Issuaq Adaptics: Sustaining Diversity

Issuaq Adaptics: Sustaining Diversity

Identity: Division
Deck size: 45 • Influence: 15

Whenever you score an agenda that you did not install or advance this turn, place 1 power counter on this identity.

For each hosted power counter, you need 1 less agenda point to win the game.

Bringing Mother Nature up to speed.
Illustrated by Emilio Rodríguez
Decklists with this card

Parhelion (ph)

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

Oh man, this identity. It has some strict requirements, but when you can pull it off, it gives the corps bonus points! That's huge! In many games, this corp will be able to score out with only 5 or 6 points, while the runner still needs all 7. In some ways, it feels like a better version of the old Harmony Medtech: Biomedical Pioneer - it forces the runner to go fast and take risks, because the game is not going to last long.

But unlike Harmony, it's not automatic. The corp has to meet some very specific requirements to get their free points! You need to score an agenda that wasn't installed or advanced this turn. So any time the runner sees something with advancement tokens on it's not just the usual "is it a trap or not" mind game. The stakes are higher! If it turns out to be an agenda, the corp could easily get an easy 3 points off of it, if the runner isn't careful!

So let's talk about what that would actually look like. If you're playing as (or against!) this Identity, there is one super-important fact that you need to keep in mind at all times:

Placing advancement tokens is not the same as advancing a card

You might look at this identity and think that you need to advance your agendas up to 3-4 tokens, and then sit on them for a turn before scoring. You do not. You simply need to advance them to the point that you can finish them off with Seamless Launch or Trick of Light. So in practice, you'll mostly be leaving things on the board with only one or two advancement tokens, and using other means to finish them off and score.

So what are these "other means"? Well, in startup, the most obvious ones are:

There are a few others, but they generally are impractical for various reasons. Psychographics and Shipment from Vladisibirsk require a lot of tags, and are expensive on the influence. Vladisibirsk City Grid puts tokens on things, but doesn't actually help much. Even Big Deal is kind of questionable, given it's prohibitive costs, both in credits and influence. (It does let you never-advance out a 4/2 agenda and get the bonus point from it though, which is pretty cool if you can pull it off!)

So how does it fit together? Seamless Launch is probably going to be doing most of the actual work, with Trick of Light or Moon Pool filling in the rest. You'll either install cards normally, and click to advance them once, or maybe put out multiple with Mitosis or similar. Then, if one was an agenda, next turn you just play an operation to add more advancement tokens to it, and enjoy your free points!

(Special shoutout to Jinteki's new 2/1 agenda, Hybrid Release. Since it only requires 2 tokens to score, you can just install it unadvanced, and if they don't run on it, next turn Seamless Launch it, and enjoy your surprise bonus points!)

It's tempting to try to activate the identity on every agenda, but in practice, if you get it even once or twice, you're doing pretty well. And the nice thing is that the tools that let you place advancement tokens are ALSO tools that can help you score out agendas in surprising situations. Seamless Launch can be used to never-advance out a surprise 4/2, and Trick of Light can fast-advance out 3/2s or 3/1s. (Trick of Light is also important for letting us reclaim tokens from any failed traps!) And Moon Pool can actually help you fast-advance out 4/2s, if you have enough agendas in hand, and they don't contest it!

Overall, this is a really neat new identity, and I like it a lot. Big props to the Null Signal Games team for coming up with such interesting new cards!

(Parhelion era)

I think SanSan City Grid still make you advance an agenda and would not combo with Issuaq Adaptics: Sustaining Diversity. Great review!

Ahh, I wondered if I needed to explain that part better - SanSan City Grid is on that list because you can install it under an existing agenda, and rez it to lower the scoring requirement. It's like adding an advancement token without actually advancing. So if you install a 3-cost agenda, next turn you could seamless launch it, and install/rez SanSan for the score + ID Activation. It's expensive, but it does leave a SanSan on the board for them to deal with...

I see what you mean. In that case, you could add La Costa Grid, which would do the exact same as SanSan City Grid for a lower cost.

Almost! The big difference is that La Costa Grid needs to be installed beforehand, so that it can respond to the "start of turn" trigger. SanSan City Grid can be installed+rezzed on the same turn that you plan to score the agenda, as long as it is 1 counter away from scoring. Being able to use "neveradvancethat on one turn (rather than telegraphing that something interesting is going on by having two cards in a server root) is really valuable! That being said though, La Costa Grid is also a very worthwhile card to consider with this ID, if you're playing in standard!

—Limited in card selection. Ob does a much better job Sustaining Diversity than this. And also most everyone else.

—It’s a cool ID ability but probably not a great fit for Jinteki’s card pool. This ID ability would probably be nuts in Weyland or perhaps NBN. Very few of the cards I’d want for this ability (Seamless Launch, Audacity, good 2/1 and 3/2 agendas, any economy, reliable ETR ice) are in Jinteki. Trick of Light is helluva worse. Mitosis? Traps?

—It asks for a HUGE commitment (your ID slot, limited agenda options, a lot of deck slots and influence on cards to trigger your ability, encourages awkward lines of play, etc).

(Parhelion era)

Thank;s to Helium-3 it'd be out and out broken for Weyland. Although I am curious, does Lady Liberty not work with this ID?

Lady Liberty won't trigger the ID ability. Lady Liberty says "Add an agenda from HQ to your score area." I don't think that adding an agenda to your score area counts as "scoring" it.

I don’t think Helium 3 works either. Identity cards aren’t usually valid targets for card effects, I doubt Helium 3 could place a counter on Isuaaq.

So similarily, cards that aren't agenda's that you can add to your score area like Backroom Machinations wouldn't trigger it either?


Trap based Jinteki taking its place next to all the other entertaining ways of playing this game over the ditch with a bag over its head to have its head blown off to make more space for Fast Advance nonsense. Sansan City Grid is still in the game, and this is what's considered an effort.

Awful. Just awful.

(The Automata Initiative era)