MNGA - Rolling Ban-List Discussion

Time to clear this post up a bit and make it more to the point. Netrunner is by many considered to be on the teetering edge of a problem. There are a few cards that make the game ‘bad’, what bad is is different to different people, but we all consider there to be a really good game left under these problems.

The purpose of this post is to try to guide a community-fueled discussion to come up with a way to tweak the good back out of the bad. The guiding principles, after a lot of discussion here, will mainly be threefold:

  1. Dampen ‘Tier 0’ Overpowered cards / strategies/ combos
  2. Soften monostrategic decks to tier 1,5 or remove them if this is impossible
  3. Keep important power-cards in the game

In adddition, some noted that introducing these bans might tip the power-scale too much in the runners favor so we have a ‘softer’ list of MWL-additions that can be considered optional for those who just want the most pressing problems dealt with. In any of the tournaments i host, however, this will also be used… =)

Links to material fruitful to this discussion - In reverse dating order

##Banned for power-level/synergy

24/7 News Cycle - Many seems to prefer this way of fixing the main problem. Letting BN back out!
Aaron Marron - (disabling vast amount of strategies)
Rumor Mill - (disabling glacier)
Sensie Actors Union - (Enabling opressive and simple horizontal decks)
Hostile Infrastructure - (Enabling opressive and simple horizontal decks)
Sifr - (Above the power-curve, and further enabling top-tier strategies)
Mumbad City Hall - (Overpowered tutor in a small subset of problem-decks)
Faust - (meta-warping and disabling a whole archetype, gearcheck)

##Banned for Monostrategic Play

DDos - (enabler of many anarch-denial strategies and Dyper)
Blackmail - (Overpowered in Val. Case rested)
Accelerated Diagnostics - (enabler of a lot of bad things)

##MWL additions for Corp/Runner balance

Beth-Kilrain Chang - (unneccesarily overpowered, not needed for any specific deck)
Net Mercur - (making stealth decks very flexible, too easy to combo with real econ)
Temujin Contracts - (boosting runner economy, and other-than-crim use)
Mimic - (a way to nerf anarch in general, and encourage less efficient breakers)
Deja Vu - (a way to indirectly nerf parasite and account siphon in anarch)
Caprice Nisei - (counterbalance, and compromise. was originally banned)
Sandburg - (people seem worried, and we have little data, so why risk it.)
Exchange Of Information - Letting Breaking News back out need to deal with this a bit.

#FFG Original MWL

Cerberus ‘Lady’
Clone Chip
Eli 1.0
Mumba Temple
NAPD Contract
SanSanCity Grid
Breaking News

Cards for Future Discussion / Controversies

  1. Breaking News VS 24/7 News Cycle - Can BN be saved?
  2. Friends in High Places - abusable in foodcoats?
  3. Faust or not to Faust - Is it still a problem, really?
  4. Accelerated diagnostics to MWL instead of ban? - Can combo-decks be saved?
  5. Bring Desperado off the MWL. Runner economy boost?
  6. Bring Prepaid off the MWL. Runner economy boost?

Phases of this little project

Discussion Phase 1 - Complete
Testing Phase 1 - Complete
Tournament 1 - Complete
Discussion Phase 2 Ongoing

I welcome any ideas, both sceptical and encouraging.


Yeah I got nothing, I think the banlist looks fine and I’m interested to see what kind of meta it will create. It’s pretty much the banlist I would do as well, for very much the same reasons you cite.

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The one thing I would add is Sifr or Parasite. You’ve heard my case on Parasite, but Sifr is an acceptable ban as well. The ICE-destruction is just too strong.

I actually forgot Sifr, it is meant to be there. Thanks for reminding me! Christ…

EDIT: Further explanation why Parasite is not on here. I believe that it, while powerful is in the same category as Account Siphon. That is a powerful faction-defining card. It allows bad things if too much synergize with it, but it is already on MWL and a lot of things are coming out that may give it trouble. I’d like to see if the meta sorts this one out for now.

Sifr is clearly on here because, like, duh.


