I really like this identity because of its utilization of a pre-existing mechanic: agendas that must be installed face-up. This identity introduces a new synergy with cards that may not have been played with previously due to their exposed nature.

Currently, there are five applicable agendas:

Transparency Initiative (CR) can also make other agendas function for this identity. Perhaps something to be considered with Government Takeover (CR)... that's six advancement tokens for free each round!

This identity can make advanceable ice very powerful very quickly on the cheap. If the Runner doesn't keep these agendas out of the servers, the ice can become insurmountable. Obviously, this can play well to a Glacier strategy. Some sort of fast-ish advance play could be possible, but then there's not necessarily full utilization of this identity.

All currently available advanceable ice:

While Builder (CR) and Oduduwa (CR) themselves are not advanceable, they could be well-utilized alongside these other cards. They can help continue to boost ice beyond the initial "dump" the identity can provide, since it only works on ice that don't already have advancement tokens.

To keep from running out of ice to place advancement tokens on, consider utilizing Constellation Protocol (CR), Trick of Light (CR) and Red Planet Couriers (CR).

An important reminder that agendas cannot normally be installed face-up, or rezzed. This makes the five agendas that work with this identity very important! Also, this identity does not work with agendas that have been scored, since they are no longer installed.

Rules page 8: Agendas cannot be rezzed...

Rules page 13: For , the Corporation installs a single agenda, asset, upgrade, or piece of ice from HQ, placing it facedown on the table.

Also, the ID does not specify "on a piece of ice that may be advanced" turning those "<ICE> can only be advanced while rezzed" ice (e.g. Tyrant) into potential targets (a la Tennin institute). Similarly, non-advanceable ice can be targetted and used for tricks of light/ice advancement moving/ice advancement profiting mechanics (Commercialization). —

This guy is one versatile connection.

1) He'll give 1 for 1, which is a pretty good deal.

2) He's one influence, so you will notice him popping up in Kim, Sunny, and Wu decks focused on link/connections, in addition to Geist, who he loves for the trash ability as noted below.

3) He's also a pseudo Emergency Shutdown that can be used at weird times during the runner turn! After running on HQ, you can run on a remote safe in the knowledge that any unrezzed ICE will be very expensive for the corp (sad days if it's Vanilla though). I believe the window on him is such that you can either force the corp to rez twice or simply shut it down and bypass entirely. (Please correct me on this if I'm wrong!)

Since he's unique you can't pull off completely absurd multi-James combos during a run without Street Peddler, which is probably for the best. Easily one of the best sources of (one and only one) link in the game, and a great splash in almost any faction for his great ability.

You've almost got the derez part down, just a quick clarification: you can either 1) derez an ICE on-approach (this skips on-encounters BUT allows the corp to rez again, if they can) or 2) derez on-encounter, suffering any on-encounter effects (NOT bypassing) but taking away the opportunity for the corp to re-rez. What makes Maxwell special is that he allows the Runner to choose whichever is the better option. —
Btw for Anarchs who just need the link/connection and are influence-starved, The Archivist can provide a cheap +1 link and give a decent-but-not-great effect as well. —


Owl - It is eyes just keep following you.

Suspicious apostraphes aside, let us consider the virtues of Owl for a moment. First and foremost - It's thematically excellent! Owls are known for their silent flight, and this thing glided so silently under the radar that I even forgot what cycle it was in.

Now, on to practical stuff. Adding to the stack instead of trashing seems to be an increasingly useful effect. As well as getting around things like good old Trash'o'Cube and borking fat witchy stacks, the added click and credit(s) hassle is not to be underestimated. In edge cases, it can also throw a (mini, meccano-sized) wrench into decks that have a lot of shuffle effects. Can't go tutoring stuff quite so easily when you have something valuable on the top, huh? Not to mention it's also very useful when, ah...

Honestly, I just like owls. Never mind the mechanics. Owls are cool. Owls are good. Give one a home. Put an Owl in your deck today!

Yours Twootingly,

Definitely not an Owl ((@v@))

Your reviews are always a hoot! —

I've been playing around with Laamb since it was released and found it to be quite the good fracter, so imagine my surprise when I discovered it's not Paperclip.

