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Chronos - fast rotation format proposal

In various discussions about the state of the meta, I’ve noticed people suggesting that faster rotation might help with some of the current common complaints. I think that would be interesting to explore in a more concrete way, so here’s a proposal for a fast rotation format.

I’m calling the proposed format Chronos, because it’s based on deliberate forgetting, and because having a name makes it easier to talk about. I am not opposed to changing the name if someone suggests something better.

Here are the goals I think this format should have:

  • Have a very different meta - This is the main idea behind TheBigBoy’s 45-card ban list format, which turned out to be pretty interesting, so let’s copy it.
  • Have a much more dynamic meta - This is a big part of what would set it apart from the 45-card ban list, I think.
  • Have a lower power level - Hopefully this will help keep games interactive, as that’s a big thing people have been complaining about.
  • Be easier & cheaper for new players to get into
  • Be future-proof (or at least future-resistant) - That is, try to avoid things that would definitely need ongoing management, such as a format-specific ban list or restricted list that would need to be updated regularly.
  • Be simple - I think it will be easier to get people to try a new format if the format rules can be explained in quickly and easily.

With the above goals in mind, here is my proposal for the format:

  • No data packs outside of the two newest released or partially released cycles are allowed
  • Decks can only use one core set - This will help keep the meta different, by making it harder to implement some common standard archetypes. It will also help with keeping the cost of entry low.
  • The deluxe expansions are allowed
  • The MWL applies - Many of the cards on the MWL will be either already rotated out or limited to one or two copies per deck, but Parasite and Clone Chip won’t be affected by the above restrictions at all, and limiting Yog.0 to two copies probably won’t do much. So I think using the MWL will help with keeping the power level down.

What do other people think? Would you be interested in trying a fast rotation format? Do you think there will be enough cards at the low point of the rotation?

[Edit: I’ve changed the what-packs-are-allowed bit at the suggestion of other people. Here’s the original of that part of the proposal, preserved so that the discussion of it still makes sense:

  • When the third data pack of a cycle is released, the previous cycle rotates out - This means there will be three to eight data packs legal at any given time. I think three will be just barely enough to not be entirely maddening. Keeping the number of allowed data packs as small as possible will help with both keeping the meta dynamic and keeping the cost of entry low.]

Seems interesting. So as of now, what would be allowed? Just 1 core and mumbad cycle?

I think the lack of id’s could be a challenge, but worth a shot.

Not quite that minimal: one core, all the deluxe expansions, and Mumbad. I’ll edit my post to make it clear that the deluxes are included.

I’m curious how the Meta would look like if:

-All big boxes were legal

-the last 12 datapacks were legal

And that’s it.

I thought about doing the last x data packs, but the problem is that then some decks become illegal every time a data pack is released, so you can never take last month’s deck to your local Netrunner night without checking if it’s still legal. Rotating an entire cycle at a time means that five times out of six, if you’re too busy to update your decks as soon as a data pack is released, you can still play them.

I think it’d be totally fine if the last 2 cycles were legal, along with Deluxes and a single Core. Furthermore, I think it would be interesting to entertain the idea of all IDs being legal at all times. If a card comes out that Quetzal could use (whatever that would be), she could use it (but for ~2 cycles).

Any particular reason why you chose the third pack to trigger rotation? As you say, volatility is kind of the point, but it seems like the meta could shift in particularly weird ways if you’re rotating in the middle of a cycle. I mean, look no further than Mumbad…retiring Drive By (and all of SanSan) as soon as Democracy and Dogma hit would not have been pleasant. (edit: even though IG would be long gone, of course)
Might it be better if it was the last pack instead? 6-11 is a little more than 3-8, but I don’t think unreasonably so.

I like the idea of faster rotation, but I think it should just be ‘the most recent two cycles’ to make it simpler. So if we’re halfway through a cycle, we have 1.5 available, if we’re just beginning a cycle, you have 1 cycle + 1 pack available, etc.

As a Desperado player, I hate the idea of restricting to 1 core too, though it would certainly achieve the goal of making Crim players user other consoles better than the MWL did!


For the third pack thing, I was mostly just trying to make the card pool as small as reasonably possible. But it sounds like most people would prefer the last two cycles or so, so let’s go with that. That’s still a fairly small card pool. I’ll edit the first post so it has the last two cycles as the main proposal.

Hmm, maybe. On the one hand, allowing any older cards seems counter to the goal of keeping the cost of entry low. On the other hand, IDs are the one place where fan-alts are most widely accepted, so people probably wouldn’t actually have to buy them. And most players could probably borrow a less-new player’s spare copies if they did need an official copy of an ID for some reason.

On the other other hand, at the current moment in time, a format that bans Whizzard and IG might appeal to more people.

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I think the biggest problem with single core is that it introduces more variance based on whether you draw one-of power cards like Desperado or SanSan. Restricting cards to single copies like that may be beneficial for the overall meta, but it makes individual games more luck-based.


