This game has seen its fair share of broken stuff, as have most games. And in the spirit of learning from one's mistakes, we often see retrains of old cards attempting to fix those problems. Conduit replaces Medium, now in the right faction and slowed down a tad. Pennyshaver and Paragon each try to replace Desperado, each with their own twists. And I've been pretty satisfied with these callbacks and fixes. They've been balanced, fun, and still pushed enough to be relevant.

But when I saw the Spin Doctor, I thought I had something crazy in my eye. Surely they didn't just give us a retrain of Jackson "Three Influence" Howard? Jesus Howard? The savior, the staple, the must-include, the card you were surprised if a corp deck ran any less than three. While it may look innocuous to newer players, the old guard knows. Jackson was dominant. He was the face of Corp recursion and the reason running Archives was a wasted click.

So let's say it is with reserved optimism I look at Spin Doctor. On the one hand, I've seen good retrains, and the playtest teams seem to have a good finger on the pulse. On the other hand, I've been burned before. I've seen Jackson in action. I played during the Museum format, so I know how bad it can get when Corp recursion gets good. I hope the Spin Doctor doesn't take us back in that direction.

At LEAST 1c to Rez or Activate - anything that kept it from being a free instant-speed safeguard. I think that's the only issue.

I started playing just as J-How rotated so never saw him in action and honestly never really understood why he was such a contentious card. Just so I'm clear on how he was used, the scenario would go something like this?

Oh no, I'm flooded! But luckily I have Jackson in hand so I: <br/>* Slap him down and rez<br/>* Draw 3 (possibly drawing more agendas?)<br/>* Dump 2 agendas into Archives at end of turn<br/>* Then use Jackson to hide them back in R&D<br/>It doesn't seem that much stronger than other recursion tools like Drudge Work or Attitude Adjustment that have appeared since, and none have become ubiquitous or problematic. So why was he such an issue?

I also wasn´t playing Netrunner in Jackson´s era, but was problematic because he was 1 influence, instant speed, gave you some tempo and helped you fight Noise

Jackson wasn't broken in any single dimension; everything he does is individually reasonable. It's just that it was a single card that had a huge number of different uses, and that sort of versatility is incredibly powerful (normally adding a card to your deck has a risk of it becoming dead, but Jackson would be useful no matter what). A good way to look at it is that Preemptive Action is a pretty good card, and you can always use Jackson as a Preemptive if you want to. But you can also use him to cycle agendas from HQ back into R&D, or dig for a particular card, or overdraw intentionally, and he was also useful in combo decks (due to being able to clicklessly stack an empty R&D). So there was no reason to choose between the various draw and reshuffle and Archives protection cards available; you'd always simply just choose Jackson.

The most powerful aspect of Jackson, which Spin Doctor retains, is that you can use the reshuffle effect in any PA-window. Meaning the runner has to comitt the click and run to check archives before you reshuffle. You almost don't need to store agendas in RnD. They are safe in archives, until the Runner has wasted time attacking it.

Similar to what others have already said, there was never a downside to using him and always a downside to the runner trying to interact with him. If they run Jackson, you pop him like an NGO front and recur 3 cards, wasting the runner's time. If they run Archives, you pop him and pull your agendas out of the bin, again, wasting the runner's time. If they run R&D, poo him and shuffle 3 non-trashable cards into R&D to reduce the agenda density. If they Index R&D, pop him to reshuffle R&D. If they... As you see, the list goes on and on.

Ok that makes sense. With that in mind then, do you think Spin Doctor is different enough to prevent it becoming a problem?

Nope. Single click card draw for no cost, with a no click reactive

Weird idea: Could you use Panchatantra to give a Bioroid the subtype Icebreaker, and thus use the Bioroid to break itself through Next Activation Command? It doesn't say "Icebreaker Program".

'Cause that would be awesome. I ship it.

No unfortunately.


@m.p Check the ruling on Panchatantra, you can only give a subtype that exists for the type of card you're targetting.

These reviews aren't really the places for questions about the cards.

This is not really a review of this card in particular, so much as a review of the state of Link in general. Because it's tough out here in standard. Gone are the days of triple Rabbit Hole, and we are in a distinctly linkless era.

Our options for link at the moment are:

  • Three Consoles. Reflection, Forger and Security Nexus. The former two are not very strong (especially in Criminal, who have Paragon to work with), and Nexus wants other Links to work with anyway.

All of these also means giving up your Console slot, which isn't very attractive if all you wanted was some Link.

