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Subject: The State of the Netrunner Metagame: Expansion 1: What Lies Ahead. rss

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Alex Rockwell
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The State of the Netrunner Metagame: Expansion 1: What Lies Ahead.

Here is a link to my post on ratings for all the new cards:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/896835/initial-thoughtsratin...

The is my attempt to explain the current netrunner metagame, and the effects of the first expansion on it, based on my personal experience, lots of playtesting, results of online tourneys, tournament reports, and discussions with other strong players.



Q: What is the strongest Corporation?
A: Weyland.

Even without the potential scorched earth kill, Weyland is a strong, rich, corporation, with great ice and many advantages. Weyland does an excellent job of protecting itself, both early and lategame, with strong ice such as Archer, and efficient ice such as Ice Wall and Shadow.
Weyland excels at playing the “One subsidiary data fort” game, that helps it neuter otherwise strong runner cards such as Bank Job,and keeps it from spreading its defenses thin. Weyland has a strong Agenda, Hostile takeover, which both provides income as well as an easily and safely scored Agenda point, helping them either early or late in games.
Weyland makes the best use out of the threat of a tag, as it has Scorched Earth in faction, allowing them to turn certain ice like Data Raven into a monster.
In addition to a strong 'standard' game of advancing agendas, Weyland additionally has a realistic backup win condition, via Scorched Earth, backed up by Posted Bounty, which can either win a game or force the opponent to waste resources stoppign it (and thus strengthening your primary game).

The best way to play Weyland is as a Rich corp with a strong defense, able to often win the game 'straight up' via agenda advancement, and with a backup plan of Scorched Earth included at a minimal investment (a few deck slots).

Q: What did the expansion give to Weyland?
A: Project Atlas.

The addition of a low cost Agenda with a potentially useful power greatly improves Weyland's ability to win 'the standard way', via agenda advancement.

Also, caduceus is good if people don't all add link to their decks.

Q: Did the addition of Plascrete Carapace hurt Weyland?
A: Not really.

Your primary win condition is so strong already, that if the runner gives you even more economic advantage by spending time and money on this card, your chances of winning normally should increase. What the card does do is make it even more true that you should plan to win via Agendas, and use the threat of Scorched Earth has a backup plan, and to gain advantages and efficiencies during the game (such as making your Data Raven better).

Q: What is the best card to splash into Weyland?
A: Data Raven.

This should be considered an automatic 3-of in Weyland, imo. If they ran your fort at the end of the turn and see data raven, what do they do? They basically have to jack out. If there was a Chum in front of it when they do that? Laugh at them. I have won games because the runner ran my HQ (with an action left), took the tag from the Data Raven, and hit the Snare in my hand for another tag and some damage, allowing me to kill with a single scorched earth on my turn. Run through the Data Raven with an action left to remove the tag, attacking R&D? Oh look, that Snare at the top just won. Think you can get through my agenda fort no matter what? Too bad it was two Data Ravens.

Q: What are other good cards for Weyland to spend its influence on?
A: Snare, Corporate Troubleshooter (brute force defense/Archer wrecking), Archived memories(improved combo, returns Hedge Fund), Chum (makes Data Raven/Archer/Troubleshootered ice better), Ghost Branch(multiple tag GG!), SEA Source(though this is defeated by Decoy/Plascrete), Tollbooth, Ichi, Rototurret.

Q: What are the best Weyland cards?
A: Archer, Scorched Earth, Ice Wall. Archer especially can win games by itself if not anticipated, or backed up by a corporate troubleshooter. It should be considered in all decks, even those without a great way to rez it cheaply. One of the reasons Jinteki sucks is that it doesn't have a good way to play Archer, whereas NBN has Breaking News and HB has Beta Test to get it out.

Q: Show me a strong Weyland decklist.
A: Here is a post-Expansion Weyland decklist. It is lightly modified from my previous decklist which I have tested extensively and is very hard to defeat:

Weyland (49 cards)

Agendas (11):
3 Priority Requisition
3 Project Atlas (New)
3 Hostile Takeover
2 Posted Bounty

Ice: (21)
3 Data Raven ******
3 Archer
3 Shadow
1 Draco (New)
2 Chum **
3 Enigma
3 Hadrian's Wall
3 Ice Wall

Other: (17)
3 Corporate Troubleshooter ***
2 Snare ****
3 Melange Mining Corp
3 Hedge Fund
3 Beanstalk Royalties
3 Scorched Earth


(Note: I tried to make sure this deck wouldnt get wrecked if everyone starts playing Rabbit Hole. Thus the 1 Draco and no Cadeceus.

Q: Whats the second best corp?
A: HB.

HB is also rich, and has a strong plan of agenda fast advancing, combined with solid defense. The have the high variance 'Accelerated Beta Test', which can provide huge value (often) or lose the game (occasionally). HB's Biotic Labor is very strong and can allow them to score agendas without having to expose them during the runner's turn. They tend to build huge data forts that are very expensive to get through.

