Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

The State of Netrunner

Great series of articles, thoughtful and balanced. Would read again.


I would have to agree. I have been buying a core for any of my friends who take the time to learn how to play (2 so far) but the massive card pool/investment required for tournament play has been a massive hindrance in getting beyond that point. I tend to have to lend large amounts of my cards in the hope that their intrest reaches a point where my new players feel the investment is worthwhile.

From my experience it has been a far bigger issue than NPE decks/strategies.

Just posting to say that I really loved the article.
Though I’m surprised that Breaking News isn’t on either of your wishlists.

1 Like

I gotta say that the “I still did not like the matches where my opponent had little counter play to this, and I won by the sheer power of Batty-trash or Caprice-scoring, but at least there were many tense and exciting games to be had.”, contrasted with like a paragraph of kvetching about Rumor Mill is amazing.

Like, you may have felt bad about it, but the author PLAYED CAPRICE, yeah? Took those wins?. Those games felt fair? “did not like the matches” never prompted the author to not play that aggravating card?

And then a card is released that is literally blank, except that it removes Caprice and Jackson from his deck, and THAT is what gets the OP bent out of shape?

Like, if I play Rumor Mill, and you play Caprice…we are just back at Netrunner, yeah? My breakers vs your ice? But this person has it so twisted that that’s what is unfair. The world where I break the ice, so I get the agenda…that’s incomprehensible? “incredibly uninteresting and destructive” design? It is “interesting”, if I have to play a stupid random psi game to get the access I’ve paid through the nose to beat the ice for…but how boring if I can do that by paying an extra click and cred to put out a current?

Rumor Mill for ever. The wins are all the sweeter knowing that somewhere out there is a player who thinks that corp side spending a click to install an upgrade and me spending a click and a cred to put down a current is somehow unfair AGAINST CORP.


He explained that he dislikes Rumor Mill because it does more than what you said (Ash, Batty, Sandburg, …), it takes no skill to play and is super easy to recur.
We already had more specialized and limited counters available (Councilman and PolOp were mentioned) that actually required some brains to use.


I also feel like the release schedule is too fast when they don’t run into delays. But it’s possible that with a smaller card pool new cards would be more exciting, so perhaps if they sped up rotation the release schedule would be ok.

On the other hand, a slower release schedule would mean that any given pack would stay legal for longer, since new releases are what trigger rotation. Faster rotation would reduce how long you get to use any given data pack, and I think that’s the thing people would most dislike about it. So slowing down the release schedule a bit might make faster rotation more palatable.

1 Like

Rumor Mill takes just as much “skill” to play as the stuff it blanks. The “boo simplicity” stuff isn’t real, or wouldn’t play the upgrades, which are just as brainless.

So you are playing Glacier?

Rumor Mill, a card that makes its targets - all across the board - literally blank, costs one, and can be recurred near-endlessly, is a skill intensive as Caprice, Ash, Sandburg, Jackson, etc. etc. etc.

Come on. I understand that folks hated Caprice, and the reasons behind it, but I was under the impression that Rumor Mill being an atrocious design choice was a widely-shared opinion.


We’ve reached a point in the game (and it honestly it’s basically always been this way) that without defensive upgrades in a standard game of netrunner (money and ice vs breakers and ice) the corp just gets completely crushed. Defensive upgrades were basically the only thing keeping a plan similar to what we all think of as standard netrunner (score 7 pts out of remotes, use ice to score) alive.

This is not to say other forms of netrunner corp win cons aren’t fun (I like CTM personally, though the warping nature of its power level on turn 1 has issues when it comes to runner options, IG49 is also great). But rumor mill killed the ability to score all your points out of remotes, because there are various decks that already have strong matchups against those decks and it basically gets impossible to stop.

Personally I don’t like hate cards as strong as this for any strategy (fbf, plascrete), but rumor mill is especially egregious becuase it basically destroys the ability to play the closest good deck to standard netrunner. I don’t even want that deck to be the best deck, I just think it’s better for the game when a strategy like this is completely viable.


