Many cards get touted as Hedge Funds #4 – 6 and this card just gets added to that list. At 1 influence, it will see play anywhere, including the mini-factions, and is a great way to turn off a pesky resource that has overstayed its welcome such as Drug Dealer, Stim Dealer, Lewi Guilherme, or even Always Be Running. This card can also work on any normal self-trashable resource such as Crowdfunding, Armitage Codebusting, or Daily Casts. For that reason, Isolation won’t see much play in decks that already run Aesop's.

For the most part, Isolation is definitely a vanilla economy card – and that’s OK. Remember to factor in the install cost of the resource trashed. You wouldn't want to find yourself having played a crappy Lucky Find.

Most importantly though, can we take a moment to appreciate the flavour of this card? What happened to Hoshiko? Have they always been alone? Did they murder someone close to them to get these hard-earned credits? Are they now suffering from the guilt and burden of – no? Oh, okay.

Crowdfunding costs 0 and is a clickless install most of the time —
Thank you, I have it included. —

When you think of Weyland 5/3’s, they’re often very specialized and require building around:

High-Risk Investment barely sees play outside of Titan and Hollywood Renovation the same treatment outside of SSO. City Works Project generally does not require being built around and synergizes well with common green cards Punitive Counterstrike and Dedication Ceremony but it does have the Public subtype downside and is blank in centrals.

So for a Weyland 5/3 to see play alongside GFI and SSL, what will it need?

• On-score/on-steal ability like SSL? Check.

• No influence or unicorn unlike GFI? Check.

• Throwback to now-rotated flavourful Weyland card? Check.

SDS Drone Deployment is nasty and is the program-trashing Weyland card that might keep runners honest again. Sure Clone Chip is back in full force and yes, the conspiracy breakers are everywhere but icebreakers are bigger and more expensive than ever these days.

Unfortunately, SDS has one big weakness and that is on-steal, it allows the Runner to choose which program to trash. Whether that be a Rezeki, a Datasucker, or maybe even a Bankroll, the flexibility is huge and I wish this had specified “icebreaker” instead.

Overall, I don’t see this agenda seeing too much play over SSL or GFI. It’s just as weak to Film Critic or Whistleblower, provides flexibility to the Runner, and it has additional hate in popular cards Clone Chip, Dummy Box (on-score), or the conspiracy breakers. It’s disappointing that this is the case though as this card screams Weyland.

Beong —
Being able to choose the program yourself is still enough to see some play in rushy decks. Maybe the outfit? But I mostly agree with you. —
Yeah, it's a zero-sum game for agendas. You can only slot SDS by removing your current 5/3 so I'm not even sure rush decks would give up GFI. If Skorp were still around... —
SDS has potential to pull ahead of Food in two very important respects: first, it is not restricted, so if you want Surveyor you can't also have Food, and second, it actually rewards you for scoring it. SDS is competing with SSL Endorsement though given that it too has those advantages over Food. —

While it is slightly situational, I think Focus Group is the one card in Downfall that really screams "overpowered" to me.

For starters, let's compare it to the most famous fast advance tool, Biotic Labor. While that operation might be more flexible, giving you an unconditional extra click, it will nearly always be used to score an agenda requiring triple advancement. For this purpose, you are set back 3 clicks, 1 card and 7 credits. For Focus Group, it only costs you 2 clicks, 1 cards and 6 credits, provided you "hit" at least three cards in the grip. If you hit two, it still gives you the same return as Biotic. Not cheap, but also not terrible in my opinion. Let's also not forget this card is harder to effectively counter with anti-FA-best-boy Clot.

But the real strength of Focus Group is in its potential upper limits. Many runner decks consist mostly of events and resources, and having 4 of either on hand isn't that uncommon. And if that happens, you can fast advance a 5/3 from hand. If you have multiple copies it even becomes child's play, while admittedly very expensive. It also works nicely with the never advance game, especially if you have won the game of Beale or no Beale, so that you can get 3 or even 4 points instead of 2.

Obviously the main balancing factor of FG is its dependence on the runner's hand, meaning it can backfire spectacularly. Luckily (for the corp), NBN has a few tools to peek at the runner's hand. The most obvious is Standard Procedure, which was always a decent card but willl become a staple in yellow FA. Peeping Tom and Waiver might actualy start seeing play. Harishchandra got a a fun new toy and I think Focus Group will be good in Azmari too since they have some control over the runner's plays, especially backed up with Scarcity of Resources.

Requiring a succesful run is another drawback, but as most runners will be set up and aggressive by the mid to late game, this card will rarely be dead, especially in non-glacier decks.

A possible counter play the runner has is of course keeping their hand size low, but this obviously carries the usual risks associated with having few cards on hand. I could totally see this card replace Biotic Labor in Jinteki PE decks, especially considering the lower influence. There are also ways to keep the runner's hand full, like Personalized Portal and Pālanā Agroplex.

