The Meta Snapshot: Damon Stone, Meta Cop

Hello and welcome to the Sneakdoor Meta Snapshot for JANUARY 2016! These ratings are based on results from the Stimhack, Acoo and NetrunnerDB Tournament Winning Decklists pages, as well as community discussion. For explanations of various deck archetypes listed here, check out the (NOW EXPANDED) The Big List of Decks. Check out the new Videos page for some more great Netrunner content too!

You might have heard about a little announcement in the Netrunner world recently called the NAPD Most Wanted List. I might not necessarily agree with every card on there, but damn if it hasn’t done its job in shaking up the meta…

Or has it?

As you can imagine, this was fairly interesting to compile. Current post-MWL lists are far from locked in and we’re seeing some interesting decision making. So I’d like to clarify that this is a bit more speculative than usual. Thanks to Alex White, Kris Jamieson and Hollis Eacho for helping me out. I also apologise for not being able to source decklists properly in many cases below – many of them  I’ve had to copy and modify myself to make MWL legal, or just put together “averaged” versions. Also, there’s a bunch of stuff missing from the list because I have no idea where to put it, or not sure what a list looks like post-MWL.

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.


Tier 1

AstrobioticsFoodcoatsSYNC BioticsRP Glacier

Tier 2

Convenience ShopBlue Sun Glacier,  Industrial GraveyardArgus RushGagarin Horizontal, Blue Sun Flatline

Tier 3

Jinteki: Personal Evolution flatline, Argus Flatline, Chronos Rush/Breaker control

So, yeah. Despite having almost every card on the MWL in either HB or NBN (with the one exception a neutral agenda that’s practically an auto-3 of), it turns out that the game plan is so inherently strong in these decks that they can survive a rework of their influence. The biggest hit for Foodcoats is the struggle to keep 2 Caprice, while NBN needs to make some pretty important decisions around their ICE, SanSan and Biotic Labor counts.

SYNC moves into Tier 1 with the double Biotic and Psychographics list. Quantum Predictive Model and News Team tend to do strong work in protecting against R&D digs and also allow for strong never advance plays behind a Data Raven. A particularly interesting feature of this list is that it’s the first strong deck for a very long time to use non-kill tag punishment, which FFG was surely aiming for with Data and Destiny. Good job, team.

Convenience Shop has a real problem right now as it can’t keep Astro and the kill pieces. Despite the kill threat being almost as strong (reduced by being unable to combo Astro tokens with Breaking News), losing Astro neuters the scoring plan significantly. Some lists are moving to Psycho-Beale as an alternative, but that’s never been as consistent a plan.


Tier 1: Faust NoiseL4J/Reg-Ass Whizzard/Val/MaxX, Apocalypse MaxXMinh MaxX, Reg-Ass ValDLR Valencia

Tier 2: Leela DesperadoNexus KateProCo Blitz KateFaust/Parasite GabeB&E Geist,  stealth Kate,

Tier 3: Logos Leela, Hayley Pawnshop

You know what time it is? Anarch time. Three influence for Parasite is a perfectly acceptable trade. Most lists are dropping at least one Clone Chip, so the main impact is less threat of insta-Parasites blowing up your board. Noiseshop is still extremely powerful, and likely the strongest runner right now. The list I’ve posted is kind of an “averaged out” one – some drop Sure Gamble for Cyberfeeder or Daily Casts and the Lamprey/Medium ratios change. The general idea remains the same.

Among the rest of the Anarch field, the Reg-Ass shell remains strong with most powerful identities. Whizzard, as always, is a meta call – and in a meta potentially dominated by NEH, he can get insane value. It’s worth pointing out, though, that he appears to have a difficult SYNC matchup.

We rate Minh-MaxX better than DLR Val right now, due to Val’s slightly dicey Fastro matchup.

Shaper, meanwhile, has gotten officially slapped down with the obliteration of Prepaid. I’m upset, as a long-time Kate player, but the writing is on the wall. The builds are all just too slow. Nexus Kate is amazing when it gets set up, but the parts are all so expensive that it can be impossible to pull it off in time if the Corp realises what’s up. There’s some experimenting happening with ProCo/Daily Casts and most of the events from the PPVP lists but it’s not yet clear whether it can compare – in the hands of a good player it can still do serious work.

Criminal, meanwhile, doesn’t change much other than being very sad about losing influence on Desperado. However, since many deckbuilders are responding to the Clone Chip nerf by attempting Marcus Batty breaker trashing barrages, Criminal’s lack of recursion continues to bite.


There’s a lot of people running NEXT Ice right now because they think Parasite will disappear. I…would not recommend it. Anarchs are the strongest faction right now, and those Silvers are going to burn.

Overall, the meta is unlikely  to diversify further until Mumbad hits. It’s interesting to see powerful strategies adapt, however.


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