Secret HQ

art (c) Mike Trap



"God is Dead...  And the Buro has his hammer"  The Architects excel at death and mayhem.  With a bazillion Events to squelch character, freedom definitely is hosed in 2056.  The Architects have a wide variety of cards and archetypes of decks to choose from, and since most of the really good Events only need 1 or 2 resources, you find the Architects working with all of the other factions.

Foundation Characters    Utility Characters    Hitters
Events    States    Edges    Sites



  Alpha Beast
The flavor text on this card rings true -- the things that came after it are so much better it's not even funny.  At two-for-two without an ability, you have to look and see how useful their designator is going to be.  Sure, you can get back Abominations with Reinvigoration Process, but you really really really are better off getting something better back.  Beta Beast has sent this guy to the coaster bin.
  Assault Squad
Very middle-of-the-road.  Having to intercept turns these guys often into a minor speed bump.  And once your opponents know you are playing them, they will try to avoid triggering them.  Note that the timing doesn't allow you to use Training Camp to return Assault Squad to your hand and play it once an attack has been declared -- you have to have done it in advance, giving away any chance of surprise.  Maze of Stairs seems to be a pretty obvious combo, not to mention Total War! which is an overlooked (but sill bad) card.  I've built the Assault Squad deck and it
's very iffy, not to mention you have to buy 2 10KB starters to get 5 of these guys
  Beta Beast
Well, at least it provides Tech, which is something.  Actually, this card can dominate a duel if you are playing against the Dragons or the Ascended, but it's ability falls short against the most popular foundation characters for most factions (Golden Candle Society, Sinister Priest, DNA Mage, Darkness Priestess, et. al.).  Two in a deck probably is probably a good rule of thumb, unless it's a specialized dueling deck, or you are going Hi Tech crazy for some high- powered Orbital Laser Strikes (although I would go 5 CDCA Scientists first).  I don't even think you want more in the Abomination deck, as there are usually better things to replay with Reinvigoration Process.
  BuroMil Grunt
Always a nice surprise, the grunt can smack through a little extra damage when you have only 1 power to spend.  Usually, I prefer character that can stick around -- two attacks with a PubOrd Squad and I've done as much damage as a BuroMil Grunt.  Of course, if you can throw in Arcanowave Reinforcer and Inauspicious Return, you have the potential to get 9 damage through for 1 power (or 15 damage for 2 power if you have a GeoScan Report handy).  Unfortunately, you can only play him on another players' turn when they are attacking you -- I always find that when he's needed to stop a win they are attacking someone else and the Grunt sits in your hand making excuses (of course for 1 power, Nerve Gas or Imprisoned is probably better to stop a win, but they aren't foundation characters).
  CDCA Scientist
Finally we get to meet those guys doing the dangerous experiments.  Not only does he provide Tech, he lets you cycle some cards through your hand.  I think this guy will find a home in larger decks, where managing your card flow is crucial.  Don't overlook the card drawing ability if you absolutely have to stop a win (or maybe even need to win yourself) -- intercept with the CDCA Scientist, and maybe he can get you to your bomb or gas.  As he's worded, both the drawing and discarding are optional, so you don't have to do both (meaning you can just draw up to X cards).  This guy is only in fixed preconstructed decks, but luckily he's in both YotD and 10KB, so if you bought only 1 of each, you should finally have enough of this slightly above average foundation.
DNA Mage
Hey, who doesn't like mixing Biotech and Sorcery?  The DNA Mage is the staple of almost every Architect deck, giving access to Magic for the almost always useful Pocket Demon.  He is also a favorite target for Rigorous Discipline, which often shuts down a player for a turn -- beware it being used against you.  If you don't need any Magic and only minimal Tech, you are better off playing the other 1 cost characters, though (like Test Subjects).  Of course, you could always wreck your opponent by going Proving Ground, DNA Mage, done...  Pocked Demon, turn PG, CHAR, beat beat beat.  DNA Mage has been a subject of argument since day one as to whether he is broken or not
Encephalon Screamer
en�ceph�a�lon (n-sf-ln) -- the brain of a vertibrate.  This guy is fun when he does his trick, but it's so rare that playing more than one in a deck makes you a glutton for punishment.  While this card was intended to punish both single column site structures and players who turtle (i.e. have unturned characters that should be attacking), at 3 power it's just a little too costly.  I think I last played the Screamer in the Icky Things deck, with a bunch of the oddball Architect cards like Flying Bladder.

Gamma Beast
Like it's forerunners the Alpha and Beta Bests, the Gamma Beast is another failed abomination.  The obvious combo card is ArcanoWave Reinforcer, where you can maximize this guys bonus.  Gamma plays a lot like Big Macaque Attack and Bloody Hordes, and suffers the same fragility problems in that it can crumble like a house of cards.  You don't count on this as a foundation (like you can with BMA).  If you want a killer combo, play Gamma Beast, Vivisector and Reinvigoration Process, then turn Vivisector to sacrifice the Gamma Beast, then use the Process to replay the Gamma -- you can gain 3 power for only spending 6!

  Plasma Trooper
The "super-trooper" is one of the few 3 cost foundation characters that pays the bills -- mainly because he has two abilities.  The first is pretty bland, but that Tech resource can come in useful if you are playing heavy Tech cards like Orbital Laser Strike (or CHAR in a pinch).  The card's second ability can turn the Plasma Trooper into a decent hitter -- you can usually expect to get him up to 5 or 6 Fighting in a multiplayer game.  Some form of healing is nice with the trooper, because invariably he gets hit for 3 damage, even when attacking pumped up, in order to smoke him when the bonus wears off at the end of the turn.  He can also get pretty big when combo'd with Dr. Ally Mathews. 
  PubOrd Officer
A pretty bland one-for-one, the PubOrd Officer does have the somewhat playable Cop designator, letting her work with your Police Stations.  She rates better than the Ascended's SWAT Team just because of her 1 cost.  There are a fair amount of Architect Cops, so it can give you an extra option.  Extra points for playing the YotD version with the cooler quote.  I actually play the PubOrd Officer with regularity -- 1 or 2 of them often bolster the resources in a deck, especially if I want offence and don't want to get stuck with a DNA Mage on the board and had full of tanks and guns.
  PubOrd Squad
Here is the most expensive of the Cop foundation characters, and he weighs in at second best. Why do I rate him higher than SWAT Team when I just said that PubOrd Officer was better than the SWAT Team because it cost less power?  Two words -- Cave Network.  This guy can be a real thug if you Cave him out early.  Drop a Police Station and you have a 5 Fighting Cop, worthy of giving a LAPD style beating. Since I wrote this the SWAT Team has been updated, but I still think that the PubOrd Squad is the winner because of Cave Network.
Loyalty Officer
This is a foundation character you never want to draw early game.  As a foundation, it stinks -- it's nothing but an Alpha Beast with a different set of designators.  The best use for Loyalty Officer is to hold in your hand as a counter to Shadowy Mentor and Tortured Memories, but it's also good when you need to take a site when there's a pesky Fox Pass on the board and you don't have the Whirlpool advantage to stop it.  Well, I'm not worthy -- Loyalty Officers has proven itself to be a tourney level card, even making a rare appearance as the only Architect card in a few decks (much like Hacker is sometimes the only Dragon card in a deck).  I've played this guy millions of times -- 80% it's to stop a Mentor or Tortured, but every so often there's that nagging Fox Pass on the board, and this guy has given me the win by stopping it.
Here we have a foundation that doesn't do much of anything against some factions (Dragons, Ascended) but has a chance to really work over some of the usual suspects from the 1-cost talent heavy foundations factions (like the Hand, Monarchs and Purists).  I mean, these guys are okay just by themselves, and if you are trying to do tricks with the Soldier designator, they are a real good choice for foundations.  I don't think they are as strong as BuroMil Grunts, but they do make a good replacement for PubOrd Officers in a lot of decks that are trying to fill out foundation spots.  In decks that don't need tech (not that many for me in the Architect flavor), they've done okay (most notably in my Manchu Soldier deck).
  Test Subjects
These guys pass the basic test of being a 1 cost foundation character with a special ability.  In the Test Subject's case, this ability is providing Tech.  Solid, you can't go wrong with these guys.  I almost always have 5 of these in every Architect deck -- not only for CHAR, but for the all-important Neutron Bomb.
  Undercover Agent
Three cost foundation characters are usually too expensive, and without a good special ability or designator, they are usually not worth playing even with Cave Networks.  With the huge boost the Jammers got in Throne War, maybe it might be dusting off my pile of Undercover Agents and putting one in a deck to see if it does anything.  Or maybe not -- this card would need to produce Arc, Jam and Tech to make it even worth considering.


  Agent Tanaka
Not a lot to say about this guy.  Low resources and two boldface ability makes this pretty useful in almost any deck.  Where Agent Tanaka will excel is in the old Midnight Whisperer BuroMil Godhammer deck, making him a bargain at 4 power for 7 Ambush damage.  While bland, this is the type of card I like because it promotes aggression.  Assassinate could be mildly amusing until you get a gun, but once you do, sites will be your primary target.  And he's Ninja Seven.
  Andrea Van de Graaf
While Andrea Van de Graaf card has a powerful sounding ability, it's somewhat limited by the fact that you can't get back the one Magic Event you really want, Pocket Demon (not that it matters now that Pocket Demon is nerfed).  You also probably don't need to recycle Shattering Fire or Discerning Fire because you are probably playing the superior Architect Event takeout.  What does this leave?  Curtain of Fullness, Larcenous Mist, Killing Rain, Farseeing Rice Grains and Scroll of Incantation.  Still, Andrea is a 4-for-5, which means she can take Sites, and even at the increased cost, playing one of the listed Events can get you ahead.  I need to revisit this card -- all of a sudden, there are some new Purist cards that just might make Andrea a little bit spiffier, most notably Entropy Tap and Entropy Sphere.  Of course then you have to run the Purist Acolyte gambit, but that's another problem.

This scientist is okay, but not exceptional.  He does provide 3 resource types, but so does the near-broken ArcanoTechnician.  Probably the best use is in some sadistic Burn Baby Burn deck, where you are more interested in annoying your opponents than in winning.  Also note that even though this card's sub-title is CDCA Scientist, they don't trigger extra draws from the foundation CDCA Scientist, since it checks titles, not designators.  With it's low resource requirement, I've found this card surprisingly effective.  Not only does it get some good pingage in, it has been a reasonable deterrent to having my sites attacked.  While ArcanoGardner isn't a power card, it makes a great one-of for a deck that can use a Tech or Magic boost.

The days of Buro Assassin are over.  Well, almost (see Swarm of Teeth).  The cost of Ambush has been re-evaluated since Limited and is no longer over-costed on characters above 1 Fighting.  ArcanoRat is interesting because because of it's 3 Fighting for 2 Power -- the mold for mid-range characters is changing.  While this card has a significant drawback, you don't need to load your deck up on ArcanoRats to get around it.  It attacks just as well with CHAR as with another rat.  Drop a Godhammer on the Rats and you have a force that is going to do some considerable damage, if you can get them through.  Remember that the Rats stop attacking immediately if all other attackers are removed, so try to avoid situations where your opponents can snipe of you Test Subjects attacking with the Rats.
This is one of those characters that has a tendency to die in the sequence they come in to play.  Think about it -- if the ArcanoTech lives, there will be a non-stop flood of Gas, Imprisoned and Neutron Bombs coming back.  Especially fun with Proving Grounds, since there is no way for an opponent to kill it before you can use it once.  With the new end of turn rule, no free use of this card at the end of a turn to get a Pocket Demon -- be sure you can protect your ArcanoTech, as your opponents are going to be gunning for her.  And don't forget that the ArcanoTech gives a nice resource boots.
  Arcanowave Researcher
More annoying than anything else, the Researcher is flexible enough not to hurt most decks.  First, it gives you Magic and Tech, which can replace a few DNA Mages if you want to play more aggressive foundation characters.  Also you can let lucky with the discard and knock an early resource character out, or get some late game denial out of your opponent's hand when going for the win.  If you're extra mean, you can play with Inauspicious Return, get three Researchers back, and have a sneaky Curtain of Fullness like effect.
  Assassin Bug
The Bug is a variation on the Gnarled Horror (which is a total coaster), but it has the main advantage of being an Abomination, and can be recycled by Reinvigoration Process.  While it's not stellar, it can give a little bit a grief to your opponents.  Where I would expect it to do best is in dueling, where you aren't going to have to worry about all of your opponents ganging up on your Assassin Bug.  Overall, this has been solid for me, especially in decks that don't have to worry about Tech resources.  A word of caution, the Bug does draw fire from opponents, who may gang up on you.
  Blood Eagles
This card plays a lot like one of my favorite cards, the Cognitive Spirit.  While not useful on it's own, this card can be a game winner if you can get out a serious thug (CHAR) and get in an attack with both of them.  A great choice for Reinvigoration Process if you've got a hitter in play and some spare power.  The low resource condition makes it great for a multi-faction deck (you know the Blood Eagles want to Scout for T2 or G2!).  If you can get two of them in play, you can use the abilities on each other, making a nice 1-card-2-copies combo.
  Blood Reaver
This abomination is one of the stars of 10KB, and just screams to have decks built around him (not to mention revitalizing some of the old Abomination/Reinvigoration Process decks) . The Reaver's ability is a lot like Ambush, but with a twist.  They can chew down larger fighting characters and not get hit back, but they whacked on by interceptors, so some other damage prevention/redirection cards (like Turtle Beach) are going to go well in a deck with this card (not to mention the good old standbys events.  States put on the Reaver get some extra mileage, and I think ArcanoTank is going to shine.  Not to mention this is a decent anti-Temple card.
  Bouncing Benji
This card doesn't quite do it for me.  2 damage for 1 power is a decent deal, but the two resource requirement is a killer -- this card isn't a resource speed bump like Midnight Whisperer or Arcanowave Researcher.  The reload ability on this card is kinda bland, but you can use it to discard your entire hand if you want to draw a lot of cards on your next turn.  I've tried doing a few tricks with this card (like ArcanoWave Reinforcers and Fiest of Souls) -- the card is playable, but still sort of bland, and giving up a draw to replay it is still a significant drawback if you need to get to better stuff in your deck.
  Brain Eater
You can usually find this guy sitting under a drink when we play.  For 4 power you should be thinking about taking sites, not thinking about "why did I play this guy?"  Check out the SuperFreak -- very comparable costs, but way better.
  Brain Sucker
Usually you don't have to worry too much about Masterminds, but sometimes it does come up.  The Queen of the Ice Pagoda is one, so you can play an Architect/Ascended deck with Shadowy Mentors and Brain Suckers if the Queen is causing lots of trouble in your parts.  Since the Sucker is a 3-for-4, it's a solid choice, can be played with Cave Network and does recycle with Reinvigoration Process since it's an Abomination.  In answer to the age old question, what if you use Identity Chopshop or Sinister Accusations to give the Brain Sucker the Mastermind designator, it's been ruled that it cancels itself, but nothing else.
  Buro Assassin
Even worse than Brain Eater, if that's possible.  Ambush was over-costed in the first set.  If you want to ambush, consider Buro Official and Midnight Whisperer.  You will be laughed at if you play this card.
  BuroMil Elite
There aren't enough commonly played Rebels other than Just Another Consumer to trigger the BuroMil Elite's Toughness very often, though you may start seeing more Rebels around with the addition of Black Flag Rebels in Throne Wars.  Otherwise, you have a 3-for-4 that sometimes becomes a 3-for-5.  Of course, The Reconstructed is always 3-for-5, and unless you Battleground deck is light Architect, they are a better option.  Update:  Well, the Rebel count has gone up (including the foundations Punks and Rebel Consumer), but this guy still pretty much bites.
  BuroMil Ninja
On the surface, the BuroMil Ninja looks like he's decent, but in my experience, he just never does his trick.  Plasma Trooper is going to get the job done better than this card, though it's worth putting in a Jammer/Architect deck if you are trying to have fun with Monkeywrenching (although I prefer Jammer/Dragon for Redeemed Gunmen)..
  BuroMil Scout
While this is a card for your weenie-horde soldier deck, it doesn't jump out at me.  Note that its ability goes away when it does, so it's bound to be intercepted by another foundation character, shrinking the damage your army does.  I think you are better off saving 1 more power, and going for the Reinforcer if you want a steady damage bonus.  Yes, you can hit for 9 damage if you Inauspicious Return 3 Scouts, but that damage is too fragile and doesn't have much change of making it through unless you've cleared the board with a Neutron Bomb.  I rarely (if ever) see this card played -- maybe it's time to revisit it with all the new Soldier support cards.
  Buro Official
The Buro Official has a comparable role with the Ascended's Military Commandant.  He's a character you can turn to help you blast through some interceptors or put a serious whack on an annoying character.  Since his ability only works on characters that cost a maximum of 3, he's a decent candidate for inclusion in a Cave Network deck.  While The Reconstructed are the most common benefit from the Buro Official, there are several others that are optimal choices like Dr. Celeste Carter.  This is the type of card that makes a good one-of in a deck for a surprise, although I could see sneaking two in a Richtmeyer deck.
  Buro Scientist
Another marginal at best utility character, this guy is going to be difficult to use.  I guess you are hoping to attack with a mid-range character and unturn them after playing a BK-97 on them.  But, this is so combo-heavy that it's going to be unreliable and Buro Scientist is just too fragile for what you get (again, this might have been okay at a cost of 1 for 1 Fighting).  Probably the best deck for the Buro Scientist is a Super Computer-type deck with an expanded hand size -- that way you can afford to hold on to a few Tech cards until you can get the combo set up (even then, it's just a 2-cost Back for Seconds).  Again, I've never seen this card do anything -- stick with the much cooler ArcanoGardner from Red Wedding if you need to fill a 2-cost utility slot and are tired of playing Vivisectors and ArcanoTechnicians.

Mr. Strange writes in:
Now I understand that your reviews are your own opinion, but I thought I'd point out that I've found Buro Scientist to be a _great_ character. I put her in many of my Architect decks.

Note that she allows you to unturn a character whenever a [Tech] Event or State is played. You need not unturn the character on which the state was played, not are you restricted to unturning your own characters.
Also, her ability is very hard to cancel - If she is nerve gassed while entering play, a [Tech] card played in response will still trigger her ability. This makes her a reasonable investment of 2 power in my experience, because you have at least 1 shot at getting her ability off.

So what cards do I like to trigger her with? ElectroGauntlets come to mind right away. Also OLS, Satellite Intelligence, Information Warfare, Salvage (a very good card in this type of deck), IKTV Special Report, Spit and Baling Wire (another good card in this deck), and Wave Disruptor.

Those are almost all events, allowing you to unturn to intercept attacks, or (better) unturn another player's character to encourage them to intercept.

Of course, you can also do the standard attack, unturn while attacking, turn to heal/attack again standard.

Also, her low resource requirements allow me to do keen things like:

Turn 1 - Drop CDCA Scientist with Electro Gauntlets.
Turn 2 - Heal up Scientist, Charge Gauntlets, drop FSS.
Turn 3 - Use Gauntlets and attack for 3-7 damage (depending on charges), play Buro Scientist, unturn CDCA with another EG, attack again for 4-8 damage.

Then it's usually BfP, and Drop Rapid Response Team if I'm attacked.

I've felt (and still do) that Tech is not quite up to snuff with Magic and Chi. The inclusion of Buro Scientist, however, makes Tech seem like much more of a contender.

Expendable_Unit replied:
Regarding the Buro Scientist in general, I'd add that together with CHAR and a few other characters, she generates at least two [Tech]- resources to use for your HAVOC Suits, OLS's and Big Red Buttons while being in play at the same time as one or more Abominable Labs.
One Buro Scientist in play means +1 fighting for all your HAVOC suits, with only one AL in play :) It's not great or even stable, but it's something for the list of synergetic uses.

However, it comes down to this for me, personally, subjectively:
From moment one, I thought this character was interesting, but frail in
play and worked best in decks built around her. In an aggressive environment, I wouldn't expect more than one unturn per two power either (same as Secret HQ does), which makes her quite expensive and worse yet: outclassed (by Back for Seconds and Blitzkrieg). Two power does not seem like much, but if you have to play a hitter in the same turn (cause your previous one just got Imprisoned or Mentored or Devoured or Corrupted or Cursed or shot or stabbed with a Spear) you have to spend 5-8 power on the combo (say, with Raptor Squad and Buro Scientist, as already mentioned elsewhere). Needless to say, I think the Scientist might be worth it in less aggressive or willfully destructive playgroups. ;)

If I feel like taking a beating, I'll try making a deck that tightly revolves around Buro Scientist, but, I'm still of the firm belief that setting up the combo is going to be near impossible in our hyper-aggressive environment.  Buro Scientist is a lot like The Prof, but worse -- it's a good effect, but, you opponents won't like you use it more than once.

