Limited Asset Format

People have floated various ideas to reduce the dominance of asset spam (a pressing issue with the upcoming death of Whizzard). We eagerly await the new MWL to see if it will help.

What if we approached the problem from a deck-building angle instead of a rules or card angle? Would people play in a format that restricted the Corp to playing no more than 10-12 assets? Such a rule would not have impacted the 2016 Worlds CtM championship deck, as it actually ran operations and ice and upgrades. It would only impact decks such as Moons and IG and similar decks that are built around installing lots of assets and recursion tools to install more assets.

I’m well aware this suggestion will never take hold in standard competitive Netrunner, but I thought it might be worth discussion for those who do not enjoy a game that is dominated by installing and checking remotes over and over again.

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I would not limit the number of cards of an specific type the corp can have, that’s against the deckbuiliding freedom. Said that, i don’t think the problem is the number of assets the corp has but how “cheap” is for the corp to grow horizontally, any facedown card in the board is a potential threat for the runner and it’s FREE to do so, when a corp card gets trashed, it can just be replaced with almost any effort, just click for an install, that and the ratio rez-trash on so many assets make the situation much more expensive for the runner to control than the corp.

I know this idea is not very popular but I keep thinking is worth to explore -> giving an incremental cost for creating a new server starting at 0c (1c for the second one, 2 for the third one… similar to how install cost works on ICE). Decks with 2-3 open servers (not abussive) would be nearly unnafected, but other heavy spam decks would be restricted by this rule in some way, they would require more specific deck building limiting his power (turtlebacks slots, diversified portfolio slots… or just more plain eco) or just slowing them to a fair point. I don’t think this would remove all horizontal deck archetype from scene (remember how rich this decks tend to be).
What do you think? Could your format try this?

Sorry if this is not the place to say this, but i think this is very related to the issue you try to fix.


I have seen that suggestion before, and if people wanted to try that, I’d not be opposed. This is, of course, all hypothetical and likely to have little impact as ANR has not really embraced limited or alternative formats.

I think your idea or the one I propose are both changes to the core rules of the game right now. I’d argue that adding a new deck-building restriction is less of a change to vanilla Netrunner than adding a new cost for installing assets, but both are outside the rules as written.

On the upside, either could be implemented by adding a line or two to of text to the MWL/FAQ.

I don’t want to be dismissive of the idea, but if you don’t like playing against asset heavy decks, why not just ask your opponent not to play one?

Changing fundamental rules of the game will probably fix some problems but then open up new issues. When other players propose things like adding incremental cost to making new remote servers, it doesn’t account for the fact that assets weren’t designed with this limitation in mind and rez/trash costs would be way different in a world with this added cost to create additional servers.

Even simply limiting a deck to a specific number of assets doesn’t really make it less prone to abuse, you could probably still make a mildly effective prison deck with 12 assets (3 Bio-Ethics, 3 Hostile Infrastructure, and some number of Chairman Hiro, Genetics Pavillion, Whampoa, Jackson, Museum, and/or Ronin). You’d just end up switching out a lot of the asset econ for operations, but you could still assemble a pretty degenerate board if you’re playing IG for example.

I’m not trying to be one of those players saying “git gud” and to just learn to deal with asset spam, but it seems a lot easier to just communicate with your opponent beforehand about the game you’d like to play, even with something as simple as a lobby title in stating, “Please, No Asset Spam” or similar. In my experience most players will be respectful of this sort of thing.

Generally speaking, alternative formats in this game have been slow to stick, and even the official alternate format, Cache Refresh, still has a pretty microscopic player base compared to the standard format. Trying to make an entirely new format just to avoid playing against asset spam seems a lot more difficult than simply trying to find an opponent who is willing to play a non-horizontal deck.


One of the interesting effects of implementing a rule that said that it costs X credits to create a new server, where X is equal to the current number of remote servers, is that the Corporation can save money on constantly recreating remote servers ( if that’s what they’re doing ) by installing a piece of ice protecting a server, which of course would require the ice to be in the deck.

I think it would be more interesting to add 0.4 points or so of universal influence to all assets, rather than setting a strict cap. I like how the MWL lets you play nonsense at the cost of weakening the rest of your deck, and I think the same basic mechanic might work well here. Plus it might put more pressure on the sort of modified horizontal deck @rubyvr00m describes.

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I am think a rule change would be worth exploring. Stacking vertical has a cost, why not horizontal?


This would be easy enough to play test on jinteki. I’d be curious to see how much difference it made to most decks, and whether the corp who is not asset spamming is handicapped too much. A credit here and there makes a difference and many say corp economy is inferior to the runner already (not counting Estelle and turtlebacks I guess!).

I’ll go with the suggestion to explore this, perhaps through a tournament? And perhaps we can even test the different suggestions made here?

I found the idea intriguing the first 4 servers are free like with the MU for runners.

Agreed. I mean, asset spam runs assets as a repeat tax, just like ice. It also fits the lore and is pretty straight forward for newer players.

I think it should just be like ice costs, +1 for each server after 1.


I always advocate for a maximum of 5 assets in play at any given time. I just think the game should fit horizontally on a playmat without having to contort the space =P


On one hand, I want to agree with you 100%.

On the other hand, I want to say that it a predictable opinion for a Shaper player. :slight_smile: