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The cards that made us mad

Caprice Nisei

When first spoiled this made lots of people mad and some even quit the game. But I was never sure what their reasons were since there were a lot of reasons not to like her. Was it

a) Just because she’s overpowered?
b) Because she made glacier decks stronger?
c) Because she made runner resource denial decks relatively better?
d) Because she added more randomness to high level play?
e) Becaus she’s frustrating to play against?
f) Because her high influence cost reduces deck building options?
g) Some other reasons?

Also now that she’s been around for a while what do people think of her?

Account Siphon

This card made several people (including me) call for a ban list some time ago. It was a dominant card for over a year. They didn’t ban it, but to deal with it it seems like they have completely nerfed the criminal faction. Do you think this nerfing has done more damage than if they had just banned the card?

Astroscript Pilot Program

This card has not inspired as much rage as the other two. I think that while it is powerful, people think “at least it gets the game over quickly instead of slowly bleeding you to death”. What’s more interesting about this card and the related fast advance strategy is that people don’t talk about it. Since Clot was printed people just assume that it has quietly died while it continues to post results. While I think FA has a place in the game as long as it’s not too easy to do, perhaps this card is still a mistake?

Self-Modifying Code

What is this card doing on the list? Everyone loves shaper, they have the fair and straightforward money and breakers strategy. Which is why this card escaped our rage. But in hindsight, it has heavily harmed two strategies that could have been fun - rush decks using gear checks like Chimera (SMC can grab a breaker after you pick the type, though Parasite is also to blame for Chimera’s low popularity) and decks that rely on the runner making unsafe face checks. Shaper does need a program tutor, but couldn’t they have done it without making it paid-ability-window speed? What do you think?


Oh this is easy!

  • Parasite - The ease of which ICE destruction is available to shapers (through tutoring and recursion) and Anarchs (due to how many copies of this they can play on 1 game) has severely constrained corp deckbuilding more than it already has

  • Datasucker - I think that this card is actually ok. I don’t like how insanely strong it is with Parasite (see point above), but I think that this card is costed too low for too powerful of an effect.

  • Yog.0 - The fact that this card singlehandedly made code gates pointless is silly. Its too low influence, and I think that a 1c cost to break all code gate subs would mean that this card is still good, but not the metagame warping effect its had on the game

  • Corroder - I think that the fact that this is still one of the best barrier breakers in the game is a problem. There have been a ton of interesting barrier breakers that just don’t get used because they’re all not Corroder. Also way too low of influence.

  • Mimic - I think that this card is mostly all right, save that its too low of influence. The fact that Criminals could import an entire breaker suite of these, a couple datasuckers, and still have room for multi access in R&D I think is silly.

  • Account Siphon - I think that this card is a problem just because it creates too big of a swing, although I think its effect on the metagame would not have been quite as warping if Criminals couldn’t also import the hyper-efficient Anarch Breaker suite.

  • Noise I seriously hate this ID. I think that milling is an unfun strategy that is all about not letting your opponent play the game. At least with other cards its mitigated somewhat by how clunky they are to use. But Noise’s ability fires off of a ton of cards you want in your deck anyways. If his ability worked like a lot of other IDs, where it was ‘the first virus you install every turn mills a card off the top of R&D’, I wouldn’t like it, but I’d be fine with it. But since it is as it is now, I despise this ID.

  • Desperado Oh God, I hate this console. Like with Noise above, all it needed was a small tweak. Instead of ‘for every successful run you gain 1c’ make it ‘the first successful run each turn you gain 1c’. Then it would be fine, and other criminal consoles might see more play. But instead, Desperado is just one of those cards that has warped the game around it to where other criminal consoles aren’t Desperado, and therefore are just worse in comparison.

  • Astroscript Pilot Program I say this as an NBN fan, but seriously, screw this card. This card singlehandedly warped the NBN faction and caused (I think) ate up a lot of NBN’s power budget for so long that there wasn’t that much left to spread out to other cards. There are so many cards in the NBN faction that are kind of bad, but we have to accept that, because its the faction that has Astroscript. Ironically, I think the easiest fix for this card would be to have it work like Project Atlas. Its a blank 3/2, but with the caviat that it gets a counter for every advancement counter over 3, and those counters work like normal.


