Is Gagarin purely janky silliness, or is there a legitimate reason to play it over Blue Sun and Titan Transnational? It can't go big like Blue Sun, and it can't go fast like Titan, but it can tax the living hell out of the runner. Played correctly (with plenty of econ assets to spam on remotes), Gagarin is designed to give you a edge over the runner. For a Corp player, leveraging an economic advantage means:
- A pure glacier style ICE suite with many and/or strong ICE to score behind
- A semi-glacier ICE suite with expensive upgrade tricks that keep the runner out or destroy their rig (Ash 2X3ZB9CY, Corporate Troubleshooter, Caprice Nisei)
- Trace-based aggression like SEA Source/Midseason Replacements/Punitive Counterstrike (SEA Source deserves a special mention here because forcing the runner to run remotes constantly turns on the "successful run" trigger)
Gagarin doesn't tax the runner if they don't run on remotes, so to take advantage of the ability, you want central servers that are dangerous or brutally taxing, and remotes that are just barely enticing enough to run on - that means not too much ICE, and assets that are just good enough to be worth running on and trashing.
Some cards that work great with this strategy:
- Paywall Implementation - every remote run becomes a 2 swing before even factoring in costs (also mitigates the swing loss from Desperado / Security Testing)
- NAPD Contract - 5's to access and steal, baby
- PAD Campaign - 5's to access and (6 swing with Paywall up) is just nasty for an early runner still setting up their own board
- Launch Campaign - 3's to access and (4-swing with Paywall up) means this a nearly guaranteed 5 profit (yes, that's Restructure-levels of duckets) or a really annoyed runner
- Tour Guide - great new piece of ICE that directly punishes the runner if they decide they don't want to play your remote-tax game
Because the runner always has to pay the tax if they want to access, Gagarin has a minor consolation against anti-asset cards like Whizzard: Master Gamer, Scrubber, and Imp. It can also be situationally useful against Film Critic or Faust decks that run on very lean economy.