How to tell a key card -- the hate

Saw another conversation on Slack today expressing unhappiness with Magnum Opus as a card. I’ve seen these from time to time. Today, it struck me that in each runner faction the most iconic cards are often the ones held up as problem cards.

Magnum Opus – Shaper’s program-based econ that fuels everything else they do and sets the tone for their program-based approach to solving coming game problems.

Account Siphon – Criminal’s run event that serves as econ denial and econ generation while reinforcing this as the faction that gets things done by running and copes with tags as part of its color pie.

Parasite – The card that says Anarch is about destroying the board.

All three of these are strong cards, but also the center of a lot of hate on podcasts and the Internet. You might think each faction has other cards that are more central to who they are or what they are trying to do, but I think the best way to tell that is by looking at which Core Set cards are most hated in the community. These three seem like the contenders to me.

Do you see any others?

Are their equally hated Core Set Corp cards?


No offense dude but can you stop with these “everyone else but me is wrong about the meta” posts that are always half-baked and refuted in five minutes? You’re clogging up the forum with useless threads; we have the “Where is the MWL” one for a reason


This doesn’t seem very fair. I saw no claim about the meta or that he/she was right and everyone else is wrong. Personally I’ve found these posts very thought provoking. People complain about there not being enough discussion here and now someone is trying to contribute, so I really appreciate these questions and hope they continue.


Agree completely

On topic: I feel like Self Modifying Code and Clone Chip are much more hated (and key) Shaper cards than Magnum Opus, though they aren’t core.


The last thread specifically mentioned the MWL twice, and the first response, which got twice as many likes as there are replies (so much for discussion) was pretty much a long-winded way of saying “no, you haven’t thought this through”, and again heavily referred to the MWL, which there is already a thread for. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be having discussions, but I feel like we should make sure that if we’re starting those discussions in a new thread that the argument is thought out and doesn’t massively overlap with other threads that already exist

That’s a different thread though. Why are you bringing it up here? This thread clearly has nothing to do with the MWL…

OP is just positing that you can tell which cards are core or exemplary of a faction by how much hate (or really discussion) it receives


The OP is the same, and this thread, like a lot of other stuff (a certain drama subreddit post), just feels like oversharing from the same voice again and again

NBN Core Set cards are big candidates for receiving a lot of ire:

SanSan City Grid, Astroscript Pilot Program, and Breaking News all have received a fair bit of dislike. 3x Astro in a deck was pretty nuts (how did anyone ever lose a game when they had 3x Astro), and I’m sure you are well aware of salty feelings about Breaking News, which have only been magnified by the existence of 24/7 News Cycle. SanSan City Grid is a pretty fair (though extremely powerful) card and shouldn’t receive that much hate, but because it is so powerful I’m not surprised it does.

HB and Jinteki are relatively innocuous out of the core set. Probably the most powerful cards are Biotic Labor, Accelerated Beta Test, Adonis Campaign and Nisei Mk II, and the two identities. I know people have individually grumbled about all of those (particularly Personal Evolution), but I don’t think a community consensus has ever really come out strongly against those cards. Nisei Mk II is certainly a key part of an extremely oppressive RP Glacier build, but I think other cards typically receive the bulk of the blame for that archetype being miserable.

Weyland has Scorched Earth, and before Plascrete Carapace came out, it is my understanding that Weyland was absolutely terrifying. It’s been a while since people have been devastated about Scorch, but that card has definitely recieved some ire.

You mentioning Magnum Opus is very interesting. Magnum Opus is a fascinating card to me. Even though it is an economy plan all on its own, it also acts as a kind of silver bullet.

If you are playing a corp deck that sits back and tries to outmoney the runner, Magnum Opus means you have no hope of winning ever unless you can force the runner to make runs. I really like that, because it specifically punishes corp decks that aren’t trying to make something happen and rather just rely on the runner killing themselves.

Certainly, in terms of power level, I think Magnum Opus is nowhere close to Parasite and Account Siphon. Could you elaborate on what they were talking about in Slack?


No offense taken. I’m not sure I see where this post was refuted. I’m more than happy for people to propose counter points to what I am writing. That is what conversation and discussion are all about, or so I thought.

I get that you are tired of reading my posts and comments, but I actually found @Nemamiah’s response on my other post and the discussion there to be really good and I doubt that would have happened if I had posted my comment as random point under the MWL thread. And, to that point, my comment was not really about “Where is the MWL” and more about the nature of our conversation about decks. Anyway, I did not see it as strictly on topic with the existing thread, so I posted a new one. I also frequently comment on existing threads. (Again, probably more than you would like.)

I do not post under the illusion that I have any special knowledge or insight. I am fairly new to this game and have found that asking questions and posing ideas is the best way to learn.

I understand that you do not share in my enthusiasm for stirring up activity on the boards. I hope having to cull through a few extra threads is not too taxing for you.


I actually really appreciate your enthusiasm, fightingwaloon. As someone who was where you were a couple years ago, I appreciate you jumping in head first and generating posts and your league. More new players like you (and organized play that actually gives a damn about us) is what this game needs if it’s going to survive.


Core Shaper isn’t actually all that interesting/good/hated. Magnum Opus probably being the only one that gets singled out, but Diesel and The Maker’s Eye are other cards from Core Set that really set the tone of Shaper. Shaper is about Drawing Cards, runs on R&D, and Programs to solve problems. (Edit: Notably, Shaper is the only way to get extra MU outside of a Console in Core Set. Unless you count Anarch’s Djinn, anyway.)

Anarch has Parasite and Datasucker, as well as Yog. Corroder got quasi-hate for just being the Best Fracter for the longest time. It was more held up as a Gold Standard of icebreakers, but contributed to Barriers being the weakest of all ICE types. Anarch honestly had a lot of the ‘benchmark’ cards. ‘Can your code gate stand up to Yog?’ ‘How easy is this Barrier to break with Corroder?’ ‘You can break this Sentry with Mimic.’

Criminal in Core set has Account Siphon and Inside Job, and that’s about it. Bank Job and Desperado also help to define the faction: We’re about high-impact single runs to make money, and we also get paid to run successfully.

As stated, HB and Jinteki didn’t get hugely impactful cards in Core. The defining cards for HB are Accelerated Beta Test, Archived Memories, Biotic Labor, and Adonis Campaign. HB is about ICE, Heap Recursion, Extra Clicks, and Econ Assets. Jinteki has Snare!, Personal Evolution, and, uh… Data Mine? (Neural Katana for a little while.) Look, Core set Jinteki was really very weak and relied on Runner messing up. You could say their faction identity at that point was about letting Runners through their servers; for a price, and capitalizing on Runner misplays.

Weyland’s one card from Core that gets hate is Scorched Earth, and it’s more because of what it causes Tags to mean. Tags, by just the game rules, means that the Corp can interact with Runner Resources directly. Sure, this hurts Runners, but in theory if you have no Resources, you don’t care if you’re tagged. (See: Criminal Tag-Me with Account Siphon.) Scorched Earth changed that game. Now, you can actually just straight lose the game if you don’t clear your tags. And even worse, if there’s any way the Corp has of tagging you on their turn, you can straight lose the game. Other cards for Weyland that defined the faction are Hostile Takeover, Archer, Ice Wall, and Beanstalk Royalties. The faction is about Making Money, at any cost, ICE that gets progressively more difficult to break if you just sit back and let Weyland do its thing, and Forfeiting Agendas. (They had the first Forfeit mechanic in Corp. Data Dealer existed in Criminal for the Runner side.) Oh, and blowing up your apartment block. They do that, too. One thing about Weyland is stated by their conspicuous lack of a card: In Core, they’re the only faction without an Ambush asset. If Weyland does bad things to the runner, they’re public about it. They don’t really do Sneaky. (Aggressive Negotiations also set the stage for Weyland being the ‘tutor’ faction, though the specific card was weak.)

NBN’s Core cards are numerous. SEA Source and Breaking News together say the faction is about Tagging you, on their terms. Data Raven and Tollbooth say that the faction is about doing bad things to you, regardless of whether you actually broke the ICE or not. (Matrix Analyzer also carries that theme, but its effect is poor.) Anonymous Tip says the faction is about Drawing Cards, similar to Diesel from Shaper. Closed Accounts and Psychographics combine with the earlier cards to have something to do with those tags that they’re giving you. Because as stated earlier, the only default thing is trashing Resources, and that doesn’t work against all runners. SanSan City Grid and Astroscript Pilot Program combined to say this was the faction that cared about actually scoring agendas quickly. This is contrasted against HB’s Biotic Labor. HB just wants extra clicks, NBN is specifically about scoring agendas faster.


Breaking News. Astroscript Pilot Program.

If you venture out of the Core Set, Caprice Nisei.

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Prefacing a comment with “no offense” but then making gross generalizations (“always half-baked”) and being condescending (“refuted in five minutes”) isn’t a good look. S/He’s got a pretty distinctive user icon – if you’re really convinced that all these threads are terrible, they’re remarkably easy to avoid.

Full disclosure: FWIW, I appreciate these threads. Between the general exodus from the forums and the shifting meta, it’s mostly crickets and bemoaning the state of the game around here without them. I might also suggest that one of the distinctions between a forum post and a Stimhack article is that we expect the latter to be more fully thought out and cogent. Posting ‘half-baked’ invitations to discussion strikes me as a pretty appropriate use of a message board.


I wanted to echo the enthusiasm @FightingWalloon . I lurk Stimhack and r/Netrunner pretty much every day and before some of these topics popped up, discussion had more or less died if it wasn’t immediately relative to something like the COTD thread or some product announcement.

@mediohxcore (former World Champ) made a comment in a recent podcast segment with @CodeMarvelous about how at a certain threshold of skill you can actually learn more about Netrunner from talking about Netrunner than actually playing. Of course the extent of this will vary from player to player because we all have different learning styles, but I think it holds up as a general rule.

I think these discussions lately have been significant as far as getting the community engaged and bringing back the interaction. I’m sorry that the community can be hostile, especially towards content creators. In my experience the vast majority of this community is friendly and amazing so I really hope you feel welcome here.

EDIT: Random grammar errors.


Funny, I haven’t heard many complaints about Magnum Opus specifically. In the abstract, it’s a fair card; the tempo hit in terms of install cost & MU is sufficient. Almost any MO deck is vulnerable to rush strategies. Granted, I’m biased because Frantic MOpus decks are some of my recent favorites. The combination with Vamp makes MO a lot worse.

About the other factions power cards: Parasite and Account Siphon are so iconic that even if they’re above the power curve (it’s hard to argue they’re not) I like them in the card pool. Every faction should have a core set power card and I’d rather see harsh counters, fewer synergy cards (SoT, Aaron, Datasucker, Clone Chip), or MWL than having them banned. Other ones that come to mind: Scorched Earth, Breaking News/Astro (I mean one has to go…). Jinteki & HB have good core set cards but nothing that strikes me as distinctly powerful, barring perhaps their IDs. Snare! is certainly iconic but not too devastating.

Speaking of which, the problematic Shaper core set card is Kate. Runner ETF is too strong; economic abilities that benefit you for doing what you want to do anyways are both boring & too easy.


I guess this is mostly because MO enables extreme control Shaper deck, which spends early game on setting up (thus not interacting with corp unless they absolutely have to), then (once they have Beth + some drip econ, breakers, Opus and matchup-specific hate online) they just spend turns taking 10 credits unless the corp puts something on the table - it doesn’t matter much what, as at that point the deck can usually afford to run and destroy anything that is installed, while still having time to build wealth and setup R&D lock. This can be oppressive enough that some people call it the runner prison deck.

