Saisentan significantly affects runner calculations on how dangerous an unrezzed ice could be. If they get surprised by Saisentan and don't have a method to break most of its subroutines, they take a devastating amount of net damage (usually 4-5).
If you are playing Saisentan all of your unrezzed ice look scary early on, enabling high-value early plays. It fights very well against most of the cards a runner might use to break an unknown ice early (e.g. Boomerang, Engolo, and Botulus), so a turn 1 Rashida will probably work out for you even if they do think they have a way inside. It's also the perfect rez cost (5) to deter early Diversion of Funds plays if you have an unrezzed ice on HQ.
After the runner has a killer, it usually costs 3 to break Saisentan, which is not great for a 5 cost ice. MKUltra costs 6 to fully break Saisentan, which is excellent. Note, if they are running Bukhgalter, keep your sentries together, Bukhgalter is awesome against the first sentry but struggles against its friends.
- INSTALL EARLY. If you draw this in your opening hand, installing it on turn 1 is usually the best move. You are Jinteki. Embrace the healing power of murder.
- AGAINST BUKHGALTER, SENTRIES ARE MUCH MORE POWERFUL STACKED WITH OTHER SENTRIES. A Saisentan costs 2 for a criminal to break on a server which has no other sentry (weak) but 4 on a server which already has a sentry. Keeping your sentries together is hugely efficient.
- Most valuable for either protecting central servers or early high-value resources.
- Event is usually the best card type to pick. If they *don't* have events, they will have a bad time recovering from 3+ net damage.