A strange card. Netrunner used to have currents, but these were banned because they could sometimes have too great of an ongoing impact and were hard for runners to consistently turn off. In terms of ongoing impact, this feels more like a current or an identity ability than an ice. It adds like $2-3 to the cost of the first run each turn (or gives the corp an extra 2 clicks of value plus a trigger for any identity ability that relies on installs). Depending on how the identity triggers work out, this feels like it would have been too much of an impact on the board state even as a current, and maybe it's too impactful to be an identity ability either.

I don't know 100% if this will get banned, but a cheap ice which punishes any turn a run is made on any server, that's going to squeeze out a lot of decks which are fun and deserve to exist.

Two kind things for Tributary: it's a Jinteki card which doesn't suck, and in particular positive-tempo Jinteki should be encouraged. And the counters to this card are kind of vaguely reasonable.

Yet another new card which should be in every deck.

IF you know what the top three cards are, being able to pick one and install it will frequently be a valuable play. This clearly won't ever be Ob-tier in terms of being able to find whatever you need with remarkable speed and consistency, but if you have intelligence gathering in place there might be enough click savings that this won't be a total joke.

I suspect that the low ceiling on this ability and the weird (reactive) trigger it needs will probably leave it closer to a Hyoubou, a virtually unplayable identity which was tied at the hip to a weird trigger with little good card support, than a proactive NEH which only asks for new servers, though. Unless you’re getting ravaged by something like Imp decks, NEH’s ability feels generally better (and easier to navigate) in a great many situations. It freely adds a lot of value to something which many decks want to be doing anyway. In NEH, your ability fires hopefully like 3+ times on the first 4 turns, and almost always on turns 1-2. I doubt that Epiphany will get as many opportunities to fire early, and some of the fires just won’t find cards you want to install. Then there’s the setup factor.

If you DON'T already know what the top 3 cards are, blindly investing a click hoping that one of them might be a card you'd want to install feels unusually dicey for an click-compression move. Even whenever R+ and NEH rotate out or are otherwise unavailable, it’s hard to envision a card pool where NBN identities add so little value that Epiphany won’t look a bit sketchy. (2024 update: with Hollow Man, being able to install an agenda from R+D with Epiphany might make Holo Man much smoother than in an identity where you are only installing agendas from HQ).

Thankfully, Federal Fundraising seems actually quite good for recurring intelligence gathering and Balanced Coverage pays well for it. I still think it's not quite a Hyoubou situation. However, of these three cousins (Epiphany, Federal Fundraising and Balanced Coverage), Epiphany feels the most dispensable as of September 2023. Federal Fundraising already does a pretty good job pushing the cards that I want to install into my hand at the time I want to install them. And, also, doesn't require me to give up steals or trashes.

Tithonium is an interesting collection of ideas which are a bad mismatch for each other. It is a DEVASTATING hit if the runner does not have an adequate answer. It also has two abilities that increase its ability to surprise a runner who is playing reasonable, low-risk plays. If the corp is on a credit pool of $0-2, runners reasonably should able to rule out an unknown ice devastating them. It's also immune to hosted tools like Botulus, which would be a really cool ability on a moderately punishing ice, but kind of brutal on one that hits this hard.

Lastly, I don't think it's ever been a good idea to print a corp card which can trash two icebreakers. Even if the runner has slotted spare copies or other recursion*, it might be 10-15 draws before you can replace the destroyed icebreakers. 10-15 draws is a LONG time to rely on the likes of Botulus, Boomerang, AIs, or Logic Bomb or whatever else a runner might reasonably be expected to have.

*Probably not a reasonable assumption for (among others) minor factions that got printed with no icebreakers in-faction.

Nisei: okay, so we're banning Obokata Project, but we have an exciting new card which is bad at everything.

Deep down, you knew Jinteki wasn't coming back.

How bad is it?

FAR is vastly inferior to Obokata on defense. 2-3 net damage is not remotely enough value to justify losing a 3 point agenda, and unlike Obokata it doesn't charge ANY net damage on the game-winning steal. (Obokata's net damage come as an additional cost to steal, so if the runner doesn't have 4 cards available, a steal is not possible. With FAR, the runner steals FAR and wins the game before the net damage are assessed, so you don't need 4 cards to steal the game winner).

One plus, I guess, is that the 2 net damage is not optional, so it might be useful for creating more lethal scenarios. For example, an early/mid game Fujii access is more likely to open up a lethal Punitive Countermeasures window than an Obokata access would. Or some combination of mid-run damage like Anemone or Hokusai Grid could bring down a runner's hand size low enough that the runner has to choose between jacking out now or accessing an agenda which can cause 2-3 damage involuntarily. These are very small benefits in exchange for "if they access this card when they have 4+ agenda points, they instantly win regardless of how many cards they have in hand", though.

FAR is not much better on offense. 2 net damage is not remotely enough value to consider attempting to score a 5/3 offensively, and Jinteki doesn't have the ice, economy, or other support to reliably build around scoring a 5/3 which doesn't actually defend itself. It probably doesn't have the leeway to start adding in Neurospikes on 5/3s which can't actually defend themselves and which generally don't want to be scored outside of game-winning damage maneuvers. Even if an offensive 5/3 WERE viable, which AFAIK might be a first (or a second) in Netrunner history, I think this would be a net loss on interesting gameplay. Would you actually want to play a Netrunner where something like Reeducation/Neurospike is widely viable?

If you're into Jinteki as something which actually exists in reality, losing the best agenda your faction's ever had to make room for Fujii is a huge step down. For everyone else, you'll love Fujii.

"Even if an offensive 5/3 WERE viable, which AFAIK might be a first in Netrunner history..." Or the second after SDS Drone Deployment, which hits much harder when scored than when stolen.

Once again, the org is called Null Signal

Also Nisei: why are you not on track of the exciting changes we've made to our organizational branding over the last year?


Vampyronassa is slightly more efficient than DNA Tracker and a little bit easier to budget for. Less dependent on an early facecheck hit and less likely to become a dead draw later in the game.

However, if you're looking for efficient value-over-time, I would strongly recommend Aiki over this. Aiki costs you $1 and costs $3-4 to break the net damage subroutines. Vampyronassa is $7 for you and usually $6 to break... IF they want to break it. On a critical game-winning run or a desperate flail they may not need to. If you're looking for a more steady performer, Fairchild 3.0, Tollbooth and Bran 1.0 are harder to disregard on critical runs and less porous. Of these, I think Fairchild 3.0 fits Jinteki playstyles best.

Every time I get messed up by this, or have to pay a silly amount of credits, I remind myself it's lore-appropriate. Still a pretty nasty facecheck despite everything, and almost no decoder/setup popular at the moment likes this ice. Viva la Saxophone Squid (it's actually eating a Tapwrm or something similar - Art Director Promise)