  • Two connections. The Archivist and Cybertrooper Talut, both of which are both unique and faction-bound. Bad in multiples and costing influence, these guys are not the strong Link we're looking for.

  • Power Tap: Is great, but on the MWL. That means giving up your unicorn, which is a steep cost for some Link.

  • Borrowed Satellite and Sports Hopper. One is faction-bound, and both are woefully inefficient if you want Link...

Our best option seems to be Sports Hopper, and that's not a great place to be in. Link as a mechanic is the counterplay to strong Traces, such as CtM and Surveyor. If your deck had a problem with these tactics, your answer would have been to slot some Link and give yourself a fighting chance.

Which is a strange thing. Cards like No One Home, Citadel Sanctuary and everything Sunny Lebeau ever did clearly shows an interest in traces as a mechanic from both sides of the game. Yet Runners have very few options to find some good sources for Link, even as Traces are becoming meaner, stronger and more punishing.

I for one am looking forward to when we can have Link be a bigger deal again, and really exploring what can be done with the mechanic.

This card alone shows how weird Link is. Despite its mostly attractive numbers, it never saw any play which is the same for most of the cards you mentioned. On the other extreme, we were given cards like Maxwell James. —
I think the time for "pure" link is behind us. I'd rather see more auxillary link on cards, like how Compromised Employee used to be, or how Talut is now. —
I agree with your comment, pang4, that "auxillary" link cards are the way to go. I'm not a fan of the link mechanic, and especially not cards that let you repeatedly initiate traces as the runner. IMO link should only be reserved for being a silver bullet against trace-heavy decks, and I wish it were decoupled from all the other mechanics such as cloud. —
as seen from the experience, when link was a silver bullet against trace-heavy decks, it was never used. At least now there is a way to incorporate link into your deck without feeling like a complete failure —
My issue is that unfortunately link has that silver bullet effect, even if you didn't mean to include it that way. I wish that was decoupled. Because a deck that focuses on link to activate things like cloud, or win self-induced traces like Security Nexus, also just happen to randomly have a huge advantage against trace-heavy decks. So not only do you have a functioning deck against most archetypes, you've accidentally built an even better deck against one particular archetype. And unfortunately link really adds up in an irritating way. Once you hit link 3 or 4, most traces meant to tax the runner are just blank, which isn't very fun for the corp. —

Two words, for this lady: Psychic Field. Rez her in the Jackson window, and watch the Runner play for their lives...

More reliable than the Prisec combo, as that one relies on BOTH winning a Psi game and getting lucky with the runner's access order.

Actually a nombo. Fumiko is triggered at the "Reveal spent credits" step of Psychic Field, so her meat damage completes before Psychic Field counts the runner's grip. —
You sure about this? As a corp, don't you choose your own trigger orders? You reveal credits. both Fumiko and Psychic Field happen, and you choose the order. —
I suppose it depends on whether "If you and the Runner spent a different number of credits..." counts as another ability triggered by 'Reveal spent credits'. I think it doesn't, but I could be wrong! —
The wording is kinda weird. I'd say these go as separate triggers in the same moment, so Corp would choose the order. But I've been wrong before. —
It's a moot point, triggers are stacked by the active player IIRC so the Runner stacks the triggers since it's tue Runner's turn when they access the field. —
@LordRandomness, the rule is that players choose the order of their own cards' triggers, but the player whose turn it is has their effects happen first. —
I thought of this a few days ago, along with Chetana, and did some research before making a deck. The FAQ says under Chain Reactions, "If during the resolution of an ability another ability meets its trigger condition, then a “chain reaction” is created. The ability that just met its trigger condition resolves immediately following the active effect on the current ability. If this ability results in another ability meeting its trigger condition, then that ability is also “chained.” Resolve all the abilities from the most recent trigger condition before continuing." So yeah, the meat damage happens first. I'm actually glad about this,as the Psychic Field/Prisec combo is pretty dumb. —
I just realized that I read this incorrectly. I still am not sure though. I think I agree with Toper's original comment. —
The way i'm reading that the triggered condition ability resolves after the effect that triggered it is done —
According to the latest version of the FAQ (ver. 4), this combo works now. Fumiko triggers after Psychic Field! —

The greatest lie in Netrunner.

Whizzard has a cybernetic left arm, yet his subtype is Natural instead of Cyborg.

You deserved everything you got, you fraud. May you and your recurring credits never plague our assets again.

Could be something like the old Power Glove, probably used in this strategic game with robots that Whizz used to play. Check out the leaflet in What Lies Ahead. —