These two Kitara cycle cards exemplify the difference between Crim and Anarch. But one is certain to boost its faction while the other will only ever be playable as part of a niche strategy. Can you guess which?
Let’s start with Anarch’s Hippo. First it’s a cost 2cr hardware version of cutlery, except it works on the outermost ICE rather than on a particular subtype ICE. It has the added benefit over the cutlery that it “may be trashed” giving the runner the option to not use it on ICE that are easily broken. This card can single handedly replace all cutlery options and may become an auto-include for Anarchs.
Meanwhile, Crim gets the spectacular Wari, a 1cr 1mu program. It’s memory requirement likely makes it worse out of the gate. It’s further worsened by requiring a successful run on HQ (Crisium fodder) to trigger. Then, like Hippo, it may optionally be trashed to (get this) “name sentry, code gate or barrier. Expose a piece of ice, then add it to HQ if it has the named subtype.”
First of all, without a deck built around expose…I’d estimate at most a 60% chance of blind guessing ICE types correctly. So, in non-exposy decks, the card is unplayable. Even with certainty, the effect is unlikely to return ICE over HQ since the ICE must be unrezzed to be exposed…and the Runner has just given the Corp the chance to rez the HQ ICE by running HQ. This could set up a run on a remote…but Maxwell James already does a much better job of that by requiring the Corp to rez the ICE first. So effectively, the only possible reason to use Wari is to remove ICE from R&D. Finally, returning unrezzed ICE is not the same as trashing it. The ICE will just come back out the next turn, and eventually the Corp will draw more ICE and get two installed over R&D.
We might compare this to Crescentus, which was also not as good as Hippo, but at least it was easier to trigger and had a more reliable effect than Wari. At least Crescentus could be played in most Crim decks, although it still wasn’t as good as Cutlery (which won’t rotate out anyway).
Wari is so much worse than Hippo, that many runners might think the two shouldn’t be compared at all. But they serve a similar purpose…so they definitely should be compared. Oh, what it must be like to be loved!