I would put Accelerated Diagnostics on the banlist instead of Power Shutdown as leaving Accelerated Diagnostics in still enables the Hasty Relocation-CI-Combo decks which are pretty much as bad as CI7(Or worse as many of the CI7 counters doesn’t work and it’s easier to pilot). Power Shutdown still see proper play outside of these combo decks, Accelerated Diagnostics rarely if ever do.


Are they though? They are the main reason i chose Power Shutdown over AccDiag.

From what i have seen they enable mostly single-turn combos and scoring big agendas from hand. This is very different from CI7 which disables the game once the combo is online. From what i have seen so far these decks are simply ‘powerful’ which if that is true is fine by me. Players who like combo-bullshit should have something left to be happy with.

Please point out if i’m missing any way these types of decks disable the interactivity of the game, or are difficult to interact with. I have not played that much against them so i might be missing something here. Any hasty CI players care to have an opinion?

Hasty CI is nowhere near as bad as CI7. Its essentially just a weird way to do HBFA. Not to say it is a bad deck, but it is a) weaker than CI7 and b) less “monostrategic”.

Employee strike and Cerebral cast?

One thing to note is that the top runner decks don’t really lose much in power level and runner/corp balance might be a bit out of wack in this environment. All you need to do is take your favorite Anarch list with or without account siphons, take out the DDOS and Rumor Mills and you’re good to go. Faust + Draw + Ice Destruction is still brutally effective and only gets better in a world without CtM/CI/Caprice.

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And I would be fine with this, if the chosie of Power Shutdown over Accelerated Diagnostic didn’t remove a great interactive option for reasonable midrange decks. Power Shutdown is only ever a problem paired with AD. Chosing PS over AD is to disable options for midrange scoring decks and enabling combos that tries to circumvent interactive play.

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Thanks, that’s what i suspected.

In a sense yes, i agree. However one would have to choose what is the greater evil, disabling a card that in reality sees very little play at high tables as it was intended to be used (and has not seen for a good while), or to leave an archetype in the game that many actually enjoy and that is not destructive.

Further, an added reason is that this is coming soon: Hunter Seeker · NetrunnerDB
It should replace a good part of the design-space that PS fills.

This is a good point indeed. It is however more difficult to fix with a few bans i suspect…

One way to do this would be to introduce an extended MWL to get a couple power-cards down to the proper curve, things like Temujin and Mimic. However i want to tread reasonably lightly to start with.

Do you have any specific ban-suggestions that would alleviate the problem?

I mostly agree with the list though I feel it can be polished somewhat. Here are a couple thoughts:

  1. Ban CtM

De facto increases the cost of trashing assets by three (or, at least 1.5), which is broken. While banning Sensie or Breaking News might seem like enough of a fix, it’s only a fix now, and does nothing to future-proof the card, sooner or later another good asset will be printed and the identity will break the game again.

One must also consider that both Whizzard and Power Tap will rotate soon leaving only Rabbit Hole Kate to keep off the hordes of Aryabata decks that will inevitably flood the meta afterwards.

  1. MWL Sensie instead of banning it.

With CtM and Bio-Ethics banned, Sensie loses the vast majority of its power. I think putting it on the MWL would be enough, importing it into Gagarin at 3 influence is not bound to be viable.

  1. Ban Sandburg

Without Rumor Mill or Blackmail and with Friedns in High Places, Sandburg becomes incredibly oppresive and will massively hurt the variety of the game. Good stuff criminals, for example, can’t deal with it. Geist can’t deal with it, and neither can Anarchs relying on fixed breakers.

  1. Beth is at least as oppresive Aaron.

Aaron makes tag-based decks significantly less viable and is generally overpowered for its cost. Beth affects much more, she disables every single deck that might require more than 14 credits to play and is generally massively overpowered for its cost.

I also think the whole situation around Caprice, Blackmail and Batty (Batty+Friends is ugh) can also be streamlined but I don’t really care much. At this point, I just want Glacier back, with or without Caprice.


Hunter Seeker will fire at most three times in most games and can trash any installed card, excellent for destroying hate cards, but it’s prerequisites makes it a poor replacement for power shutdown as a way to enable rushdecks that try to score before the runner has a complete rig. Isn’t midrange scoring strategies not being part of the top tables one of the problems? Hasty-CI is popular because scoring behind ice isn’t a consistently efficient strategy at the moment. I think the priority here is wrong.


If I knew how to fix everything wrong with a few stategic bans, I would be sending my resume into FFG.

Banning Faust would probably be the first thing I consider, it’s the enabler of cutlery-based ice destruction even if not every anarch plays it. Without Faust, ice destruction requires either parasite or installing an actual breaker for that ice type.

Meta would be more runner favored then the current one with the proposed list. HBfa and midseasons kill are the only viable win conditions left, and it becomes trivial to tech against both. Like it or not Caprice is what enables decks that score out of their remote to beat any remote camping shaper in the late game as well as being hugely important against temmy whizz and dumblefork.

Corp needs strong win conditions and you’re getting rid of half of the strongest ones on the Corp side leaving a trivial amount to be teched against. The problem right now is how well the win conditions can be teched against, and you’re just making that problem worse by removing all the win conditions entirety.


Ban Batty that card is bullshit


Great to have gotten such a broad discussion started. I’ll try to moderate and devils advocate instead of actively suggesting changes, that usually makes for the most productive discussions i find.

Power Shutdown VS Accelerated Diagnostics
As it stands this is a preference question. Ban PS and let Hasty CI be a thing, or ban AccDiag to leave PS in the game and sacrifice Hasty. I’d appreciate more voices in this debate to help decide.

I have observed the problem to be much less with these bans, and if it becomes a problem in the future i’d consider a ban then. It is essentially similar to gagarin and IG in power level, which is fine without the alternate win-con’s. I believe they should all still be powerful, just not having the option of easily bypassing the scoring agenda wincon. Anything i miss?

I main Criminal and i have always been able to play around Sandburg. There are also numerous counter-cards like Polop, Councilman, Interdiction. Geist is also a special case, as in a strategic (specialized) deck and will have more difficult matchups as a consequence. I need more arguments to be convinced here. Also, i believe no-one cries for the fixed breakers having some risk associated with them for once… =)

Beth Kilrain-Chang
I agree this card is unneccessary power-creep. I did not add it since it did not pop out like the others, but might if we go into trying to fix the runner/corp imbalance (below).

Runner/Corp Imbalance
Simon, i did not intend to go into this issue originally but i will certainly bite. First of all i believe (from having played a lot of glacier since RM hit) that the runner/corp imbalance is overstated. It is certainly there, but i believe that there is a certain ‘learn to play again’ effect as well and that people have gravitated towards way easier corp win-cons since they are available. Not to say you are not correct though, but i’d ask you to play a glacier deck with Ash and Batty a couple of times with this list (or something similar).

That said, do you (or anyone else) have a good list of cards to start with banning to try to alleviate the runner/corp imbalance? I’d like a few precise incisions if possible (like, 5-6 maximum) and try to prevent MWL changes. In this area i have not formed a consistent opinion yet and am very open to suggestions.

Cards that have been mentioned:

No. I have very good reasons for leaving batty. There are numerous ways to play around it, tech against it or recover from it, and it gives Jinteki an ‘Ash’ for glacier-play that is more limited than Caprice. I’d need very good arguments to remove such a pillar of glacier-support.


First off, I think this is a great initiative. I would like to add a suggestion and see if there is any interest for it.

Power Shutdown VS Accelerated Diagnostics
This choice is very nuanced and no matter which you choose, a subset of players will be unhappy (for legit reasons). I suggest a compromise here; Adding a list of card couples which are mutually exclusive (you can add either one, but not both). Example: players can include Power Shutdown, but not Accelerated Diagnostics too.

– Obviously a downside is adding more complexity to the list
++ Still shuts down degenerate decks
++ Player freedom! Jank and other combo options can still be explored.
-/+ I think the info would be pretty easy to convey, specially when many as you are starting to feel a burnout due to cards and combos which suck the fun out of the game.

More combos are also possible; this hypothetical list could for example contain Valencia and Blackmail. Valencia’s “free desperado from turn 1” is a decent ID ability in itself. Blackmail would still be an option, but require specialized builds to become viable.