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Type: Program
Cost: 2 Memory Units: 1
Faction: Runner Shaper
Faction Cost: 2
Once per turn, when you encounter a piece of ice, you may have it gain 1 subtype of your choice that is not sentry, code gate, or barrier for the remainder of this run.
“The basics should be like the stories you learned as a child - unconscious, never forgotten, and suddenly relevant at the most random times.” -g00ru
Strength: -
Set: Kala Ghoda Number: 8 Quantity:
Illustrator: Hannah Christenson
Recent Decks Using This Card:
katie cheap v2
Want to build a deck using this card? Check out the Android: Netrunner deckbuilder!


Jan 25 2016 08:11 PM

In the next data pack (or the one after that) there's an AI that relies on ICE having many subtypes. Aside from that, you may shape a piece of ICE to AP/Destroyer/Tracer to break it efficiently with Deus X/Sharpshooter/Gingerbread.

    • KillerShrike likes this

Entertaining to break a Curtain Wall with Deus X without spending credits.

Feb 05 2016 06:29 AM

Definitely a johnny card. Could be built around for fun, and future cards could definitely kick it up into being a thing, but not really competitive currently imo....

Feb 09 2016 07:46 PM

The Corp has a rezzed Archer on the table and installs a 3-point Agenda behind it.


You have facechecked it before, so now you don't have any programs left.


Click 1, install Panchatantra. Click 2, make a run on the scoring remote. Give Archer the "program" subtype by using Panchatantra.


The second subroutine fires, trashing Panchatantra. The third subroutine fires, trashing the only remaining program on the table, which is Archer itself. Now the fourth subroutine can't fire because Archer isn't on the table anymore. Steal the 3-point Agenda.



That would be really cool, but I don't think program is a subtype :(

    • Meadbeard and AdorablePython like this

Yeah, "Program" is not a subtype.


However, this brings up an interesting question: can you give ICE a subtype that is not usually present on ICE?


In other words, can you give a Swordsman the subtype "AI," then use its own subroutine to trash it? (I am guessing "no," since the ICE still isn't an "AI Program," which the card requires). That's interesting and less obvious than giving some big Barrier "AP" in order to break it with Deus X, etc.


Alas, this is probably only really useful for the latter trick. Still, it's not terrible to get through a Curtain Wall by disposing of that Deus X, especially if the CW has been cheated into play and derezzes -- that use almost certainly doesn't justify this card for competitive use.

This has been ruled on. You can give the ICE any subtype not explicitly forbidden by the card - this includes subtypes that don't even exist in the game's current lexicon e.g. 'watermelon'. This means you can make Wraparound a fracter to nullify its own ability, and turn Enforcer into a console to make it trash itself (or you would be able to if anyone actually played Enforcer). Swordsman combo doesn't work because, as you've pointed out, its only relevant to programs.

    • Meadbeard likes this

This card wins the trophy for the weirdest thing printed for Netrunner. Ever.


So if it is not a Type, you can name it? So how about I say "Tag" subtype. It is not a type, so it should fit. Now I can... remove the Tag? You mean the ice?


Oh, wait, I know! This ice is a Current! Now the active Corporation Current should be trashed, or not, because the ice is not played?


This thing here can cause all kinds of trouble. Of course my proposals are all illegal, but as you may have seen it can already be used to negate Wraparound, Enforcer, or even be used to give ice strength (via Helpful AI, Personal Touch etc.) to break it with Atman or D4v1d by simply giving it the Icebreaker subtype.


I am not sold on the ruling of this card. Giving freedom over the selection criteria may result in some logical fallacy in the future or even some undiscovered possibility as of now. It should have been "gain 1 ice subtype", then just make a list of ice subtypes in the FAQ and all is well.

    • bozfoogle likes this

Well, see, what you propose there is interesting food for thought.

Because Damon Stone has made the utterly bizarre ruling that you can name anything as a subtype, what does this mean for words that the game has not used in the context of a subtype?