Looking at the card pool again, I think Focus Group comes out strong in most comparisons. Game Changer and MCA Austerity Policy are technically stronger but take way effort to set up and can be trashed by the runner. Shipment from Tennin is cheaper for 3/1's and 3/2's but it doesn't let you fast advance a 5/3 and you need two copies in your hand for a 4/2. Calibration Testing, with Breaker Bay Grid and Team Sponsorship is also powerful but folds to asset hate.

So yeah, maybe I am overestimating the potential of this card, but I think it will be a serious problem for the upcoming meta.

I don't think giving Corps a way to win is "a serious problem for the upcoming meta". Hopefully this is the first step to breaking up remote camp meta. —
I think the card's reliability will be its hard drawback. You mention that it has the chance to fail spectacularly, which I think is a great point. To FA a 5/3, you need to Install the 5/3, then use Focus Group and hit 4 or 5 of the same card type. If you get only 3, you now have a 5/3 on the table with 3 advancement counters on it, and no way to score it this turn. In that case you could choose to not pay X, but that sounds like a no-win situation. Never-advancing 5/3s seems quite within the realm of possibility. Definitely a strong card. But I'm looking forward to the spectacular fails. —
People who try to FA 5/3's with FG are either fearless or crazy. When you're using FG as a tool to FA 3/2's and 4/2's, only needing to hit 2 or 3 becomes easier and more reliable. And that reliability is what makes FG very dangerous. —

A shaper console in blue disguise! For the low cost of 2 credits, hardware you install after this will give you a free card. This is especially strong in Geist in combination with Spy Camera. Other hardware to combo with this console include Sports Hopper, Clone Chip, HQ Interface and Lucky Charm.

The second ability obviously works very well with Az McCaffrey, whose ability negates the +1 cost so that you can install one piece of hardware for no click each turn.

While this card will definitely see play, run-oriented criminals might still prefer Paragon. Probably won't see play out of faction either due to the 4 influence pips.

Don't forget Flip Switch! Very interesting to see if big-rig Criminals come out of this. —
I am definitely gonna try my hand at that! —
Can you use stimhack money for the second ability? —
Don't see why not, the run has already started. —
Cool, so bad pub money is on the table as well? —
Yes, bad pub credits are gained at 1c of the NISEI Timing Structure of a Run and "the run begins" at 1d. —

MirrorMorph. Such a shame that Shipment from MirrorMorph rotated with the new System Core. At first, I said that mostly as a joke, but the more cards from Downfall are previewed, the more I believe that the shipment would've made a powerful tool in this deck.

Any new HB ID will inevitably be compared to Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future, so let's just get it out of the way. In this case, the comparison isn't entirely without reason, either. Both have a triggering condition, that, when met, can give you 1. So is MirrorMorph just a strictly worse ETF? Not quite, since if you can take four different 's, you can get an extra action instead. And I assume most people will agree that a is worth more than a . So you'll end up triggering this less often than ETF, but when you do trigger it, it will be stronger.

However, by default, the options available to you don't really encourage you to take 4 different actions per turn. Draw/Event/Install/Advance, maybe but that seems like a stretch. Luckily, assets with abilities also count. MCA Austerity Policy seems especially potent in this kind of deck. And in Downfall, we're getting a few more assets that can help with this style of deck: Nanoetching Matrix and Calvin B4L3Y.

However, all of these assets have a problem: they can be trashed. And apart from MCAAP, you can't put them in your scoring remote, since you need to keep them around to make use of them. This would mean some kind of asset-spam deck would work better, but MirrorMorph doesn't provide any way to protect your assets. A of 3 is not cheap, but it won't stop a runner. And yes, you do get some value when this happens, but getting all your assets blown up all the time means you can't take advantage of your ID.

But what if you ICE'd them? Historically, asset-spam decks don't bother putting ICE on their assets: they need the ICE they have to defend their central servers and scoring remote, and decks like Gagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon and NBN: Controlling the Message have ways to stop you from just trashing all their assets. However, the existence of the card Fully Operational seems to hint at the fact that NISEI wants us to ICE our asset remotes... or is at least willing to reward us when we do.

In this approach, you would use cheap, taxing ICE, not to stop the runner, but to make them pay even more for trashing your Nanoetching Matrix and Calvin B4L3Y. When they do, you get more money and cards, that you can then use to play more assets and ICE, and so forth. Agenda-flood can be solved with Preemptive Action, Gatekeeper, Drudge Work, Attitude Adjustment, and so forth.

This would lead to a very snowball style deck: if you can get enough assets in play to draw lots of cards and gain lots of credits which you use to get ahead further and further. If the runner can stop you, you'll probably be helplessly flailing trying to stop them. I'm curious to see what this deck ends up looking like. Maybe I'm looking in completely the wrong direction, and is there a combination of cards that is yet stronger still. And CSR Campaign still needs to find a place somewhere...

One final note about the ID: getting operations that can let you install cards is important. Lateral Growth and Red Level Clearance can assist when you want to install an asset, ICE it, and still get four . Maybe Advanced Assembly Lines can be used to "store" an install for when you need it. Shipment from MirrorMorph would've worked great here, letting you fill the board with your assets, but sadly, it is not meant to be.

Pad Pad Factory could be great too, as noticed Beyoken ^^ —