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Post-rotation deck building is going to be different

No, there are plenty of others, but those were the ones I first thought of. With cards like Gyri Labrinth, I’m hopeful that the meta will shift and new support cards will be added to finally “make it a thing”. It’s a shame that it probably never will.

The brightside is new cards will be printed that might have been too strong with these underplayed cards, making more viable decks for a legacy format. However, the power level of legacy decks is probably higher, especially combining great old cards with great new cards, potentially counteracting this.

I think this is the right place for this thought.

Has anyone heard anything about how FFG will address the 3/2 imbalance following rotation? It seems that the list will be as follows. This list of course excludes Merger.

HB can run 3x Accelerated Beta Test
Jinteki can run 1x Philotic Entanglement
NBN can run 1x Astroscript Pilot Program
Weyland can run…umm…

So my questions, does this imbalance severely increase HB’s odds and hurt Weyland’s? Should FFG do something about it, or leave it alone?


I can absolutely see FFG printing new 3/2 agendas in the first data pack post-rotation. Makes sense to do it at that point, to have no point in time where too much 3/2 agendas are available.

Before he left as designer, I heard one interview where it sounded like Damon Stone was not a fan of printing more 3/2 agendas. He’s not around now, so that no longer has any significance. I forget which podcast I heard that on.


I should also point out that I realize we already have a 3/2 imbalance where HB has more options than everyone else. But I still think an imbalance of 3,1,1,0 is perhaps more impacting than 6,4,4,3. I’m really not sure though…

That was my understanding from that interview as well (I think it was with The Winning Agenda?). Honestly, I think merger was on the right track. A 3/2 costing everyone influence makes a lot of sense to me. However, the “reverse gfi” quality was a mistake.

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Yeah, agenda numbers are a much bigger deal than I think was realised in the early days of the game. A few years’ experience has taught us that 3/2s are amazing, 5/3s are terrible, 3/1s are OK in play but take up too many deck slots, and 4/2s are reasonably balanced if they have a very strong ability. I’ll be interested to see if rotation is used as a chance to “reset” that aspect of Netrunner a bit (although I can’t quite imagine what form that might take).

Regarding HB, fast advance isn’t really consistent enough to build a deck around with only 3 3/2s in the deck, I don’t think. It might even end up being that you do run Merger to be able to run FA decks. :scream:

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I would assume that we’ll still be seeing Damon cards at least through the cycle after Red Sand, so his view on 3/2s is relevant for a while yet.

There’s also Medical Breakthrough, which is 2 more 3/2’s or better for Jinteki.


There are also more new complex FA tools (Jeeves, Jemison stuff, Mumbad Construction Co.) that can score 4/2 and larger, as well as new ways to never advance 4/2 agendas (Jeeves, Early Premiere).

I like that more intricate stuff to FA and NA, rather than those dedicated AstroBiotic builds that were really efficient at FA. I don’t think we need more 3/2’s, except for giving Weyland one after rotation.

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I hope they don’t bring out any more 3/2 agendas, and i would like the game to rid of them pretty much altogether, with the exception of Merger, or something like Merger. I like FA as a tactic that requires support cards.

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I’m hoping that Weyland gets at least a ‘limit 1 per deck’ 3/2 agenda to make things somewhat even. There’s a reason the most popular factions just happen to have the most number of easy to score agendas.

Short answer to this: 3/2’s are really important and the game is worse without them.

Netrunner is a really complicated game, both to play and particularly to design and balance. Because of that, removing certain aspects or cards will often have far reaching effects that are way beyond what you might expect.

Let’s look at 3/2’s as an example. I assume that the reason that people, possibly including Damon, would rather they don’t exist is because they’re too powerful and play in to fast advance strategies too much. They presumably think that if you remove them, you’re more likely to get ‘real’ Netrunner with agendas sitting advanced in remotes for a turn.

And that’s true, but doesn’t explore the next step, which is how runners would respond to such a world. If 3/2s didn’t exist and almost all agendas have to be advanced over multiple turns to be scored the ‘correct’ response for a runner deck is to set-up a remote lock, repeatedly take money and not make any aggressive action unless the Corp actually does something. This is not a healthy base state for the game, nor will it lead to enjoyable experiences. You might be able to mitigate some of this issue with traps, defensive upgrades or the like, but they are just plasters trying to staunch the bleeding caused by a poorly designed framework.

