This card is much more powerful than it seems. You should consider putting this into your shell game Jinteki deck, instead the classic Project Junebug.

The most obvious comparison to make is to Project Junebug, which instead does 2 net damage for every advancement. In game, when playing shell game Jinteki, you mostly install and double advance to maximize the punishment if it is a trap and normally score if it is a 5-point agenda. Project Junebug with 2 advancements would do 4 net damage, trashing most of their hand and slowing down their tempo by making them click back their hand, which would take 1 turn of drawing or 4 clicks. It also has a side benefit of possibly disrupting their game plan.

Neurostasis with 2 advancements would trash 2 installed cards, and if they are icebreakers it would force them to search through their stack and reinstall them, which would secure your centrals and open a scoring window lasting multiple turns while taxing them. Reinstalling with a draw and install, (2 clicks), for both would cost 4 clicks, and that is not factoring their combined install costs, (usually about ~6 credits).

Therefore, Neurostasis is superior to Project Junebug in both taxing and utility.

Neurostasis is super underrated yeah but I think we should refrain from saying it's superior to Project Junebug. Similar to Degree Mill, Neurostasis can actually become a liability when it shuffles back drained Davids or Liberated Accounts. Don't forget the corp is forced to choose runner cards (assuming they pay) and so Neurostasis is very nearly a meager card in the early game in comparison to Junebug or a similar Ambush. Not to mention Neurostasis' 3 to fire compared to Junebug's 1. —
The runner would not be running on a scoring server without icebreakers, especially with how punishing Jinteki ice tends to be, —
The second negative would only apply if you are naked advancing it, which is what Saraswati does. —
As for the first negative, being forced to uninstall, usually does not happen. —
Paying 2 additional credits for a long lasting scoring window is very valuable. —
However, you are right that Neurostasis is not nearly as useful in the early game. —

Really, really weak. You should not use this in your deck,

(Unless you intend to be doing HQ lock, which is the criminal's specialty, or (maybe) in an anarch economy control deck).

Lets look at the numbers:

Easy Mark: At cost 0, gives you an unconditional burst economy profit of 3. It is rarely used, due to how good its counterpart is:

Hedge Fund: At cost 5, profit 4, Runners usually have this required amount or can comfortably click to it.

So, Lamprey needs to provide at least a profit of 4. Its install cost is 1, which means it needs to produce an economic advantage of 5. That means you need to run on HQ 5 times before breaking even with Hedge Fund. This is conditional economy, as you only gain those credit advantages when you run on HQ, and it distributes the gain over several turns, so its also drip economy, making acquiring them much more difficult and awkward. In addition, it uses up a memory slot in the meantime, restricting the use of other more useful programs, and is trashed when purged, which is likely to happen multiple times with anarch runners, so it may not even pay itself off. Even if its memory and install costs were 0, it would still be roughly at level to Easy Mark, which is rarely used.

However, it (might) be worth (considering) in anarch decks running Bhagat and Wanton Destruction, or in a control deck with Ixodidae.

In conclusion, throw it in the binder and forget about it.

The idea is to bring the corp to zero credits and keep him there. Preferably out of Reina or with Omar. As mentioned above, you need other reasons to keep running HQ, like Bhagat/Maw. Still, it's a card from an era when economy wasn't what it is today. Its heyday has passed now that corps are swimming in cash. —
Thank you. —
Even if you don't manage to do a money lock, cards like Lamprey can still cause a huge tempo hit, especially at the start of the game. True that with Flashpoint Crisis, Corps became filthy rich, but I wouldn't underestimate this little piece here. Its role might have changed, yes, but I still wouldn't consider it binder fodder! —

[H0tl1ne here, with another flavor review.]

The title and the card art are both a pretty clear reference to a short story by Daniel Keyes, titled Flowers for Algernon.

The story describes Charlie, a mentally challenged thirty-seven years old, working as a janitor in a plastic box factory, who undergoes a miraculous medical treatment which, over the course of several months, increases his mental capabilities significantly, to the point of fluently operating several foreign languages and conducting medical research by himself.

Algernon from the title is a lab mouse the treatment was first tested on. As a part of the experiment, both Charlie and Algernon take part in solving maze riddles. Earlier in the story, Algernon easily bests Charlie and the man grows to resent the mouse, but as the treatment progresses, Charles manages to solve the maze faster than the rodent does. He ends up loving and caring for little Algernon.

In time, however, the effects of the treatment eventually reverse, first observed with the mouse's erratic behavior, loss of motor function and, finally, death due to severe neurodegeneration. Charlie accurately percieves it as a grim prediction of what is going to happen to him. The depression takes him over when, despite his efforts to resist the change, he forgets everything he has learned since the beginning of the treatment. The story ends with his wish that somebody leaves flowers on Algernon's grave in the backyard when he's gone.

It's a very touching story, and a pretty accurate description of retrogenesis, an occurrence common with people suffering from Alzheimer's disease (the fresh skills and knowledge are the first to vanish from mind - the degeneration of the brain is just like its development in prenatal state, only as if seen in reverse). Seeing it referenced by a card in my favourite game was like a sudden kick in the feels.

The reference itself is pretty elegant - having Algernon on board lets you ramp up fast with more clicks per turn, even overcoming the very flaws you were born with. That is, to a point where it ultimately fails, trashes and plunges you back into the dark state you were trying so hard to get out of.

Flavor aside, it seems like an interesting piece, if only to be found exclusively in Adam (five influence cost should be enough to discourage combo artists trying to replace the now-banned Hyperdriver). You have to pay for your additional clicks, and when you do, you better make sure you can make the cut - or else you will come to a grinding halt. High risk, high reward, a strong effect that can tip the balance in your favor for as long as you can ride the wave.

I wish every card in this last expansion we ever get had a flavor this excellent. But then, Sportsmetal: Go Big or Go Home is somehow found in the same box, along with a few other baseball-themed pieces. How would these relate to the cyber struggles we so enjoy having? Hell if I know.

355
Well done! —
I really enjoy your flavour reviews, H0tl1ne! They're always a great balance of informative and entertaining (^^). Please keep it up! —

I'm a Jinteki man, and this is my favorite card in the deck. Mwanza City Grid can be a powerful force of economy, defense, and damage, potentially all at once. A runner taking 4 accesses plus the grid itself produces 10c from a 0c card, and it either survives to do it again or the runner trashes it for 5c of their own. A 15c swing is powerful. Account Siphon powerful. Of course, power like that has never come without a drawback.

Jinteki's game plan doesn't always involve keeping the runner out. It might be making accessing too risky or too painful to do. They're the faction of Komainu, Neural Katana/EMP, Snare!, all that fun stuff. Porous, but dangerous. Mwanza City Grid is a natural fit. Multiaccess against jinteki has always been a risky proposition, and the corp actively offering more accesses should come across as more suspicious than a nun with a boner. A runner may simply choose not to run a server you've placed this on. I always run 3, even though you can only have 2 installed, because seeing it early is always a boon, and one usually gets trashed by the time the third one is drawn.

As for running it in other factions, Mwanza technically only costs 1 influence. I say technically because it begs to be run with ambushes, and I'm not afraid to say that Jinteki keeps the best of those as well. Bringing in a pack of snares will set you back another 6 influence. I don't actually play many decks outside Jinteki, but Haarpsichord Studios has some amusing synergy. Since the runner can't steal more than one agenda a turn, feel free to show them as many as you'd like, and maybe profit off that too.

Yes, I am absolutely enamored with this card. I cannot sing its praises enough. But, the obvious downside: More accesses means more agendas stolen and more assets trashed. You can turn those into punishment too! Weyland in particular has some wonderful options. However, when the runner is sitting pretty on a full grip and game point, you may regret having these grids rezzed. So, advice: You usually want to install on HQ first, since you can curate what's in your hand much more easily than what's on top of your deck. Leaving a mwanza server completely unchecked can result in ruin pretty quickly.

It also has some incredibly useful synergies out of faction if specced right, with IDs from every faction (Argus, Haarpsichord and Sportsmetal) having abilities which can potentially take further advantage of it. —

So as according to @andrewboydston, Top Hat is good when you are accessing cards with the knowledge that YOU KNOW what you are accessing, otherwise it's just another random access.

Well folks, thanks to Reign and Reverie, I present you ladies and gentlemen, INSIGHT =)

With Insight, runners are now able to SNIPE that agenda without double running R&D which is kind of suicidal against the new hot Corps of lobstermodernism Argus and the sneaky Mti who can install ICE on the fly despite being once per turn. Also, multi runs in the recent meta is very punishing for the fact that you need to respect the new Econ Warfare > HHN > HPT combo turn and also spending a huge amount of boon you looted just to score that one agenda.

Despite giving the Corp a chance to re-arrange what they can draw for the next 4 cards, Insight also allows you to LOOK AT the top 4 cards that the Corp just arranged. So if there's no agenda, treat it as a blank Indexing you just made and chill out to make the sniping run for agenda without breaking a sweat on R&D.

Oh, and what if the Corp ICE up R&D when they see this coming? Great! Now you have slightly vulnerable HQ or scoring remote to break in then.

Did I mention Top Hat is only 1 influence? So for each Insight and Top Hat pair, that's the same influence you spend on Indexing! Top Hat is also a hardware, so perhaps you might only need to land 1 on the board and only 1 or 2 copies will go into your deck. Although theoretically you are spending a slot of two for this pair, but it really doesn't matter as long as it wins you the game. A calculated risk and sure-fire agenda scoring is better than suicidal multi runs which would lose you the game.

In a nutshell, I can see Top Hat coming back from unplayable to super exciting card to see in the meta! P/S: Sounds like I'm reviewing Insight more than Top Hat. Jeez

29