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Was Glacier as great as people make is sound now?


I started playing Netrunner after the publication of Rumor Mill and the demise of glacier as a viable deck archetype.

To read the comments and the complaints, it sounds like people found playing against glacier an exciting and wonderful experience. I mean, why else all the sadness about it leaving and being replaced by asset spam and tag hell?

Was it a lot of fun to money up, run through a four-deep remote and then lose a psi game?

Or did people belly ache about how unfun it was to play against a thousand Foodcoats decks back in the day?


While I never did like playing or playing against foodcoats, there where a lot of people who enjoyed the deck and the style of play that it brought to the table. Also yes people did complain a lot about caprice and ash, if you dig back into the forum about 6 months ago people where actively wishing bans and complaining about how far foodcoats (or before that RP) was from real netrunner.

However various people have different preferred styles of play and there is often a bad taste when a style of play disappears from perceived contention. Much like how others and myself cried rivers of tears when faust and the dumblefork meta put the last nail in the coffin of supermoderism, others really liked the idea of scoring out behind taxing servers with defensive upgrades.

So to put it bluntly, yes its people just complaining that the deck style they have played for a good long time is no longer tier 1. Add to that there is no clearly analogous deck out there and you have a lot of salt.

Now excuse me I’m going to try yet another iteration of supermoderism in the hopes that this version will actually allow weyland rush to be a thing again… :cry:


People have complained about Caprice since release and while I think she would have been more fun if she worked like batty instead, she can be played around with minimal changes to you runner deck.

Fa with astroscript was a more problematic archetype, since sometimes you just lost before you could do anything. Sometimes it wasn’t even fun as Corp. I think the big problem with astroscript wasn’t that it chained, but rather it was too cheap. The other fa options from core is much more expensive, so it broke the fa design.

Ffg upping the trash cost, releasing more powerful effects on assets and releasing releasing IDs with powerful asset protection is problematic. This did push people to a single ID, which makes the game more monotonous. If they would have scaled down the assets a bit, IG and CTM wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

I think tags are not too overpowered, especially since we have gotten more protection. The biggest problem is that ffg can’t release the cycles in a timely manner, which meant CTM got free reign too long. Damon has had a sort of tug of war in the cycle, where certain archetypes plop up in one pack and disappeared in the next. Which is quite fun to be honest.


Caprice specifically brought out a lot of salt, but Glacier in general as an archetype (this is pre-Dumblefork days) was interesting in a way that gets at the heart of Netrunner.

Games where you both had 6 points, and they install an unadvanced card in the scoring remote, and you run it because it might be an agenda, pay all your money to get in and it’s not. Then next turn they install-advance-advance there, and you’re broke, so you credit-credit-Makers-Eye into R&D, letting Ichi fire and trash your rig and give you a brain damage and a tag because fuck it, I need to find the winning agenda or lose right now…

That’s “Real Netrunner ™”, and yes it was as great as people make it sound. In fact it still happens sometimes these days. “Glacier” isn’t defined by “Caprice”.

The bitching about Rumor Mill isn’t just about Caprice, it’s that it’s such a blunt instrument it hits Ash and Batty and Jackson and Jeeves and any other interesting unique they can print. Political Operative and Councilman were already printed and were already decent counters for people who hate Caprice.


This, really.

People complained about a stale meta when Foodcoats was the deck with the best matchup against the field. People complained lots about RP glacier, too (some tried to give it the nickname “Soulgrinder”).

I don’t want to minimise people’s concerns about various cards/decks, but it’s pretty clear that for some people - what feels like an increasingly vocal minority - it’s easier to moan about cards/decks than it is to try to improve their own play against them.


I think for a long time people felt there were 3 broad archetypes of corp decks, ‘glacier’, ‘fast advance’, and ‘kill’. Then Mumbad introduces asset spam (which often included hybrid kill or fast advance elements), limiting Astro to 1 per deck mostly got rid of fast advance, and Rumor Mill got rid of glacier (which had already weakened a lot in early 2015). So 2/3 of the traditional corp archetypes of the game vanished in a short amount of time. That’s going to irritate a lot of people who enjoyed those decks, as well as people who just like a variety of corps to play / play against.