People were mad about caprice when we didn’t know of any alternative runner strategies to playing into the high-stakes psi games. Corps were dominant so runners were incentivized to play high-variance strategies, making games decided in large parts by coin tosses. Now runners’ econ denial and icebreakers are stronger so you can play lower-variance strategies, like bypassing high-stakes psi games with vamp or ice destruction, or delaying the game long enough to win on a high-density R&D. Right now, with runner win rates way higher, Caprice is necessary so corps can win at all, but she’s still poorly designed.

Siphon is fine. People just didn’t know how to play around it by stacking high unrezzed ice costs on HQ or playing eve campaign. When crim was dominant it was just part of the critical mass, and the easiest thing to point a finger at. Nerfing crim has been horrible for the meta.

Astro is fine. It’s very aggressively costed, true, but if it were a 4/2 or a 3/1 it would defeat the whole point. If biotic labor cost $0 people would complain about that too. Like siphon it was part of a critical mass (which culminated in fast track). It didn’t need Clot to nerf it; Lady Leela and MaxX+Medium+Knifed were all very effective counters to NEH that could post 50%+ winrate.

Instant speed tutoring with SMC is unavoidably necessary. I’m starting to sound like a broken record but alongside Lady and Faust it’s just part of a critical mass that’s keeping rush corps down. What rush needs is some way to interact with SMC, like a paid-ability-hate ability stapled onto a piece of ice.

The cards that make me mad are future perfect, clot, batty, yog, and film critic.


jackson howard is actually the only card that makes me mad. if the dev’s wanted to fix agenda flood they needed to revise the basic corp action card to include an action that shuffles a card from HQ or archives into RnD not give NBN 3 spare influence over all the other corps.


Wait, really? Yog?


Cards that make me mad - TFP, Batty, Caprice. Because fuck high-stakes psi games.


Magic’s designers insisted that competitive players wouldn’t enjoy random effects on cards like coin flips in a game where your deck order is randomised anyway. But Magic has the mana system which can make games highly random.

Hearthstone made random effects work for them in a few ways: first, by having them in the game right from the start so competitive players would get used to them. Second, by being a digital only game so random effects would resolve immediately without the tension / making the player feel like messing up a random effect was their fault. Third, random effects are rarely “all or nothing” ie the stakes are lower and you still get something even in the worst case. Fourth, by being a game with little randomness apart from the card effects.

Netrunner didn’t go with any of hearthstone’s rules. The fact that psi games aren’t “pure random” actually makes them worse in some ways. I haven’t seen Batty in action yet but I think you’re right that TFP should be on the list too. It’s weird how they are doubling down on psi games like they’re insisting that it’s a good mechanic instead of trying to quietly phase them out.

It is a bit weird how Anarch gets all the best icebreakers. I think when they made mimic and yog they expected corp players to play Ice with high cost and high strength and/or positional ice and/or cards that boost strength like experiential data and patch. But it turns out that corp players need more reliability and consistency in their ice and don’t worry about strength as much. I don’t hate it though. The relationship between ice and icebreakers was always going to be one of the key mechanics of the game. If one gets stale they can always innovate on the other (see Little Engine etc).


Of course Yog. Fucking thing should neither break subs for 0 nor be 1 inf.

As it is, it’s invalidated about 20% of interesting ICE because “it’s a Yoggable Code Gate”.

For how insanely potent it is, Yog should probably have been, like, 4 influence, to Corroder’s 3 and Mimic’s 2 (or something).


Yog has fewer victims than you think, unless you mean “yog plus datasucker” rather than yog.
There are 15 yoggable code gates
4 of these can increase strength, quandary is deliberately a gear check, Pop up still does half its job, and salvage would be terrible even without yog around, so there’s only 8 cards that really hate yog.

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I think Yog is a superbly designed card and fairly costed at 5c. the 1 influence is a bit low, but the same could be said of Datasucker (I think Parasite is fair at 2c). The fact that it breaks for 0 is what makes it such a fundamental card to the Anarch faction, and an iconic card for Netrunner.

