A massive, scary Bioroid sentry. This gives Ichi 1.0 a run for its money in terms of bang for the buck. For one more credit, you get one more strength and the same number of subs. In terms of what the subs do, you trade in the two trash and a throwaway sub in Ichi with a pseudo end the run sub and two strong brain damage traces.

It's slightly more positional than Ichi. While you prefer Ichi in front of other ice, it can do its job alone. Vikram being at position 0 on a server make the first subroutine null and void for the most part. It WILL still stop the runner from doing things like running Deus X to stop a Snare! from hurting or trashing your stuff withh Imp. It does NOT stop Medium or Nerve Agent from working, or stop something from being a Keyhole run: only paid abilities are stopped.

However, as an outside piece of ICE, it has an advantage over Ichi 1.0 in that all of its subroutines matter. Brain damage always hurts, and being unable to use programs encountering other ICE is usually a recipe for disaster for the runner. It doesn't have the game ending "surprise" power that Ichi can have when encountered clickless, but it can also do more to effectively keep the runner out in some desperate situations. All in all, though: they both do different things, and both do them well.

Pros:

  • Big sentry
  • Three subroutines
  • Its subroutines are not to be trifled with
  • Great price point
  • Will be taxing when broken conventionally
  • Splashable influence

Cons:

  • Bioroid weakness
  • Slightly positional
  • Weak against runners with lots of link
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It also has a minor bonus over Ichi 1.0 by not having the destroyer subtype, so Sharpshooter doesn't work against it. Think I should try it out. :) —
I believe it has been clarified in the latest FAQ that this, in fact, does stop Medium and Nerve Agent. That certainly adds to its appeal! —
To be clear: Medium will still gain virus counters from a successful R&D run even if the first sub has gone off, but it will not provide any multi-access. "Using" counts as any optional ability, which the multi-access on Medium is ("each virus counter after the first on Medium *allows you* to access 1 additional card...") —

Words cannot describe how powerful this card can be in the late game. Generally, a glacier deck will be trying to keep you out of servers in the following priority, as a Shaper:

  1. R+D.

  2. Scoring server.

  3. HQ.

  4. Archives.

This card takes advantage of this order of importance. Stay off HQ for most of the game (unless it's wide open). Focus on R+D and remotes until they become difficult to access. Wait for your opponent to set up what seems like a scoring window.

Then you play Escher. And the game changes.

The exact advantages depend on the game. Maybe you put all the code gates in one server for Cyber Cypher or Gordian Blade to smack down. Maybe you line up all of the non etr ice on a vulnerable server. Maybe you put that Tollbooth on Archives. Maybe you switch the places of Crick and Turing. This card wins games. It's a 1x, as x3r0h0ur mentions, but it should seriously be almost an auto-include in any Shaper deck. You won't need it some games, true. But when you do need it, it helps you like no other card can.

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It's awesome in Au Revoir decks, as you'll typically know the composition of every piece of ice on the board whether they're rezzed or not, so you can line up all the cheapest ones on your preferred server. —
It's worth remembering that Escher does not allow you to change the number of ice protecting a server. If there are games where the corp has created a rather large server, or left some servers uniced, Escher can be a bit less useful compared to games where the corp has iced servers evenly. —
Jackpot: That is true, to an extent, but you can always throw throw the strongest ice on that server and exploit another weakness. —
Another problem is that it isn't at all useful early game, where most ICE is still unrezzed —

This, in my opinion, is the strongest of the space ice, and probably the most interesting code gate in the game. It's not quite as straight-up taxing as Tollbooth, although it's close (one less when encountered with the standard Shaper decoders, 3 less with D4V1D). However, in place of your boring etr subroutine, you have the most magnificent subroutine on a piece of ice in the game: the ability to resolve ANY other subroutine. "It's cool in theory," you say "but, really, you will end the run 95% of the time." FINE! End the run, if that's the strongest play. But, what if you have a destroyer rezzed? Or AP ice? Or Architect? Or NEXT Gold?! The ability to choose what happens from so many things, on a strong piece of ICE that is likely to hit, while still being able to end the run, is just great. This is auto-include for 1 or 2 in every Weyland deck, IMO. It shines, like all of the space ICE, in Blue Sun because of the OAI synergy, but the advance ability also makes it viable for less economically powerful IDs, and other factions (though a piece of ICE sitting with 3 advancement counters on it is a bit of a giveaway).

Wormhole has one major drawback: You need other non-wormhole ICE rezzed or it does absolutely nothing, so it's not that strong early game as a first-rez. But no 9 rez ICE is going to be ideal for your first piece on a central server.

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I agree. The other ID that I would love to put this in is Tennin Institute: The Secrets Within: cheap rez, great holder for counters for Trick of Light, and bluffable as Ice Wall. Its biggest strength is generally with a destroyer, though. —
How would this work with the Jinteki ICE: Kitsune? i.e. they run into wormhole, i have a rezzed Kitsune (mayhaps they previously broke it with Overmind or something), I copy Kitsune's subroutine with Wormhole. Does this trash the Wormhole after it resolves? Or does it trash the Kitsune? Or does neither trash because the Wormhole is resolving a self-referential ability (and it is not 'that' self)? —
It trashes Kitsune. —

3x Tyson observatory makes the following things viable:

  • Play 1x of whichever console you want. Desperado can be played in Shaper now and be consistent without throwing away 12 inf.

  • For 8 credits and 10 clicks, get all of your Prepaid Voicepads out. This is in comparison to 6 credits and an unknown number of clicks and draw cards used to get all three out.

  • Carry 1x Plascrete without being swingy against meat damage.

There are other things, and I'm sure they are viable, but these things alone make it a game changer. 3x Tyson, 3x PPVP, 1x Deseperado, 1x Plascrete is 8 cards and 3 inf in Shaper. For that deck space and influence you get meat damage protection when you need it and a mega economy with room for whatever tricks you want. It's legit.

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It also enables Replicator in a lot of builds that couldn't afford to run it previously. —
Maybe add 1x Feedback Filter to that awesome hardware package list? —

This is one of my favorite pieces of ICE. As your first piece of ICE rezzed, it doesn't get too much better for keeping the runner out. Obviously, you can't avoid rezzing other ICE throughout the game, but there are some very interesting interactions:

  • NEXT is the obvious one. Another piece of NEXT ICE, taxing enough later in the game to not regret.
  • Blue Sun: Uninstall the other ICE you rez. Put this on a scoring remote. The runner needs AI breakers, Femme or Inside Job or they cannot get in. Exceedingly strong, but hard to set up.
  • It could, theoretically, synergize with other ICE that don't have Barrier/Code Gate/Sentry for their subtypes. Right now, the list is pretty short: Traps and Excalibur, and kinda sorta Chimera, at least until all the breakers are out. This could be a tricky set of ICE, but it would be porous. Jinteki, maybe?

From a card interaction standpoint, it doesn't get much more interesting, ICE-wise. This is a fun, stong card.

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It's also an efficient rez-4-str-5-ETR-dont-click-me-Bioroid in HB:Stronger Together (with any other Bioroid already rezzed). —
The problem with NEXT is this is unique, never giving you more than 1 extra NEXT ice. —
With Spark Agency it becomes more interesting. If there is a rezzed Advertisement ICE, Mother gains Advertisement too and Runner could loose 1 Credit. —