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.

Gateway Meta – Testing Update

We’re within touching distance of the Chatteris SC now and testing has been bouncing along merrily. Below are presented the two corp lists and a runner list that have constituted the vast majority of our effort since recording the episode on Saturday evening. As expected there are no great surprises here, particularly if you’ve been keeping abreast of the frequent Neurospike chatter in #uk. Of course given the recent influx of new cards and rotation, the meta remains an unpredictable and wild environment. We’re very much taking our best guesses and leaning heavily into our known comfort zones with most of these lists.

Neurospike BTL

3 Hostile Takeover
1 Digital Rights Management
2 Afshar
2 Tithonium
3 Neurospike
1 Archer
3 City Works Project
3 Project Atlas
3 Dedication Ceremony
3 Hortum
3 Rashida Jaheem
3 Mausolus
1 Archived Memories
3 Border Control
1 Vanilla
3 Spin Doctor
3 Hedge Fund
3 Malapert Data Vault

Please direct all grumblings to MikeP for this one. Originally in Jemison this was relatively swiftly moved into BTL solely to take advantage of the 40 card decksize, once it became apparent Jemison rarely fired. For the completely uninitiated here the combo you’re looking to achieve is an un-stealable City Works Project with either two Neurospike in hand, or a single copy and either Malapert in the scoring remote or an Archived Memories in hand. From here it’s a case of score and then Neurospike away until the unfortunate runner keels over with a scrambled brain. The list itself is designed solely to support delivery of this combo in the fastest way possible with Spin Doctor, Rashida and DRM providing some useful draw or tutor options. Dedication Ceremony to setup the CWP and Malapert to tutor for Neurospike. Your ice suite revolves around the threat of an early Tithonium rez off the back of a T1 or T2 Hostile score, just to provide enough breathing room to form the combo.

Needless to say there is definite issues with certain runner tech cards including IHW, Citadel Sanctuary (allowing runner steal of the CWP) and Caldera. This is not counting some ability to potentially disrupt the combo with Class Act drawing the runner up beyond kill range and buying another turn of breathing room. It should be noted that despite some great initial enthusiasm we are cooling on this list now, largely due to problems dealing with the 419 list in this article that slots a copy of Citadel Sanctuary.

Gateway ASA

2 Manegarm Skunkworks
3 Project Vitruvius
2 Slot Machine
3 Gatekeeper
3 Marilyn Campaign
1 Eli 1.0
3 Violet Level Clearance
1 Luminal Transubstantiation
3 Rashida Jaheem
2 Fairchild 3.0
3 Fully Operational
1 Cyberdex Virus Suite
2 Global Food Initiative
3 Hagen
2 Anoetic Void
2 Jeeves Model Bioroids
3 Drafter
3 Spin Doctor
3 Cyberdex Sandbox
1 Biotic Labor
3 Hedge Fund

Kudos to Pat (rotomappliance) and Percomis for supplying the initial lists to which we’ve made some small changes. Although this is in ASA, the decklist itself is a distant cry from the Tablet ASA lists of last year. Carrying a larger ice suite and with the loss of Cybernetics Court the list leans far harder into the rush plan, with the new Void and Skunkworks upgrades providing a solid line for scoring the final few points. Of particular note is the move away from Lakshmi and MCAAP, the former a suffering from the less symmetrical agenda suite now that Luminal makes an appearance. Along with the reduced number of opportunities to obtain counters and the standard 5 hand size, defending agendas in this way proved generally unworkable. MCAAP gets pushed out simply because you can’t afford to spend the time clicking up and defending, when you really should be jamming agendas.

Overall this leaves a deck with a narrower gameplan that loses some of the flexibility from last years Tablet ASA, made up for by proving far more approachable to pilot initially. There is still some debate to be had, particularly over the ice suite, which has shown some fluctuation during testing oscillating between 14 and 15 pieces. Ansel 1.0 and Border Control also made the initial list but were sacrificed to bring in the important 3rd Spin Doctor with the remaining influence going on Slot Machines. At the current time of writing this appears to be the group favourite to play for the Chatteris store champ on Saturday.

