Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

Restrictions to spice up the meta?

I have heard a lot of complaints about the meta lately. This week a local player suggested they might do a restricted list soon.

At first I thought the idea was stupid. Right now the game seems to be really well balanced. Sure, Account Siphon might be borderline banable, but it can be built against. Tag Me is more dangerous than ever since Weyland can recurse their Scorches like nobodies business.

The only thing that might be wrong is, that every runner has to be able to win out of centrals. The Source is a good step in that direction, soon runners will be able to make the corp play remotes.

So why am I now thinking about a restricted list?
Because deckbuilding could be more fun!

What I propose, is a restricted list, that combines runner and corp cards. In a legal tournament decklist (Combining runner and corp) you would be able to play two of the restricted cards (one playset of 2 runner, 1 runner 1 corp, or 2 corp cards).
This form of restricted list could potentially make deckbuilding way more interesting. It also forces players to analyze their skill on both sides of the table. You could sacrifice quality in one deck to strengthen the other.

My first strike at the list would look something like this:

  • Account Siphon
  • Parasite
  • SanSan City Grid
  • Biotic Labor
  • Scorched Earth**

Some thoughts on this list:

  1. Omissions:
    Astroscript: restricting SanSan is more influential. Astroscript is worse for the game but only when it is combined with SanSan. Restricting both would be to hard on a whole faction.
    Datasucker / Desperado / Emergency Shutdown…: (similar to Astroscript) this would break viable archetypes beyond repair.
    The Combo: Yes I have been hit by it. No it was not worse then loosing otherwise.

  2. There is one card of every faction except Jinteki and Shaper:
    Jinteki: There is no card I would want on this list. (Maybe Caprice but I´m not convinced)
    Shaper: Indexing, Clone Chip, Self Modifying Code. I don´t think any of these belongs on that list. (Current Shaper builds also get punished for Parasite and sometimes Siphon)

There is also something to be said about having factions that don´t have any restricted cards. They could be the fallback if your other deck uses both possible restricted cards.

Of course I am biased by the decks I tend to build. In the two Chronos Tournaments I went to I played Siphon Noise and HB Fast Advance. I got third both times. For Regionals I might go back to an aggressive Criminal list splashing Parasites.

What do you think about my idea? Is it just crazy talk? have I missed a card?

I just developed the idea on the fly, so something may have slipped me.

1 Like

I have been thinking the same thing but my approach is more radical. My banlist aims to cut four general things from ANR in order to remake the meta and shift the focus of the battle between corp and runner to remote servers. These four things are: Account Siphon, Scorched Earth, fast-advance and multi-access.

Fast Advance includes:
AsctroScript Pilot Program
Accelerated Beta Test
SanSan City Grid
Biotic Labor
Trick of Light
(Tennin FA is a thing now)

Multi-access includes:
R&D Interface
HQ Interface
Maker’s Eye
Nerve Agent
Data Leak Reversal

And some more things:
Caprice Nisei (too OP without the runner having multi-access)
Accelerated Diagnostics (not fast advance but still alternative to honest remotes war)
Datasucker (honest breakers! no atman+parasite)
Desperado (just to force players to experiment with other consoles)
Kate and HB: EtF (same reason)


The biggest problem as I see it is that NBN becomes unplayable but HB Red Coats doesn’t suffer at all. Need to nerf it more somehow.

1 Like

Multi-access DEFINITELY doesn’t need to be cut. Doing that would only increase the potency of taxing decks like Redcoats.

I don’t think either of you is aware of the full extent of impact your changes would have. Sure, you might be killing the things you want killed, but there’s plenty other, unwanted interaction happening there as well.

Game design is a delicate thing, not to be messed with lightly.


You are thinking of banning major parts of the game!

I think it is good, that no single deck is banned by my restricted list. Just the combination of two very linear decks both on runner and corp side. The only single deck that is straight up banned is one combining SanSan, Biotic, and Scorched (all other decks are possible when combined with a deck that is not using a restricted card).

I think your changes would be terrible. I would stop playing Netrunner pretty much instantly. Sure Fast Advance is strong, but banning it outright is too much. Your changes actually limit the the skill of deckbuilding.
Corp decks will be piles of cards consisting of only ICE, eccon, agendas and probably a view traps. Sure Runners would be able to run remotes again, but this style of playing a corp is just not that appealing to me.

The runner should be able to make corps pay more, for ignoring remotes! But banning practically half the cardpool is not the solution.

If you want to punish fast advance and Scorch play a resource deck with The Source, Donut Taganes and Fall Guys to protect them. It plays a lot like a magic control deck. My version is just missing the win condition. It is not as bad as people think.

In my example no card is banned in your complete Decklist there are 3 cards of 5 that cannot be used I think this is OK, from a design perspective. I don´t want anything to be gone from the game.

I think the number of viable Corp and Runner strategies is at the highest it has ever been.
For the record, I played two regionals at the weekend and was only Account Siphoned three times (twice by Noise, weirdly).

I think the game is delicately balanced at the moment. If you went down the restriction route then you have to make the list substantial in order to actually impact anything. The idea behind restriction to is avoid abusable combos, and there really aren’t any in Netrunner (yet). You could perhaps make a case for SanSan and Astro, but those decks can still lose to good runners. I think a lot of the people complaining are doing so because they’re not very good at running, so Siphon becomes a crutch and Astro/SanSan seems broken. I don’t hear many players at the top end causing a scene, they just get on with it and play the cards.


Well maybe a banlist would help us players not from the top end to enjoy the game more without losing to NBN all the time?

