Orbital Superiority

Orbital Superiority 4/2

Agenda: Security
Influence: 0

When you score this agenda, if the Runner is tagged, do 4 meat damage; otherwise, give the Runner 1 tag.

Mobsters bribe police, megacorps acquire militaries.
Illustrated by Krembler
Decklists with this card

System Gateway (sg)

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

No rulings yet for this card.


You are not going to kill the runner with this card.

The damage condition is to score the agenda while the runner is tagged, which isn't so simple. The runner normally acquires tags from running; this is well-known. With years of meat damage in the game's history, runners have learned not to take tags for fear of damage. There's a saying "never run click 4" because the runner wants to be able to clear unexpected tags after a run ends.

If the runner chooses to ignore tags, they are aware that meat damage is a likely consequence, and so they'll choose cards that do damage prevention in that situation.

The runner can also take tags on the corp's turn, most likely with the new Public Trail. This allows the corp to do powerful things without giving the runner the chance to remove the tags. This power is still very limited, though.

So if you want to deal damage with Orbital Superiority, you need one of these situations:

  • The runner ignores tags, and also doesn't have any way to prevent your damage. This would be really silly, since cards that do meat damage when tagged are common. I suppose it could happen with inexperienced players. So the tag condition is met, and you just need to score the 4/2 normally.
  • The runner made mistakes and ended their turn with a tag - they plan to clear the tag next turn. So you need to install the 4/2 and score it, all within 3 clicks. Or you needed to have the 4/2 already installed and long since ignored, so that it lies in wait. This would have to look like a failed trap, and then you still need something like Seamless Launch to get 4 advancements in 1 turn.
  • You plan to give tags during your turn. So you need to play Public Trail or whatever, and then install and score this 4/2 with your last 2 clicks.

All of these situations are fairly convoluted and unlikely. Each of them is possible, yes... but that's a whole lot of work to execute your plan which is totally foiled by the high-tech runner strategy of... having 5 cards in hand.

And in all of these situations, it would have been easier and more effective to play BOOM! instead.

So you're not going to kill with Orbital. What should you do with it instead?

In the exceedingly unlikely scenario that you get the damage dealt, the runner most likely loses 4 cards from hand. That's okay! They lost tempo. That's good for you. But False Lead (3/2), and every Jinteki agenda, also make the runner lose tempo while being easier to score and inflict their effects much more reliably.

But most likely you will score it normally and give the runner a tag. If you're playing NBN: Reality Plus, that's... fine. The runner is tagged and you get 2 credits (or 2 cards) back. Analysing this as tempo, that's about 5 credits of tempo in your direction, though your own bank account is still at a net negative after scoring. For comparison, Offworld Office gives you 7 credits directly no matter which ID you're playing, making you straightaway credit positive.

If you score Orbital with clicks left, you can enact some tag punishment, though if you're playing Startup format then the only punishment available is Predictive Planogram and Retribution.

This card is trying to do several things, and does none of them well. In each situation it is outclassed by another card. Operations are much better at killing, and many agendas are better at swinging the tempo in your favour or giving you better rewards or annoying the runner. Despite the temptations of this card, it's best to leave it aside.

(Midnight Sun Booster Pack era)

I'm pretty sure I've never once seen this fire its damage.

Part of a kill package to get the runner. The mere existence of this agenda mean that a runner that goes "tag me" (meaning a total disregard to collecting tags), the corp could probably flatline the runner just by scoring this agenda.

Otherwise, it can at least give a tag. Which is why this agenda will mainly see play in NBN: Reality Plus deck. Since the tag will give 2 back to the runner, thus making it cheaper to score this agenda.

Alternatively, you can put 3 advancements on Orbital Superiority, then wait for the next turn to use Public Trail, tag the runner and score the agenda, thus causing 4 meat damages.

If you are running a kill deck, using BOOM! or High-Profile Target, Orbital Superiority will synergize with your strategy very well.

By its neutral nature, it could be used in any faction, but I expect to see it mainly in Weyland and NBN.

The quote and the art synergize together to let you intuitively understand what the card is about. Nice.

(System Update 2021 era)

Did you mean put 2 advancements and next turn public trail and 2 advancements? Also, you canĀ“t usually flatline the runner with it because they can have 5 cards in hand