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.