March of the Pigs

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Happy new year! If you’ve been paying attention to the various forums exploding, you’ll know that Damon Stone has brought in his reign with a bang by introducing the restricted list so many people have been asking for. NetrunnerNAPDList.1.List_.jpg

My initial reaction to this was…pretty colorful. I’ve long held that Prepaid Kate is the most fun deck to play in Netrunner as well as being highly rewarding to player skill, and the sad fact is it just can’t exist as we know it anymore. The deck simply cannot take a 9 influence hit straight out of the gate and survive – and once you start cutting Clone Chip and Lady, you’re making big changes to what makes the deck so efficient in the first place.

I was also reasonably upset with the changes to NBN as I’m a diehard rusher and the list is basically the first cards I put in any new deck! Of course, after the knee jerk reaction, it’s pretty obvious that this kind of “default deckbuilding” is exactly what they’re trying to get us to avoid. Despite my love of Fastro, it’s almost certainly good for the game that NEH decks get less homogenous.

The same goes for our friends at Haas-Bioroid, of course. 3x Eli, Architect and NAPD (maybe a 2 of there) has been the default for a mighty long time. That said, HB has powerful in-faction alternatives and should be able to bounce back. The hit to SSCG does make the FA/Rush strategy much more problematic, however.

Like many people, I’m mostly surprised to not see Faust on the list due to it’s meta warping effect. That said, much of the power of Faust derives from being in decks with heavy Parasite recursion, using Faust more for emergencies. As Parasite recursion becomes less prevalent, we may see a rise in lower-strength, multi subroutine ice that Faust struggles with.

WHAT GETS HIT HARDEST?

RIP Prepaid Kate, there’ll always be a place for you in our hearts.

DLR Val and MaxX are still viable, but making Wireless Net Pavilion unique does make it less oppressive. Still nothing stopping you having three in a deck, though.

Reg-Ass MaxX has a serious problem with the Clone Chip and Parasite nerfs, and that deck was already struggling as collateral damage from all the Cyberdex Virus Suites.

Faust Gabe has a real problem due to its reliance on Parasite and Desperado.

NBN kill decks get hit pretty hard. The strength of these lists was always having a strong scoring option available in addition to the kill package, as well as the Breaking News shenanigans enabled through Astro and SanSan. They’re still going to be able to blow up your house almost as easily, but playing a Plascrete or two is going to have a far greater impact on their ability to actually win games.

WHAT DOESN’T CHANGE MUCH?

NEH Fast Advance survives, but has to make some hard choices in deckbuilding. I’m currently testing an approach with Team Sponsorship and one less Biotic, aiming to recur SSCG. Losing Eli means moving towards more inefficient NBN ice, but Architect can stay for now.

Nexus Kate still appears to remain very powerful despite having influence tied up in the Nexus. 3x Clone 2x Lady gives us 10 influence to work with, which I’m testing with 2x Nexus, 1x Clot, Datasucker, Mimic. It’s also possible that 1x Lady is correct here.

Noise should be in a strong position by cutting 2x Clone Chip and going to 3x Deja and potentially cutting Inject in favour of IHW.

RP is in an interesting position as it should be able to make some influence changes and still keep Eli. Enhanced Login Protocol becomes much stronger with less Shaper-y run events in the meta and is also a great answer to Noise. Jinteki as a whole also gets a boost from less Parasite recursion in the meta, which made ice like Tsurugi and Komainu not viable.

WHAT GITS GOOD?

Depends if the meta slows down. Professional Contacts has been in and out of favour for a while but more old-school Kate decks may be the way to go.

L4J/Wooley/Wong Whizzard decks can recover pretty easily by spreading influence around between Clone Chips, Atman, Test Run and Net Ready Eyes. This style was already very strong and is likely to get even better in comparison. Less Eli makes Corroder significantly nicer, too.

The SYNC Biotic lists are already quite strong and may be fine cutting Blue Level Clearances.

The next Meta Snapshot should certainly be interesting!

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