Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

Ban vs restricted philosophy


Don’t buy that there would be all sorts of new decks or Archtypes without Critic. I think the decks get built and get played. Many folks may be like me…and would prefer not to play Critic. I slot it when I get sick of losing to the same passive decks that I don’t enjoy playing. I think Critic and the archtypes that it counters keep each other from total domination.


Punitive and Hunter Seeker both do see play (albeit like you say, the Hunter Seeker decks didn’t make it to top cut since they’re on Skorp or Gagarin). But Punitive was played out of both CI and Jinteki decks trying to set up the Musashi Data Loop Obokata shenanigans.

They have definitely not been “forced out of the game”


FWIW, at least one of the AgInfusion decks was on Fairchild 3, not Obo.


I think restricted is the perfect place for FC (since this thread seems to be mostly about FC…). Sure it hoses game plans that rely on Agendas being either scored or stolen, but if that’s your only game plan, then make sure you have a way to deal with the only card that is a hard counter to your strategy. If I’m on a OCA Connections deck and don’t bring Fall Guys, then that’s on me.

That said, if the only thing your counter to FC does is counter FC, then that’s not ideal. Hopefully it will have some use against decks that don’t slot FC. Take FC itself… it’s a counter to on access agenda effects, but it’s also useful (less so now that NACH has rotated) for keeping The Source up if you are on that.

In general, if you are slotting a card to counter a counter only, then that’s a meta call. If you are slotting that card to guard against a counter to your strategy, but it also has use if their counter doesn’t show up, then you haven’t “wasted” a deck slot. That’s called making compromises in deck-building.


Given that FC is 1) too good at what she does 2) kinda boring and 3) completely necessary, I think the ideal approach would be to give her the Jackson treatment: spread weaker variations on the effect out across a few different cards and then get rid of her.

Of course, we haven’t yet seen any such cards in Kitara, so at this point they might just be planning to let this happen as part of the natural rotation process and just keep her restricted in the meantime.


Yeah, the restricted list is a good place for Critic, since it forces you to pay a high deckbuilding cost in order to have some matchups get easier (not solved - still have to find the damn thing and play it in time).


In an effort to pull this thread back to where it started, I think Restricted is where you put cards that you don’t want to see in every deck but are fine if some decks run them, especially since those decks had to skip the other Restricted cards. Interestingly, the Restricted list’s ability to regulate the popularity of powerful cards depends on the list itself - if it had two cards, and one is clearly stronger than the other, than it accomplishes nothing. The options on the list have to be compelling enough for it to feel like a choice, which then makes it a cost, and thus makes it successful.

Banned, on the other hand, is for cards that just shouldn’t be in the game, no matter what deckbuilding cost you’d have to pay for them. The relationship between Banned and Restricted is kind of interesting - cards in either list could ostensibly jump back and forth, but doing so has effects beyond the playability of the moving cards, as noted. Most importantly, banning a card accomplishes the necessary task of removing truly meta-warping cards from the pool, which contributes to meta health if done correctly.

We should also remember that the existence of B/R lists does not imply that every popular card is destined for it. The B/R lists are for outliers; in a perfect world it would be unnecessary.


I have a broader theory, that corp-side silver bullets don’t work in Netrunner. I guess because it’s easier for the runner to power-draw to find their silver bullets, and won’t flood their hand with agendas by doing so. So a runner hate card would have to be EVERYWHERE and awfully effective for the corps to bring a counter to that hate card. Like I said above, the only such corp card that’s seen widespread play in the history of the game is CVS. (Arguably Crisium Grid too, but it protects against a lot of things, so I wouldn’t count it as counter-hate.) See the fact that even the Comrades team who all ran Film Critic in their Val decks didn’t bother with Voter Intimidation in their PU/Obo deck.


I mean, I agree… but FC hate is also resource hate. And resources are in most Runner decks. If the Corp Game plan relies on Agendas firing on access effects (or scored/stolen effects) then bringing some FC hate is not a bad call because you should be able to use it even if they aren’t running FC. If they aren’t running any resources, then yes… you’ve run a dead card, but I believe having an answer to a hard-counter to your entire game plan that also works against other decks is worth it.

Like Crisium Grid, FC hate is going to be useful outside of the one resource that screws you.

I’m not going to guess as to why they didn’t slot FC hate in their decks, but there is an opportunity cost, even if everything I said above it true.



I hate it when Sanjay withdraws posts cause I really want to know what he thinks.



For the sake of satisfying curiosity, the specific point I had typed up was that there is an interesting dynamic that with Film Critic on the reserved list it is now more resilient to hate, because whereas it used to be if your deck got hosed by Film Critic you would absolutely import MCA Informant or Voter Intimidation, those card slots are harder to justify because you are going to see less Film Critic.

I decided to delete it because:

  1. I thought it was a bit redundant with what other people were saying
  2. That may not actually be correct


I agree with you.


I don’t think the fact that a lot of competitive decks in worlds don’t include a certain card is an argument against what I am trying to say exactly. My argument isn’t really that it is too strong in competitive play, it’s that it takes a lot of the fun and creativity out of the game.

Perhaps I overstated my case a bit and I didn’t really mean to make it just about Film Critic. It’s just a boring card that can remove a lot of interesting decisions from play. Even if it isn’t tipping the scales of the World Championships, why not embrace a banning philosophy of ‘make the game as good as interesting and strategic as it can be.’

Spreading the effect out over a few weaker cards, as someone suggested, seems like a more elegant long-term solution.

A weaker argument but one I would make is that I would even advocate for the banning of Rubicon Switch, even though it is not a deck that sees any competitive play and isn’t even really that good of a card. With the Amakua/GPI decks that are popular at the moment, just having a completely lock-down where the corp can’t rez ice by the mid-game is just a bad experience for a lot of games and players. The MWL list brought a lot of players to the game because it made the game more fun, maybe banning a few more might make it even more fun?

Likewise, Museum of History. It wasn’t popular at Worlds but it’s just a card that makes people groan and want to quit playing when they see it. What percent of the player base would be THAT disappointed to just see that disappear?

But to take the line of thought that a card dominating Worlds might be an argument that it imbalanced, wouldn’t the fact that so many decks played CI in the worlds final 16 be a strong argument for the banning of CI?

As far as Skorp being a counter to Maxx, I don’t think a counter to anything should be designed into an ID ability, but that is another design-topic. Skorp is the only ID that feels like it can be a hard-counter and it feels like a mistake they never made again.

And although the existence of Skorp didn’t rotate Maxx out of play, it has created a lot of games where one players sits down as Maxx, sees the other ID is Skorp and maybe feels almost ripped off before the game even starts. Is giving players that feeling sometimes a good thing for the game?

I’m getting ready for a store champ in a couple of weeks and I almost don’t even want to go because I know everyone is going to be playing CI. I would like to win a Store Champ, but I don’t really feel like spending a whole Saturday playing against degen CI combo decks all day. I know that a certain percent of players love the game BECAUSE they can play degen combo decks and they have a loud voice in the community as well. But when I try to get my wife, my brother or my friends into Netrunner, it’s a tough sell because for most people, most of the time, CI decks just aren’t very fun to play against.


Many of popular CI decks are nowhere near degen combos. Moons is asset spam, Stinson/Reversed Accounts is a bit of a glacier, Punitive is quite rushy. Of course Brain Rewiring is pure combo, but out of all popular CIs it’s also the easiest one to tech against, exactly because it is a combo.


From Quinns’ 2015 Netrunner piece in the Guardian:

Netrunner offers tense, fascinating and often surprising games, yes, but it also offers bottomless conversations. Whether you’re preparing for a tournament, unwinding afterwards or just chatting about new cards, old cards or this new deck that’s supposedly dominating Berlin, Netrunner is something you can endlessly theorise, argue and enthuse about.

It’s also hugely creative. My girlfriend (also a games writer) put together a piece about learning Netrunner, concluding: “It’s not about mastery. It’s about constant tinkering and experimentation.” That’s a much healthier place for a game to be in than the alternative – an oppressive realm of ego and competition.

From my perspective, here in 2018, the game seems all about oppressive egos and the designers that pander to them. Last one out turn out the light.


Care to name names?


The way I read @nutritionalzero’s post regarding “oppressive egos and the designers that pander to them” meant: there are players that can push the game in the direction of their whim because they hold the designers (Boggs and those who work under Boggs) in their pocket.

While I don’t believe that (assuming I inferred correctly), I could see how playtesters could curve the game in a particular direction based on their feedback to Boggs. IF there were Players with Oppressive Egos (PwOE) that were also playtesters, I could circle my way into this belief.

That said, in my mind that doesn’t totally square.

As for “turning out the light,” I don’t think it’s any surprise that ANR isn’t the “new hotness” that it once was. I think Team Covenant even talked about it a while back–what happens when an LCG enters it’s “mature star” phase.

Is the worldwide player base 15,000 players? Probably not. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are 5,000 players world wide who actively purchase all data packs on release. I’m okay with that.

Enter Music Analogy: One of my favorite bands is called Guster. I’ve been following/supporting their music since their second album. Their 3rd Album sold really really well and that propelled them into a particular level of success. Since then, their popularity has waned, HOWEVER, they are still successful enough that it makes sense for them to produce new music and go on tour. It makes sense financially for them to still be a band (and they can even support their families with their fan base being the [small] size that it is).

So my stance is this: The game is still fun and the active purchasing community is big enough to warrant FFG to continue to produce the game; even if ANR doesn’t burn the brightest and the hottest, it’s still the game I want to play more than anything with many other players who feel/think the same way.

Also, so I can make sure I stay on topic at least with one sentence–

I’m not too crazy about Turtles and GPI. I wonder if the slow-set up time is “Slow enough” to stop the inevitability that comes when that rig is set up.


I was making a general point which could be narrowed to a specific one if the reader cares to (and I’m also trolling a bit, because I like provoking arguments about Netrunner).

Netrunner no longer seems to be designed or maintained with the ambition that new players are a desirable thing for the game to have, that is to say beyond a state of temporary victimhood which leads to a swift exit.

The game’s makers have also clearly decided to put one definition of fun above another, and it’s one that favours oppressive play and ego-driven self-gratification over a shared experience that is designed to generate as much simultaneous fun for both players as possible. Too many eyeroll matchups, too many groan cards, too many games that leave one player sitting there doing nothing. And the critical mass of this BS keeps growing. Every time you print a card that says “net damage” on it, PU will want it. Every time you print a Infinity Mega Clearance that draws more and more cards, CI will want it.

There are a couple of ways to address this, but the most obvious one would be to be more aggressive with the ban and restricted list. In my estimation, you’d need to double the number of cards included and also rotate the cardpool more frequently. It’s not impossible, and there would still be plenty of fun to be had for “people” who gravitate to playstyles that are categorically un-fun for most opponents.

My advice is to cultivate a private or semi-private meta with a custom banlist. If you don’t like CI, don’t play with anyone who does.

Or, just Employee Strike then Rebirth into Omar. And bring Stimhack to use with Black Orchestra on the Fairchildren. This is my most consistent strategy for beating CI. CI is more fragile than you think, because the win is almost always in HQ, you just have to improve your odds of hitting it.

PU though? F§£¥k that s€]#at. Ban immediately.



I think Cache Refresh is a sign that they do want to make the game friendlier to new players and have a faster-rotating cardpool. And I’m pretty sure Damon said flat out in some interview that they now realize rotation should be faster. I assume they’re reluctant to actually introduce faster rotation too soon after the first rotation, but I do have hope that it will come at some point.


Since they made Cache Refresh only an informal side-event alternative for the people eliminated from the cut, I’m not sure you can take it as a larger statement of intent from “they”.

I agree that faster rotation would be good, and Damon may have agreed with that, but I don’t think we actually have any meaningful confirmation that “FFG” as a whole is headed that way.