Feels like Kill is getting pretty weak these days, especially with Aaron Aaron Mo-Marron on the block now.


With respect, I think that this conflates a few different things.

  1. Concerns about how cards/decks warp the rest of the metagame: For example, if players feel like the only way to beat asset spam is to play whizzard with slums, then every corp deck has to choose trashable cards with the expectation that they will have a 3-credit discount and might be removed from the game.
  2. Frustration that one can either play the strongest decks in the field or play decks that operate on the “core set netrunner” theme of ICE vs. breakers: “breaking into servers” is the thematic core of the game, and this process is defined by ICE and breakers (and to a lesser extent, tricks like Inside Job). Fast Advance changes the calculus as to what servers you need to break into (prioritizing R&D lock over remote lock, and incentivizing effects that disrupt the corp play like Wanton Destruction), and kill traditionally added a layer of economic war to the calculus of when to run and when to hold back (driven by SEA source and Midseasons + scorch). For players that were attracted to the game by this theme, spam v. anti-spam may not have the same appeal.
  3. Stubbornness/unwillingness to adapt: Players that wish to play competitively, but would rather play in the style they have always played are bound to be frustrated. They have to adapt, change their expectations, find matches that are more similar to what they want to play, or accept that they will be frustrated.
  4. Inability to find matches with people that share their goals for the game: The strongest archetypes are the ones that one is most likely to encounter on jinteki.net. The relative lack of norms and communication makes it relatively difficult to get matches where both players are happy, especially when the strongest archetypes are also the most polarizing. This is an inconvenience on jinteki.net, but I think the bigger problem is that it spills over into the perception of the game as a whole. If you show up to a local casual meetup and sit across from somebody, you are way less likely to play against an NPE than you would against a stranger on the internet, but once the perception is established that “everybody is on IG biolock” or “everybody is on CtM,” it hurts in-person turnout.

That turned out to be longer than I expected. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that there are a lot of reasons that people get salty about cards or decks, and there may be a lot under the surface, not just stubbornness.

I’m personally trying to make an effort to be more open to playing as/against spammy decks, talking with my opponents about what kind of game they’re interested in playing, and being willing to compromise on what I want to play when it means that more people get to play the game they want. It’s clear that FFG is not going to push alt formats or other methods that would help address this sort of salt in the community, so I think that just working on improving communication and community at the personal level is the best bet.


That’s bad play and doesn’t reflect what made Glacier fun.

The fun of playing against glacier is that both players need to both set-up and, at the same time, prevent the other player from setting up. Glacier decks can’t just play four pieces of ICE and win, they need to get money to do that and defend all their centrals at the same time. A defensive upgrade on the remote is a defensive upgrade that is not protecting your agenda-filled HQ and glory runs become dangerous. A lot of bluffing was needed, with many decks playing GRNDL Refinery and singleton copies of Aggressive Secretary.

Really, it was a ton of fun and the game is far worse without it.


No, that’s fair - it was a fairly glib comment that I didn’t expand on. I have some pretty Big Opinions about the proliferation of vocally negative Netrunner and get worn out by trying to reason with some of them on places like Reddit. It’s a fool’s errand, really.

I wrote a really long reply to this but it was super boring and rambling, so I’ll try to stick to one point here:

I have next to zero sympathy for this attitude (and this isn’t a pop at you). For a competitive game like this to function it needs to be possible to i) build a bad deck, and ii) play a deck that isn’t well suited to the current meta. If someone’s complaint of “the current meta is bad” really means “I can’t play my pet deck and win tournaments”, well - tough. If you want to win (and that’s obviously not the only thing that could or should motivate someone to play) you will need to adapt.

And this isn’t coming from someone who’s comfortable with the recent meta. My favourite all time decks are pre-MWL RP Glacier and Spy Cams Hayley, neither of which really work at a competitive level any more. But my answer to that isn’t to post on /r/netrunner about how “broken” the meta is, it’s to figure out what I can do to keep up. My two choices are to play those pet decks and lose, or play something else and win. And that’s ok. It’s the nature of a competitive game. I can play whatever crap I want on pub evenings, but if I lose my response is to think “I have learned something about the current state of the game”, not “I must let the internet know that EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE”.


I think the distinction between Foodcoats (or any traditional glacier) and asset spam involves at least two factors:

  1. A win in Foodcoats almost never felt inevitable or unstoppable until one turn before it was over. RP could be a little worse in this regard (because of Nisei tokens), but you still generally felt like you had significant outs until the game was actually done with. By contrast, if asset spam is out of control by turn 3-4, the runner can usually see the writing on the wall but may be in for a long, grindy game while it happens if they really want to play optimally (especially true of IG).

  2. Foodcoats often involved a fair bit of bluffing/‘guess the face down card’ to close out a game. Since this was usually in a protected remote, a lot of games came down to an intense finish where you had to decide whether something was an Adonis/Eve that would just drain your resources to peak at, or if it was a 3/2 to close out the game. Asset spam has some bluffing elements, but it doesn’t feel as interesting/intense to check a naked remote and pay a few credits to trash a Sensie (or be disappointed by a PAD) as it does to break through 3-4 ice with the whole game on the line.


Speaking for myself, playing in the foodcoats meta was the most enjoyable time I’ve had in netrunner so far. Alot of people compained about seeing constant Kate-HB matchups, but I always found that one rewarding to play on either side, and offering the corp and the runner ample chance to demonstrate good decision making and outplay the opposition. Andy-HB too, another classic.

I find those types of games far more engaging than watching Whizzard trying to control IG/Gagarin playing out approximately 3000 assets, or DLR Maxx/Val trying to siphon a corp to the ground then mill them to death. But I appreciate all people have different preferences.

I still live in hope that we’ll get some kind of a defensive upgrade that brings glacier back to tier 1. Although it does seem to be coming back a little bit recently.


Exactly. Caprice as batty needs set-up. Glacier decks made the game much more decision oriented games in both sides than Asset Spam or FA. If i locked a remote with caprice, you can still attack my centrals, or punish my economy etc…

Yeah in this times there are people don’t like it, but the meta was broader and the community was growing. And i never heard that some one was quitting the game for caprice, And i’m not the only one are quitting the game for glacier and anarchs last cycle fatal designs decisions.


I’ll never play to win, never was my primarly objective, I always go with my personal construction decks and be fine with it, i ll never reach a top, in fact in last tournaments change to meta decks and i win, but i don’t have fun.

I quit magic because it was all about winning (and spending money) to a game more about deep decisions a personal choices (and much more fun).

I’ll prefer the corp side, and still have very fun games in jinteki against crims or shapers despite win or loss. With anarchs don’t happen anymore, only increased sensation of disgusting and anger when you win (and this is bad because is not fault of the runner).

Anarchs in origin was a pretty fun faction (i only doesn’t like the original breaker suite specially yog) with great powers but huge drawbacks. Wyldside in origin was great, Stimhack, Maxx. This how the anarchs cards should be.


One of the best parts about ANR is the fact that you always have a chance. You can be down 3-6 as runner, with their winning agenda in an impenetrable remote, so you run R&D with your last few clicks and hope to find 2 agendas on top. Highly unlikely, but possible. Surely, this is one of the reasons why people have enjoyed the game and why it has been successful.

Horizontal decks get away from this experience because of their nature to snowball. Rather than watch your chance of winning as running decrease linearly, you watch it drop exponentially. Each turn you leave that Sensie on the board plummets your probability of winning into a dumpster. Watching your stock drop that fast isn’t very fun; it definitely squashes your hopes.

To get better at Netrunner, you have to play games. Traditional/glacier games are fun because there’s always a chance, so you enjoy the process of learning to play against them. Horizontal games are different, so it’s like you’re learning how the game works all over again, but this time the process is not nearly as fun. So rather than learn how to play against them, I think many players just give up.

I’ve personally really enjoyed learning to play against “degenerate” archetypes because I’ve adjusted my personal attitude. The mindset is:

“Once I learn to play against it, I’ll have fun making interesting decisions.”

It’s kinda like learning to play against Scorch kill decks, or HHN. Once you learn how to do it, it becomes a strategic threat instead of an oppressive force.