Why do we not have a review for this card yet? It feels like the elevator pitch writes itself.

Commercials aside, the interesting comparison to make is against House of Knives, the original 3/1 agenda that has made its way into many a Jinteki deck:

  • Knives does a total of 9 damage when all 3 are scored, spread out over several turns. Runs are more dangerous to do while there are still valuable cards in-hand, against ICE like Komainu, or when stealing that final Obokata Protocol, perfect for grinding down the Runner's stack and options over a long game. Best scored early, to slow the Runner down and get those pings in.

  • Sting does a total of 3 to 5 damage (best case 1, 1, 3 or 1, 2, 2) in larger chunks. This is perfect for setting up proactive flatlines since this burst damage can be done clickless for a future turn, similar to Ronin. And if enough copies of Sting are scored, this turns into a Gene Splicer where you got a good chance of giving the Runner no good options to steal it, threatening flatlines on follow-ups.

So which agenda do you put in your suite? That mostly depends on what the deck is trying to accomplish.

You can't go wrong with either, but I feel decks aiming for a flatline will want Sting! for more chances at landing that killing blow. Decks that want to slow the game down early while seeing an empty stack late game will want House of Knives. Of course, you can always take both since they are doing different jobs.

And of course, you can't talk about Sting! without talking about the ID this sits most at home with, Personal Evolution. It's a bit scary how good this agenda is in there, making both defensive and offensive uses of the scorpion all that much more lethal.

Long live the scorpion.

101
Excellent review. Long live the king. —
Since the damage keys off the other player's score area, you can't do 1-2-3 without shenanigans; best case is 1-2-2 or 1-1-3. —
Thanks for pointing out that small mistake! I've updated the review to reflect that. —

The Corp's counterpart to Deuces Wild, and just as good if not even better!

TL;DR - This essentially lets you either compress two different basic actions into one card or take an action for free at the cost of 1. For a less compressed review, let's go over each of the options one line at a time:

Draw 2 cards.

This lets you cycle Red Level Clearance and lets you dig more quickly for options. If you are playing a rush deck, or just need more options here and now to refill HQ, you can't go wrong with this.

Gain 2.

Not nearly as great as the old Green Level Clearance, this refunds the cost of Red Level Clearance for a profit of 1. This is just taking the basic action, but it does synergize with cards like NASX, and you get another action to pair with this.

Install up to 1 non-agenda card.

Important to note that you still have to pay all costs to install and you can't rez until Red Level Clearance has fully resolved (no Jinja City Grid into two cards). This action is overshadowed by the next option (since they are effectively the same if you spent it towards installing) but there are still reasons to pick this option if your ID cares about it in particular (MirrorMorph: Endless Iteration for an install that stacks with the basic install).

Gain .

This just makes all the above options better and why this card is never a bad pick for a deck. As noted much earlier, this lets you do any of the above actions for "free" - efficiency HB would be proud of.

  • 2 cards for 1 and still have 3 to use them all is fantastic.
  • Gaining 1 for free is good, if you just need that extra credit to rez or make a trace.
  • A clickless install can be great. Even though you can't install an agenda with this, you can start to spam assets and upgrades at a higher rate or just pull off some cool combos. Calibration Testing and Bioroid Work Crew say hi!

At 2 influence, this isn't the worst import you could make. It's a Transaction, which means Weyland Consortium: Building a Better World gets invited to the party. MirrorMorph: Endless Iteration likes this for more options towards triggering the ID. But honestly, any ID can make good use of it.

(As an aside, for those who follow the color spectrum and Paranoia, this is the lowest level of clearance, aside from Infrared. Even lower than Green, so we still have Orange and Yellow clearances to go! Check out the Green Level Clearance review for more info.)

101
One jank combo for the enthusiasts: Red Level Clearance to install a Roughneck Repair Squad or Eliza's Toybox and use it on the same turn. —
or Echo Chamber / Lady Liberty! —
Or score a 4/2 from hand with Reconstruction Contract and Dedication Ceremony. —