Name: On-Call Solo Team
Commonality: Vital
Difficulty: 4
Type: Agenda - Asset
Game Text: A: Do 1 meat damage. Use this ability only if Runner is tagged.
Agendapoints: 3
Illustrator: Matt Wilson
Sets: v1.0

Card Spotlight by Chris Wagner (Foolkiller)(was: Card of the Day #4)

On-Call Solo Team is one of a series of cards which punish the tagged Runner with meat damage for an action. Other similar cards include Strike Force Kali, Corporate Headhunters, and Solo Squad.

On-Call Solo Team, Corporate Headhunters and Strike Force Kali are all Agenda cards. They are difficulty 4, 5 and 6 respectively. Each provides 3 Agenda Points if scored. On-Call Solo Team does 1 meat damage per action; Corporate Headhunters does 1 meat damage per action and reduces the Runner's hand size by 1 each time it successfully does damage; and Strike Force Kali does 2 meat damage per action. Solo Squad is a node which has a 0 rez cost and 3 trash cost, but which otherwise acts as On-Call Solo Team.

What is nice about On-Call Solo Team, aside from the fact that you might be able to flatline a Runner, is the ability to surgically pick away at the Runner's hand. Strike Force Kali does not give the option to reduce the amount of damage done to the Runner, and you do not always want to flatline the Runner outright (such as when they have Emergency Self-Construct in play). The Runner cannot be saved by Arasaka Owns You or Emergency Self-Construct if you just pick away one card at a time. Keeping the Runner out of cards is certainly an advantage. On-Call Solo Team is also much easier to score.

On-Call Solo Team does not compare so favorably with Corporate Headhunters. For only 1 more difficulty, you can essentialy do "brain damage" to the Runner every time you deplete his or her hand.

On-Call Solo Team has two significant advantages over Solo Squad. First, it is an Agenda so it does not occupy a fort after it is scored. This makes it invulnerable whereas the Runner can always trash an annoying Node. Second, On-Call Solo Team gives you Agenda Points! The free rez cost of Solo Squad makes it a nice substitute for On-Call Solo Team until you have one scored, and thus it compliments the agenda nicely in a deck. Overall, however, the permanent status of On-Call Solo Team makes it preferrable.

Of course, there is the tag requirement to use this card's ability. That means more space required in your deck devoted to tagging the Runner. You can leave out the Operation cards which would normally be used to damage the Runner since you will have an alternative. Of course, those Operations could just as easily stay in instead of Ice.

A card to consider using when playing with On-Call Solo Team is Cybertech Think Tank. If you can successfully advance Cybertech Think Tank, you can use as many counters as you wish to increase the damage done by On-Call Solo Team. Thus, if the Runner has three cards, putting them outside of your one-turn ability to flatline them, you could use two counters from the Cybertech Think Tank to increase the damage done by On-Call Solo Team on your first action, then use your second to do another point, flatlining the Runner.

Overall, On-Call Solo Team is not as good as Corporate Headhunters, and in a constructed deck environment, that is the card of choice in this type of strategy. This requires substituting Project Consultants for Management Shake-Up if you plan to fast-advance. On-Call Solo Team is an excellent card in a limited or sealed deck environment, however. Since it is vital, it is likely to appear in a deck. In sealed deck, getting a tag on the Runner is generally much easier so you will probably have an occasion to use On-Call Solo Team's ability. Another type of deck that I find perfect for cards like this are "Highlander" decks where only one of any card is allowed. On-Call Solo Team is nice because it gives you an option each time you have a tag on the runner. I like to diversify the abilities granted by my agendas in Highlander decks, giving me the broadest spectrum of options and variety.

So the final word is, use Corporate Headhunters if you can, but in a pinch On-Call Solo Team can be a nice card to have in the "scored" pile.

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