Secret HQ

art (c) Mike Trap



High Tech is much to woe in the world of Shadowfist, where Kung Fu, Chi and Magic reign supreme.  Orbital Laser Strike is as good as it gets for Tech cards, while the lion's share only find themselves in goofy theme decks.  The Architects have the most access to Tech, while the Dragons and Jammers can pull it off if they choose to emphasize the correct resources.

Characters    Events    States    Edges    Sites



  Marauder Gang
Here we have an example of a pretty un-stellar character.  While 2-for-3 is a deal, the Tech requirement of this card slows it down too much.  You're always picking Hacker and Portal Jockey for the 2-cost slot in the Dragons and Jammers, so it leaves the Architects as the last refuge of the Gang, and even there, it just doesn't seem like you want to play them.  Definitely not Walking Corpses, but might be okay in a janky Proving Ground deck.  You are pretty much always going have to use them in your first attack of the turn, so they are limiting in that manner as well.
  Marauder Lord
Two Tech is slow for everyone but the Architects, who have CHAR to compete with in the same slot.  I'm thinking $10K Man is probably a notch above this guy, as he's gotta live 3 turns to start being something of note.  You could try him in a Back for Seconds deck, but at that point there are just better things you are wanting to unturn.



  Big Red Button
This is a fun card.  True, it often hurts you more than it hurts your opponents, but it's still a fun card.  A favorite trick of mine is playing Secret Laboratories -- if you opponent is foolish enough to seize one, it is a ticking time bomb, waiting for you to push the Big Red Button.  Hint:  You don't want to be playing the big hitters with Tech in this deck -- stick to Junkies and Addicts unless you are really crazy.  The extra-super-secret tech play with this card is to smoke your own Ba-BOOM! when you don't want him to take everyone with him.
  IFF Missiles
This card can be effective when used against and opponent who doesn't have a crazy theme deck.  The secret of this card is timing -- you are almost always going to want to play it during an attack, where you are going get a lot of favorable (for you) interceptions to finish off the damaged characters.  I think experimenting with one of these in a deck with Tech but no Architects is the way to go (Architects have better 1-cost events).  IFF is Identify Friend or Foe in case you were wondering.
IKTV Special Report
Play this card, gain 2 power.  Pretty basic, isn't it?  There's not a lot to dislike about this card, as it's going to trigger fairly often (especially in multiplayer), and give you a nice little boost.  You don't have to skip normal power generation or worry about having cards in your Burned For Victory pile, so that makes it less of a headache than the usual suspects.  It's common, so you should have enough to spread them in to several decks -- but I'm not sure of how many to play.  I think it will depend on the deck and how power hungry it is, and how many other power generating cards you have in it.  The big question still how many to play, and it ranges everywhere from 2-5.  This card has yet to fail me, and it's bootstrapping all the decks that I have that plan to field Tech by turn 4.
Information Warfare
With a whopping three tech resources required, this card better be awful good... wait, it is!  Information Warfare is going to be royally hosing up your opponents if all goes according to your plans.  About the only dilemma is deciding which opponent to hose the most!  Hopefully you are redirecting one attacking thug to one of your opponents' characters that is just sitting around, picking its nose, with the end result of sending both the smoked pile.  I expect to see Information Warfare used in two major ways -- to stop a win be redirecting the major attacker to a non-FSS card, and to save your own bacon when you are attacked and direct the aggression elsewhere.  I strongly recommend starting off with a strategy of holding this until you are attacked, and then playing at every opportunity -- your opponents will soon learn that they better think twice before sending an attack your directed.  While you can use Information Warfare in dueling, it's not recommended unless you have some real tricks up your sleeve like BuroMil Grunts.  Another card that has the skills to pay the bills -- this is a lot like Discerning Fire.  Sure, you gotta build up to it, and it's a mid-late game card, but it's a total winner.  often taking out two opponents at once.
Orbital Laser Strike
Orbital Laser Strike is a good thing, but like my mother said, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.  This is true with this card.  Generally, you don't want to overload in Tech resources or you eliminate the offensive potential of OLS.  One of your goals should be to take sites by attacking with resource characters, waiting for interception to resolve, than a quick laser strike to bring the site into range.  Once you get too many Tech resources, this card turns into denial by eliminated sites as they are attacked.  The goal is to maintain that fine balance, where you can eliminate some sites while still using this card to take others.  Compare with the Jammers Disco Inferno -- it's a controlled burn than can often smoke sites outright, or weaken a site enough for you to take it with some smaller characters -- but it's your choice.
Sometimes it's worth spending a power to get back that much needed card, but most of the time I'd just prefer to draw something good from my deck and save the 1 power.  About the best use is in an emergency, where someone is about to win, and you have to get back a Laser Strike, and spending two of your power to stop a win almost always hurts.  Don't forget you can also get back characters like CHAR.
  Satellite Intelligence
Satellite Intelligence is one of those great "sneaky" Events because you opponents never quite expect or plan for it (unlike Orbital Laser Strike, which everyone expects).  On offense, you've just made that back row Whirlpool the target of your attack, while on defense, you opponent is about to eat it at the Temple of Angry Spirits.  This card can totally foil City Square if played after the redirection effect has been declared by changing the target for your damage.
  Satellite Surveillance
It's 0 cost, so isn't going to slow you down too much.  While it can direct you to the most vulnerable site, it has a sly side benefit of offering your opponents some potential targets (so they won't be attacking you).
  Spit and Bailing Wire
Here we have In Your Face Again for vehicles and weapons.  Returning an important state to play after interceptions (say it was smacked by a Waterfall) can get in some serious damage.  I see Buro Godhammers as a big target for this.  This card's biggest problem is that it is an anti-combo with Tank Warfare and the new Battle-Matic.  Note the goofy combo with Jack of All Trades -- you can keep recycling your Motorcycles to draw Homemade Tanks.  Note that this is stopped by Hacker, which is a real bummer.
  Wave Disrupter
Dude!  Surf's up!.  I just can't get excited over Wave Disrupter, but that's probably because I still have the hots for Information Warfare.  I expect that a reasonable amount of the characters that see regular play will provide 2 more resources, but you can't always depend on it.  This is what you call a balanced card, which means that it's neither really good or really bad, just average.  Wave Disrupter is the cousin of IFF Missiles, which I haven't been able to put to great use, and I think it will be the same for this card.  This is just not where it's at.  Surf is not up.


