So, I used to play a lot of Netrunner, and I was pretty good (though never amazing). I last played during the Lunar Cycle, during a period where the meta was IMO very boring. When Conquest came out, it basically stole my heart (if you haven’t tried Conquest, you should - it’s super awesome), and since then I haven’t really felt any motivation to get back into Netrunner, since I like Conquest more recently and the Netrunner meta felt pretty stale.
However, the local guys tell me that the game and the meta has become much more interesting since Honor and Profit and SanSan Cycle came out.
Is this true? If so, how should I ease myself back into Netrunner? I think Conquest will still be my main competitive game, but I’d like to avoid embarrassing myself when it comes to Netrunner!
I assume by Honor and Profit you mean Order and Chaos, but yes, I think the meta is a lot more interesting than it was during early Lunar cycle. NEH/Andy are no longer the undisputed kings by any means. RP and Kate are probably the most popular corps/runners these days, though we see a lot of ETF, still NEH, and some Blue Sun as well on the corp side, and the runner side sees Leela, Andy, MaxX, and even Whizzard lately. I personally am a fan of the new Shaper runner Hayley, too.
Order and Chaos and the SanSan cycle have introduced a ton of the ideas and abilities, and I personally feel like the game is in a really good spot right now. I’m looking forward to seeing how people use the new HB Brain Damage ID, too. If you got out because you felt like the meta was stale, then feel free to come back, because it is definitely not stale anymore.
@dodgepong’s assessment is accurate. Many deck archetypes and IDs are playable now, and there is not a clear “best” among them. While PPVP Kate and RP might be the most popular - and are very strong - you can’t say they are obviously better than alternatives. Anarch is strong right now, and you can succeed with any ID, although some are superior to others. Shaper only has a few builds that have found success right now, and most Criminal seems to be weak with the exception of Andromeda; but in general, it’s working out OK.
On the Corp side, all the factions have winning and competitive archetypes (Standard RP, Bootcamp Glacier out of Weyland - Blue Sun, Various HB builds and NEH, either Astrobiotics or Butchershop), so you have some options on that end. There aren’t many ID choices that most would consider “competitive”, but some are definitely interesting and can throw players for a loop if played well.
Sounds cool. Are there specific power cards that I should be aware of from the latter portion of Lunar onward? In particular, what ICE should I be watching out for as a runner? Is the trend still towards taxing multi-sub ICE like Komainu or Tsurugi?
every thing is in the state of flux for ice, as net ready eyes is bringing yog more back into the meta, best thing you can do is just look at the winning decklist (corp ones) to see whats happening there.
Too many viable runners to list :), but butchershop NEH is a beast!
I think the most important new ICE you need to be aware of is the set of geniuses: Crick, Gutenberg, Turing, Meru Mati. They all have a preferred server, and get a huge strength boost if you place them there - pushing their already decent value for the rez cost into utterly insane levels.
The other card I feel you definitely should be aware of as runner is Blacklist (and you need to know that it stops Same old Thing from working, too).
Depends - it’s not the god button it once was, because they’ll make you fold particularly hard to Stealth decks, which are actually viable thanks to Clot.
edit: oh, the ID breakdown:
Tier 1 are RP, NEH, ETF.
Tier 1.5 is BS
Tier 2 is a lot of stuff, it’s more about the build than it is about the ID
Tier 1 is Kate.
Whiz and Leela are either Tier 1 or Tier 1.5, depending on who you ask.
Reina and MaxX seem to be firmly in Tier 1.5
Tier 2 same as corps
Oh, one other question - are kill decks dead? If not, what do they look like now? When I was playing previously PE was quite good and was beginning to be recognized as such. Did I’ve Had Worse put the kibosh on that?
Pre-Paid Voicepad Kate (PPVP Kate, also called Blitz Kate or Calimsha Kate)
Reg-Ass MaxX (article can be found on Stimhack.com)
Grim Feast Valencia (article can be found on Stimhack.com)
Val’s Pals (primarily @steve_houston and others)
Andy Sucker (Andromeda + Datasuckers)
Keyhole MaxX (Siphon Spam + Eater + Keyhole)
Good stuff Whizzard (Whizzard + general-use good cards)
Reina Headlock (Crescentus, Xanadu, and Lamprey to keep the corp poor and ICE un-rezzed)
Noiseshop (Noise + Aesop’s Pawnshop + Viruses)
Arguably, all of these at least tier 2, possibly higher.
Important New Cards: Net-Ready Eyes, Clot, Keyhole, Blackmail, I’ve Had Worse, Adjusted Chronotype, Eater, Symmetrical Visage
New IDs: MaxX, Valencia Estevez, Edward Kim, Hayley Kaplan
"Standard" Glacier RP (self-defending agendas, with Caprice Nisei and Nisei Mk II)
Rush RP (as above, but faster)
Bootcamp Glacier (article on Stimhack.com)
Glacier HB (Typically strong Bioroids with asset economy and Breaker Bay Grid)
Rush HB (Typically with Biotic Labor, Director Haas, or Mandatory Upgrades)
NEH Astrobiotics (Near-Earth Hub with Astrotrain and Biotic Labor - the one you know and love )
NEH Butchershop (NEH with a Midseasons-Scorched gameplan)
BS Murder (Weyland Blue Sun with murder tools)
Important New Cards: Blacklist, Breaker Bay Grid, Cortex Lock, Crick, Cyberdex Virus Suite, Gutenberg, Traffic Accident, Turing
New IDs: Argus Security, Cybernetics Division, Gagarin Deep Space, Jinteki Biotech, Titan Transnational
PE had the kibosh because of a combination of IHW and Keyhole, which doesn’t actually access while trashing stuff from R&D. Also, Parasite became more popular again, and much of the ICE PE used was vulnerable to it. Kill decks now focus on getting up a lot of money and giving the runner a catch-22: either I score this agenda, or if you steal it, I will Midseason/SEA Source you, and kill you. IHW makes it harder, but hardly impossible.
Leela is quite strong, both ladies are fighting for the title of the Queen of the Blue faction.
Most kill decks you will see nowadays are NEH Butchershop - a very strong deck that relies on the runner stealing an agenda while being taxed out and losing a midseasons trace. However, many of Butchershop decks pack SanSan, thus making the ‘install Breaking News on SanSan, advance with Astro token, score, have 2 clicks remaining’ play possible. Also, Blue Sun kill decks (with SEA Source, Midseasons or both) and also the occasional Argus.
I would definitely say that for 95% of the players, the best ID is the one they are most comfortable playing with and know the deck inside out. Be it Kate/Andy/Leela/whatever. They are all very reasonable to play and winning a tournament always includes at least some luck in a crucial moment(s).