i know this is derailing the thread further, but honestly… just don’t read them? i mean this as a completely serious suggestion, but i also want to make it clear that i strongly disagree with the suggestion that someone should just stop making threads

even there is disagreement, i think it’s refreshing that there’s someone new to the game trying to generate discussion. so many people just use slack nowadays that not many threads are being posted here anymore. the community on BGG has almost completely died. reddit and facebook activity is not what it was 1-2 years ago. so many current players are veterans who have been playing for several years with few new players joining the game, and many of those new players simply play in their own kitchen meta. if you disagree with someone, feel free to express that in a manner that generates discussion instead of trying to alienate new players. we have enough of a problem with player retention as it is.

i think that in the core, you’ll find that a lot of these staples are a bit different considering the expanded card pool.
i think you’d have to consider the core as in non-rotating cards (ie: core + big box for each faction)

Clone Chip is shaper’s by far. Self-Modifying Code is another, but i think Clone Chip is a bit more hated
a LOT of non-shaper runners used to spend a lot of influence on Clone Chips. it was a key piece for Noise with Cache, it was vital for Geist, MaxX used it sometimes, lots of other Anarch IDs used just 1 or 2 to recur D4v1ds

i think criminal’s big box didn’t really make that much of a splash, so their most hated card is still from the core set.
it’s really hated because it was core to a lot of Anarch denial strategies as well that spent 8 influence on 2 siphons

Anarch’s big box was really good, so they got a few more cards: Eater was pretty bullshit until Faust was released. I’ve Had Worse pretty much killed kill decks for quite a long time after it came out. even butchershop had to Traffic Accident first and just hope they didn’t hit the I’ve Had Worse before Scorching
Parasite is still probably the most hated though for sure, but i do agree that it’s a necessary card. i think Parasite + Faust + Clone Chip + D4v1d + all the other bullshit is really what tipped it over the edge. Shaper used to have just 1 Parasite and just recycled it a couple times with Clone Chips
i would also throw in contention that Datasucker is a much-maligned Anarch core staple

another point that was kind of highlighted, is that i think many of the most-hated cards for a faction boil down to how much it’s imported by other factions. not many Criminals used Parasite (but it was sometimes used on occasion, and a big reason i mention Datasucker, since it was an eponymous component of the much-hated Andysucker)

as for hated corp cards: a lot of them are yellow to be honest, but yellow wasn’t that great when the core first came out, so people didn’t really give it much thought. in the same sense that core Shaper wasn’t the best, so their most-hated cards didn’t come out until later


Noise was a hated identity for a long, long time. Noise Mill was probably the first NPE deck in the game. Magnum Opus was the strongest long term Runner economy for quite a while, and served as the standard by which new economy cards were compared.

I think both have been eclipsed by the ever expanding card pool, and some undeniable power creep. On the flip side, hate for Breaking News is new - I’m guessing because played and not advanced it enables Exchange of Information and Boom shenanigans. Two tags vs. one was not such a big deal until those cards. Its main use previously was to close out FA games.

I guess my main point is that even though core cards are evergreen, hate against them has morphed considerably over time.

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I feel like in regards to the original post, Siphon is the only standard of those examples. Not every Shaper uses Opus, and not every Anarch uses Parasite, but 99.9999% of Criminal decks use Siphon. That being said, I do strongly agree that these are cards that give a quick snapshot of a factions overall style or purpose, with maybe SMC being in place of Opus (but that is not core set, obviously). Also, I think it’s worth adding that just because a card has hate, or is strong, doesn’t mean it needs to be changed in every circumstance. I know that @FightingWalloon is not saying that, but I just wanted to get it out there.

As for Corp cards, I’d say:
Weyland -Scorched Earth
HB - Archived Memories (maybe? hits on HB’s efficiency)
Jinteki - Snare!

These aren’t most hated, but are good and you really don’t like seeing any of them across from you.

Power cards from HB in Core were Biotic Labor and ETF. Their ID was actually the gold standard for efficiency and usefulness, especially in the early days where economies were painful. Biotic was the heart of really the first successful FA decks, before NBN took the crown (pretty much forever). Of course, this is all if I am remembering correctly. History can be hard sometimes. :wink: