The Anarch IDs and the Impact on the Metagame

Looking at the Order and Chaos spoilers, I had a bit of a realization about Anarch that I’d like to share.

We don’t really have a “Best ID” do we?

Criminal(/the game) has Andy. Gabe and others are good, but her results show she’s far and away the best. Andy has a massive consistency boost, so as long as the faction is strong, she will be.

Shaper has Kate. I love Kit and CT, but Kate is pretty clearly the frontrunner. Cheaper installs on everything!

We… don’t have that, and I’m not sure we’re going to. The tournament results that I’ve seen for Anarch all seem relatively balanced between the IDs. I mean, Reina has been in the lead recently, but has also been behind before, and I don’t know what the shift there has been necessarily.

The reason why this is exciting, to me, is that there’s a chance that Anarch’ll have the most diversity in powerful options if they get the boost we’re all expecting them to get.

In all seriousness, we have (including the partial spoiler from snow-jax on SA):

  1. Noise, who trashes on virus install. Powerful ability that seems to be returning to being powerful, with Cache and all the new virii.
  2. Whizzard, who punishes asset economy builds and gets a few credits here and there by removing SanSans and J. Hows more effectively.
  3. Reina, who makes rezzing ice harder and pushes the danger-number for each corp up a small but meaningful amount.
  4. Quetzal (whose decksize and influence is unknown, and is technically unconfirmed), who breaks one barrier subroutine each turn, making her more able to penetrate servers.
  5. Edward, who hits assetless economies by trashing operations, and also clears out dangerous combo ops.
  6. Unknown that looks like they might make the Corp start with Bad Pub, making Blackmail and many other things an option, and making runs cheaper.

These are all really good, and I’m sure we’ll see some be better than the others, but right now they all seem well-positioned if Anarch as a whole gets what they need. I feel as if this might, strangely, lead Anarch to be a very meta-defining faction in the future, perhaps more than the others, in some ways.

Let me explain. Currently, you play with Ice chosen to irritate Andy/fixed strength breakers and dodge Atman, generally, right? After all, why wouldn’t you, those are some of the biggest dangers you can face.

But with all of the above as potential options, can you really handle all of these? Edward and Whizzard push the corp into the other’s territory – becoming less vulnerable to one might leave you open to the other, and neither is likely to be useless against you. Quetzal invalidates the most common type of run-ending Ice, at least in part, meaning that a wraparound alone won’t keep anything safe. Noise requires recursion or lots of protection to handle, or lots of damage dealing. Reina requires economy to rez Ice you might not be able to otherwise. Mystery-runner means NAPD might become a liability against her, but not necessarily elsewhere.

Some of these abilities are more powerful/frustrating, and we haven’t seen one runner (or the deck/influence of two of them), but overall I think these are much closer, potentially? Or at least, close enough that local metagames might shift very heavily based on which Anarchs they tend to encounter, as much as to overall changes.

Your thoughts?

If the Bad Pub ID does in fact start the game with the corp on 1 BP with no downside, then I think she will become “the best” pretty quickly. It’s a free desperado that starts the game in play and doesn’t care whether the run is successful (ok there will be a few runs at the start of the game where you won’t use the credit). And that’s not even taking into account Blackmail tricks and Investigative Journalism. Sure the others might be more powerful in individual match-ups (incidentally I am loving Noise decks against RP right now), but for consistency and across the board power I think you’ll struggle to match her.


This is true. I can’t imagine her not having a pretty restrictive decksize/influence though. 10 influence might even be too high – 5 seems possible, since so much of the Bad Pub stuff is in-faction. On abilities alone, though, I agree, she’s the standout because of increased consistency. (I may have, uh, written most of this before people spotted her and then fit her in.) Even so, I think she’s likely to be made more manageable than she would be at 45/15 – FFG’s been getting better and better at balancing IDs, I feel like, even if some of them are still quite off-the-wall.

Nah. I reckon they’ll go the Near Earth Hub route and give her 17 influence ;-).

(seriously though, I think she’ll get 10)

Maybe. I’m expecting 10 for Quetzal, though, and Valencia’s ability is second only to Andy/Kate, if that, so I could see them going to 8 or something. 5 was assuming they over-correct. That said, yeah, 10 is certainly possible. She’d still be stunningly good, though, true enough.

Ah well. I still think there’s a lot more potential for Anarch IDs to push local metagames in wildly different directions, and that’s what excites me most in the end.

I’m mostly excited to be able to run more virus shenanigan’s. I like noise, but as it stands currently, he just doesn’t feel consistent enough to me. Giving him tools like Hive Mind, Virus Breeding Ground, the Incubator…that seems like such a huge boost.

Still, the biggest problem I’ve always had with Anarch is their econ, so I’ll continue to keep an eye out for new cards that help them in that area. I suppose that would be anarch’s big weakness, relying on out-of-faction things to get reliable cash (Aesops, Magnum, Personal Workshop, etc).

