Every now and then we get a new card that elicits the usual "The sky is falling!" I remember when Marcus Batty came out, people said "You can't just give Jinteki another 3 copies of Caprice!" Batty never ended up warping the meta and the worry was for naught.
This card though... oh boy, this one truly has the potential to change the entire meta game. For 5 credits, the runner can invalidate an entire piece of ICE per turn. In that respect, it is the same as Security Nexus. This needs a lot less set up, is only one influence, and is a red card. Red cards are good.
Let's remember the way Cutlery Whizzard- or Dumblefork- the most oppressive runner since Pre-Paid Kate plays the game. They would break ICE once, on a face check. Hit a Tollbooth or Archangel, break it once with D4v1d or Faust and then never break it again until it was using Spooned.
That deck is still very good, as Faust breaks most things, Mimic/MKUltra breaks the other things, and your resource cost and speed can outpace the corps equivalent costs of rezzing ICE and installing it.
This card fits right into that deck as a way to make both the facechecks and subsequent destruction a lot easier. Now, you facecheck, break/bounce at a reduced need for D4 tokens/Faust pitching, and then you can play Parasite next turn, make the ICE zero str with this console, and it's gone. You can recur the Parasites with Déjà Vu, you can Levy AR Lab Access everything back through.
ICE has had a rough time of late. Corp late games are weaker than ever, this is why cards like Caprice Nisei and Ash 2X3ZB9CY were staples in the glacier based game. Rumor Mill made that harder than ever, and this card doesn't help. Even a more "fair" reg-Anarch can use breakers like Yog.0 to pay zero for some of the best ICE we've seen in a while, Fairchild 3.0 and DNA Tracker.
So what are the answers? Lotus Field is immune, and also doesn't rotate out of the card pool later this year. However, it is broken for 2 cards with Faust, is expensive to rez, does nothing on facecheck, and gets Spooned easily. I'm not a fan of it.
Architect can't be trashed, and is invariably a "must break" for the runner.
Magnet is immune to Parasite, but at only 3 str, it is a gear check at best. A good gear check, for sure, but not a long term solution to already amazing runner late game.
Lab Dog trashes hardware, Faust/Atman 0 breaks it no problem though, and I would imagine these are the two most common AI breakers you'll see in Sifr decks. Oh and the runner chooses a piece of hardware to trash, so like, it's really bad.
Best Defense if you can land 5 tags.
Observe and Destroy if they are tagged and poor. I'm not sure about this one really. Trashing a key runner card may buy you some time, but at 1inf and so powerful it will be a 3-of in decks.
Shattered Remains lol.
idk, tbh. I think any corp relying on scoring behind ICE are even more screwed than they were before, and this card needs to be instant ban material if any kind of glacial strategy is to be viable. Get rid of this and Rumor Mill and I honestly think the game will improve ten-fold.