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Musings over rotated sets and upcoming rotations

About a year ago I invested some time into building a draft cube out of all cards up to the Red Sands cycle. This put the rest of my collection into a bit of a messy state, making it hard to integrate the newer cycles into my collection.

Since I’ve also for some time wanted to tidy up the collection (extract out Genesis, Spin, and Lunar cycles into separate boxes), I decided it was time to bite the bullet: disassemble the draft cube into factions, pull out a faction box, merge draft cube cards to form card playsets, repeat for each faction (and stashing away old card playsets as they’re encountered).

In this process, I got to go through practically all printed cards of Netrunner.

The main thing that struck me was that (from a casual player’s perspective), it’s quite noticeable how much more interesting the cards from the more modern cycles are. SanSan is the oldest cycle after Lunar, but I kept hitting these other cards that felt tangibly older in their design, and yet they were not banished to the old-card-stash: big boxes.

I hit me that while SanSan is the next cycle after Lunar, by the time that the first data pack from SanSan came out, three big boxes had come out by then: Creation & Control, Honor & Profit, Order & Chaos.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but SanSan very much feels like the first cycle/box that feels reminiscent of modern Netrunner. Of course SanSan differs much from the cards that we get from Kitara/Reign & Reverie/Nisei, but still, reminiscent.

All of this reminded me of something:

“Hey, didn’t Nisei put up some blog post about what they want to do about big boxes?”

Indeed, they did.

I was very pleased to be reminded that it’s not just Lunar that’s going to rotate, but Creation & Control too.

I started playing three or four Lunar data packs were released, and I was quite an active player up until Red Sands, when I stopped playing (although I’ve followed the evolution of the game). Having spent the day going through the Eternal card pool, the more modern sets are truly a different game, and I’m excited to get back into building decks and playing!

Now, just as a final thing, I think that I’ll open up the boxes, and pluck out Creation & Control from them, maybe the two following big boxes as well :wink:.

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I agree with what you are saying, you can see it especially (for me) in the design of the 5/3 agendas, the first ones where unplayable (from a competitive point of view) for a long time the only 5/3 played where Future Perfect & Global Food (GFI).
And now we have SSL, Ikawah, Obokata, City Works, Degree Mill that all see play and I say they are good design! And Nisei added SDS which was a bost for Weyland too.

The same applies to other cards like in the past runners going tag me slotted Plascret sometimes as 2x to prevent been killed by Scorched Earth, this is not as easy anymore with High Profile Target in the game.

So I agree to your analysis!

Indeed! I find most agendas from SanSan forward to be quite the upgrade in how exciting they are (although SanSan is a notch weaker in this regard).

Speaking of agendas, I’m also very happy about 3/2 agendas being something that has been reduced to one per faction, and additional ones being significantly worse (Merger being a good example of this). Since I don’t care much about the competitive space anymore (although I do respect the need for the game to work for that level of play), 3/2 agendas seem like such a boring choice. It’s probably entirely necessary for them to exist on the competative level, but they’re practically automatic inclusions (and automatic choices during games), even if the cards were totally blank (as proven, more or less, by Braintrust. Restricting factions to one 3/2 and improving the other agenda categories is such a nice direction.

Oh, and while I’m at it:

Apart from what’s indicated by the design of their released cards, the Nisei MWL and its evolution seems to be in line with the general design values seen in the most recent set. Negative Player Experience and general card degeneracy seems to be taken seriously, which is very encouraging.

As said, I don’t participate in the competitive space, but the MWL makes me more certain about the future of the game looking bright. There’s plenty to explore for me in the newer FFG cards together with friends at home, but it also seems like the mindset about what Netrunner should be is steered toward a good place, making it more likely I’ll play with local groups from time to time.

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