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Why “Win More” is not a problem in Netrunner

Discuss Alex’s newest article on win more cards in Netrunner here. Agree, disagree? What do you think?


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Actually a really solid article - it is something that I’ve had trouble articulating and I think it spells it out pretty clearly. There are narrow cards in Netrunner but “Win More” isn’t the correct way to describe it.

I’m surprised there is no mention of Kraken here.

My only critique is that the article gets a little repetitive after a while. You could have used more different terms to describe some things so the repetition becomes less obvious.

But i absolutely agree with the content. Being a competitive Magic player myself i love to compare the two games and see which skillsets/definitions/theories apply to both or only to one of the two. In Magic you often win on bombs like Jace 2.0 or by out-tempoing (?) your opponent. It’s very hard to come back if your oppoenent activated jace 3+ times or when RUG keeps you off a color. In netrunner the tension is always a lot bigger. You don’t have big cards that can swing the boardstate in one’s advantage. I also always have the feeling that Netrunner requires a lot more precision. You need to squeeze the maximum potential out of your cards by placing them well, rezing/installing them at the right time and managing your resources.
In magic you can also squeeze more value out of a card ofcourse but it’s not necessarily needed that much as in Netrunner. If you play your lingering souls in MTG it’s an awesome card, if you can squeeze value out of it by blocking, attacking and flashbacking it at the right moment it’s even more awesome. In netrunner however if you placing your ice right or wrong can make the difference between it being good and being completely useless. Rezzing expensive ice at the wrong moment can be the difference between having th eupperhand for a brief moment or losing the economic war and falling behind.
There is a natural progression in Netrunner games. An inevitability which forces you to always progress your game. Standing still in Netrunner will almost always result in a loss. You always have to confirm your position over and over again. I think that’s part of what makes Netrunner so interesting.

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Hey Alex,

You guys have a great site started here. I poke my head in every few days to see what’s new, but I wanted you to know I created an account here just to come let you know that I think your article is brilliant. I think I probably have referred to a couple different cards as “win-more” in Netrunner on occasion, but you make a really good point for that concept not being applicable at all in this game.

interesting read. love the site. been a long time lurker on the stream.

RnD interface = the nuts. 3x in every runner deck i play that doesnt have medium. accessing and protecting RnD has become (or maybe it always was) the single most important thing in netrunner. every close game when im playing corp seems to come down to me praying the runner doesnt hit 40/60/80 percenter.

im curious if anyone has done any calculations on the odds of the agenda cascade…ie agenda, trashable asset, agenda, trashable asset, etc etc because to me its become too dangerous to run the tax ice ie pop ups, shadows on RnD for many turns or Gabe just says ill pay the tax to look at 2+cards and a shot at the cascade equaling an easy win.

Demolition Run = my fourth imp. The true value of demolition run is ripping biotics, neural emps and scorches out of the hand.

Corporate War = scoring any agendas points as the corp is just win. i still have not been put in situation where ive lost the money from corporate war but then i dont run more 1 copy in any deck.

project beale = can be a win more card if you overscore beale ie with midseason -> psycho for extra agenda points can you shut the runner out of the match win since the runner can never score more than 7 ?

I think the article only mentions half of the definition of “win more”. To my knowledge the other half of “win more” is the card in question would need to be useless if you had a losing board position. Basically if the card only helps you win when you are already winning, but also not currently losing, then it is a “wins more” card.

So crush of wurms is not necessarily a wins more card. It depends on the current board state. If you have been drawing nothing but lands and are getting beat down by 3 5/5’s and you topdeck Crush of wurms, that would let you stabilize the board. Then flashing it back would maybe actually let you go on the offensive.

I agree with this article ina lot of ways. Curious, but where would you put Kraken or Midseason Replacements? I feel that their conditional statements on play make them a bit “win more” (Midseason gets around this by building their deck around it, aka “Flytrap”), but in some way unless you have stabilized, they can’t help you. Midseason is useless if the runner has 6 points, and kraken will win you a game if used (auto-win if pulled off twice in a turn). I certainly agree that there is always a need to press the advantage in Netrunner, but I think that there cards that probably are “win more” because they ONLY push the advantage and can’t help you recover from a losing situation or stabalize.

As a side note, I love Kraken for this reason and really want to find the right deck for it (especially with all the NBN out there).

Midseason Replacements isn’t a bust if the Runner has more than 6cr - it just sucks 6cr off them, since they will always pay to make that card go away - that has it’s own place in the game - stopping runs, preventing draws while the runner powers back up, etc.
Also, situational wise, there are plenty of times the runner will drop low in economy to do something - make a big run on an open advanced card, for instance. This means that MR is almost never just “Cost: 5cr; the Runner must lose 6cr” - Situational cards are not “Win more” in my book :wink:
Kraken doesn’t “win” a game in isolation, it makes a game easier to complete if the right situation happens - you almost never win by just looking at one card from R&D, for instance, so just because you looked at one card, and trashed one ice so you can run and look at that same card again, doesn’t mean you’re winning the game.
In my book, Kraken feels very narrow - it’s so situational as to be unplayable most of the time!

Overall, while I get the point, I’d disagree with the diagnosis of the cards used as examples! I would say any of those cards stand up in their own right - Crush of Wurms in Magic has a place, though as someone else has pointed out, there are certainly many other examples of Win-More in magic.
A:NR doesn’t have too many “Win More” cards from what I’ve seen so far, my sole example is Surge - it’s only ever situationally good, and when it is good, it doesn’t finish the game there and then, more it gives you a slight increment of something you could have got to fairly rapidly yourself - putting two counters on Crypsis isn’t going to set the world alight. Putting two counters on a Parasite lets you get through quicker for sure, but you do need to have a lot of other supporting cards in play already to make that a good play, usually.
Netrunner is a situational game, to me - every turn is a situation that you have to assess and see what your reaction is for that turn.

I brought an anatomy of anarchy style deck to regionals. I used my ‘flex’ cards to cut a plascrete and 1x console to run 2x Kraken. I was actually able to use it 3 times, trashing a Tollbooth, a Komainu, and an unrezzed Archer in highly competitive Replicating Perfection/standard NBN matchups. Between the account siphons, the threat of Medium, and suddenly destroying their only rezzed 5+ cost ice, it basically turned my equal games to ‘won’

My runner deck went 4-2, barely losing 1 game.