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The State of Netrunner

I feel similarly. Maybe if the Runner gets a way to initiate Psi games, could be playable. As it is… doesn’t seem like it.

There’s a cute anti-combo with Rigged Results, though.

A credit is a credit, if you intended to spend it to make a run. If you run, using credits, a credit is worth a credit in most cases.

It’s, like, math.

Not saying it’s exactly the same. It is very similar however. With BP you’re even getting the discount on the run, not afterwards so in that sense it is better

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Sure, in some ways the BP is better, but getting paid for poking a naked HQ and R&D is a lot better.

Having a 50 card deck is also much worse. Valencia doesn’t really have a deck without Blackmail. As much as I dislike Blackmail, without it Valencia is a dead ID. I think if you want to hate on Blackmail, you just need to own that.

I think it used to be. Getting a credit for poking a naked R&D is rarely as good as it used to be when there’s a board to control.

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would it be bad ? :open_mouth:

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Agreed, although it’s a different type of problem to the issues discussed in this series. Even bringing rotation forwards by one cycle would make a huge difference.

Personally I would like to see cycle tins, similar to what’s available in some ccgs, that would give you all the cards in a cycle at a discount price. Provided they didn’t release them until after the end of a cycle then suckers like me would continue to pay full price, but they would be good news for casual players and especially for newer players catching up on releases.


i liked the points about the agendas.

i think the game is shying away from 1/2s and 2/3s, and i think the game is better for it. i also agree with you about 3/5s and how Food really has the most ideal ability (as far as the corp is concerned)

i like the design space of 1/3s and how they can actually fulfil some decent economy/trap options for the runner (outside of baiting for 1 point)

License Acquisition is probably one of my favourite agendas and fits into that install in the scoring remote to give the runner 1 point (at the cost of going through the scoring remote) or getting some value if you manage to score it. getting a SanSan City Grid is amazing value, but even then, it just can’t compete with the power and value of Breaking News, Project Beale, and Astro though

i think moving forward, agendas that can double duty as traps would fit the 1/3, 2/4, and 3/5 model well. traps now, best case scenario win you the game, but worst case scenario set you back an entire turn (or more). combining these could be an interesting design space. also with your suggestion of the runner having to discard cards equal to the advancements or whatever. i think that could combine well with Weyland public agendas, giving runners a hard choice to make

a 1/3 with "If this agenda is stolen, the runner loses credits equal to the number of advancements"
a 3/5 “If this agenda is stolen, the runner trashes installed cards equal to the number of advancements”

and then set a maximum so it doesn’t get out of hand

i also like the points about creative deck builders vs competitive players and how there is little overlap. i see a lot of people (mostly on the fb group) post super janktastic ideas and builds, and someone has to come in and just shit all over it. and i’ve fallen victim of being on both sides of that myself, and i think unless you’re a well-known Netrunner player, any criticism is met with a lot of defensive trolling.
anyway, i think the takeaway is that, in general, we should all look and see what we can learn from these decks (and by actually testing them instead of simply stating unequivocally something works or doesn’t)

we’re gonna go on a tangent, but i promise i’ll come back around.
in my local meta, i tried to push for deckbuilding restrictions to help encourage creative thinking in how to deal with certain problems. that’s probably why i like the meta so much

and in my personal life, i teach english as a foreign language, and one of the tasks/activities we use employs circumlocution

the book definition is

but in english teaching, it’s simply having learners communicate while telling them they can’t use certain words. for example, two learners pretend to be an employee and a customer at a store. the customer must buy a few items, such as a pair of shoes, a t-shirt, and a pair of jeans, but can’t use the words shoes, t-shirt, or jeans. that’s the fundamental part of the task, and what it does is it encourages learners to use all the language knowledge they have to complete the task. they have to use non-obvious ways of communication, even if it’s more complicated, but sometimes it’s easier. for example, in a real world situation, someone could simply point to the pair of shoes they want to buy, not using any language at all.

anyway, applying this to netrunner, if we, say, put a restriction, like the, or ban some cards, the breaker-less deck challenges are a sort of ban list. the deck may be completely terrible (and the is obviously terrible outside of its own meta), but we can probably learn some things about interesting card interactions, how some cards aren’t actually so bad against others. it seems like most people only learn of a card’s interesting and useful interactions when it’s used to win a tournament or something

this ended up being more of a comment on the players of netrunner as a cultural group, but anyway


Yes, and there is also an upper limit of the power of viable traps, it is not like Junebug or Cerebral are too bad to be used. Same as with 5/3’s, making them better would make them OP, but people still do not play them because of the variance.

I’d like to see some middle-ground here in the form of 3/1’s, and if that shifts the metagame to a state where runners do not always run advanced agendas (similar to blank-installs now) we are in a very good spot for the game.

I agree on your points about the culture. People bring different perspectives (‘i want to build sometihng!’, 'i want to have fun!, ‘i want to win!’) and judge others for not having their own perspective. Especially the competitive perspective can snuff out creative discussion.

I believe this is because competitive players easily spot some valuation mistakes made by other players and want to call them out on them. This is usually related to efficiency-evaluation of cards which is fairly easy to do once you have learnt the mindset, but this creates two problems:

  1. It deprives people of the joy of discovering strategies themselves
  2. It is not seldom completely faulty if applied to cards with tactical, or deck-concept applications.

