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Scaling the Netrunner AggroCrag by SimonMoon

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/scaling-the-netrunner-aggrocrag-by-simonmoon/

Discuss the latest article by @SimonMoon here.


The best local aggro player keeps telling me to play aggro decks and get out of my comfort zone (which is basically Kate, RegMaxX, Noise, and Andy – more or less all control decks). I’ve played Gabe a little bit, but that’s about as far as it goes. The point about aggro decks forcing you to read your opponent more is important, I think.

Nice article. :slight_smile:

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I’ll second your friends recommendation. I find personally the best way to learn is to make mistakes, lose, and then recognize you made a mistake. These mistakes are a lot easier I recognize and fix then mistakes where you didn’t run something and should have.

Aggro decks are also way more interesting and challenging than they are in magic.


Aggro being “bad” right now is the perfect reason to play it! The hardest thing about learning a new archetype is learning how to play out of really tough situations and seemingly hard-counters. When the meta is unfriendly you are faced with those situations constantly and get lots of practice dealing with them!


Thanks @SimonMoon for the PE tips. Sorry had to walk off at the end of our conversation there.

Fast question, Comparing the econ with your Parasite Spam and the RegAss list, do you see a good combination of the two? I assume RegAss is more of a late game list and you just want to win fast with the medium digs with the Parasite Spam like you mentioned. That being said, what is your strategy if you get into mid/late game?

This is true. In the period of time between when I went to my first meetup and playing a ton on octgn, I moved cities and therefor stopped going to meetups for a bit. I did still play with my SO, who doesn’t like learning new cards. So we got stuck playing only Gabe vs. Shutdown PE, which is a brutal matchup for Gabe. So I got a ton of practice in this, and you learn that you can win without a corrodor and all sorts of other fun things.

What are your thoughts on Geist as an aggro ID? Using the B&E set is cheap and quick to setup, not to mention it just speeds up your gameplan. I’ve been trying to play him as such and have been finding some success in my limited testing.

Kate with 3x Stimhack. have all the shaper toys, but be able to be much more aggressive regularly. :3 Try it out!

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I’ve been trolling around on OCTGN putting 3x Datasucker 3x Parasite and 3x Stimhack into assorted Shaper shells. It’s a blast!

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imo the decline of aggro gabe/criminal in general is linked to the rise of clone chip. clone chip is arguably the best runner card in the game and shaper and anarch can extract the most value from it. if criminal would get a powerhouse program or two that work well with clone chip i think aggro gabe would be back in full force. .

I think there are two main culprits: an abundance of better ICE, a much of it a pain to facecheck and/or cheap for the corp to rez, and better corp economy nerfing the power of account siphon.


Players are also just way better at the game now, and specifically are better at dealing with siphon. I think at the Casual ->GNK level aggro is still super effective if you are practiced with it, since many players will not change their corp deck’s game plan, allowing you to land huge blowout plays that they could have stopped if they would only abandon their plan A and adapt. However, once you encounter players who put in the time to learning how to ward off these tactics they will seize every opportunity to lock you out if you fall even one step behind.

I think this is why Maxx is going to be the hallmark aggro runner for a long time, since she helps you get that all-important one-click-ahead of a smart player who knows how to stop you in theory, never letting them get the brief foothold they need to put their defense into practice.

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And the average-to-intermediate player being better at playing around the card.

Its been enough time, people learned up.

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Loved the article, thanks for writing it! :smile:

I still don’t know if I like the usage of Magic-like terms for Netrunner though. All this is highly dependent on playstyle and specific matchups, more than deck composition. For example, if I’m playing Reg-Ass, I can also play Datasucker and start probing servers for free accesses in the early turns, instead of mostly building up Kati and waiting for the Corp to do anything. Ideally, this can happen simultaneously. Same reasoning for Kate with SMC and Stimhack, or Noise with Faust.

Your econ is more bursty, sure, but if I’m getting “free” accesses anyways the lower money levels of Reg-Ass in the early game shouldn’t be much of a problem. And the lack of staying power for these kind of “aggro-only” lists will hurt you in the long term. The best Runner decks at the moment are able to both go for early pressure and still have a good lategame. That’s what makes them so good.

very nice article, and right up my alley. I like games where something happens.

