Jua

Jua

Jua is a cheap and unassuming sentry with the possibility to really bite against the right deck. Even when broken by some of the most efficient Killers that match up well against it (Mimic, Na'Not'k with two or more ice, and Bukhgalter on the first break) it'll tax 1, which is perfectly respectable for ice that cost only 2 to rez. For less conventional breaking, 3 strength is passable for resisting Chisel and Aumakua, but of course the single subroutine leaves the possibiltiy of being broken by Boomerang.

As for letting that subroutine fire, that depends wholly on the runner's board. Obviously against a blank rig Jua's subroutine is effectively blank too, so it's not a great way to defend a server on the very first turn, but given its a cheap porous NBN sentry that was always going to be true. The subroutine can in some scenarios backfire, forcing you to offer the runner to topdeck a spent virus such as Imp or Pelangi, but thankfully the tempo loss of redrawing and replaying something like an almost empty Earthrise Hotel or Daily Casts is substantial enough to not make that a real worry. Also there's only so many times most runners can run with only one card they don't want you to bounce installed, so I kind of doubt this downside will come up often in play. Typically, firing Jua's subroutine is going to be a steep tax of tempo and could even remove cards the runner needed for the remainder of the run, forcing a jack out.

On top of that though we have the wacky encounter effect which could be useless or severely punishing depending on the matchup. Anarchs and Shapers tend to be the factions with the most effects encouraging them to install cards during a run, which can make an unrezzed Jua a nasty surprise when they were expecting to have access to the Flashpoint conspiracy breakers or to use Self-modifying Code or Simulchip to protect themself from dangerous ice. Hilariously, even if your opponent does get MKUltra onto the board its 3 to break Jua, making this card a brutal pick against self-milling Anarch decks. The effect lasts for the remainder of the turn too, so it's not like they can jack out after Jua, install a sentry from grip, and then run again. Against Criminal there's not much you'll shut down in this manner, although I did get to experience Jua being effective at closing off a server being farmed for Crowdfunding runs while that silly card was still legal.

Honestly with Self-modifying Code continuing to define the flow of runs in this beautiful game, I'm surprised we aren't seeing more of Jua. Anarchs may have lost their precious Inject making the conspiracy breakers a bit weaker, but many players are making up for that by importing SMC anyway, so go figure. I suppose it is somewhat getting muscled out by the other cheap NBN ice that we've all gotten used to treating as staples.

<p>My understanding, and I'm happy to be proven wrong here because I used Jua for a time against Crowdfunding decks aswell is that the Corp rezzes on approach, the runner has the paid ability window before the encounter so they can pop SMC to install a program and then move to the encounter phase where the encounter text triggers.</p> —
<p>ValkyriezGaming is correct. It doesn't work against SMC. It also isn't great against heap breakers and as you stated, other breakers deal with it easily. Sure, it is 2 to rez, but NBN are the masters of cheap taxing ice. This doesn't compare favorably at all to Turnpike or Newshound with a current. Data Raven costs more but is also nearly always gonna be way more taxing. I think this ice is solid but not good enough in a post-Crowdfunding meta.</p> —
<p>Thanks for the correction regarding SMC! Definitely a lot less powerful than I thought in light of that.</p> —

Random trivia: Masvingo is the only Netrunner card to date that uses neopronouns in its flavour text.

Masvingo joins the long history of advanceable Weyland ice that gets better the more advancement counters you pile onto it. Alone, with 3 strength and 1 ETR subroutine, it sits neatly between Ice Wall and Fire Wall as an afforable gearcheck that typically taxes more than 1 - exactly like Wall of Static. It is particularly taxing for a handful of breakers that boost awkwardly or break multiple subroutines at once, such as Demara and GS Sherman M3.

Unlike its predecessors, Mavingo gains additional ETR subroutines with advacement counters rather than gaining strength. Against the gold standard Corroder this is essentially equivalent, but for other breakers this is mixed news. Paperclip only starts paying more than 2 with at least 3 advancement counters, whereas the aforementioned Sherman will pay 4 for both 1 and 20 advancement counters. On the bright side, you can lock out Quetzal with a second counter, Boomerang with a third, and Spike with a fourth. Against the ever-popular Aumakua whether you prefer gaining strength versus subroutines depends on whether you want to lock the runner out or tax hir.

Masvingo hasn't really seen a great deal of love outside of Builder of Nations - where it shines from turning on your ID by having its first counter free - but with the newly released Akhet and Wall to Wall breathing new life into advanceable ice by charging them efficiently, we might be seeing it more often. I think all but the fastest Weyland decks will prefer Masvingo to Ice Wall because those counters start mattering sooner against most fracters (Corroder and Gauss). As for Fire Wall, I think these days if you're paying more than 4 for your ice it should probably come with a facecheck penalty and prevent Turning Wheel counter farming. Masvingo compares favourably to the old competition, and is probably your go-to dump for excess advancement counters.

Engram Flush, like Slot Machine, is a cheap to rez but taxing to break code gate with unassuming subroutines. Slot Machine is great, and I'll compare Engram Flush to it to get some sense of how good this new code gate is. Incidentally, both reveal runner cards, and thus can give Hyoubu Institute a credit.

2 for a strength 5 code gate with two subroutines is a fantastic deal if the runner breaks those subroutines. If they don't, they're liable to lose a card or two provided you have a read or knowledge on what they're holding, which you're likely to have in Hyoubu or Chronos Protocol. You can hunt down any I've Had Worse the runner might be holding for your damaging ice by naming Event, and in general the ability to pluck chosen cards out of the runner's grip is already what Chronos Protocol decks are going for.

Both Engram Flush and Slot Machine are somewhat liable to misfire and won't always be as powerful. In Slot Machine's case, it depends on the top cards of the runner's stack, but at minimum you will cost the runner 3 even if their stack is empty or they blank its encounter effect. Engram Flush on the other hand can be walked through with an empty grip, although that's probably a bad idea against Jinteki. Engram Flush will also do almost nothing against Hunting Grounds or if you just name the wrong type with the encounter effect, which the runner will know before they choose to break or not.

I think you probably have to really be taking advantage having existing knowledge of the runner's grip to make Engram Flush good enough. It's less reliable than Slot Machine, although it is a whole credit cheaper which is a big deal at such a low cost. My prediction is that this card is good enough for Hyoubu Institute and Chronos Protocol, and maybe Harishchandra Ent. at a push, but its going to be a tough sell for any other corp.

Konjin is a really interesting piece of ice. A third of the times the runner encounters it, it is going to do absolutely nothing but force a Psi game, but two in every three encounters you'll get to have the runner encounter the most dangerous or taxing piece of ice you have rezzed. It's somewhat unreliable, but this is kind of like getting a piece of ice two thirds as good as your best ice for only 3. Definitely a good deal for any glacier deck with huge ice like Chiyashi!

There are some pretty scary ways runners can beat Konjin, though. Hunting Grounds blanks it once per turn, and Hippo can trivially trash it (breaking no subroutines means you broke all of them). I doubt Konjin will be the centrepiece of any ice suite anyway - that's more likely to be the expensive ice you're copying with it - but its worth considering its placement carefully to avoid stuff like Hippo.

Finally, Konjin makes possible a three server Mythic ice combo with Mother Goddess and Loki. With exactly these three ice rezzed, you can have two servers be impenetrable to traditional (Fracter, Decoder, Killer) breakers, and a third server secure 2/3rds of the time. Thankfully Mom is rotated now so we won't see this in Standard, and I'm not convinced its reliable enough to stand up to the crazy kinds of things runners can do in Eternal.

Neat little today for Nisei Division! —
<p>also murders Kit in the face. She burns her encounter on Konjin, then has to encounter something scary without her ID ability :O</p> —

This is going to sound weird but I think Seidr might actually be the brain damage ID. Sorry Cybernetics Division, I have tried to love you, but its over.

What does spending/losing s mid-run have to do with brain damage? Spending s is how you turn the nasty brain damage facecheck penalty on Viktor 1.0, Heimdall 1.0 and especially Fairchild 3.0 into a gentle "miss half a turn". Seidr tips that end of the scale by also offering recursion, which is going to force some runners to take it on the noggin to keep that away from you. If you love jank you could even tip the scales back the other way again for a pretty severe catch-22.

In general a lot of lost s during runs come from ICE subroutines, so Seidr makes facechecking more dangerous. Therefore, if you rush to score out, you can force the runner to run while your ID still has teeth on those nasty facechecks, and maybe you can threaten a kill if they go too fast and end up reducing their handsize.

Even with Engineering the Future gone Seidr has stiff competition from economy IDs. Sportsmetal in particular can rush faster and keep tempo while trading agendas with the runner. But none of these are quite as cool as Seidr, and if you went out of your way to look up reviews of this ID that won't deter you from having your fun.