I think I disagree a bit with the efficiency evaluation made by Diogene. While it is true that "clicking for 2 creds instead of 1 is very good," I feel like once you factor in the click and card it takes to install this, it becomes not very efficient, unless the game goes pretty long. First of all, let's consider Hedge Fund. It costs a click and a card to net 4 credits, pricing cards and clicks roughly at 2 credits each. Of course, since Hedge Fund is one of the better cards in netrunner, 1.5 to 1.75 credits per click or card is a probably decent baseline for the efficiency we want out of our cards/clicks. Even cards with flexibility like Predictive Planogram have a 1.5credits/click or card efficiency rate.

Now let's consider Nanoetching Matrix.

Base Efficiency:

Immediately we see that the efficiency is never going to outdo Hedge Fund, since it at most generates two credits per click, which is the rate of Hedge Fund. That's fine, since most cards don't outdo Hedge Fund. However, the main problem is the steep initial cost of a click and a card to install, before we start getting hedge fund level of efficiency out of it. After 2 uses, it generates 4 credits for 3 clicks and a card, which is basic-action level efficiency, something we really want to avoid. At 4 uses you got 8 credits for 5 clicks and a card. Roughly 1.333credits/click or card. At 6 uses you finally got 12 credits for 7 clicks and a card, or 1.5credits/click or card, which is more or less the baseline efficiency of most standard playable netrunner econ cards. It takes 6 turns to get to the minimum efficiency for it to be really considered, and more turns than that if you aren't using the ability every turn it is installed. The problem with this is that if this is drawn anytime past midgame it's much worse than the standard economy cards. If it's drawn relatively early, then it still can only approach the efficiency of hedge fund. The risk-reward of the card just doesn't seem to average out to something worth including.

Advantages/Disadvantages:

As Diogenes pointed out, being an asset that is almost never worth trashing has it's advantages. For one, it can bait out a run from the runner, upping it's efficiency that way. You can Divert Power this since it's almost always going to be on the board once you put it there. You can trigger NEH or other "install" benefits. But it also has some weaknesses that operation based economy cards don't have. It makes centrals slightly weaker as a trashable card, and the lack of burst econ makes it harder to recover quickly, which can lead to more losses in efficiency elsewhere. Most drip econ is more efficient than even Hedge Fund, like Marilyn Campaign for corps or Daily Casts for runners. This is to counteract the bonus efficiency that burst econ can bring (since you can install more cards, earlier, which can generate more money), and for when they are drawn 1-3 turns before the game ends.

As I see it, I don't think the card will see much play outside of Divert Power decks that value an asset not worth trashing, and MirrorMorph: Endless Iteration decks which can make use of the unique click cost to fire the ID more consistently. It's not a card that has lots of raw economic power/efficiency, and so I don't think it will be widely included in HB decks as an econ engine. Rather, I think it finds it's home as a card which makes up for it's lack of efficiency by providing synergy with Divert Power or ID's like MirrorMorph.

At first glance, this has similar numbers to Engram Flush or Slot Machine, which are some of the best code gates ever printed. So why isn't this ice seeing serious play?

  1. It needs way too many bioroids to work reliably, but very few bioroids are actually good. After the Fairchild 3.0 ban most tournament HB decks currently use 0-4 bioroid ice, usually Bran 1.0 and Ansel 1.0. Ravana needs like 8-10 other bioroids because it's blank until you've managed to draw and rez one. Problem: you can't get to 8+ other bioroids without overloading on expensive Bran/Ansels and including a few bioroids you wouldn't otherwise want (e.g. Eli 1.0 and Fairchild 2.0). Followup problem: Ravana pretty much demands that you neglect much better non-bioroid ices available. Hagen, Drafter, Gatekeeper, plus any imports, you have much better options than scraping the barrel for 10+ bioroids.
  2. Until you have enough money for a $6 Bran/Ansel and a $3 Ravana, the best this card can do is pretend to be an additional copy of Eli 1.0. Problem: the ideal number of Elis in a deck is usually 0-1 and never higher than 3.
  3. Ravana takes setup time. It'll almost never be rezzable turns 1-2, except out of possibly Architects of Tomorrow. Unfortunately, a lot of the bioroids you're running to make this card happy are themselves expensive and hard to rez early. Bioroids don't do much damage to unprepared runners because they can be clicked through. This isn't like an Anansi situation where bankrupting yourself to devastate the runner might be worth it. Bankrupting yourself to remove 2-3 runner clicks is probably not worth it.
  4. Ravana is unusually bad in challenging circumstances (e.g. you're having trouble drawing your ice, recovering from Apocalypse, under serious Stargate pressure, or have had multiple ice destroyed or derezzed).
  5. Ravana and its friends can be clicked through on face-check. Burning 2 runner clicks is good value against a routine run, but probably not enough value to scare off Stargate/Diversion of Funds/etc.