A tag is not a subtype, however it is nonetheless a word used by many cards, and you can now make it an ICE subtype. If you're playing Jesminder and you give a piece of ICE the (made-up) 'tag' subtype, does this now mean that you bypass the ICE? What does the word 'avoid' mean in this context?

What if you've got an installed Feedback Filter and you give a piece of ICE the (made-up) 'net damage' subtype? What does it mean to 'prevent' a piece of ICE? Panchantantra doesn't specify the ICE needs to be rezzed, so can you prevent the corp rezzing it by paying 3 credits?

The implications of this ruling are far-reaching and can potentially turn a fun little gimmick card into something game-breaking, akin to Lukas's (swiftly, and mercifully reconsidered) brainfart regarding Glenn Station some months ago. If there's going to be an additional ruling that 'prevent' and 'avoid' are irrelevant in these instances, then what on earth was the point of the initial ruling?

My intention was never to be rude and I hope no one was offended. However vague rules lead to massive confusion for any newcomers and potential game-breakers, hasty Errata and other fun occurances that are best to be avoided in the first place.


Regarding the 'tag', 'x damage' and other similar ideas, there is always something in the rulebook that stated it is either relating to a token on the Runner, or an effect that is activated and its' simple presence on the game board won't change the game state for it is not active. In other words, the game frame is good enough to prevent such misreadings.


Still as already said, some cards will call for special rulings due to this card, and this always complicates the game, soemthing that no designer wants.

Feb 12 2016 08:46 AM

Whenever card effects refer to subtypes, those subtypes are bolded in the card text, which prevents like 99% of the potential issues. Pretty much the only one is the  region  subtype and how region ice would interact with the "limit 1 region per server" wording on grids. 

Region should be fine - The cards say Limit 1 per server which is the broader term and the rulebook (p. 13, Upgrades paragraph) states that "the Corporation can only have one upgrade with the region subtype installed per server or server root". As the cards with Region subtype says only server, the rulebook clarifies it refers to Region Upgrade and you are giving Region to an ice. Unless specifically ruled out in a following FAQ there is no implication about that (besides a lot of rulebook-diving).

    • Meadbeard likes this

Yeah, subtype = Virus Token or subtype = A Card From Your Grip (Faust), so I hear you.


Most of these won't work, but you'd need an infinite FAQ to describe that they won't work, which is too loose a ruling. I'd expect this will tighten-up: it's a Pandora's Box.

    • RichardPlunkett and bozfoogle like this
Feb 24 2016 02:37 PM
Here's the question I asked:

I have a question regarding Panchatantra. Can it be used to give any subtype to ice? So for example, if the corp has a current card in play like Housekeeping, and I use Panchatantra to give a Data Raven the Current subtype, would the event be trashed? And what if I were to give Wraparound the Fracter subtype? What if I gave Enforcer 1.0 the Console subtype. What if I gave an Ice Wall the Tag subtype. Would Jesminder Sareen then be able to avoid it? Because she does avoid the first Tag during each run. But what does it mean to avoid an ICE? I strongly reccomend making a list of approved subtypes before this gets out of hand.

Here was his response:

A current is trashed when another current is played. A card already in play becoming a current would not meet this requirement.

Wraparound would have it’s base strength if it were given the fracter subtype.

If Enforcer were given the console subtype, and it was the only console installed, and the subroutine fired, the Corp player would be forced to trash it.

Avoid is a defined term. You cannot “avoid” ice regardless of what subtype it has. Tag is a specific game mechanic, giving something the tag subtype would have no affect or interaction what so ever with any card that mentions tags because it is not referring to the subtype. Subtypes are lowercase bold words in the text box of a card. Any reference to anything in the rule book or card text that does not follow this convention is not referring to a subtype but something else entirely.

