ICE: Code Gate • Rez: 0 • Strength: 2 • Influence: 1

Ireress gains " The Runner loses 1" for each bad publicity you have.

Say it really fast.
Weyland Consortium • Chris Newman • Mala Tempora #57
Links: Decklists | ANCUR

Ireress is typically a pretty bad card. But I think it's slightly underestimated.

Here's the bad news. A single Ireress can never actually make the runner lose a credit. When the runner makes a run, one credit is added to their pool for each bad publicity the corp has. When they hit Ireress, they lose one credit for each bad publicity the corp has. This exactly cancels itself out.

In effect, Ireress makes it so that bad publicity doesn't count for runs on the server it protects. If they're breaking code gates with any /sub decoder (Study Guide, ZU.13 Key Master, Gordian Blade, Passport) then it will cost them as more or more to break Ireress as it would to just take the credit loss.

But there's another big problem, and it's name is Yog.0. The anarch decoder completely ignores the effect of Ireress. If Yog.0 is popular in your meta, Ireress isn't worth the install cost. You could always Patch Ireress, but that's probably more effort than is justified.

So Ireress is basically a stop-gap measure to try and minimize the effects of bad publicity. It lets you build a taxing server even while piling on bad publicity. The problem is that any strategy that seeks to make runs taxing while also piling on bad publicity is fundamentally flawed, since the entire function of bad publicity is to make runs cheaper for the runner.

But I think there are some saving graces that make Ireress slightly more than just binder fodder.

First, you can put more than one on the same server. Now you aren't just undoing the effect of bad publicity: you're actually using it to your advantage. If you have 5 bad publicity and two Ireress on R&D, then it's going to cost the runner 5 credits every time they want to get in. They don't need an icebreaker to do so, unfortunately, but compared to another 0-rez code gate, Pop-up Window, it's pretty respectable.

Similarly, it's multiple subroutines combo quite well with TL;DR. In this case, they can still break the TL;DR, which puts an upper limit on the tax potential of the server, but for a combined rez and install cost of 2 that's pretty okay.

Likewise, putting a Chum in front of Ireress is pretty funny. Now, they either have to break the Chum, or they have to deal with Ireress as a 4-strength, multiple-sub code gate that does 3 net damage if they can't break it.

Is that enough to save this card? No. Probably not. But if you're already building a bad-pub heavy deck with Hostile Takeovers and Geothermal Frackings, it's worth considering if Ireress fits in with your strategy.