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The Four Corps you Meet in Netrunner by erinrockabitch

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/the-four-corps-you-meet-in-netrunner-by-erinrockabitch/

Discuss the latest article here.


Looks like maybe there was some formatting in a \TODO line:



In what category fall Gagarin ? Horizontal Rush ?

Gagarin is glacier with kill and FA backup plans? The ten+ subroutine Tour guide that is Gagarin eventual end state makes it absurd to get into a server.

It depends on what the glacier deck is trying to do. I imagine most would fall under a glacier/scorch hybrid.

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I think we need to recognise the Elephant in the room: Assetspam. It’s been on the radar for the last months, and I believe it is a fifth archetype. This is because the decks that use 25+ assets don’t conform to the regular formula of ICE vs Icebreaker, but rather aim to win by taxing the runner from click one.

Okay, but how do the assetspam decks win? Is it through damage (net or meat) or scoring behind a Tour Guide with a million subs?


Or fast-advancing with MCC. The point is that these are decks that rarely play any ICE, and thus requires runners to react differently to them than regular corps.

I’m defining corp decks by their win condition rather than their ice count. In any event the Gagrin decks which tend to be FA or Glacier, with maybe a kill hybrid tend to run an equivalent amount of ice. The IG decks run very few ice, which I noted kill decks tend to do anyways.


But by that logic there should only be two corp archetypes: points-corps and kill-corps, because those are the only ways to win the game.

The article discusses HOW they achieve their wincon, and Assetspam is unique in this fashion. Yes, IG wins via kill, but it kills by attrition rather than anything else. To eqate an IG deck with an Argus Scorcher because both their ultimate goals are flatlines wouldn’t be right…


Asset spam is not a win condition. But I think we should indeed add a fifth win condition to the list - prison, i.e. building a board state which the runner cannot meaningfully interact with, so the corp can take lots of time to execute a slow win plan they have in the deck.

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I like prison.

In Magic “control” is an archetype but not exactly a win condition–but once you establish control of the game, your win condition is almost anything you happen to have. But using Magic terminology creates issues, and control is more based on controlling opponent’s board state–I guess something like Info Refinery could be called “control”. Prison is much more evocative of creating/maintaining a board state that does the controlling for you. But again, just like with control, once you build your prison does it really matter how you win?

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I truly don’t believe that IG is unique in this fashion. RP at its height wasn’t a fundamentally different type of deck because it taxed clicks rather than credits. PE decks kill as much through attrition as they do through being able to 6+ in one turn.

As for scorch, it’s almost always a hybrid. The lack of passive damage (occasionally Snare!s, but that’s it) and the higher than most kill decks #number of ice, tells me that’s primarily a Rush or Glacier style deck.

What’s the win plan? That’s what defines the deck for me, not such the means or success of achieving it.


Making all possible actions by the runner irrelevant.

I tend to classify decks structurally, without the win condition.
To me there’s horizontal decks, vertical decks and operation decks, this is it.
There is also one agenda deck (PE 1pts).

But that’s not a win condition!

If the runner sits back and credits up and installs breakers, how are these decks winning?


Either he dies or lose to points, whichever plan the corp had in mind ?

Formally, not. Practically, yes. Building the prison is important, then you can do whatever you want to satisfy one of rulebook’s win conditions because the runner cannot interact with you in any meaningful way. Current prison decks use kill (and one of them has also backup FA) but that’s not because those win conditions are good for them. Having them in your deck doesn’t hurt building the prison. (IGs drip kill even helps building)

You could probably build prison decks which, after setting up the prison, spend time building an unassailable remote or removing all breakers/recursion out of runner’s reach so they can score out behind a single ETR. We don’t see them because noone has invented such deck yet which could win tournaments (and people rarely will play prison unless it is top level competitive).

“First, you get a horde of zombies. Then you do whatever you want, 'cuz you have a horde of zombies.” -Ji “Noise” Reilly


Asset spam is not an archetype in its own right - it is just a method of gaining resources or advancing a particular archetypes win condition. Some decks go all in on assets (spam), some all in on operations (palana/babw), some focus less on themselves and more on denial of the runners resources (asi/closed accounts), most are some hybrid, but none of them are archetypes in themselves.

IG deck - kill
Gagarin - kill and/or glacier

I suppose one could think of a matrix with the rows being archetype and the columns being how the deck builds its resources. Good runner decks have answers for the largest coverage of the matrix as possible. Others are more narrow and specialised to beat certain parts of the matrix (i.e. a particular column or row) but that hinders the matchups in other parts, and leads to more of a rock-paper-scissors match pairings.