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Siskel and Ebert Ruin The Meta: Film Critic Discussion

Arguably two of the most prevalent competitive corp decks right now depend on their agendas being either self protecting or punishing when the opponent steals. Film Critic tells all those shenanigans to go straight to hell. Imagine a world where an arbitrary access on hq puts the runner two clicks away from 3 points rather than returning TFP back to the cozy chaos that is your 5 card hand. Midseasons is now a card only idiots include. Does this mean RP and butcher-shop are doomed? Is RP actually just fine because TOO OP? Does replacing 3 cards with film critic actually make your deck worse overall despite targeting the corp meta? Truffaut or Bazin?

I feel film critic might end up very clot-like with people assuming others will play it and drive out the decks it counters thus ensuring no one plays it and all the decks remain firmly as they are. A lil fuss has been made over the one card host limit and two clicks needed to pop the agenda over to the score area, but I think I’ve burned five clicks trying to steal a Future Perfect before so a click to run and two clicks at your leisure seem like a pretty clear upgrade over every reality that doesn’t involve a lucky bet on the first psi game. One influence is borderline trivial and shaper can slot it for nothing. It all just seems so easy, what could go wrong?

Leave a comment in the comment box explaining how it could all go wrong.


The comparison to Clot doesn’t really hold up. Clot targets a very specific playstyle and can be a dead card. Film Critic is more versatile.

Currently the competitive meta can basically be broken down into HB:EtF, RP, NEH, Blue Sun and Everything Else. So let’s look at how Film Critic attacks the big 4.

HB:EtF is arguably the most resilient to Film Critic. But that’s because it’s running agendas that don’t protect themselves in the first place, which is a weakness of the deck. Its strength is its powerful economic engine along with effective glacier tools that allow the corp to stay ahead on money and threaten a scoring window when the runner burns through their cash on the efficient, taxing ICE suite. The deck doesn’t plan on punishing the Runner for their shenanigans, it simply makes it extremely difficult for them to have more than one attempt at an agenda before the corp scores it. Film Critic still isn’t dead because of NAPD Contracts, but it certainly isn’t as effective as it could be. That being said, it increases Runner efficiency against HB:EtF because they now don’t have to worry about having 4 credits left over when they manage to access.

RPs agenda suite suffers immensely from Film Critic. A large part of the power of the deck is that it is resilient to both single and multi-access, due to there being only three agendas that can be stolen outright. Combined with its ability to keep the Runner out of remotes and a suite of ICE that handily defend central servers and remotes, the few accesses that the Runner gets must be of high impact. NAPD and TFP both reduce the potential for those runs to be high impact because of their ability to shrug the Runner off. But Film Critic ignores that. If you access ANY agenda with Film Critic installed, then you can take it for the low low price of two clicks. And if you see more than one due to multi-access? Host them BOTH! The first agenda you hosted will go to their archives, ripe for the plucking (or at least forcing them to awkwardly use a Jackson).

NEH is primarily on the Butchershop plan these days. Film Critic handily turns off the Midseasons, since you aren’t stealing the agenda. That leaves Butchershop with the more awkward Breaking News kill, or to Fast Advance. The deck is very good however, and I expect it will likely just shift to a SEA Source variant. That does make the deck weaker to IHW and Plascrete, but as we’ve seen from Blue Sun kill decks recently, this can be played around. Film Critic hurts this deck a lot, but given enough time I expect it will recover. Perhaps not to its current power level, but still quite good.

Blue Sun kill decks are somewhat resilient to Film Critic, depending on how they go about their kill. Punitive Counterstrike is completely dead, as no points were stolen, but SEA Scorch has been quite popular and doesn’t suffer. Depending on deck construction, NAPD may be something that Film Critic works against.

As for everything else, well let’s have a look at what Film Critic works best against:

  • The Future Perfect
  • NAPD Contracts
  • Fetal AI (still take two net damage)
  • Punitive Counterstrike decks
  • Midseasons decks
  • Argus Security
  • Jinteki: Personal Evolution
  • New Angeles Sol
  • Haarpsichord Studios

Huh. That’s actually not that bad, only three agendas, one of which still deals two net damage. Things like TGTBT, or agendas installed using Casting Call still have their effects trigger (since the runner HAS accessed). IGNORE THIS, it is incorrect. I blame too much playing of Magic for confusing me. Film Critic WILL stop things like TGTBT from firing.

It really sucks for Argus Security as it completely invalidates their ID. It takes away the primary sting from PE, negates NES’s ability to restore their current when it is trashed by the runner (but then again, their current won’t get trashed by the runner stealing an agenda, so…), and allows Runner’s to steal one agenda from Haarpsichord and host/trash any others.

So what’s bad about Film Critic? Well it costs a credit, so it’s not expensive. It costs one influence, so it’s easy to splash, or free if you’re in shaper. That last part is probably well designed, because Shaper really needs more support to make it good. It has the same inherent weaknesses that other resources do, but no other downsides. It does nothing if you’re not running and finding agendas, but if you’re not running you either have reasons or bigger problems to deal with, and it actually allows you to run more easily, since you don’t have to be afraid of Midseasons or Punitive.

