by Lili Ibrahim
Decklists with this card

Data and Destiny (dad)

#41 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
  • Updated 2017-04-09

    Programs that make a run, such as Sneakdoor Beta, Keyhole, etc., do not fulfill the requirement to make a run on Always Be Running. [Official FAQ]


I like to think of Always Be Running as training wheels for the bike that all runners should be riding anyways. Learning how to facecheck confidently is a huge part of being an effectively aggressive runner, and one of the things that makes running so intimidating for newer players. Forcing the corp to spend money on rezzing their ice early can cripple their economy, but it often requires advanced metagame knowledge to avoid or mitigate the risks of slamming into that ice.

Adam (and this directive specifically) does something wonderful for bad runners - it picks them up and throws them in the pool. With water wings on. Too many inexperienced players gravitate to Noise, to AI breakers, or other "solitaire" auto-pilot decks that don't need to interact with the corp (or at least don't have to respond to them in any meaningful way).

The temptation is strong to turn off Always Be Running with Dr. Lovegood or delete it with Independent Thinking or Aesop's Pawnshop. But resist that urge. At worst, ABR will make you a better player, helping you to understand the corp's board state without paying (severe) consequences for it. At best, it will turn your Adam into an aggressive powerhouse, threatening one-ice servers all game long, and giving you an excellent way to pay through gigantic ice, especially in combination with e3 Feedback Implants.

Because for Adam, every ice is a Bioroid.

(Data and Destiny era)
Nice thought. Playing with Adam since a few week, I've found that Dr. Lovegood is not that useful. Of course, it's sometimes a good emergency button, but more often than not, I'd rather to blank himself instead of a Directive. Their drawbacks are less meaningful than their powers. —
Another good "training wheels" card that will teach runners how to apply early pressure is going to be Nero Severn from the Mumbad Cycle. —
I have seen many Adam players blanking this card in the late game since you don't want to double click anymore and might want to get cards or credits before making a run. —
@Capstone That's fair, although I would dispute that you don't want to double click anymore - some of the most brutal ice are only rezzed in the late game. —
What do Turing, Wraparound, and Swordsman have in common? Answer: Only one subroutine! Heh. —

The downside on this card is significant - having to spend a click - having to spend your first click each turn running is not great. And worse, the corp knows you have to run, so can plan for it.

But on the flip side - having a paid ability, even one that costs , that can break any subroutine, is kind of bonkers. Pairing this with e3 Feedback Implants gives you a 0-install-cost, 0-memory way to get past any single piece of ice for pennies, no matter what type it is, or how strong it is.

(Data and Destiny era)
It's not 0 instal cost, e3 cost 2 to instal. It's really quite cheap though. It needs to be a high impact run though to be worth all those clicks, and it's hard to keep your runs high impact when you are running every turn. —

Always Be Running (ABR) is obviously very useful for Adam but can be extremely powerful in both Quetzal and Apex as well. Both the bird-girl and the doom-bot already use e3 Feedback Implants.

Combine these with the right breaker suite (e.g. the Deva suite for Apex) and ICE removal tools (Prey, Parasucker and the cutlery suite) the runner will be able to get into any server and keep it open too.

It's worth noting that 4 of the ICE removal tools are also run events. If you throw in Run Amok on top the corp will have a lot of trouble keeping any ICE rezzed at all.

Dirty Laundry, Early Bird and Doppelgänger offset some of ABR's disadvantages and combining these with either the successful run bonus package or the jack-out package can fix a lot of the potential economic problems ABR causes.

It's unfortunate that Jak Sinclair does not satisfy the 1st requirement so he does not combo with ABR.

Finally if we are talking about run events we certainly shouldn't leave the often ignored Ken "Express" Tenma out of the conversation. If there is any runner that wants to make one successful run each turn with a run event it's hard to look past the escaped clone. e3 Implants is a good choice for Ken anyway and paired with a suitable breaker suite (possibly including Grappling Hook?) there isn't much that can't be broken.

(Salsette Island era)
I don't see how Jak and Always Be Running interact with each other in any way. It's not paragraph 1 on Jak. Paragraph 2a on Jak gives you a free run without using any of your standard 4 actions on it so also not that. Also not paragraph 2b because ABR is not a program. It's not paragraph 1 on ABR because Jak isn't forcing you to do something with action 1. It's not paragraph 2 on ABR either because there isn't any kind of restriction. Basically, it looks like there is zero interaction here. —
I agree, which is why I stated that it "does not combo with ABR" in my review and provide an explanation of why he does not combo. I suppose an argument can be made that you can use ABR+e3 to break ICE on that 'free' run but I'm not sure what single ICEd server would be worth spending two clicks to get into. —
Hilarious situation: what happens if you facecheck Excalibur with Jak, and have ABR installed? —
bringing back the dead a bit, but the non-interaction is that you cannot use ABR to break sub routines on your Jak runs. Because ABR says you MUST use your first click to run, you cannot use that click to break a subroutine. —

This is at the same time the most fun directive, the most dangerous directive, the most restrictive directive, the most aggressive directive and the least imported directive of all the directives that Adam has.

With it, in the early stage of the game, you can pressure ANY server since you are certain to be able pass most of them for (nearly) free. Of course, paying 2 to break the ice will leave you with a single to setup. And you must run on your first click.

In the Q2 2023 meta, you can alleviate this with Algernon, Jak Sinclair, Basilar Synthgland 2KVJ and Beth Kilrain-Chang, which can give you additionnal clicks.

Also, you can use Poison Vial to be able to fully break any ice with Always Be Running.

When the meta is full of rush decks, this is invaluable! With it, you can pressure early and steal those agendas before the corp has any time to setup.

But against slower corp, which often have a high agenda density, you can get in big trouble. Especially if the corp has put heavy ices everywhere and you cannot break those ices.

While the art is amazing, unfortunately it does not convey the fealing of "Always Be Running". The quote is very nice, but again fail to convey the meaning and effect of the card. Only the name gives (in a straightforward manner) the effect of the card. More effort should have been put into the design of this fantastic card.

(Parhelion era)

This card basically rotated when Find the Truth was printed.