Karunā

Karunā 4[credit]

Ice: Sentry - AP
Strength: 3
Influence: ●●○○○

subroutine Do 2 net damage. The Runner may jack out.

subroutine Do 2 net damage.

You did not escape, you were shown mercy.
Illustrated by BalanceSheet
Decklists with this card

System Gateway (sg)

#47 • English
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Reviews

Iconic ice for Jinteki, reflecting the philosophy of the System Gateway meta : facechecking an ice does not lose you the game, but it will cost you something.

Bukhgalter, Echelon and Mimic will break it for 2, Carmen and Femme Fatale will break it for 4, Ika, MKUltra and Odore will break it for 3. Na'Not'K will break it for either 2 (with 1+ ice on top) or 5 (with no other ices).

At 4 to rez, it has an impact. But it will slow down the runner.

The art is awesome and it fit so well with its quote. Great design.

(System Update 2021 era)
1604

Borderline playable. It's kind of expensive for an ice which is mainly useful early and doesn't hold up well against most common killers. Jinteki decks tend to run slower and poorer than most other factions, and $4 will be a problem for Jinteki more than anybody else.

I don't think this card has the support right now to create early opportunities. E.g. back when Mushin No Shin was legal, installing Karuna on a Mushin'ed card (especially a SSL Endorsement) would have been a high-value turn 1. Without powerful support like Mushin, Karuna costs a lot of $ for an early-game ice. Jinteki doesn't have a lot of cards I'd want to protect early with a Karuna, and those cards usually work better with Whitespace or Vanilla. Turn 1-2 Rashida loves Whitespace.

(System Update 2021 era)

In my experience, Karunā is more about protecting centrals early than protecting remotes only. I agree that it's only borderline playable, though (even though I have it in one of my best decks – it's hard to find good early defence in Jinteki).

For early game chaos, I'd suggest Komainu and Saisen-tan. They're a more devastating face-check and hold up better against Boomerang and Botulism. Or, in lower-econ setups, Aiki is extremely cost-effective (but not strong enough to scare away Stargate or Diversion of Funds without help).

I agree that Saisentan is better, but three early ICE isn't normally enough. Komainu has rotated, sadly. So Karunā is often the next-best option. (Aiki is an interesting idea, but it's a card that can easily become a liability later in the game.)

Anansi means that runner don't usually facecheck Jinteki without a killer. So I think the narrow use case here is early in the game when you can't rez a spider. Would be much more playable as a code gate or barrier, but probably not thematically appropriate.