I think a number of people have built core+deluxe decks, and they’re always interesting in their weaknesses. Yellow Fast Advance, Weyland Kill, reg-breakers anarch, run-based crim, shaper bullshit are all still going to be around.
As you say its a bit tricky to speculate on post-rotation decks because we don’t know what replacements there might be for stock effects (for example the Red Sands spoilers have a jackson replacement ice for jinteki, which could completely change how they structure their decks).
With regard to tentpole effects that you build a deck around (midseasons, RP etc), they’re probably gone with rotation ;).
Notable NPE archetypes disappear: Nobody is going to shed a tear for these
• Acc diagnostics/shutdown Combo decks
• DLR mill decks
• Keyhole decks
Some IDs will be retired:
• RP – is dead competitively anyway
• Andy – this is a major nerf to the criminal faction
• Whizzard – keeps asset spam in check
Some notable IDs will become all but obsolete
• Blue sun (loses oversight AI)
• Titan (loses Atlas)
• Valencia (loses Blackmail)
Key cards that will be missed but wont have much of an impact:
• Econ options: Gift, Sweeps, Restructure, Liberated Accounts, Kati Jones, Lucky Find will all likely be replaced. If the game is overall poorer then both ICE and assets get a natural buff, but I doubt that will happen.
• Runner multi access: Indexing/RDi/HQ interface. None of these are major loss and likely will be replaced by something equally good.
• Kill protection: Plascrete/NACH. Both are narrow and are already being replaced by more interesting options (citadel, hopper etc).
• Stealth options become reduced with Lockpick and silencer disappearing. I suspect they will be replaced with other options though.
• Caprice/Ash: Already dead.
• Eli: Already on MWL, and paperclip breaks it efficiently these days anyway. ICE is getting buffed anyway such that wraparound and swordsman are not seeing anywhere near as much play these days.
• Midseasons/Punitive: Not really that relevant.
And some things which leave huge unanswered questions about their impact on the entire meta game:
• Jackson Howard: This guy lifts corp win rates by at least 10%. A number of pseudo replacement effects have already been printed but none of them come close to this guy. He is a design patch and really should be a core card. I think this, combined with the loss of many 3/2s means we are likely to see a huge shift in game balance towards the runner side unless corps are given some drastically high powered new tools. Conversely the runners have lost their most powerful IDs - Andy, Whizzard and Val (by virtue of blackmails removal) but I don’t see how this offsets the loss to the corp.
• The disappearance of many 3/2s – Atlas, Vitruvius, Braintrust, Beale all go and this will massively impact agenda compositions and how corps score. I can only speculate but this reduces both FA and NA scoring plans, so does this mean we will see more defensive agendas (and kill plans), more glacier plans (as a remote becomes more important)?
• Asset spam: Whizzard and scrubber/imp will no longer keep this in check, surely new universal tools will be given to runners to deal with assets and if this does occur, this will generate far greater runner diversity and this is likely a positive thing, and something they should have been doing sooner imo (temujin kinda works though).
I don’t think we can make any judgement on cards that disappear without also knowing what is coming down the pipe. Given the first 2 cycles were relatively weak almost certainly we will see some level of power creep in the overall card pool (not necessarily a bad thing). I don’t think the loss of any one card poses a major problem (except Jackson) and im interested to see the direction corps go in with less 3/2s available.
No matter how the chips fall, I think overall it will be very positive for the game though.
The thing I’m saddest about with rotation is all the cards that were never viable. I’m talking about cards that seem interesting, but fall a little short due to power level or lack of support. These cards won’t ever have their time to shine:
Alpha / Omega
ChiLo City Grid
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I don’t mean this in an aggressive way, but I think it’s pointless to build decks now to see what might not be around in around a year. There are so many cards that they could print between now and then, that speculating this early doesn’t seem to accomplish much, at least to me. Maybe when we’re half way through Red Sands I’ll have something more to say.
I’m certainly looking forward to a game with worse easily accessible econ and worse multi-access (that is, harder to RnD lock with). Hopefully running face first becomes more of a thing as corps lose cheap ICE as well as cards like sweeps.
If I were to speculate (which I shouldn’t), I would suggest that rush decks will become much more of a thing, as corps will be keeping some strong anti-AI ICE, and the auto-lose Blackmail matchup will be gone.
It is fun to speculate but who knows what the meta will be like in 8 data pack’s time?
There are still 8 data packs to go before rotation. Going back 8 data packs from now we did not have Sensie, Bankers, CtM and Hard Hitting News. This archetype is so powerful that every runner deck has to include tech cards to combat it. So there is no knowing what is going to be good by the time rotation hits.
Yes, you will not be able to build deck X anymore but deck Y will come along which means you have to build your decks to a different standard.
I think it would be interesting to see how ‘pure’ 1 Core + Terminal Directive (43 mode?) decks would turn out, as a thought experiment of what post-rotation decks would be like before rotation actually hits.
Andy will still be missed though. Au Revoir to her.
I don’t think that comes close. I saw the example deck lists in Terminal Directive and was surprised to see “Special Order” in a Shaper list. But it kinda makes sense, as Shapers had no tutors in the Core Set. Which makes for a very different of deck. Luckily, the two most common Shaper tutors (SMC and Clone Chip) are in C&C, and Artist Colony won’t rotate for a while, so even after rotation the Shaper style stays the same. You won’t achieve this with just Core Set + Terminal Directive.
I know this doesn’t solve the difficulties that FA is designed to overcome, but I like the idea of fast advance becoming something you can use to unexpectedly increase the pressure on the runner by making the points game less certain.
I actually meant the kind of FA that could come out of having fewer 3/2s in the future, where the Corp HAS to play an agenda to the table or build up the pieces to score a weighy agenda from hand. The uncertain points game I was talking about would come down to how someone advances their cards, e.g. Install double advance might suggest a 5/3, but it could be a vanity project.
I agree FA decks as they are now aren’t great, but being able to use FA mehcanics to make high risk/reward plays could be a lot of fun.
Edit: and that could also potentially allow for more mindgames and traps, since players will be seeing a greater variety of install / advance combinations.
I would say some of the Caissas have seen play, notably knight. Some of the others have also been played, but mostly in jank (Exile). I hope they revisit the mechanic some time. I do like the whole “you can trash my program easily, but you will lose an ICE/asset/upgrade”, it is quite interactive.