This is a fun ID. It's fast-paced and makes economical some cards which probably wouldn't see much play otherwise. Most tag ice are overpriced and need an ID interaction to be worthwhile, and this is probably the fastest-tempo tag identity we'll have for a while.

Power level: Reality+ is the strongest of the new 40/15 identities and over the last several months it's been one of the strongest corps overall. It has an unusually strong ability for a 40/15 identity. Unlike Azmari, which was strong enough to get banned, its ID involves some limitations on deck composition, so it's not AS crazy-flexible as Azmari was. Suggestion to game designers: the existence of this ID guts the economics on runner cards that cause tags (e.g. Rogue Trading), so it might have been beneficial if the Reality+ ability only triggered on tags that come from corp cards. Or from tags that come during a run, because do we actually need more incentive to play Hard-Hitting News?

Conduit is a powerful and economically grueling form of RND pressure. It is tournament viable, albeit expensive to keep it operational. Corp players have some good counters (Cyberdex Virus Suite is used by 62% of corp players as of ban list 21.06, and Macrophage is used by 23%).

Conduit is mostly a reprint of Medium in Shaper, but with a slight nerf. With Medium, you could have used run events like Dirty Laundry or Out of the Ashes or Overclock or Mobius, but with Conduit the run has to be made through Conduit. In addition, from Anarch's perspective, the 4 influence cost is real rough, you'd have to make a huge commitment to import this. Also, Medium allowed you to set a lower number of accesses if you wanted, a helpful safety feature in some matchups.

In Anarch, you could easily use Stargate instead. Some reasons you might use Medium anyway:

  • It spirals out of control faster. If RND only has 1 small ice, a surprise Conduit installation is an immediate emergency situation if the runner has the means to run repeatedly. Play an ice or die. In contrast, Stargate might not be so dangerous short-term, particularly if Spin Doctor is available.
  • Conduit pairs so savagely with Apocalypse. Apocalypse Now, Conduit Tomorrow
  • Viral support like Knobkierie and Cookbook.
  • Conduit is lighter on MU and it can be powered by Knobkierie and Memstrips.

Flavor: the poem is a reference to Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism ("A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring"). Given the Apocalyptic nature of this card, I would have gone with a biblical reference instead: "Where's your Macrophage now?"

It's more flexible than Crisium Grid and protects all servers against a variety of threats. Problem: it's a low-impact card in many matchups, and there are so many 4/2s and 5/3s you could have played instead. Offshore Office -- by no means a top-tier agenda -- is 7 credits upfront. How long will it take your Transport Monopoly to produce 7 credits worth of value?

Popular "if successful" cards:

  • It absolutely guts Apocalypse. They have to make 3 runs and then you prevent the third run from being declared successful. Then repeat this the following turn. Most Apocalypse decks do not have enough economy to run that much.
  • Diversion of Funds. A Diversion of Funds that goes through is up to a 10-credit swing effect. If Transport Monopoly kills even one Diversion, absolutely worth it.
  • Almost every runner (81% as of ban list 21.06) has Dirty Laundry. If you score Transport Monopoly, you could cut $10 from the runner. That's not terrible value for a 4/2. In some matchups, e.g. Shaper, this is probably the best you can hope for.
  • It sets back Stargate 2 turns.
  • It shuts down Counter Surveillance.
  • It's a minor delay to Conduit. They could just run again.
  • Hot Pursuit.

For reference, as of ban list 21.06, here are the most commonly used cards in standard which check if a run is successful:

  • Dirty Laundry (used in 81% of runner decks)
  • Stargate (29%)
  • Apocalypse (27%)
  • Diversion of Funds (20%)
  • Conduit (16%)
  • Hot Pursuit (10%)

(Minor examples include Embezzle, Wanton Destruction, Khusyuk, Steve Cambridge, CBI Raid, and Legwork).