Q: What did the expansion give to HB?
A: Janus 1.0 is probably the best addition. Its stupidly expensive, but that just means its great with Beta Test and Priority Requisition. Its overcosted if you have to res it normally however. They also got Mandatory Upgrades, a 6 cost agenda that might win the game by itself if you can score it, but is incredibly hard to score. This might turn out to actually be the best HB addition, but I'm not sure. Its a lot harder to fast advance, so it kindof splits HB into two varieties. One of them fast advances things with SanSan, the other tries to score a Mandatory Upgrades, and contains more advancable traps.

Potentially the best thing for HB in the expansion is actually that, due to more trace cards, if runners start all playing a bunch of Link cards, that makes the non-tracing HB stronger in the metagame.

Q: What is the best card to splash into HB?
A: SanSan City Grid.

Combined with the Biotic Labors and HB's wealth, this allows strong agenda rushing.

Q: What are other good cards for HB to spend its influence on?
A: Precognition (for Beta Test), Tollbooth, Archer, Ice Wall, Wall of Thorns.

Q: What are the best HB cards?
A: Corporate Troubleshooter, Biotic Labor, Archived Memories, Ichi, Rototurret.

Q: Show me a strong HB decklist.
A: This is my HB, updated for the new cards (only added Janus 1.0)

HB Engineering the Future (49 cards)
Agendas: (9)
3 Priority Requisition
3 Private Security Force
3 Accelerated Beta Test

Ice: (20)
3 Ichi 1.0
3 Rototurret
2 Archer ****
2 Janus 1.0 (New)
1 Ice Wall *
2 Wall of Static
2 Heimdall 1.0
2 Tollbooth ****
3 Enigma

Other: (20)
2 SanSan City Grid ******
2 Corporate Troubleshooter
3 Archived Memories
3 Adonis Campaign
3 Melange Mining Corp
3 Biotic Labor
3 Hedge Fund
1 Aggressive Secretary


Q: What is the Third Best Corp?
A: NBN.

Q: What difficulties does NBN have?
A: It is poor, and has trouble mounting a real defense. It is weak against Criminals, who stretch it's defense thin, and can punch through for free credits, and it can be weak against base link. Criminal especially has an easy time against NBN, though I have actually found NBN to be possibly the best deck against a slow Shaper deck that doesnt run much early on. As such, NBN is a metagame choice. You would run it in an anarch/shaper heavy meta that like to set up an unstoppable rig rather than run early, and that doesnt play many +Link cards.

Q: What does NBN have going for it?
A: It has one of the best cards in the game, the Astroscript Pilot Program agenda, which of scored can help it to rush through agendas without ever exposing them to the corp (combined with SanSan City Grid and possibly Biotic Labor). It also makes trace ice more efficient, allowing it to use some efficient ice. It also has Breaking News, the best way to tag the runner, and an easily scorable 1 point agenda, which also allows it to play Archer efficiently.

Q: What does NBN gain from the expansion?
A: TMI, an efficient, in faction wall, and Draco, a neutral trace ice that becomes much more useful when combined with the NBN free trace credits.

Q: How does the expansion hurt NBN?
A: If people begin to play a lot more base link cards as a result of the new cards, that could hurt NBN. Alternately, if people shift away from Criminal decks toward Anarch and Shaper (which I believe gained more in this set), that could help NBN.

Q: What is the best card to splash into NBN?
A: Archer. This is the only ice that NBN can truly afford that actually provides a good defense. NBN has a 1 point agenda to rez it with, and I have probably won as many games as NBN via an unexpected Archer res, as I have otherwise. Archer is simply a card that can induce mistakes in the runner, and win the game, and NBN plays it well.

Q: What are other good cards for NBN to spend its influence on?
A: Ice Wall (desperate need for low cost 'end the run' ice), Chum (makes a trace ice remain strong even if opponent gets link, great in front of things like Data Raven and Hunter), Biotic Labor, Shadow (very efficient ice with the +2 trace, provides money), Ichi (solid defense, NBN can actually use the trace), and Scorched Earth (heavy influence cost, but great with Breaking News).

Q: What are the best NBN cards?
A: Astroscrpt Pilot Program, Breaking News, SanSan City Grid, Tollbooth (though its best in HB not NBN), Data Raven (though its best in Weyland not NBN), TMI (only good in NBN).

Q: Show me a strong NBN decklist.
A: This is my agenda rush NBN deck, updated for the new cards. This deck is actually strong against non-criminal decks, as opposed to most NBN lists I have seen, mainly because it has so many low cost ice, so it can afford to make a (flimsy) defense that slows the runner down while it rushes agendas. Well, at least I expect the new version will be. The non end the run ice should go on HQ and R&D, while the end the run ice is mainly for an Agenda fort early on.

