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Subject: Evolution of the Meta rss

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Myck Kabongo
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We haven't had a thread about the broader meta in a while. Here are some of my thoughts based on following the online strategy buzz for this game since its announcement. I'm sure others will have a different take so let's get the discussion going.


Trendy Factions: HB, Anarchs and to a lesser extent Criminals

HB, which was not very popular in the early days after the release, has zoomed onto the scene as a faction that people are talking about. Anarchs have always had a strong following, but I think we're seeing a larger number of people that are very adamant that Anarchs are the best runner faction. Criminals, like HB, were initially not well-regarded but are now having a moment in the sun.

Still going strong: Shapers and Jinteki

Not feeling the Love: NBN and Weyland
Folks seem to be struggling to build decks for these factions that are consistent enough for tournament play.

Initially hot cards losing steam: Scorched Earth, Aesop's Pawnshop

For all the early talk about Scorched Earth, it is really tough to win with it consistently. Aesop's appears to still be popular but the initial freakout over it after its successful use at Gen Con seems to have subsided.

Cards of the Moment: Tollbooth, Parasite
Tollbooth has always been well-liked, but it seems to now be recognized as being close to a must-splash for a tourney corp deck. Likewise, Parasite has always been well-liked but it is now getting broader recognition.
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Micheal Keane
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NBN and Weyland are going to benefit the most from the first expansion I think. Weyland needs an identity that doesn't suck, NBN needs more options to do something with those traces and tags.

In any case, I agree with your points. Shapers looked great initially and their cards are great... but I think people underestimated how great Gabriel's ability and Desperado are. Criminals have weak breakers in faction but they can just use Kate's to get around that.

Kate's ability looks strong, especially compared to the Corp identities, but Gabriel and Noise are better.

Never got the praise for Aesop's Pawnshop but the idea of using it in an Anarch deck to get money back for the viruses you want to trash and recycle is pretty novel.
 
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Aaron Freeman
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For my meta HB,Jinteki, Weyland, Anarchs, and Criminals are all the rage. Shapers are not popular at all. NBN is also the lame duck of my meta.

Aesop is a mainstay of 2/3rds of my meta's runner decks. Scorched Earth IMHO only really works in a Weyland deck based on my groups games. We have played a few really good games with Weyland using Scorched Earth as an alternate win condition. My perception has been that the card is still highly valued.

Diesel was the champ of my meta, but has since fallen from grace due to Wyldside.

Agree on Tollbooth and Parasite, both are seeing increasing play in non faction decks. I would also say Roboturret is probably the most commonly splashed ice in my play group.
 
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Josh Paulik
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I think initially Anarchs were a thematic favorite but people regarded them as gimmicky or unable to really deal with ice, because their breakers (other than corroder) are very bad if you look at them in isolation. Same with the viruses, they really don't seem all that great alone, and you really have to see everything work together to see how well it works.

Shapers I think have the opposite problem. They have a ton of very strong cards, so they were initially very popular because it doesn't take a genius to look at Diesel and Pawnshop and Gordian Blade and say yeah, this is a good card. But I think actual Shaper decks just lack some focus and aren't as strong as Anarchs or Criminals.

On the Corp side, HB was initially not very popular becuase a deck full of big ice and money is sort of boring, and people weren't used to the playstyle of simply sitting back behind a giant wall and slowly advancing your win condition while basically ignoring the runner. Jinteki's traps and Scorched Earth's direct damage were the big standouts that people gravitated towards.

I personally think Scorched is still a fine win card, in a Weyland deck built around it, where you can still win via agendas in a pinch if the runner decides not to engage or is super cautious about tags. You really do need three though, and probably 2 Archived Memories and 2 Aggressive Negotiations too, so that means only Weyland can really pull it off. You can't reliably win by just throwing 2 Scorched in an NBN tag deck. It's probably still worth throwing one Scorched into an NBN speed advance deck, just to have a backup way to win if a runner gets careless with tags and hand size.
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Big Head Zach
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ffaristocrat wrote:
Weyland needs an identity that doesn't suck


Or we just need to wait and see how many more Operation: Transaction cards become available. I'd imagine we've not seen all of the ones that will ever exist (because I can remember a number of ones from the original game). I agree that it's a stupid ability if that were the case.

ffaristocrat wrote:
NBN needs more options to do something with those traces and tags.


