Inside Man is a card I want to like, as some of my decks have a significant amount of hardware. But, sadly, the play cost is so high, I almost never include it. You need enough hardware to justify Replicator and then some to warrant including IM, as it takes a minimum of two uses to pay for itself. Add on top of that the opportunity cost of not drawing something that would probably be more useful to you at the time, and the click to install, and you'll see why this card rarely sees the artificial light of your local game store.

Okay, to be fair, it's not all bad. If you have loads of hardware, and you get this out early, it can easily pay for itself and then some. But therein lies the problem—getting it out early. Usually one of these, maybe two in some special circumstances, are all you want in play, but to be effective it really has to be out in those crucial first few turns. So naturally, you'd throw three of these in, to increase the chances you get one early. But then, when you draw the other few later on, you realize how myopic your plan was, and you give up altogether.

So why not tutor for it? Well, cards that tutor for resources are slim, but Hostage works here. Though, honestly, if you're going to go through the trouble of tutoring for a connection, this probably won't be at the top of your list. Maybe a specialized deck with Paige Piper can take advantage of it, but that's another animal entirely, and not often seen. So, an oddball deck here and there may find this attractive, but most will pass it by—and be better off for it. If only it cost just 1 less...

I tried it in Darwin Deck along with: 3xCyberfeeders, 3x Personal Touch, Spinal Modem, 2x E3 Feedback... With Wyldside —
I've got two in a Haley stealth deck with 17 pieces of hardware... not that I've played more than a few games with it. —
Yep, almost everyone has "that one deck" with insane amounts of hardware that can really make use of it. And in those cases, it can be a great include. It's just something that doesn't see play in very many decks. —

SDP is a great example of a card that could be quite good in the right circumstance, but is way too conditional to ever be used. Due to its "at least" wording, it does not combo well with cards like Cerebral Overwriter—you only get 1 net damage extra. While that's not completely horrible, it certainly doesn't justify throwing this in your deck. So, what is it supposed to work with?

I'm convinced the only thing that could warrant putting this in a deck is Janus 1.0. SDP will double the damage of any executed routines from Janus 1.0, albeit in the weaker net damage form. This will easily flatline an unprepared runner, especially one who runs with their last click. But there are several problems with this strategy.

The first and most obvious one is economic. Janus 1.0 is arguably the most expensive piece of ice in the game right now, if one considers that Orion has a built-in way to lower its own cost. Keeping 15 credits in your pool at all times might as well tell the runner, "Hey, I've got an unrezzed Janus 1.0 on the board, and feel free to Account Siphon me at any time."

So, there must be better ways to get Janus 1.0 into play—and there are. Bioroid Efficiency Research, Accelerated Beta Test, Priority Requisition, or out of faction Mutate / Oversight AI are the most blatant, but it's pre-rezzed so you lose any hope of flatlining. Isn't there any way to make this work?

Howler seems to come to the rescue, but it too has a problem—the runner can simply jack out instead of encountering the Janus 1.0 you threw down, unless you had them already resolve a Whirlpool, or they were daft enough to walk into your An Offer You Can't Refuse while you already had SDP scored. There are too many pieces involved to ever put this puzzle together.

Of course, all of these options assume you already have SDP scored, which by itself screams "It's a trap!" louder than Admiral Ackbar. Quite simply, if you really want to flatline a runner, there are just too many easier ways.

What about a Twins-based Foundary build? That's a good combo for Janus already, and scoring a single 4/2 agenda isn't too tall an order. It's still unlikely, and there are probably better uses for the agenda slot, but it bears considering. —
Dammit, Pikeman, I was just about to publish my Foundry-Howler-Janus-SDP-Offer You Can't Refuse deck. —
Cybernetics Division might theoretically use this if they go for a thousand-cuts style handsize reduction. But it still has to compete with NAPD and other 2 pointers. —
Markus Batty makes this a bit more likely. But yeah. —
It does however shutdown anarch tricks like Stimhack or Amped up or even Stim Dealer! Though those cards don't pose such a big threat at the moment. —
Might there be some value in *bluffing* the Admiral Ackbar? Put something crazy like Mandatory Upgrades or just some other 5/3 like Priority Requisition into your OBVIOUS TRAP server, and use the second-guessing to pull off a slow advance? —
Awakening Center helps with the no "pre-rezzing Janus" part. Then again, Awakening Center itself is pre-rezzed and the cost is still quite steep. Still, might work as a deterrent. —
Wait, this is the perfect card to spite that Sipinel modem that causes Jinteki so much greif... oh wait its a Haas card. —

