Hello, and welcome to another Card in Depth. Today we’ll be looking at Data Leak Reversal. This is what I like to call a sleeper card: while there isn’t (so far as I know) a good deck for it currently, one later addition of the right card or cards could make a deck focused on this card work well. A change in its threshold of playability, if you will.
What is the card
It’s a millstone: it lets you put the Corp’s deck into the discard pile. A dedicated mill deck might be looking at winning once the Corp’s deck is exhausted, or it might simply be trying to put 7 points into a poorly defended Archives and win in one or two runs. Either way, the plan is to remove Corp options, putting them into the discard pile before the Corp player can make use of the cards.
What is its deck
So, eventually we might see a dedicated mill deck built around this card: a deck that wins by “decking” the Corp player: forcing them to draw a card from an empty deck and therefore losing (or achieving a “statistical win” by making one single run on a full Archives, although this has been made harder my Jackson Howard). Combine it with Noise’s ability for more mill and reliable ways to be tagged to activate it – preferably without the normal penalties associated with being tagged – and you could easily see a mill deck enter the meta. The deck’s not there yet, but one solid card could easily change its fortunes.
What does it need?
Either a reliable way for the Runner to self tag at the start of their turn (beyond Masanori), or a way to keep the Leak alive despite their tagged status. As it is a resource, being tagged the Corp can deal with it without any special cards.
Also, it needs speed/ control. If a card is released that lets the Runner self tag reliably for action 1, the turn becomes tag, mill, mill, remove tag: the Runner is doing nothing else to stop the Corp. Unless badly unlucky the Corp should have plenty of time to score their Agendas before being decked against that type of play.
How to fight it?
Actually fairly easy right now: since it requires a tag to use and it is a Resource, the Corp can use their innate ability to pay 2 bits and a click while the Runner is tagged to remove a Resource. Also, if the Runner is leaving you with a tag, nuke them from orbit. Either way, once this hits the table you’ll want to have some ICE protecting your archives. Even a few lucky mills of Agendas could easily give the Runner the win.
In total, Data Leak Reversal is a fun concept card, but unless it gets some stupid amazing support going forward I doubt the deck that coalesces around it will be overly strong. It has too many moving pieces and too many points of attack from the Corp to really be strong. But who knows, the right piece released for this deck could easily make Data Leak Reversal into a powerhouse deck. That’s kind of the fun of a Living card game like this: how it changes with time.
As always, let me know in the comments if there are any other cards you’d like to see me cover here. Thanks!