We've already seen three: Ash stops the Runner from accessing the cards he protects. Data Hound now forces the Runner to think about covering the spread to keep the Corp from viewing his upcoming cards and trashing one. Uroboros prevents the runner from running any further on their turn. Having a base +2 to your trace makes these cards super-good.

ffaristocrat wrote:
I think people underestimated how great Gabriel's ability and Desperado are.


I used that combo in my last game to earn at least 4 credits turn while getting 2-3 HQ accesses.
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Ben Finkel
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bhz1 wrote:
ffaristocrat wrote:
Weyland needs an identity that doesn't suck


Or we just need to wait and see how many more Operation: Transaction cards become available. I'd imagine we've not seen all of the ones that will ever exist (because I can remember a number of ones from the original game). I agree that it's a stupid ability if that were the case.


Even if there becomes a plethora of them, the ability will still be limited by how many you put in your deck. What's a good number of operations? And how off-balance will you be if you make most of those transactions? I can see this ability triggering maybe 6 times on average in a deck with loads of transaction operations.

Meanwhile, HB will still be installing lots of cards, certainly more than six. NBN will run at least three traces over the game. Jinteki will have agendas scored and stolen (and Net damage to credits doesn't really have a good conversion rate). Basically, I don't see Weyland's identity ever measuring up to its competitors.
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Evan
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Azeltir wrote:
NBN will run at least three traces over the game.


To be fair, though, it's a very different thing to get a trace bonus that you might or might not need or want. Weyland's ability certainly isn't great, and it's true that it doesn't match up quantitatively, but what it does do is give you more credits exactly when you want them, i.e.: when you play a card to gain credits.
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John Fanjoy
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I think Weyland's identity power is really "does not have to spend influence to get Ice Wall".
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Josh Paulik
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"Does not have to spend influence to get Scorched Earth" is also a big deal to a lot of people.
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Ben Finkel
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CitizenFry wrote:
I think Weyland's identity power is really "does not have to spend influence to get Ice Wall".


Ah, but future Weyland identities will also have that power. But it is a pretty great one.
 
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El-ad David Amir
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bhz1 wrote:
Or we just need to wait and see how many more Operation: Transaction cards become available.

I agree. If I recall correctly, NR had a draw two AND gain [1] transaction and a draw one AND gain [2] transaction. Such cards would greatly smooth Weyland's combo-ish feel; I could imagine a tag and bag with twelve transactions.
 
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Ben Finkel
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IirionClaus wrote:
bhz1 wrote:
Or we just need to wait and see how many more Operation: Transaction cards become available.

I agree. If I recall correctly, NR had a draw two AND gain [1] transaction and a draw one AND gain [2] transaction. Such cards would greatly smooth Weyland's combo-ish feel; I could imagine a tag and bag with twelve transactions.


Day Shift and Night Shift.

http://www.netrunneronline.com/cards/day-shift/
http://www.netrunneronline.com/cards/night-shift/
 
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Patrick Jamet
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Day Shift and Night Shift are great cards, but they are not transaction.
 
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Eliot Hemingway
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It's been hilarious to hear the online distain for Weyland, because they (with honorable mention to Jinteki) are the dominant Corp factions at our store (with around a dozen players, I think). It's not just that they get several extremely powerful cards influence-free, it's also their agendas. Bad Press is really painful to accumulate in the long run, but that doesn't really matter when you have the cash to combo the runner from full to zero if they run the wrong thing or fail to run the right thing. Between trap splashes and Posted Bounty, the runner is consistently faced with "choose wisely or die" situations - and there's no reason you can't just rush a conventional win with Weyland's abundant early cash. In particular, I'm a big fan of splashing Biotic Labor in Weyland: it boosts both the agenda rush and the tag-n-bag.
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Eric Prieur
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I don't get why people think Aesop's Pawnshop is good?
 
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El-ad David Amir
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Pyjam wrote:
Day Shift and Night Shift are great cards, but they are not transaction.

Well then, I am silly. And maybe they will become transactions in A:NR! One could hope ...
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Josh Paulik
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eprieur wrote:
I don't get why people think Aesop's Pawnshop is good?


There's been threads on it I think, but the short version is this: It lets you get money (good money, at that) for trashing things that were going to get trashed anyway, or that you don't need anymore, or that you want gone. Mostly-empty Bank Jobs/Armitages, Rabbit Holes once you realize your opponent isn't tracing, Wyldside once you don't want the cards anymore and want your clicks back, redundant icebreakers, etc.
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Alex Rockwell
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MyckKabongo wrote:

Trendy Factions: HB, Anarchs and to a lesser extent Criminals[/i]
HB, which was not very popular in the early days after the release, has zoomed onto the scene as a faction that people are talking about.