  Capture Squad
Capture Squad is similar to Monster Hunter in effect, but very different in execution.  With Capture Squad, they only work if they damage the Demon or Abomination, which basically means they have to do it in combat.  Since combat with any creature of 3 Fighting or smaller is going to Smoke it before you 'capture' it, the Squad is only effective against larger creatures.  Monster Hunter edges this guy out because Capture Squad can't grab a Temple.
  Chi Sucker
This Sucker is great on offense, but stinks at defense.  It's not hard to get him to attack with a 4 or 5 Fighting score, but you can sure as bet he will be intercepted by at least one 1 Fighting resource character, which will Smoke this card at the end of the turn.  Pod Troopers are usually just as effective, and cost only 1 power.  Chi Sucker can also limit your targets -- you are going to want to go for the player with the most cards, and that's often the player to your right, which can destabilize the game.
  Colonel Griffith
This guy is the original Can of Whupass and Tactics to boot.  While you can play a wide variety of characters with lots of resource costs and conditions, the key is that the Colonel makes CHAR a 10, which is a beat down.  Healing and redirection effects go well with this card, especially if the Colonel has to turn to pump himself up when attacked (he becomes a respectable 6 Fighting).
  Colonel Richtmeyer
Well, he goes in only one deck -- the Ambush deck.  But, with the addition of ArcanoRats in N2, Ambush has gotten a little more strong.  The gravy ability of opponents not being able to play Operation and Gambit cards is nice -- too bad it's on such a specific card.  And he doesn't work with BCL's SuperFreak.

Colonel Wilhelm Reiger
Well, you can pretty much figure out what deck the Colonel is going to go into -- the Battleground Soldier deck.  It's sort of cookie-cutter, but it can be fun to play.  Turning a  Killing Ground for +2 fighting isn't half bad.  It does wear off at the end of the turn, but it's still a little damage.  Remember the Colonel isn't a soldier (unless he visits the ID Chopshop), so he can't pump himself.  He isn't in my current Soldier deck (I'm doing Manchus with just a couple Battlegrounds), but someday I'll get around re-creating my solder/bg deck (I've still got a bad taste in my mouth from Combat Veteran).

  The Dogs of War
Dogs is right.  Just how good is a low resource requirement 3-for-5?  I would say not that good.  And on the off chance all your Battlegrounds go down the tubes, the Dogs get even worse.  There might be some possibilities with a turbo Cave Network or Proving Ground deck, but with 2 decent 1-cost foundations, I've never found the Architects lacking for the resources to get out the Reconstructed.  But wait, you can play Combat Veteran on the Dogs!  Woof woof!
  Dr. Alley Mathews
I've built the Dr. Alley deck, and it's okay, but nothing spectacular.  There aren't that many characters with X in the rules that you want to interact with.  I tried Plasma and Pod Troopers, and they were okay.  Probably the best was Titanium Johnson with a huge Toughness, but you really want lower cost non-unique characters to take advantage of Alley.  Too bad she doesn't work with Entropy is Your Friend -- that would make for some serious offense.  BCL gives the deck Rocket Man, but I've yet to get it really humming.
  Dr. April Mucosa
Dr. April is a pre-cursor to Netherworld's Blanket of Darkness, but with the severe drawback of being an expensive 1 Fighting character.  Don't get me wrong, the damage reduction ability is very strong, but this card is so fragile it's not worth playing with unless you are using Cave Networks, and then you don't want to load up.  As with any fragile specialty character, you are going to want some extra protection like Expendable Units or power sites like KHouse and Turtle Beach.
  Dr. Celeste Carter
Dr. Celeste has the potential to get huge very fast.  Because of her reduction by Tech cards, it somewhat limits your options as to what Architect cards you play.  CHAR may not be your best choice, instead looking to cards like Gnarled Attuner as your alternate hitters.  DNA Mages work well since they give you access to Magic (for Pocket Demon) and their resources offset each other.  Generally, you are playing Dr. Carter in a deck split between Architects and either Monarchs or Lotus, both of which have Magic foundation cards and lots of good support cards (not to mention Inauspicious Return, which is the bomb with Dr. Carter).  Now the Purists are a stand-alone faction with two 1-cost Magic foundations, Dr. Carter always makes a good addition..
Dr. Curtis Boatman
I have never gotten Boatman to do his trick.  Clearly you never want to copy DNA Mages, so that gives you Vivisector and ArcanoTechnician as two of the better options.  For this cost, I think I'd almost always want Bonengel.  I think we'll have to wait and see if any future scientists give this guy a boost.  Since this guy really in effect is a 4 Fighting itsy-bitsy thug, I recommend The Reconstructed if you can squeeze in a Reinvigoration Process, or the always cool Brain Sucker in the same cost range -- wait, I take that back -- the card you want in Monster Hunter so you can gank up those nasty Temples.
  Dr. Curtis Boatman vSG
While this card is definitely got some juice, it sort of boxes itself into a few niche decks by requiring .  The opponents must pay you 1 power to attack is a killer, and is going to do a good job of discouraging attacks (much like a Temple of Angry Spirits will).  On top of that, you get a Fighting bonus for a couple of designators.  The obvious combo is with ArcanoWave Reinforcer, but you can get work some more synergy with cards like Bouncing Benjii and Johann Bonengel vSG.
  Dr. Jean-Marc Ngubane
This is a pretty janky specialty card.  With 4 Fighting, Dr Ngubane is probably going to live longer than The Prof, but spending 3 power on a Back for Seconds is hefty.  You might be able to slow up an opponent playing Monarchs, but that is unreliable.  I think I'm going to go with Bonengel over this card most of the time.  Well, I've put the good doctor is a few decks now, but really to no effect. 
  Dr. Klaus Herrbruck
Bad Bad Bad.  Here we have what I consider to be an inferior Salvage, and how often do you play Salvage?  And how many non-character non-site
cards are there worth reloading?  I count 3 -- IKTV Report, Information Warfare and Neutron Bomb.  I have a big deck that actually uses Salvage, and that usually janky card is light years above Klaus, and it gets back your CHARs.  And, if you're not willing to toast a resource or two, Sinister Research, you can get cards directly back to your hand.
Drop Troopers
While Drop Troopers look like a decent 2-for-3, you need to remember that they are slow.  With three resources required, don't expect them to come out early game when they'd be most useful.  By mid game, there will be some larger characters out that will be able to intercept Drop Troopers, then turn to heal on their turn, so usually you are looking at a 1 turn slowdown at best for your two power.  The play-for-free during an attack by someone who is one Site away from a win is nifty, but it has the huge penalty of having to hold Drop Troopers in your hand until that happens.  Still, one or two in a large deck can be a fun surprise in the right situation -- you just need to discard them aggressively and avoid the trap of holding on to Drop Troopers.
  Dunwa Saleem (Architect)
Dunwa is one of those characters I wish I had more of (he's a Flashpoint Rare) because he can go in every Architect deck.  Not only is Dunwa Saleem a decent mid-range character, he has two funky abilities.  First, he just plain out steals Ascended resource characters -- none of that  maintain garbage.  If you can back him up with a little Nerve Gas or Imprisoned to keep him alive, you can do some major annoyance to the Ascended (not to mention their Family Estate will take 2 damage when this Lodge Traitor is Smoked).  Dunwa's second ability is just fun, and the random luck of a two card grind can help or hurt you depending on what the cards were, but it's still fun.  While he wont do a lot, it is worth considering Dunwa Saleem if you are trying to win by running your opponent out of cards.
  Flying Bladder
If you can keep your opponents' characters down to one apiece, then you have a chance at getting a Bladder through for some damage, though generally they don't do their trick enough to be worth their cost.  Damage increasing States like Godhammers and Explosives do combo with this card, and they are worth considering if you feel the urge to play with Flying Bladder.
  Foul Hatchling
Foul indeed in the Hatchling!  While you might dream of a growing horde of hatchlings, raining down a torrent of damage on your opponents' sites, it just ain't gonna happen. Foul Hatchlings die faster than they can hatch. 
Well, I was a little wrong about Hermes, he's okay in the Architect/Lotus deck with Malachi -- he's nothing much on his own, but can get you into a soft lock with Malachi out.  He goes okay with Dr. Celeste (Architects don't have many pure-Magic cards) as well, and lets you draw a card if you are in a Paradox Beast bind).  And he's just going to get better in Dark Future (see Malachi).
  Jeroen Becker
This is a nice card to throw one-of in a deck if you have room.  He has an okay ratio, but his three resource requirement is on the hefty side.  If Jeroen makes it to your next turn, the extra cards let you fill your hand up with Nerve Gas and Imprisoned.  He seems an obvious combo with Paradox Beast.  I find him squeezed out of Architect decks, but he seems to have found a home in Purist decks, where his hefty three-resource condition means that you are more likely to have won the Purist Acolyte gambit. 

Jessica Ng
A moderately interesting card, with a permutation of an ability we've seen on a few other cards (Gnarled Marauder, King Kung).  Where this will work well is against larger site structures where you can get at one site relatively easy (say a Bandit Hideout) and put a world of hurt on the site next to it (say a FSS heavily defended with turned characters).  Like the Marauder, you will want some punched up damage, and BuroMil Godhammer might be her best friend.  Note that she was much cooler before she joined the Slumdicate.

  Johann Bonengel
How could anyone not like the BuroPresident?  He's The Reconstructed with two more resource requirements, he's a Secret Headquarters, and he's protection vs. Shadowy Mentor all wrapped up in one.  I've really rediscovered the BuroPresident, and since he's been reprinted I have a ton of him, and it's just hard not to put him in a deck.

Johan Bonengel vSG
Another card that doesn't take too much effort to figure out -- play lots of 1-cost characters, and try to get some extra mileage out of them.  An easy combo to try out is play 5 each of BuroMil Grunt and Bouncing Benjii.

  Midnight Whisperer
At 1 cost for 1 Fighting, this guy is the best of the Architect's ambush characters.  Early game he can pick of unprotected resource characters, allowing you to get ahead in the damage count.  The Whisperer combines well with states that increase Fighting or damage, so consider some Buro Godhammers and ArcanoTanks.  Since this guy is an Abomination, consider using Reinvigoration Process as well, that way you can fish one out of your Smoked pile when you draw your Godhammer late game.  I also love this guy for accelerating resources.
  Monster Hunter
While the Monster Hunter used to be of limited use, the addition of Sinister Accusations in Throne War may have given her a little extra life.  Also with the addition of such powerful demons like Four Burning Fists and Demon Emperor, it just may be worth throwing one of this card into some random Architect decks to try it out again.  Of course, the best play is always to have the Monster Hunter 'capture' Guiya Zui since its a Demon Site.  Guiya Zui?  What was I smoking?  Temple of Angry SPIRITs is the thing to grab.  And the Purists have tons of spirits, so this card might see a little more play if the Purists ever take off (which hasn't happened in the year since they've been out).
It's hard to compete with CHAR in the four cost category for Architect characters.  4 Fighting is just barely big enough to make Guts worthwhile, but using Mutoid's + Damage ability always seems to be hard to pull off.  This card rarely gets intercept by less than lethal damage, so he usually does either 4 or 0 damage.  Of course, he does go well with Cellular Reinvigoration, allowing him to get up to 8 damage in before being smoked at the end of the turn if he's been intercepted.
Napalm Belcher
This is a tough card to get a handle on.  The Belcher's ability is basically a reusable Napalm Sunrise.  In Event form, it's not very good, but it might have potential as a character, especially if you can get out multiples.  Your opponents are going to gang up on your Napalm Belchers in multiplayer, so I think this card might be most useful in dueling.  Well, I got a handle on it -- it rocks.  People have learned to fear the buuuurp! from the Napalm Belcher, and it makes a great addition to any deck that could (and does!) play CHARs.  Another great card to recycle with Reinvigoration Process.  Napalm Belcher was a key card in the KublaCon 04 winning deck that I designed (and Jan played).

