Casual Netrunner & Genesis Era

Hi there. I bought Netrunner in 2012, managed to get the Genesis cycle and a decent amount of gaming back then and then life happened. Fast forward, it’s 2017, I want to get back to Netrunner and I find a staggering amount of expansions plus my only set of data packs is going out of the window.

So, for now me and my friends decided to play the game casual and keep the expansions limited just to get back to know the game and explore the possibilities of the “Genesis Era”, while slowly building up the collections, and maybe introduce some new players. Which data packs taken together with Genesis make for the “optimal” ANR game? By “optimal” I mean balanced without too many gimmicks or overly convoluted meta. So far I read somewhere on reddit that the “best” meta existed around the end of Lunar and that the game changed with SanSan. So - assuming this is true - I think of getting for now on top of Genesis:

The Deluxe Expansions

Would this be a good “Genesis Era” set to start with?

And, from someone for whom the arcane meta debates are still… well, arcane: is there some summary on how the game changed with the expansions?

If you’re just trying to play casually with a small group I wouldn’t worry too much about creating the ideal card pool, just get the sets you mentioned and enjoy it. You will create your own meta as you play together and learn not only the game but how each other person plays it.


This is a wonderful way to experience the game, and basically what I did. Years behind, my kitchen-table meta worked our way–at our own pace–through the data packs in order. We eventually “caught up” and it was a very enjoyable trip. I’m left with a nostalgia for earlier Netrunner, when the card pool was a bit more manageable. Enjoy the ride! There’s no wrong way to go as long as you are having fun. The key is keeping your fellow players interested, so you need to know what they are wanting to do.


Our gaming group is doing this right now. I bought A:NR in February, played with it for a couple of weeks with only one core set, then for a couple of weeks we proxyed the missing cards from the core set, then we added the Genesis cycle and we played with it for several weeks.
We added the first deluxe expansion and the second datapack cycle just a couple of days ago to our cardpool and I think everyone is a little bit overwhelmed right now, but still we had a couple of really nice and fun games. I really like the fact that Jinteki is a “strong” faction now.
After a few months (!) of deckbuilding and playing we will introduce the second deluxe set and the third datapack cycle at once, then after a couple of months the third deluxe box and the next datapack cycle and so forth. I already bought every datapack and deluxe box (even 2 more core sets), so we can go as slow or as fast with this as we would like to.

But I guess each of us is only familiar with the new cards from only 2-3 factions, the ones they play the most (for me they are HB & Shaper).

I think this is the best and most “organic” method of introducing A:NR to several people at once.
Sure if you would like to play with your friends who are already A:NR veterans it might be better to buy a tournament winner pack and expend upon that and jumping into the current meta, but deckbuilding is quite limited at first this way in my opinion and deckbuilding is half the fun for me in A:NR. :slight_smile:

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Great! Thank you for the answers. Commence the deck-tinkering. :grin:

Anybody play in Munich?

Try this München Netrunner Facebook group Redirecting...


There are players all over Germany! I’d recommend this group as it’s a bit more active than the city-based ones.


Another thing to keep in mind with a historical cardpool is the existence of the old Stimhack cubes from that era. Draft can be a ton of fun, even when neophytes are leery about building decks on the fly.

The oldest Stimhack cubes do include the Spin cycle, though.

If you think Jinteki is finally ‘strong’ now, wait until you unleash Honor and Profit.

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Unboxed H&P and it was like the sakura season of net damage opening. :heart_eyes:

Thanks. Haven’t played with cubes yet. Is there a cube where you can use the original IDs, or are all set to use Shadow and Masque?

FFG’s Hardwired draft set also came with a draft ID for each faction (example); those would probably be compatible with most cubes.

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The Spin Cycle was hit-or-miss, with heavy hitters like Jackson, Caprice, and faction economy like Sweeps Week, Sundew, and Celebrity Gift. Unfortunately, a lot of the cards are under the power curve. I was frustrated when I was buying Spin Cycle cards because I felt like I was just making my decks worse by trying them out.

Both Honor & Profit and Order & Chaos were fun expansions for their factions, and they included a handful of cards to use in other decks as well.

Lunar is a good choice. Blue Sun makes Oversight AI really good. Crisium Grid counters Account Siphon well. Quetzal is strong against rush decks, which should still exist in your meta. Earthrise Hotel is the best neutral draw card.

SanSan was my favorite cycle, so I’d encourage you to check out some of those. The Valley is usually one I suggest to folks just getting into the game because it helps to flesh out Jinteki, which is severely lacking in the Core Set. If you get H&P, that would accomplish the same thing.

Data & Destiny is really good for NBN, but the runner mini-factions are hard to pull off without a large card pool. You also get the 5/3 Global Food Initiative, which will be a 2-of in virtually every corp deck you make. Sunny makes Underworld Contacts really good.

Mumbad is murky water; you should probably avoid it. I will say that Corporate Sales Team is a godsend for corp deckbuilding because it’s the 4/2 that you’ve always wanted. Democracy and Dogma has the overpowered Political Assets, but those might be okay until you have other corp cards that allow recursion (Jackson, Museum of History, Preemptive Action, Friends in High Places). A lot of the rest of Mumbad is trash. Most card abilities are weak unless you build a very specific deck around them.

Avoid Flashpoint, as there are a lot of “deal with this or lose” cards that could turn off people to the game. Controlling the Message and Hard-Hitting News will make your friends stop playing. Aaron turns off all tagging strategies. Blood Money injects steroids into the runner side of your card pool. That said, the IDs are generally pretty interesting.

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Great summary. Thank you. Okay, so I’m going to have a peek at SanSan. Then what was it that made some players complain about SanSan? Did SanSan change the game significantly, or was it just Faust?

Is Mumbad and Flashpoint geared more towards competitive play?

I think Faust was the main “generally griped about” card from SanSan. DDoS is on the MWL now, but because it trashes itself it usually isn’t too bad unless you combine it with False Echo. Team Sponsorship is also a strong card with too high of a trash cost.

Other than that, there’s a lot of strong cards and neat strategies!