So what is Film Critic? It’s pretty safe to say that it’s a “silver bullet” approach to the problem that is a meta chock full of RP and NEH. But is that a good thing? These decks have risen to prominence because it’s difficult for the Corp to be threatening anymore. ICE is little more than a speedbump, and for whatever reason, Runner’s have a much easier time of their economy than corporations do. Damn all that red tape. So corps have had to look for different ways to protect themselves: agendas that are hard to steal, cards that make it very difficult to see agendas, or punishing the Runner should they be in a precarious position when they steal an agenda.

How will corps respond to this? Nobody can say for sure, but it is somewhat polarising. By removing protection from agendas, it means that corps now have to make it difficult to see agendas, or punish the Runner for seeing them. Film critic helps to avoid punishment, but SEA Scorch is still a thing, and certain “when accessed” effects still occur. But that means that making it more difficult for the runner to see agendas is the best way for corps to defend themselves. ICE isn’t enough, unless you’re running IT Department with a lot of counters, and not every deck can durdle like that. So we’re left to rely on other cards, like Caprice and Ash.

I think Film Critic is a very good card. I think it would be better for the game if you had to spend two clicks and trash it to move the agenda into your score area. But then, I haven’t played with or against it yet. Maybe it will be fine, but with how low impact it is on both the Runner’s economy and deckbuilding, and how high a ceiling it has, I very much expect it to have a significant impact on the game.


Is this sarcastic? Because if not, I can only say “what whaaaaaaaaat?”

I suspect it was placed in Shaper for thematic reasons.


You really have to ask that?


The reason for this is because the access trigger resolve at the same timing window and since the runner choose the order, film critic effect resolve before the on-access from the agenda (Fetal, TGTBT, Quantum Predictive Model, etc). It works the same ways as the Femme/Tollbooth interaction.


Huh. This is a result of having played too much Magic I expect. I’ve played a tonne of Netrunner and it’s always seemed to me that when a triggered ability fires, even though you resolve the active player’s first, the non-active player’s will fire. But having delved into it, if the game state has moved past the trigger of a conditional ability that has not yet resolved, it just doesn’t resolve.

That is so weird to me. I knew that Femme and Tollbooth (and Komainu) worked this way, but I thought it was because of the bypass.

That makes Film Critic even better then.

Just a quick note, again unlike clot, there are other runner cards turned on by using film critic, with both The Source and NACH to my mind becoming much more playable.


I absolutely fucking hate The Source, but that interaction is adorable. Nice catch.

Good thing NACH will be playable given the upcoming tag confetti meta


Nach / film critic new meta.

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Noise already ruined the meta.


April 2013 called, they would like their butthurt back


I was planning my Sunny deck, based on my Andy supplier deck, and realised that the All Seeing I would completely destroy it if they managed to land a BN or posted bounty. Already had film critic planned in for Midseasons etc, realised it was an ideal way to dodge tags and could take the plascrete slots .

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As a side note here, this game of netrunner always seems more fun and in better shape when I’m playing it than it does when I’m reading stimhack. YMMV but I’m pretty sure everything is going to be fine and corps will find interesting and fun ways to play.


Film Critic has a lot of problems and isn’t a one-card-catches-all that it first appears to be. The card seems fine and probably playable but I think people are greatly overreacting about this card’s potency. Regardless of how good this card is, people are going to play it, wrong or right, though, so it’s certainly worth discussing.

I’ll list off a few of its problems (from the point of view of Kate/most non-Nasir Shapers, at least):

  • You need to see it early to do anything. Drawing it late is horrible. As with all cards that are dependent on draw order, you’ve somewhat of a dilemma about how many to run: one means it’s not unlikely you draw it before you need it, more means dead draws and more cards in your deck that don’t fuel the fire.

  • It’s a card that doesn’t do anything to help you get accesses for agendas. It doesn’t help you get off the ground, it just assumes you’re already flying.

  • You do have to cut good cards to slot it, and those cards are important. If you’re cutting SMCs/draw for this, you’ll find it harder to get in, if you’re cutting R&D pressure, you’ll have less R&D pressure. This weakens your HB and NEH (Astrobiotics) matchups. Clot was a (far) stronger effect that could also be tutored, which is what made it so strong. Critic cannot be tutored, save for Hostage, and Hostage isn’t good enough.

Film Critic isn’t a win-in-a-card vs Butchershop, and I think the best Butchershop decks are running (>0) SEA Source anyway. Kate shouldn’t have too many problems with Butchershop anyway.

I think RP will still be the best Corp deck. It’s certainly not going to start playing Braintrust, and sure, TFP gets worse if they have a specific card installed, but it doesn’t murder the deck. You have to understand that Kate won’t be able to get in as well/as easy as she did before, she’ll have to cut cards for it.

All this being said, it seems sweet in Nasir.


Doesn’t Imp already do most of this?


Or maybe Michael Bay? I dunno who they hate more these days.


This is true against Butchershop, but not against RP, I don’t think. Being able to steal a TFP is good at any point in the game.

I think this card is better in more cash-poor shapers (e.g. Stealth) as a one-of to get that last NAPD / TFP / Fetal snipe and as a ghetto Net Shield against PE. My Stealth Kit isn’t cutting Utopia Shard or Plascrete for this, it’s 100% an RP hate card.


Imp is 3 inf.


Is it not? You might not access another TFP again, would you rather draw it before you access your last TFP or after? It’s not unplayable lategame, but it’s significantly better early.

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It’s worse, but not “horrible.” I think I’m happy to see it right up until the winning points are advanced in a remote.