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Subject: Casual Corner: Supplemental Corp Economy Cards rss

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Tommy Roman
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Let’s talk about two economy cards found in the Haas Bioroid toolkit: AlixT4LB07 and Estelle Moon. They are both unique assets, have similar stats and accumulate power counters related to newly installed cards. There are, however, some important distinctions.


The accumulating power counters of the Haas Bioroid sisterhood

Alix was released with the Creation & Control deluxe expansion and Estelle only recently arrived in Terminal Directive. Both cards are a “push your luck”-style design, and knowing when to trigger their respective abilities will be crucial to avoid wasted effort. Alix or Estelle should never be the primary economy engines of your deck- but they have the potential to become potent force multipliers with the right support.

The truth is, Alix has spent most of her life in a box with other forgotten cards. I’ve tried to include her in various HB decks (Weyland's Blue Sun, too) but for a long time she lacked a sufficient number of other cards that complimented her ability. It was too much effort to protect her long enough to reap the awards I hoped for and I had little patience waiting for the credit dump I needed while watching the Runner advance their board state and steal agendas. Welcome to the town of Frustration. Population: you.


Alix didn't have many friends...

Then, as if by divine providence, the designers seeded the card pool with assets and operations that gained credits and/or permitted discounted installs. Alex now had more friends that gifted her with their synergy, reducing the time it takes for those power counters to multiply like rabbits.


Will you be my friend?

The newer cards offered the potential of using Alix more efficiently- and the less time she remains exposed in a server, the better. To illustrate the potential gains with these combos, consider the following Corp turn with an full and optimized hand. We'll be playing Engineering the Future in this example.

[click] #1: Play Lateral Growth. Gain 2 credits. Install Advanced Assembly Lines (+1 power counter/+1 credit from EtF ability). Rez AAL (gain 2 credits), [trash] and install ICE (+1 power counter).
[click] #2: Play Shipment from MirrorMorph. Install ICE/upgrade/asset/agenda (+2 power counters)
[click] #3: [trash] Alix + 4 power counters. Gain 10 credits.

Total credits: (LG +2); (AAL +2); (EtF +1); (Alix +8) = 13 credits

You’ve not only advanced your board state (either reinforcing a server with ICE or expanding horizontally), but gained credits doing so. If the timing is right, those additional credits and ICE depth may provide a scoring window.

Enter Estelle Moon, who is overall very similar to Alix but restricts awarded power counters only to those cards installed in a server (and therefore does not benefit from ICE installs). The potential credit payout may take longer but Estelle will reward the Corp with accelerated card draw when she is trashed. Although Estelle could be played in EtF, she is really optimized for a more horizontal deck that can also accommodate an expanded HQ. Estelle shines in Cerebral Imaging.

Let’s re-run our example from above:

[click] #1: Play Lateral Growth. Gain 2 credits. Install AAL (+1 power counter). Rez AAL (gain 2 credits), [trash] and install asset/upgrade (+1 power counter).
[click] #2: Play SfMM. Install upgrade/asset/agenda (+2 power counters).
[click] #3: Gain a credit. [trash] Estelle + 4 power counters. Gain 8 credits + 4 cards.

Total credits: (LG +2); (AAL +2); (+1 credit); (Estelle +8) = 13 credits + 4 cards

When properly executed, Estelle not only provides the credits needed to support CI’s expanded hand size, but delivers amazing click compression in adding those 4 cards to your hand. In this regard, Estelle is a significant improvement over Alix. There are some other cards that might be helpful.


Can we play, too?

Let's take a brief look at two HB decks, and compare how Alix and Estelle provide supplemental economy while accelerating the Corp's board state.

https://meteor.stimhack.com/decks/P5ZcMtny364JDPdp9

https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/42721/moonshot-successfu...

I am not claiming that either of these decks are competitive (far from it), but the ID abilities and the included cards create good synergy with Alix and Estelle, respectively.

The Waldemar deck still packs Adonis (or may now use Marilyn Campaign), AAL and some operations for its primary economy, while using Alix as a supplement. SFT, AAL, FiHP, LG, Replanting and SfMM accelerate install speeds. The ICE composition was also selected with installs in mind: Crick, Architect and the I-can’t-believe-I’ve-included Minelayer. Cybernetics Court provides some much needed breathing room, and may by worthy of a second deck slot.

The Moonshot deck (courtesy Wynalazca) is more asset-spammy and uses Estelle rather than Alix because she is naturally synergistic with CI’s ability (as she provides both credits and cards to fill an expanded HQ). While Lateral Growth is not included here, Violet and Ultraviolent Clearance provide an excellent credit-to-card draw ratio.

I've been enjoying the Terminal Directive campaign, and sampling the newest cards for HB in particular. I'm happy that Estelle made me remember my first attempts with Alix, and like the option of revisiting older cards near forgotten but now revitalized. By selecting the appropriate support cards, these unique assets may be worthy of your consideration for inclusion as a economy back-up plan. Both of the decks have a limited life span though, as many of the cards that enhance the HB sisterhood will eventually rotate. Hopefully, new cards will be printed in future cycles that fulfill a similar role, and Alix and Estelle won't become aged spinsters, pining for days of glory.

[Edit: Apologies for my oversight but Estelle's ability does NOT require a click. However, assuming you started with six cards in your HQ, there are no cards left to install so I simply clicked for a credit. Kim Choy was kind enough to correct me, and explains the two important benefits of her clickless ability in his entry below.]
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Kim Choy
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Another great article Tommy. One thing to note is that Estelle doesn't take a click to fire either, so in your example turn you still have a click left to do something else.

Also, don't underestimate the clicklessness of the ability. It can be used like a Panic Button if you have her loaded with a couple of cards and need to protect HQ. Also, there is less fear of the runner trashing this card with a run as you can pop her before the access occurs.
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Tommy Roman
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Thank you for correcting me! That obviously makes her all the better.
 
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Kim Choy
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No problem, I enjoy reading these articles you're crafting.

While we're discussing this though, I should point out that because of the card draw you get when using Estelle's ability you might draw something better than having to click for a credit on your third click. It's already a six card combo, but hey why not Shoot (for) the Moon?

 
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