I haven’t been able to motivate myself to write much ever since the announcement, but I’ve finally shaken myself out of my funk to write this update to my guide to building competitive decks on the cheap. This may seem pointless, since official tournament support by FFG ends in just over a month, but I think there’s a little demand for it. A lot of people who were on the cusp of buying the game pulled the trigger when the cancellation was announced, out of fear that they would miss their chance forever once stock depletes (and stock shortages have indeed been severe). Those people, despite being beginners, might want to get a taste of organised play before it stops. Moreover, a lot of lapsed players are jumping back in just to get one last hit of that sweet, sweet tournament high, and those who stopped keeping up with datapacks a while ago might need some help putting together a legal, competitive deck, without spending a fortune on it. Decklists and purchase lists below the cut!
This blog was never intended to be anonymous. I just never happened to link to any of my personal profiles online, and I was always using my blog accounts rather than my personal accounts to advertise my writing on Reddit, Twitter and Stimhack – not to remain anonymous, but simply to have a consistent identity online. However, I feel it’s time that changed. My name is Michael, my personal Twitter account is @manveruppd, which is the username I also use on the Stimhack Slack, on jinteki.net, and most places on the internet.
I’ve noticed a lot of posts in online forums by people who quit the game sometime in 2015 (during the SanSan/D&D era) or shortly thereafter, wondering what happened in the competitive metagame since they last played. I started writing a response to one such question, and it quickly ballooned to several thousand words. I therefore decided to give it a more permanent home here, since it seems to be a question that gets asked several times a week, and it would be handy to have a potted answer people can simply link to.
If, therefore, you quit sometime in the last 3 years, and are wondering “What did I miss?” your answer is below the link!
I keep all my Netrunner cards in long cardboard boxes. By the end of the Red Sands cycle, when the card pool was at its largest, my collection weighed a staggering 13kg. Since then we’ve had a Revised Core Set, rotation, and the first few packs of a new cycle. A couple weeks ago I took all the cards that are no longer tournament legal and put them in storage, since I wanted to travel and take my collection with me.
The new total? A hair’s breadth over 6kg! I managed to squeeze everything into one less cardboard box as well! Suddenly, this was a game that I could carry onto a plane with me, one that was less of an awkward behemoth, and which looked far less intimidating for a new player to get into! I thought, hey, this rotation business is a good idea! As long as they don’t release any more evergreen cards, rotation should keep the card pool down to a manageable and convenient size!
Despite FFG’s reassurances that crime never ends, the Criminal faction in Netrunner has been at a pretty low ebb lately. And, with Tapwrm being restricted by the latest MWL, this will probably make things even worse. This rant used to be part of my analysis and response to the MWL update, and I split it off because it was just too long and rambling. If you are averse to people frothing at the mouth angry at little pieces of cardboard, don’t click below!
Now that it’s been long enough since the release of the latest Netrunner banned and restricted list for better players than myself to express their opinions on it, I shall spend a few pages stroking my chin and pretending I’m as smart as they are. First I’ll talk about each change individually, what the intention behind it was, whether I think it will have the effect the designers intended, and what other effects it will have on the meta. Next I’ll go over how I think the competitive meta will shake out based on these changes.
We have a new Netrunner core set, a new cycle of datapacks, and a steady influx of new and returning players! Are YOU one of those players? Do YOU want to try out competitive play? We’re in the middle of Store Championships season, and attending one is the most accessible way to meet other Netrunners, make friends, and flatline them!
But what’s this you say? You’ve only got a core set and you don’t feel like you can put together a competitive deck to take to a tournament? If so, this guide is for you!
Inspired by Willingdone’s and thebigunit3000’s guides to building a competitive deck as cheaply as possible from a couple years ago, I decided to do the same for the current metagame and card pool. So, if you want a deck that has a chance at taking down a Store Championship without spending a small fortune, keep reading!