  Combat Aircar
Make no mistake, all of the vehicles in Standard are bad.  If you have Tech resources and 4 power, why aren't playing a $10,000 Man instead?
  Desire Manipulator
This card has two uses.  The first is to take advantage of your opponents playing cards with the "can not attack" restriction like DNA Mages and One Hundred Names.  The second is to try and force an opponent to attack with characters two avoid giving you a power.  Always fun with Cave Networks and Blessed Orchards.
  Disguise Kit
This card is pretty much an oddity -- for 0-power you are hoping to make foundation unblockable (some of the time).  Now, being unblockable is good -- remember Scrappy Kid?  But, all those foundations your opponents have in play are often what you're worried about when attacking with foundations, and this does nothing.  I just can't see wasting a spot in a deck for it.  Note the irony that while you can't play it on your Ice Queen, your opponents' Ice Queen doesn't fall victim to the disguise.  There is just enough room in a deck for stuff like this.  And late game, are you going to want to be investing your power in foundations?
  Disintegrator Ray
You mainly see this card in aggressive Tech decks that want to slow an opponent down by Toasting resources.  If you can pull it off, you can shut down an opponent, but you usually wind up having a pretty boring game.  This card may may see a little more play to slow down some of the annoying Inauspicious Return decks that have been popping up.
Well, it sort of +1 damage for 0 power, which is what you can expect.  The question is, that effect good enough in itself to warrant using up a "card" in your deck. Probably not most of the time, but if you got some tricks (Jack of All Trades or Battle-matic) you can try out the glove vs. some of the other states that just haven't seemed to work out (like Desire Manipulator -- ack!)  This card makes you work too hard for the extra damage, and just ain't worth it.
  Floating Fortress
Do yourself a favor and play MegaTank.
  Fusion Rifle
Kind of comparable to the Really Big Gun, Fusion Rifle lets you get in 2 extra damage for 1 power.  But, where the RBG does its damage every combat your character is in, you only get to use the Fusion Rifle once.  But, you get to pick any target at the location and get to do the damage before combat.  This versatility makes Fusion Rifle a very playable card.  Need to take care of a specialty character but don't have an Assassin?  Drop this card on a resource character and attack, blowing away the annoying specialty character with the Fusion Rifle.  Scrappy Kids love to snipe with Fusion Rifles.
  Fusion Tank
See Combat Aircar.
  HAVOC Suit
HAVOC Suit usually just doesn't have juice to pay the bills.  You need 8 Tech resources to make this significantly better than Robot Arm, and without a second ability like Sword of the Dragon King, this card usually winds up on the cutting room floor.
  Hover Tank
While I wouldn't play it outside a non-Architect Tank deck, Hover Tank is a decent Vehicle State.  You get a Fighting increase equal to the power you've spent, along with two so so abilities.  More often then not, Mobility is a drawback, forcing situations where you are the chump intercepting while at best, Tactics can save you from Operation Killdeer or the Temple of Angry Spirits.  If you're playing Architects, I'd go with ArcanoTank before Hover Tank.
  IKTV Rebroadcast Link
 The disadvantage of giving your opponents power more than outweighs this card's cost and ability.  Yes, you can double the use of your Proving Grounds or get to use Kinoshita House twice, but it's a tremendous gamble.  In theory you can play The Fox Outfoxed on your own IKTV link to win no matter what, but I've never seen it pulled off.
The jury is still out on this card -- Safehouse v2?  Or something better?  Remember that the subject is still vulnerable to all sorts of other effects, so Invisi-Ray alone is not going to keep them in play indefinitely.  While not great, sometimes you can get a benefit from the cards reload cost -- it just might deter someone from focusing effort on a
card you control if they know you can sacrifice it for an effect.  Two cards to try out Invisi-Ray on are the old stalwarts ArcanoTechnician and Vivesector -- be warned, YMMV.  No one has come up with the killer combo yet. 
  Jet Pack
Woohoo -- Tech Training Sequence -- just what we needed.  This is the type of coin-flip card I really dislike -- it really can reduce the outcome of a game to a coin flip.  And the penalty if you loose is harsh.  You don't even want to play this in the Motor Pool deck since it only costs 1 power.
  Mark IV Fusion Rifle
Yeah, it's a reason to be playing with Dump Warriors, but then you are playing with Dump Warriors.  I recommend sticking with plain old Fusion Rifles, as the early game speed makes them more versatile than the Mark IV with the extra point of damage.  Sure, you get the neat trick of pinging for 6 when you get Killdeered, but that's bordering on unlikely.
It's huge!  MegaTank turns any character into the biggest baddest thing since Leroy Brown.  While this State gives protection from Architect Events, you need to be careful that your character doesn't get zapped in response to a MegaTank -- in fact, the best way to play it is in response to a zap.  Unfortunately, any character in a MegaTank is a prime target for Shadowy Mentor, so you need to be able to cope with that in your deck.
  Newest Model
Definitely cool on a lot of vehicles and a few guns.  Homemade Tank becomes insane, and it's 0-cost Waterfall protection.  You need to watch the balance of your states, and I still haven't come up with the perfect ratio for Newest Model.  ArcanoTank is another benefactor of Newest Model.
  Replacement Parts
This is probably the best version of Training Sequence, but it's still Training Sequence.  +4 Fighting is actually really good when you can pull it off, but it does have a high opportunity cost.  This is sort of a one-of in a deck as a surprise, and beware Discerning Fire if you wind up with multiple Cyborgs in play.  It might also be worth considering in those decks where you use +fighting until end of turn effects (and your opponents are savvy enough to make sure that character dies) -- an example might be a Bronze Sentinel deck, since they always get intercepted for 2 damage to smoke them at the end of the turn.
  Robot Arm
While I'm not a big fan of Robot Arm, I do recommend it over HAVOC Suit because of it's early game potential.  If you're feeling particularly crazy, you can drop a 3rd turn Test Subject with a Robot Arm and spend all day whacking resource characters (while your opponents build site structures, allowing them to kick your butt later).
  Smart Gun
It's got +2 damage, so it's mostly a Tech version of the Really Big Gun.  Sometimes you can work over some designators with it, but it's harder than in seems -- often it's a bad Mark of Fire.  Still, not the worst card ever, and it is nice to work people over with it to show your smarts.  Shaolin Showdown really lumps a lot of cards into designator categories (Manchus, Swordsmen, Students), so it might be time to whip out the old Smart Guns again...
  Tesla Lightning Blaster
This is probably the best of the
states in the set, for what ever it's worth.  1 Power to do 4 damage to a character feels about right -- it's not the big damage of some of the late game zaps, but early game it can hold it's own.  I can't really see myself playing this very much -- maybe here and there for a trick, but I like to be more versatile in my damage.  I hear of a few groups playing this to some okay results -- it's more of a threat than an actual good card, and opponents will jockey to try and avoid being the chump that eats the 4 damage.
  Tesla Lightning Cannon
Yeah, this can be a great late game boom, but if you're up against good players, you're going to really have to watch out for Whirlpools of Blood.  They just shut you down and make you lose power.  Remember how good Repulsor Beams are?  This is a card to play around with Hidden Tomb, but not much beyond it in a serious environment.  No love for Nickolai present.


