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Netrunner and Balance Part 1: The Current State

Originally published at: https://stimhack.com/netrunner-and-balance-part-1-the-current-state/

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Great article as always, can’t wait for the solution to the conundrum that is current netrunner balance in the next one :slight_smile:

I certainly agree that runner hate cards seem to have spiralled somewhat out of control (especially Rumor Mill and now probably Arron et al as well), in the sense that every corp win condition seems to be affected by now.

Rumor Mill is especially sad, given the existence of the much more interesting/skill-intensive counters that already existed in Political Operative and Councilman, but that opinion is probably very much consensus by now.


Loving the article so far! One small (ish) typo:

The Top Deck games between Vine Gary Mink

I think that’s a reference to this.

I should have known it was an in-joke…


Stimhack rewards those who devotedly follow all it’s articles


I feel that CtM is one of the biggest problems in the meta. It’s a combination of three cards, CtM, HHN, and SAU. You illustrated why; You have to answer a turn one Asset install, and absolutely must maintain a credit pool to dodge the inevitable HHN, and then have to remove the tag or dodge the CtM trace… Or you have to literally not care about tags, and that pinches the meta into Andy/Whizzard and TagMe decks. We don’t have an effective answer for a T1 Asset out of CtM, yet. That isn’t named Temujin Contract.

Rumor Mill is the second-largest problem in the meta, for a bunch of reasons that all boil down to ‘removes counterplay’.


Really appreciate the analysis. I’d be interested to hear your take on some of the new, more aggressively costed, big ICE coming out. Imho Aaron and Rumour mill are the two biggest balance issues in the game atm (there are a couple of other “good stuff” cards like Temujin and Beth that are too easy to include, but the hate cards are the issue).

I actually tend to agree with this, but also I’ll point out that Aaron is one of the few things you can realistically run these days to dodge CtM EoI plays. Like… Aaron’s sort of the Batman of current meta. We really wish we didn’t need him, but we kinda do. The big problem that Aaron brings is that he almost solo shuts down Meat kill packages. There are only two left available that I know of, and they have other problems. SEA Source and Midseasons. SEA doesn’t work if there’s been any agendas scored with Aaron out, and Midseasons only works if you have a ton of extra money. Which, with Stinson, is possible, and that, I feel, is why we’re seeing the GRNDL Midseasons deck popping up as a response to Aaron.

To sum it up, Aaron’s stupid good, card draw regardless of matchup, and silver bullet against kill decks and EoI shenanigans is a very powerful place to be. I feel like he would’ve been more balanced if he gave a credit instead of drawing a card.

I think just have him only trigger on either a score or a steal. I prefer on a score, as it forces you to be aggressive, and he could probably then be a one cost.

Well… Aaron is still snatch&grababble, so as a Weyland player I don’t feel that Aaron shuts down Meat Kill :wink: Of course it’s a trace, but Weyland usually has money. Also Weyland (Gagarin in particular) can play Corporate Town. It’s not that bad.

I still have mixed feelings about NBN though. Breaking News, Exchange of Information, 24/7 News Cycle and The All Seeing I. I like all the cards alone, but not that they synergize so perfectly. For instance EoI and 24 allow me to play 3 point agendas, which is awesome.

unfortunately you need to read the text on snatch and grab - the runner will just choose to take the tag to avoid the trash and then immediately remove it with aaron :(.


Noooo… Aaron is op. And you are right. :confused:

You could rez Zealous Judge after they take they tag and before they remove it. Of course, you then need to have more clicks to spend tagging them than they have Aaron counters.

Seems that Midseasons and Contract Killer are probably your only solutions to Aaron out of Weyland.

NBN has a pretty tough time of it. It really puts the boots to breaking news.

Stinson lets you go pretty hard in on the trace too. If they try to match and Aaron up, you still can just bounce back with a beefy restructure.

I slotted a singleton Contract Killer in a ‘traditional’ Gagarin deck long ago, and that card does some serious work. Basically the only runner it doesn’t hit is Dumblefork. (In which case, Elizabeth Mills stepped in to shut down some clubs.)

I do like it as an answer to Aaron, though.

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Its a pretty compelling reason to run Dedication Ceremony, if you were also going to run the card.

Sad part is, the whole situation is probably moot when Hunter-Killer is released. HK is THE dedicated hate card and is only really avoidable via Film Critic.

So maybe Hunter Killer and Contract Killer together to hate on everything.

New ID:
“Weyland Consortium: Because We Hate Runners.
When your turn begins, name one Runner card. Until the beginning of your next turn, that card’s text box is blank.”

I actually find it pretty amusing that Weyland is looking like the faction of Hate Cards/Silver Bullets.