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State of the Meta - June 2017

We’ve had some big events and a fair number of Regionals. What is the read people have on the state of the meta?

From my vantage point (such as it is), it looks like the top decks sort out something like this right now:

HB Moons

Are there any more that you would describe as top decks that you absolutely would expect to face at the top tables? CI or Skorp maybe?

Whizzard, Siphon
Whizzard, Temujin
Lock Haley

Anyone else? Is Andy still a deck you would expect at the top? NorCal Ayla?

I think when you look at the very top of major tournament results, everything you wrote is spot on. I would go ahead and include CI in the top corps, while Skorp is a strong meta choice but hasn’t quite won anything yet.

There’s a ton of viable tier two decks right now that, in the hands of the right pilot, could take down a regional, though. Things like Moons IG, Desperado Smoke, Hatchet Job Skorp, CtM, DLR & good stuff Andy, etc. are all strong. The meta looks wide open, honestly. If you want to play a particular faction, you can likely find a strong archetype in it.


There are simply no more big meta,the Euros and US regional are the best example.
The gap between T1 and T2 decks are really small,you can build a deck that teched against T1 decks and also have some decent match up against other decks.You just can’t have a well-rounded deck.
It’s hard to estimate the state of meta,and to be honest,the best meta is the meta that hard to estimate.

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I think there are about 4 Corp decks right now that will beat anything not teched for them. Ci, moon etf, hatchet skorp and sync boom. Of those, ci is probably the most obnoxious to tech against, requiring employee strikes or siphons t1. Moon etf is probably next, requiring ridiculous money tempo to keep up with trashes. As such I’m kind of on the opinion that siphon whizz is the best bet, as it has the tech for both of those (and okay matchups against skorp + sync too). That said, it can be an absolute dog to anything else that isn’t those top 4,and isn’t even necessarily that great against them either. The runner meta right now certainly is an enigma and I’m struggling to solve it.

I haven’t found it very difficult to beat Skorp without tech. Unless you count Rebirth Quetzal, which I do almost every time I draw the Rebirth.

Corp side Etf Moon, CI, SYNC and Aginfusion seem the decks to beat.

As for the runner, I’d say that Smoke, Hayley and Kate are all well positioned to beat the above mentioned big 4. They pack a lot of hate cards which are useful in many matchups of these matchups (clot, film critic, sac con), they can have a good economic engine (prepaid Kate, Temu Smoke, Hayley with Aesop and Bloo Moose very soon) and they have a choice of breakers which is extremely good for the current meta ( stealh breakers, lady, mimic, atman, faust and chameleon).
Siphon Whizz seems ok vs Etf Moon, but not as good as a shaper, but very hard to pilot vs Sync and vs Aginfusion

What Aginfusion builds are you talking about? The ID is so new I just haven’t seen it around much.

From what I understand it’s the glacier RP deck ported into AgInfusion. Get something gross like DNA tracker rezzed on RnD use caprice, nisei tokens and strategic use of AgInfusions ability to score out. Friends keeps the ice coming back and AgInfusions ability makes it hard to resolve run based events like siphon, spooned , legwork, deep data mining etc. I haven’t played it. it seems a bit fiddly but I’ve been told it’s good

Ones I’ve seen resemble Palana more (they are on operation econ, not on assets). They are a bit poorer but having a way around powerful run events (and there’s plenty of them in common runner decks) helps a lot. Then there are two AgInfusion-specific tricks.

  1. If you get an Excalibur rezzed on some irrelevant remote and the runner has no way to break it, they cannot make any meaningful runs as long as you can install one ice per turn.

  2. If you rez a big nasty piece of ice (usually DNA Tracker or Chiyashi) on the outside of some server (which, in other corp, would usually result in the runner avoiding the server until end of the game unless they have really good reasons to go there), you can throw the runner into that ice when they run elsewhere.

@Matuszczak has won Wrocław Regionals this weekend with Grail AgInfusion deck.


Do you think Skorpios will remain enough of a presence in the meta that in order to be viable in competitive play you have to be able to survive Skorpios rig-shooter?

(I have a deck I really like but it just flat loses to Skorpios. I figure that means it is not playable at a tournament, but I don’t want to let it go.)

I won Bratislava Regionals on the same day but with a Ruhr Valley AgInfusion deck :smiley: (https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/43658/click-me-1st-bratislava-regionals-5-2-)


This is where the meta starts to feel a lot like Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Skorpios is the type of deck that can cheese wins out of a lot of good, competitive decks, but it also has match-ups that are practically unwinnable, like Eater/Siphon Anarch. It’s a deck that gets better the less people are prepared for it, so I wouldn’t expect it to completely take over the meta any time soon, but you could probably count on at least one person trying to play spoiler with some sort of rig shooter. When it works it spits out easy wins.

I wouldn’t call it a total deal breaker if your deck can’t handle Skorp. I doubt you’d hit it more than once in Swiss, and everybody drops a game or two from time to time. Hopefully if they make the cut someone with the right tools knocks them out before you face off again.

The thing with the meta right now is that there isn’t really a deck that has great match-ups across the board.

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Isn’t that exactly what we wanted?


What we want is for every deck to have 50-50 matchups across the board.

The question is what we can accept instead of this platonic ideal. A meta where every deck has 60-40 and 40-60 matchups only does not seem like a very good meta.

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If it was 60-40 and 40-60 I think it’d be fine but we’re much more extreme odds atm. I think everything being 50% is bad because then there are no meta calls, but I think we should ideally have something close to it.


I agree that all 50-50 match-ups diminish the game somewhat. I think the game is best if most match-ups are between 40-60 and 60-40.

I think degenerate decks are the only ones that should have 80-20 match-ups… but I also think that the game should not favor degenerate decks as much as CI7 is currently favored.

I think it was Ben Ni who made a comment about how when the meta stagnates to just one or two top decks that are good against each other, there is less degeneracy because everyone is playing the deck to beat, but it also homogenizes the meta like the days of Whizz/NEH. When the meta is more open, players gravitate towards degenerate decks because they can ignore whole functions of the game and just focus on their own game plan, which makes them somewhat more resilient to drawing a bad matchup.

Right now the most egregious offenders are probably DLR Andromeda, Bios Encore Combo, CI Combo, and Hatchet/Salem’s Skorp. All of these decks have a shot at tossing you a free win regardless of what your opponent does provided they don’t have the right counter.

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50/50 is the overall average we want for decks to have, but that isn’t attainable for individual deck comparisons unless you homogenize the decks and turn the game into a boring case of identical decks with a few flair cards that don’t do anything interesting so as to not upset the balance.

There is nothing wrong with a deck having a 90/10 balance against a single deck, as long as their overall balance in the metagame is around 50/50. There was a glass cannon piloted to a regional win (I forget what the identity was), and the pilot said he wouldn’t play it again because of the way the meta was shifting. It was a call made based on how he read the current state of the game. Part of the game is reading the meta and picking the best deck to pilot through an average field. If you think a deck that gives you trouble is going to be poorly represented, then you can risk not encountering one to strengthen your deck against what you think will be the dominant deck. Your other option is to figure out what the dominant decks will be, and design a deck to beat those and hope you don’t get taken out by a rogue deck.

There is everything wrong with having 90-10 matchups or even 80-20. Even 70-30 is borderline acceptable.

I play this game to play the game, not the metagame. Sure, picking the right deck is fun and all, but Netrunner tournaments should be about playing Netrunner. A deck that has a 90-10 matchup against a deck that is otherwise a viable deck is a travesty and should be dealt with, either by banning key cards or adding stuff to give the weak deck a better matchup.


In my ideal world, a mid-range deck with a few slots of metagame tech and a good pilot would always have a reasonable shot, regardless of how degenerate the opponent’s deck is. I’m totally fine with there being some matches between specialized decks that are lopsided, though.

I am not a competitive enough player to say whether we are in that situation right now. I would say that in contrast to games of ANR I’ve played using genesis + core, it feels a lot harder to play around known loss conditions without tech with the full cardpool (avoiding tags by having more money than the corp vs. “did I get aaron in time, and did they have MCA informant in time,” for example).