Best "fair" decks

In another thread, someone wrote that there are no viable “fair” decks right now. The writer asserted that all the decks we have at the moment are some variation of the latest OP combo beating out the last OP combo.

I’m not sure if that critique is valid, but I am curious what people think of as “fair” decks and what are the best “fair” decks out there.

If you had to name the the best fair runner and fair corp, what would you point to? Why those decks?


I think a case could be made by anyone that any deck isn’t fair…is it fair that ETF can trash Advanced Assembly Lines on the runner’s turn and gain 1? Is it fair that Kate can trash clone chip on the corp’s turn and get her discount? Those are two of the classic netrunner decks and things about them don’t feel fair at times, but that’s the game! I honestly don’t get all the “the game’s not fair” talk! Are there decks that aren’t fun to play/play against? Sure! But in all honesty, that’s the nature of a game! There are different play styles for different players. It’s funny how none of the “broken decks” were really played successfully at worlds. Yes it was a lot of Orange and Yellow, but if worlds happened today, I think some of that Orange would be Green and Blue and some of the Yellow may be Green or even Purple/Jinteki with Friends in High Places recently released. I know people are invested in this game and have been and will continue to be. I get that some games don’t turn out to be fun due to the matchup, but with different faction strategies and different play styles within those factions you’re bound to have strategies that are overbearing. It’s like a UFC match where one fighter wants the knockout, but never gets the chance because the other guys wants to lay down and wrestle the entire time…I find that latter very boring, but it’s a style! It’s just that!

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With barely a surface knowledge of the current meta I vote for power tap Andy and CTM. The issue of ctm is that it’s just too efficient, not that it’s unfair.

“Fair” vs. “Unfair” is a distinction from Magic, and it isn’t at all about how powerful certain effects are, but rather whether they break the game’s typical conventions. For example, typically runners assemble icebreakers and make several runs over many turns, progressively getting enough accesses to find 7 points. A deck like Dyper is “unfair” because it breaks those conventions; it spends the entire game setting up in order to win all in one turn, and win in a manner that’s very different from how runners usually win, and very difficult for the corp to interact with. Before the MWL, Datasucker Andy was much stronger than Dyper has ever been, but it was still a “fair” deck because it had a more conventional gameplan, even though that game plan was incredibly powerful.


When I see “unfair” used in this context, I read “decks I don’t like to play against”. It’s too loaded a term to achieve any kind of objective response.


I agree, i never aimed to say that any decks were ‘unfair’. That is a very loaded statement.

I certainly see where the resentment is coming from however, but i suggest you solve this in your local metas by making clear to your opponent what type of game you’d like to enjoy before playing them.

If playing competitive or in a tournament then you have to expect that opponents will bring strong options that are available.

It is never the fault of players what decks are strong, and you should not let the feeling bleed over on them. You can however avoid playing against them, or ask them to play another deck.


To answer the question though, I regard Consulting Visit Blue Sun as both strong and fair. Likewise hybrid fast advance HB, and probably spiky Palana depending on the meta.

On the runner side, anydeck that runs off of Temujin, or non-Val Siphon decks. Baba Yaga Smoke is an example of the former, Siphon Omar the latter. There are other decent econ options as well, but you need a lot to slow down asset decks.

Edit: Forgot to mention NBN, imho Worlds CTM and even Boom! Sync are pretty fair and obviously strong. This might be more subjective.

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I played against a Consulting Visit Blue Sun deck before I went on Netrunner hiatus. It was a blast to play against, even if I learned about Best Defense the hard way by leaving an SMC on the table.

‘Fair’ and ‘Unfair’ are actually jargon terms. In Netrunner, it’s analogous to saying that a deck ‘plays Netrunner’. It means what was said before; Fair means that a deck does traditional Netrunner things like Run on Remotes, try and establish a lock on some server, and leverage it to victory, or else build up enough ICE/Upgrades to be able to score out of a Remote. ‘Unfair’ decks don’t Play Netrunner, instead they get 7 points in one turn (CI7 or Dyper) or otherwise ‘subvert’ the rules of the game to get a win. (Any deck that wins through Power Shutdown, or by getting a whole bunch of clicks in one turn…)

So, that said, ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’ have nothing to do with how the player feels playing against them, only what the deck’s win strategy is: Traditional Run to Score or Glacier (some, including me, count Fast Advance in Traditional Netrunner.)

The only unfair runner decks right now are En Passant Val and Dyper. The strongest Fair deck is either Power Tap Andy or Temujin Whizz.

There’s a bunch more unfair Corp decks right now, because it’s way easier to do an unfair deck on the Corp side, since Runners aren’t guaranteed 7 points even if they can get into every server ever. You have Yellow Railgun decks, that use Power Shutdown + BOOM! to kill, CI7 obviously, and you can make an argument that IG49 is ‘unfair’ by this definition… For the most part, Corp decks are more likely to be Unfair because Runners are more likely to be able to deal with Fair Corps. The strongest Fair Corp is CtM, as it requires a bunch of tech to bring the matchup to almost even, and then you have Blue Sun, HB decks (AoT and ETF are… roughly similar.), and the PE that always exists on the sidelines.


Agree with most of that, though CTM is on the border of that Fair/Unfair divider, as it does not generally “build up enough ICE/Upgrades to be able to score out of a Remote”. It’s favorite way to get to 7 involves voluntarily letting the runner steal one of it’s agendas, then playing a combo to score those points (tag + EoI for a GFI). It’s not deep in “Unfair” territory, but it’s not really trying to “Play Netrunner” in the classic sense either.

Suggestion for current Strong-but-Fair Corp deck, spags just posted Sandvich.

It tries to protect its servers with ICE, including asset econ like Adam/Eve, tries to get a SanSan grid up, and uses Friends In High Places to recover from asset or ICE trashing rather than for pure asset-spam lock.


His Sol build is very ‘fair’ too IMO. Solid no frills or nonsense Corp deck with a high skill ceiling.


I’m the most fair player in existence.


Next can you point me to your favorite (or your newly created) Shaper “fair” deck? I’m dying to hear some expert opinion on the strongest standard Shaper solutions to the current meta.

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@aandries keeps running this back at me, and it keeps crushing. I think his latest build is even meaner. Don’t quote me, but I think it’s -2 Hopper, -1 Dyson, -1 Networking, +3 Rabbit Hole, +1 Career Fair/Clone Chip. I do know it 5-0’d a SC last month.


Yikes, that’s a lot of money. Full drip, 8 burst econ (Career Fair, Gamble, Casts) AND Opus on top of that! And 6 link, just to be sure.

I can see why you’d dump Networking for sure.


Networking was for the Worlds CTM/HHN meta.

The real killer here are the 3 possible Vamps.

Congress-Vamp kate vs Blue Sun is probably my favourite matchup atm. I think the Kate list was similar.