NBN (49 Cards)
Agendas: (10)
3 Priority Requisition
1 Private Security Force
3 Astroscript Pilot Program
3 Breaking News

Ice: (22) (Note: no data raven! Half the ice costs 1!)
3 Archer ******
3 Hunter
3 Draco (new)
3 Ice wall ***
3 Tollbooth
3 Chum ***
2 Enigma
2 Shadow ** (edit: cut the TMI because TMI was bad too often).

Other: (17)
3 SanSan City Grid
3 Melange Mining Corp
3 Pad Campaign
3 Hedge Fund
3 Closed Accounts
1 Psychographics
1 Corporate Troubleshooter *


The pre-expansion version had Shadow instead of Draco, and couldn't fit in the Biotic Labor. Shadow was amazing early on, though I worry about playing too many trace cards now, since I expect a bit more runner to use link.


Q: So why is Jinteki the worst Corp?
A: It is poor, its Agendas are all difficult, and it relies on the runner not being careful in order to kill them for a win. It is weakest against a strong player who overprepares for a run. Given that Jinteki will never be able to sneak an Agenda through, without leaving it vulnerable for a turn, a winning strategy against them is to massively overprepare as the runner, and then run only against an advanced card, possibly after infiltrating it, or being able to eat the hit if its a trap. You only should run HQ/R&D if overprepared, and then with sufficient resources so that afterwards, if the corp plays out an agenda on their turn, you can run it.

Generally the turn you run against Jinteki should look something like:
* Begin turn with 5 cards.
* Draw a card! (Two if preparing to run a potential Project Junebug).
* Run, with multiple actions left over afterwards to remove tags or draw back up from damage taken.

This plan is good against any corp, but against Jinteki it basically removes their win chances. Don't get suckered into taking risks, Jinteki punishes them greatly.


Q: Did the expansion help Jinteki?
A: They got one decent agenda (Braintrust), and Snowflake, an Ice that lets you trick the runner into wasting money, maybe. Nothing nearly enough to make them viable.


Q: What does Jinteki need to be more viable?
A: More income, better Agendas, better ICE. It doesnt need more kill potential, since if you give it more kill potential it would actually have enough to simply kill people all the time. Right now it kills people who aren't careful. Killing people who are careful too would be too much. What they need is to be more like Weyland, who can actually win the normal way (scoring Agendas, what a concept!), and not only win through flatlining. They need better economy and agendas, to allow them to win, or to pressure the runner to have to take risks to stop them, potentially leading to kills.

Probably the #1 thing Jinteki could get would be an identity that gives economy or improves ice, instead of their current, terrible identity.


Q: What is the best card to splash into Jinteki?
A: Such a difficult question. Jinteki needs too much to become viable. It has too many holes to fill. Maybe Archer? I've actually lost to a Jinteki deck because they rezzed archer, and I was like: WTF, an Archer in Jinteki? I prepared for everything else except that. As I have be unable to make a viable Jinteki deck, I don't know what the card is that will make it viable.


Q: What are the best Jinteki cards?
A: Snare, Akitaro Watanabe, Chum.


Q: Show me a strong Jinteki decklist.
A: Such a thing does not exist.


Q: What is the best Runner?
A: Probably criminal. Criminal does the best job of spreading the corp's defenses thin, via the bonus money for getting into HQ, and Sneakdoor Beta to attack Archives. Criminal has the best early game, and the best disruption card in Account Siphon, which creates a massive economic swing, crippling the corp while making the runner rich. Criminal also has the best utility, with good tag defense in Crash Space and Decoy, helping it survive the attack from the top corp, Weyland. Criminal especially demolishes the poorer corps, NBN and Jinteki, punishing their weak early defense, crushing any Pad Campaigns with Bank Job, that they might use to try to not be poor.

Q: What weakness does the Criminal have?
A: They have the weakest lategame, as they don't have the super economy rig of Shaper, or the amazing R&D attack of Anarch.

Q: What does the expansion give to Criminals?
A: An in-faction Code Gate Breaker, Peacock, which is not bad against large code gates but still sucks against Enigma. This might free up their influence.

Q: Did the expansion do anything to balance the runners out and make Criminal relatively weaker?
A: Yes, Criminal probably gained the least out of the runners, maybe tied with Anarch. However, Criminal is poor against tracing, with no in-faction link cards, and the new trace effects from the corp are strong, so Criminal loses ground in the expansion, at least to Shaper.

Q: What is the best Criminal card?
A: Account Siphon. This card wins games by itself.

Q: What are good cards for Criminal to spend influence on?
A: Good icebreakers like Corroder. Cards that aid Economy/Economics of Running such as Diesel, Wyldside, Magnum Opus, Pawnshop, Stimhack, Cyberfeeder, Datasucker. Cards that keep the corp in the early game longer, like Parasite. Cards that provide an endgame plan, like Medium or Makers Eye. Cards that provide link such as Rabbit Hole. It depends a lot on the deck/plan.


