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What decks are NPEs (Negative Player Experiences)?

I recently played a game against a Sunny player. I won easily, but the game just wasn’t fun. Sunny with enough link and her console+Jak means that while Sunny doesn’t necessarily do well, you can’t do anything. So I was stuck. I couldn’t do anything, but Sunny didn’t have enough economy to run my central servers. So that game lasted forever until I finally worked up the balls to slap an Oaktown behind a Caprice. I then Hostiled my way to victory. Sunny is essentially just a stalemate. I can’t do anything. She can’t do anything. I suppose a FA deck or a rush deck could beat her, but I was playing a Weyland hybrid rush deck, and so it led to this.

What other NPEs have you had (decks/cards only. No people please)

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Almost any time I’m keyholed. The worst was when I was playing my Haarp kill deck where I got keyholed the first turn and had, in order, all jacksons trashed, all scorches trashed, all end the run ice, then agendas until there were enough points in archives all while being siphoned. It was a depressing game that I managed to eek out 5 points, but it was miserable to play.

Edit:I should add the most bitter part was how I spent almost all off the runner’s turn shuffling. That was the least fun part. I’ve come back from turn 1 keyholes and felt good about it, but that game felt like it was over turn 1 and every turn after that just reinforced that.


I think this is going to vary quite a bit, depending on what sort of setting you’re playing in.

Noise Mill, Medium digs, DLR mill, Siphon-Spam/Headlock, ELP/RP, etc… these are all strangling your opponent’s credits or clicks, or removing their deck with little to no interactivity. They’re not particularly fun to play against, since you have significantly less options during your turn than you normally would.

Other people just have an aversion to ‘kill’ decks, and find Scorch/Shop decks miserable to play against.

In general though, I think you’ll find that decks that are playing regular ‘netrunner’ (breakers vs. ice) are going to be very lopsided towards the runner. Without traps, tricks, Caprice/Ash, etc, the corps aren’t going to be having much fun against today’s rigged and rich runners.

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I was Tennin vs. Ken Tenma. Because of his hilarious rig (Always Be Running, Endless Hunger, and Faust with e3) and very poorly timed agendas from R&D, I had pretty much no chance of winning after 6-7 turns. He scored 6 points (2 global food initiatives), I had 4 agendas in hand, one discarded in archives, and the last agenda in R&D. I had Eli, Assassin, and Ashigaru on HQ with Caprice Nisei protecting it. For 12-15 turns in a row, he ran HQ (trashing a card in play, trashing a few from hand, and paying a few credits), and lost caprice Psi games over and over. All I did on my turn was mandatory draw and take 3 credits. The match took 55 minutes of our 65 minute round. When the game finally ended (surprise surprise I lost) we shuffled quickly and as runner I faceplanted a Komainu last click on my first turn and died to a Neural EMP.

I’d love to say I didn’t get tilted because typically I don’t get too mad about losing in Netrunner. I don’t think it was about losing, but more just having to endure a truly unwinnable situation for that long, and then as a result of time constraints carelessly killing myself on the first turn. That was easily the least enjoyable match I’ve ever had in a tournament.

edit: oh, this really doesn’t answer your question. I guess the answer is “a mix of Caprice Nisei, a really poor conceived deck, and my unwillingness to install an agenda in a new server and just let him fucking score it”.

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As someone who has (recently) hopped on the Sunny bandwagon, I would 100% disagree with this. Nexus can be frustrating, but I dont think her playstyle as a whole is a Negative Play Experience. It doesn’t deny the Corp resorces, and it isn’t based on luck, which are the main “Negatve Play Experiences” for Netrunner. Sunny is very interactive and beatable as well.


ICE destruction anarchs with cutlery/Faust/parasite/clone chip/SoT/Levy/Deja Vu/Medium

Glacier is useless, Rush is useless, kill is useless. I can only win using NEH FA

Just thinking about it gives me chest pains

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I’ve been having fun with a Sol tagstorm+information overload deck. Hit them with a strong midseason, wait for them to run R&D and rez a 10+sub information overload. Not much anarch can do against a strength 4 sentry with 10+ subs when faust is their main breaker. Once that happens, I setup a server for melange, get some money, then use psychographics to either 13 advance a beale or a food/astro/whatever. Or just kill them if they drop low enough on cards. Lily Lockwell really helps getting the operations I need.

I’ve found Eater/Keyhole decks to be fairly negative on both sides, lately. They’re effective at disrupting corp plans (which can add to the negativity by leading to long, dull games) or dumping agendas in archives (assuming you can find agendas and get into archives without killing yourself). But there’s just so much shuffling… Museum IG vs. Eater/Keyhole is a great way to wear out your card sleeves.


Pretty much anything that does its best to ensure minimal to 0 player interaction. I made a janky noise deck that just recurred Fisk Investment Seminar as many times as humanly possible and literally never ran. It didn’t win a lot, but even when it did it wasn’t fun for anyone involved.