I wholly disagree. Anyway, are you already forgetting the recent chunk of time when many Anarchs stopped playing Yog.0? That was a pretty significant portion of 2014 meta.

Here’s the list for the lazy people:

NEXT Bronze
Gyri Labyrinth
Clairvoyant Monitor
Viktor 1.0

Are you really arguing in favor of this list as “interesting ICE” ? I mostly see a bunch of poor designs and duds.


only eater with keyhole and 9 siphons
we’re trying to have a society

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Also despise sec test every time i see bad hosuekeeping or just like, welp its out there, gotta do my sec test run this turn even though those credits are useless to me and i could be using that click…

Well, I would tend to characterize the problem thus:

Morningstar is the closest analogue I can think of for Yog.0, because they both are insanely efficient at breaking the ice types of their choice.

But people still play barrier ICE 5 STR and below, and the you’re not left with the feeling of ‘what’s the goddamned point?’ if you have a wall of static in play. But Yog.0 was able to seen in a variety of decks (it was only 1 influence), and it nullified what often was the only half-decent code gates some people had access to.


Yog is really the only card is dislike. There’s a world of difference between 0c to break and 1c to break any number of subs. 0c to break effectively destroys any code gates in it’s strength range (yes, yes, Midway we know you still exist). You thought parasite was bad, Yog is worse. I immensely dislike putting Yog in decks. And I hate it when it’s the right card to put in.

Weird. I’ve never been frustrated as a Corp when I see Yog come down, even if it’s invalidating 2 Enigmas or whatever. It’s a card I know could possibly come down. I maintain that it’s not unbalanced, and doesn’t skew the meta. Enigma is still a very powerful card for Rush decks. the only good CG under 3 strength are Pop-Up, Quandary, Yagura, Enigma, and Crick (but not really Crick), and everyone still gladly plays these cards. Are you really gonna get upset that they run through your 1c Quandary for free?

IMO Parasite is a more meta-skewing card (not that it makes me mad). The issue there is that designers haven’t respected Parasite’s pervasiveness when designing ICE strength.


I’m going to be That Guy and say that I think Psi-Games are excellent and that Caprice and Batty are both excellent cards that were necessary for the game to progress and to help the Corp out. But then, I play a lot of poker.

Psi-games can be played around, as has been said. I like Psi-games because it’s a mechanic that pushes Runner deckbuilding to look for ways to deal with it, but the ways to deal with it are also versatile. Contrast this with something like Clot, which holds such a specific niche. Clot is an incredibly boring card for the game.


The Problem is not Astroscript. The Problem is Beal.
And my next problem is Lotus Field. I don’t understand why that card destroys a faction, there’s no other corp card like that. It’s ok to destroy Yog, but give another godamn decoder to Anarch.

Yog giving the Corp a hard time?
Meet Lotus Field. One influence.
Lotus Field giving Anarchs a hard time?
Meet NRE. One influence.

I can totally see where you’re coming from there. It just seems weird to me that in a game that is all about the corp building and protecting stuff and the runner trying to break in and destroy it and steal it, that there are two cards that kind of destroy those defenses in a very natural way (doing things you want to be doing anyways, instead of having to go out of your way to do it).

Parasite does so in a very obvious way. It simply destroys the ICE so where its not there anymore.

Yog.0 does so in a very non-obvious way, because the feeling when you have enigmas, or viktor 1.0, or datapike, and the runner passes through them without having to do anything, it feels like it might as well not be there.

I do kind of agree that Parasite skews the meta more, but that’s more because of the ubiquity of its partner in crime, Datasucker.

I think that the meta skewing effect of both cards is kind of best summarized by the fact that ICE design in Netrunner is kind of weird. They definitely have not respected how pervasive parasite is, and seemed very reluctant to address just how powerful Yog.0 is.

Yog.0 is kind of an edge case, because I think its so close to being a good card. You could keep it the same cost, same everything, but just make it have to pay 1 credit to break all code gate subs (basically Morningstar for code gates).

But any card saying that this ICE doesn’t matter (either by destroying it or making it cost literally nothing for the runner to break) just feels bad.


I think any problem card that they have to print a new problem card to stop the old problem card is a problem.