Episode 6 – Pad Dash: Deep Space

In which we discuss the 21.10 banlist update, where all the existing decks are at now and what we’re looking at going into the month running up to worlds


As the banlist had only been out for about 36 hours when we recorded this we’re a little bit light on conclusions here, mostly digging into what all the changes potentially mean for the meta and what we’re going to look at first. Hopefully things will clarify a little over the next few weeks and we’ll be updating the blog as and when we start to feel confident about some lists, hopefully with plenty of time to go before lists have to be locked in

Episode 4 – What is clot anyway?

Mike, John, Chris D and Chris F are back, catching up on another Standard Ban List and discussing the upcoming Fite Nite event we’re playing in against the Snarebears and NWE teams.

Episode 4 – What is clot anyway?

All of our lists, as well as those of the other teams can be found here so you can follow along with the discussion as well as see our incredibly inventive and powerful deck naming techniques on display. As discussed in the episode, all three teams were pulling lists together for the new meta on a fairly short notice so this represents a pretty interesting opportunity into where different testing groups have immediately looked in a fresh meta, and what is leaping off the page immediately. Out of the next few store championships and this match we should hopefully start to get a shape of the meta (although the first SCs last weekend, after this was recorded, do seem to suggest that the future is in fact Purple).

Gateway Meta – Part 3

(Written by Europe & Africa 2020 champion ChrisFerg)

A couple of us will likely be playing in NtscapeNavigator’s Store Champs tomorrow (8th May), but have struggled wildly with settling on lists for it, particularly on the runner side.

Given what seems–even after the VLC ban–to be a strongly corp-favoured meta, and with such a variety of corp wincons to deal with, runners seem to be in a tough spot at the moment. Given the strength of decks such as Red Planet Couriers/Government Takeover BTL and Spombo Lite, both of which seem all but impossible to beat with reg decks, the obvious direction seems to be with some kind of disruptive runner that messes with the corp’s gameplan. At first this pointed to Hivemind Maxx, which is both very powerful and able to disrupt the corp’s HQ with Knobkierie and Imp. However, this deck is a bit of a glass cannon, and it being the obvious choice has led to a truly staggering amount and breadth of hate tech in testing, from Magnets and Macrophages, through Reverse Infection and Ark Lockdown, to just sticking three Snare!s in everything and waiting for Maxx to die.

With this in mind, we have spent most of the last week sticking imps in everything to see if we can find something that is able to disrupt corp gameplans while also being strong enough in more straightforward games like CtM and Palana and fast enough to contend with PD, but without the weaknesses to hate that Maxx has. We tried Imps and Knobkierie in smoke, imps and simulchips in Steve Cambridge (the idea being that imp is way better if you can legwork to use it and find the key piece you’re looking for), before taking the–in retrospect–more obvious choice and looking hard at other anarch options. In this, we started with Limes’ Worlds winning list, which uses Imp with Friday Chip and Consume to build an engine that disrupts the corp while fueling your economy, powered by Patchwork and Paladin Poemu. This felt like a plausible route, but felt a bit slow for the current super-charged corp meta, so we added some Zer0 and made some corresponding tweaks to cut out cards, such as Overclock and Legwork, that need to sit in hand ready for the right moment.

The list we’ve come up with is (for now):

Hoshiko Shiro: Untold Protagonist

45 cards

Influence: 14/15 

Event (10)

3 Dirty Laundry
3 I’ve Had Worse
1 Rebirth ●​
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (12)

1 Docklands Pass ●​●​
2 Friday Chip
3 Hippo
3 Patchwork
3 Zer0

Program (14)

3 Black Orchestra
2 Consume ●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​
3 Imp
2 MKUltra
3 Paperclip
1 Stargate

Resource (9)

2 DreamNet
3 Liberated Account
3 Paladin Poemu
1 The Turning Wheel ●

Not only does this have a floating influence, it could also do with another Stargate (because an early one is likely to get Zer0’d before you want to install it), so last minute tweaks are likely. It is also quite possible that in the morning we might decide to fall back to our backup option of just playing reg 419 and hoping to dodge the BTLs and Spombos, but at this point that sounds like a potentially distressing day of netrunner.

For the corp side, we collectively have played very few test games, focused as we have been on finding a decent runner. We’re pretty spoilt for choice for decent lists, particularly PD, Built to Last, and Spombo, but any of CtM, Asa, Palana, and the Outfit all seem decent too. We will probably fall back on playing Spombo, mostly out of familiarity.

