Core Dump

 Last Week's key word was flexibility, and that goes for this week as well. Today we're looking at a card that is a favorite of deck manipulatin themes, Core Dump, a card that if played in the right circumstances can be an extremely effective means of setting yourself up for a win.

I believe that one of the most underutilized strategies in the Cyberpunk CCG is that of deck or card manipulation. I'm not sure whether it's because people aren't familiar enough with the cards or whether they simply haven't evolved into thinking about it as a strategy. I'd like to say the first is probably the case, but the reality of the situation is probably that the second is more likely to be true. Being able to run through your decks at greate than normal speed, placing cards where you need them is surely one of the best strategies you can adopt, so why aren't more people using it? Maybe this article will poke people into thinking more about it.

The first thing we need to do is to discover who exactly would benefit most from this card. Core Dump allows you to look at the top three cards of your Gear Deck. That means any Sponsor dependent on Equipment, Events, or Cyber to win is immediately going to benefit. Gangs, Nomads and Biotechnica rely more on the Gear Deck than the other four Sponsors. Nomads and Gangs both need vehicles in play, and Biotechnica needs Cyber. Lets look at Nomads first.

The Special Victory condition for Nomads is to get one each of the seven vehicle types into play before playing Open Road. This obviously means a fairly strong draw from the Gear Deck, perhaps 2:1 on a regular basis (Gear:Runs), shifting to a 3:0 by about turn 6. Core Dump allows you to accelerate that draw and get the vehicles out quicker. After your regular draw, draw three more cards for the Core Dump you play, choose what you need to keep in your hand (remember that this is happening in the Legwork phase so Shopping is over), what you want to pick up next turn, and what can go to the trash. The trash here is perhaps the most effective tool, as you can place your vehicles in the trash, then in your Damage Control phase, use your Fixers to recover them, so in the end you are not actually losing any cards, instead you are getting 2 additional cards in hand per Core Dump, plus knowledge of at least one of your next draws. In mathematical terms this represents being able to look at almost 15% of your Gear deck on a single turn

Biotechnica works a little different in that the use of free draw Cyber cards can accelerate both the Runs and Gear deck simultaneously, by using Core Dump on your Gear, pulling free draw Cyber cards and then using that free draw to look through your Runs deck. Adding a card like Info Broker into this mix makes it even sweeter, you can pre-determine what Runs card you are going to pull, and in fact if you want to continue drawing with your main draw phase from the Gear deck alone, this Info Broker/free draw combo can allow you to go through your Runs deck without actually having to waste a draw on it.

Looking at this a little further and putting it into actual play terms (Note that this sequence is theoretical based on random card draw):

Draw 1:

3 Gear (2 Event (1x Core Dump, 1x Cyber Oracle), 1x Cyber (1x Cyber Arms))

Play 1: [Legwork]

Core Dump - Draw 3 Gear (2 Cyber (1x Cyber Arms, 1x Cyber Legs), 1 Event (Info Broker)).

Replace 1 card - Cyber Arms

Trash 1 card - Cyber Legs

Keep 1 card - Info Broker

Play 2: [Legwork]

Info Broker

Play 3: [Damage Control]

Retrieve trashed Cyber Legs

Draw 2:

3 Gear (2x Events (1x Wake Up! Time to Die, 1x A Fool's Errand), 1x Cyber (1x Optical Dart Gun))

Play 1: [Shopping]

Cyber Legs - Draw from Runs

Cyber Arms - Draw from Runs

Cyber Arms - Draw from Runs

Optical Dart Gun - Draw from Runs

Play 2: [Legwork]

Cyber Oracle - Select Core Dump

In the above 2 turn snippet we have achieved the following:

Drawn 10 Gear cards (Net gain of 9)

Drawn 4 Runs Cards (Net gain of 4)

Improved our Biotechnica Special Victory by 7/50 EMP

Are aware of the top card on our Runs deck

Set up our next turn with another Core Dump, hopefully being able to replicate the two turns again.

Further enhancements that you can use are Old Man Arasaka, who allows you to draw a card from either deck, and E-Book which will allow you to look at the top card of either deck and burn it if you want (works wonders as well with Nomads and Gangs - particularly if you have a large number of Fixers ready to pull gear out of the trash for you). Take a look at the article on Recycling (Being Eco Friendly) to get some additional card manipulation ideas.

Those are the positive aspects of Core Dump offensively. Defensively Core Dump is also useful. By being able to draw 3 cards from your Gear deck, you can also get to the cards you need much quicker, trashing what you don't need. Considering that this card, although rare, only costs 3 Eb its good value for what it can do, and used strategically along with a half dozen other cards, can be a brilliant way of peeling through your decks in quick time. Remember also that if you ever exceed 8 cards in your hand, they go to the trash, which of course is not an issue if you can recover them.

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