Wonder if it because of my decklist posts. Heh.

Quote:

Criminals, like HB, were initially not well-regarded but are now having a moment in the sun.


I initially thought Criminal was strongest.

Quote:

Cards of the Moment: Tollbooth, Parasite
Tollbooth has always been well-liked, but it seems to now be recognized as being close to a must-splash for a tourney corp deck. Likewise, Parasite has always been well-liked but it is now getting broader recognition.


Those are the two best cards in the game, imo.
 
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Noah D

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Alexfrog wrote:

I initially thought Criminal was strongest.

Same, I was championing Criminal and HB from the start. Now that I've played some games I'm also really enjoying Anarch.

The one annoying thing about Criminal is that with needing to bring in both your breakers and your card-draw / healing from out of faction doesn't leave them that much influence left-over to play around with.

Can't wait till they've got a good in-faction Decoder and some card draw options and they can really branch out
 
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James Buchanan
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argus88 wrote:

Can't wait till they've got a good in-faction Decoder and some card draw options and they can really branch out


I'm sure the Criminals will get a decoder soon. But I wouldn't be surprised if they made card-draw a Shaper exclusive thing. Or if they do I wouldn't be surprised if it were demonstrably worse than Diesel.
 
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Ben Finkel
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JBgames wrote:
argus88 wrote:

Can't wait till they've got a good in-faction Decoder and some card draw options and they can really branch out


I'm sure the Criminals will get a decoder soon. But I wouldn't be surprised if they made card-draw a Shaper exclusive thing. Or if they do I wouldn't be surprised if it were demonstrably worse than Diesel.


Well, Anarchs have Wyldside.

I'd actually be surprised to get a Criminal decoder soon. That hole seems to be intentional.
 
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James Buchanan
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Good point about Wyldside. Come to think of it, Criminals have Special Order, which in some ways a really good card-draw card. And they have the Crash Space which really functions as a health card.

I think the decoder hole was only to make a stupid easy example of deck construction for page 25. Hmm, diesel is in there too. Yeah in retrospect I think the holes in the Criminal deck are completely artificial for tutorial purposes and will be filled.
 
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El-ad David Amir
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Azeltir wrote:
I'd actually be surprised to get a Criminal decoder soon. That hole seems to be intentional.

I agree. It seems that each runner faction has a hierarchy of how well it breaks each ICE (Criminal is Sentry-Code Gate-Barrier, Shaper is Code Gate-Barrier-Sentry, Anarch is Barrier-Sentry-Code Gate).
 
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Noah D

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IirionClaus wrote:
Azeltir wrote:
I'd actually be surprised to get a Criminal decoder soon. That hole seems to be intentional.

I agree. It seems that each runner faction has a hierarchy of how well it breaks each ICE (Criminal is Sentry-Code Gate-Barrier, Shaper is Code Gate-Barrier-Sentry, Anarch is Barrier-Sentry-Code Gate).

Haha, it amuses me that you put Code Gates ahead of Barrier for Criminal...

But seriously, I was about to answer that they're lacking a Fracter just as much as a Decoder... what is that crap?


JBgames wrote:
Good point about Wyldside. Come to think of it, Criminals have Special Order, which in some ways a really good card-draw card. And they have the Crash Space which really functions as a health card.


Special Order isn't card-draw. It's card search. You play one card and you still have the same number in hand after that action. Crash Space is a tag ditcher and a potential combo disrupter, it doesn't protect your from drip net damage which is where the extra card draw of wyldside is especially potent, nor does it even protect from Meat Damage, as any Meat Damage requires a tag and Crash Space is a resource...

It can keep you from being flatlined if the corp needs all 3 actions to pull off lethal damage, since they must first trash Crash Space.

Anyhow, I'd bet that they'll be getting a decoder quite quickly. Card draw, I'm not so sure about... but they would certainly appreciate it.
 
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James Buchanan
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Well when you're drinking a couple cans of diesel wondering where the frak is my fructer, Special Order looks good. So right now Shapers don't have a decent card search. Criminals don't have a good card-draw. Anarchs kinda have both. It'll be interesting to see if this is part of the factions' flavor or an artifact of a limited pool.
 
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