Karunā 4[credit]

Ice: Sentry - AP
Strength: 3
Influence: 2

[subroutine] Do 2 net damage. The Runner may jack out.

[subroutine] Do 2 net damage.

You did not escape, you were shown mercy.
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Decklists with this card

System Gateway (sg)

#47 • English
Startup Card Pool
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  • Updated 2021-10-11

    If Karunā’s first subroutine resolves while the Runner is already breaching the attacked server (perhaps because of Ganked!), can the Runner still jack out? Does that stop them from accessing any more cards?

    Yes and yes. Nothing stops the Runner from jacking out at unusual times if given the opportunity by a card ability. Jacking out ends the run, which ends any breach in progress as well.


Iconic ice for Jinteki, reflecting the philosophy of the System Gateway meta : facechecking an ice does not lose you the game, but it will cost you something.

Bukhgalter, Echelon and Mimic will break it for 2, Carmen and Femme Fatale will break it for 4, Ika, MKUltra and Odore will break it for 3. Na'Not'K will break it for either 2 (with 1+ ice on top) or 5 (with no other ices).

At 4 to rez, it has an impact. But it will slow down the runner.

The art is awesome and it fit so well with its quote. Great design.

(System Update 2021 era)

Overpriced and low-impact. It costs $4 and rarely causes more than $3 of damage. This is weak efficiency, you're paying a considerable amount of $ for something which doesn't hit much harder than Pop-Up Window and has much less long-term utility than $4 Kakugos or Border Controls. The kind interpretation of Karuna is that it's a slightly-upgraded version of Envelope, itself a $4 ice which usually causes a $2-swing (a fake Pop-Up Window).

Jinteki doesn't have a lot of cards I'd want to protect early with a Karuna, and those cards (Rashida and Regolith Mining License) usually work better early with low-cost end-the-runs like Whitespace or Vanilla. Karuna costs enough that you probably wouldn't want to rez this early on a central server unless you have some econ running by that point. Spoiler: as Jinteki you probably won't, your economy is usually the slowest and the least able to bounce back quickly from a $4 expenditure. Even Kakugo is hard to pay for sometimes and it is a Jinteki workhorse which produces considerable long-term value for a short-term tempo loss. For an extra $1, you can get a Saisentan which is devastating enough on early facechecks that you can feel fine even if it bankrupts you.

(System Update 2021 era)

In my experience, Karunā is more about protecting centrals early than protecting remotes only. I agree that it's only borderline playable, though (even though I have it in one of my best decks – it's hard to find good early defence in Jinteki).

For early game chaos, I'd suggest Komainu and Saisen-tan. They're a more devastating face-check and hold up better against Boomerang and Botulism. Or, in lower-econ setups, Aiki is extremely cost-effective (but not strong enough to scare away Stargate or Diversion of Funds without help).

I agree that Saisentan is better, but three early ICE isn't normally enough. Komainu has rotated, sadly. So Karunā is often the next-best option. (Aiki is an interesting idea, but it's a card that can easily become a liability later in the game.)

Anansi means that runner don't usually facecheck Jinteki without a killer. So I think the narrow use case here is early in the game when you can't rez a spider. Would be much more playable as a code gate or barrier, but probably not thematically appropriate.