Hello and welcome to the Sneakdoor Meta Snapshot for October 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.
Hi all. This is very consciously a pre-Data & Destiny edition of the Meta Snapshot as its impact is likely to be significant. The tier levels are very similar to last month, so I’ll just talk about the new additions/changes.
Check this video out for me and Kris Jamieson having a chat about everything!
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.
The biggest change, as predicted, has come from Team Sponsorship. It has enabled extremely powerful strategies in NEH, whether scoring multiple agendas from hand in a single turn or reinstalling high trash cost assets. The Turtlebacks variant sometimes even cuts Hedge Fund, relying instead on a constant stream of must-trash assets. Other interesting tech choices include Little Engine and 2x Cyberdex Suite to fight Noise and Faust.
Public Support and Tour Guide have been a reasonable boost for Gagarin mid range decks, providing an easy and bad publicity-free way to turn on Archer. Ash is typically used to help score out and some versions also employ the Scorch threat. A version with Turtlebacks and Team Sponsorship exists as well, adding the Gagarin tax onto the already high cost of the must-trash assets. Argus benefits from a similar strategy as its ability inherently slows down the Runner.
A Chronos Protocol control archetype is also beginning to emerge, focusing on trashing breakers and sniping recursion or other breakers from hand with targeted net damage. At this early stage there seems to be two main variants floating around. One uses Grail ice and Nisei Mk II to rush out agendas, and the other uses House of Knives, Blacklist, Neural EMP and Chronos Project to focus more on grinding the Runner out.
L4J Whizzard rejoins the top ranks this month as asset-spamming NEH, HB and Gagarin decks ensure that he gets massive value from his ability. Noise is tending to tech in 2 Clot to assist more against the NEH matchup.
Criminals are in an interesting spot at the moment, as the asset-heavy metagame makes 3x Bank Job practically an auto-include. Right now it’s practically a better Lucky Find. We’re also seeing more runners take advantage of the synergy between Drug Dealer and Faust. Fisk has landed, but is mostly agreed to be much weaker than other Criminal IDs. Drug Dealer in general is proving to be quite powerful and has been making appearances in many Shaper decks as well as Criminal, typically out of Hayley.
The major new Runner archetype this month is the resurrection of the much-reviled DLR Spam deck. Paparazzi and Wireless Net Pavilion makes it easier to set up the DLR/Joshua B. combo and keep it alive. So far the leading versions seem to be in Valencia and Leela. Valencia can threaten servers with Blackmail and has a bad publicity to sacrifice to The All Seeing I when that comes out. Leela has access to Gang Sign, Inside Job and Account Siphon in faction, and her ability helps put constant pressure on the Corp.