Night Horror
While this card does three different things, it doesn't quite have the synergy to be great.  Playing and attacking out of turn is always difficult to master, and be prepared to argue the rules when you play or encounter this card (a rules-lawyer can usually cheese someone out of attack).  I'm not sure if you can use a Reinvigoration Process to play this out of turn or not -- we'll have to wait for the FAQ.

  Pod Trooper
Largely overlooked, the Pod Trooper can smack for some serious damage.  At only 1 power, Pod Trooper can be a comeback card.  You can expect it to be from 3 to 5 Fighting most of the time, which can get you back in the game if there is a vulnerable Site.  Note that the Pod Trooper shrinks immediately if you opponent goes down in characters or Sites, so intercepting with a 1 Fighting character effectively reduces your Fighting by two.  Pod Trooper also limits your choice of targets, and I find myself wanting to attack right with him far too often.
  PubOrd Sniper
This is one of the worst Cop characters, and it's always hard to find room for him in a deck.  Even Police Station doesn't really do him much good.  Spending 2 power to attack for 3 damage is not good when you could spend 3 power to attack for 5+ with other Cops.  Compare this guy to the Lotus' Purist Sorcerer, which clearly blows him away.  I haven't played this card since the Cop revival in BCL and 10KB, but I don't think it's improved any.
Cards that depend on your opponents to work are iffy at best, and that is how I would describe the Purist.  You are 200% better off just playing a Site that meets your needs over Purist.  Also 2-cost 1-fighting characters are generally bad news to begin with.
  Rapid Response Team
We can debate forever just how good refilling your hand is, but I don't think it's that great unless you have a high card throughput (which takes gads if power generation) -- I would consider it more gravy than anything else.  I don't think the Rapid Response Team's card drawing ability is as good as Old Uncle's, who has proven to be a solid card to play.  What you are left with is a bland 3-cost for 4 Fighting Cop, that you are hoping to do stupid Cop tricks with (Police Station, Partners, Magnum Justice etc.).  I'm just not feeling the love.  I've seen these played a couple times with okay results, and without some boost to power generation (like a Secret HQ) they are hand cloggers.
  Raptor Squad
I'm not a fan of this two-trick pony.  The simplest use of this card is to play it and go for a site (maybe dropping a State for some Fighting bonus).  But, they you have a tempo issue where he doesn't unturn next turn (not to mention it's a hard effect to keep track of - we use a counter).  The second use is in the Abonination-nation deck where you are playing Raptor Squad, attacking, Vivisecting it, and replaying with Reinvigoration Process (note that pumping up damage with States is not-so-good if you play and sacrificing them for power).
  The Reconstructed
While this card has no special ability, it's designator makes it a standard feature of most Abomination decks.  5 Fighting without a drawback for 3 power is an okay deal.  And that 3 power lets The Reconstructed live in Cave Networks as well.  And he works well with Buro Official if you are trying to get some sneaky Ambush action.
  The Reconstructed
While this card has no special ability, it's designator makes it a standard feature of most Abomination decks.  5 Fighting without a drawback for 3 power is an okay deal.  And that 3 power lets The Reconstructed live in Cave Networks as well.  And he works well with Buro Official if you are trying to get some sneaky Ambush action.
  Rhys Engel (Architect)
Rhys Engel may be the ultimate spy -- nothing is hidden to him.  Remember that he really has two abilities.  The first is obvious, looking at a Site or a player's hand.  The second ability is less obvious, but the cost of triggering the first ability, discarding a card, lets you rip through your deck, getting you to the cards you need.  I've seen a pretty good Arch/Hand Xao Yan Yun deck that used this version of Rhys to good effect.
  Rocket Man
While he's not the best, Rocket Man is kinda fun in four player.  He's no beating stick like Shaolin Agent, but he can still get reasonably tough.  Sure, he screams out Dr. Alley Mathews, but I think a Buro Godhammer just may be his best friend.  Providing Tech really helps me want to play this guy.
  Rocket Team
This is another card that I wish cost 1 less resource -- other than Reiger, it's the only 2-cost
providing card in the game that requires more than 1 resource.  That aside, the Team is okay -- they can do some good scouting for you, site softening, and even site removal in a pinch.  Note that they can be stopped by a Whirlpool, so you have to take that into effect in your planning.  They also have the Soldier designator so you can do a few other tricks (and they're one of only 3 providing soldiers).  Yet another soldier that jus doesn't quite make the cut, even in a soldier deck.
  Spawn of the New Flesh
A staple of the Architect Battleground Site deck, perhaps the Spawn's biggest drawback is that he's Unique.  But you still want about 3-4 in your deck, so you can discard aggressively early, and you want to hold off on playing a Spawn until you have at least 4 columns.  While there have been new BG sites slowly introduced, Bandit Hideout and Killing Ground are still going to be your main standbys.
  Super Soldier
While marginally better than Mutoid, Super Soldier is still usually a poor choice for a inclusion in a deck.  About the only exception (unless you have a very limited card pool) is in a deck where you plan to take advantage of Police Stations.  The Architects have enough Cop cards to make inclusion of the Station an option, in which case Super Soldier can wind up being a 7 Guts for 5 power (his 4 + 1 for the station), which isn't too bad a deal.  10KB updated the designator rules, so Supersolder splits into Super and Soldier, so this guy matches with Jason X and friends.
  Swarm of Teeth
If you haven't figured it out yet, you really want to play 5 of these in a deck (well, if you've really figured it out, you want to play with zero).  They can slow you down quite a bit by clogging your hand early game since every one you discard will hurt you in the long run.  With him you can literally make the all-Ambush deck and not have to resort to Buro Assassin, which this is clearly an improvement on.  Unfortunately, this card is an anti-combo with Dangerous Experiment, which is the card you really want to power up to pay for these guys.  Well, there is always Helix Rethread...
  Tank Commander
This guy looks to single handedly make the tank deck work, not to mention being fun to do stuff with.  I recommend ArcanoTank -- that makes him a 5-cost 8 Fighting Toughness:1 boomer.  Then again, if you want to mix in the Jammers, 1-cost Homemade Tanks are tasty.  The worst thing about Tank Commander will be getting a hold of 5 of him, since the average is about 1 and a half per display.  Have I mentioned playing lots of Whirlpools to stem the tide of Waterfalls?  Also, Newest Model is just made for this deck.  Update:  After having tried to make this work, it's just durn tough.  Tank Commander just isn't quite good enough on his own, and you never seem to have a tank when you want one.
Alas the poor Vivisector!  It has seen better days.  The new errata from the YotD edition of Shadowfist changes the Vivisector so that it can no longer sacrifice itself to gain power.  Previously, if you could avoid having it die when coming into play, the Vivisector often served the purpose of getting fast free resources into your pool for a Dangerous Experiment.  Now, it's much more limited, and you don't want to have this card on the table unless you are planning to use it right away, or are in a situation where you are fearing something along the lines of Shadowy Mentor.  It's also okay-ish in an Abomination deck where you are sacrificing and replying with Reinvigoration Process.


  Assault Drone
Aiiieee!  Triskellion makes an appearance in Shadowfist.  A 5-cost potential 11-damage Robot can be fun.  Look for this card to crop in to more and more decks, not to mention in janky Fortress Omega decks.   Probably the best Drone around, but is it greatly hurt by its inability to intercept, but it can put some hurt on attackers at it's location.  And I wouldn't worry too much about Return to the Center nuking your tokens, since this card just keeps on gaining them every turn -- sweet.
Black Ops Team
For those of you familiar with MTG, this card is almost a Nekretaal.  You are hoping to smoke an opponent's character when this enters play.  Your opponent is going to try all sorts of tricks, so you might need a little backup -- if your the loser of the Faceoff, you will have just spent 4 power to 6 damage.  Well, as I suspected, this card turned out to be nicely playable -- you get a okay sized thug and a nerve gas for 4 power -- now that's what I call card economy!
Your mileage will vary on this card, depending on how early it comes out and what your opponents are playing.  The Architects have a problem in the 4-for-6 slot because of our old friend CHAR, and characters will forever come up short when measured against that stick.  Where you get some juice is when you time it right so that you stop your opponent from recurring a good character -- note that BoneChill immediately toasts, so even a Roar of the Beast is too late to cancel the Toast.  Note that while BoneChill can eat the Destroyer, he won't be coming back as the copy ability gets forgotten when BoneChill goes to the smoked pile. Notice they were smart enough not to make BoneChill and Abomination, so to recycle him, Golden Comeback is your best best (and oddly enough, can be played in response to an opponent recurring a character to toast it instead).
CHAR is the Architects hitter of choice.  And it's not because this card takes no damage from Fire cards.  It's because CHAR is immune to damage reduction and redirection effects.  Just to name a few:  Robust Feng Shui, Iron and Silk, all Toughness, Operation Killdeer, Turtle Beach, City Square...  You get the picture, CHAR is immune to a hefty amount of the stoppage in the game.  And it costs next to no resources to boot!  If you ever run into a conflict with CHAR's ability and another card (say Rah Rah Rasputine), there is a simple way to resolve it -- just remember that CHAR always wins.  No ifs ands or buts.
  Commander Corliss
The Commander is an unusual card in that you pay his power over time.  If you have 4 sites when you play him, he winds up being a 6-for-6, not such a good deal.  But -- if you have no sites in play, he is a rocking 6 Fighting for 2 power, and gives you a chance at comeback.  He combos well with sites that generate power in other ways with Proving Ground being the most obvious, but others like Monkey House and Gambling House working okay.  While Corliss is a little slow at three resources, expect to see him in turbo-CHAR type decks as a backup hitter and it decks with Dangerous Experiment that like to explode.  I rate him better than Drop Troopers, and they can fulfill a similar role.
  Conversion Drone
Well, the Drone does have one thing going for it by being non-Unique.  That way you could build a deck around it if you really tried.  A 5-cost for 7 Fighting Toughness:1 is not the best deal in the world, and this guy sort of feels like Big Bruiser.  Not being able to burn sites really kills this card, as you want to recoup your power invested the turn they come into play.  There isn't much you can do with the token, other than maybe keep your opponent from playing Golden Comeback for a turn or two, or possibly trigger a uniqueness auction.  Even if you are paying only 4 power for this drone via Fortress Omega, you still had to pay for the site, and this card still stinks.
  Dan Dammer, Jammer Slammer
Despite the really cool name this a pretty average thug.  4-6 Guts isn't very exciting, but Dan Dammer has a couple of extra features -- he's a Cop, so you can do Police Station tricks (and it much better than Super-Soldier) and he also has that goofy gravy ability of p'wning Jammers. 
  Desdemona Deathangel
The Queen of Ambush reigns no more.  While once Desdemona with a + damage state was a character killing machine, the White Ninja at just one more power (and 2 more fighting, and more abilities) has made Desdemona all but obsolete.
  Desdemona Deathangel vPAP
Is this one better than the old one?  Yes.  Is the new Desdemona worth playing with?  Probably not.  I guess you can try some abomination tricks with her, but generally there are better ways to go the ambush route.  I almost think it's easier to get 2 Godhammers on a Midnight Whisperer than it is to get Desdemona Out (note to self -- need to make the Whisperer Slow-Mo Vengeance deck with Final Brawl to counter Mentor).   On the plus side, she is like the old Thing in that she can eat herself in response to Mentor, which is a slight plus.  Also there is the White Ninja problem again.
  Destroyer Drone
So many drones, only one deck.  This drone  is far from the worst (N2's Conversion Drone has that honor), and it can do a little damage (say, 11).  All the drones have a drawback, and this one is it not being able to attack characters, which is livable.  Generally, you never want to pay 5 power for this, and it really only goes in the Fortress Omega deck, which has it's own set problems (like it's gonna hurt so good when they Discerning Fire choosing Drone)..
  Elsa Winterhagen
Yeah, she's a nice big thug with reasonably low resources required.  She's not going to be intercepted a lot, as she can clear two opposing characters for only 3 damage.  She's in the category with Homo -- a big site taking machine, but very vulnerable.  Her obvious combo is with Blitzkrieg to take 2 sites for the win, assuming you can get a boat load of power.  Don't be afraid to redirect damage to one of your own characters if there's no other target.  Not much more to say, although I can add that she's really good when you're play Architects in draft.
  General Olivet
Hrm, General Code Red.  The rules timing for attacking on other players' turns is such a nightmare that it's really hard to use this card  -- in fact, if you are not a timing expert, it's best to box this card as to avoid the excessive arguments it can provoke.  The General's abilities work well with two game mechanics -- Burn for Power and out of turn power generation.  Unfortunately the best out of turn generation for the Architects, DE, is just going to get him toasted, so that's no good.  And, if you BFP'd, he's probably going to be turned already, so the card just never seems to work like you intended it to.
  Genghis X
Genghis used to be cool because he was so rare.  Now that he's been reprinted, he's no longer cool, and there isn't much reason to be playing him.  At 5-cost, he's pricey, and he doesn't even have full Guts, so he hits in the range of 6-to-8.  Just not good enough, even with the gas mask.
  Gnarled Attuner
While the Gnarled Attuner ain't no CHAR, it's still a decent  4-for-6.  While the ability is cool, it's not super powerful, and you'll never be able to take a site that has had all its damage done by this card.  What makes up for this ability is that the Gnarled Attuner only costs 1 Architect resource, and since it's an Abomination, you can recycle it with Reinvigoration Process.  Don't plan on seizing any sites with the bad boy, and he's great for getting rid of those annoying Battleground sites -- seize them, gain the power, then watch them get smoked.
  Homo Omega
He's big, he's dumb, he takes sites, he gets gassed, he gets Mentored, he sucks.
  Homo Omega vPAP
Even with his new gas mask, Homo is a risky play.  Sure, he's a site machine, but he's still very vulnerable to Shadow Mentor and Imprisoned.  You can get around this with Vivisector and Ring of Gates respectively, but that can be power intensive and limit your options in other situations (it's usually not a good idea to play too many Ring of Gates if you are running Imprisoned yourself).  His second ability is just a goofy artifact from the role-playing game write-up of Homo.  Normally you never have to play a weapon on him in the first place, and the switching is only marginally useful with weapon states like Fusion Rifle.
  Jason X vPAP
Not terrible, but not outstanding, either.  Probably not as good as the original Jason X, but that is because you are more likely to encounter Architect spot takeout than Dragon.  Probably best to judge your meta-game -- if there are lots of Dragon decks or one player who always plays Dragons, then Jason X just might be worth playing.  Jason might be worth considering if you are playing some +damage effects to take advantage of his guts.  Of course, some Dragon thug is going to take him down and reappear for two power.
Well, he's better than the new Thing With 1000 Tongues, but that isn't saying much.  This guy is basically an 11 Guts thug, with an ability that can hinder or sometimes help opponents.  Don't expect Magog to be taking any 2 body sites that turn.  His ability is similar to Earth Poisoner, which in my experience has been shown to be inconsequential.  Yes, he's an Abomination, but so what?  That's only going to get him Discerning Fired with your Test Subject.
  Nirmal Yadav
4 for 7 without a drawback of other than Unique is a standard 'good deal' in Shadowfist costing.  What keeps Nirmal from being outstanding is his mediocre special ability.  Toughness:1 when attacking usually doesn't pat the bills.  While he doesn't have a useful designator, under the current rules, his designator doesn't match super or soldier anymore, which is probably a slight benefit because of the Bad Colonel (of course unless you are playing the Colonel). -- UPDATE:  Rules reversal -- he's not Super and Soldier again.
  Paradox Beast
While it ain't quite Sarge, the Beast is still a decent hitter with the amazing power to fighting ratio of 4 to 9.  The gasmask is a big plus, but a minus 3 hand size is a huge drawback.  Jeroen Becker can offset this, but he is fragile.  Scorched Earth and Art of War are also worth considering.   Looks to be solid beats.  A neat side-effect is that you can draw up to a hand size of 6 cards with State of Emergency, so that actually is ok in combination with the Beast.  You can also slip him into your Purist Faction decks, where he becomes a respectable hitter, and you have more garbage to help with the reduced hand size.
  Penal Soldiers
The card that this really reminds me of is the Hand's 100 Names, which may have been playable in the old days, but I haven't seen one in a deck in years.  Having to intercept is never good (Violence Junkies anyone?), and not always being able to attack at will just bites.  You could try some janky Soldier action, but wouldn't you rather just save up one more power and play CHAR?  I've tried hard to make the Soldiers fight, but, even with an Identity Chopshop, these guys are chickens at heart.  The real problem is that once your opponents see what you are up to, they do their best to make sure you can't attack by taking out your Colonels, Commandants and Generals -- a 3 for 6 with two drawbacks just doesn't cut the mustard.
  Prototype X
At a straight 2 for 1 Fighting to Power ratio, Proto is a beat down machine.  But, not only does he get the Unique restriction, he get can get his Chi cut off by other characters in play that provide Chi.  While most of these characters belong to the Hand, don't forget a few odd others like Ting Ting.  Since Proto is an Abomination, he goes well with Reinvigoration Process, allowing you some serious offensive options when bringing a character back from your smoked pile.  He rates slightly lower in multiplayer just because there is a higher chance of him having less than 8 fighting score.
Sergeant Blightman
At 4 power for a 9 Fighting, Sergeant Blightman is way outta control.  He hits like a freight train and fast.  Since he's gonna shrink at the start of each of your turns, Sacred Heart Hospital is an obvious combo.  Expect to see Sarge right along with CHAR in powerhouse Architect decks.
  Simon Draskovic
Simon is a pretty typical thug.  Okay power to fighting ratio, and he has a gasmask.  His Toughness ability is more likely to come into play in a multiplayer game, where you wont be getting as many chump resource character interceptors.  Toughness:3 is enough to even punch through some mid-sized demons and horrors, and expect those player to target him asap.
Without any bonuses, 3 points of ambush is fairly good.  Toss in another point, and this card basically has full ambush.  While this is a clear winner in the Abomination Ambush deck, it might just be good enough to consider in other decks.  While the ability isn't as good a CHAR, it does get around some damage redirection by having two packets -- there is no timing that allows for both to get redirected, so the second packet is always going to hit.  The question is whether the ambush damage makes up for the added vulnerability to damage reduction, and this card at least merits some play to find out.
  TacOps Troopers
Since you are never playing the Troopers in a non-Battleground deck, they are effectively always a 6 Fighting-for-4 power thug with Mobility.  Not the greatest, but not the worst.  This is a pretty bland card, but can give you a little extra defense.  Of course the Architects usually don't have to worry about defending sites with all their Events, and CHAR is usually a better choice since he is such a beating stick.  And I'm not a huge fan of Mobility -- it often turns you into a chump, having to intercept for someone else.
  Tactical Team
What, no Tactics?  The TacTeam is pretty boring, but they are Cops, so have a chance to hit for a bunch with Police Station.  Perhaps the best use for this guy is getting around the burning-for-power ending your turn restriction.  While you can't use that power you gained to take sites, you can use it to defend.
  Thing with a 1000 Tongues vPAP
Make no mistake, the Architect Thing isn't the powerhouse that the old Lotus Thing is.  That said, you can play some stupid Abomination tricks with the new Thing, but cards like Final Brawl can just ruin your day.  Best case scenario is play the Thing, attack, vivisect it, replay with Reinvigoration Process, attack again, hope that your Vivisector lives.  Better yet, spend that 6 power on a better character.  Remember that you can't sacrifice the recurring cards (Destroyer, Inauspicious Return zombies).  This is just a little too fragile to get in constant attacks in our metagame, but it can be quite powerful if you actually can pull it off.
  Tunneler Drone
This is one of the better drones, and one could argue that it's worth paying 5 power for.  It's going to be able to take sites, with two strong abilities that often work in conjunction.  The drone is really good at picking off those back row Fox Passes and City Squares (not to mention those ubiquitous Whirlpools).  This guy is a really good deal at -1 cost from Fortress Omega, but you aren't going to want to pull all of the CHARs out of your deck just quite yet.
He's big and bad and mostly bad.  Play him and thug it up. To get the most mileage out of the super-man, you are going to want to have some 0-cost cards  to make sure he gets tough when you want him to, so that will probably require dual-factioning with someone who has lots of soldiers and good 0-cost events, like say, the Ascended (or the Monarchs in a pinch).  Note that you really need Soldier tricks to make this guy of use -- think about it this way -- if he always had Toughness:1, how good would he be?   (my conclusion is not very)  After trying to make this guy work, he's just not worth the hassle.  . It seems that either you never have a playable 0-cost card when you need one, or you are torn by the choice of playing one to minimal effect or having it clog your hand waiting on Ubermensch.


  Abominable Wave
A so-so card, usually you will find that Nerve Gas or Imprisoned will work just as well, since most of the Hand hitters have Chi.  Otherwise, you are looking to stop a Violet Meditation or occasionally one of the Chi States or a Shield of Pure Soul.

Aerial Bombardment
Yet another 1-cost Architect take-out event, this one is near the bottom of the list for usefulness.  Generally, you are going to be playing 1 power to do 3 points of damage to a couple of characters by mid-game.  Ho hum.  What this card needed was to cost
1 so that it could be played with the counters from We Have the Technology.  Well, I was wrong, sort of.  This card has been surprisingly good in high character environments, and has proven itself able to take a huge chunk out of one opponent (especially if they are playing mono-faction).  While it doesn't replace the point takeout (Gas, Imprisoned), it does have it's place in metagames where waxy character buildup can be expected.

More Architect take-out....  This one is playable, and decent in a limited format, but it has the problem of competing with three of the best cards in the game -- Nerve Gas, Imprisoned and Neutron Bomb.  This can be an interesting meta-game card, especially if you have opponents who you know will be playing decks that are vulnerable to it.  But again, if you have access to , you really may want a Bomb instead.  Then again, in the right deck, you are hoping to clear all the chaff in your way as you play only beef.  This card is definitely worth trying out, but you may find your self gravitating back to the tried-and-true zaps.
  Arcanowave Pulse
This card might as well be named Anti-Confucian Pulse, because Confucian Stability is the card you are trying to cancel with it.  Nerve Gas takes out every Hand character, so you are looking towards what States, Events, Edges and Sites you want to whack with this card.  Throwing one in a deck can be a nice surprise, but don't overload on specialty cards.
  Artillery Strike
This card looks to have the potential to do a decent amount of damage early game.  If you do nothing, you can start your 2nd turn with 3 power, letting you drop two foundations as well as an Artillery Strike, totaling 6-10 damage, which is a potential second turn burn.  I think this card will be stronger in dueling, but has a home in Supercomputer decks, and might replace Orbital Laser Strike in Tech-light Architect decks.  This card hasn't done as well as I've liked, but I still play a couple in my Tower of Power Architect Supercomputer deck, but generally, the discard hurts as much as it helps.
Not at lot to say about it -- it's a limited Back For Seconds, that only works during attacks, and gets all characters with the Soldier designator.  Play thugs, go to town, and then unturn and go to town again.  Not much more to say, although I have seen Sarge untured a time or two.
If not for Hacker, Bzzzzzt! would be a much stronger card.  Generally, it's only worth Toasting cards that you expect to return to play (like Underworld Tracker) or to take out some early resources, forcing your opponent to re-spend their power on foundation characters.
  Cellular Reinvigoration
This turns out to be a dual purpose card, one use offensive and one use defensive.  The offensive is obvious -- attack with a decent sized guy and if he's already damage or is being intercepted, hit him with Cellular Reinvigoration and use the Guts to punch through for a site.  On defense, this card is very much like Iron and Silk -- intercept and play this card, and since the character is not Smoked by damage until the end of the turn, the attacker has not overcome the interceptor, and therefore is removed from combat.
  Code Red
This card never works.  First, you have to have some beefy unturned characters, and second they have to attack you, which of course they will never do if you meet the first condition.  You can try to pull off the ultimate combo of playing Tactical Teams (after burning for power the previous turn of course) and counter attacking, but you are crazy for building the deck!
Dangerous Experiment
This card has been wrecked by the errata and the addition of Hacker to the game.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a good card, but it's not the insane card it used to be.  Playing DE is usually an all or nothing gambit.  If it goes through, you gain 5 power and stomp your opponent -- if it gets Hacked, you scoop.  I still sneak 1 or 2 into mono-Architect decks as a panic button.  Don't overlook the possibility of failing an attack against you by convincing your opponent to toast the target.
  Disinformation Packet
Another overlooked card, Disinformation Packet usually lets you take a Site.  Most players rely on turned characters to be a wall of defense protecting their Sites.  This card can let you bypass that wall by moving their back row site into a new column.  Probably what hurts Disinformation Packet is that Satellite Intelligence usually can do the same thing, is useable on defense. and costs less power.  Of course, there are lots of other cards that let you take sites for 1 power or less.

Evacuation 2066
One of the best card in Sixguns, Evac2066 is a game winner.  This card requires skill and timing to use, but shouldn't be too much of a problem.  This card can turn your DNA Mages and other badness into Back For Seconds.  Also remember that unturning has multiple uses -- attacking again, turning to heal, turn abilities, etc.  Now, the way you are going to want to use this card is to attack, unturn, win, but don't overlook sacrificing a turned or foundation character to unturn an opponent's character if you think they will chump intercept.  Cards like Bouncing Benjii and Reinvigoration Process will ensure you have bobos to sacrifice.

Expendable Unit
Wondering what to do with all those DNA mages you played for resources?  They're expendable!  This is one of those great 0 cost Events that is both offensive and defensive.  Joey Paz intercepting Char?  Redirect that damage to a DNA Mage, Smoke the Pazinator, and take a site!  Adrienne Hart putting the smackdown on one of your sites?  Tech them out by intercepting with your DNA Mage, then playing Expendable Unit to redirect all the damage Adrienne is doing to your site to the DNA Mage.  Not only do you save your site, you get to poke Adrienne for 1 damage in the process.  Avoid the rookie mistake of trying to redirect Final Brawl -- it doesn't work since all your characters are taking damage to begin with, and you can't redirect a character;s damage to itself (ExU redirects all damage from the source).
  Fire in the Sky
This card is really specialized.  It's no where near as good Imprisoned, but that, what is?  I guess you are hoping to get your power back by playing Vivisection Agenda, but the timing rules make this difficult.  Almost all sacrifices (including Fire in the Sky) are part of the cost, so you need to have resolved the Agenda first.  Stick to Nerve Gas unless every character in your environment has a gas mask.  And remember that sacrifice doesn't trigger smoke effects, so no card drawing from your CDCA Scientist.
  Geoscan Report
It seems the Architects have finally applied their superior technology.  This card is a lot like N2's Blood and Thunder, but with less deck construction restrictions.  Late game, paying 1 power just to reveal a site can actually give you the information you need to win a game.  All your characters doing +2 damage against a site can also lead to taking a site anytime during the game.  All-in-all, this is a versatile card that throwing one in a deck is always a nice trick.  A speed weenie deck built around Geoscan I think will have problems because of Final Brawl.  The dream combo is Inauspicious Return for 3 BuroMil Grunts with a Geoscan Report -- that's 12 damage for 2 power!
This card is amazingly good.  Not only is a one cost Event takeout, it doesn't have the restriction of not working on a lot of characters like Nerve Gas does.  One of the most effective uses of Imprisoned is deny your opponent resources and slow them way down.   A devastating first turn play is to drop a 1 cost foundation character and Imprisoned their 2 cost character and start chipping away at their site.  Also returning characters to their opponent's hand is usually better than Smoking them because you never know when a Golden Comeback is in the works.  The only exception to this may be in sealed deck where good characters are at a premium.
  Napalm Sunrise
Doesn't everyone love the smell of napalm in the morning?  This is another one of those utility cards that can take up a free slot in a deck (but playing more than 1 or 2 will cause pain).  With Napalm Sunrise, not only are you planning to Smoke at least 2 powers worth of resource characters, you are hoping to clear a path to and weaken a Site.  Plus playing this card is just plain cool.
Nerve Gas
An all around great card, Nerve Gas is a staple of the Architects.  This is essentially a free card, because your opponent will have invested at least one power in playing the character you Gas.  Don't overlook the surprise factor of Gassing during an attack after interceptions have been declared.  Often you can save your own character from being Smoked by bulitple interceptors while Smoking two of your opponent's (one from Gas and one from combat damage) and still get through to put some damage on a site.  UPDATE:  Nerve Gas has been slowly losing it's kick -- as part of the natural progression, the pool of characters with gas masks has gotten larger, making Imprisoned look better and better over Nerve Gas).
Neutron Bomb
I think we can all agree that the Architects are the masters of removing characters from the board.  Neutron Bomb does a great job of this and is a must in every Architect deck.  You want to avoid the situation where you are having to Bomb to stop a win when you are behind -- your opponents will recover faster and you will still be behind.  The time to use Bomb is when you are ready to bust out and get some characters on the board to take advantage of the now undefended sites.  Remember to play Test Subjects to make sure you get the Tech to drop the bomb.
  Police State
The best of the Cancel and Smoke Events, Police State is a must for an Architect based dueling deck.  It not only lets you get your Dangerous Experiments through by canceling Hackers, this card does not target, you can Smoke the Golden Gunman with it.  While you usually have Gas or Imprisoned to deal with Golden Comeback, Police State also stops the annoying Final Brawl if you are overextended with smaller characters.
  PubOrd Raid
In our playgroup, attacking is the norm, so we rarely find unturned characters sitting around.  Still, this card can take out an interceptor or two in the right situation.  Since this is a free Event, it won't clog up your hand, so playing one or two if you have a more turtlish playgroup may work out for you.  There is always the crazy Architect/Hand Superleap deck, where you can get extra mileage out of this card.
  Sinister Research
Yeah, it's got a high power cost, and a nasty precondition.  Still, in the right deck, it has some serious potential for mayhem.  Think of it as a highly specialized Wind on the Mountain that can get back any card (and we all know how ba-roken Wind is!).  While not a card for every deck, it is something to consider if you have enough Scientists you are willing to toast (from your smoked pile preferably).
  State of Emergency
Drawing cards is always good, but paying power to do so is usually not worth it.  Unfortunately, State of Emergency only allows you to draw up to six cards, so it doesn't combo with Scorched Earth, Art of War or Orange Sensei Chamber, but you can play it with New Manifesto.  Sometimes this card can fuel you to a win (especially if you are playing Dangerous Experiment), but I'd be wary of putting more than one or two in a deck.  It does work with Pardox Beast, but it's not the greatest to pay 1 power for a few cards that might clog your hand for a few turns.
  Superior Technology
Even though this card looks to be offensive, it proves to be of more use on defense.  Since this card only adds to damage, any character intercepted by just enough Fighting to Smoke it will loose the damage benefit.  Of course, you can hope that they are intercepting you with characters that are just 1 Fighting bigger than yours, but this probably wont happen more than once per attack.  At least when you are on defense, you can pick the most advantageous interceptions for your Superior Technology.  Invariably, you will wish you had a Nerve Gas instead, or a GeoScan Report if you are attacking.
  Total War
Total War is a lot like Mourning Tree -- it limits the number of times an opponent can attack during a turn, by forcing them to attack with all their characters.  Of course, they are free to play more characters during their turn and attack with them, but this great for those players who like to snipe of characters before going for a site.  Total War is also a reverse Assassinate since characters can't turn in response, you have a good chance of being able to damage that annoying specialty character. This is one of those overlooked cards, but it still never as good as it seems it should be.
  Uncontrolled Mutation
This is a card that I think people are going to like, as it has both offensive and defensive uses.  If your an old school MTG player, you might see the resemblance to an old favorite, Berserk.  On offense, you double your fighting, smoke everything in your way, and take sites.  The defensive use is a bit more passive, as you are not going to directly stop an attacker, but you can wait until just before your turn to zap an opponent's character.  Remember that under the timing rules, playing this at the end of an opponent's turn gives them the option of returning to their main shot and launching an attack, so you will want to either zap a turned character or wait until they've had a failed attack.  This card is sort of a cross between Nerve Gas and Cellular Reinvigoration, and can take the place of either in a deck, although I would still pack a few Imprisoned to make sure I have some sure-fire denial.  If you are the master politician, you can use Uncontrolled Mutation to smoke two characters -- wait until one opponent is attacking, and when it comes time to declare interceptors, zap another opponent's character this is capable of intercepting -- hopefully he will take the bait and you'll be clear of two problems.  The preceding text pretty much says it all -- a solid event, both on offense and defense, and is worth consideration in most decks that can field
by mid-game.
  Vivisection Agenda
This is another combo-card that's near impossible to pull off to any great advantage with regularity.  Most of the time, you are gaining 1 additional power when you vivisect something, although you can try for more with Desdemona and a few other cards that allow multiple sacrifices.  Because of the timing rules, you can't gain power from the new Thing (although the old Thing eats 'em up!).  I highly recommend Helix Rethread over this -- it will get you your 1 power much earlier in the game, without clogging up your hand.  Not to mention Dangerous Experiment gets you a bigger boost than the Agenda, without having to combo (nut with the added drawback of not wanting to have expensive cards in play).
  War of Attrition
Unless you have no characters in play, War of Attrition is going to cost you 2 power, if not more.  It's not going to be that good in an environment where there's lots of build up, but if characters are getting smoked left and right keeping the number in play low, you might be able to do something with this card.  Don't play one in response to an effect that smokes (like itself), as people can choose the same card twice.  This card will probably be better in a four card game based on the economy of scale, but I suspect most of the time the opportunity cost will be too high to get the desired effect (i.e. as good as Nerve Gas or Imprisoned).  I've found that this card makes a nice one-of in many decks.  While sometimes it's clogged my hand, other times it's gotten some good extra zappage -- our games are usually character-light, often giving this a chance to take out a hitter or two.  And, it gets by Brain Fire and Festival Circles, which are always a threat in our game.


  Agony Grenade
In theory, this card is a game winner.  In practice, it gets discarded whenever it gets drawn.  Since you have to play it when you declare the attack, you have to play it on a damage character to get any use.  At one damage counter, it only stops one interceptor, and if you look at card economics, wouldn't you rather Gas or Imprison that one interceptor?  Two damage counters is where the card is most useful, but then only if there are two inceptors of note on the board.  If you character has 3 or more damage counters, it is unlikely that you are taking a site, and should think about turning to heal.  Four Sorrows Island is just a better all-around way of removing interceptors.
This state is looking to be sort of midling  in generating a little extra power.  ArcanoLeech is almost free if you play on the opponent to your left, as you will get back the power you paid right away.  You are going to want to keep the site in play, but seizing it is not an option as it will stop triggering (the subject site no longer generates power for an opponent, which may just make this card unplayable).  As always, watch out for Stone Dolmens, which seems to become more and more useful.  Being Limited, I can't see playing more than 1 or 2 in a deck, and I still might just want 5 IKTV Special Reports before this card, let alone a Drug Lab.  I think time has shown me right, and this card hasn't been up to snuff, especially compared with other power generating cards.  And, there are so many state-hating Stone Dolmens in our metagame, that the Leeches get whacked too often.
While ArcanoStriker is better than Sports Car or Speed Boat, that's not saying much.  Still you can usually take a site by dropping this State on CHAR as a surprise to clear out the foundation characters, though ArcanoTank (not to mention some of the new Dark Future+ vehicles) is usually a better option.
Perhaps the best tank, this card is one of the few Vehicle States worth playing without having to rely on a trick.  ArcanoTank is just brute force -- drop it on anything from a resource character to a hitter and clean house.  You need to be careful how you declare your attacks, because booming the tank's guns to do 1 point of damage hits all characters at the tank's location, not just your opponents'.
This card allows you to do extra damage to a Site, most likely that annoying back-row Site.  Of course, that cost of that damage is much more than it's worth, and Orbital Laser Strike is going to make you a much happier person.
  BK97 Attack Chopper
The power level of States has seen a nice bump to counteract the influence of Waterfall Sanctuary.  I expect 2-power for 3-fighting to be the new bar, and this card fits it perfectly.  And along with the fighting, any little ability helps, and the Chopper gives a limited CHAR ability, which can be useful.  Note that you are still getting hosed by City Squares and Robust Feng Shui, but you can at least ignore Op Killdeer and put the beat down on Puzzle Gardens.  With Motor Pool, this card is gonna kick some ass.
  Brain Tap Rifle
Don't get me wrong -- I like Weapons -- I really do.  But, I like my weapons to be playable, which this isn't.  Think of this card as Brain Bug v2.  There are better cards to reveal Sites, look at hands and deal damage -- I would rather play a card that does one of them well than a card that tries to do all of them so-so.  Well, no one plays this card, and I think that speaks volumes -- Fusion Rifle is just so much better...
  Buro Blue Spear
Yawn, yet another Training Sequence, and this time with half a Fusion Rifle.  I recommend playing Fusion Rifle instead, as it is going to be better in most situations (and you will get in your full 2 damage before a Waterfall washes the state away).  The one situation where this card might be okay is in limited formats (booster draft), but that format hasn't really emerged. 
Buro Godhammer
This gun sets the mark for States.  For one power, you should expect +3 damage or its equivalent.  Like ArcanoTank, Buro Godhammer is useful on a wide range of characters.  A favorite of mine is the Midnight Whisper, who becomes a respectable 4 Ambush for only 2 power if you can get a Godhammer on it.
  BuroMil "Savage"
I'm not a big fan of expensive states -- they are too easy to flush down the Waterfall.  But -- this might be a slight exception, just because of Motor Pool.  2 Power for +6 Fighting and a few other goodies just might be playable, but probably not tournament quality.  At least Mobility and Toughness:1 combine fairly well, which lets you take out the trash when garbage characters attack.
  Brain Bug EQ3200
There just aren't enough bad things to say about Brain Bug.  The best you can hope is to play it on an opponent's character and hope they have to Discerning Fire to stop your Brain Eater.  Of course you could play with Waterfall Sanctuaries to deter them from attacking, but that sounds worse than the Motorcycle Marsh deck.
  Combat Veteran
Is this card as bad as it looks?  Sure looks like it.  Not only is it another Training Sequence, but a really hard one to use at that.  The major problem is that the Battleground Sites you want to play are Bandit Hideout, Arcanoseed, and Killing Ground, only of which Killing Ground doesn't turn for a usually better ability than +1 until the end of the turn. Even two of the three new BGs in this set require turning.  And don't forget that +Fighting wears off, usually meaning your character is going to die and take the power you spend on Combat Veteran with it.  And don't forget you gotta be playing with some cruddy Soldiers/etc to drop this on to begin with.
Save me giant robot!  Well, mecha have finally crashed their way into Shadowfist.  I don't think they will make a very big splash, as their first offering is pretty much bottom-of-the-barrel.  I really try to squeeze BK-97s into decks, because I know it's good, and I know it's better than Eisenriese, but often the attack chopper gets left aside after the first card culling.  Note that Eisenriese requires a hefty
, something that your 2FT inspired theme deck is going to have a real hard time pulling off -- Soldiers and just seem to be on two separate paths, and good luck getting chocolate in your peanut butter.  No giant robots have been spotted in the secret war -- maybe they are a myth and don't really exist?
  Helix Chewer
While this card can let you plow through hordes of small defenders, you need to be careful of clogging up your hand.  I recommend no more than 2 or 3 in a deck.  Since States can be played anytime during your turn, you can play the same Helix Chewer over and over again in the same attack if you are intercepted by multiple characters.  There is nothing better than the opponent who forgets you have one of these in your hand and falls for the trick a second time.  Even if they are sharp enough to keep track of the number of Chewers in your hand, you can discard them and still bluff.  Where this card shines is in sealed deck, where you can chew up your opponents jank.
  Helix Mine
Here we have a twist on the old standard Helix Chewer.  It's not going to clog up your hand, but then again, you aren't going to be able to use it over and over.  I might play it, but only if I'm in a metagame where there are lots of look at hands effects (which have been slowly been increasing in numbers as the sets pile up).  Think about how often you see Resistance Squad triggered -- it it's reasonably often, then you might want to consider Helix Mine.  I don't think I've played this since the set came out -- there are just too many other cards that do better things.
  Helix Rethread
This card can give you nice little power boost, especially if you play it early game.  But don't depend on Helix Rethread as your main source of alternate power generation, as it is fairly unreliable and gives such a small gain.  Still it is nice to Nerve Gas for free.
  Helix Scrambler
This is kind of a lightweight Fusion Rifle combined with the Obsidian Eye.  You can do a couple of tricks with it, but it's nowhere near the power of the Rifle for shear mayhem and destruction.  Oddly enough, blanking character text can be quite useful, so throwing one of these in a random deck probably wont hurt that much, but it's hard to make them part of a focused theme.  This card is also going to hold The Eastern King at bay if you can back it up with some Gas -- it also works against the Gunman, but you know he's always ready for the Final Brawl.  Temple of the Monkey King in Shaolin Showdown is a much better choice.
  Neural Stimulator
Another why bother, I don't think this card will see much play.  Why not just zap that character you were going to Ambush?  Sure, you can get the Gunman with it, but that's an exception, not the rule.  Also, don't overlook the ArcanoSeed (affectionately known around here as the ArcanoSpud) -- it has a very similar effect, is 0-cost, and is also reusable (if you can defend it that is).  Another card that no one seems to play.

Personality Shard
This is almost a solid card -- we all know how good Rig Dis is, but this falls short.  Not being able to copy your own characters is a huge drawback, and stops you from creating a synergistic deck -- you have to completely rely on your opponents and hope to get lucky.  Compare Personality Shard with Occult Kung Fu -- the +1 Fighting makes all the difference in the world.  Still, there are times when this card will win you a game, but not as often as you'd hope.

  Resistance is Futile!
I think it's more like Resistance is Useless!  Actually, the card isn't completely useless, just don't expect it to help you get out Homo Omega or Genghis X blazingly fast.  What you are looking for is the +1 damage effect, making it sort of like Arcanowave Reinforcer.  Since you have to play this on an opponent's Site, plan on seizing it to get the continued benefit.
  Spirit Shield Generator
In general, Toughness:1 isn't worth 1 power (how often do you play Armored in Life?).  I do occasionally play Path of the Storm Turtle, but that's 0-cost, and can get in some early beats.  Not being about to use Expendable Unit with this just makes SSG un-interesting and not very useful.  And of course, SSG does nothing against the Temple, and gets flushed by Waterfall.  It *might* be worth playing if there are *lots* of Final Brawls in your metagame, but I think there are other, better, cards to deal with Final Brawl (Shattering Fire is pretty rare in our metagame).
  Sucker Rounds
Since you always hate it when your opponents burn for power, you should always looks for cards that punish them for it, and Sucker Rounds is one of those.  You should hold out for a solid 2 or 3 Fighting bonus before dropping this card, and go for a site with it.  One of the best uses for this card is the deck known as "The Juicer" which combines it with Bull Market to insure you are getting a huge bonus.
  Supersoldier Serum
This is pretty much right on the curve -- medium resource requirements, a play only on unturned characters, and a good fighting bonus.  I kind of wish it gave the soldier designator, but I guess that's too much to ask.  This makes an okay alternative to Buro Godhammer and Pump-action Shotgun, both of which are top-notch cards.  This gives you a little situational diversity, especially when you're not relying on evasion/ambush to get damage through.  Notice the really low-tech play of attacking, playing Blitzkrieg to unturn your soldiers, then seruming up.  I have a couple in my Soldier deck, and while I've yet to do anything fancy, I have been able to get some extra damage in with the serum.
  Tracer Implant
Here we have Brain Bug 2003.  At 0 cost and only a single Architect resource, it's playable, but I'm unsure to what effect.  It has the possibility of stopping up an opponent's character, but I don't think you will be doing too much effective unturning.  It might be okay in dueling, where every little bit counts, and having an extra character to defend might just let you get out that second column and protect it.  Well, it's been a few years, and I've yet to see it in play -- that doesn't say much for the Implant...
Hey hey mama said the way you move.  Gonna make you shake, gonna make you groove.  err, sorry about that.  The mighty Zep is a so-so card at best.  There are better cards for damaging sites, and just better cards in general.  This is also too close to Eisenriese and Tommy Gun for variety in one set.  Probably Supersoldier Serum too.  Yes, oh the humanity, you can crash it into your own damaged site to keep someone from taking it, but that's just too much for me to stomach.  Another candidate for the coaster pile -- no one's flying in Zeppelins these days.


  Arcanowave Reinforcer
Great with weenie hordes, this is a decent boost to damage.  Plus there is always the chance that your opponent will forget to factor in the extra damage.  But, the drawback of this card makes you exceedingly vulnerable to Discerning Fire and The Crucible, as all your characters gain the designator Abomination.  Also, if you suspect Discerning Fire (i.e. you opponent has Magic resources in their pool), avoid playing two Arcanowave Reinforcers -- they make too tempting a target.
One- third a Feast of Souls at one-fourth the price.  I've grown to like We Have the Technology, and this card fills a similar niche.  In my Technology deck, I like to sit on power, and drop a bomb or Laser Strike with the counters, and don't concentrate heavily on characters.  I think you want to use Bio-Salvage in a deck that is more heavy on the character side.  Get a couple of these out, and recycling your Abominations (especially Midnight Whisperer and Assassin Bug) should get you steamrolling.  What was I thinking -- this card is Limited.  I've really tried to make it work, but you almost never get your power back -- a simple Helix Rethread is a better choice most of the time.
  Paradox Cube
Unfortunately, the edges you most want to copy with Paradox Cube are Limited (Shield of Pure Soul, Entropy is Your Friend).  This is a card you can throw one of in a deck and hope it turns out ok, but expect to discard it at least 75% of the time.  Still, occasionally you can copy a Blanket of Darkness or a Paper Trail, which can turn a game around for you.  Of course, everyone wants to play Paradox Cube with Probability Manipulator, which can be fun, but is in no was a game breaker.

Reinvigoration Seed
This is a powerful card, but it requires that you play it right and construct your deck to take advantage of it.  No, it's probably not the best card for a horde deck, but, if you get your resources into the smoked pile early, and then only play cards with serious muscle, you can really maximize power-to-damage output.  Still, this card is never going to lose you power, as you can expect to at least get a 1-cost character back, and in the right situation (which you are shooting for, right?), you will be netting 3-5 power (CHAR-Ice Queen).  We'll have to wait on the FAQ, but I don't think sacrificing a character will trigger this, but if it does, bonus points!

Rise of the NeoBuro
This card could potentially be almost as good as Shield of Pure Soul.  This is a card you can use almost every turn to really tune your hand.  This will ensure you have a hand full of zaps, and that you'll be dumping those excess DNA Mages mid game.  This card can also help in a deck that is mostly Architects with a splash of another faction or two -- this card could be a real threat if we start to see Architect decks with Golden Comebacks and Shadowy Mentors!

  Probability Manipulator vNew
At a whopping 4 power, this card doesn't get into play much, and when it does, you are usually disappointed with how little it does.  Note that the effect just lasts until end of turn, it's not turn and maintain.

It's been around forever, and it's always been good when you can get one into play, but now it's balanced, and it's gonna kick booty.  There are so many cool things to do with it that I can't name them all.  Time to dig up those Paradox Cubes!  Note that this is official errata, so all your old 4-cost ones can be played for 2 cost.  Between the old ones and the new ones, I have enough of these to throw at least one in every Architect deck I have built right now, and I never cease to be amazed at the threat this edge is!

  Reinvigoration Process
The key card to the Abomination deck, Reinvigoration Process lets you play your creatures over and over again.  Of course, one of the key cards with Reinvigoration Process is Vivisector -- there isn't much better than attacking with Prototype X, Vivisecting him for 4 power, then playing him again!  Be sure to play with the errata -- you have to turn this Edge to use it.
I really hate this card.  It's counter to the designator madness that has been the Z-Man era of Shadowfist.  It's a hoser, and we all know that hosers usually effect one opponent most, making for an unstable game and generally an unfun time (for at least the target).  Like all hosers, at it's heart, Repression is a meta-game card.  Look at your play environment -- are there a couple of players that religiously stick to designators?  If so, time to hose them.  Honestly, this card is good enough to go in most decks, even if it's discarded half of the time.  Getting it out is potentially gonna put a world of hurt on someone (can you say Pledged?).  This is going to be extra fun in the Comrade-in-Arms format.  While people have been sane enough not to over-use Repression, it still rears it's ugly head in our metagame, taking out the odd designator heavy deck.  As I said before, we understand the unbalancing effect of permanent hosers and don't try to abuse them (not to mention that we have enough edge-hate around to keep them in control).
  Seed of the New Flesh
This card is mainly directed at the Hand, since they have the lion's share of Chi resources.  Like the other pay 1 power hosers, the best use for this card is dropping it when your opponent has a Chi card in play and no power in their pool, since they have to pay the cost before they generate, guaranteeing you at least one card Smoked.
  Scorched Earth
Increased hand size is always good, especially for the Architects who have lots of Events you want to stock up on.  You usually only want to play this Edge early game, as by late game you will have missed out on most of your chances to get burn counters.  Most of the time I wind up discarding Scorched Earth, but every now and then it works.
  We Have the Technology
I'm not so hot on this card -- most of the tech non-character cards are sub-par.  There are a few notable exceptions, i.e. Neutron Bomb.  I guess you can use it to help pay for some of the tech sites, but that is sort of counter productive since they are power generators too.  


  Abominable Lab
A few extra Tech resources generally is not a problem for the Architects.  Between Test Subjects and DNA Mages, you should be overflowing in Tech (not to mention CDCA Scientist and Plasma Trooper).  While the Architects often want resources fast to get up to Dangerous Experiment level, you want it in characters so you can use them to damage your opponent instead of spending 2 power on a site only to have it Toasted.  Generally, I'm choosing a Drug Lab over this card if I need a non-Feng Shui site.
Affectionately referred to as the ArcanoSpud. this card is the second best Battleground Site after Bandit Hideout.  ArcanoSeed is good enough on its own that you don't have to support it with other Battleground type cards -- just put it in any Architect deck and turn to give one of your characters limited Ambush.
  ArcanoTower 2056
While this card is practically immune to resource characters, it suffers from the ArcanoTower problem -- Victory for the Underdog.  Police State is a must with this card, and I would be very hesitant to play any ArcanoTower in a game where an opponent is playing Dragons unless I had a Police State and the power to back it up.  All that said, this is a reasonably strong site, and unlike the 4 cost Pagodas, it's not a total coaster as it will reliably generate power and it can't be burned or seized.  Beware Field of Tentacles, as it can foil your win by blanking out the one less site needed ability of an ArcanoTower.
  ArcanoTower Now
While this is the weaker of the two ArcanoTowers, it's still not terrible.  It does slow down Shadowy Mentor, but you are mainly counting on the fact that it counts towards victory and can't be seized or burned.   See the entry on ArcanoTower 2056 for more caveats about ArcanoTower Now.
  Biomass Reprocessing Center
This card almost makes cut, but just falls a bit short.  It uses the older mechanic of discard first, then draw, as opposed to the newer one of draw then discard as found on the CDCA Scientist.  This may seem like a nitpick, but there is a huge difference in actual play.  Still, at 6 Body it's not an unreasonable site, and if you are looking for a site to round out your deck (and I always recommend one or two non-Feng Shui sites in every deck), BRC is not a bad choice.
  Biomass Reprocessing Center vPAP
I was kind of down on the Biomass at first, but it has grown on me.  99% of the time you can ignore the boost ability -- maybe you can use a DNA Mage to bump up CHAR or a Plasma Trooper.  The real use of this card is as a Secret Headquarters -- I had forgotten just how good a 3-cost 2 power generation site can be.  You almost always want Secret HQ over this because of the resource conditions, but I find a mix of two of each can be nice in a slower multiplayer deck that wants to build up power.
  Creche of the New Flesh
See the Feng Shui reviews for this card.
  Fortress Omega
A very iffy site.  Sure, it's mandatory in the drone deck, but you are still hard pressed to get 2 power a turn from this card.  But then again, it's really hard to take down, so it offers some good defensive value (and seems much more playable than Flashpoints dodgy ArcanoTowers, even if it doesn't count for victory).  Your best best are Plasma Troopers and CHARs, and forget about the drones.  Note that Dangerous Experiment doesn't go so well with Fortress Omega.  Now that I think about it, Secret HQ is always going to generate an extra power a turn towards your drones, and is reasonably defensive at 10 body.  Rocket Man from BCK also works with the Fortress.
  Guard Tower
I think this is worthy of the ArcanoSeed legacy, and is good enough to throw in a random deck for a little extra defense.  Wouldn't it be nice to keep that annoying Friend of the Dragon (or better yet, Scrappy Kid) from doing a number on your Vivisector or ArcanoTech?  While not outstanding, this is the type of card, if you can keep characters in play, that is going to help keep them around for a little while.  For whatever reason, I keep forgetting to add this site to a few decks in need of defense.  I am inexplicably drawn to Bandit Hideout for that rush of power.
  Rabenfels Castle
Well, I'll start off by saying it's probably better than Cr�che of the New Flesh.  It's big and tough enough to give you some extra protection through the toughness.  A disappointment is that it's not going to be a good combo with Colonel Reiger -- yes, you can give a Battleground Toughness:2, but you don't really want to be playing a printed 2-cost Feng Shui site in a Battleground deck as it will give you fits and starts with your power generation.  While I do have one castle sitting in a deck, it's tremendous discard bait, and it just never seems to make it to the board.



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