This card is meant to be a buildable, all-powerful monstrosity. The problem? It’s slow, you need the right cards in the right order, and it put you behind while not doing anything when there is nothing on it. And it uses MU.

But… what if you don’t try to make it an all-powerful monstrosity? Sure, it’s great to combine the pumping ability of a Sharpshooter with the breaking ability of a Yog.0, but remember: for the same cost you could play Study Guide with 5 tokens. Which needs only one click and one card to install. And is better against Tollbooth and as good against Fairchild 3.0. And can break Turing on a remote. And only uses 1 MU. And… well, you get it.

The point is: with one icebreaker on it, it’s pointless. With two icebreakers, it’s generally inefficient. And even with a full rig, it’s not always that useful: sure, with a Gordian Blade or the like, you only needs to pump once. But you also have a base strength of 0. Which means it isn’t really effective against servers with less than 3 ICEs.

But there is one notable exception: Baba Yaga allows you to get the very powerful combination of the pumping ability of Faerie with the breaking ability of Faerie. Without the drawback of Faerie. You need to install 2 programs for a total install cost of 5, and 2 MU. That’s only 1 more than Mimic + Datasucker. It passes Komainu for 1, Rototurret for free, Tour Guide for free, Ichi 1.0 for 4, Archer for 6, Architect for 3… All that’s either awesome or decent. I may not be a groundbreaking combo, but it’s a good combination of two cards.

Beside that, what are the costs and benefits of Baba Yaga + Faerie compared to Mimic + Datasucker? Well, for it to work, you need to install Baba Yaga first, and Faerie second. Except… Faerie is a good card by itself. You can install it, use it to pressure the corp early, and only then install Baba Yaga and recure your magical killer on it.

It’s also an IA. Which means it hates stuff like Chiyashi or Swordsman. But you can mitigate the cost of Swordsman by using your Faerie and thus keep your big IA. You also cry if the corp can trash your daemon. And you probably need both Faerie and a way to get it back from the heap, which means it would cost you more influence than Mimic + Datasucker whatever your faction.

Now, for the pro: contrary to Datasucker, it’s not a virus, which means it laugh at Macrophage. But, more important: you can choose to either not play it, or play it more. If you don’t expect to encounter sentries that often, don’t install Baba Yaga at all and manage with your Faerie (and maybe Sharpshooter, Deus X or whatever). If you are facing a glacier and need to pass multiple big ICEs, then (and only then) find a way to put your decoder and fracter on Baba Yaga. Maybe even a Sharpshooter. And manage to find a way to make it interesting, without depending on it. The goal is to have a good rig, that also synergize on Baba Yaga.

Is it possible to make a deck that works both with and without Baba Yaga, and decides to play it or not depending on the corp? I don’t know. But if you’re already playing Faerie and sometime wished you had a way to make it permanent, you should give it a try.




Although, to be honest, the best way to play Baba Yaga is with Monolith. By the time you pull your rig all together, the corp had the time to win, forfeit all their agendas, win again and lose by outdraw. But once it’s on, oh boy they’re screwed.