We have seen first-impressions of many cards and deck concepts that are very negative, where these later turned out to be very much used in play. We all remember how things like Replicating Perfection, Whizzard, Geist, Hayley etc were once treated by many in the competitive group. It takes skilled creative deck-builders to bring out the power of these concepts and it is really difficult to give a good card evaluation out of context (like you do with efficiency-related cards).

Another way to think of this is that the same skills that apply to tuning and perfecting a deck concept, which competitive players are often ruthlessly good at, do not always apply to coming up with new concepts. You can definitely be good at both, but because you are good at one does not automatically make you skilled at the other. Thus making a new deck concept is more often than not a cooperation between creative deck-builders and ‘perfecting’ deck builders.

The creative people come up with loads of new concepts, and some of them will work. Competitive players are usually good at spotting what separates the bad concepts from the ones with some promise or what needs to be done to bring certain interactions to competitive playability.
Sure, we have a couple of people who do both these things themselves, but it is really difficult.


I think it also typically takes a lot of cards to be printed.


This is true, but the impression that ‘X is bad’ usually lingers for a good while even after cards are printed. Look at the Dumblefork concept for example. This is what i mean.


While it’s a common stereotype, I’m not sure if this is really true. Of the cards you mention, RP was always recognised as a strong ID in a faction with a weak cardpool (and duly became very good once the cardpool improved), Whizzard was always talked about as a meta-ID that you’d play in an asset-heavy meta (and hey, look at that), and Hayley was recognised as the best Shaper ID that wasn’t Kate (and again, was played once MWL slapped down the best Kate deck). Geist is a bit closer, but he’s never been top-tier like the others have.

For a card that really was in the “no one will ever play this, ever” category and has suddenly become strong, look to Power Tap. There, once the card that really enabled it was printed (Citadel Sanctuary), it was being played by competitive players before the next pack was even out.

I understand where the “Competitive players aren’t interested in creativity” idea comes from, especially when you see the same decks in tourney after tourney. But what you aren’t seeing there is the testing that’s going on behind the scenes, and where things are often discarded because they aren’t up to scratch. The idea that the overlap between creative and competitive players is very small is, from what I’ve seen, a total misconception: I think they’re just as creative as anyone else, possibly even more so.

I am totally with you on the people who criticise decks that aren’t trying to do what they want: there’s no need for that. If someone’s trying to answer the question “Can I make this combo work?”, trying to shut them down for failing to answer the question “Is this a tier 1 competitive deck?” is both unhelpful and antisocial.



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Yeah i don’t think the people you quote are the same people i got this impression from. I think most people who hang out here are likely closer to what you describe.

Even though it might seem strange i think Stimhackers are not the majority of competitive players. Certainly overrepresented among top players, but that is hardly a surprise.There are many players who go to tournaments and pick up the latest hotness, practice with it for a while and do really well. They are skilled at the game, but do not participate in creative card evaluation in this buzzhub. These players are probably more visible in local metas.

There it can be easy to confuse skill at playing the game with skill at evaluating cards for new deck concepts. It is there the less nuanced opinions on cards like i describes shine through the most. This is hardly surprising, if you don’t build a lot of decks it is difficult to evaluate how good decks are.

Hell i would have a massive difficulty building something like a combo-shaper for example. I play only agressive criminal in tournaments, and that is a completely different playstyle.

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100% this. I’ve made this point before elsewhere, but the idea that someone’s Ryon Knight Cybernetics Division deck is somehow inherently more creative than the idea of using Wyldcakes for clickless draw and using those cards to trash ice with Faust and cutlery events is nonsense. It’s just that one of those decks is actually good.


I don’t think my graph shows the overlap as very small at all. Probably around 20% of competitive players. Also a large overlap with the online Stimhack commuity.

However, if you compare the percentage of people playing the Dumblefork deck the last year to the percentage of players making active contributions towards developing it you will get a sense for where i’m coming from.


valencia: blackmail is dumb but anarchs flavor of generating BP is a little too slow for her to use that aspect without blackmail. I hope to see this intention improved upon

I would like to see a trap(s) designed in such a way that advancing them once causes something bad to happen but advancing them twice also gives the corp something in return should they not be accessed. For instance if you advance once ‘X’ bad thing happens, but if you advance twice ‘X’ and ‘Y’ bad thing happen or you may rez and trash to resolve effect ‘Z’ which could even be as mundane as gaining 2 or 3 credits. This type of change would encourage more trap play.

Something like the Hostile Assets, i.e GRNDL Refinery, Reversed Accounts, Contract Killer, etc.? Could be interesting. Right now the only way to properly leverage traps is either Mushin or Prisec/Snare!.

I feel like the Bad Pub situation is similar to runners getting flatlined by Sea Scorch before Plascrete was printed.

The game doesn’t end instantly at 2x Blackmail, but there is also no option to stay ahead on credits to avoid the blackmail spam, no NACH or any other dodge to getting the BP, instead it’s just a slow march to eventually losing due to having no defense against the blackmail.

If the runner had to do something first, there would at least be some interaction to the blackmail spam, but right now it’s just toss down Rumor Mill and ignore the ICE.

Btw, I think Rumor Mill would make a lot more thematic sense, and be an actually balanced card if the runner had to name a unique asset or upgrade to blank. That could be the local rumor mill spreading shit about a particular individual, making them into a pariah so they cannot do their job effectively. I feel like that had to be what this card was at some point in its genesis.


Bubba, you’re a frickin’ genius.That imo would be an entirely Fair card, and skilltesting.


i like it. and we already have similar precedent with Targeted Marketing