Android: Netrunner – Salsette Island Review

Netrunner’s sprawling card pool continues to grow – today we look at the fourth pack in the Mumbad cycle, Salsette Island. As with most data packs, this one seems to be mostly jank sprinkled with a few valuable competitive cards that will slot nicely into our present meta-game.

We’ll focus on the five cards that are likely to see immediate action.

Jeeves Model Bioroids

netrunner-jeeves-model-bioroids
This is easily the most fun card in the pack. Having an extra click to spend opens up a lot of powerful options for the corp, the most obvious involve playing HB: En    gineering the future. Since winning worlds back in 2013 HBFA has been waiting patiently while NBN fast advance took all the limelight.

ANRSalsetteBesides the obvious 3 click sequences (credits, drawing, installing, advancing), Jeeves also triggers when clicks are spent on operations, including doubles. Suddenly, a whole range of powerful turn possibilities appear for HBFA*. For example, Subliminal messaging turns into a poor man’s biotic labor, enabling you to score a 3/2 while making 1c profit:

Install agenda (etf credit), subliminal messaging (1+ credit), shipment from Sansan (triggers Jeeves), advance agenda & score.

Jeeves synergy with biotic labor provides some awesome five click options, for example, you can score a 3/2 while purging clot on the same turn:

Install agenda, biotic labor, advance, advance, advance (triggers Jeeves), install Cyberdex purge & score

Other possibilities with biotic labor & Jeeves:
-Safely score an Accelerated Beta Test, fire the test, install Jackson if any agendas fell into archives.
-Score a Vitruvius from hand with a token
-Score a naked 5/3 e.g. global food
-Score Efficiency Committee from hand (opening up a whole new can of worms in subsequent turns with 3 extra clicks available).

So we have a powerful fast advance engine in the same faction with probably the best ice (Eli, Architect, Ichi etc.) you’d think that this would go straight to the top of the meta? Well… not quite. The support cards Jeeves needs are second tier (subliminal and shipment from  Sansan) which means cutting cards like Eve & Breaker Bay grid. This definitely stops the deck from being too overpowered.

Having said this, Jeeves decks have already seen some decent tournament success and triggering these combos create some “feel good” Netrunner moments. It’s a fun alternative to chaining Astro tokens and definitely worth a try!

Sports Hopper

Netrunner-sports-hopper-
What’s the most boring card in your runner deck right now, and why is it Plascrete? Runners have always wanted damage protection that has additional utility and this is probably the best neutral card so far. It works against both meat damage and net damage which is nice – but it is limited to a single use  of 3 cards. This means you’ll need five cards in hand to survive a double scorch – not always easy, particularly in an Argus match-up. Hopper works best when combined with ‘I’ve had worse’ allowing anarchs to play aggressively, with a much higher chance of survival.

The three card draw is also useful for Faust decks – where scraping together the resources needed for an extra run can mean the difference between winning and losing.

In the NBN match up it’s going to lead to the following troll sequence from the corp:

Corp: “Cards in hand?”
Runner”…three”
Corp: “Any actions?”
Runner: *trashes hopper to draw 4*
Corp: “Sweeps week for seven credits LOL”

Overall, the card is probably best used in Anarch as a supplement to ‘I’ve had worse’ if your local meta has a lot of people playing kill decks.

As a footnote, the link boost provided by hopper does open some interesting deck building options. Single link runners importing Sunny’s breakers or ZU.13 can get some extra value from sports hopper in the form of a free memory slot.

Salem’s Hospitality

Netrunner-salems-hospitality-
For NBN kill decks, this is a nice tech slot in our Anarch dominated meta. Removing ‘I’ve had worse’ from the runner hand solves the main problem for NBN in this matchup. There are some other nice targets – notably blackmail in Val and Chameleon in Haley. The card has already seen some success in a winning regional deck.

Salsette Slums

10059
If you’ve ever played against this IG deck you’ll be thankful for the arrival of slums. The fact that this card even exists is great because it means less people will consider IG. Slums allows you to systematically remove IG’s assets, improving the match up immensely. Beside the IG match-up, slums can remove important cards like Caprice, Adonis, Ash and Cyberdex before they can even hit the table – but is this enough utility to warrant inclusion for non-IG matches? Unfortunately, Whizzard might be the only runner where the benefits are clear enough. Overall, a strong but narrow card.

Cobra

10074
One last mention for a solid but unspectacular ice. It’s neutral, so it will probably see play reasonably often. It’s good early game, and should protect a central for a few turns. It’s most likely to see play alongside Marcus Batty – having the potential to trash a breaker on approach makes it’s threat much more significant. Two subroutines against Faust is always nice, but it’s weak against Mimic, and dies quickly to Parasite, though to be fair this is also true of similar alternatives (Rototurret and Komainu).

Conclusion

Even if you only buy data packs occasionally, this is a decent choice simply because Sports Hopper is a solid answer to pretty much every kill deck. For the competitive players, Jeeves is fun and quite powerful while slums gives strong counter-play against IG. Special thanks to Good Games for the review copy!

 

Liked it? Take a second to support ATGN on Patreon!

Leave a Reply