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A sneaky runner managed to make his way into my corporate HQ. I let him pick a card at random from my hand (I had no upgrades), and it just happened to be a piece of ICE or an Operation or maybe even an Agenda.

Does the runner have the option of trashing the card? There's no listed trashing cost, so if they are allowed to trash the card, what does it cost?

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No, Runners do not have the option of trashing cards that have no trash costs. They may trash cards with trash costs. Special care should be taken when accessing multiple cards (see page 18). From page 18 of the rules, under Access Phase:

HQ: The Runner accesses one random card from HQ and any upgrades in its root. Any cards the Runner does not score or trash return to HQ.

Trashing Cards - If the Runner accesses a card with a trash cost, he may pay credits equal to its trash cost in order to trash it to Archives faceup.

  • Um, don't you mean 'no'? – ire_and_curses Jan 19 '13 at 3:30
  • @ire_and_curses, No, I mean yes. "Does the runner have the option of trashing the card? Yes, Runners have the option of trashing cards that have trash costs. So, yes they have the option, if it has a trash cost as I clarified. It would make less sense to say, no hey don't have the option of trashing a card. – user1873 Jan 19 '13 at 4:24
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    Ok. I found your wording confusing, since in the case described by the OP, the card doesn't have trash costs, so they don't have the option. But since you meant to use your wording, that's fine. – ire_and_curses Jan 19 '13 at 4:29
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    Now that I think about it, I could word it the other way. It would mean the same thing. "No, Runners do not have the option of trashing cards that have no trash costs. They may trash cards with trash costs." Is that clearer? – user1873 Jan 19 '13 at 4:29
  • Yes, I find that alternative wording clearer. – ire_and_curses Jan 19 '13 at 4:30
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A runner can trash any card with a trash cost when they access the card, so long as they pay the trash cost in credits. However most Ice and Operations have no trash cost, thus they cannot be trashed.

There have been cards printed in more recent sets like Boom! and Sapper that have trash costs. Bear in mind that encountering installed ice is not the same as accessing, you cannot trash installed ice this way.

In addition to these new cards, some older cards like Edward Kim or Imp would allow you an alternate method of trashing these cards without a trash cost.

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