My Top 5 Cards - What NOT to leave out of your Deck

Just before Social Games went under and the official web site disappeared, I set up a poll for players to rate their top 10 cards. The results were fairly predictable, but interestingly only one of these favourites made the list of what I consider to be the best 5 cards in the game.

  • Wake Up Time to Die
  • Milo Stevenson
  • Zane Red
  • Gangs Bring Down Property Values
  • Satellite Launch Facility
  • If At First You Don't Succeed
  • Body Lotto Jackpot
  • AV-9
  • Burning Down the House
  • Jury Duty

I can see the benefits of each and every one of these cards listed above but I think they represent the current meta-game. With many CCG's the meta-game develops independently in each area that the game is played, creating a massive assortment of styles and themes at major tournaments, however Cyberpunk CCG is different in that the meta-game has developed on a national level, and High Noon is it.

So, what do I consider the five most valuable cards in the game and why? The why is simple. These five cards represent cards that you would or could use in almost every design or strategy. These are cards that can change an entire game in a single turn, and they are cards that can be used in many ways to exact many effects or outcomes. So, value for money and functionality are key. Now sit back and ponder with me.

5. In My Element

In the Cyberpunk CCG, Power rules. It enables Cops to bust, Netrunners to raise or lower E-Sec, Solos to do more killing damage or Corps to produce more cash. All too frequently it is the difference between life and death, so a card that can raise any Runner's Power by +4 for a measly 4 Eb has to be a card that can alter the course of a game in a single turn.

Standalone it is a dangerous boost, but when used in conjunction with other cards it's true value can be realised. It can add 4 Ops Points to a target when you use a Disgruntled Employee. It is a certain big Runner killer when combined with a Big Hit, and it adds a hefty 9 SR to a Solo when used with a High Five.

I would hazard a guess that this is definitely a card that everyone includes at least a single copy of in their deck, and if I have a spare slot, I always fill it with an In My Element.

4. Casino

While this costs 13 Eb (11 for a Corporate Sponsor) its cost to production value makes it the most economical Location in the game. It's high M-Sec and E-Sec values make it virtually impossible to hit, and its certainly the most prized Location in the game. I challenge you to find someone who actually has 4 of them or is willing to part with just one.

While it is dependent on the number of Runners in play and is therefore susceptable to the loss of an entire team on a single run, with certain deck styles it is a saviour. With NCPD for example, a Sponsor that suffers from being cash strapped, and if facing a Solo onslaught will lose Locations faster than they can be put into play, Casino will punish your opponent for using all of those Solos. Casino is also great with cards like Cloning Center and with C&K; we have the cheap no-limit Runners like Ganger, and in L&D; we have Chromer. Cranking these out a couple a turn will make Casino's huge and make the weanie deck something to fear.

Casino's also become extremely valuable in the Gutterpunk world as well. with a Power limit of 6 on each Runner, each player will require a lot more Runners in play to complete Operations. Gutterpunk has done away with the "Single Solo" Operation. More Runners = more cash, and I would expect this card to be a staple Gutterpunk card, as long as you can accept the rarity limit.

3. I Want That Prototype

I was staggered that according to the poll results this card only ranked the number 15 card amongst the players who responded. Many are of the belief that the card is broken and there was talk of changing its cost and Ops Point value in a future expansion. For 9 Eb (if you are playing a Corporate deck) you get a 15 Ops Point Operation that can be run by a single runner on steroids, or two well armed thugs, that will get you ANY piece of Cyber or Equipment in your deck into play at NO cost. So for 9 Eb, you get 15 Ops Points and a 14 Eb AV-9 or a 16 Eb Rail Gun that will completyely change the game.

The AV-9 is a favourite amongst High Noon players because of its 4 Movement and ability to carry an entire team. The Rail Gun is Militech's friend at 8 SR. With C&K; you can trade that AV-9 in for a 17 Eb Shiva Prototype that makes it's rider unable to be defended against. So much for so little which is why despite its lowly poll figure it is a card that has a universal appeal.

With the ability to select any piece of Cyber or Equipment it immediately becomes a staple Operation for anyone looking to secure a DEF, SR, LR or Style victory. Even NCPD can benefit with a Web Gun, Oni's Badge or a Police Torpedo Interceptor. If your game depends on Equipemt or Cyber, you cannot NOT put 4 in your Runs Deck.

2. Milo Stevenson

Without a doubt Milo is probably the strongest and most valuable Runner in the game which is why it was a difficult decision to put him at number 2. The game designers have all but agreed with this themselves, that Milo is probably the best card in the game.

He is the highest Power Nomad in the game and as such is the only Nomad who can be used to add +4 Power to a fellow Runner. Couple that with his ability to bust almost anyone on the table and a solid 7 SR if you choose to use him in a Skirmish, Milo is a card that nobody should leave out of a deck.

1. Jack Raven

Jack and Milo are almost inter-changable. The deciding factor was the fact Jack is a Solo and with the present deck themes out there, Solos are more common and usable than Cops/Nomads. Printed ability aside, not only is Jack a 13 SR Solo, but he is a very effective Techie who can recover most Cyber and a lot of gear. If you are looking to build a Gutterpunk deck Jack Raven actually becomes the biggest natural Solo in the game, a massive 4 SR bigger than anyone else cuurently conforming to Gutterpunk rules. How about the ability to trash gear to save him from dying, then using him to save the trashed gear? Nasty, like the MedTech being able to save themsleves.

Jack Raven is certainly one of the most versatile cards in the game. With an In My Element he is a 17 SR Solo, and even without it he can decimate a Gutterpunk opponent with a couple of Wake Up! Time to Die. Put him into a Barroom Brawl and watch him literally tear the place to pieces.

If future expansions see the introduction of additional "Nano" titled cards, Jack Raven's stock will climb even further, but regardless, if you play gutterpunk, or need a versatile Runner, Jack Raven is "The Man".

So there you have my choice of the 5 most dangerous cards in the game. I know you wont agree with all of them but perhaps one or two will make you dig the card out and look at it again. I know there were a few cards I did that too while I was writing this, and each card has given me new ideas on how to use it. So if you see me at tournaments and play me in Gutterpunk, expect Jack Raven to kick your ass, cause I've had enough of using the Prison Yard's to lock your Runners down. Now I'll just send Jack their way and fill 'em full of lead.....

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