The Back

♦ The Back 1[credit]

Resource: Job - Location
Influence: 4

The first time each turn you use a piece of hardware during a run, place 1 power counter on this resource.

[click], remove this resource from the game: For each hosted power counter, choose up to 2 cards in your heap with [trash] abilities. Shuffle the chosen cards into your stack.

“Junk plus undiscerning buyers equals profit.”
—Az McCaffrey
Illustrated by Izzy Pruett
Decklists with this card

Uprising (ur)

#82 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
  • Updated 2020-03-20

    NISEI Uprising Release Notes [NISEI Rules Team]

    What is "using" a hardware for the purposes of The Back?

    A card is "used" if its controller makes a choice to trigger or resolve any optional ability or part of an ability with that card as its source, or if its controller spends or moves counters to pay costs because of an ability from that card. See section 9.1.6 in CR 1.4.

    OK, that was a confusing answer. Can we talk about the kinds of "using" one at a time?

    Absolutely! And for simplicity, feel free to assume that we're always talking about the first relevant thing that happens during a run that turn.

    If the Runner triggers a paid ability on a piece of hardware, do they put a power counter on The Back?

    Yes. Paid abilities are always optional.

    If the Runner triggers the paid ability from Dedicated Processor to increase its host's strength, do they put a power counter on The Back?

    No. The ability is granted to the host icebreaker, so its source is that icebreaker. The Runner is "using" the icebreaker, not Dedicated Processor.

    Does Masterwork (v37)’s first ability cause the Runner to put a power counter on The Back?

    No. The card draw ability on Masterwork (v37) is entirely mandatory, so the Runner is not making any choices and is not "using" the ability.

    Does Masterwork (v37)'s second ability cause the Runner to put a power counter on The Back?

    Yes. If the Runner chooses to install a card with the ability, they are "using" it and meet The Back's trigger condition. If they choose not to install a card, however, they are not "using" Masterwork (v37).

    If the Runner spends a credit from Cyberfeeder, do they put a power counter on The Back?

    Yes. The Runner is spending the credit due to Cyberfeeder's own ability.

    If the Runner spends a virus counter from Friday Chip to break a subroutine with Yusuf, do they put a power counter on The Back?

    No. Even though the counter was hosted on hardware when it was spent, the ability allowing it to be spent came from Yusuf, so the Runner is only "using" Yusuf.

    If the Runner installs a program on NetChip because of its first ability, do they put a power counter on The Back?

    No. NetChip's hosting permission is a static ability, so it is active continuously and is never triggered or resolved. The only static abilities that can meet the definition of "using" a card are those that allow counters to be spent.


This is a card that you'll see only in criminal. If you use cards like Shiv, Crowbar, Spike, Spy Camera, Grappling Hook, Flip and other trashable cards, it allow you to get those back. Of course, it is mainly played with Geist, because Geist ID is best used with trashable cards. Note that Az can make good use of this card also.

There is another card like this : Trope. So, lets compare.

If installed early, Trope will be able to bring back a massive number of cards. The drawback is that Trope take up 1 MU. Otherwise, you can have multiple instance of Trope installed. Trope can bring back any cards, even events cards. But outside of Anarch, Trope cost 3 influence, so it must become a core piece of the deck strategy.

The Back does not take MU, but has multiple requirements. First, you must make a run AND use a piece of HARDWARE. There are not that many piece of hardware that can be used. The most obvious are Boomerang, Spy Camera, Sports Hopper, Prognostic Q-Loop, Masterwork v37, Flip Switch and Simulchip. This is what make this card best used in criminal, because you need a lot of support from other criminal cards. The good part is, The Back will bring you double the amount of trashable cards, which let you use hardware outside of a run.

I will not compare with Labor Right and Harmony AR Therapy, but they could be used for a similar effect. Also, if you have the setup for it, Rip Deal could be used to bring back cards. But those events are for a different strategy.

This make The Back an essential card, if you use multiple trashable cards, allowing you to make the game viable with trashable cards. At 1 cred, you should absolutely use it if you play lots of trashable cards.

Kudos to the artist, it is perfectly done, even the quote, to encapsulate the meaning of the card.

(Uprising era)

Have to add that Trope has a bit of an advantage in that it's a program and therefore can be tutored, while tutoring resources is a bit harder

Fun fact: This card says up to, while Trope shuffles back EXACTLY X cards, which has bitten me in the back more often than I'd like to admit.

@Krams, I had not caught on that part of Trope. This is a major thing. It means you have to keep in mind when to pop Trope. From the feel of it, I think you should not let Trope build to more than 9, for it will dilute the probability of getting the correct cards. But I might be wrong and there will be edge cases where you need the most cards possible. But that drawback is balanced by what @Shieldwall said, Trope can be tutored and The Back cannot.