While it is slightly situational, I think Focus Group is the one card in Downfall that really screams "overpowered" to me.

For starters, let's compare it to the most famous fast advance tool, Biotic Labor. While that operation might be more flexible, giving you an unconditional extra click, it will nearly always be used to score an agenda requiring triple advancement. For this purpose, you are set back 3 clicks, 1 card and 7 credits. For Focus Group, it only costs you 2 clicks, 1 cards and 6 credits, provided you "hit" at least three cards in the grip. If you hit two, it still gives you the same return as Biotic. Not cheap, but also not terrible in my opinion. Let's also not forget this card is harder to effectively counter with anti-FA-best-boy Clot.

But the real strength of Focus Group is in its potential upper limits. Many runner decks consist mostly of events and resources, and having 4 of either on hand isn't that uncommon. And if that happens, you can fast advance a 5/3 from hand. If you have multiple copies it even becomes child's play, while admittedly very expensive. It also works nicely with the never advance game, especially if you have won the game of Beale or no Beale, so that you can get 3 or even 4 points instead of 2.

Obviously the main balancing factor of FG is its dependence on the runner's hand, meaning it can backfire spectacularly. Luckily (for the corp), NBN has a few tools to peek at the runner's hand. The most obvious is Standard Procedure, which was always a decent card but willl become a staple in yellow FA. Peeping Tom and Waiver might actualy start seeing play. Harishchandra got a a fun new toy and I think Focus Group will be good in Azmari too since they have some control over the runner's plays, especially backed up with Scarcity of Resources.

Requiring a succesful run is another drawback, but as most runners will be set up and aggressive by the mid to late game, this card will rarely be dead, especially in non-glacier decks.

A possible counter play the runner has is of course keeping their hand size low, but this obviously carries the usual risks associated with having few cards on hand. I could totally see this card replace Biotic Labor in Jinteki PE decks, especially considering the lower influence. There are also ways to keep the runner's hand full, like Personalized Portal and Pālanā Agroplex.

Looking at the card pool again, I think Focus Group comes out strong in most comparisons. Game Changer and MCA Austerity Policy are technically stronger but take way effort to set up and can be trashed by the runner. Shipment from Tennin is cheaper for 3/1's and 3/2's but it doesn't let you fast advance a 5/3 and you need two copies in your hand for a 4/2. Calibration Testing, with Breaker Bay Grid and Team Sponsorship is also powerful but folds to asset hate.

So yeah, maybe I am overestimating the potential of this card, but I think it will be a serious problem for the upcoming meta.

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I don't think giving Corps a way to win is "a serious problem for the upcoming meta". Hopefully this is the first step to breaking up remote camp meta. —
I think the card's reliability will be its hard drawback. You mention that it has the chance to fail spectacularly, which I think is a great point. To FA a 5/3, you need to Install the 5/3, then use Focus Group and hit 4 or 5 of the same card type. If you get only 3, you now have a 5/3 on the table with 3 advancement counters on it, and no way to score it this turn. In that case you could choose to not pay X, but that sounds like a no-win situation. Never-advancing 5/3s seems quite within the realm of possibility. Definitely a strong card. But I'm looking forward to the spectacular fails. —
People who try to FA 5/3's with FG are either fearless or crazy. When you're using FG as a tool to FA 3/2's and 4/2's, only needing to hit 2 or 3 becomes easier and more reliable. And that reliability is what makes FG very dangerous. —

A shaper console in blue disguise! For the low cost of 2 credits, hardware you install after this will give you a free card. This is especially strong in Geist in combination with Spy Camera. Other hardware to combo with this console include Sports Hopper, Clone Chip, HQ Interface and Lucky Charm.

The second ability obviously works very well with Az McCaffrey, whose ability negates the +1 cost so that you can install one piece of hardware for no click each turn.

While this card will definitely see play, run-oriented criminals might still prefer Paragon. Probably won't see play out of faction either due to the 4 influence pips.

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Don't forget Flip Switch! Very interesting to see if big-rig Criminals come out of this. —
I am definitely gonna try my hand at that! —

While doing research on this identity. I found that most cards that have the word "reveal" on them involve psi games. And of the ones that are left, a large chunk have the runner revealing something (traps, cards like Tyson Observatory or Oracle May ), which doesn't trigger Hyobou's ability. Good to know.