This cannot "get out of hand” in the way that you are implying. Subtypes are a specific thing, and cards that refer to them are explicit in such references. Anyone who puts forward an argument that is not based on the explicitly stated rules will have the effect fail to resolve. If they try to argue the point a TO will give them a warning based on unsportsmanlike conduct, and if they convince someone they are playing in a tournament that those “Effects” are legitimate despite they run the risk of receiving a game loss or disqualification.

When in doubt, read the rulebook and the FAQ when it comes to subtypes. Any opponent who is trying to rules lawyer you into an interaction that is not about subtypes should be asked to point out in the rules where that interaction is explicitly supported.
    • Meadbeard and AdorablePython like this

This cannot "get out of hand” in the way that you are implying. Subtypes are a specific thing, and cards that refer to them are explicit in such references. Anyone who puts forward an argument that is not based on the explicitly stated rules will have the effect fail to resolve. If they try to argue the point a TO will give them a warning based on unsportsmanlike conduct, and if they convince someone they are playing in a tournament that those “Effects” are legitimate despite they run the risk of receiving a game loss or disqualification.

When in doubt, read the rulebook and the FAQ when it comes to subtypes. Any opponent who is trying to rules lawyer you into an interaction that is not about subtypes should be asked to point out in the rules where that interaction is explicitly supported.


Thanks for the heads up, Toenail. I think that most tournament attending players are aware about all the listed cases as we have already discussed here. What I get from the  answer is that Panchatantra is designed to be cute and offer all sorts of weird interactions they wouldn't want to limit in any way. Still this offers no help to the starting player.


Still it bothers me that you can make Ichi gain the Sandwich subtype... ;)

Still it bothers me that you can make Ichi gain the Sandwich subtype... ;)

If he asked Sunny to make him a sandwich, I'd say he got what he deserved.

Does this mean Netrunner has beaten MtG to having the complete set of teenage, mutant, ninja and turtle subtypes?

"Subtypes are lowercase bold words in the text box of a card."


That is false, which is exactly why this card is worrying. Subtypes are never bolded on the cards to which they directly apply, are rarely in the text box of cards (which is when they are bolded), and are a mix of upper and lower-case letters.


The "official" response is utterly dismissive, makes a major error in identifying what a subtype is, and apparently lays the sole responsibility of memorizing all possible subtypes, derived from cards and cards only, onto the player (the FAQ does not provide a glossary of subtypes).


I would never play this card the way it might be played, but it is terrible design and sloppy.


Further, neither the rulebook nor the FAQ provides any answer regarding what may be a subtype -- they provide guidance in terms of where to find subtypes on various cards . . . so, does one have to access the entire corpus of cards at hand to prove that subtype x exists or does not exist?


Confusing to the starting player; will be endlessly abused in casual play; offers the opportunity to insult an opponent in a deniable way, even at the tournament level.


Poor. Utterly poor -- a foolish and quite stupid official response as well.


They should make a card you throw at your opponent next:




"We Are Running Out of Ideas"


Event -- Run


"Give this card any subtype and throw it at your opponent. If it hits your opponent, your opponent now has that subtype. Make a Run."

    • bozfoogle and MightyToenail like this

You can also make Heimdall Super Saiyan and run away as fast as you can ;)


Fun aside, the official response is indeed a bit loose in that it gave no definition to the Subtype term, but I think they do not care because 'every possible case can be ruled down by some entry in the rulebook or FAQ'. What was not realized during the design of this card is that it is the first piece of cardboard they print which requires more than one or two paragraphs in the rules to figure out. In practice, it may require going through the entire rulebook in a single game.


And no, Netrunner does not begin and does not end in competitive plays and tournaments. Caring only about officially supervised events and leaving casual or newcoming players to the mercy of vague rules interpretation is as poor design choice as you can make. Even more that this card will see little play on tournament level where it will completely fold against glacier builds.


Not cool FFG, not cool.

