I love me some shenanigans in Netrunner. From Team Sponsorship to the glory days of Prepaid Kate, my favorite decks are always the ones that can make something happen out of nothing and win the game with a play the opponent never saw coming. A big chunk of my issues with the game over the last few months come from a lack of…dynamicism in many top decks. Palana, IG, Dumblesmorc – they’re good because their game plans are simple and unchanging. They’re much more snowball-y than explosive though, and where’s the fun in that?
Luckily for us, over the last couple of months we’ve seen some pretty weird stuff come bubbling out of the swamps of NetrunnerDB…and a lot of it’s pretty good! Some of this is due to new enablers and some has just come to fruition, so let’s take a look.
Meta Snapshot TLDR: Dumblefork, DLR MaxX, IG, NEH and Palana are good. So are these other things.
Now I’m still not convinced that Rebirth is necessarily good…but come on, look at it! This thing is bonkers. And it’s gotten people playing classic Andy again, which I think is actually great! It has the capability to punish NEH super hard and has a lot of opportunities for clever play.
While we’re hanging out in Criminal town, let’s talk about the current hotness – Au Revoir/Snitch/Reflection/Turning Wheel Andy. This is a fantastic example of previously mediocre cards coming together to form something beautiful. The Au Revoir/Snitch engine has been around since people thought a 3 card Magnum Opus that uses 3 memory and doesn’t get you accesses would be a recipe for a good time. Reflection is basically OK – it’s never bad per se, but the ability isn’t THAT strong. However, with Turning Wheel in play suddenly this all goes out the window. Now you’re not just making money, something that you’ve always been able to do. Now, you can build up for a huge multi-access run at the same time AND know when the time to do it is! With the addition of Freedom through Equality, you can guarantee yourself a nice haul of delicious points.
Speaking of clone rights – this card is obviously best when you can guarantee an agenda score. Because Shapers are the greatest, they have one of the best ways to do that – Indexing! So any deck that spams Indexing should probably think about jamming one of these bad boys in, it’s a great counter to the omnipresent Global Food Initiative. You could also play this, which not only lets you have fun gaining 9 credits for free from Lucky Find but also be awesome playing Gingerbread and Dinosaurus in what turns out to be a pretty damn sweet deck.
I’ll also throw this out there – it’s an update to the DDoS/False Echo decks that have been floating around for some time, but with the addition of Liberated Chela and a bunch of other weird stuff. Is it good? Not sure, but you can certainly do some bananas stuff with it.
Not that many shenanigans here, despite Consulting Visit and Salem’s Hospitality making it easier to straight murder people. I was repping the Team Sponsorship/Temple NEH for quite some time, because it’s reliably hilarious, but Whizzard and Clot have been ruining my fun. Recently though, we’ve received what has fast become one of my favorite enablers of shenanigans.
After months suffering under the cruel specter of Turntable stealing all my hard-earned Astro tokens, finally it’s time for some payback. Now initially I thought this was a card that wouldn’t see tons of play, because I was thinking within the context of a standard Fastro deck. Luckily, the Netrunner community is smarter than me and realised the absolutely godly synergy between EoI, GFI and Breaking News. As you might know, scoring a Breaking News from SanSan and swapping it for a GFI is not only a big point swing but they keep the tags! I’ve been playing variations of this and having an absolute blast. It’s amazing how often you’ll do weird plays like letting a Legwork hit because it’ll actually let you win next turn! One memorable game saw me down 6-0 on turn 1 and I ended up winning 7-4. How is that even a thing? Amazing.
This also means that it’s time for SYNC to make a comeback! I’ve been a big fan since Data and Destiny came out, but abandoned it during the heights of Noise because you’d get milled too quickly. The omnipresence of Film Critic and Artist Colony for a little while also meant that the build, involving News Teams and Quantum Kitties, kind of stopped working. These days these cards are less popular and basically every runner deck relies on resources, so it’s time for SYNC to bust some heads.
Let’s look at Timmy Wong’s frankly batshit Info Refinery. As with most of Timmy’s decks, I don’t understand it at all (one Scorch? No Astros? Old mate Keegs?) but he’s some kind of living avatar of sweet Netrunner and tore up regardless. This list doesn’t feature EoI because it came out too late but does feature other choice SYNC nonsense like All Seeing I and the excellent Resistor.
All this to say there’s some pretty interesting stuff going on, and you’re likely to see any combination of the above. Happy running!