This is the crummiest card printed since AstroScript Pilot Program. First off, it's limited to pulling cards from archives or HQ; R&D is out of the question. On top of that, you have to score an agenda to even use it's ability! I mean, give me a break, I don't want to put a bunch of 1-pointers in my deck that I can fast advance to take advantage of this every turn. That would require big agenda density, and with it's 1 influence cost, it's not even worth putting into Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center or Haarpsichord Studios.

Turtlebacks almost makes this worthwhile, but it's not even in faction. Plus, it's trash cost is only 4, so Whizzard: Master Gamer can shut this down no-problem. Maybe if the trash cost were upped to be on par with SanSan City Grid, and it let me pull cards from R&D or it said 'and' instead of 'or', and instead of just negating install cost it gave me credits equal to the install cost, it might be worth playing. But as written, this probably won't end up in any half decent deck.

Wat. —
Best troll review since bblum's one about Astro —
10/10 trollin' —
That's pretty funny, as Astro STILL is the most overpowered card in the game. This card is really, really good, if you are the corp. In my experience so far I do not like playing against it. True, Whizzard trashes it easy, but he trashes everything easy; and since it costs one to rez, it isn't too big a lose if he does. You probably won't rez it until you use it so you'll get your moneys worth anyway. —
Whoosh. —

Diversified Portfolio is definitely not for every deck, mostly because of its 1 cost. Let's compare it to what I feel are its closes neighbors, Beanstalk Royalties and Sweeps Week.

Versus Beanstalk Royalties:

  • BR is 0 to play, and can be played right after an Account Siphon drains you of your final credit.
  • To give an equal net credit profit to BR, you need to have 4 remote servers, and then it's still worse than BR due to the point above.
  • DP does cost less influence to use outside of Weyland.
  • BR is far more useful early game, as you won't have that many remotes up until later on, if ever.

Versus Sweeps Week:

  • Both are contingent credit gain, though they have very different criteria. The big difference is, you often have a more control over how many remote servers you have, and less control over the number of cards in a runner's grip.
  • DP synergizes with Building a Better World while SW doesn't, for several reasons. First, DP is a transaction, and SW isn't; but frequently more important is the fact that this doesn't cost Weyland any influence to use.
  • SW gives you a massive 4 boost if the runner has a full default grip of 5 cards. To match that you need a whopping 5 remotes (unless playing BaBW).
  • DP's influence cost is significantly lower at 0, for non-NBN decks.
  • SW is amazing on the first turn, while the best DP can usually hope for on the first turn is a measly 1 net gain.
  • SW frequently causes runners to keep no more than 4 cards in their grip, and can really hurt those who take advantage of Public Sympathy.
  • SW doesn't work well if you do significant brain damage, while DP can still be useful in that situation.

So, what does this all boil down to? Basically, if you're playing Weyland, always take up to 3 Beanstalks before even considering DP. NBN will usually want Sweeps Week over this, especially for its fear factor (including the ability to annoy Public Sympathy runners), and early-game utility. Even in HB, if I can spare any influence, I'd take BR over DP in a heartbeat. So, all that leaves is Jinteki...

Oh, Jinteki! Finally, a faction that can really make use of DP. This definitely isn't for every Jinteki deck, but there is one place this can clean house, and that is shell game white tree. With 5+ remotes not uncommon in those circumstances, this becomes a powerhouse. If you're ballsy enough to leave agendas on the board (even fully advanced), this can become a quick trip to credit heaven late game, and flush out your credit pool when you're still busy piling credits on Shell Corporation, letting you delay grabbing credits off of it for a few turns, which makes it even more efficient! And, finally, it gives runners an incentive to trash exposed traps in remotes, letting you shuffle them back into R&D with Jackson Howard.