Q: What are the keys to the matchup against a Criminal?
A: The corp needs to defend HQ well to avoid Account Siphon and the free money that Gabriel provides. They should avoid a hand with multiple early agendas, as Criminal punishes this hand, while against other runners it might allow agenda rushing when they are not yet set up. The corp should pre-emptively ice Archives in advance of the Sneakdoor Beta appearing, to prevent the turn of “Sneakdoor, run, run, run for free”. With a 2+ agenda starting hand, icing Archives on turn 1 is actually more important against Criminal than icing R&D, due to Sneakdoor threat! The corp needs to construct their Agenda fort with strong ice at the end, and a filler ice in front to negate the Inside Job.

Q: How do the corps match up against Criminal?
A: Weyland and HB do the best, as they play the 'one subsidiary fort' game the best. NBN and Jinteki are poor and probably need Pad campaigns, turning on the criminal's Bank Job. To defeat the Criminal, keep a hand without agendas preferably, and quickly build up a good defense in all areas, focusing most on HQ and the Agenda fort. Simply having more of your agendas in the bottom half of your deck than the top is a good way to help beat the criminal. NBN fares poorly against criminal, as it has the least 'end the run' potential, which is needed to keep the corp from gaining free money with Gabriel and Desperado. It is the criminal matchup that prevents NBN from being close to Weyland in power level.
All runners beat Jinteki by being very careful.

Q: What is the second best runner?
A: Probably Shaper, with the expansion.

Q: What did the Shapers gain from the expansion?
A: A new codegate breaker that costs no memory if you have link, freeing up memory for other programs, and increased importance of Link, improving the Kate identity, and shaper cards like Rabbit Hole.


Q: What are the Shaper's strengths?
A: They have the best economy, with Magnum Opus, free credits, and efficient icebreakers. They also have strong base link. In general, if allowed to build up for a while, the Shaper runner becomes incredibly hard to keep out of any fort, and has an amazing, sustained, economy.


Q: What are the Shaper's weaknesses?
A: They have the worst early game, with little early pressure, and can suffer if they don't draw Magnum Opus early. An Agenda rush plan can sometimes beat a Shaper deck before they are completely set up and able to run. While they have a strong lategame in terms of being able to get through anything, they dont have a good way to simply brute force a win, like the Anarch's do with Medium.


Q: What plans can be used to counteract this weakness?
A: Cards that help accelerate rig setup time such as Special Order, early game run cards like Stimhack and Tinkering, or alternately, playing Crypsis as a midgame plan to allow successful runs on agendas with only one icebreaker.


Q: What is the best Shaper card?
A: Magnum Opus.


Q: What are the keys to the matchup against a shaper?
A: Rush agendas fast. While you didnt want to draw early agendas against a criminal, you want them against Shaper. You want to set up a fort with a couple different end the run ice, and push those agendas through ASAP. Shapers are the least likely to run you early on, so early defense is not as critical.


Q: How does each corp match up against Shaper?
A: Shaper gives Weyland a run for its money, as it can actually get through Weyland forts. Howeve,r the shaper has to deal with the Weyland kill condition, without in-faction defense against it like the Criminals have. Sacrificial Consturcts help them avoid getting wrecked by Archer/Troubleshooter however, which is nice. Shaper needs to not allow Weyland to score a pre-advanced Posted Bounty, needs to not eat a tag they cant remove, and then needs to out-economy weyland.

Against HB, the shaper doesnt have to worry about death, but must worry about rushed agendas. An early Beta Test giving multiple high cost ice can be backbreaking, as it puts the corp too far ahead economically. The shaper must find a way to stop HB from scoring too many agendas early, so that they cant simply finish off agendas from hand later on, nullifying the shaper's best strength, their ability to get through any agenda fort late in the game.

Against NBN, shaper can be at significant risk of getting rushed before they set up. A Crypsis/Tinkering/Stimhack fueled run through to an early Astroscript agenda can shut down NBN's rushing ability, but this requires guesswork or a hit with an infiltration card. This matchup tends to hinge on whether NBN can get a couple agendas through fast or not.


Q: So Anarch is the worst runner then?
A: Well, maybe, but the gap between runners is small, whereas the gap between corps is large. So its a lot less clear. Its not like Anarch is bad at all, or unviable.


Q: What problems does Anarch have?
A: Their setup time is very long. While they put together the most impressive endgame rig, with the inevitability granted by mediums to hit agendas in R&D and win, they take a long time to set it up, and have money issues all game.


