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Stimhack Chat - Worlds Review by Foilflaws

He’s always leaving himself an out - thats good play right there.

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Frankly, I haven’t been playing competitively for a while, right around when Rumor Mill dropped. I enjoy playing glacier builds out of HB / Weyland and that damn card just crushed them for me. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I deeply dislike that card and place much of the homogeneity-problem regarding the competitive scene on its shoulders. I’ll spare you all the reasons, what with them being obvious and discussed ad naseum.

Folks - is this view wrong? Would glacier be more of a thing w/out it?

I’m not really in on the competitive scene, but from casual play, I feel like Rumor Mill’s effect on glaciers is part of a larger problem – the fact that glacier even needs defensive upgrades to have a chance against strong runners.

It looks like some of the bigger, nastier ice we’re seeing is an attempt to let the ice bear more of the burden of defending the server (odd concept, eh?). With all the support for bypassing, ice destruction, and stealth, though, I’m skeptical about anything changing much until we see some more non-unique defensive upgrades. It looks like Warroid Tracker might give HB a new option in the Red Sand cycle; maybe we’re getting some rebalanced, non-unique counterparts to Caprice and Ash in the near future.

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Well whatever they do I hope they don’t let it rest on a stupid coin toss like Caprice.


I hope rumour mill gets MWL’ed, imho that would solve mostof the issues (maybe CTM’s tag becoming avoidable too). Fingers crossed that Manta Grid is good!

Before EoI, Tagstorm decks could be negated by playing 2x Plascrete. To this end, there were many tag-me decks that never tried to avoid tags. These decks included no resources, but instead deriving economy from hardware and/or programs.

These decks would install multiple Plascrete Carapraces, as the worst thing that could happen to a tagged runner was suffering meat damage. Closed Accounts may cause a tempo hit, but many of these decks were prepared to money up quickly from 0. A Psycho-Beale would be a potentially game-ending combination, which would require either carefully keeping tags under the 1-shot score threshold (depending on score) or a Clot/CC to block the play.

I like EoI because it gave teeth to tag punishment that can not be easily negated. All runners finally have some good reasons to fear tags, instead of taking them and laughing.

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I agree with the principle. Tags were death or nothing to decks build around taking them. They needed more teeth. I don’t think EoI is ideal. Things like Observe and Destroy, Best Defense, All Seeing I, and Closed Account are much better. The corp knowing who/where/what you are should be able to ruin your day and plans, but it shouldn’t really be the be-all and end-all. NBN wants to know demographic information about the population, not just you. Sure they can USE information on you, but one customer is no business model.

CtM is broken because in practice it increases the trash cost of all assets by three. The political assets are all a mistake, sure, but you don’t need them for CtM to be bonkers. CtM is bonkers with Mumbad Virtual Tour and Prisec. CtM is bonkers with Adonis Campaign, Melange and Jackson and it’s going to be bonkers with a dozen cards that still haven’t been printed.

You can ban Breaking News and put Sensie, Bankers and HHN on the Most Wanted List and it wouldn’t matter at all. The Door to Door deck the Spanish team took to Worlds plays no Breaking News and has at least 4 influence to spare.

Still, what worries me most about CtM is not its power, but the fact that it won’t be banned. The need for a ban list is stronger than ever, yet FFG refuses to bulge.

Without Rumor Mill, Sandburg would have broken the game. Which is not a defense of Rumor Mill, but a condemnation of it.

There are a bunch of cards in Netrunner that are mistakes, cards that shouldn’t have been made. They have a negative impact on the game and the designers feel compelled to do something about it.

The problem as I see it is that instead of taking them out of the game through a ban, they are welcomed into the fabric of the meta by giving them counters. So Sandburg and Batty spam get Rumor Mill, NAPD and TFP get Film Critic and so on.

The problems with this are two-fold. The first is that there’s a lot of collateral damage. Rumor Mill nullifiies every single unique asset, including those that are unique for flavour reasons. Film Critic keeps defensive agendas down, but it also gets rid of Old Hollywood Grid, Punitive Counterstrike and Midseasons. Diversity goes down and the game becomes more centralized.

