The Anti-Nisei MK II. The Whirlpool-on-demand. This agenda is fantastic for psychological deterrence and punishing miscalculations and misreads - but you have to build around it and you have to score it.

IAA plays are typically pretty good for Jinteki decks. They'll be always thinking Project Junebug - and if you're running this agenda, they'll be right. Cerebral Overwriter, Shattered Remains, that idiotic Komainu-Lockdown-Cell Portal loop everyone dreams of landing. Once you score this, Watson, the game is afoot.

An interesting combo that seems anti-synergistic at first is with a couple of scored Ancestral Imagers. Every action window on a run becomes a tense staredown as they pass your Chum and then look at your scored no-jack-out tokens. But they have to decide first. Jack out and take a net damage or two? Or continue knowing you might spend a token?

It's never going to be Tier 1 - the self-protecting The Future Perfect is the reigning king of Jinteki 5/3s for a reason. But if you like Jinteki mind games, this agenda warrants some consideration.

Labyrinthine and Ancestral Imager are both cards introduced to strengthen the oft-bemoaned positional ICE. I agree that there's synergy between the two for that reason, as they both discourage the runner from jacking out. Chum is the obvious beneficiary here, but other shout-outs go to TL;DR, Vikram 1.0, and possibly Marker. —

The big daddy of the Grail suite, this punishes early facechecks at a substantial cost, but if you're living the dream and somehow manage 3x in your opening hand, it'll be one of the shortest games you've ever played.

Blue Sun: Powering the Future is a good ID to run Grail out of, if for no other reason than to bounce it and redeploy, hopefully keeping the runner on the back foot. Tenma Line can be fun for the same reason, if your Grail pieces are hopefully still unrezzed. There's also the notable interaction with The Foundry: Refining the Process, fetching your pieces for you - you could go all in with Executive Boot Camp here, but the loss of surprise makes it far less appealing.

TL;DR for maximum hilarity, but what runner in their right mind is going to continue when on their way to an unrezzed ICE with the Corp at 6 or more credits? Whirlpool helps, but as with all trap servers it takes an unrealistic amount of setup. Susanoo-No-Mikoto into a Grail trap over Archives sounds fun, but for the life of me I can't think of a situation in which I wouldn't rather use that much cash for something else.

A money-heavy Sunny Lebeau: Security Specialist laughs at your Grail combos, as does Apex: Invasive Predator with Hunting Grounds up. Most other runners can manage Grail ICE with not a whole lot of difficulty barring Corporate Troubleshooter or other such shenanigans.

Fun? Absolutely. Tier 1? Seems like it would take a lot of work to make something that situational viable and consistent, and I think most competitive ANR players can find much more reliable ICE distribution strategies that don't tax already tight influence.

I think this is over-thinking it. I agree that big wombo-combos aren't a great use of the Grail suite, and that the suite will be overcome by late-game runner inevitability (pretty much every ice suite is). The main power of the grail suite is that it's a horror to face-check. Barriers that do two net damage or trash programmes simply don't exist anywhere else (Wall of thorns, but that's not good enough to see real play). Code-gates are increasingly scary, but Merlin is still an unusually nasty one to find if you're unprepared. Plus the suite is fairly effectively taxing to every set of icebreakers that isn't Sunny's. Merlin is pretty much the only time you're happy to be running Striker —
They are deadly to face-check for sure. Even as a gear-check, they aren't necessarily safe from damage if you're sitting on Merlin. And that's part of the problem. Influence-eating, hand-clogging, tends toward slower play, as if you get lucky you've got a 2X Lancelot or Merlin combo early. And when most runners have their rig up, the Grail suite is not that bad at all. Larger hand sizes or scoring The Future Is Now can help I guess. Daily Business Show, too. The other thing I don't really like about them is that when the first piece is rezzed, the game is up. Sure, maybe you'll pull in a Lancelot or two as a punishing lower-costed sentry, a cheaper Grim. But a Merlin? I see that, I know what you've spent your influence on, and how not to attack you. —

Netrunner is as much, if not more, psychologically than rule-and-optimization rewarding.

The person sitting across the table could have all of his jank pieces in hand, and feeling confident. And then you lay this on the table.

Fundamentally, this changes nothing about their game plan. Or it shouldn't. This current has no mechanical effect on what the runner does. But if you're playing a Humanity Upgraded Xanatos Gambit-style deck, this card does something different even if its effect never comes into play:

Deterrence.

You've substantially raised the penalty for failure. Hourglass into Ryon Knight. Howler into Janus 1.0. They're far less likely to run on the card you just Mushin No Shin'd out (Mandatory Upgrades) for fear of +1 Brain Damage when they've already functionally suffered one simply by you choosing HU as your ID. Or if you've played the same opponent for a while, they think you're counter-bluffing and maybe that is a Cerebral Overwriter on the table.

A runner will float a brain damage or two. Nobody wants to float three or four. I believe that this card is a solid 1-of in Xanatos cheese decks for the psychological deterrence effect alone.

And with a Brainstorm looming on the horizon, this current will make the brain damage equivalent of facechecking Komainu with a scored House of Knives token, melting the unprepared Runner's cerebral cortex into a thin, lumpy soup.

Funny, isn't it? The most of us agree this card is set firmly in the jank zone. And then - the moments we're having when some of this stuff hits the table... Priceless. —

An interesting piece of gambit, this.

At first glance, one could be forgiven for thinking "Wowzers! Look at this, Ma! Instant RP!" In practice, it plays out a bit differently.

First and foremost, there's no bluffing with this one if you want it to work. You'll not be rezzing this in response to someone running on the server it's in. You, sir or madam, have wasted both six credits and your opportunity.

On the plus side, someone running against your RP nonsense can simply bounce of the first ETR they hit, then go after your scoring remote or key asset. OTG must be a successful run. Which means if they want to stop you scoring agendas out of hand, naked, they're going to have to hit HQ. Hard ETRs or damaging, board-resetting ICE will be your friends here.

But who's got the cash on hand to rez both this and ICE powerful enough to stop a runner mid-game, or kill a careless runner early on? I think Gagarin likes this, Blue Sun as well. BABW possibly. HB Brain Damage shops could make use of it, as could a few Jinteki ID's.

This could make for a hilariously over-advanced trap masquerading as an overly confident Mandatory Upgrades, Vanity Project, or even Government Takeover behind a single Whirlpool.

But who would do such a thing?

Could one triple-install (unrezzed) Off The Grid, wait for the runner to make a run through HQ - trashing one OTG - and then immediately at the conclusion of the HQ run, rez the next one? —

An amazing and oft-overlooked tool that I believe can have utility far beyond the obvious Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions hilarity - but those are worth mentioning as well. As others have pointed out, pulling Snare! back in is bread and butter - but say you don't have the cash on hand. A sudden handful of Shock! to a multi-accessing runner - especially one abusing Gang Sign - HQ Interface can be just as good.

I believe the utility of this card increases with the amount of on-access effects you are running. In some deployments, Team Sponsorship and Interns will be the method of choice to recur certain pieces, but the important thing here is that Allele Repression is a paid effect.

I, for one, am excited to see if someone can incorporate its ability with some of the new Data and Destiny on-access tag insanity.

One interesting thing to note is that with the latest FAQ it is confirmed that this can pull itself back with its own ability. So if you have 3 counters on this you can pull back two snares and itself, then set it up all over again. With D&D coming out it would be pretty fun to use this to endlessly recur Launch Campaigns, though click intensive. —