Do we need more ICE?

I don’t know about you, but I was getting pretty bored of seeing assets in this cycle. There was a common feeling with people I talked to that we were getting out of whack with quintessential Netrunner, because the ICE suites were pretty stagnant and if anything, now under-powered compared to the mighty runner.

Asset spam decks have, unsurprisingly, got a lot more popular and with councilman and political operative, sticking a Caprice down the end of a remote is no longer the answer it used to be.

Don’t get me wrong, a quick Palana build can still be tasty, but in the Regionals in Birmingham this weekend, despite plenty of Palana and HB, it was still more NEH that made the top 8 cut and took top spot (albeit the winning deck was a pretend asset spam kill deck!).

We’ve no idea what kind of crazy crackers stuff Damon will deliver for his first cycle - I personally believe that any new developer will want to stamp their own mark on the game though.

Are we going to see more ICE? Do we need it? What should it look like?

The new Weyland code gate looks interesting and I like the trashable ICE for Jinteki (although given the current Whizzard dominance, having ICE that can be trashed doesn’t seem strong!), so there are potentially good things coming. Will it be enough?

Having ICE that trashes for 1 credit seems like the developers aren’t really paying attention, to be honest. New GOOD ICE is needed, we have enough salvage.

EDIT: I’m going to amend this statement by saying that I don’t think the developers are being stupid, or making foolish decisions, but we just don’t need any more binder fodder. Competitive netrunner needs to evolve past the deck building stage, which is where I think a heavy emphasis is now being placed.


It would be interesting to have something like an ICE that draws a card when rezzed, or something of that nature. Something that has the ICE interact in a way other than pure subroutines. I think that would incentivize people to move away from the asset-spam decks. Right now, people seem to like tons of assets because they have powerful effects, and it’s hard to fit cards in corp decks because you need to cut cards somewhere, and that somewhere tends to be ICE.


It’s interesting just how many things are driving the meta sideways/away from ICE. On top of getting less ICE cards in packs and supporting horizontal IDs, WhizzBiz’ concentration of ICE destruction makes it a dangerous investment at both the deckbuilding and tactical stages. Each install and rez had better be worth it, becuase you can’t count on it being broken much at all. Add in that you’re evaluating most ICE against a single breaker, and boiling it down to only a few of the most troublesome inclusions is pretty understandable.

It’s a bit like the anarch suite: not one piece by itself is trouble, but all together they skew the game pretty hard. I honestly don’t think the asset love would be bad for the game if THE Runner deck didn’t also make ICE feel like a burden. This goes for stuff like Timmy’s SYNC too. You interact with the runner through non-ICE aspects of the game. I love that these “alternate” strategies got love. I wish the bread and butter wasn’t getting hurt at the same time.


People are playing asset spam in a meta dominated by Whizzard. Three credits every turn is a big, big deal.

Right. Which just shows how powerful the ice destruction plan is, and how powerful assets have become: people are willing to play asset spam against Whizzard because the assets are so strong and the ice destruction so devastating.


A few more indestructible ICE would go a long way.
More anti-AI will establish real ™ breaker suites again.
More encounter effects too, because they are cool.


Can’t agree enough with everything. You know what card especially encourages low ice counts? Mumba Temple. 15 ice versus the 17 most people usually play isn’t really much of a drawback. I had hoped more people would play things like midway station grid and ruhr valley and strongbox, but it seems assets are better to spam than upgrades. Would a card that gave any Corp the Gagarin ability that cost at least 2 influence to Weyland be good?

i quite like spamming upgrades rather than assets because at least with upgrades I can put them at the bottom of a nasty server and force whiz to pay to trash them all.

The only problem I have with it, is that Mumba Temple basically pays for all the over costed upgrades in the game that do interesting things, but it’s an asset, so you have to protect it against pretty much everyone, especially Whizz. I just want to see upgrades that aren’t Ash, Caprice and CVS in tournament play. The netrunner streams are getting old fast.

Some Jenteki sentries that are 4 strength would be good.

like Cortex lock ?


Or an expensive version of patch for Jinteki that gives 3 str to unrezzed ice and gives it an etr. That would be dreamy. It could even trash itself at end of turn. Does anyone else find themselves thinking about the imaginary card thread after talking about stuff like this? Haha

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You know what, I’d actually like to see some big, fat sentries for Jinteki, like 5 str 2+ subs. Susanoo no Mikoto saw quite a lot of play at one point, then D4v1d happened. Simply have two subs would make those sort of ICE a lot better.

Yes considering PE’s old ice sweet is pretty useless with just a mimic drop. Although we are seeing less mimic now that the game shrinking architect is gone but even a 4 strength that had a bit of a tax to it maybe 3 subroutines or something that cost more the1 credit to break would be nice in faction.

I think Navi Mumbai City Grid might be worthwhile in Jinteki

Splashing NBN cards and more upgrades isn’t really where I was going with this thread… :wink: I think we need more options and different varieties.

I’d like to see some Weyland with face-check penalties or curious HB oddities that aren’t as powerful as Eli, but more use than Sherlock.

Maybe self-repairing ICE, or ICE that increments or varies in Strength or Subs with time. NEXT is a good idea, but Parasite ruins it. I reckon there’s space for one more NEXT type.

I’m sure there are lots of options that can be ICE specific, so they’re just playable within ICE suites themselves without needing support. That’s what I’d like to see anyway.

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I laughed when I realized I forgot what this thread was about after posting that. Yes, it needs more ice. Ice that compliments the existing ice is even better. The more advancable ice there is, the more difficult it is to run it and have a reasonable idea of what it is. But you’re still going to have problems like parasite and weyland barriers, so there definitely needs to be non ice support too.

Ravana 1.0 might be pretty good there. If you can rez another Bioroid you have a pretty brutal 5 strength(!) code gate with two versatile subroutines for a mere 3 credits.

We truly are deep into the code gate pit.

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NullYog meta

It seems to me that the runner needs three things to happen to win, in descending order of importance (I think… Could make an argument to reverse 2/3 and in some metas 1 isn’t as much of an issue):

  1. not get killed
  2. deny Corp remote to the greatest extent possible
  3. achieve random accesses at a favorable rate of exchange with the Corp

Leaving aside #1 (could be amply discussed with a review of recent crop of regionals winners since killing runners seems to be a thing again), the significance of ICE really becomes prominent in the second two.

Currently, the most effective (or at least fastest) remote busting strategy (Faust plus whatever support structure one deems fit) and the most efficient random access strategy (ICE destruction) are both native to one faction.

Designing ICE that is more resistant to destruction and AI would go a long way toward diversifying the Runner meta, and even diversifying the Anarch meta.

Of course, this must be done very cautiously in order to avoid a situation where the Corp just becomes dominant over a group of diversely weak Runners. Improvement in other aspects of the Runner’s game is the other part of the equation. This is the part that makes me nervous given FFG limited development resources.

OK, I am done collecting and summarizing what everyone else has already said.

EDIT: one positive suggestion… consider making some more powerful ICE “one per deck.” Then you won’t have to put it on the MWL later. Or just cost it appropriately in the first place. Or rotate more frequently to restrain power creep.