You’ve very accurately also described the pain points. Architect and the resilience to being poor of blue sun are two issues to anarch early game focussed decks. Crims obviously have better tools of dealing with these.

To me, this seems like a beautifully timed article as well, with fisk just coming out. In general, as corp, it’s very hard to draw yourself out of your trouble against the deck’s described. And now Fisk does it for you! I hope it inspires some people :slight_smile:

I think aggro fell prey to the split corp focus that started with the latest packs of Spin Cycle, continued with the rise of RP in Honor & Profit and the speed that NBN decks gained in early Lunar cycle. The economy in the control-focused corps (RP, Blue Sun and some HB builds) is so good and the defenses so sturdy that only commiting a few cardslots to lategame won’t cut it. Also the fast NBN decks have gotten several tools that make econ denial much harder, combined with the tools to deal with syphon by forcing the runner to clear tags.

Valuable article. Aggressive needn’t mean fast as you discuss, and their are elements of control, because it is Netrunner.

Well written. Thanks!

I’ll ignore HB here, everybody knows what they do (a bit of everything while being rich).

The other two are strange glaciers.

RP gets it’s sturdyness from it’s ability. You need to run remotes sometimes, and then you have to run the centrals. Otoh, the centrals have no additional benefits, the once taxing ice is susceptible to all the tricks simon talked about, and all the victory conditions of the decks he spoke about are on the centrals. The issue lies with sundew. That card is “unfair” in RP. In these matchups, the game tends to go as sundew goes. It lives, the corp will be able to grow out of the hole the runner tries to drive him in. It dies, RP is forced to go on a ration of celebrity gifts. Compared to HB, it’s typical assets have the issue that they don’t help you dodge siphon. For either anarch or criminal, this matchup is playable.

Blue sun is the second strange one. Lets get it out there, there’s a reason our steady glacier player bblum felt the need to import 1x adonis with all tutors so he could be tricky with it and the BS ability. Blue sun is own not very good at making money compared to the other glaciers. It’s ability eats clicks. It’s a good ability, but it has a cost. It’s natural economy is largely operation based, of which it’s party trick is a combo dependent on the runner not being set up yet. To grow to a lategame, importing cards that would result in a steady income was valuable.

What blue sun does well is punishing facechecking and resisting being poor. It’s bank is in it’s ice, and the typical anarch way of dealing with that doesn’t work very well. You’d love to be able to parasite some so BS’s choices become more limited, but that’s really tricky (even if you are reina). On the other hand, criminal’s way of dealing with ice kicks BS where it hurts most. A derez is just an ice that won’t work for a little against the usual corp, against BS you are limiting how much money he has to play with (while he potentially already has less than the usual glacier). It takes longer to set up than against the usual corp, if you do manage to get it on it’s knees, it stays there. If you want to see it graphically, you are as an aggro runner catching up against a corp with a head start. Crucially, BS won’t outgrow your pressure though, like how HB and RP will win games vs you. He’ll need to neuter your initial assault (to which he’s well equipped).

Or in other words there are issues, not all of them are insurmountable. And currently with the porous, early game focussed yellow decks around, people could give some of these ideas of simon a try, it’s not the worst meta for it, I think?


Thanks for all the responses everyone! It’s great to hear that people appreciated what I wrote. There’s a lot of stuff i want to respond to in here which I’ll try to get to later when I’m home.

Loved reading the article. Just getting into the real neat and potatoes and am a big fan of analysis things.

Shame aggression is not in the spot I’d like it to be, but I am still incredibly excited to be playing a rush with Laramy Fisk with the next data pack. Besides getting more agendas into play, as you aptly informed me, I think his advantage over other criminals is that his ability pressures all three central servers on its own, rather than tunneling HQ for procs.
My current idea uses drug dealer, Seminar, and data Folding to power up Faust, but he may also be as successful dedicating nearly everything to centrals.