Gateway Meta – Part 2

At the Chatteris store champ last week all four of us (myself, ChrisFerg, Binarydogs and Nemamiah) played the 419 and Void Asa lists that we posted prior to the event. We all ended up doing okay but nothing particularly standout, with both decks going 9-7 over the 4 rounds and 2 of us missing the cut on SoS. In discussion afterwards, both within the group and with others who did well at the event, the themes that seemed to recur were that the Asa list was fine, albeit a little high variance on early accesses and without a great recovery plan if it got behind and that the 419 list felt very average. It won more games than it lost but it didn’t feel massively favoured against anything and every game was hard work.

Out of the end of the weekend’s events the corp meta looks likely to speed up even more, with Palana being potentially pushed aside by NWE’s Hivemind MaxX and both fast Sports and very fast Precision Design putting up good showings. All of that left us digging around for a new runner to take to this weekend’s Stevenage store championship and the place we have ended up is Apoc Tao.

Initially we started with Rotage’s winning list from Chatteris and have incremented from there. As Dave says in his write up the Simulchips are frequently dead, before you land an apoc they don’t really do anything apart from some narrow lines where you reinstall Engolo for a second paint and after you do, when you theoretically want the recursion, you often have no programs to trash. In those slots we’ve opted for 3 Overclocks, which turned out to be pretty excellent both for landing the apoc itself cheaply and for retaining an early pressure on the remote while building up for the apoc economically.

After that, continuing the spirit of thoroughly disregarding good shaper deckbuilding principles, we also decided to throw away all 3 copies of Self-Modifying Code. Those slightly improved your consistency in getting access to breakers to land the apoc but going up to 3 copies of Engolo, 2 Ikas instead of the 1 Na’Not’K and adding a Mayfly, as well as cutting the one Laundry and the one Misdirection (awkward to have to hand at appropriate times even with SMC and almost impossible without it) for 2 additional Compiles feels like a gain in consistency rather than a drop. The Compiles allow you to contest an early remote cheaply much like the Overclock, land an apoc from 0 installed cards and tutor up Mayfly multiple times in a turn if your opponent has set up a central which is awkward for Engolo via application of enough money.

All in all that has left us with a very lean and quite pleasingly consistent apocalypse delivery machine. It’s definitely a slightly one-note list but it can make a lot of money quickly, apply pressure to the opponent’s scoring plan and land apoc sooner and more times than most corps can deal with which is nice in an extremely fast scoring meta.

Looking to the Stevenage SC, I believe all of us who are are playing are going to be on this list, partly out of actual belief that it’s well positioned in the meta that’s likely to emerge and partly for the change from reg crim. On the corp side we’re slightly split and will either be on the previously posted Void Asa list or on SimonMoon’s Best Asa, an alternate build that feels quite a bit faster and more resilient to econ denial although loses quite a bit in apoc resiliency – let’s hope we don’t all get paired against each other.

Episode 2 – Rotation and Update and Gateway Oh My

So a whole lot’s happened, after a bit of a break post worlds and a long gap since we’ve had some new cards there’s suddenly a ton to talk about. System Update and System Gateway have both been released and the third major rotation of cards has happened, taking out the SanSan Cycle and Honor and Profit.

On this episode Chris, Mike and John talk through what the major changes to the meta mean for each faction and our very first thoughts on what we’ll be looking at this week, prior to the Chatteris and Stevenage store championships in the next couple of weeks.

Episode 2 – Rotation and Update and Gateway Oh My

Please note that for scheduling reasons we recorded this on the evening of Saturday the 27th, after the runner and corp economy articles had been released but before the full spoiler gave us the last handful of cards. None of those really changed anything in our analysis although a couple of them are pretty playable cards (particularly Weyland Restructure and Ansel 1.0) but at the time we didn’t know what they did.

Also, the decks we mention towards the end are very much our first assumptions about the places to be looking as we start testing. Things are churning very quickly as people process the cards and even in the last couple of days we’ve shifted a bit. Asa is stepping right back to the front of the pack with Anoetic Void once we all stopped trying to fit Lakshmi into it and accept that it’s changed a bit, and Neurospike Weyland decks are looking like a tier 1.5 rogue outsider that can’t really be ignored. Crim, as ever, remains the fun police.

Towards the end of this week we’ll throw up some of our lists in their current state and say what we’re going to play for those of us who are playing in the Chatteris Store Champ on Saturday, but given the volatility of the meta there is a fair chance that we won’t have arrived at exactly one list or agree what should go into it so things are going to be a bit rough around the edges – whether that’s confusing and scary or the most exciting time in netrunner depends on your outlook but it likely won’t last super long until the next drop of new cards so we should all relish it.