As I understand this thread, it’s about organizing some local tournament with a banlist, not about the global FFG policy affecting all players everywhere.

I pretty much agree with all that Arkhon said.
The corp meta is very good right now with lots of viable decks, not sure anything needs to be banned or restricted.

For runners I feel that creating a restricted list similar to AGOT (where one card from the list can be played in any amount) including Account Siphon and Datasucker (perhaps also Desperado and/or Parasite) would do good things for the runner meta.

First of all, no I don´t want a restricted list right now. I agree right now the meta is pretty open. Though I think given a little bit of time it will still shake out to 3-4 very competitive decks, which is fine, nobody should expect something different.

Second, no my intent was not to throw a local tournament with these new rules. To do something like an “alternative universe netrunner tournament” the rules would have to be way more tough just to make it feel different.

No my intent was definitely not to make the game easier for players that cannot adapt to opponents decks.

Yes there are a lot of competitive decks at the moment, but there is still a generally bad feeling about the current meta. The community is loosing players, at least that is my view, locally and online.

My main idea that I wanted to discuss is: If there was a restricted list, wouldn´t it be fun to have one list combined for both decks.
The main contra to this idea, is that it is harder to use such a list to break up combos.

Restricting Datasucker is incredibly dangerous!

Oww maan so that’s just one of those theoretical threads like those twenty on BGG? Bummer. I thought you wanted to actually do something interesting, not just talk =_=

1 Like

Restricting those cards to 2-of-total makes no sense, I’m afraid. Scorched Earth only works in multiples in most decks, so you’re killing a lot of Flatline lists, as well as taking a hammer to FA. SanSan and Biotic were made for each other. Also, in restricting SanSan, I feel like you’d be making Whizzard worse, which just saddens some part of me deeply.

I’d also say that Account Siphon isn’t the real issue (if there is one), and the decks that need Parasite need Parasite. Noise in particular, but Anarchs in general, too. Just because it’s used elsewhere, doesn’t mean they don’t want it badly.

The banlist makes Anarch more or less unplayable, and I disagree heavily with it. Kind of wondering if it’s a case of Poe’s law, to be honest.

FA is irritating, but done in by multi-access on centrals. The proposed bans kill (or at least maim) all NBN decks (except maybe Glacier/Tagstorm), NEXT Design, ETF FA, and Cerebral Imaging.

Multi-access… doesn’t make the battle for remotes less likely, in my opinion, but sure, let’s take the legs out from under most decks in general, and make Weyland and HB the top corps.

Caprice isn’t half so bad as people say. She’s a massive irritant, I’ll agree, I’ve lost more than one game as runner on her account, but there are already ways of dealing with her, and if you tax the corp their choices become limited.

AD is just a stupid card. CI can make it work, sometimes, but it’s still a stupid card and not very good most of the time.

Datasucker removal murders Anarch breakers entirely. Mimic and Yog are both out, so I hope they only wanted Knight and Corroder/Morning Star anyway. (Force of Nature, I guess?)

Desperado, I’ll confess, is the one card I’d ban if someone held a gun to my head and made me pick. I’d rather it was “the first time your make a successful run” but that’d break it utterly.

Banning Kate and ETF outright is an interesting choice. I’m curious how Red Coats doesn’t suffer without the identity it functions best with. I’m also curious what the point of the list is, if you want to take out FA and Glacier archetypes.

Going back to the more sane restrictions list, a total of 3-of would make more sense and break things less. I’d still call it unnecessary, as Arkhon said there isn’t anything game-breaking just yet. NBN FA is “the best”, but it’s easy enough to plug in anti-FA tech, I feel like, and it’s getting to be less overwhelmingly viable.

(I spent too much time responding to this, didn’t I? Yes, I did. Oh well.)

EDIT: I think a better way of dealing with the Account Siphon mess, if one must, is to give Jinteki and HB means to punish tags. Not even to the same extent as the others, or in the same way (a tag-punishing asset seems pretty doable), but that’d seal off a big chunk of the AS danger that I still am unsure is wholly necessary.

Sorry you must have understood me wrong, like in AGOT I would allow 3 of each card chosen.
At the beginning of deckbuilding you choose 2 out of the 5 cards I proposed. Each of those is allowed the usual 3 of maximum.

Oh, yes, I see. I thought you meant “2 total, split between them, for both runner and corp”. I would say that restricting BOTH decks seems unwieldy in comparison to each, though, especially if it was meant to be larger. Hard to check for legality of one-off play, which might not matter for OCTGN testing or casual play, but would still be something some folks might be bugged by, I dunno.

Far to early to be removing cards from this still smallish card pool, Account Siphon is strong, but not broken.

As a avid NBN player (since core), Astro is the closest thing to being broken as once is scored you cant do any thing about it.

Currently it would be better to print counters to cards like these then ban/restrict so early.


The easiest solution I can think of is just rotate out the coreset, this gets rid of a large chunk of problem cards

I have another bad idea: restrict each player to only 1 copy of the core set.

This would (1) nerf a bunch of op cards, and (2) make getting into the game more accessible for new players.

1 Like

That would make so many people rage :stuck_out_tongue:

OTOH, it should make the people who complain about “having” to buy three copies of the core set happier. :wink:

I’d say restricting to one core set would be detrimental for FFG as well, but they don’t seem remotely interested in maximizing profits.

Make custom sleeves and tokens already and take my money!


It does appear that their brand/business management is severely lacking. They could be doing playmats, as well, since they own all the art.