Himitsu Bako was relevant for Jinteki for quite a while, since it was the cheapest influence free gearcheck barrier for them for a long time; and though it's ability and stats beyond being 1 to break with corroder were rarely relevant, it was the simplest way to force the runner to get their fracter.

However, this is no-longer relevant, besides some kind of jank use, as Vanilla is an impressive 0 to rez, which is basically impossible to beat. And sure, Vanilla dies immediately to Parasite, but if they are spending a parasite on a Vanilla, you are the one who is coming out ahead.


Himitsu Bako; I miss when we had reason to run cards like you beyond in draft; maybe one day another interesting Jinteki barrier that can be repositioned with ease will come along; and maybe they will be given their chance in the lime-light too.

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Himitsu-Bako is the perfect barrier for Jinteki rigshooter decks; them killing your Vanilla with Parasite is less appealing when you've removed every possible way for them to break barriers. Bako is also immune to Knifed, and Femme Fatale can only get past it for one turn before it's recalled and reinstalled. On top of that, you can use it for protection before they find their Paperclip, then (if it's your only barrier) add it to HQ to prevent them from reinstalling the Paperclip for the heap. It's a perfect fit for rigshooter; its main downside is that Skorpios has taken up the mantle as the best rigshooter identity and it doesn't need the ability (Weyland has plenty of barriers, and Skorpios stops Paperclip recursion). But Bako is much more than just a cheap gearcheck; I will genuinely miss its ability. —

So, you're saying that if I have more subroutines than the runner has cards, they can't get in?

And that if they happen to come across an ice with a nasty face-check with a large number of subroutines, they will need to spend their hand to deal with it?

And that if they have no cards in hand they can't just jack out to get out?

Count me in!


Komainu is only 4 influence a piece, and with Mausolus,Cobra, and Prisec all being good cards that also happen to do damage, it's entirely possible to set up a kill server for the runner to fall into with this.

And if you are playing this in Titan Transnational, you get a free bonus counter, as well as influence to pay for a couple copies of Friends in High Places to help you get your ice the right way around.

And the only ways the runner could possibly survive this are:

100% totally infallible!


Anyway, enough combo theorisation, the best comparison here is that it's the Weyland version of Nisei MK II, if popped at the start of a run on your scoring server, it's quite likely the runner won't be able to get in, but they can reasonably bounce off an ETR ice, and run again.

So, clearly, it's best if you pop it as the runner approaches an ice with a punishing face-check, as then they are forced to break it, paying the cards, pay the card to jack out, and then run again, at which point it might not be practical for them to run again.

But them running again is still quite feasible, so clearly, you need to make use of the 3-4 cards the runner will have spent on the first run to make it worth it, be it another counter from Titan, or a Snare!, or even just making use of the runner having used up another click, potentially leaving them tagged, and probably without the cards to survive a Scorched Earth.


This agenda seems entirely playable, though it does require some deck-building decisions to really make it worth it outside of Titan, I can see it getting played in Titan once Weyland's other problems compared to other factions are addressed.

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And when they FINALLY make it through your horrific FC3, DNA Trcker, etc. death server, nuke it with Self-Destruct! FiHP to do it all over again! —
The Komainu combo is fantastic and combos very well with Ben Musashi. They cant jack out and cant steal agendas because they will die, works great in titan but also doable in argus. —

It is not literally made of diamonds, but it is worth several times its weight in them.

Funny thing... diamond's arn't actually worth much, that's just the result of De Beers having a monopoly so they can shrink their supply, and they are seen as valuable because of a ridiculous marketing push to make people use diamond engagement rings.


So, why bring this up? Lets just have a look at this card...

It might see some play in decks that might have otherwise played Dyson Mem Chip, which for one less credit, and being a 0 influence neutral card, provides you with the MU and the link, but not the bonus hand size.

Furthermore, this being in Shaper rather than neutral, like Dyson Mem Chip, basically just limits the decks it will be played in. (Dyson mostly having seen play in slower Criminal decks unless I'm mistaken) and I don't see the +1 hand size being worth enough to make anyone flock to it anyway.

The only place I can see myself using this, is in the Terminal Directive campaign, playing MU stacking Ayla, where it's another mem chip you can fit in your deck after all of your Akamatsu Mem Chips and Dhegdheers.


Just like diamonds in real life, the LLDS Memory diamond really isn't worth much.