That said, this will never shine in the early game, so frequently you'll only drop a single copy in a deck. But, I feel like DP is to shell game RP what Mark Yale is to Titan Transnational—an almost mandatory inclusion, yet used sparsely.

IG would be another contender, as it is generally even more horizontal than RP... and those remotes tend to stick around even longer. That being said, the few games I've played my IG deck, I haven't really had a need for credits (turtlebacks + sundew + PAD Campaign gives plenty), so I'm not sure I would take this in addition to any of those. Swapping it out for something might make sense in some builds, but I generally think asset economy > operation economy in IG in almost all cases. —

This card is almost as puzzling to me as Record Reconstructor. Without a Sweeps Week equivalent for runners, it seems to do nothing but help the corp. And in the few cases where it might be useful, namely vs an Accelerated Diagnostics + Power Shutdown, there are better options that cost the same, or less (if playing Shaper) influence: Sacrificial Construct.

Unlike ES, Sacrificial Construct can always be installed for the low price of one , whereas to make ES worthwhile you almost always have to make a successful run on R&D, which costs you a anyway and potentially a lot of credits. Sacrificial Construct is a nice safety net for all sorts of situations, while ES's utility is extremely niche. Finally, Sacrificial Construct isn't limited to a single copy per deck, and if nothing else each copy can be sold to Aesop's Pawnshop / Chop Bot 3000 if it's not needed. Oh, and Sacrificial Construct can combo with Paige Piper while this cannot, and is more useful with Chop Bot 3000 / Aesop's Pawnshop.

So clearly this must be useful some place where Sacrificial Construct isn't, and that has to be due to the fact that it forces a draw. Maybe in a Data Leak Reversal deck, but it's not needed there. It can increase the rez cost of IQ, but also its strength. Presumably one could use this after the corp's final , and if they were at their maximum hand size, they now have to discard 2 cards. But they get to choose which 2, and a corp deck without 3 copies of Jackson Howard is about as rare as unicorns are in real life—that is to say, quite rare. But, I think we'll succeed in getting a narwhal to interbreed with a horse before this will see play.

If Corp only has one card in hand, this could turn on a Legwork run. But that's pretty specific use. Also, Fisk Investment Seminar arguably doors Smyth —
Sorry. posting on phone. I was gonna say Fisk Investment Seminar arguably does anything you would want this to do and provides more benefit as well. Just can't be used mid run. —
I'm confused - how and why is this comparable with Sacraficial Construct? —
It's a multiaccess booster for both HQ and R&D. The former, as Wayne mentioned, with a legwork, and the latter as a way of digging past crap that you don't want on the second Medium or R&D interface run. —
@AdamFitzgerald - I was comparing it to Sacrificial Construct in the case of the AD/PS combo. —
@Pikeman But how is Sacrificial Construct useful against the AD/PS combo? —
@Pikeman - Yes, but how does Sacrificial Construct help against the AD/PS combo? —
Also, how does Sacrificial Construct combo with Replicator? —
If you fire it following a turn where the corp ended on a full hand, then run as Fisk forcing another draw, that's six cards the corp is over hand size, plus one when they make their mandatory draw at the start of their turn. That's a lot of cards to manage and if you can keep up the pressure by recurring FIS and Eden Shard (Trope?), the corp will leave windows open for you to take advantage of... —
Sacrificial Construct doesn't stop Power Shutdown "discard X cards" effect. Corp discards X cards, Runner chooses a program or piece of hardware to trash, then the runner could use sacrificial construct to save it. The cards are still discarded, which is all the AD/PS combo really cares about. —
Well, the few times I've faced AD/PS, I would have had a fighting chance if not for having to trash most of my rig. That said, it doesn't see much play at my LGS as Fisk is ever present there. —
By the way, SC does *not* combo with Aesop's. —
The reason Sac Con kills Shutdown combo isn't about stopping the rig damage from the initial Shutdown, it's for keeping Clot on the table through CVS. —