I believe it is time to revisit this largely ignored piece of ice in the post-rotation, revised core, banned/restricted (post Eli 1.0) era. The basic premise is a piece of ice with a good rez to strength ratio, but the drawback of not forcing a specific breaker type. As such, it will not be universally useful, but 3 rez, 4 str, end the run ice provides enough value that we should consider situations where it might be useful. Some pros and cons:
- Can be broken by almost any breaker
Great strength to rez ratio
End the run sub
Neutral, no influence cost
So in what sort of situation do the pros outweigh the single, major, con? The answer is when you want to build taxing servers. On its own, Rainbow is not something you should rely on to keep the runner out. But many glacier decks rely on taxing the runner and beating them with eventual economic advantage. So how does Rainbow stack up in such a deck? Pretty well actually. The reason being that it will cost 3 credits for the vast majority of commonly played breakers to break. So while the runner doesn't need to find a specific breaker to get through, none of the ones he or she is likely to use will be able to break it for less than its rez cost, which is a great feature in a piece of taxing ice. A few examples of break costs:
Gordian Blade: 3
Black Orchestra: 3
Yusef: 2 tokens
Mimic: Needs str reduction
Refractor: 1 + 1 stealth
Switchblade: 2 stealth
Cyber Cypher: 1 (pretty weak to this one)
Disposable Breakers: requires 4 collective str (probably easy to achieve in a deck that uses them)
Lady: 1 + 1 Counter
D4v1d: No dice!
Aumakua: 1 (but must be at 4 counters)
Femme Fatale: 1 to bypass (but no one is going to Femme Rainbow)
Chameleon: Needs a str boost to break (or str reduction)
Quetzel: Okay fine, you got me. Cool hair, by the way!
All told, that is a great taxing ability against a large portion of the likely field. It fills a similar role to rotated all-star Eli 1.0: cheap, taxing ice that you could rush out behind if you're feeling frisky, but that won't stop the runner for long if they just want a single access. Ice isn't there to be a self-contained solution; it exists as part of a larger strategy. And if that strategy involves taxing the runner, then Rainbow is worth a look.