By extension, blackmail val feels really dumb most games. I’ve run into several who don’t even run breakers and it just becomes a slog to see if I can hit my upgrades/bait enough runs to eventually burn through the 3 blackmail/3 same old thing/1-2 Levy. I usually win, and I’m guessing they’re no longer around as much with executive bootcamp making a comeback, but it really does feel like it just ignores the entire main mechanic which players are supposed to interact on (and like a letdown considering how interesting bad pub could be). Leela feels similar but not quite as all or nothing since it’s based on corp scoring as well.

Anarch in general has become silly thanks to all the buffing. I could go over all the reasons why, but in general I think they’re by far the best faction in the game right now if you had to suddenly play with 0 influence, and their main gimmick being destruction/denial does NOT make that a good thing. Medium is also so disgustingly strong.

Corp side I’m still somewhat surprised that they let FA continue to be this good (or this good in one faction). I get that the threat of kill or FA needs to exist, but watching an NEH player get lucky and just chain out in 3 turns doesn’t really feel like you played a game. HB FA feels a lot more interesting/fair and by extension much healthier for the game. It’s just strange to me how much NBN keeps getting considering they’re already in such a great place.

I also worry that museum decks will be the new nightmare (although maybe Archive Interface will see some play) given that unlimited recycling is extremely strong.


The worst offenders by far:

Museum of History Industrial Genomics (Endless Appetizers):
The last time I played this matchup, I stole a Fetal AI on the second or third turn, then proceeded to have multiple 5+ access medium digs yielding nothing. I ended up conceeding for time sake despite the fact that I was up 2-0 and in a tournament probably would’ve nabbed a timed win.

Minh Maxx (and other Siphon Spam/DLR Cheese):
Not much to say here, just an oppressive and low interaction deck. It’s basically putting the corp on a clock to score before being milled out, which might not be so bad if you got to keep any of your credits. You pretty much have to find Crisium, Caprice, or All Seeing I to have a chance.

After that its pretty much all of the Global Food glacier decks with frustratingly low agenda density coupled with strong ice and defensive upgrades. In my experience it usually applies most to RP, EtF, Spark Agency. I suppose it could also show up in similar form out of a vegan Blue Sun.

Runner-side Gang Sign Leela can be a bit insulting, but the match is usually at least fun to play so I’m not sure I’d call it a negative experience overall.

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I’m in the extreme camp of not believing there are such things as NPE decks. I love this game to death and after 2 years I’ve yet to have a deck-related NPE. I’ve been 7-point Shutdowned; Keyholed into the ground; 24/7’d on turn 4; Siphoned into dust; fried by quad-advanced Overwriters; DLR’d into oblivion; and the list goes on. It’s all fun. If I wanted to play the same exact game over and over, I’d go back to MTG (ps: no, I still wouldn’t). A lot of people here seem to have this singular idea of what ANR is supposed to be; I’m not one of them.

The only NPE’s for me are results of RNG and personalities. People who tilt and complain immediately when I MaxX a WNP into the heap turn 1 are more toxic than any deck, IMO. I’ll take a cool opponent and jokes between Keyhole shuffles over a whining or gloating RealNetrunnerTM opponent any day.


Agreed 100%. RealNetrunnerTM is anything that the cards allow. Being shitty to someone just because you think a deck is “cheesy” is a dick move. People should stop being dicks. I think you should joke about your position in a crappy matchup, then shake your opponent’s hand afterward and say “Well played.” Some manners go a long way in keeping even huge slogs light and fun rather than depressing.


I wish I could like this harder.

For me, there’s a difference between what I find fun or unfun and a Negative Player Experience. The first two are my personal experiences and preferences, whereas an NPE is a flaw in game design. One player or even many players disliking a game or an aspect of the game does not necessarily make it an NPE. I think something becomes an NPE when it is both inevitable (good play and/or good draws cannot counter it) and inherent (the designers were aware and deliberately allowed it, otherwise it’s more a matter of breaking the game) and negative (fairly self explanatory, but it should be a near-universal dislike).


That’s quite true for live, casual opponents. I have a blast when my brother drives his Noise down my corps throat. But online and/or against someone I don’t know, I can’t joke around, and it is just the game. And if the game is frustrating…

Keyhole/Siphon spam. That’s it.

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I seem to remember you Account Hole spamming me not too long ago :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Can we just call the Account/Keyhole deck the A-hole deck and get it over with? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I won’t pretend that it wasn’t a dick move. :wink:

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I should clarify, the list I posted above wasn’t what I, personally, don’t like, but a list of the types of decks that I’ve heard other people get very frustrated by.

In general though, I do enjoy games quite a bit more when I have the freedom of many different options. Even if I get penalized harshly (perhaps even ‘unfairly’) for one of those options, at least it was my choice to do it. Like, say, face-checking a Komainu turn 1 against Biotech. It’s not their fault I played poorly, and it’s a quick scoop and we can play again.

The games where you don’t have options though, where you’re forced to click for credits, or you lose all your clicks consistantly… those games are a lot less fun. You better have a hell of a personality to make a Siphon-spam/Keyhole game fun. :stuck_out_tongue:

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IT Department.