great article, @spags; just read it for the second time before I typed my stupid opinions. had to learn the neat hidden trick first
I'm not on board with all the excitement about this deluxe. I don't agree with the claims that anything besides MaxX and IHW are really that big. Adding depth to factions is fine, and cool; I'll enjoy playing casually with a lot of these cards. I don't see how this box can be considered as 'good' for these factions as HNP, though. Just looking at the card list of HNP, I see many more cards that I consider good and relevant to every meta since release than in ONC upon release. Here is a shortcut to the list: http://netrunnerdb.com/en/set/hap. I fully admit I am a naysayer at heart, and maybe that's all this opinion is. People say red IDs are winning now. I can't deny this, but I do believe that people are attributing too much of this to the big box. I think ONC inspired a lot of people to play Anarch that never had before, or had not in awhile. Some probably tried Anarch a few times, found it tough, and went back to blue or green. Other, stronger players probably realized that blue and green were just *better*, and abandoned Anarch. Red is the new shiny right now, and I think more lists are winning because more are being played. This is speculation, though, but a fair assumption following the Anarch big box. Furthermore, a tumultuous Store Champs season is not the best environment to analyze cards in. I think Regionals season will look a lot more hegemonic and traditional. I believe that player skill is a huge part of this SC season. What I mean is, suboptimal lists are winning by virtue of their pilots and not necessarily the lists. In Regionals season, I would predict lists become more optimal, as events are larger and will typically bring together larger quantities of stronger players. When lists become more optimal, I predict that less and less ONC cards will be making it to the table. To summarize this tangent: **I don't think this will historically prove to be as 'good' a box as HNP.** You more or less brushed off Weyland, which is totally fair, because IMO they didn't receive a single good card in this box (compared to Anarch's 2). Jinteki's loot in HNP laughs around Weyland's in ONC. Haas received more relevant cards in CNC than Weyland did here IMO (2.0s, NEXT, CI, SucDem, EffCom, Overwriter): http://netrunnerdb.com/en/set/cac.
I agree with your ultimate point that this box puts the game in a healthier state. I would argue that it is only due to the Corp being stretched a bit more thin between new possible angles of attack, rather than the strength of the cards themselves. Maybe this is contradictory and I am thinking about it wrong. Maybe if cards are different enough that they change the meta, they are 'good,' even if they are narrow or suboptimal. Is this the Anarch way, forcing Corps to respect suboptimal cards and thus making their lists just a tad more suboptimal as a result? Interestingly, I think the release of Eater has actually hurt all 3 Runner factions, in that Corps are now running Crisium Grid with regularity. It's been around for awhile, and is effective at stopping many Criminal and Shaper fundamentals, but it took a niche Anarch card to force Corps to truly consider it (Crisium). That's about as much as I can stand listening to myself type and reading the words coming out. I look forward to more @spags articles, as you are truly one of the game's great players.
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--> End your credibility.