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View from the Hedge: The Valley Review

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/view-from-the-hedge-the-valley-review/

Discuss the latest article by @DJhedgehog here.


I think my ineptitude prevented this from being posted correctly.


I don’t know that I agree about Predictive Algorithms being good support for a slower corp archetypes. A card to cost the runner 2 is a pretty minor effect (since it will go away as soon as they score the agenda).

Paige Piper plus genetics is something I hadn’t thought of, but that should be a fun combo to explore. Especially Symmetrical Visage.

You’re probably right about PA, I was more highlighting a different strategy now that Clot is out and included it to show that the designers are thinking in that direction as well. Probably not a great card, overall, but not bad for free. Dan D. compared it to Cortez Chip which is probably accurate.

That sounds about right. I’m just grumpy about Clot. :slight_smile: Though I have been thinking about bringing back NBN’s other 0-cost, 1-influence current. (Mostly given spoilers for a very long time from now.) A 10 credit swing is a much bigger deal.

When talking about Predicative Algorithm, you mentioned Eden Fragment when I think you meant Utopia Fragment.

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Love the style of review, much better than going card by card numerically. No need to put quotes around numbers though.

Liked the article but not so keen on including decklists in it. It breaks the flow of the commentary and I don’t really need to scan over a whole deck list to understand that predictive algorithm is best used in a taxing NBN deck.

Good analysis on Paige Piper though, I hadn’t thought about how it enables anarches to include more combo pieces since you can trash the redundant pieces now.


Yeah I’m not sure about decklists in new set reviews. They take up a lot of space and considering they are by their very nature untested and unrefined don’t seem to add a huge amount. That Valencia deck for instance will lose every single game it plays against Blue Sun. A Valencia deck without D4v1d is a bad Valencia deck.

Also can’t believe the only mention of Cortex Lock is a mis-spelt entry in a deck list. Surely one of the stand-out cards of the pack and something every runner needs to be very aware of when deckbuilding. Those Shaper decks with no permanent strength 4 sentry solution don’t look so great any more…


Pretty sure Paige will turn out to be bad for the same reason that nobody plays Leprechaun (or Omnidrive, or Dinosaurus). Her effect is pretty minor and she needs to be on the table before you install the cards you want to filter.

I’m not convinced that the whole Chronotype-Wyldside thing will be worth playing over Earthrise, but if it’s playable anywhere, it will probably be in Valencia like you said. Chronotype might enable other crazy stuff too, though, something to look out for.

Oh, and Stronger Together will never be good. Ever.


This is true, but makes me sad. Viktor 1.0… whyyy can’t you get good normally? Boooo.

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I appreciate the feedback.The decklists are a push away from the old numerical based reviews that people seemed to be tired of. Maybe I went too far in the other direction, but your feedback is essential in crafting something that people will enjoy.

The inclusion of the decks was to encourage conversation and see practical uses. Perhaps I could have added a D4VID, but that’s not the point of the article. I’d like to spark conversation regarding using the cards and not so much about nitpicking decklists.

Cortex Lock (Updated the spelling, thanks for the catch :D) is pretty solid. Sorry to not give it enough love. I don’t get too excited about ICE generally speaking, and I already had a direction for the article that didn’t include that card. Not a slight against it in the least- a 2 cost 4 strength sentry that has the potential to flatline is not a laughing matter.



Personally I love(d) the numbers reviews (and the up in arms fights about rankings).

I thought the 5 card highlight was good too. (Though AlexFrog’s discussion about why Leviathon was bad was very informative as a new player, and I learned lots of it). Even though it’s not kosher to talk about in some circles, there’s a lot to be learned in why bad cards are bad (just as there’s a lot to be learned talking about why good cards are good, just that you miss out on something when you only talk about good cards). I liked the top to bottom set reviews with rankings, though I totally understand why people don’t want to make them given the arguments they stirred up.

This is good too, though I agree that decklists kinda mess up the spacing/flow. I just missing number rankings (even though I recognize they’re flawed, they’re a fun jumping off point for discussion).


I don’t get the hate for Predictive Algorithm. It’s balanced-ish, so it’s not amazing, but it’s a free current to kill Protestors or the rumored new Anarch version of Housekeeping. It can only trigger the once, but it makes tax all the more taxing and works well with Closed/Reversed Accounts and NBN’s general money denial strategy. Marked Accounts does the same thing, but this is more reliably always-on in comparison.

Pure FA might not want it, but taxing Midseasons decks might, and decks that have spare influence and want to score Utopia Shard will probably appreciate the import.

It’s not a super strong card, or even pack as far as NBN is concerned, but I can see PA at least being useful/playable down the line.

Like the Blue Sun idea for Tech Startup, by the way. Hadn’t considered that before, but seems like a decent use. Same with using it to fetch an ITD.

I think the hate for Predictive Algorithm is how it doesn’t do very much for the slot. You spend a click to draw it and a click to play it, the runner clicks twice for credits. Net gain for both sides is 0. It’s not a truly bad card like Push Your Luck or Bribery which are actively bad to play but it simply doesn’t do anything to justify including it over another card.

Only time I could imagine playing this is if:

  1. you are running a taxing NBN deck
  2. You don’t want to play Manhunt because they don’t care about tags
  3. All the runners you’re facing are playing with currents
  4. Money is tight enough that you can’t afford the 2 for Lag Time
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I do agree that giving every card a rating isn’t really necessary and I like the way you’ve talked about interactions more, at this point in the games life there are so many different paths to take that trying to rate cards overall seems rather pointless. Highlighting different ways they can be used is nice, but I think full decklists was maybe a step too far.

I think a set review really should include all the cards in that set, even if they aren’t the main focus it wouldn’t have hurt to do a run down of the rest of the set with brief comments like what you’ve said about Cortex Lock here.

This is rather meta-dependent. I rarely see Yog, so for me Viktor 1.0 is a perfectly fine card even outside Stronger Together.

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Pure FA might well be dead following Clot and FFG is making a pretty obvious push toward non-FA NBN as a viable strategy this cycle. Whether or not they’ll be successful I can’t say, but it’s not as though there’s some immutable rule that says “Pure FA NBN will always be best”. So why should I only look at cards as though NEH Astrobiotics is the only playable NBN decision to make?

I mean, it’ll always have been the best, but I doubt we’ll be getting as broken results as we were in NEH Fastro’s heyday from a corp deck for some time.

But with Haarpsichord and the associated agendas coming down the pipeline, something that gets them to access and not make the steal seems nice.

“Not worth exploring/playing at the moment” is different from “absolute garbage”, although I confess it’d have been nice if the review noted that it’d be more useful with the on-access agendas we’ll be seeing in a few months than it’s likely to be right now.

I never said I thought the card was amazing, just that it seemed to be getting a disproportionate amount of hate. I suppose because it’s been less discussed and comes close to being decent? It’s firmly in the middle of the pack in terms of playability, there’s easily a half dozen cards below it at the moment.

[quote=“Kore, post:17, topic:3376”]
Only time I could imagine playing this is if:1) you are running a taxing NBN deck2) You don’t want to play Manhunt because they don’t care about tags3) All the runners you’re facing are playing with currents4) Money is tight enough that you can’t afford the 2 for Lag Time
[/quote]Fair. I suppose I should’ve been clearer about looking to the future there, too. Certainly don’t think it’s the gods’ gift to NBN, but I could see it showing up here and there as a means of supplementing credit tax/denial. It’s true Manhunt is liable to do that better at least out of Making News… I’m not sure that Trace2 is really all that much of a tax for 3 credits and a card out of a non-MN deck, say. Could well be wrong, and even if I’m not I could see where people might prefer Targeted Marketing to try and hit Clots and things to make the threat of Astro into an econ engine.

It’s times like this that I really miss Alexfrog. Even though he had this narrow-minded mentality that glacier was the only way to play “real” Netrunner, at least when he did a set review, it was actually a set review, and he gave valuable, deep insight into each card, and an honest evaluation of it’s current and future potential.

Ever since I called out DJHedgehog on his extremely incorrect “review” of Architect (which simply boiled down to “I looked at it, it sucks”), the reviews on this site have devolved into half-hearted opinion pieces instead of critical analysis.

There is indeed a lot to be learned from why bad cards are bad, but ironically for a site that’s supposed to be about hardcore play, all I see now are attempts to make every card work, instead of telling it like it is and acknowledging that something is crap.

Also, what the hell is up with all the obsession with janky Johnny wombo-combos on this site now? This is the very thing you hardcore guys used to ridicule. Don’t get me wrong, play with whatever you want, but it seems like people are spending too much time trying to make bad cards work.

I mean, when news of Clot hit, I thought for certain Stimhack would be the one group of guys that said, “The meta still needs a divers amount if Corp threats so that the Runner can’t be prepared for everything, and FA is too powerful a tool to just give upon, so let’s bust our asses and show them that you can still win, despite Clot.”

Nope… What happened was people played a handful of games, threw up their hands and said, “F**k it, FA is dead.”

I’m not advocating continuing to do something that obviously won’t work anymore - literally beating a dead horse - but it seems to me like Stimhack didn’t even really try.

Personally, Stimhack has gotten a bit lazy with the articles. There should really be two articles for each release - a straightforward review of the cards, and an in-depth discussion of tactics and strategies for each release. For a site that’s about hardcore Netrunner, there’s not much discussion of tactics and strategy going on the front page anymore.

It was a DJHedgehog review. Just like with Architect, I expected him to miss the best card in the pack.


We are dependent on authors, I don’t know what laziness has to do with it. It is funny reading your post and then reading a post on BGG complaining about how card elitist the monolithic StimHack community is. Which is it? The community here is just much larger than you are painting it, and quite frankly off the top of my head people like @mediohxcore and @dashakan still shit all over bad cards.

I will agree with one thing: AlexFrog being hounded out of the community was certainly a big loss.