Q: What advantages does Anarch have?
A: They have a good early game due to Parasites, and then the best endgame due to Medium, if they can get there. They also score free points from the Noise ability, and can force ice onto Archives with this and Datasuckers, spreading the corp thin. They have good card drawing from Wyldside, and can make efficient runs with Anarch breakers, datasuckers, ice carver, and cyberfeeders.


Q: How can Anarch minimize their drawbacks?
A: Play cards that give a better early game ability to steal agendas, like Stimhack, Crypsis, or help to get icebreakers faster like Special Order. (However, Special order doesnt work as well with Wyldside). They can make the best use out of Aesop's Pawnshop, due to having Wyldside, relying on Armitage Codebusting, and being able to get value out of playing and sacrificing Datasuckers (paid for with Cyberfeeder money, and recurred with Deja Vu). If the Anarch can prevent an early corp win, they gain lategame inevitability through strong R&D attacks.


Q: What did Anarch gain from the expansion?
A: A console that is great if in your meta, no one traces, ever. And a new virus program that allows the trashing of any card, and works great with pawnshop once it is used up. (It doesn't auto-trash once used up!) They got less than shaper did. Possibly more than Criminal.


Q: What about Whizzard?
A: Whizzard adds a new deck archetype – the R&D trash deck, to the game. However, Playing Whizzard means giving up the Noise ability, and I don't think its worth it, unless maybe everyone you play against runs pad Campaign in all their decks, and other upgrades as well. The problem is that the Noise ability is just SO good. The things that carry the Anarch faction are the Noise ability, Parasites, and Mediums. Losing the Noise ability in order to make your already awesome R&D attack a little better is a poor decision, imo.

Q: What are the keys to the Anarch matchup?
A: It is critical for the corp to overdefend R&D. Not just sufficiently defend, but overdefend. The corp needs to have enough defense so that if the Anarch was to suddenly parasite and blow up the best piece of R&D ice, that they couldnt then simply run through it multiple times easily, with a medium. If the corp gets into this situation, they have a terrible choice: Do I clear the medium's virus counters and let him repeat the process? Or do I add defenses to R&D but let him get through for one big access next turn? Overdefend your R&D!

Q: How does Anarch match up against the corps?
A: Weyland tends to crush Anarch pretty well, because of Archer. Anarch cant get through an Archer with in faction breakers, unless they have several datasucker counters (which the corp can then clear, making Archer unrunnable again). Additionally, Archer completely wrecks the Anarch player, by blowing up his Djinn stack. Even worse, Troubleshooter + Archer provides a completely unbreakable ice that both defends an Agenda and blows up the Anarch's setup. It is this single car,d Archer, that makes Anarch the worst runner faction. Without Archer in the game they might actually be the best! Anarch can try to avoid this by running out of faction sentry breakers or Crypsis, and by playing Sacrificial Construct to save their Djinn stack, these turn the matchup a bit less against them, but its still a poor match for the Anarch player.

HB can suffer against Anarch, as they tend to pay a lot for ice, which is then killed by Parasite. However, HB has good economy, and can get free ice from Beta Test, so when things go well they can suffer losing an ice and be ok. HB simply needs to massively overdefend R&D and they should do well.

NBN actually does very well against Anarch, because they rush agendas well, while Anarch has a slow setup, and because they have a lot of low cost ice, that the Anarch parasites are poor against. They key to this matchup is who can race first? Can NBN rush agendas through first, or can Anarch set up mediums and attack R&D hard?

Jinteki can get random wins off Anarch with multiple snares clumped together during a medium run, but aside from that gets crushed by Anarch, because Wyldside pretty much beat s Jinteki by itself. It refills the runner's hand efficiently, while letting them begin turns at 7 cards, ready to run Jinteki.



Q: Overall, how did the expansion effect the game?
A: It made Weyland stronger (lol), made Link stronger (which, if it induces enough of a meta shift, makes NBN weaker and makes Weyland change its trace ice like Shadow and Caduceus into other ice).

It gives Shapers a better memory situation if they need it, from the new 0 memory code gate breaker. Other corps (criminal mostly) could also splash this for the MU benefit.

It gave Criminals an in-faction Codebreaker, and Anarchs a card that helps them attack R&D or HQ by trashing untrashable cards, that also works nicely with Pawnshop.

It gave Corps more choice of Agenda and the ability to not be 45-49 cards. Weyland got the best new agenda, followed by Jinteki. HB might be great but I am unsure, NBN's is fine but is the weakest of the four.

HB gained a stupidly expensive ice, for more variance/upside on Beta Test. And a new identity that is probably just way worse than the old one, unless they print multiple new and amazing Bioroids.

Jinteki is one step closer to viability due to a decent agenda, but remains far away.

NBN gained good early ice to help it out, but is probably hurt by the extra link people will add to their decks. However, if people DONT add link cards, NBN did gain a bit.


Q: Did the expansion improve balance in the game?
A: For runners yes. For corps it probably made it worse, Weyland got further ahead of the rest.


