Another flavor/educational review, continuing from the previous MKUltra review.

This card, in tandem with its two partners, is one of three conspiracy theories of history that appear in Netrunner as Omar's rig. Operation Paperclip was a United States OSS program, where over 1,500 German scientists, engineers, and other technical specialists were brought over from previously Nazi Germany, to be recruited into government positions. Many of these individuals were former leaders or prominent figures in the Nazi regime. The purpose for this project was for the U.S. to garner intelligence that would give them an edge in the developing Cold War and Space Race with the Soviet Union. This initiative was also carried out by the Soviet Union, though their methods were considerably more forceful (i.e. Forcing over 2,000 Germans, at gunpoint, to join them).

The Germans to be recruited were based on a list of those with technical prowess (called the Osenberg List), compiled by the Germans while attempting to bolster their own technology to defend against the USSR, who had been thoroughly defeating them thus far. Eventually, pieces of this list were discovered by a Polish technician, and it eventually found its way to U.S. sources. The list was used to recruit and interrogate German technicians, scientists, and engineers. Those with worthwhile skills or knowledge were sent to detention and interrogation centers, sometimes for months. Much of those who eventually joined the U.S. and worked in vital technological positions were seen as "intellectual reparations" owed to the U.S. and U.K. It's believed that robbing Germany of some of its greatest minds severely hindered their technological recovery.

555
so I can't intall Paperclip when encounter a Loki which gains barrier type ? —
@rieka Yes, you can as Loki will gain the barrier type off another barrier at Step 3 in a Run while you can use the paid ability window at Step 3.1 to install Paperclip. —
@BlackCherries This is incorrect though. Paperclip is also a When Encountered, not a general paid ability, therefore it only gets to fire in step 3.0, and runner step 3.0 fires before corp 3.0. —
It would need to be wording as "when encountering", not whenever you encounter, for it to be usable in step 3.1 —

The following is a review of the flavor of the card, rather than its usefulness.

I've seen some questioning over this suite of breakers, as to whether they should be attributed to Null or Omar. Given the conspiracy theory flavor of this suite, I think they're definitively in Omar's camp. For example, Project MKUltra was a program undertaken by the CIA, in order to study means of controlling the minds of prisoners, and even foreign leaders. Funnily enough, it was descended from Operation Paperclip. Through human experimentation, it was hoped to assist in the development of drugs and other means of coercion (more accurately, torture) to elicit confessions and secrets from captives. It was largely a response to alleged use of mind control drugs on U.S. prisoners of war in Korea. Beginning in the '50s, it lasted until an official termination in 1973.

A number of activities in this project were illegal, including experimenting on human subjects who neither agreed to nor had knowledge of such experimentation. "Tests" included the administration of drugs (particularly LSD), hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and all manner of abuse (verbal, mental, and sexual). A number of organizations (including colleges and pharmaceutical corporations) were used as fronts for the CIA-run program, though many of these businesses had no knowledge of CIA involvement. The name of the program is indicative of secrecy, as well. "MK" denotes that it was sponsored by the CIA's Technical Services Staff (OTS), and "Ultra" was used to indicate the high level of confidentiality associated with it.

When knowledge of the program first came to light, the CIA Director of the time (Richard Helms) ordered the destruction of all MKUltra documents. Much of the program remains shrouded in mystery, as a wealth of information was destroyed. A significant portion of available knowledge was obtained through interviews with those involved, be it the experimenters or the test subjects. What is known is that this program consisted of over 150 individually-funded research sub-projects. Known MKUltra deaths include Frank Olson, a U.S. biochemist who was given LSD without his consent or knowledge. His suspicious death was deemed a suicide, as a CIA doctor assigned to monitor Olson claimed Olson walked out a 13th-story hotel window, falling to his death. Olson's family claims he was murdered to prevent him from divulging any confidential information in his drugged state.

As for the flavor text, it's certainly applicable to this historic project. We all know the government has secrets, and though many try to uncover them, I think a great many more would simply prefer not to know the truth.

So, in fitting with Omar's place as the resident tinfoil hat wearing theorist of cyberspace, this program is clearly part of his repertoire.