Eh.  Actual casual players will never consider anything but ordinary ice subtypes, I wouldn't think.  Anyway the ruling is clear enough: naming a subtype after a non-subtype mechanic doesn't make it into that mechanic.  Seems no harder to understand than any other FAQ ruling.
I predict a lack of doom and sorrow resulting from this!
Feb 25 2016 11:24 PM

And if you think this is weird and is going to cause tons of special case rulings, you should see the newest spoiler for Star Wars LCG - we're getting a card that can take literally any number on almost any card in play and increase or decrease that by one. It's going to be insane, and Panchatantra has nothing on that.

Feb 26 2016 11:48 AM

I don't really know what the drama is about. Sure, at first this card is a bit irritating.


But it's not as irritating as you might think. The ruling is pretty clear: If a card refers to an actual subtype (Wraparound: Fracter, Enforcer 1.0: Console, Gingerbread: Tracer, etc.) Panchatantra is working perfectly good. 'Program' or 'tag' are no actual subtypes - they only exist as a general card type / game mechanic.

Perhaps someday, someone will figure out a combo with this card that comes close to touching Faust's or Astroscripts influence on the meta --at which point --it will probably be dealt with. Until then, the doom and gloom around this card is basically "The Sky is Falling" conjecture.


As an aside, I really love the marriage of theme and mechanics this card conveys. A series of stories that has been translated into hundred of different languages with an uncertain origin. According to Wikipedia, the main points of the frame narrative fables are:


  1. One should always be wary if one friend accuses another of crime;
  2. (Added chapter) Truth will be revealed, sooner or later;
  3. Cooperation among friends is vital to their survival;
  4. Mental strength and deceit are stronger in warfare than brute force;
  5. One must be careful not to betray friends, especially guarding against one's own tendencies towards foolishness; and
  6. One should be wary of hasty judgements.


Now, that is a fine use of a card game to actively get people to practice the points of fables, both for good and for ill. Well done, FFG. 

Nothing is wrong about the card - it is the design philosophy that is troublesome here. If there is a possibility of answering myriad of questions in the FAQ about a single card due to a loose ruling then something is wrong. For now it is this card, but if this is a trend soon there will be more and the FAQ will grow and grow.


The card is fine, at least - there are ways to rule out all the dumb interactions. But for newcomers it won't be that easy and this is the main problem here - the answer that should have been more specific sounded so elitist - "you should know all the possible reasons why the dozens of weird suggestions won't work - it is in the rulebook on page x, page y, page z, page n, page xklj...., just RTFM. And welcome to Netrunner!"


That is the problem and it has nothing to do with the card. These products are supposed to entertain people, bring them to the hobby with their decision complexity. And just because I or you understand it due to more experience or whatsoever, doesn't mean we are the only ones. We understood the answer, not everybody will.


Now that the rant is over, I would suggest how this should have been handled - create a list of subtypes currently in the game, list cards that currently point to a specific subtype as part of their resolution, mention that a subtype doesn't carry any meaning in itself and is only for availability checks - cards only check if it is there or not, instead of just saying it is a bold text on the card, etc.


On the other hand, the design team is handling the upcoming rotation really well and everything above is just a recommendation from someone who has read one too many rulebooks.

    • Meadbeard, daurnaust and bozfoogle like this

When he was initially asked if you could make up a subtype all Damon needed to say was "No, Panchatantra only works with subtypes on existing cards" because that is essentially what he said in his needlessly snooty response to Toenail's query. As Meadbeard said, he was wrong about how subtypes are listed on cards, so his answer basically amounted to "It's a subtype when I say it's a subtype and a tag can't be a subtype. Even though I said earlier that you can make up your own subtype, if you give it the tag subtype, that is distinct from an actual tag, so when it says 'tag' on this card that doesn't mean the same thing as the word 'tag' that you just applied to that card. Gee whiz - it really couldn't be simpler!"


My concern is not so much about the card itself, rather that it has acted as a catalyst to provide insight into how DS will deal with the finer points of the game, and both his initial ruling and the follow-up 'clarification' are not encouraging.

    • Meadbeard likes this

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