Q: I think you are wrong, and Plascrete Carapace wrecks Weyland and makes it terrible, thus fixing the metagame!
A: If Weyland didn't have Scorched Earth, it would probably be the best corp still, though tied with HB instead of ahead. If you have to spend 2 actions and $3 to do nothing but remove its scorched earths, it is still the best. Any gain against Weyland stemming from this card is more than counteracted by how much better Weyland got due to Project Atlas.


Q: How is the expansion overall?
A: Well, I wish the good Jinteki and NBN cards were in this set, not the good Weyland card. NBN needs Project Beale REALLLLY badly, and based on its card number it is in expansion 6, which might mean NBN wont ever be truly viable for 6 more months. Weyland did NOT need another good agenda. That one couldve waited for 6 months until everyone else had gotten stronger. We still don't have an efficient and effective anti-Scorched Earth card outside of Criminal faction, which contributes to Criminal being strong.

The runners were fairly close together in power level and got closer. That's great. The corps were far apart and got further, thats not great. Overall, each of my decks is adding an average of one card to it (2-3 copies of that card), so things didnt really change all that much with the expansion. I guess that isn't unexpected though, with only 20 cards in the expansion.
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Billy Martin
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Alexfrog wrote:

The is my attempt to explain the current netrunner metagame, and the effects of the first expansion on it, based on my personal experience, lots of playtesting, results of online tourneys, tournament reports, and discussions with other strong players.


Are you a playtester for the Genesis Cycle? If so I'd love to hear your experiences with the What Lies Ahead cards.

In a pre-WLA world I feel that both HB and NBN are stronger than Weyland. Post-WLA it's too early to tell. I've played zero games with the new cards so there isn't much beyond guesswork based on the spoilers to say how the metagame will evolve. I could definitely see Weyland getting a boost relative to the other corps due to their new agenda though.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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jopejope wrote:

Are you a playtester for the Genesis Cycle? If so I'd love to hear your experiences with the What Lies Ahead cards.


Nope, I wish.

Quote:

In a pre-WLA world I feel that both HB and NBN are stronger than Weyland. Post-WLA it's too early to tell.


From both the OCTGN data and my experience the Weyland was the best/highest win rate. Its just legitimately strong without the scorched earth kill, plus gets added wins sometimes form the combo. If you're playing with only the goal of killing someone you're doing it wrong as weyland. Key cards to make Weyland insanely good are Data Raven and Corporate Troubleshooter.

 
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Scott Awesome
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I think its incredibly early to reevaluate the new meta state when the cards haven't been played by people yet.

And on a semi-related rant note, referring to every link-giving effect as "base link" really rubs me the wrong way, so I'm posting about it on the internet. I hear that's the best way to correct people when you know they're wrong.
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Wesley Kinslow
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↳ Do one brain damage ↳ Do one brain damage ↳ End the run
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I actually strongly agree with about 90% of what this article says.

Very good read and I appreciate the write up even though it only reinforces what I already believe for the most part.
 
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Myck Kabongo
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Great thoughts. You always bring it strong.

My only quibble at this point is that I think you underestimate the impact that Imp will have with Noise. Noise gets stronger with every virus that is released. I expect most Noise players will now have more viruses in their decks than before, which will translate to 1-2 more archive flops per game. Those extra flops make a significant contribution to Noise's odds of winning. Aside from the extra flops, Imp is quite strong unto itself by making it quite easy to trash archer, scorched earth, biotic labor. It's also very pawnable.
 
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Anthony Giovannetti
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I have playtested a TON with Alex and others, and I agree with basically the entirety of this post (although obviously the post WLA decks will need playtesting).

While most people think HB is the best corp, I have had way more problems with a properly built Weyland.

EDIT: My only disagreement would be that I think Imp is one of the best new runner cards printed in WLA. The runners really got very little IMHO.
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Once you take away the threat of Scorched Earth (Decoy, the new hardware card), Weyland is really not that good at regular advancing agendas, often leading to them being dead in the water. I'm really not sure why people keep saying Weyland is the best corp. Yes, they have 2 very dangerous threats, but they are also completely expected and can be played around.

Literally the first step with that is not running on the last click, which the OP cited as a reason why Weyland is strong. I mean, that's a rookie mistake, and I agree, against rookies Weyland is strongest. This is also why Weyland appears strong in OCTGN statistics, yet not in the OCTGN tournament.
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I would say that plascrete makes Data Raven a whole lot less scary in Weyland.

I think if you're going for rich defensive ice fort, in some ways, HB does it better. Their extra credit triggers far more often and Weyland's best ice slows down its agenda win condition.
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Brian Bankler
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serdudds wrote:
I would say that plascrete makes Data Raven a whole lot less scary in Weyland.

Am I the only person who splashes a few influence for Closed Accounts? I'm reminded of the line from Asprin's myths series

"I used to be an accountant, but then I decided to become a hired goon. Breaking a man's legs is harsh, but economically ruining someone's life is too mean for my tastes."

Clearly the tracing will be bimodal for the corporation.

"You trace do yes, OK. You trace do no, OK. You trace do so-so, Squish, just like grape."
-- Mr. Miyagi, to a wannabe executive.

As the runner, you probably need some trace defense, and I agree that Rabbit Hole is the way to go. I've been considering adding access to GlobalTec for the week or two after the new set comes out (just until the meta game stabilizes). Of course those are dead cards sometimes. (So is Rabbit Hole, but at least you thin your deck and don't waste time drawing them).

I do miss the old games various link cards, where the runner could choose to have a low base link, but cheap pumping during a trace, or vice-versa.
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Alexfrog wrote:
jopejope wrote:

In a pre-WLA world I feel that both HB and NBN are stronger than Weyland. Post-WLA it's too early to tell.


From both the OCTGN data and my experience the Weyland was the best/highest win rate. Its just legitimately strong without the scorched earth kill, plus gets added wins sometimes form the combo.

In my experiences (in real life), Weyland struggled the most of the Corps.
 
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I agree with that. If Weyland wins through Agendas the game takes forever and they struggle. I tihnk the OCTGN stats may be skewed a bit for them due to SE wins and inexperienced players.
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I remain unconvinced that Jinteki is as weak as people make it out to be. I definitely agree that it is a hard identity to be successful with. The problem with Jinteki is that that a lot of their printed cards seem like deck building traps.

Precognition can be really strong cards, but Jinteki doesn't really have the tools to make good use of it at this time. They are often at enough of an economic disadvantage that they can't afford to take a "control" style of game approach and the card pool lacks the special draw mechanics that would make this card truly great.

One of Jinteki's hidden strengths is what they can manage to do with cheap ice. Chum, hunter, and data mine can be used to great effect in a Jinteki deck when pursuing a strategy that involves costing the runner far more than the corp. However, Jinteki has this amazing Akitaro card that can trick the corp into including cards that Jinteki can't honestly afford if he's not in play.

Neural katana is another card that I currently consider a deck building trap. The sad fact is that Jinteki pays too much to rez this card for what it can typically expect to get in return over the course of the game.

Wall of thorns also falls into this camp. Jinteki is set back hard when having to pay 8 to rez this piece of ice.

Snare, project junebug, and neural emp all seem to give Jinteki some sort of net damage win condition. Yes you can win, but I've often run into times when these cards turn into economic sink holes that Jinteki's economy cannot support.

Chum is an easy card to misplay. I cry a little inside whenever I see a Jinteki deck that runs 3 chums and no hunters. When placed in front of most ice in the current pool, the runner can just let it go off and pay 2 more credits to break the next piece of ice. It's very strong, however, in front of a 4 strength sentry. The current pool of sentry breakers are bad at dealing with 6 strength sentries.

Overall, I encourage players to give the lean, punishing approach with Jinteki a shot. Leave in your hunters. Look into including data ravens and closed accounts. I'll even speak blasphemy by suggesting you try a deck without Akitaro.
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I enjoyed your article very much because your opinions are very well educated. However, I believe you are making too strong of a statement when declaring that Jinteki is downright terrible, going so far as disregarding it not even thinking it worth it to post a decklist for it. Let me add to this discussion, then, that Jinteki is one of the strongest contenders in my metagame. Similar to Weyland, the problem with Jinteki players online is that they are doing it wrong. Hurting players with net damage should not be the main objective of the deck. It should just be a feature. I believe that if you approach it from this angle, Jinteki actually has one of the best agendas in the game: Nisei MK2. This agenda while requiring a little bit of more effort in the corps part, it does not have the drawbacks inherent to Accelerated Beta Test and has the benefit that runners(and even the Jinteki player if he is not fully aware) very often(about 75% of the time in my personal experience) overlook the agenda counter on Nisei. This in turn leads them into making very damaging runs with no other alternative. The one major flaw Jinteki has right now is being forced to play the Private Security Forces which have little to no use in their faction and that problem is being corrected with this expansion.

My Jinteki Deck Ace cards:
-Nisei MK2
-Tollbooth
-Rototurret
-Akitaro Watanabe
-Snare!
 
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Sirusx715 wrote:
I remain unconvinced that Jinteki is as weak as people make it out to be. I definitely agree that it is a hard identity to be successful with. The problem with Jinteki is that that a lot of their printed cards seem like deck building traps.
I agree with this. An experienced player who can bluff can make Jinteki the top Corp.

Overall, I've seen most success for myself with HB.

It may have to do with the variance between OCTGN and IRL. It's a topic I really want to explore sometime. I often comment on it.
 
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Akitaro isn't bad. Play with him but in the mindset of getting cheap ICE for free instead of thinking you can do big expensive stuff. With akitaro and the new agenda we have a two card "trend" of Jinteki getting discounts. There is an upcoming ice that derezzes every usage. So your correct with Jinteki as go fast, go cheap.
 
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Azgard12 wrote:
I agree with this. An experienced player who can bluff can make Jinteki the top Corp.

That statement feels empty of content to me. An experienced player who can bluff will significantly strengthen whichever Corp he's playing. Netrunner is a game of bluffing and secrets. Let's try to talk about the Corp, not about the psychic abilities of the wielder.

Going back to the previous comments: Sirusx715 listed several prominent Jinteki cards as weak in his opinion. And WinterWolfGeek's list of "top five Jinteki cards" list two Ice, and none of them from Jinteki. Furthermore, all of five cards come from the Core Set (which is understandable since nobody had time to test the new cards).

I really want to play Jinteki. They're currently my favorite Corp. I still remain unconvinced that they are as viable as the other Corporations. Nisei Mk II is good, but the rest of their Agendas are weaker than the others (Braintrust is not as good as Project Atlas or even Accelerated Beta Test. PSF and PriReq are nigh useless in a Jinteki deck). They do not have a single piece of Ice with strong stopping power. And financially they have no tools to gain an advantage over the Runner.

To paraphrase Alexfrog, an over-prepared Runner will take down Jinteki and Jinteki is not fast enough to outpace the Runner in that regard. I disagree with his assessment of the other Corporations, but sadly will have to nod when it comes to his opinion of Jinteki.
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As I've said in another post, I won my local Netrunner tournament playing Criminal/Weyland. They guy I beat in the finals was playing Criminal/Jinteki. Clearly, some people are putting up results with Jinteki.

My personal view is that Jinteki plays very differently from the other corps, and puts up poor results when played incorrectly (ie, it's not a forgiving deck). I cannot properly articulate how to play Jinteki (I'm not one of those players that plays it well), but I do know that in the hands of a pilot who knows the corp, there is no corp I fear more than Jinteki.
 
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I would love to see anyone post a competitve Jinteki deck with details on how to run it.
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Josh Paulik
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Its not an empty statement because while yes, all corps use bluffing and mindgames, Jinteki is based around it to a much larger extent. You can be bad at bluffing and still win with an HB deck. You can't be bad at bluffing and win with Jinteki.

That doesn't mean Jinteki can't be good, just that it focuses on a slightly different set of player skills.
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I will say that my list is not meant as the top faction cards because of course it would be wrong including two out of faction cards. I think it is better reflected as cards that are very strong in my Jinteki deck.

My list of the top 5 Jinteki cards is:

1-Nisei MK2
2-Project Junebug(greatly dependant on player skill. I will admit I have not mastered this card yet.)
3-Snare!(The sheer pressure of having this card in the deck. I love it)
4-Chum
5-Akitaro Watanabe
 
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The problem with Jinteki is they lack consistency. You often end up in situations where the runner is one lucky guess away from destroying you, and sometimes the runner makes that lucky guess. Sure it's really powerful if you're able to get into the runner's head really well but you can't count on always being able to do that against any opponent.

Jinteki's strength is that they can pursue the widest variety of strategies, so the runner can never be sure what you're going to do when the game begins. This gives you a chance to surprise the runner. You lose this advantage when the runner plays against that same deck a second time.

The most competitive Jinteki deck, in my opinion, is a Scorched Earth deck, because this exploits Jinteki's surprise factor the most. Scorched Earth is much more powerful when the runner is not expecting it. In fact, the 3rd place finisher of the OCTGN tourney was playing a Jinteki Scorched Earth deck.
 
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Mario Angel
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jopejope wrote:

Jinteki's strength is that they can pursue the widest variety of strategies, so the runner can never be sure what you're going to do when the game begins. This gives you a chance to surprise the runner. You lose this advantage when the runner plays against that same deck a second time.


I know you are aware of the tournament rules for Android: Netrunner. Taking those into account your argument is rendered quite irrelevant.
 
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WinterWolfGeek wrote:
jopejope wrote:

Jinteki's strength is that they can pursue the widest variety of strategies, so the runner can never be sure what you're going to do when the game begins. This gives you a chance to surprise the runner. You lose this advantage when the runner plays against that same deck a second time.


I know you are aware of the tournament rules for Android: Netrunner. Taking those into account your argument is rendered quite irrelevant.


I think most people play more casual games than tourney games, which is one reason why Jinteki might feel weak to a lot of people.

Even in a tourney situation though, I would be hesitant to play Jinteki. For one, I can't be sure there won't be deck scouting, and for two, an opponent could just guess what kind of Jinteki deck I'm playing and if they're right then I could be at a disadvantage.
 
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It's so much fun, though.
 
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