Name: Record Reconstructor
Commonality: Rare
Installationcost: 0
Type: Hardware
Game Text: A: Make a run on the Archives. If run is successful, do not access cards from the Archives; instead, shuffle the face-up pile of the Archives and then put the top two cards from that pile on R&D.
Illustrator: James Allen Higgins
Sets: v1.0

Card Spotlight by Stephane Bura

Record Reconstructor has been dubbed the most useless card in Netrunner since the game was released, a place that some say it shares with Hijack.

Well, Record Reconstructor has some good things going for it. First, it's a rare card, so you won't get many of them except if you're filthy rich. It is very cheap to install and, because it's a hardware, very hard to get rid of. Lastly, you can use its ability as often as you like.

Is that it?

Well, no. Except when it fears that the Runner might use a Shredder Uplink Protocol, the Corp doesn't usually Ice its Archives so, if you play with Record Reconstructor, you have a fair chance of being able to use its ability, at least early in the game. Then again, early in the game, there may not be many cards in the Archives, except a few Operations that you wouldn't want the Corp to get back.

So, is this card really useless?

Again, no, but you have to answer the following question: when is it good for you to put known cards on top of R&D?
There are two occasions when this could be useful. The first one, and more obvious, is when you don't want the corp to draw a given card. If you play with Technician Lover, Deep Thought or R&D Protocol Files (but without Microtech AI Interface), you may know what the corp is going to draw and why it wouldn't suit you. Have you seen an Agenda or a fast processing card, a cheap piece of Ice that you can't break yet. As the Corp, without card effects, cannot draw more than four cards a turn, two runs on the Archives will prevent it from getting the dangerous card during its next turn.

Plus, if the Corp has installed all the cards it could and only have Agenda and operations in its HQ, a full hand and only Operations in its Archives, you can shut it down forever by making two runs a turn (provided you can pay for them). Ok, it's a big "if". But it may seriously hurt an Accounts Receivable/ Planning Consultants type of deck.

The second instance of when you'd want to use Record Reconstructor is when you want the corp to get certain cards back in HQ, R&D or in play. Imagine that the Corp has trashed a couple of high cost Ice that it couldn't rez (maybe you forced it with Forged Activation Orders) or Ice that you can break for free. He wouldn't want to draw them again. This strategy might require a reconnaissance run on the Archives to put all the cards in the face-up pile.

But the most powerful combination with Record Reconstructor involves two Preps: On the Fast Track and Subliminal Corruption. If the corp plays with advertisement nodes, you'll ruin it's reputation and will get rich in the process. Record Reconstructor is your mean to keep advertisement nodes where you can trash them. (It's still not clear whether you can trash cards in the Archives. The last official ruling said yes, IIRC, but it's the kind of things that could evolve.)

For maximal efficiency, add a couple of Poltergeists and R&D Interfaces. The last utility of Record Reconstructor is that, if it turns out to be useful, it will force the corp to Ice its Archives and spend its bits elsewhere than defending vital data forts. Not bad for a 0-cost card.

Other cards that Recor Reconstructor can be used with are Viral Pipeline and, of course, Karl de Veres, Corporate Stooge. As long as you are making runs, they might as well be profitable or impair the corp a little bit. Demolition Run might be a bit extreme, but if your strategy requires that you gain free access to the Archives, it is a prep of choice.

The only big drawback of Record Reconstuctor is that it can bring ambush nodes back in play. If you think your opponent likes to play with them, add some Net damage prevention cards to your stack. Of course, the biggest criticism about this card is that the cards put back in R&D are taken at random. Well, if the cards you wanted "reconstructed" don't end up in R&D, make another run.

I hope that, at least, this made you consider ever trying to play with Record Reconstructor.

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