So, what DOES get you that sweet corp money? For starters, Celebrity Gift gains you 8 credits instead of 7. Pretty sweet. Attitude Adjustment gives you a buck even if you shuffle just 1 agenda back into R&D. Drudge Work will gain you +1 on top of the value of the agenda. Fast Track and Political Dealings reward you for going fast.

Also, since the ability works on the runner's turn as well, the grail ice suit is particularly suited for Hyobou. Lancelot, Merlin, Galahad, they all make you dough if you have ice to reveal in HQ.

Apart from that, Hyobou's build-in click ability is ideal to get a sense of what is in the runner's hand. Instead of just clicking for a credit, this allows you to play cards like Targeted Marketing and Salem's Hospitality. And if you have a good memory, you can easily leverage this ability into a potential kill with newcomers Saisentan and Complete Image. Do keep in mind that while you can reveal several cards per turn, you will only gain a credit the first time.

Last but not least, this card has fun synergy with some janky cards. Bamboo Dome and Open Forum are now credit neutral, Recruiting Trip is cheaper, you can install and rez Chiyashi for 4 credits, use The freakin Twins... If only Angel Arena were an asset, a clickless scrying and credit seems ridiculous.

This ID is very versatile and I am excited to see what people will cook up during deckbuilding.

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Could you explain the Chiyashi for 4c? I'm drawing a blank on this. —
they're talking about using Building Blocks to install Chiaysi out of hand and get the credit back for the reveal. —
Ah, thank you. —
Nice bonus for using Jinja Grid as well. —
On the topic of revealing cards from on the Runner's turn: Slot Machine is great in this deck, and it's a 1-influence NBN card for hitting alliance with Salem's Hospitality —

Small and innocent looking but honestly quite a beastly card. You install this in a huge scoring remote and make the ice in it stronger. Combos extremely well with Jinja City Grid,Surveyor and Mti Mwekundu. You can also rez this during any paid ability window. So no worries if you have this as your last ice with 3 others in front of it, just flip it right away. And as icing on the cake it is a mini Pop-up Window. Has potential to make glacier an even bigger powerhouse. It does die instantly to Chisel though.

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It doesn't die instantly to chisel. It'll be str 1.it gets boosted by its own ability. —

As someone who played during the format when Keyhole anarch was predominant, I was very happy to see that card rotate. It led to very tiresome games where as a corp you were locked out of any line of play, as well as having to shuffle your deck dozens of times over the course of a match. So when I saw we're getting a replacement for Keyhole, I was hesitant at best and ready to bring out my pitchfork and torch at worst.

Will Stargate be as prone to being a NPE as Keyhole though? I doubt it. Let's look at the card with an open mind.

First off, the numbers on it are identical to its predecesor. 4 to install, 2 MU program, 3 influence, look at 3 cards and trash 1. This is not a card you include lightly, you build around it. In the past, anarchs tended to play Eater in their decks as a way to complement the "instead of accessing" part. But anti-ai ice is more popular now than ever due to Aumakua, and with Account Siphon rotated, Eater decks have fewer tools to be oppressive.

On that topic, let's look at the ways this card is more balanced than Keyhole. The big one is obviously that Stargate can only be used once per turn. No more running R&D 4 times and trashing 4 cards, or shenigans with additonal clicks (such as when Hyperdriver was legal). The runner gets 1 shot per turn. On top of that, the 2 cards that aren't trashed are returned to the top of R&D in the same order. This actually benefits the corp, as they will know which card is coming up due to the absence of a shuffle.

This does make Stargate actually stronger in a way. While constant randomizing of cards was very annoying, the corp still had a chance to top deck the one card they needed to get them out of a precarious situation. Stargate makes this more difficult. The runner runs, sees 2 bad cards and 1 amazing, trashes the latter, the rest go back. Now the corp has to draw those cards and make the most of it, cause the runner can just go again on their turn.

Keeping all this in mind, this is definitely a card to fear going forward and I am not a huge fan of it. But I will say,, it is a good act of balancing by Nisei, which I respect.

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