555
A good post, but honestly, the fact that Omar provided the flavor text should be enough to establish that it's his breaker. —
<p>Mechanically, they seem to work so much more synergistically with Null. That said, the flavor text is a give away, I agree with that.</p> —

Sunny's breaker suite is unique, in that they each have a "break any number of subroutines" effect, but that continual 2-credit drain can be a drag. Enter Security Chip, a quick, affordable way for your link to help keep you running. With Security Nexus, this card gives a +3 to all your cloud breakers. Throw in some Dyson Mem Chips, Access to Globalsec, or even Rabbit Hole, and you're suddenly getting a boost of five or more across the board for each use. Against high-strength ice, where the GS suite begins to become burdensome, this chip packs a high-value punch.

It's also worth noting that Geist can also make use of this card, in order to speed up his available runs. Since the Breaking and Entering suite's strength is dependent upon the number of icebreakers in play, a sudden boost beyond their expected capabilities can be more than a little impactful, especially when you're stuck in a "Crap, I need to run, right now" scenario.

Finally, it could be utilized with other runners with a link-based game plan. A couple decks on this site have constructed Iain variants, where his ability can serve to fuel the cost to keep the GS Suite up and running, and there's even one Andy decklist floating around. With Rabbit Hole, it would be interesting to see its application in Shaper, though I suspect that's bordering jank territory. Overall, I love the utility of this card, which can sit on the board as an idle threat of an inevitable hulked-out run, or simply lie in wait in the runner's grip, waiting for the right time to rain on the Corp's parade.

555
And at the cost of a single influence, it passes the savings on to you! —

Ok, I'm going to be devil's advocate and try to make a case for this seldom-used teacher. I've always loved the art here, and I think it may actually have a place in decks with a variety of porous ICE, or even where a little extra tax is desired. So many ICE lack ETR subs, and what I find particularly appealing about this guy is that he doesn't just give an ETR to the next piece of ICE, but "each" piece of ICE behind him. He's also just beyond Net-Ready Yog range, which is pretty nice. On another note, he can make bioroids cost either an extra credit or click.

With Sensei, there are three categories that ICE fall into (excluding ICE that already has a solid ETR):

  1. Synergistic - ICE lacking an ETR altogether that benefit by having one, either by adding tax or stopping power.
  2. Boosted - ICE that has an ETR, but it is unreliable, such as traces or psi games, which would benefit from the addition of a solid ETR.
  3. Anti-Synergistic - ICE that is designed to work better without an ETR, that complements the ICE behind it (like Sensei, himself), or trashes itself before an additional subroutine could fire.

As of Data and Destiny, the following is all ICE (again, excluding those with a solid ETR) which interact with Sensei, by category:

CATEGORY 1 - SYNERGISTIC

Archangel; Architect; Assassin; Bandwidth (synergy much?); Builder; Bullfrog; Burke Bugs; Cortex Lock; Crick; Data Hound; Data Raven; Enforcer 1.0; Errand Boy; Excalibur (which feels pretty darn good if they don't have an AI); Gemini; Grim; Gutenberg; Hourglass; Hunter; Ichi 1.0 (who suddenly looks like an HB Archer); Ichi 2.0; Information Overload; Ireress; Janus 1.0; Komainu; Lancelot (when lacking Galahad); Lycan; Mamba; Matrix Analyzer; Merlin (when lacking Galahad); Minelayer (though it is slightly anti-synergistic, as the newly-placed ICE won't benefit from Sensei, without some Tenma Line shenanigans); Nebula; Neural Katana; NEXT Gold; Pachinko; Pup; RSVP (provided the first subroutine fires, but this is an odd case); Sagittarius; Salvage; Searchlight; Shadow; Sherlock 1.0; Shiro; Snoop; Swarm; Swordsman; Taurus; Tsurugi; Turnpike; Tyrant; Virgo; Woodcutter; Wotan (just cruel); Yagura; and Zed 1.0.

CATEGORY 2 - BOOSTED

Caduceus; Clairvoyant Monitor; Drac┼Ź; Flare; Muckraker; Negotiator; News Hound; Pop-up Window; Resistor; Shinobi; Snowflake; Tour Guide; Troll; Turing; Uroboros; Viper; and Wormhole.

CATEGORY 3 - ANTI-SYNERGISTIC

Chum; Cell Portal; Checkpoint; Data Mine; Howler; Inazuma; Gyri Labyrinth; Kitsune; Lab Dog; Hudson 1.0; It's a Trap!; Lockdown; Marker; Sensei; Special Offer; Susanoo-No-Mikoto; TL;DR; Universal Connectivity Fee; Wendigo; and Whirlpool.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

While I don't think Sensei is at the cutting edge of competitive play, far from it, in fact, I do believe there are a number of significantly impactful niche uses for it. While it may sometimes be a simple tax, there are just as many occasions where that extra ETR can trigger some interesting or just plain mean effects (i.e. Bandwidth or Wotan).

