Has Netrunner finally moved beyond "good stuff" decks?

For most of Netrunner’s life, the best decks have simply been “good stuff” decks, which more or less include the standard strong cards and play from there. This was especially true for runners, since almost all corps were vulnerable to the same set of things. To me, it seems like we may finally be moving beyond this phase and into one where evaluating the meta and constructing your deck accordingly is actually important. What do you guys think?


i agree 100%. just made some suprising corp deck that i win with here a lot and its nowhere close to anything ‘standard’.

Some factions are there (Shapers, Jinteki), others have some way to go still (Criminal, NBN).
Deckspace has started to become a real issue for runners which is good, but I wouldn’t say that much about the worlds meta since NEH is distorting it quite a bit.

imo people had tunnel vision and even dont try out other possibilities. neh is good? neh had X% of worlds? damn, ill play neh too! here we go, snowball…

tennin was undefeated at worlds. this mean something.

Yes, it means exactly what @Kingsley describes - you can’t build a runner deck good vs both Rush/FA and Glacier anymore, so you choose. Most of the field was going to be Rush/FA, so the Glaciers had really smooth sailing.

Problem is, I’m not so certain this is a good thing for Netrunner. Even in extremely good matchups, you’re still victim to variance - runners perhaps a bit more than corps. Add to this that Runners are the ones who are more reactive, as far as deckbuilding goes. Going from this, if you create an environment where you can’t have a reasonable matchup against everything, then a significant amount of time the game will end up being unfun.

I guess what I’m saying is that I feel the ideal state of balance for the game is a situation where runners decide between “reasonable matchup vs everything” and “better vs. something at the cost of worse vs. something” (with the tradeoff being a conscious choice). Now, obviously last year wasn’t there, this year isn’t either. Will O&C have enough runner tricks to achieve this? We’ll see.


I’m not saying that other corps decks where not as good (they where, arguably even better than NEH), just that the problem with NEH was that you needed to adapt your runner decks so much to even have a fighting chance and that gave you worse odds against the rest of the field. And even then you get some matches where NEH just wins like my game against @mediohxcore (round 6 of the swiss at worlds).

I think Selverins deck is awesome (playtested with it this weekend), but if I was to classify it it would be as another glacier deck that took advantage of the runners gearing for speed while being really strong against the common Andy builds in particular. It will also be almost unplayable once Clot comes around.


I would say getting away from “good stuff” is true for corporations. They have enough cards to focus the decks more for different strategies (but NBN good stuff has almost only been the FA advance cards so this is more of a design flaw). Runners hasn’t got the same treatment. Runner deck has to be all-around good stuff deck if it wants to beat majority of the corporations. Good stuff Andy has been almost the same deck for over a year. You can focus the runner deck more against FA or Glacier but this isn’t usually so big change of strategy. I would welcome new kind of running strategy with new breakers. I liked the Atman version but it got a bit too weak especially with Wraparound. Stealth/Caissa breaker suite is still a bit too underdeveloped. Corroder, Yog.0 and Mimic is still very common. I think the degenerate NEH FA has to be made a much weaker until we see more diverse runner strategies. Too many runner strategies are almost auto loss against it and “good stuff” aggro deck is almost only deck which can beat it.


I would like to see more tutors for runners to make them more reactive. I like Netrunner when the corp creates a puzzle what runner has to solve. It becomes boring if runner doesn’t have the tools for solving it. Now you have to choose focusing against FA or Glacier and you can almost forfeit if you picked the wrong one. Tutors allows changing the focus in middle of match and not during the deck building. I feel this might make the runner decks more diverse with totally new running strategy also. Also tutoring the right card in right situation needs a lot of playing skill. I feel reprinting this card from the old Netunner would maybe help with the “good stuff” problem by allowing Runner to play more diverse cards:


Isn’t that what we have? If you want a reasonable matchup vs. everything, you play Kate-- if you want to be better against specific things you play Andy and optimize for either going fast or going inetiable.


I feel like with Blue Sun, we’ve gotten to the point where even Kate cannot be good vs. everything anymore - each member of the set {NEH, RP, BS, PE} requires completely different tools to have a matchup I’d consider “reasonable”, with the various HB variants further muddying up the waters.

(also, there’s the argument that if you bother to create a game with three runner factions, each of them should be playable, preferrably in more than one way… but I digress)


Spot on, these are the big 4, and Kate can get very good matchups against two of them, sit decently against a third, but she’ll be bad against whichever is left over. You can’t deal with all the different directions the corp pulls you currently. But I think that’s changing, and Leela is a similar generalist, because of the inbuilt defense she has against super fast decks, you can build against glacier a bit more. She’s almost automatically good against Blue Sun and PE, and solid vs NEH, without even trying to build for it.


The other option being that no matter what corp deck you’re playing, its unfun to play corp right? I’d rather every deck have a good match up against something than have runners that have a good match up against everything.

This is why I have been all up on the case of “silver-bullet” design counters. Rock-paper-scissors is great but it’s not fun if you can only pick a subset of the options :). I’m with Ahein: runners definitely need more tutors, and not crappy ones.

Bottom line: if netrunner wants to be 55-45 balanced, it should be 55 runner, 45 corp, because the corp game is one of inevitability, and games of inevitability aren’t fun for most people.


I wouldn’t be so sure. With the release of Cerberus “Lady” H1 Kate can free up two precious influence points to help her at least somewhat cover the whole big 4. I am testing the lady and so far haven’t missed my Corroder a bit.

are you running Cereberus H1 and… Snowball? Or just burning CCs on the H1?

I’ve been playing snowball over corroder for a while to get influence, I still prefer it over Lady against Blue Sun. If I didn’t care about Blue Sun, I’d still just play Inti.

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burning pawning cloning

Not an incorrect analysis of the current competitive game state, but not reassuring. When your options for a good runner are limited to 2, something is amiss.

Forget factions a moment. You have rush decks, fast advance decks, glaciers, heavy scorch options, ADR combo decks… dozens of others… The deck you are constructing is your bet that you can read the meta and reach a favorable outcome.

So, one option is specialization against likely deck types. Another option is genuinely good against a wide variety of decks. The fact that Kate performs well against a wide variety but not all, does not necessarily mean that something is amiss.


I think you missed my point.