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How do people feel about "useless" new cards/packs?

Coming from mtg, i feel super annoyed about cards that are super underpowered,and are not useful in any build (im not talking about casual/cards that are hard to work, and could make a junky fun deck, im talking about completely useless)

super overcosted breakers or inneficient, cards that their effect is so small that you it doesnt even worth the slot etc

you sure know many of these cards, it kind of feels cheap getting a new pack for 2-3 new cards that you gonna use, the rest of the pack is wasted cardboard (hyperbole but not too far away from truth…)

in mtg more than half the card base is utter trash, (because of “Draft”)

i know that bad cards have to exist, so good cards shine, but crap new cards? that noone will ever use? is development so far away from the metagame, are they just trying new things? are they afraid that the effect will be broken otherwise, or they are just filler cards?

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i dont see any card that i file as useless or overcosted in that decklist, many of them are very playable.

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I was going to go through cards people dismissed as useless/bad that have been essential in decks after new cards have been released, sometimes years later. That deck’s got a good start with…

Power Tap (this was binder fodder until traces found their way to runner cards)
The Black File (most people agreed this effect was too hard to get on the table at the right time and even then it cost too much)
Overmind (super expensive AND limited use? sign me up!)
The Source (before Film Critic and Fall Guy this really didn’t see play at all, probably wouldn’t even without the inf cost)

Are you perhaps looking at this the wrong way? I mean, there’s definitely cards that are “useless” upon release, but surprisingly many find their place later on after other cards are released.

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im talking about most of the new breakers, overcosted to break anything,resources that do nothing,ice that dont do anything to help you , etc, i never thought of any of the cards you mentioned as useless,im a casual player so i see the potential even if it’s pretty niche, like iv played with the twins and many bad cards, since noone so far sees any problem with any card ill post a list later

Please do! I think I know some of the cards you’re referring to, Mass-Driver most likely being one of them. The upside of that one is huge: repeatedly break a Quandry and a Chiyashi for 2c. Nothing beats that, the high install cost is justified with almost a single use, and it’s very much possible to cheat the install cost down to 0-3c. The problem is engineering those best-case scenarios regularly as the runner. It’s too dependent on the corp’s ice placement (similarly as Power Tap was too dependent on the corp deck for a very long time). If cards that let the runner manipulate ice placement & types in a suitable way come out, this card could be super oppressive, but as of right now, it’s probably too janky (Escher, Kit, Egret, Tinkering, Paintbrush, Inversificator…).

edit: it’s actually interesting in Kit in a way that puts the corp in a weird spot ice placement wise: do I put this code gate as the first piece of ice, so it can’t be used with Mass-Driver, or do I put it as the 2nd piece of ice (like you would against Kit), but then the Mass-Driver will foil your inner ice, no matter how many ice you put on the server.

Also not sure which resources you mean, the ones in Red Sands cycle have been pretty great for the most part, Bio-Modeled Network is the stinker of the bunch, but Deus X is rotating soon and it does only cost 1c…

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I feel very strongly about bad cards and Red Sands has been the worst offender maybe since the first two cycles. There are so many terrible cards or playable cards only playable in a niche it’s not even funny. The overall powerlevel is far lower than the last two cycles imo. I begrudginly bought Terminal Directive, but I feel like Red Sands is a waste of money (especially cause I don’t have that much money to spend atm).

Bad cards is the price we pay for a healthy meta. I blame you guys complaining about them for Sifr, Temu, Clip, CtM, Sensie, MCH, Museum, my list goes on and on.


Huh, it’s true that there don’t seem to be many auto includes this cycle. Bloo Moose is one of the only universally good cards it seems. However, there’s plenty of cards that go into decks, but it’s true that they support new archetypes rather than old ones (Anarch hand trashing, Crim derezzing and Shaper…err, not sure what the theme is there, bulky breakers?). Runner cards in general seem to be of higher utility than corp cards, which are…more situational in many cases.

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As others have pointed out, there are plenty of cards deemed unplayable that actually turn out to be important. Aside from the general underestimation of card quality, there are still unplayable cards. I think Leviathan is a great example. There is no deck with Leviathan that wouldn’t be better off with another code gate breaker. It doesn’t even have redundant value. There are other reasons to print cards, but they should always be at least playable in casual, not crippling like Leviathan.

Here’s Mark Rosewater (Magic designer) on the need for low-power cards:


And finally:


There are other threads where people are literally saying that OP cards killed the game. You can’t win as a designer, there will always be bad cards, mediocre cards, good cards, superpowered cards. The only truly egregious choices are where they’re strictly worse (e.g. Data Breach vs. Mobius) or worse in nearly every situation. Which Magic has a ton of and Netrunner actually has almost none of. A multiplicity of formats hides lazy design decisions.

Example: Flashbang is awful. It’s a really, really bad card. But in a Los econ denial deck with Comprised Employee and Ice Analyzer, it’s probably good. Just because a card doesn’t immediately replace something in a tier one deck, or create an archetype of its own, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be printed.


It’s cheaper to use Flashbang to de-rez Archer than it is to use Golden. (Assuming you plan on re-installing the Golden, anyway.) This is true for any Sentry ICE that isn’t Str 1 or 5, and true for even some of those. (Assassin breaks even between the two, Rototurret is in Flashbang’s favor, Ichi 1.0 is in Flashbang’s favor.)

Flashbang is an interesting card. As an Icebreaker, it’s subpar or bad. As a de-rez tool, it’s extremely powerful. There are only five Runner-side infinitely repeatable De-Rez effects in the game. (Technically, Chimera and Miraju repeatedly de-rez ICE. Technically Correct) It’s in the middle ground of those effects. Rubicon is cheaper, the Birds are more expensive (unless you’re mitigating re-install costs somehow.) However, Rubicon requires you to suffer the effects of the ICE, or otherwise deal with it (break it) before you de-rez it. Flashbang and the Birds (Good Name For A Band) deal with the ICE and de-rez it without suffering its effects.

I would say that as a solution to deal with Sentries and force the Corp to spend money to rez it every time, Flashbang is likely your best single-card solution. Which is weird.

That said, this is only good for Flashbang if you plan on de-rezzing the ICE. If you just want to break it, Flashbang is only out-terrible’d by Wyrm. (And I guess Leviathan?)