555
It already has a hard ETR, but I can't help laughing at how horrible for Faust players this + Sub Boost could make Little Engine. —
I'd actually make the case for moving RSVP out of the synergistic case. It seems that if you are trying to use RSVP to stop a run (by scaring the runner by what you might have waiting that they cannot now spend credits on), then adding an ETR to it is actually putting it in the boosted category. On the other hand, if you would prefer they finish the run by slamming into all the stuff they can no longer spend money on, then an ETR is counter-productive (which puts it in the anti-synergistic category). I'd also move Gyri Labyrinth, Sensei, and TL;DR out of Anti-Synergistic. Gyri could go either way, but since maximum hand size only kicks in at the end of the runner's turn, you can't really use it to force a flatline during that run, meaning there's really no difference as to whether it ends the run or not (which puts it in the boosted category). Since Sensei's goal is to stop runs, putting two on a server, while not the best use of the card, is not what I would call anti-synergistic. Not only does the second sensei get an ETR (that's the goal, right?), but every piece of ICE past that gets TWO ETRs! Finally, TL;DR works exactly the same way, where the only caveat is that you want it BEFORE your sensei. —
I would also remove Bullfrog from the synergistic case since having his first sub fire and move removes not only the ETR for next round but also removes an ice, so the next run on the formerly protected server is easier and Sensei's impact is lowered. —
@Sablin You make good points, and I agree that there is no cut-and-dry divisions for some ICE, such as those you point out. I completely agree with TL;DR, as well, which is pretty amazing before a Sensei. @ Capstone A fair point, and that makes sense moving Bullfrog out of that category. —
I disagree that Howler is anti-synergetic. Howler's subroutines are optional, with it saying, You may... If you do then trash Howler... So Howler can be indefinitely left on the table. Since Howler is a trap, it requires an AI breaker to get through it. A Sensei in front of Howler would add an etr to it that could only be broken by an AI breaker. Making a server very hard to get at. Additionally, Sensei will add the etr to the Bioroid ice Howler installs. —
@ivanbarker You are absolutely correct! I totally overlooked the &quot;You may&quot; on Howler. That's pretty awesome, actually. —
It's not just howler. Kitsune and Universal Connectivity Fee are both also traps that don't necessarily trash on firing. —

Let us all take a moment of silence to acknowledge the very brief time that saw Glenn Station become the best agenda in Weyland's fiery arsenal. For those unaware, Lukas initially issued a confusing ruling that basically allowed the Corp to install an agenda on Film Critic, and even advance and score it. This led to the idea that the Corp could do the same with Glenn Station (GS). Fast Track into a scored GS as soon as possible, stash a Government Takeover on it, then sit back and score it while it's beyond the reach of any runner without Turntable (which would be hilarious). The ruling was reversed, and it's better for the game overall that it was, but for a brief, glorious time, Weyland's relevance was over 9,000.

That being said, this card could still see use in a kill deck with Government Takeover. Score it, host the Takeover, then attempt to set up the kill while a chunk of your agenda density is lost in space. Again, Turntable would be hilariously sad, but I suppose it would be just desserts for you, since the alternative was double Scorched.

555
Government Takeover, 3x Glenn Station, 2x Vanity Project? If you can score two Glenn Stations and space away the GT and a Vanity project, the runner literally cannot score enough points to win. —
Turntable doesn't actually do anything here, unless they have a way to forfeit the Glenn Station, it will just remain hosted there, in the runner's score area, and outside both players' reach. —
RS14 - agenda text doesn't generally function in the runner's score area, so Glenn Station loses its ability to host the card. —
Right, but once the card is hosted, isn't it hosted? Cards don't need any special abilities to host cards that say things like —
Right but once the card is hosted, isn't it hosted? Cards don't need any abilities to host cards that say things like &quot;host this on X —
True, that's a good point. —
@tiedyedvortex That's just plain evil. I love it. @RS14 Makes sense to me, which maintains the hilarity of Turntable, but the sadness is transferred to the Runner. —
In the FAQ it states that any agendas switch with turntable retain any counters or cards hosted on them. So if you switch a Glenn Station the hosted card goes with it. —
@tiedyedvortex Of course then the runner can just click for creds until R&amp;D is exhausted. —