There is currently no piece of ICE in the game with a strength greater than 8 (RIP Wotan), so with Laamb you can get used to paying for ICE with 2, 5, or 7, depending on whether the ICE is a barrier and if it has a strength greater than 2.

As a support breaker, it's fantastic. It's pretty much an AI without all the hate. Get this bad boy out early and you can contest any single-ICE'd server as long as you have 7 in the bank. Mid-to-late game and you don't have to worry about any pesky traps or other shenanigans.

That's less interesting, I think, than having Laamb as your only breaker. Unlike it's counterpart Engolo, this one can let you surf through any ICE protecting a server for 2 a piece. That's right, pile on the economy and make one beautiful glory run each turn. With the right set up, you can start making a profit on the weaker servers.

Oh yeah, and Wall of Static sucks.

If i advance Changeling, via paid ability, assuming that runner has priority and applies double barrier, does the “looses barrier” effect activate ? —
That's one hell of a janky question lol. I'm inclined to say yes, Laamb's ability would fizzle since Changeling has a perpetual condition on it as opposed to an on-encounter effect. —
Changeling has the subtype "Barrier" to begin with. Advancing it via paid ability removes the innate "Barrier" subtype and replaces it with "Sentry". There's no limit to the number of subtypes a piece of ice can have, so if the runner has applied (or indeed subsequently applies) "Barrier" as a subtype via Laamb's ability, then Changling will have either Subtype: Barrier AND Sentry (odd # of advancements) or Barrier AND Barrier (even # of advancements). In either case, Laamb would be able to interact. —
What ruling sets the precedent for that though? Why doesn't Changeling lose the "barrier" it gains from Laamb's ability as well? It seems like the condition is just "while Changeling has an odd # of advancements" which seems perpetual. The question could definitely use a UFAQ ruling. —
Checked the UFAQ rules on "Gaining and Losing Subtypes" where it notes a running total of subtypes should be kept. So in this case, Changeling would start with +1 Barrier, then have +1 Sentry/-1 Barrier (after advancement) then Laamb would give it +1 Barrier. Contrary to what I said yesterday, Laamb WOULD work and Changeling would become a sentry/barrier until the end of the encounter. —
But wouldn’t Laamb addition happen first since is the runner turn. My ruling would be having Changeling start with +barrier, Laamb apply +barrier and after advancement become -2 barrier +sentry. Or so i hope :) —
Changeling doesn't say "lose all instances of barrier" just "loses barrier" so it's probably safe to assume that it's only -1 barrier. —

I played with Bacterial Programming for the first time tonight in my Punitive Evolution deck, and for the love of Apex this card is out of control.

The specific play that sold me on it was discarding two copies to Archives (it was a calculated risk) and the Runner stealing both (0-0 -> 0-6), letting me draw 14 cards.

Ponder on that for just a moment. Seven cards is a lot of cards, but fourteen? That's... that's a lot more than a lot of cards.

At that point the Runner knew for sure a Punitive was coming up, so they moneyed up, but it wasn't enough.

Mandatory draw up to twenty cards.

Click one, Punitive Counterstrike, no boost. Runner spends half their credits to avoid 6 damage.

Click two, Punitive Counterstrike, no boost. Runner spends their remaining credits to avoid 6 damage.

Click three, Punitive Counterstrike, no boost. Runner is dismayed at the sight of the third Punitive.

Runner is eviscerated.

For a more serious discussion of why it's good, it's a 5/3 with a hugely swingy effect that happens regardless of who gets the agenda. Being able to put seven whole cards wherever you want them is a huge boon, and I'm sure with even the slightest bit of creativity, seasoned Jinteki players will be able to get loads of mileage out of this card.

Give this one a whirl sometime, just the once. You'll be glad you did.

Played The Maker's Eye with 4 cards remaining in hand against a PE deck, what could go wrong? Saw 1st card Bacterial Programming, corp proceeds to order the remaining cards and I access a Snare! and another agenda for a total 5 net damage and flatline. Saddest moment ever. —
Brilliant. Truly the most Jinteki of plays. —