When you introduce 3/2s you automatically broaden the scope of your game. Now the Corp can fast advance, they can never advance, they can play a shell game. The runner is forced to be more proactive, because the Corp can score points in a variety of ways, some of which are hard to predict. It’s more interesting for both players.

Obviously there is a limit to how many 3/2s everyone should have access to; 3 to 4 per faction is probably about right. But removing them altogether would not be a good idea.


I disagree about 3/2s. In short i think that they cause more design problems than they solve, they funnel deck design, and i think that the game probably has enough support cards that would create a healthier type of FA and NA in the absence of 3/2s.

That said, i think that other changes would probably need to be made to the game too, so within the bounds of those things that FFG would be willing to change i would suppose that a decent 3/2 for Weyland might help them out. Perhaps FFG could just introduce a ruling that no deck can have more than, say, three 3/2s.

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If there’s were no 3/2s fast advance and never advance is dead, full stop. Fast advancing a 4/2 requires a Jeeves model bioroid and a biotic labor every time.

If it’s that trivial to set up a remote lock, that’s the real problem. And as we’ve seen, giving people 3/2s doesn’t alleviate the issue, it just makes people really dependent on 3/2s. This is not good for the scope or health of the game.

edit: I think I’m disagreeing less than I seem to be. For the reasons you give, a wider range of advancement strategies is better under ideal conditions; I’m just saying that conditions are far from ideal.
And even under current conditions, Merger-quality 3/2s are fine; slightly better ones might be too. But if a blank 3/2 is still an obvious include for the average deck, that’s kind of suboptimal. It would be nice if we had more reason to consider 3/1s, or similarly difficult decisions to make.


So, here’s the challenge. You can build whatever deck you want, but your win condition has to be scoring out (so not net damage, combo or kill) and you can’t use any 3/2’s. Nor, for the sake of argument, can you use other fast advance or never advance tricks. You’re going to score out the old fashioned way; by scoring 5/3s and 4/2s in a remote over multiple turns.

I’ll take a generic Shaper deck with some breakers and Beth and I’ll spend the first few turns setting up my board. Once I’ve done that I’ll mash my face in to Magnum Opus five times a turn, every single turn, unless you’ve got four points or more and have left an agenda advanced in a remote.

You can play this game a bunch of times, and you’ll find two predictable results.

  1. The Shaper deck will win the vast majority of games.
  2. Neither player will have any fun.

Setting up a remote lock is incredibly easy given all the tools available if there’s no pressure on runners to respond to other threats while deck building. All that you achieve by removing all 3/2s from the game is limiting the different win conditions that the corporation has available to them, which at the same time allows runners to focus on the ones that do remain.


That’s a straw-man scenario. In order to make it such that removing 3/2s from the game means that the game doesn’t work well, you’re implicitly ignoring 3/1s, 2/1s ( which i don’t like much either ), and support cards that allow the Corporation to FA 4/2s and NA 3/1s, or even combo to FA 5/3s and NA 4/2s. You’re also explicitly removing the threat of damage from the game.

As i said though, i think other things in the game would need to change too in order for the removal of 3/2s to work well.

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It’s not a straw man, it’s an over-simplification of reality to illustrate that removing 3/2’s from your deck building pool will constrain both design and play space for the game.

Neither fast advance or never advance can exist as archetypes if the game doesn’t have a supply of 3/2’s; at the very most they would be a minor strategy in a different archetype (and note that combo is it’s own archetype, not an extension of fast advance). In addition, the above shows that you’ve also removed a pure glacier scoring strategy from the game; it’s not possible to score out in this situation unless you’re playing a damage hybrid.

The game is at it’s healthiest when there’s a wide variety of viable victory conditions for both sides, but especially the Corp side.

It is possible that you could remove the need for 3/2’s, but you would need to completely redesign the game and the card pool from the ground up.


In short, in the main, i think i much prefer decks to need more than one strategy, and this is especially true of using FA and NA as a strategy. I don’t like decks being able to be built entirely around either of those two, at least not without having some serious drawbacks, if at all.

But yes, i think we are getting into redesigning the game at this point.

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