Is asset econ still viable in competitive Netrunner?

Simple question. I strongly prefer asset econ in deck building, it just always seems more consistent. That said, I don’t just want to be playing fun Netrunner forever. I’d like to get competitive someday. I ask this question, because lately, all of my deck testing goes one of two ways. 1. I am playing a careless or inexperienced runner and they don’t trash anything. The game is basically over before it starts. As soon as they leave a naked Sundew on the table I give up hope on this being a close game and play it out just to be polite. 2. I’m playing an experienced runner who will facecheck an iced Sundew and then keep running it and taking damage just to deny my econ. They methodically dismantle all my assets until this game also isn’t fun, but basically because the opponent is just playing good Netrunner.

Even with CTM I’ve found good runners can deny asset econ in most games. I’m just wondering, in the current meta, what is a corp to do?

That’s just the way asset heavy decks work. Assets allow more assets. So either the runner can/does deny it early, or the corp snowballs out of control.

Asset econ is still viable, but your gameplan probably should revolve around them being able to trash it all. Hence why CTM is so good.


Asset econ is good because even if the runner does trash all your assets, they are poor and you ahead in the econ battle. There was a time before asset heavy decks when Whizzard was considered one of the worst runners. But with the rise of asset-based decks, Whizzard not only because a good option but has probably been the best runner for at least 6 months.

Two ways to deal with asset decks is to check all their remotes and trash all the SanSans, Sensies, Bankers and anything else that will advance the corp too quickly. From there you either steal agendas that they play out or the agendas will inevitably build up in HQ where you can wait till mid to late game and just take them. The other way to beat asset decks is to ignore remotes and lock R&D so that no agendas get to HQ for the corp to score.

As a counter to this counter, operation econ decks can be much more powerful. If you do not have anything to trash, Whizzard is a blank ID. Arguably the strongest corp deck out of worlds with respect to the current meta, was Ben Ni’s Sync deck that finished 2nd. It fortifies centrals with cheap taxing ICE to the point where the runner has to float tags. Once the runner floats tags, the deck can kill the runner, close their accounts and even get to 7 agenda points without scoring (through Quantum Predictive Models and Exchanging them for GFIs).

Asset econ gives the runner a choice: We can both be rich (if the runner ignores it) or we can both be poor (if the runner trashes it). Does your deck have a plan to win if the runner chooses the “both poor” option?