  CAT Tactics
This Edge is an attempt to promote aggressive play by the game designers.  If your group is very turtlish, it may be worth throwing into you heavier Tech decks, but with two resources required, I'd be wary of putting it in a Dragon deck unless you had a lot Tech support over Hackers.  That said, CAT Tactics can often get you an extra point or two of damage in, but it won't save your characters from lethal damage and requires a fair amount of bookkeeping.
  Doomsday Device
If you can get it out early, Doomsday Device can generate a goodly amount of power, but only if your opponents don't know how to play against it or just plain refuse to intercept.  Smart opponents will be attacking your characters, so you will have little to counterattack with and gain power.  The drawback on Doomsday Device means you are better off seizing sites, as a well-timed Realpolitik can snatch a victory from your fingers.
Supercomputer is a favorite in those 100+ card decks often referred to as Towers of Power.  This Edge's effect is pretty simple -- draw lots of cards.  Of course, you will need a longer and slower paced game to get out the Supercomputer and you need to consider how this card will work in your playgroup.
  Smart Missile
Smart Missile is the Whirlpool killer (along with Proving Grounds, Kinoshita House, City Square, Turtle Beach and many many more).  Put this Edge out, wait for it to unturn and fire away.  With the Jammer's Monkeywrenching, Smart Missile can hit any Site.  It is much faster than Orbital Laser Strike, which is generally a more useful card, so I'd only play a Smart Missile early game or on a deck low on Tech.  While Vehicles aren't that common, you can try to use this card as character removal by playing cheap States like Motorcycle and Stolen Police Car (which also go in the Marsh deck).
  Tank Warfare
Unfortunately, the best take (Homemade Tank) can't be used with Tank Warfare.  That leaves you with ArcanoTank. Hover Tank and maybe a MegaTank to recycle with this Edge.  The second ability of Tank Warfare that restricts Tank characters attacks is pretty silly, but I know of one situation where it was able to slow down a Shadowy Mentor by forcing them to attack a character over a site.


  RedGlare Chapel
While you don't need to play this card with Reverend RedGlare, he does get the most mileage out of it.  You rarely see the two in play together because of this card's Tech requirement -- the Ascended just don't have easy access.  If your opponent's are fond of turning sites (and aren't they all?), you can throw RedGlare Chapel  in a Jammer, Architect or Dragon deck to annoy your opponents. 
  Secret Laboratory
One Secret Lab is usually all you need in play to get access to the majority of Tech cards.  But, I generally consider the Tech cards to be the least powerful of the 3 specialty resource cards, so I rarely include many of them in a deck.  I usually do drop a Lab or two in my Jammer decks because of their reliance on Tech for characters while having limited access to tech from resource characters (i.e. no 1 cost Tech character).


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