The second is that a lot of nasty stuff that would otherwise be removed from the game is artifically kept in it. Without Whizzard, the current amount of assets would have broken the game and the designers would have been forced to take action. But since Whizzard keeps assets at a “manageable” level, nothing is done. Again, the result is that the number of viable strategies goes down. The Spam/Whizzard duality we’ve seen is an example of this.

As far as Glacier done, I think they have killed it for now. There are too many nails in the coffin to bother with it:

  1. Blackmail/Rumor Mill
  2. Smoke
  3. Playing around Beth (More than 14 credits = Death)
  4. DDoS builds
  5. Spy Camera builds.

I’ve had some success with Palana, but it’s a lot of work that you can avoid by playing NBN. So why bother?

Man, typing stuff makes me sad. I was extremely close to quitting the game around Nationals and while things have improved, the fact that I’m still being tempted worries me.


These are fair points, but I disagree that tagstorm merely required 2x Plascrete to play against and that Psycho & Closed Accounts aren’t enough on their own. I played against a lot of Midseasons asset spam decks before EOI came out and they were very good, Psycho was a great win condition and clotting it is tough for a few reasons (have to Clot on install, negated by CVS, etc.). Psycho and Closed are in almost every current CTM and SYNC list for a reason.

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Thanks for summing this up, Erik. The design team has been distracting me with lots of shiny toys and Damon’s tendency to print genuinely new things is great, but I agree that some of the worst core design philosophies are still rampant and hurting the game. Printing roughly 1 silver bullet per pack is not a good thing.


I don’t remember the game being glacier-broken during 23 seconds because of Sandburg, but that meta lasted about as long as the datapack name. I felt like there were a ton of other plays to get around it. But then again, I had fun with it in glacier so it was only a matter of time.

I dunno, I’m just one of those sad souls who loved playing BS Bootcamp and can’t quite get into the focus of the current corp meta.

I would argue that Rumour Mill is the only real problem card we’ve seen this cycle. It doesn’t have to kill glacier forever but it is a problem atm. Personally I think the other decks / cards you list add to the variety of the game and force the corp to play appropriately. They aren’t all good matchups, but that’s part of being a card game.

Film Critic is probably the only other card I wish didn’t exist. In practice though, it’s rarely ruined my day.

I agree with your thesis and that its a problem but I don’t think its quite a bad a situation as that.

What gets me is it seems relatively simple design alterations to the hate cards to narrow their scope would solve a lot of the problems.

  • If Rumor Mill was “name a unique asset or upgrade, its blank” it’d still be good at stopping caprice/sandburg but glaciers could build around it.
  • If Film Critic used crisium as a template and was “Once per turn when you access an agenda, you may choose for it to not be considered to be accessed for the purposes of agenda abilities” it’d still be useful without hosing a whole lot of things (also would avoid confusing with new players over the wording).

They feel like rushed solutions without thinking of the implications. In a way thats fair - a single chief designer can’t thinking of all the permutations when they’re on the grind of coming up with the next cool thing.


EoI is a well designed tag punishment card. It’s effect is strong but doesn’t win you the game outright, and it directly relates to 3-pointers.

1: strong tag punishment that helps the corp when the runner goes tag-me
2: encourages use of 3-points
2a: decreases agenda density because you have a legitmate “out” if they score a 3 pointer
2b: decreased agenda density helps to keep the game feeling viable post-jackson

EoI is fine. The problem is that Breaking News was worded in the core set and so has crappy templating that means the runner keeps the tags if it’s swapped on the same turn that it’s scored.


I think the really strong agenda abilities should not be on the 2/1s and 3/2s. Most of the core set and first cycle cards are like this. If TGBGT & BN had their abilities swapped it would be better. Nisei and NAPD are good examples of agendas with strong abilities that are not also trivial to score.


Your points 2, 2a and 2b are not really true. Have you seen another 3-pointer besides global food being used? If we didn’t have global food, it would be much riskier to to try and use EoI.

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Also, GFI exists.

just because food was printed doesn’t mean that EoI as part of a gameplan doesn’t make another 3 pointer more acceptable to play.

Yes, I’ve seen it used with Restructured Datapool and also with Vanity Project in Haarp. Both of these strategies are much higher risk than GFI, and thus are much less reliable.