This ice is boring as balls. It reliably causes a $2 credit swing. It doesn't create short-term value and isn't very good on long-term value. It doesn't have the strategic depth of Aiki's psi game or the strength or 2nd subroutine that make Aiki excellent in a grindy role. On the key plays of the game, this ice might as well not exist -- 1 net damage won't hold back a runner when they decide to go for it and "gain $1" is one of the weakest subroutines in Netrunner.

If most ice were this unimpactful, I don't think most people would play ice. Consider: it'll probably take something like 5-6 Stargate runs or 5 runs on advanced cards to win a game. On Jinteki.net, over most games I think the runner generates $60-100. It is almost mathematically impossible that you'll be able to stop their ~5 key plays with $2-impact ice. Problem: low-impact ice needs a ton of help to hold off high-value plays, but no ice in the $2-impact range can handle a large install cost without immediately sucking.

<p>Yeah, but Jinteki PE can get things ouf ot it, also you may be prevented of stealing and Obokata Protocol. It's not a good ice, but it's cheap and let the runner through with a tax (a tithe)</p> —
<p>I like to think of it as a <a href="/en/card/02056">Pop-up Window</a> that is just annoying enough on central servers to force out a sentry breaker, which pop-up window rarely does (for code gate breakers).</p> —
<p>I think it's a little worse than Pop-Up Window in that Tithe's cost can be short-term ignored if it's the only way to make a turn work. And the first Tithe is free to Bukhgalter.</p> —

One of the most powerful ice ever printed. Engram Flush almost always hits for 4+ credits or 1-2 cards of the corp's choice, which is enormous and consistent value for a 2-cost ice. Along with Slot Machine, it was in the elite tier of code gates which fares well against both Engolo and Amina. It was removed from standard play because its numbers are crazy for a 2-cost ice. Even if they have a Hunting Grounds, it only affects 1 Engram Flush once per turn, and even then they still reveal their hand.


EF wasn't QUITE as universally useful as Slot Machine or Gold Farmer, but it was an extremely potent import at 1 influence, assuming your enemy plays better with cards. In-faction, it pairs savagely with the 3 Obokatas that you were already running and any net damage cards you might be running. When this ice was legal, it was an almost guaranteed 3-of in any Jinteki deck with 10+ ice, and almost half of corp decks ran 2-3 copies of it during Salvaged Memories.


Tactics: deploy early, rez early. Unless you have reason to suspect otherwise, choosing Event is usually the best option (or close). Most game-winning cards are events, and they're the most likely to be held in reserve for a killer moment.

One of the only ices in the game which is both a fierce facecheck and wildly efficient. It has no bad matchups* and in glacierish decks it is almost always useful.

  • Even with no other ice in its server, it's a reasonable early rez against a 0-trace runner. (In tournaments roughly 75% of runners are base-0).
  • With one other ice, it is numerically comparable to Mausolus (itself a great ice). It'll cause a 4+ credit impact if they have a breaker and a 6-8 credit impact if they do not.
  • With 2+ other ice it is usually one of the most expensive ice in the game to break conventionally and its subroutines are must-breaks.

Pairs well with ANY other ice and generates unusual amounts of value out of cheap ice installations.

*Except Tao (3% of runner decks) and possibly Smoke (9%). In addition, 25% of runners have a base link which makes Surveyor less valuable early. But... if you're using Surveyor, you're probably pretty well-stocked on cheap ice, so you should have early options.

A tweaked and slightly weaker Desperado (but that card was strong as heck). With supporting cards like Red Team the runs you'd make anyway become so much more rewarding, and then you don't have to do boring stuff like "manage economy" when you could be running.

One upside (that might not be initially evident) is Pennyshaver can be used as bait for an expensive Corp combo like Public Trail into Retribution (especially if you're slow or lazy at taking the credits off the console). So you might get a tempo swing from that.

13

Absolutely terrific card. Low effort for the Runner, huge effort for the Corp. Maybe they take a turn off purging, or maybe they let it ride and you get 4-8+ credits out of them for a re-rez. Either way, I think this is pretty overtuned as far as the new cards go. For example in System Gateway if your corp opponent has an advanced Pharos you can more or less forget about it.

And if Acacia is alive and kicking it's basically free money (or the threat of it)!

13