New Format: Top-45 Banned list. Gauging Interest

Quite a few people are feeling the game is a bit stale right now. It feels really tough to brew new ideas (especially as Corp) because the existing archetypes on the other side of the table are so oppressive and powerful. I was thinking it would be nice to play in an alternative format where ideally none of the archetypes that currently exist are viable.

This format (which still needs a classy name) has a 45-card banned list. Here is how the banned list was formed.

  • I made a list of the top 5 cards for each faction in power-level. I considered 4 factors: recent ubiquity and power (Examples: Wyldside, Faust), historical ubiquity and power (Examples: Kati Jones, Desperado), Negative Player Experiences (Museum of History, Mushin No Shin) and dangerous/game-warping best-case usage (Apocalypse, Blackmail).

  • I ignored basic fixed (not sustainable) economy cards since they are difficult to compare to more substantive cards and because the game would likely feel very sluggish without them. Hence Sure Gamble, Hedge Fund, Sweeps Week, Daily Casts, etc. are safe from banning despite their power and ubiquity.

  • I then removed all redundancies. For example, Security testing was on the Criminal list but with Desperado banned it is no longer strong enough to warrant a spot; with Hostile Takeover banned, Archer is much weaker; and with Datasucker gone, Atman is much harder to abuse. I replaced these cards with some cards that seemed potentially very abusive in a weaker format and that don’t create particularly dynamic game-play in the first place (Magnum Opus, Mumbad City Hall, Vamp)

  • I banned 1 extra card from Anarch and 1 fewer card from Weyland because…I mean c’mon :wink:

Here is the list as it stands (ROUGHLY in order of power, ie, cards are the top of each faction were more obvious bans)

Deckbuilder · NetrunnerDB <----- Runner
Deckbuilder · NetrunnerDB <----- Corp

Account Siphon
Inside Job

Clone Chip
Self-Modifying Code
R&D Interface
Levy AR Lab Access
Magnum Opus


Runner Neutral/Mini
Same Old Thing
Kati Jones
Prepaid VoicePAD

Eli 1.0
Ash 2X3ZB9CY
Biotic Labor
Adonis Campaign

Caprice Nisei
The Future Perfect
Mushin No Shin
Nisei Mk 2

Scorched Earth
Project Atlas
Hostile Takeover
Mumbad City Hall

Jackson Howard
Astroscript Pilot Program
Sansan City Grid
Breaking News

Corp Neutral
NAPD Contract
Global Food Initiative
Enigma (Made the list purely due to historical ubiquity)
Breaker Bay Grid
Museum of History

Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire
Haas Bioroid: Engineering the Future

Note that the NAPD most-wanted list will not apply to this format, so Cerberus “Lady” H1 and Yog.0 will not reduce an identity’s influence. I decided that with many of their support cards banned (Clone Chip and Datasucker, respectively), these cards become far more fair and interesting to include.

I have found this format FASCINATING to think about. With so many key players, many of them in the core set, not legal to play, the best archetypes may be ones that have never before been explored, since their unique and interesting synergies have been out-classed by the raw power of cards on the list. Will Caissa finally work? Which remaining HB identity is the best? Which agendas will replace those on the list? With no other good viruses around, poor tutoring, and a big incentive to run 0 strength ICE, will Crypsis return?

I plan to make some decks for this format pretty soon and play with anyone interested. Since everyone complains that FFG does not do so, I look to update this list frequently based on the observations of the players.

To make myself clear in my intentions, this is NOT a proposed replacement for normal Netrunner constructed. It is meant to be an interesting mental and strategic exercise for those feeling a bit burned out on the game.

Let me know in this thread if you are interested in participating. We’ll hopefully arrange games over Slack.


Seems like a pretty fab mental exercise. Playing without the MWL restrictions would also be fun in its own right. I’m peytonjames on Slack - totes interested.

Love the concept, and I think your list is very well made; I expected to immediately have disagreements, but frankly you’ve picked a good set of cards. I’m definitely very interested (same name in slack) though I don’t know how much time i’ll have to tinker with this due to baby reasons. I will definitely keep an eye out and maybe we can test some decks that others have come up with for this format?

one nitpick, jackson howard almost feels like he should be lumped into the hedge fund category. He directly combats one of the original games major design flaws (agenda flood) in a way that few other cards can, and I don’t know that there’s much to be gained (deckbuilding wise) by removing him. yes, there are other unplayed alternatives (rework, shannon claire, allelle suppression), but because they are so much less effective they punish the factions that must import them (or do without) even more than jacksons “3 influence tax.”

IDK though, I’m so amped about this idea I’m definitely willing to try it as is!


Play Corporate Shuffle or score your damn agendas :wink:

Inside Job and SMC are banned, so what’s to be afraid of?


I predict 80% runner wins in this format.


If that happens we change the list :smile:


Given that this is a mental exercise on what the game would be like given these restrictions, I’ve setup a ChallengeBoard League that I invite all those who wish to play games under this format to join. I’m hoping this will allow us to easily gather up information on what the meta would look like under these conditions and track players and decks. Those joining the board, I would request that you submit your matches in the following format:

[ID] def. [ID]
Runner URL: [DeckList URL]
Corp URL: [DeckList URL]

(Yes, you have to get the Decklist from your opponent).
Password: thebigboy


This just popped up on the tube…

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So I made a list of all viable corp archetypes according to the new system


Fast advance

Scorched earth kill




I’m not sure if my decks are league ready yet, but I highly support the idea of a community ban list and have decks ready for it. Anyone reading the thread let me know and I’ll test them with you.

play Draft


There are some really interesting features about these lists.

Multiaccess is the big one, and is now limited to HQI, Nerve Agent, Maker’s Eye, Keyhole. Same Old Thing being on the list severely limits Maker’s Eye recursion, which means R&D pressure is probably Keyhole out of Criminal or opportunistic Maker’s Eye. But with Jackson and the main scoring tools (Caprice, Ash, Biotic Labour, SanSan, Astro) all on the list, HQ suddenly looks a much more juicy target.

Icebreaker tutoring is now limited to Artist Colony and Special Order. Also interesting.

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Crick ? Turing ? Lotus Field ?

Without those on your list, corps wins are easy vs Anarch / Criminal and without MO & Kati, any glacier would win their games vs Shaper.

Test Run, Femme! Just like in the before time, in the long long ago.

The hope is that the need for upgrades, fast advance, and murder plans is not necessitated by the rules of the game, but by the power of the runner card pool.


I’m in ur R&D, DLR-Keyholing all your Ichi Punitive.

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Yeah, I really can’t get behind the whole “corps will never win” sentiment. Rush is extremely strong with special order and test run as the only tutors (and the only way to recur them is in orange), no catch all ice solutions (faust, parasite), and significantly less denial options without siphon or IJ. there are still defensive upgrades (old hollywood grid, batty, red herrings, even the twins) and there are still FA options (trick of light, mumbad construction, director haas, arcology AI). If anything I see an environment where ICE actually matters again as being possibly corp favorable.

Also, per the original post, this is supposed to be a living document, so finding balance issues and correcting for them is all part of the fun!


This is an interesting idea. I feel like Anarch would be in the same, if not worse, position that Criminal is in now though. With Parasite and Datasucker gone, the only breaker worth using is Corroder. A major chunk of their influence will be eaten up by breakers. I’ll wait to pass judgement until I see how the meta develops though.

Also why is Vamp on the list but not David?

Why did this have to be posted while I’m at work? Now I’m trying to figure out how to build one of these decks but there’s work to be done…

Needless to say, my deck will most definitely include 3 Disposable HQs.

This sounds pretty fun, though I suspect we’ll have to iterate on the exact contents of the list. In particular I’m pretty uncertain about Runner-Corp balance as posted.

If there’s enough interest, I can implement the list in Meteor to ease in the deckbuilding. It’s going to be a lot of: “Oh right I can’t use that card” to start :smile: