Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

Where is the MWL? - As of August 20th, 2018 - MWL 2.2 is here (effective 2018.09.06)


Serious question, why is this justification to ban a deck from tournament play?

I actually do trust that the current iteration is a balanced way to move the game forward, as others have said it looks like Boggs and co tested the changes with second order effects in mind. What I don’t trust is the apparent philosophy of removing “NPE” decks regardless of how consistent or powerful they are. I also don’t think classifying decks that play largely differently from “standard” netrunner as degenerate or uninteractive is fair. The interaction is not as explicit as a run every turn, but there are undeniably a lot of decisions on both sides which depend on how the opponent has been playing and what information has been revealed. And precisely because these decisions are of a different breed than standard netrunner it causes me great joy to play against a PU or a Skorp or a CI or a Dyper or Counter Surveillance or whatever as a healthy addition to a whole day tournament of standard play.

Having to account for these things enriches deckbuilding as well. Remember all those asset hate cards we picked up in the last couple cycles? Guess we’d rather just pretend asset spam doesn’t exist and nerf it whenever people start winning with it. You could argue that putting tech cards in a deck like Ms Bones or Feedback Filter is a decision that’s kind of like a rock paper scissors dynamic, lowering your consistency against everything else and improving the teched matchup. And in the same way you can argue that the presence of HPT creates the same relationship against tag me decks which is also unhealthy for a competitive dynamic. But even a dynamic equilibrium necessarily settles eventually and we’ve seen time and time again that the same tricks used to exploit holes in metagame knowledge don’t work twice. I’m confident that even left how it is (or ideally with the removal of the clearly centralizing CV+Zero) the metagame we enjoy today hasn’t been solved yet.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope NISEI designs cards with player experience in mind, but that tournament play works best when there is no presumption of a correct way to play the game. Do we want to live in a world where we all just vote on the decks that are allowed to be good and try to correct any abberations that appear?


Tapwrm was a huge (and awful) part of the world’s 2017 meta. It immediately got restricted, which meant you couldn’t run it and clone chip, so nobody bothered. Now that CC is free there is a legitimate concern that it will be good again, which given how obnoxious of a card it is, is a problem.


I was kind of joking when I said no one likes playing against it, but it seems clear to me that this iteration of the MWL is trying to combat non-interactive decks and I think that in itself is plenty of justification to ban a deck that just installs a bunch of cards and then tries to win in one turn without interacting with the corp at all until that point.


To me, this just looks like a hard stand against uninteractive combos that the runner can’t really do anything about. My Armed Intimidation Jemison deck, despite it’s good showing at Euros, isn’t what I’d call a tier 1 deck, and it’s basically the only 24/7 deck out there. Based on this, I think Boggs is just trying to eliminate decks that have unintereactive components in order to improve the health of the game for Worlds.


A Pity for that Jemison deck. As a big fan of Jemison decks, I never felt this deck was a solitaire or uninteractive experience. Yes, it can kill you, but there’s a large number of moving parts that Jemison uses to execute this. Parts that can be disrupted. And that’s before the runner shows you that they have a No One Home, a Guru Davinder or a larger hand size that shuts down the combo.

Maybe 24/7 is on the list not because it is uninteractive, but just because Jemison would gain a lot of ground if there’s less HQ disruption.

Other than the 24/7 change, I like that Maxwell James would get errata that stops the super-inside job shenanigans. That might be the one hit for those decks that rely on link an nexus to get into any server for basically free.


24/7 breaking news proved that 24/7 was always a mistake. Now that fly on the wall is a card similar problems can occur. They were being held in check by CV but its reasonable to expect them to be broken again with CV getting hit so hard by this MWL.


I think this is the saddest part about the game being fully discontinued and, to a lesser degree, that rotation cycles weren’t shorter. A lot of these cards they are restricting would have just naturally rotated out and been replaced in newer expansions by cards that were similar but more balanced.
Which is probably why they took such a heavy hand with this list since this is essentially the final version of the game, they are faced with the bad decision that Scarcity need to exist to balance certain styles but is also kind of broken so without new cards, there simply isn’t a great solution.

It’s too bad they couldn’t release one more pack that was just fixed versions of cards they could ban. Although that is obviously asking way too much for such a niche cause and impossible dragon to chase as ‘perfect balance’.


This speaks to a thing that I find to be the biggest problem with Netrunner. Certain players like to see the game as a design challenge to identify the most efficient combination of cards and other players want the decisions of the game itself to be the major factor that defines the game. Neither attitude is “right” or “wrong” but certainly when a sporting player runs into a solitaire player, both can walk away from the match disappointed.

Netrunner can be a different game to different people and that is objectively a bad aspect of it when people want to play together. Making the choice to try to move the game away from a certain attitude is going to betray some who were drawn to it in the first place because they have that attitude and it’s simply too bad that such a choice has to be made. It’s very much the nature of the beast with a game this complex.

That said, I think banning CI is the best thing to ever happen to the game and I was getting bored with the game because of stuff like CI, Clan Vengeance-combo and Moon decks and this list brought me back to the game with a smile on my face. But I feel the pain of the other type of player and think a better solution might be to break the game into two seperate formats. One with a possibly even more restricted MWL for people like me and one with an even less restricted list for people who love deck building. This is how they did it with Magic, I believe, different formats with different restrictions for different types of players.

Just acknowledge that there are two competing philosophies and why not just make it so everyone is matched with someone who likes the same sort of games before you even start and then everyone has the kind of fun they like and we are all happy.


This is a interesting (and probably good) MWL that seems to be trying address negative player experiences whilst not caring too much about super above the curve stuff (cough anarchs). This will be good for the eternal casual meta going forward but probably means deck diversity at the last world might not be very high.

It’s an interesting question to ask; what is more deserving of MWL attention?

  1. A deck that only wins 25% of the time but when it does its obnoxious and tangential to normal netrunner gameplay.
  2. A deck that wins 66% of the time against everything but entirely within the boundaries of classic netrunner. And those losses are often due to its own draw variance rather than the opponent’s gameplan execution.


I posted this last year when people were discussing whether CI should be banned:

CI has often enabled the most degenerate combos (e.g. Power Shutdown Diagnostics) because of being able to hold so many combo pieces in hand.

A reason I hope CI doesn’t get banned is what HB would have remaining:

Custom Biotics (Unplayable, 7 extra inf with a downside is garbage)
Cybernetics Division (Tier 2, arguably not even the best id for brain damage)
Architects of Tomorrow (Likely the next in line of succession, but tends to constrict deckbuilding in addition to only having 12 inf; new “jackson tax”?)
Stronger Together (Tier 2 at best, especially with Yog and eli 1 out)
NEXT Design (Essentially unplayable, especially with 12 inf)
Seidr (Potentially strong, but probably not there yet. Trigger condition is too difficult.)
Foundry (Another tier 2 at best id. Grail isn’t great, especially against turtle. Twins combo is in decent spot without parasite and with brainstorm, but has always been pretty janky. Derez is also a problem.

tl;dr: Banned CI = Every tier 1 HB is Architects of Tomorrow with the same small set of ice.

Now with Sportsmetal and Asa Group, I think it’s a great time to ban CI.


I agree that there should perhaps be different competitive formats in the future ala extended or vintage in magic but I refuse to acknowledge the debate as one between people who like deckbuilding and people who like playing the game.

NPE decks are very troublesome to encounter as a new player in a casual setting, I will never deny this. No one wants their game to take a long time with the result already apparent or get blown out in one turn if they weren’t expecting it. But in a tournament, you should know what you’re getting into and be prepared for it, otherwise that’s on you. And you might say well these decks aren’t “real” netrunner anyway, so we don’t miss anything by losing them and if we do cut them out maybe first time tournament players have a better experience.

But that’s the rub. You do miss something by flagging strategies as inherently bad. Examples:

-In PU your cards in hand and deck become resources, and their ice pressures you in a different way because of it. That was cool, and I relished my chance to play against someone who enjoyed and tested the deck before playing at a tournament. The game went long but there were undeniably a lot of decisions to be made from the runner side.

-In Skorp your breakers become a resource, causing you to treat early runs differenly, and in the case of older hatchet job variants, the econ battle. Maybe the existence of a deck like that that could show up once or twice in an event causes you to build your standard decks a little differently to give yourself a better gameplan, or maybe you rely on your decision making to pull through. It isn’t like the matchup is cut and dry.

-In that Kabonesa Wu deck the clone chip turn is really interesting. You have to spread your money over a lot of programs, like scraping butter over too much bread, while recuring the ones you need post apoc and keeping yourself flexible for each central run. Just like you have turns to set up the Apoc turn, the corp can set up ice in such a way to make this as challenging for you as possible. There’s enough interaction in that one turn to be worth multiple separate turns of running in standard play. This isn’t even considering the remote pressure dance that occurs in the early game, because it is correct to run sometimes.

-In CI fast advance you can still slot the clot and pressure the corp. And yeah, as with any deck, you can sometimes draw the nuts and make it difficult for the runner to do anything other than pray. But the vast majority of the the combo player’s decisions are an indicator of what they are missing, how long it might take for them to combo, and where their agendas are likely to be. It’s a different type of reading ability than one might be used to, but it’s arguably a valuable part of high level play nonetheless.

I would never take a deck like that to the casual lobby of jnet, but if i can’t experience this side of high level play in tournaments, then where can I find it?


I’m not sure that I quite follow your logic — deckbuilding and in-game decision making are both part of the game and while yes some people have a preference for one or the other I don’t often see that result in much conflict (aside from the eternal struggle of the brewers vs. the netdeckers, which is sort of a separate thing).

In the case of this MWL, my guess would be that they had some initial list they wanted for sure (like banning zero and unrestricting CC let’s say) and then they tested and/or thought through how that would shape things and tried to get rid of any broken decks that would emerge from what will be their final MWL update.

Example: Tapwrm and Hyperdriver. Clearly neither of these were a problem before this MWL with Clone Chip also restricted. Would CC + Tapwrm be busted? Probably, the last time one of the pair was unrestricted it certainly was. That’s clear enough. Would CC + Hyperdriver lead to some busted Wu deck that could also run e.g. Strike for problem matchups? I don’t know but I could definitely believe that they tested one and found it too strong. While people do sometimes use Hyperdriver for value, mostly it’s to go broken and that’s probably something they didn’t want to risk.

Re: Corp IDs, I’m not sure it’s purely NPE based although it could be. Given the other changes to the list you know what seems good to me? Potatoes with Drudge Work. Possibly too much so. Also if CC becomes a big part of Shaper decks, Skorpios seems like a good choice. I could see them testing Aesop’s Hayley or something against Potatoes / Skorpios and just deciding they were too strong.

I realize I’m rambling now but as someone who has played both potatoes and Skorpios in competition I can tell you that was not a result of my love of innovative deckbuilding. That was a result of tilting about anarchs wrecking my favorite decks and just deciding if I can’t have fun no one can. Full Hugo mode.


I think it’s legitimate and a good idea to restrict/ban cards using more than just power level as a justification. It’s good for the game to have fewer unfun interactions and games and banning NPE cards and combos helps the game be more fun for everyone.


I guess I don’t understand why this is a legitimate concern. Reclaim has been legal for a while including at least two major tournaments (US Nats and NA Championship).How many of the top decks in any tournament since Kampala Ascendant came out have featured Tapwrm? That is an actual–not rhetorical–question. (NRDB shows on Regional 2nd place winner.)

Why is CC so much better than Reclaim (for Tapwrm) that Tapwrm would go from a third-tier include to banworthiness?


Two reasons 1. Reclaim is a much bigger economic investment than CC (an extra click and a card is not nothing) so Reclaim is used for when you need the utility, but tapwrm is solely about efficiency. 2. The corp meta made Strike and Critic necessities, but that may change with the new MWL’s focus on ‘fair’ netrunner where the raw money of tapwrm is more important.


Certainly with Obakata and PU on the restricted list, I don’t value FC nearly as highly as I did previously. With CI, PU, and Skorp all effectively dead, I’m probably valuing Emp Strike a bit less than I did previously as well.


The thing is they didn’t ban the card that allowed the a unique strategy, they ban the cards that enabled that strategy to be incredibly effective. For example, Boggs had a decision to ban Clan Vengeance or Zer0. He chose the card that made that CV archetype stupid easy. People have played masochistic decks before Zer0 to fair success, they can still do it now, but it won’t dominate the metagame. Same with Counter Surveillance and M4M, etc.

All the strategies you listed can still exist, they have just been dropped down a notch or more. Feel free to play them in the casual lobby now.


I agree that banning zero was the right choice and the old clan vengeance decks were in a good, if below par place. That was 100% the right call.

Mars for martians is arguably a bigger gut to tag me than Counter Surveillance is, seeing as some tag me liza don’t even run surveillance, but we’ll have to see how that all shakes out. Maybe the playstyle will still be viable in competitive play, I can’t pretend to be knowledgable enough to say for sure.

Even with Estelle and Museum gone it looks like there might be room for asset decks to survive in a different way. Gonna be curious about how that shakes out and hold off judgement.

But PU, Skorp, CI, Combo Wu, they’re not just nerfed, they’re gone. You either ban the id or ban the card that makes the deck functional. And because the MWL represents balance it’s often respected even in casual play, where, let’s not kid ourselves, the social stigma of playing “NPE” is far more relevant anyway. Like I said, I liked it when the restricted list was used to make specialized decks give up on general utility cards, not axe them entirely.

You also shouldn’t try to take decks you don’t like out of tournament play if they’re just viable enough to win sometimes but nowhere close to overcentralizing. They’re a part of the ecosystem and diversity makes a meta rich and healthy.

Anyway, I’ve said my piece on the issue and it’s become clear how off the mark I am from the norm. I understand everyone’s got their own view of what Netrunner should be and what makes the game fun.


Clone chip is generically useful/powerful such that you might want tapwrm with it. Reclaim let’s you tapwrm but isn’t as generically good that you just run 3 copies.


I think anarch’s greatest strength is their draw power. Reg anarch decks were at the top prior to Clan Vengeance and Zer0. Swapping that draw with Earthrise and including I’ve Had Worse and Inject, you can draw through all but a small fraction of your deck using 9 clicks (albeit using 18 credits though) - even in a Val deck.

Controversial thought…would restricting Inject balance the runner factions? It does work ridiculously well with the bin breakers. The main problem I can see with that would be the flavours of Maxx that weren’t using Inject already would probably be the clear tier 1 deck. Especially since they would not have to worry about a Skorp matchup now.