If you played Dead Man's Switch and Dragonfall before booting up Shadowrun: Hong Kong (and you really should have!), you'll already know how important it is to have a competent Decker on your team. In this campaign, that Decker is Is0bel. She'll be your guiding light through the complex digital world of the Matrix.

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Unless, of course, you have other arrangements. Perhaps you want to take the generic Decker along, or you yourself have built a Decker who surpasses Is0bel in the Matrix. In that case, Is0bel is free to become the grenade-slinging beast of your dreams.

Is0bel's Best Skills

As it was in Dragonfall, your companions in Hong Kong will gain a level for every two missions you complete, all the way up to level six. Whenever they level up, your companions will get to choose between two abilities.

Is0bel's skillset is pretty predictable. She's a Decker who wields a grenade launcher in meatspace, and the possible upgrades you can choose for her reflect this in a big way.

UpgradeSabotageEspionage
1Mini-Launcher: Is0bel can now fire Remote Mines with her grenade launcher, which will trigger when an enemy walks near them. They can also be triggered at will.Tar Blaster: Is0bel's Blaster program is upgraded to Tar Blaster, which roots enemies in place.
2Steady Shot: Pistol ability that adds 30% to Is0bel's accuracy. Costs 2 AP and has a 3-turn CD.Mark Target: Is0bel's Mark Target now strips the target of 1 Armor.
3Mini-Launcher: Is0bel can now use Napalm Charges with her grenade launcher. Napalm Charges set targets on fire and cause them to take an extra 6 DMG when struck by other attacks.Boost Program: Is0bel now takes a Dual Routine Boost Program with her into the Matrix.
4BrightLight System: Is0bel gains the ability to temporarily blind opponents using her cybereye. This ability costs 2 AP and has a 6-turn CD. The blindness lasts 2 turns.JoltAlert System: Whenever Is0bel is brought into a stunned state through the loss of AP, she is jolted awake with 1 AP to spare.
5Mini-Launcher: Grenades shot with the grenade launcher now strip 1 Armor from enemies.Pain Suppression: Is0bel now takes 3 less DMG whenever she is struck whilst jacked into the Matrix.

Your ability choices for Is0bel will obviously differ depending on whether you're using her as your primary Decker or if her Decking skills are going to waste. Thankfully, her abilities in combat are useful enough that supplanting her position as the team's Decker is surprisingly viable.

This build takes Tar Blaster, Mark Target, Mini-Launcher, JoltAlert System, and Mini-Launcher (again).

This build assumed that you're making Is0bel your primary Decker. This is why we take Tar Blaster, which is a fantastic utility program for the Matrix. Rooting enemies in place for a turn is quite overpowered, especially when you're put up against melee fighters or can get behind cover easily.

Is0bel's skills with a Pistol are pretty dire, so Mark Target is easily the better choice for the second upgrade.

We don't take Boost Program or Pain Suppression for the following reasons:

  • It is easy and cheap to just buy a Dual Routine Boost Program from Maximum Law and then loan it to Is0bel whenever you need her in the Matrix. This lets you get the fantastic Napalm Charges without worry.
  • Putting more effort into defending Is0bel's meatspace body while she's in the Matrix assuages any need to take Pain Suppression. Similarly, the alternative upgrade here is incredible.

As for the choice of cyberware, any AP manipulation is going to be better than inflicting blindness in the long run, even if it's a situational buff.

If you don't plan on using Is0bel in the Matrix, just take the Remote Mines upgrade on the first level up instead of Tar Blaster. Boom, instant dedicated grenadier.

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