Gateway 419

2 Rezeki
2 Miss Bones
3 Sure Gamble
2 Boomerang
3 Deuces Wild
1 Amina
1 Mutual Favor
3 Aumakua
2 The Class Act
3 Diversion of Funds
1 Political Operative
2 Falsified Credentials
3 Bravado
2 Pennyshaver
1 Paperclip
2 Earthrise Hotel
2 The Turning Wheel
3 Dirty Laundry
1 Citadel Sanctuary
1 Bukhgalter
2 Diesel
3 Daily Casts

Little in the way of surprises here, with a Criminal list that is largely unchanged from last year. Originally adapted from Mining Accident 419, the accidents were removed to free up influence for two copies of Diesel. Other additions are the excellent Penny Shaver over Paragon and Mutual Favor for the rotated Special Order. There is little else to debate here other than the selection of tech slots which currently resides at 2 x Bones, 1 x Political Operative and 1 x Citadel Sanctuary. With the likelyhood that Void is going to be seeing a lot of play, some case could be made for finding a 2nd Polop although cuts here are tough to find. The inclusion of Citadel Sanctuary alongside the improved draw from Diesel helped greatly towards making the BTL Neurospike match up workable during testing, and appears to be enough to give you a decent match up here.

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.

Lag Time…

Things are all pretty quiet at the moment, so just wanted to check in with a relatively small update to keep track of where we see things moving over the next couple of months.

Further SM Meta Testing

It feels like everyone, tournament organisers included, is awaiting the release of System Update and System Gateway with bated breath so there are, understandably, not a ton of standard events to test for at the moment. As such we’re putting our current testing process on ice a bit until we can see a bit of the shape of the new meta. Part of that is that Geist seems to be solidly the best runner and there is a fair argument that Asa is the best corp, both of which take a big hit in rotation (Geist is leaving entirely and Asa probably undergoes a significant change with the loss of Cybernetics Court). As such we’re saving some energy for that big shakeup and not spending a ton of time on Netrunner for a few weeks.

On the plus side myself and MikeP did get to dip our toes into streaming an evening of testing with Geist, which has now been archived onto YouTube. You can find the video here. We’ll be intending to resurrect these streams in earnest once the season livens up again, and have some initial plans on how we can get everyone more directly involved in the testing process.

We also spent a little more time after this stream was recording continuing to play around with the Geist list we had been using. I’ve placed that list below for reference purposes mainly, the main change being the switch back to Sports Hoppers after finding e3 + Hostage slots simply too durdly. Pinsel kindly dropped in to chat and sold us on the value of them even in the slower matchups.


2 Gbahali
2 Miss Bones
3 Sure Gamble
3 Grappling Hook
3 Boomerang
2 Prognostic Q-Loop
1 Amina
2 Simulchip
3 Diversion of Funds
3 Bravado
2 Sports Hopper
1 Paperclip
1 Stargate
6 Spy Camera
1 The Back
3 Masterwork (v37)
1 Bukhgalter
3 Tech Trader
3 Street Peddler

Rotation & New Cards

Hopefully we’re not too far away from the start of spoilers season and we can dig into the new cards at full force. The intention at this stage is to produce at least one podcast episode discussing the new cards, rotation and our first guesses at how the meta will develop. This may change depending on how slow/fast the drip feed of spoilers is and how much free time we can negotiate to get together and record. We’ll likely put out another update nearer the time with some more details.

Tournament Schedule

Although currently there’s still nothing on ABR at the moment, we’re already aware of at least two UK based SC’s that are likely to be arriving in the first couple of weeks of April. We’ll be aiming to make an appearance in at least one of these if not both. Hopefully as the new cards start to drop, competitive juices will start flowing again and we’ll see some more previously postponed SC’s showing up during the Spring.

UPDATE 20/02:

Both of the UK based storechamps we mentioned above have confirmed dates for the first weeks in April and will both be operating with the newly released cards. They’re linked below on ABR for reference, don’t miss out!

Potentials – January 2021

To follow on from some comments in our most recent episode, and to keep everyone up to date with how our testing has shifted in focus since the conclusion of the FB3 store champ we’ve compiled a list of decklists with potential we’re currently exploring. It’s quite possible that some of these will turn out to be flawed in some way and discarded. Others will be minor tweaks on previously proven lists we want to revisit in the current meta.

If this post proves a useful accompaniment to the podcast release we’ll look to continue with these curated lists on vaguely regular basis.

Maw Hoshiko

2 Rezeki
2 MKUltra
3 Sure Gamble
1 Boomerang
3 Simulchip
1 Medium
3 Liberated Account
1 Indexing
2 Datasucker
1 Hunting Grounds
1 DreamNet
3 Parasite
2 Black Orchestra
1 Rebirth
2 Paperclip
3 I’ve Had Worse
2 Labor Rights
2 Paladin Poemu
2 Stimhack
3 Zer0
2 Maw
3 Daily Casts

Firstly a shoutout to Osclate on this one, both myself and MikeP ran into this list in jnet casual and found it particularly intriguing. After mercilessly reverse engineering 90% of the list from jnet game logs we have since been playing around with it as a group and tweaked it into this current form you see above – adding the simulchips and changing the tech package a little. A pleasantly aggressive list for a runner that is still packing 2 x Rezeki. The rig sports triple Parasite and Simulchip providing a significant ice destruction threat. The economy is also well rounded and can carry into a late game situation pretty well.

Without Maw MU can be a bit problematic early, as you want to install both Rezeki and Datasucker as soon as you see them and can occasionally end up being forced to shuffle breakers in and out of the bin. Ideally in those situations you deal with ice with Parasite to keep space free then get a Maw down as soon as possible to have room for everything properly. There is a fair chance that it’s correct to swap Maw for Keiko with its significantly lower install cost for 2 mu and more consistent ability, and you’d have to really think about whether you wanted to register Maw at an event and go up against a string of ice heavy asset light decks, but it is a much more fun card and absolutely crushes some matchups (CtM, RP, Asa).

Results in testing so far have been generally positive although the swing to extreme 20 ice Jinja decks may prove a little overwhelming for this rig. General internal consensus is that we’re moving away from further iterations of this list in favour of the following runner…


2 Miss Bones
3 Sure Gamble
2 Grappling Hook
3 Boomerang
2 Prognostic Q-Loop
1 Amina
2 Simulchip
3 Diversion of Funds
3 Bravado
3 Sports Hopper
1 Paperclip
1 Stargate
6 Spy Camera
1 The Back
3 Masterwork (v37)
1 Bukhgalter
2 Stimhack
3 Tech Trader
3 Street Peddler

Essentially the Geist from World’s 2020 published by Pinsel. Clot is gone with so little FA threat around currently and a 2nd Simulchip is in. Double Miss Bones remains in place as it’s applicable in so many match-ups right now (RP, Jinja, Palana, CtM). Current slots open for debate are the Stimhacks and Sports Hoppers, potentially to allow room for a 3rd hook.

Not a lot else to say here that hasn’t already been covered previously. Internal testing is in the early stages but expect some further tweaks to be made after we’ve completed running it through a proper gauntlet.


Corp is proving a much tougher prospect at the moment, we’ve tried a few things (an Asa deck with SanSans, a couple of GameNet lists and Titan) which all have their own appeals and good matchups but none of them seem to be much more resilient than the pre-existing lists we talked about in episode 0 and 1 when facing down Hoshiko, Hayley and Geist. Rotage’s Jinja Sports deck – ideally with a couple of IPOs fitted in – remains the most likely new prospect and has been added to our testing gauntlet along with Palana and RP but nothing seems likely to crack the meta open.

As mentioned in episode 1 of the podcast, we’re still planning on giving straight up NWE Slot Machine Asa a run out but cannot at this point say that we’ve given it enough of a test to really comment on how we feel about it in the Salvaged Memories meta.

Episode 1 – Fanboy 3 SC debrief

We’re back with intro music and a full discussion of our experiences at the recent FB3 store championship. Due to popular demand we’ve moved across to so you’ll now be able to easily find us in all your favourite music and podcast apps.

Episode 1 – Fanboy 3 SC debrief

You can find the full results from the store championship at

Expect another follow up post from us shortly, in which we’ll cover a few of the potential decklists we discuss as potential candidates for testing later in the episode.

FB3 Store Champ Decklists

Straight off the back of this evening’s final testing session here are the final lists myself, MikeP and chrisferg are intending to play in the FB3 tournament tomorrow. Sign up at the link below to join us:


Only two changes from the list we linked in the podcast notes. Both of the laundries are gone after much consideration, the 3rd memchip is back in to make life a bit easier when wanting to grab the Datasucker early. The other laundry was initially swapped out for Compile but the card was found to be generally dead. A last minute change has been made to Harmony AR Therapy, although none of us are convinced on this slot and it’s completely untested.

Expect further discussion on this change in next weeks episode.


Some very minor changes on the Palana deck, isolated solely to tweaks of the ice suite. We’re down to one Thimblerig in order to make room for the second Excalibur, as it’s one of your best methods of scoring out. A single IP Block has been added at the expense of a Slot Machine to add one extra piece of cheap ETR ice.

We’ll be summing up our post tournament experiences in next weeks episode, definitely not to be missed!

Episode 0 – Salvaged Memories Review and Meta-Thoughts

We’re happy to present our first piece of audio content, a discussion with John, Chris and Mike about the returning cards in Salvaged Memories, the impact they will have and what decks we think are good at the beginning of this meta.

As mentioned in the episode, we’re happy to get any feedback about what you’d like to hear from this project in the future so let us know if you have any questions or ideas.

The Hayley list we discussed and all said we would likely play at an event right now is drawn from Saan’s list here . So far the only change that we’ve made has been cutting the third Akamatsu Mem Chip as Saan suggested and it seems pretty good in that state. A few tweaks have been discussed, particularly looking at the two copies of Dirty Laundry and could come up later in the week, but currently we’re playing it with those 45 cards

The Palana, that again we all decided we would probably play at an event next weekend, is drawn from CritHitD20’s list here . The only difference is in the ice, in testing Surveyor and IP block have both felt like liabilities at times when they come up early against aggressive decks or when the remote starts to get dismantled by the all-in ice destruction decks that are starting to emerge. Those have been switched for a Fairchild 3 and 3 Slot Machines, but that change doesn’t really fundamentally change how the deck works beyond that preference. Again, there is a possibility that this gets tweaked over the next week as we get into more seriously testing it, especially in a matchup like Engolo Leela where the virus hate cards are all potentially blank, but for now this is where it stands.

The RP deck is an amalgam of various lists that have been around over the last couple of years, with the new cards added back in to shore it up and currently looks like this.

There’s no list provided here for Geist, our #2 runner, because likely nothing has changed in that deck since worlds. The correct assortment of tech slots is probably different now than it was a few months ago based on the changing corp meta but it’s not 100% clear without actual testing what that looks like to us.

A farewell to Tablet Asa (aka the pre-salvaged meta review)

Defining Decklists

These lists/archetypes were all selected for effective contributions to the meta established at Continentals and running through to Worlds 2020. When deck building and tuning, these were the lists used as reference points for judging the effectiveness of a potential decklist. When testing, these were the decks we focused on learning to beat and expected to see form a majority of the lists in the cut.


Pedal to the metal fast advance. Pretty much an ever-present in the cut for the majority of 2020. Showed up in the early season when the majority of runners were trying to deal with rather effective Azmari lists, Titan provided a strategy that could sit down opposite Apoc Anarch and reg Crim decks happily. Often passed over by the process collective (mainly due to personal preferences), although MikeP did give the list a run out for York SC. After the 20.06 banlist hit and the meta entered the post-Azmari era, Titan lists shifted slightly but changes were limited to minor differences in ice suite and the number of RLC’s.

It was used most frequently and effectively by a contingent of US and Canadian players, clinching the Asia-Pacific Continental Championship (piloted by Whiteblade111).

Decklist reference


We’re going to focus solely on Palana here, although the rushy Jinteki archetype does also show up in some numbers with Aginfusion decks. It is the Palana lists that were generally most performant in the 2nd half of the year after Azmari died away. Again there is little deviation between iterations, with the agenda suite and spread of operations and assets being close to static. Notable flavour differences include Data Loop, DRM and IP Blocks.

Generally considered extremely consistent but with a lower ceiling on the overall power level in comparison to Tablet Asa.

Decklist reference


The team corp list of choice for the post 20.06 meta and pretty successful taking 1st at Euros and 4th at Intercontinentals for chrisferg, then landing 7th at Worlds for MikeP. A few minor changes between iterations as the year crept by, reflecting small shifts in the runner meta, but the core remained the same as Angedelo’s original. At its heart an asset spam deck, the list stretched the runner across a wide range of potential wincons and provided the pilot with a robust and flexible gameplan. In our eyes this was the top choice for corp for the entire 2nd half of 2020, we loved playing it, and we’re sorry to see it’s time in the sun come to a close.

Decklist reference


Without a doubt the biggest riser in popularity for the 2nd half of 2020, Leela stole almost a quarter of the field in tournaments post 20.09 banlist. Generally splitting into two distinct variations with the slightly more aggressive Annicam version edging it in our estimations over the more traditional Engolo build. Of particular note is the significant shift away from 419 as the reg criminal ID of choice. The main drivers of this change being the effect of Leela’s ID ability on the faster corps and the fact that the slower midrange decks started packing more virus hate to combat tapwrm, incidentally clipping turtle’s wings a little.

Both lists provided excellent econ and enough flex in tech slots to provide options for dealing with Asa while not crippling the rushy Jinteki match up.

Decklist reference


Shaper as a whole generally underperformed through the entire Uprising meta, struggling to pack in all the tech cards needed to cover the range of corp threats alongside a powerful enough econ engine and breaker suite to keep up with the pace of the meta (even though one of the most powerful new econ cards in Ashes is green in Rezeki, standard Hayley decks have the least free mu to actually install it). Nevertheless certain devotees put up intermittent solid performances with Hayley and Wu, starting with a standard pawnshop set up and eventually deviating into a hybrid apocalypse shell. While none of us played much shaper prior to binarydogs picking up the apoc variant at worlds for the spice factor, she was generally incorporated as a checkbox on the corp testing plan to make sure that there was at least a tenuous plan to beat a runner who could install clot or imp.

Decklist Reference


Probably the biggest winner from uprising, while Boomerang is strong in all criminal decks the addition of Prognostic Q Loop turned Geist into an ice breaking machine able to generate absurd amounts of tempo from very few clicks and get into very secure looking servers multiple times in a turn with very little pre-installed on the board. NWE did most of the work developing and iterating on the build and took it to a dominant set of performances over continentals and worlds. Most midrange corps had pretty much no way to win against a Geist with a non-terrible draw leading to their complete removal from the meta, other than Jinteki glacier decks with huge numbers of hard end the run effects. It is and will continue to be a deck that any corp absolutely has to have a plan against to be taken seriously when looking at tournament candidates

Decklist Reference

Hoshiko (and a little bit of Freedom)

To be frank we generally overlooked Anarch throughout 2020. Although Hoshiko was frequently one of the most popular runner IDs, we never felt like the overall power level of the decklists was seductive enough to pursue over the Leela or Geist decks. True to form this lack of respect, was repaid in full by Hoshiko and Freedom taking 1st and 2nd at Worlds 2020. Both lists were keen meta calls and likely don’t exist in such extreme forms moving into the post-Worlds meta. We’ve linked both below for reference.

Decklist Reference

Introduction (or what actually is ‘the process’)

Welcome to the process, a space for a small collective of netrunner players to attempt to open source the whole deckbuilding, testing, and tuning process for an entire season of competitive netrunner.

What exactly does that mean?

Right now what we do at least have is a relatively clear objective. Be completely transparent for the entire process of selecting and testing decks for every competition/meta, up front and in as close to real time as possible. To be honest we’re not really sure what format this process will take ourselves. Whether that takes the format of small blog posts, spreadsheets full of test data, direct dumps of slack chats or recordings of our testing sessions. We just hope that the final output is in some way useful, informative and most importantly generates more discussion. We all love talking about netrunner and ideally want more people to talk to and more subjects to talk about.

Who are you?

Pop over to the About page for a complete list of the people involved at the moment. We’ve all been playing and talking about netrunner collectively now for the last few years, and actively tested and tuned decks together during that time. Some of them have been successful, others less so.