I like a format like this much better than the other alternative formats people have proposed. The main problem I see with it is that some factions got shafted with their Deluxe, so those might be underrepresented. HB, Weyland (though without D4 the Space Ice are probably pretty ok) and Crims (Sec testing without Desperado isn’t so hot, not much more in theirs). The single core restriction also hinders some tactics more than others (Astrobiotics, Scorches, Noiseshop and as menitoned Crims in general)

Isn’t that about right, though? If there was anybody in core who needed a lackluster Deluxe, it’s ETF and Crim. Shaper and Jinteki on the other hand got a well-deserved boost, and yeah Weyland may have gotten shafted, but the limited meat damage protection in this format (and, as you say, D4v1d) should make a big difference.
I appreciate the concern about core set singletons being overly swingy, but what if, as a compromise, the one-ofs were two-of? That way you can have your two SanSans and two Desperados, but you’re still limited to two Astros, two Account Siphons, two Scorches… It loses both some simplicity and ease of entry, but it’s not too hard to add to the end of the explanation “aaand you’re allowed one proxy of each of these eleven cards (of which you only want like three anyways)”

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Could be that the ones with bad deluxes are the ones above the power curve otherwise/in core. Pretty sure that’s the case for ETF because the ability is always so good. You might be right about meat damage, but there’s IHW for Anarchs and it still messes up the double Scorch play.

I think some tactics might be OP in this format because the cycles aren’t designed to be played this way. Off the top of my head Apocalypse focused decks might be way too good because there’s no Crisium or Caprice to stop the runs and Eater gets through all ice as there’s no Wraparound or Turing or Swordsman and no Hostile Infrastructure as a last line of defense. Put it in MaxX and you’ve got a deck that’s pretty good even now, but kept in check by the ubiquity of all 6 of the above counters. Remove the counters and it could get out of hand easily. Could be there’s still ways to play vs this type of deck (there’s no Keyhole, so the punishment after Apoc isn’t necessarily that great), but that’s just the first thing to come to mind - there’s bound to be others.


There’s still Medium, though. I think there are several decks you describe which would be super strong, but are kept in check by particular cards (see the recent Gang Sign deck which just took over BB45 due to no Jackson) which will be a problem for any rotation format. A way to deal with this might be to designate certain cards (Crisium Grid, Plascrete) as “evergreen”, meaning that they were always legal despite their age, and (to keep barrier to entry low) always ok to proxy.

But in all seriousness, I think it sounds kinda fun, although very, very card light. I have a feeling most decks would look very, very similar as a result, since there would only be a small number of “good” cards to be played. Different formats can be kinda fun in non-serious environments.


just deleted a very long response because it basically boils down to this. In particular, I think the “good” deluxes and even the core set will suck the air out of the room and mean that the cycle cards will have very little impact on the meta of such a format.

It’d be fun to play, but doesn’t feel like it’ll be something I come back to. BB45 might require maintainance but I do think it’s been making for a great alternative to unrestricted play that our group keeps coming back to; having somebody who’s really tuned into the nuts and bolts of the game making calculated changes at least makes for a very fresh but still “designed” experience.


Ok, so I can think of four ways to deal with the core and deluxes being too strong in this format:

  1. @presheaf’s suggestion: Allow some silver bullet cards to stay legal forever.

  2. Some sort of restricted or ban list.

  3. A rule that flat out forces people to use cards from data packs, such as “any deck with cards from more than one deluxe expansion must contain at least eight cards from data packs.”

  4. Do some experimenting to see how much this is actually a problem, then choose how to deal with it based on the results.

I think (1) and (2) might be ok in terms of maintenance level, because it seems like the main concern is with core and deluxe cards, so hopefully few or no updates to the list of cards affected would be needed in the long term.

(3) is a bit of a blunt instrument, but it’s fairly simple, it shouldn’t need maintenance, and it avoids any arguments about which cards to target. The exception for decks that don’t use multiple deluxes is for cost-of-entry reasons; so far no one has suggested a likely problem deck that only uses one deluxe.

(4) would probably be my first choice. I’m not denying that this might be a problem, but I’d like to see more concrete data before we decide what to do about it.

Would consider it when it’s easy otherwise what is the benefit of this idea?
My question is, what do you aim for and how do reach this and are all those adoption useful to achieve this goal?

The overall goal would be to have a format that would appeal to people who have issues with the current format.

More specifically, as I described in the first post, the main goals would be a different, more dynamic meta, a lower power level, and a lower cost of entry. This is because the complaints I’ve seen the most of about standard Netrunner are that the meta sometimes doesn’t change very quickly, that some players find very powerful decks unfun to play or to play against, and that there are a lot of cards to buy.

The goals of having the format be low-maintenance and simple are there for practical reasons, to make it easy for people to pick up and to avoid depending on anyone to maintain it. As you said, it should be easy.

I think most of the proposals above relate to the goals pretty clearly. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to clarify?