Caprice psi games were far from random - there is actually a ton of game theory and evaluation of the game state involved in evaluating what to put into the psi game, and although it was blatently an unfair card until the release of councilman/polop, those additions added an excellent layer of tactical counterplay within the game. For example, you had to protect HQ more than before, you had to consider pre-rezzing caprice - I can recall even trashing my own rezzed ICE on a remote to make the innermost an unrezzed ICE to play around polop with a double caprice. That’s depth. Rumour mill is not depth its a massive simplification - its a cards beat cards nuclear option, and poor design.


As a newbie, my addition to this is that it is good to have a glacier archetype that is viable because it is a style of deck that a new player can pick up more easily than some of the others. When glacier is totally neutered in the late game, it does create the sense to a new player that there is something fundamentally broken in the game. If you feel that way it makes it hard to feel motivated to buy all the cards.


I remember when I played against Caprice for the first time. And I thought - that’s interesting. And after few plays I really was afraid of her. Also I remember when I played against Batty for the first time. And I hated it (he destroyed my whole rig! next gold!) and after few plays I understood that he is really interesting card and can be played around.

What I think though is that we lacked proper counters. Like the two that were just released:

Both would see a ton of play back then. But since Space Kitten exists… well - Anarchs won’t play Interdiction for sure.


To be fair, even without RM, it would take a huge shift to make Government Investigations a thing…

Strangest hate card in a long time.

Not strange if your local meet up has a few players who just love Jinteki psi games. It is not a Worlds card, but it has lots of potential use in casual play depending on who your regular opponents are.


I’m pretty sure Desperado gives you credits you can use not during a run…

I remember a time pre-MWL when people debated Valencia + Desperado vs Whizzard. There was a Val deck that ran Desperado and Scrubber.

The starting bad pub, by itself, is not enough. She only gets play because Blackmail exists. Otherwise she’s a marginally worse Whizzard. (If nothing else, the 50 card deck size makes her ‘worse’)

EDIT: ALTHOUGH, that does raise the point that when Whizzard, Scrubber, and Blackmail rotate out, will Valencia be playable?

1 Like

There is basically no difference if you spent at least one credit during the run.

Certainly. I didn’t say that it wasn’t useful in limited situations. It is just a very specific hate card for a mechanic that doesn’t need an additional kick right now.

Then again, Power Tap, so who knows.

So that means that Val with Desperado must be really good then, and I suppose that must’ve been one of the reasons Desperado was put on MWL. I’m sure that Val+Desperado lists were completely destroying the meta. Heck, I’d bet that even now there’s a lot of variation among Valencia lists, since the base ID power must be obviously strong enough to compete with the other Anarch IDs. I mean, if you look at it, it’s basically as good as or better than Kate’s ability, right? And she’s the most played Shaper, so of course Valencia must be the most played Anarch!


Seriously, it’s not good enough. Desperado is good specifically because you can get positive value out of runs. At best, you’re breaking even with just Bad Pub. This is why you can actually stack a bunch of Bad Pub and get away with it in Weyland, as long as you rush out fast enough and they can’t break your ICE yet, it doesn’t matter how much Bad Pub the runner has. Thus, Blackmail is the only reason Valencia is played.

(Ok, sure, you can also extract positive value from bad pub with Personal Workshop. I may have done this. Once. Or twice. … Or a lot…)

(Quick search shows me a recent Valencia list with only 1 Blackmail that won an SC. Writeup says you should really just play Whizzard instead. His playstyle prefers the Corp actually spend money rezzing their ICE, which is why he’s low on Blackmail count.)

Ooooh I’member that. Pancakes, Faust, Double Desperado, triple clone chip, levy, double scrubber, parasites, cutlery and blackmail spam. Makes Val with en passant a fair gameplay experience, almost.