The cheap install cost gives this code gate breaking killer a lot of flexibility. I imagine that it might end up seeing some play in Eternal. It compares favorably to other 'cloud' breakers like ZU.13 Key Master.

Limited flexibility. This ice is only any good on HQ. However, it is very efficient on HQ. It costs 3-5 to break for the most commonly used decoders, which is very good for a 3-cost ice. It also protects itself against most ice-destruction cards and handles cards like Boomerang well.

Problems:

  • Vulnerable to Turning Wheel farming. It only costs 1 to break the "lose 2 credits" subroutine and jack out.
  • Limited flexibility. If you're thinking about anywhere besides HQ, you'll wish you had drawn any other ice. For about the same amount, you could have rezzed Border Control or Mausolus or Hortum.

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.

Tactical recommendations:

  • 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.

The numbers on this card are very reasonable. It usually costs 3 to break, and if they take the tag on encounter I'd value the tag at another 3 credits of value. A 5-rez ice that can reliably charge a 6 credit swing to pass is excellent. In NBN: Reality Plus, getting through this ice causes a 8-credit swing, making it one of the most efficient ices in the game.

Some liabilities:

  • A runner willing to take tags can skate through this ice for free at any time, and they will find a timing window where they have a good chance to seal out the game.
  • Tags are fundamentally unreliable. If you play enough tag cards, there will probably come a time when the runner has 4+ agenda points and just decides to go for broke. Many games are lost before the corp finds the tag punishment cards. Many others games, you will suffer drawing tag-dependent cards that you can't use. Some tag cards even have MULTIPLE conditions. Psychographics not only needs the runner to have multiple tags, but also you need to have an applicable agenda and enough money to use it.
  • Early game, this is an expensive end-the-run. I'd limit it to only the highest-value servers (e.g. protecting a Rashida, a Daily Quest, or a critical central server). It's terribly inefficient for low-value assets like PAD Campaign -- the game will probably be decided by the time the PAD Campaign produces enough value to justify rezzing the Funhouse to protect it.
  • If it's the outer-most ice on HQ/RND it's vulnerable to Turning Wheel. An ice that costs this much shouldn't need a warmup act.
  • Hunting Grounds is not currently popular, but if you see it, it's a bad day for Glumhouse.
  • It costs 5 (up from 4 for Data Raven), making it a bit harder to protect a Daily Quest on turn 1.
  • The worst thing this can do to a runner is inflict their choice of 2 tags, 1 tag + 4 credits, or end the run. Problem: 2 tags or 1 tag + 4 credits is not a huge cost to pay for a large agenda or a Stargate run, and tags are pretty much useless in a run on the final agenda.


Some pros:

  • Works reasonably well against Boomerang/Botulus/etc.
  • If the runner chooses to go through and you are ready to punish tags, it's one of the most efficient ices in the game.
  • The art looks like a particularly angry bus driver, or a kung fu villain in the Ming Dynasty. He's versatile, he has range. We like Funhouse.
  • Still a better love story than Twilight.

The Anarch's version of Criminal's Docklands Pass, providing multi-access into R&D instead of HQ. While Docklands Pass is a card that sees it's fair share of standard play, eXer sees very little play, and probably for good reason. It costs an additional MU compared to Docklands Pass, and can often be incidentally trashed by the hyper-popular suite of Cyberdex Sandbox, Cyberdex Virus Suite, and Macrophage that is dominating the meta as a natural counter to Hivemind MaxX. Even if the Corp isn't running the anti-virus suite, spending 3 clicks to trash what the runner invested 2 credits, a click, and a card into isn't a horrible trade for the Corp, which should immediately raise some warning signs about this card.

However, this does do one important thing for the Anarch faction. It provides multi-access. R&D has always been Shaper's server to attack, while HQ is constantly terrorized by Criminals. Anarchs got... what? Archives? For Anarch decks that can't spare the influence for Conduit, eXer is a cheap, rip-off replacement, but one that can still get the job done. Multi-access is just so valuable to a runner, since it's almost like providing another run, free of clicks, and a free pass through all the ice. Chances of finding agendas double, trashing combo pieces with Imp is more likely, so on and so forth. It may be the case that the Anarch, who's strengths lie elsewhere, may actually appreciate an odd out-of-faction effect that helps shore up some of it's weaknesses, even if somewhat shabbily so.