Last weekend we saw the first tournaments under MWL 2.2 and the final FAQ, which will be in force at Magnum Opus. It was a brave new world that gave us a tantalising peek at what the meta at the last ever world championship is going to be like. These were both fairly large tournaments, with some top players attending, including several who travelled from other countries to play. Nordic Championships was 45 people, German Nationals was 94. They’re therefore reliable indicators for the meta at Worlds.
I therefore decided that a very quick overview of the field and predictions for Magnum Opus was in order, not so much to help those of you preparing for Worlds, as I imagine you might have already submitted your decklists by the time this gets uploaded, but just so the rest of us can follow along, do some armchair theorycrafting, and have a basis to talk about the meta about. Also, it’ll be fun if this is out there before Worlds starts so there’s a record of how off I am in my predictions and I can embarrass myself after it’s over.
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.
It’s the holiday season, and Damon Claus will soon be bringing us new presents (and taking a few away) with a new MWL! Based on what better players than I have said, both in online forums and in interviews (check out Dan d’Argenio here, for instance), and my own (much less well-informed) assessment of the meta, here are my predictions for what changes the New Year will bring to Netrunner! Continue reading →