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Kate players are lazy, Anarch players are reckless


#1

We were trying out some Minh MaxX at the FLGS last night and discussing the various high-value runners prevalent at the minute. One of my my sparring partners was getting fed up with MaxX, not quite understanding how the deck worked - actually let me take that back. Not having the correct attitude to playing the deck compared to his old Kate days.

On further deep-diving we talked about how playing MaxX or similar decks is all very seat of your pants - I like this feeling it excites me. My Val at Worlds was very much like this, but it does lead sometimes to feelings of helplessness if you get locked out or make a wrong move in your headlong rush to punish the Corp for daring to exist. The view on the other side is that Kate is much more comfortable and relaxed, you sit back and build up until you decide it’s worth contesting something. You can get in anywhere and languorously raid R&D at your leisure.

Still playing Netrunner, but both runners feel entirely different in style of play. Jackson only knows how Criminal players feel.

Do you get this? Is Kate the lazy option? Are fast Anarchs reckless smash-and-grab merchants? What are Criminals? Eager to win fast or get bored and lose later?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address!


#2

I wouldn’t blame it on the runner, more on the decktypes.
First off all there are many good kate decks nowadays and they have different strategies.
For example good old Katman (with parasucker) is imo a very aggressive deck. And it plays exactly like how you describe anarch.
While on the other hand the standard PPvP Kate is more a control strategy that contests every remote with high value runs without even needing to run those remotes all the time. The threat is enough. I would compare this with other anarch decks like Hivemind big dig or DLR where the high value runs are blackmail, siphon, medium, … instead of legwork, maker’s, remote lock,…

Both try to control the corp, just on another level. And you can mess up with both of them. One wrong move with Kate (installing high cost card, trashing too much, expensive run on RD) and you can create massive scoring windows just like you do with anarch when you lose your control on the corp.


#3

I can’t comment on Kate, having little experience of playing her, but I can identify with the idea put forward in the OP.

A while ago Noise was my main runner, before moving onto Valencia and other goodstuff anarch decks such as Net ready Whizzard. Whenever I go back to playing Noise for any number of games, I do feel my play gets significantly lazier unless I keep checking myself - I would often slip into just spam viruses and playing on auto pilot, rather than looking closely for opportunities, genuinely trying to decide whether the last card jammed in the remote is an agenda or something I don’t care about etc.

This isn’t to imply Noise is for lazy players, just that I play better when piloting an anarch that doesn’t throw random cards into the corps archives.

Oddly enough, I haven’t experienced similar on the corp side, despite playing a ton of Fastro pre-clot.


#4

On the other hand, “should I trash this asset?” is an excruciating question for Kate players, on which the game often turns, while Anarchs are just gleefully flicking Imp tokens at a flustered corp.


#5

So, like a Shaper.[quote=“evilgaz, post:1, topic:6221”]
how playing MaxX or similar decks is all very seat of your pants
[/quote]

So, like an Anarch.


#6

Clickbait title, but an interesting topic. The mindset of players tends to affect their playstyles, and therefore their ID choices. Playing Kate isn’t “lazy”, it’s calculated and precise. Unless you’re playing KC’s Kate you can’t afford to go gung-ho and slam your face into everything because you rely on event economy, which is limited. You rig up until you can threaten any remote at any time, then take advantage.

Contrast this with a criminal deck. Facechecking HQ turn 1, click 1 as Gabe can provide information and money. Sneakdoor makes the corp have to defend on two fronts. Account Siphon is a card that exists. You make moderately risky plays for a potentially massive reward.

Minh Maxx is similar, but with an alternate win condition of DLR. If anything it’s a happy medium of threatening siphons/denial and installing lots of cards that lead toward inevitability in the mid-late game. You have to know when to do which, and that’s hard for someone who’s been playing on either side of the spectrum almost exclusively.

I’m a dyed in the wool crim player and I have trouble piloting the thing because I’m terrible at stopping to install cards. I don’t like not running every turn, but Minh MaxX requires that you know when to pump the brakes and slap down three Pavilions. It’s an amazing deck and does disgusting things, but it’s probably not for me. The same is true of your friend for opposite reasons.

TL;DR, it’s not laziness or recklessness that makes the deck hard to pilot. It’s that the deck is well designed and requires different piloting skills to fully utilize its win conditions.


#7

I dunno. Perhaps it’s because I have played Anarch (and specifically Whizzard) for so long, but I almost never play recklessly, despite playing very aggressively. Anarch to me, especially this years trend of L4J/Junk, are just as much in control as PPVP Kate decks, despite lacking the tutoring. L4J is both a control deck and an aggro deck, which is why it is so good. It’s basically impossible to get locked out with Anarch these days, unless you make a mistake, although Archangel taxing my D4vid tokens is becoming obnoxious.

My point is, I think Shaper v. Anarch is a false dichotomy. Inexperienced PPVP players make bad decisions against me all the time and get locked out or give up massive scoring windows, just like inexperienced Anarchs will be too aggressive and plant into an Archer in the mid-game when they were in full control up til then.

Can’t weigh in much on Crim, but I think the best lists like Leela Junk and Andy Stealth are also fusions of control and aggro. There is a reason the strongest Runner decks are both proactive and reactive.


#8

I dunno, it seems like L4J is kind of the exception to the rule. Some Anarchs have ‘control’, sure, but even Noise’s control is with chaos of random mills, ditching cards for Faust, etc. The only other archetype out of anarch that tends to act this way is Reina headlock. My point is that the ‘archetype’ might not fit the mold, but most of the identities and their abilities do.


#9

I’ll agree to disagree. I think every Junk build, regardless of identity, plays more control than aggro. I would also consider Whizz, Val, Ed, Reina and Noise to be all control abilities. MaxX is the only aggro ID by virtue of her ability alone, IMO.


#10

I treat every econ card I draw like Stimhack and I run often as Kate. This might explain why I’m always broke.

That aside some Anarch archetypes are very reserved or can be played in a more reserved fashion.

If you play Apoc MaxX with 2x Apocs you can definitely get away with just durdling for econ before you start concentrating on a central server. On a similar note I find that Reg Ass MaxX plays both a reserved and a reckless game depending on opening hands or even board states.