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Yeah, I think you have to go 10 for Quetzal for the same reason Kit had to be 10 (Siphon essentially). It’s a nasty, nasty ability, however more and more of the good barriers have multiple sub-routines, so difficult to say how good she will actually be one the set comes out.

I think Edward will be another Whizzard, coming and going as the meta fluctuates.

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The bad pub ID frankly scares me in the same faction as medium & incubator. I don’t really like non interactive games, and the ability to repeatedly multiaccess a server with blackmail/same ol thing/planned assault… erg

Edward is going to be better than Whizzard. Accessing Biotics/Trick of Light and trashing them is going to wreck fast advance. San-San is already vulnerable to Imp (or just credits).

I’ve seen nothing for them in terms of economy or tutoring so far - and those are the two biggest weaknesses Anarch has. I’m not sure Bad Publicity will be enough to cut it. Maybe. You can dish out a lot with some of those resources. The Bad Pub runner could well do the Anarch rig better than Andy, though, if you import Security Testing or Anarch gets some better run economy cards.

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I think you give Blackmail too much credit. There are already too many ways that a blackmail based deck get stopped cold. Decks that score out of hand, decks that never advance like Jinteki, the new Eliza’s Toybox, any Bioroid efficiency decks.

A guy I know locally made a blackmail-based deck, and it was interesting but not all that effective.

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Valencia w/ Blackmail will be decent, but yeah, Blue Sun and many other things can be put together to keep her from being overwhelming. Just, again, will force some neat metagame shifts to try and get that set up. But Weyland and HB can both do it, and having only 9 runs in a game (Blackmail + SOT + Deja Vu) that require you to have the right cards… that’s not likely to be enough.

Will be cool, but just having the bad pub for other things seems more effective still, using Blackmail for the occasional dip into a super server/to go imp that SanSan.

I think Valencia, assuming she has reasonable deck size and influence, is an awesome ID. Hopefully, we don’t go down the road of same old/deja/blackmail with nothing else, and there is a reasonable middle-of-the-road style deck that isnt super linear that spawns from it, but either way, I’m glad to see a new, powerful anarch ID.

Edward seems more in line with Whizzard and Reina, though not particularly spectacular when compared to either. Choosing which one of them to play will probably be a meta call more than anything else.

Quetzal will probably have some janky combo stuff to go with him but in the end be like Kit, worse than the other in faction IDs but with a still-reasonable deck to build around him. Could be wrong about this evaluation; there are a lot of interesting implications of his ability.

All this speculation is working on the assumption that they did a good job balancing the deck size/influence of the IDs we haven’t seen all of yet.

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I don’t think it’s game breaking… But previous blackmail decks relied on having to deliver the first bad pub through some janky combo (unless they played against GRNDL). Eliminating that step means all she needs is virii & djinn, and a smidge of time. It just happens to be in the same faction as tutorable multiaccess, with new ways that bump multi access in a click, and that kinda bums me out. On the other hand, on the running side it will be hilarious to have grimore, install nerve agent/medium, surge/incubator, then blackmail/same ol blackmail.

And all of that uses cards you’d use for Anarch anyway (surge notwithstanding), rather than the previous Blackmail decks which require several slots for the other BadPub dealers. And I think Blackmail is a bad card because it encourages noninteractive play and makes a completely noninteractive game state.

I agree that Blackmail spam decks are not particularly fun for anyone if they get up and running. I don’t think they will be the best decks out of Valencia though and if they become a problem the corps have cards that just shut it down.

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If Blackmail spam is good, won’t people just start playing BP removal?


My experience of current Anarch as well as many others I have spoken to is that it’s biggest bane is consistency. That being said when an Anarch deck fires on all cylinders, there isn’t anything better in the game. I have always found bad publicity to be most useful with anarchs, and if the Corp starts the game with one, that sounds pretty devastating and something consistent to build around.

My opinion however is that the meta is all fingers toward Noise. His ability isn’t conditional, it wrecks combos and assets, has full influence, and tons of cheap and useful viruses to install. Big ice has been his biggest soft spot and d4v1d helps pretty significantly with that problem. As far as economy, I admit i only have a few games under my belt, but i have been playing cache, aesops, Gorman drip, and hedge fund as my only econ, and it had me rolling in double diget credits almost the whole game.

I am not sure noise is quite there yet, but with all of the spoiled cards from the big box, it’s looking like he’s going to turn into a milling monster with options to access servers as needed.


Noise right now, seems to me, to be at his best since the release of Jackson. There are a lot of ways to go with it too; hopefully the box gives him a little more economy or consistency, since those are the areas where he tends to suffer. He has decent game vs both astrobiotics and glacier decks, getting a lot of free accesses vs the former and speeding up the clock and negating the very important jackson howard against the latter.


Clone chip, Imp, and Parasite wildly strong in the current meta. The fact that you get a bonus for installing with Noise is icing on the cake.

I’d like to be trying out some of the newer viruses like Lamprey and Hemmorage but there just isn’t room.

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Lamprey is good if only for a 1 cost mill. Seems like an easy card to fit IMO.

What’s the source for Quetzal’s ability?