The Meta Snapshot 3: September 2015

Hello and welcome to the Sneakdoor Meta Snapshot for September 2015! These ratings are based on results from the Stimhack and NetrunnerDB Tournament Winning Decklists pages, as well as community discussion. For explanations of various deck archetypes listed here, check out The Big List of Decks.

As exciting as Data and Destiny is, it isn’t tournament legal yet so no comment here!

This month has seen an impressive amount of deck diversity, which has made this list pretty damn hard to put together. Some examples:

As a result, I’m going to have to go more general than previously. The Tier 1 decks are still fairly apparent, but Tiers 2 and 3 are more blurred than ever.

Tier Explanation

Due to the nature of Netrunner, tiers aren’t set in stone and player skill is usually the main factor. Tier 1 and 2 often have blurred boundaries depending on the pilot. That said:

Tier 1: The most highly optimised, efficient and consistent decks around. It’s very easy for them to find an oppressively powerful line of play. They will tend to have a clearly defined game plan that can be achieved very consistently, even with less experience piloting the deck. These decks consistently win or place highly in tournaments.

Tier 2: Efficient and powerful, but slightly less consistent than Tier 1 and easier to tech against. They may be more reliant on player skill and familiarity, or not quite as strong in the current meta. Still very competitive, can and will take games off Tier 1 decks.

Tier 3: May be either meta-dependent, difficult to pick up and play or simply much less consistent. These decks can perform very well in the right circumstances, but right now are either missing cards to push them over the edge or just don’t quite stack up against the current best decks. Tier 3 doesn’t mean bad – they’re just not necessarily as universally strong as Tier 1.

CORPORATION

Tier 1

Near Earth Hub Astrobiotics, Near Earth Hub ButchershopHB FA/Rush

Tier 2

Blue Sun Scorched EarthRP Glacier, RP RushJinteki: Personal Evolution flatline, Argus Flatline, Titan FA/Kill, HB Glacier

Tier 3

IG GrinderBiotech

NEHHB art

The release of Film Critic did little to stop people running Butcher Shop this month, but it has forced deckbuilders to adapt. Our featured list uses Ghost Branch and Mushin No Shin to land tags, while many other decks have started including SEA Source. Astrobiotics remains powerful and Team Sponsorship has proved to be an extremely strong card in the archetype. There’s a lot of potential for it to be a Daily Business Show-style “must include, must trash” card.

RP Glacier has all but disappeared from the meta with the rise of Faust Noise and Film Critic. It maintains decent matchups against other runners, but if you’re in a Noise heavy meta (and let’s face it, you probably are) you may want to consider something else. RP Rush has made more of a showing, using binary ice to try and race in the early game.

HBFA is starting to look like it will be the best deck in the very near future. It has highly taxing in faction ice that’s strong against Kate and Noise, lots of money and can play never advance in a taxing remote. Team Sponsorship is a solid boost. Adonis and Eve Campaigns demand answers due to huge economic pressure.

RUNNER

Tier 1: Prepaid Kate, Faust Noise

Tier 2: Andysucker, Aggro Gabe/Tenma, Reg-Ass MaxX/Valencia, L4J WhizzardLeela DesperadoChaos Theory Stimshop, other Kate builds, Eater MaxXGeistFaust Hayley

Tier 3: Other Leela, other Eater Anarchs, stealth Hayley, stealth Kit, Quetzal e3

At this point in the game, Prepaid Kate and Noise are the standouts by far. Nothing’s really changed other than Film Critic, making Kate even more toolboxy.

It is worth pointing out, though, that with less surprise factor there is a LOT of anti Noise tech starting to appear in the form of 2x Cyberdex Virus Suites, Lotus Field and Architect. It may be that Noise will have to work a little harder in the near future.

gabetenmaandy artgeist art

With HB becoming dominant once again, could it be time for the return of Criminal? Andysucker and Parasite Gabe are both considered to have strong matchups against HBFA. NBN’s massive presence in the metagame should really be a factor here as well – Australian Nationals had over 60% of the field representing NEH, and we’ve seen how good Andy’s matchup can be against NEHFA.

Geist may yet prove to be a wild card as well. Players are now tending to use the cloud breakers as just a method to put pressure on while moving towards a permanent rig. When used in this way, rather than as the main focus, Geist actually speeds up setup time significantly. He also gets more mileage out of denial tools, particularly Crescentus.

Thanks for reading! Looking towards Worlds, it seems likely that some combination of NEHFA, HBFA, Prepaid Kate and Noise will be the strongest decks around. However, with Data and Destiny likely to be legal, who knows!

THE “DAILY BUSINESS SHOW” AWARD FOR UNASSUMING YET INSANE GOES TO: Team Sponsorship!

THE “TECH LORD” AWARD FOR BIGGEST DOUCHEBAG GOES TO: Mr Laramy Fisk! Get it together, Criminals.

THE “DOMESTIC SLEEPERS” AWARD FOR BEST ARCHER FOOD GOES TO: Public Support! Mmmm, PR. 

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