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Why Skorpios is bad for Netrunner


My Worlds 2013 deck was ETF. All ICE was ETR, except for 3 Grim. There were also Rotos. The game plan was using SSCG to score out in a remote, using Adonis and Eve for money. The killer card was Troubleshooter for Roto/Grim, which won a number of games, and should have won the game I lost in the cut (I had trashed Andy’s Rig with the combo, but a Crypsis, which had to build forever, got 5 points on a Maker’s to win).

Rigshooting wasn’t the norm, but, Roto, Archer, and Troubleshooter were in the Core.


There were lots of efforts to make fracter-shooting a thing out of Weyland too, leaning on Grim, Archer, and Troubleshooter. Ice Wall made 'em play the Corroder, then you blew it up with a well-timed Archer-Troubleshooter.

Good times! Not especially likely to totally lock people out, since most players had Crypsis or something as a backup, but able to create scoring windows!

It was also fun to splash Archer in NBN, the pace of which made everyone panic a bit, and then NA into Astros behind a surprise Archer FTW.


I remember reading something from Damon saying that now that there’s a Ban list, that Boggs should really consider the cards Clone Chip and SMC for it. The idea was that it was very easy to get set up, and that recursion was way too good or easy. I kinda think that Skorp might have been a personal answer of his towards this. Maybe the idea was that if there were an ID in the card pool that made recursion bad, and it was powerful enough to see play, then perhaps people would get away from this greedy kinda one-breaker-and-recursion styles we’ve seen become so rampant for so long. Skorp is kinda a broad stroke, but so was Rumor Mill. Maybe he thought recursion had gotten so out of hand that some anti-recursion needed to be printed on the most consistent card in your deck, aka the ID.


Can we speculate as to the original design intent for Clone Chip? Perhaps it was—sharp inhalation of breath—a way of allowing runners to recover programs that had been trashed by Archers, Rototurrets, and Grims? If program trashing is all the way back in the core set, then program recursion follows naturally. I don’t think there’s anything weird about this at all.

… While simultaneously printing a bunch of broken recursion cards over the past two cycles? Uh, okay then! I have a hard time buying the coherence of this.

I don’t think “greedy” is a way of describing the majority of runner decks which over time a) naturally ran progressively fewer copies of breakers as the need for a multitude of tech slot coverage became more pressing, b) used recursion for some either relatively benign reason (e.g. a midrange econ option like Cache recursion). The problem was and is the balance of cards which facilitate recursion as well as the card being recurred. Clone Chip may have missed its mark slightly and could have removed itself from the game, but so could have Account Siphon and so could f**king Friends in High Places which came out years later.

Most importantly, we’ve had the “Noise clause” (“non-virus program”) for years because what if Noise ever Déjà Vus a virus? That will certainly be bad for the game. So bad, in fact, that FFG tacitly admitted they fucked up an ID ability because it constrained the design space for another type of card for several entire years by removing it from the core set, even after initially setting a policy that big box IDs won’t rotate. (And of course everyone spoke encouragingly about how this will now refreshingly open up the design space for viruses.)

Doesn’t anybody see what I’m seeing here? IDs are hard to deal with, they make you do crazy things like printing “Noise clauses” for years and years. They make SacCon better than it’s ever been (hooray!), they create eye-roll matchups, and they’re harder to justify restricting or banning, indeed no precedent exists. In sort, they become… … … … … … bad for the game. :wave:


That “Reset” is just the whole point when trashing programs, yes :expressionless:

Skorpio break recursion, it doesn’t trash anything by itself.
It’s just wrote on it “choose once per turn what won’t come back”.

It makes you as a runner have to tick a new box in your tests, which is “ok, without recursion then”. That’s just it.

If a deck can’t live without recursion, it is not viable against at least one ID. And that’s great for the game for me, and that’s bad for the game for you.


That’s was when they though it was cool to print etr on sentries.

In past 2 cycles, for the runner ? Which one ?


Black Orchestra, MK Ultra, Paperclip.


So… ??? How do you qualify these as “broken recursion cards” ?


Hah, fair enough =D


Don’t forget Secretary, which only purpose us the trash not the tax.


Paperclip is great. Breaking a FC3, Tracker, or Mausolus with Black Orchestra is a near death experience.


I got 2nd in my first ‘Regional’, aka Store Champ, in 2013 with AggSec, leading to me getting a set of the original plastic IDs.


First time you hit a Hortum with BO: “I knew BO was good for something!”


That’s what Stimhack is for :slight_smile:


Black Orchestra has never been less underwhelming now that we have Mining Accident!


Hooray! Personally nothing bores me more than “efficient” decks. Decks that in extremis don’t even contain cards that do anything cool, new and outside the base rules of the game but just do gaining money and making runs in as few clicks as possible utterly bore the pants off me, both to play with and against. That’s not a fun, interactive and exciting game to me: it’s a chore. Go and make a spreadsheet instead if that’s what floats your boat. :wink:

I think you underestimate the weight it brings to bear on deckbuilding. Not all recursion is equal: there is a sharply decreasing return-on-investment as you include more and more recursion in your deck. (Certainly recursion of the “save yourself from a problem” type not the “abusive gameplan” type recursion. Recurring umpteen Account Siphons as the ambition of a deck has probably is probably a flatter utility curve as you recur more and more of them.) The most important bit of recursion is the first. If you include, say, one Rip Deal and one Same Old Thing you might expect this to be an “emergency, break glass” solution to the vast majority of holes you might find yourself in. Including extra bits of recursion to dig yourself out of potential holes quickly become blank cards in an increasingly overwhelming majority of games.

The Skorpios ability (unless you play around it with Employee Strike) moves you from one end of the deckbuilding “recursion-o-meter” straight to the other extreme. It doesn’t punish recursion, it effectively negates it. If you were looking for an effect that had a more natural synergy with the way recursion works in deckbuilding decisions, it would probably say something like “The first X times the Runner attempts to recur something during the game, that card has no effect.” That would kick the Runner up a steep utility slope when deckbuilding for recursion, rather than kicking them over a step function.


If the recursion is made for an “emergency plan”, it isn’t what I call “a deck that can’t live without recursion”.

If you use your emergency plan as a norm in your deck, there it is, it’s 100% fine a predator deck exist somewhere.

In general, it’s 100% fine a predator deck exist for any stuff.
Why ? Because it helps people not concentrate on 1 deck.

Recursion was B&B before rotation, now it’s not. I have no problem with this. Put more jokers in your deck, be less mono-stuff and voila.


Along with MaxX, all those sweet sweet Exile decks have trouble against Skorpios.


Interesting conversation along the same lines on the FB group.


The conversation on the Facebook thread doesn’t really, I feel, illuminate anything we haven’t already covered here, though there are potentially some hot takes, certainly some high-fiving.

What it does illuminate is the extent to which Jnet plays a role in determining how Netrunner players—particularly newer ones—perceive the meta and perceive the frequency of a certain matchup. To be clear, no one can easily “ragequit” in real life, so this a Facebook comment based primarily on the experience of playing Netrunner online…

I’ve commented on this elsewhere, but I think for all the good Jnet does for the Netrunner community, it needs to do more to help players match with other players whose goals are the same as their own for that match. For every person who says “why do I get so many ragequits” there’s someone who says “why is Netrunner so dumb, I’m not going to bother.”

Sometimes I like to play with the group who all agree that “Skorpios is dumb and represents a unique point of failure at FFG, let’s just socially engineer it out of our meta” and sometimes I like to play with the group who agree that “Skorpios is a great counter to cheesy runner combo decks and unbridled recursion, let’s rock’n’roll.”

Well, Skorpios is dumb and does represent a unique point of failure at FFG but some people like it. Maybe we simply need better ways of organizing matches with each other on Jnet, so that ragers and ragequitters need not always cross the same path? :thinking: