Vanilla 0[credit]

Ice: Barrier
Strength: 0
Influence: ○○○○○

subroutine End the run.

A brand new invention.
Illustrated by Seage
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The Liberated Mind (tlm)

#95 • English
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EDITED REVIEW: Heeeey, Parasite is out of the game. RIP - actually no, rot in hell scum. Anyway, now that 0 strength isn't a death sentence, the quintessential rush ICE just got better. It's still "weak," but Paperclip does cost 4 to install, which is a lot more than none. Until then, you can rush early agendas behind this and not lose momentum when they decide to test it. Just look out for Inside Job and DDoS. Thankfully, I haven't seen a Quetzal in awhile...

With Quandary also out of the game, this is the undisputed king of half-assed ETR ICE. However, if your sole aim is to rush agendas behind a token defense, you might want to add similar cheap ICE for consistency. Notable candidates include: Ice Wall, Wraparound, Himitsu-Bako, Enigma... possibly Caduceus if you had to pick one sentry? It's harder now to find cheap non-barriers that 100% keep people out, which is healthy I think. Owl combos well, but you can't necessarily count on drawing both quickly.

If you're not playing a rush strategy, this can be safely replaced with a "real" barrier that taxes more than 1. You could also forego barriers entirely and just use this as a one-off to make them install their Paperclip - I mean fracter. However, current star AI Aumakua will break this for 1 even after a purge, so Wraparound is a safer bet in that case.

(Escalation era)

"The valiant do not hesitate." Forget Tyr, Vanilla is an ice for the bold and the daring. Do not hesitate. Install this and GO. There is no late game potential here. There is only boldness, and tempo seized. The runner has a handful of cards in their deck that can get through Vanilla and early on there's a good chance that they won't have drawn them yet* or have to pay enough to install them that you're still coming out ahead on early value.

*If they have 3 cards which can break Vanilla, there's a 70% chance Vanilla will beat their first 5 cards and 46% it will beat their first 10 cards. Even if they manage to draw one, Paperclip is expensive and committing Botulus/Boomerang to a Vanilla is inefficient. (If the runner needs to spend $3 and 2 clicks and a Botulus to trash an early Rashida, depending on their economic situation it might be better to not run).

(System Update 2021 era)