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Addional Note: The Usage of the 'Link' subtype gets more and more inconsistent... Just like 'Mod' and, well, a lot of others... —
Nice review. In fairness though your assessment of a diamonds value applies equally to everything in a market economy. —
While I do not doubt that you are correct this is still a card I'll end up playing because like Dyson it saves me from having to make too many difficult choices regarding MU and it lets me have that sweet extra link that will turn out to be completely useless in practice. And extra hand size lets me avoid too many difficult decisions about which card to discard. —
I do like that LLDS Diamond comes in the same set as Dean Lister, who can boost the heck out of your breaker strength based on how many cards you have in your hand. —
I think they HAD to put this card in. It's alluded to waaay back in the core set, on the flavor text of shadow, of all things... —

This feels like it's a Criminal or maybe Anarch card that's been put into the wrong faction.

Regardless, lets look at this from a purely economic standpoint; credits in, to credit differential out.

Cost:

  • spent installing
  • 2 install cost.
  • The card itself.

  • Approximate Total Cost: 4-6 of value, depending on card to credit, and click to credit efficiency.

Output:

  • 1 per non-innermost ice.

So, in theory, the Corp needs to install at least 5 non-innermost ice over the game for this to "break even".

Then, this becomes a decent effect from 8 non-innermost ice and upwards; which I'm sure you'll agree, is not particularly practical; especially if you don't have ice-destruction tools to help you with it.

Furthermore, this is assuming you get to install this early in the game, which certainly isn't a guaruntee; and can cost you resources you desperately need for other purposes, so you are unlikely to get full value out of this anyway.

However, these are stackable, and forcing credit loss is often far more valuable than credit gain; especially as the Runner, so despite it's bad stat-line for what it is, it may well be entirely playable, even if the best support is in other factions.

At the very least, we can be glad this isn't some insane monster of a card that totally kills glacier, only an interesting card that might just slow it down a little.

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Use it with Ankusa to troll Weyland glacier decks, maybe? —
Perhaps not just Ankusa, but Inversificator and this show off a new side to Shaper which is about messing with the corp's math, just to watch them lose chill. —
...oh hey, I just figured out why Inversificator is in the same pack as Adjusted Matrix...that's fun —
This works well out of Kit to help keep servers short —
This is the text that should have been on Unscheduled Maintenance, the only crim current. —
I've also seen people stack 5, 6, 7, or more ice on a single remote against Smoke. So a pair of these would hurt them pretty bad. I just wish it was in the same faction as Vamp or Siphon. Maybe this is a Jesminder card? —
I feel like this card with Leela Patel's ability would be fun to mess around with. —

Rather than comparing Blackstone to the other stealth fracter BlacKat, lets compare this to the gold and platinum standard fracters, Corroder and Paperclip, for the barriers you might expect to see.

  • Vanilla - 1 vs 1 vs 1 - Do I really need to mention this one?
  • Resistor - 1 vs 1 vs 1 - Useless if you have enough tags to lose your Net Mercur.
  • Wall of Static - 1 vs 2 vs 2 - Though Blackstone wins here, it's not a common sight.
  • Hive - 5 vs 6 vs 5 - Blackstone draws with Paperclip.
  • Eli 1.0 - 5 vs 4 vs 3 - Looks like Blackstone dislikes our friend here.
  • IP Block - 5/4 vs 4/3 vs 3 - You are better off beating the trace unless they boost it or use shenanigans.
  • Data Ward - 10 vs 10 vs 7 - Not accounting for encounter tax, but it's either that or break normally.
  • Curtain Wall - 9/6 vs 11/7 vs 9/5 - Blackstone performs well here, but stealthiness isn't incredible.
  • Orion - 9/8 vs 9/8 vs 7 - Blackstone is on par with Corroder here.

So, Blackstone performs pretty reasonably, but falls flat on it's face against Eli 1.0.

Blackstone, though not really breaking any records, is a totally playable fracter for Smoke, especially if the saved influence gets you another Temüjin, some Employee Strikes, or something else useful.

It is also worth noting that adding Datasucker support also rounds out many of Blackstone's problems, and the strength for the run effect could potentially save you a few credits.

Though Blackstone would not be my first pick, you should probably consider it as an option, even if you do need to make a couple changes to make it worthwhile.

TL;DR: Blackstone is an ok fracter and can be good if you have Datasuckers, but it's not a stealth-tier breaker like Dagger, Switchblade, and Refractor.


EDIT: looking at this card again, with some of the more important and common ice; particularly Vanilla, Eli, IP Block, and Chiyashi (everything else is largely irrelevant), Snowball, which is agreeably one of the worst available fracters, has similar break costs, being the same for Vanilla, Eli and IP Block, and only being 1 credit worse against Chiyashi.

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