History of Anarch - part 1
These days the runner meta is saturated with Anarchs. I wanted to make an article about how we got here and why. I looked at the data I have, crunched the numbers, dug up some decks and tried to piece together the big picture. Here is the first part of the story.

The big picture

Netrunner history anarch
click to enlarge


Throughout the article, I'm going to indicate if Anarchs are getting stronger () or weaker ().


Humble beginnings

My data starts at Up and Over. mediohxcore won the 2014 Worlds Championship with Daily QT Andy, which was an Andy Sucker variant utilizing the powerful Criminal events and Core set Anarch breakers with Datasucker. All of the top-8 runner IDs were Criminals, of which 7 were Andy Sucker decks. This was strongest runner archetype then. Prepaid Voicepad (PPVP) Kate also had a great presence.

Netrunner Utopia Shard
Netrunner Cerberus "Lady" H1

All That Remains introduced Utopia Shard, which was welcomed by Noise players. Cerberus "Lady" H1 gave a nice boost to the blooming PPVP Kate decks. Eli 1.0 was used by 65% percent of the corporations, making Shapers very happy about their new toy. A nice example is Demon Kate. Anarchs were still the least played faction.


Netrunner MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock
Netrunner I've Had Worse
Netrunner Eater
Netrunner Knifed


This changed with the Order and Chaos deluxe expansion featuring new orange cards and IDs. The hot new identity was MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock. She usually came in two flavours: RegAss MaxX with traditional breakers and Siphon MaxX using Eater plus Account Siphon. I've Had Worse also helped against kill-corporations and speeded up card draw. The popularity and the power level of the factions were almost even.


Netrunner Clot
Netrunner Adjusted Chronotype

The Valley added Clot and Adjusted Chronotype. A silver bullet against fast advance was appreciated, but it needed Clone Chip or Self-modifying Code to be great, which initially served Shapers the most. PPVP Kate decks embraced it with love. Unfortunately HB Glacier and Jinteki: RP were played a lot at that time, both are bad match-ups for Anarch.
(examples: HB Etf, Ouchy ouchy ragey ragey)



It took a couple of months (Chrome City) and Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center was on top of the corp meta again. This brought forward Pancake Noise utilizing the Adjusted Chronotype + Wyldside combo, giving corporations a hard time with clone-chipped viruses (Clot) and selling them with Aesop's Pawnshop. I've Had Worse helped against Butchershop opponents. Also L4J (Looking for Job) Whizzard emerged with Net-Ready Eyes and Career Fair as an answer for the asset-heavy meta of NBN and HB. Additionally Lockdown Val got popular. Her bad-pub and Desperado provided enough credits to deal with trashable cards.


Netrunner Crypsis

Anarchs were gaining dominance in tournaments. Crypsis worked fine for Pancake Noise, though a better AI breaker was desired.


Things got out of... grip



The Underway: There you have it folks. Cheap AI breaker, wonderful synergy with Wyldside. It was especially great with D4v1d, which took care of the high-strength ICE. Keep in mind, you also had Clone Chip up your sleave. Faust Noise was born. Swordsman and Wraparound were the obvious hate-cards, but they were easily mitigated by Mimic and Corroder.


Netrunner Film Critic

Old Hollywood added Film Critic helping to mitigate popular agendas like NAPD Contract, The Future Perfect and Explode-a-palooza. PPVP Kate decks slotted it without hesitation.


Netrunner Data Leak Reversal
Netrunner Account Siphon
Netrunner Apocalypse

Data and Destiny boosted NBN with various cards. During the World Championship 2015, we saw a new breed of Anarchs, who were milling the corps with Data Leak Reversal while keeping them in check with Account Siphon. mediohxcore won the championship again, this time with Radisson Cheese Plate (DLR Val). Mtgred played a deck with a similar concept, but built around the more aggressive ID: Minh MaxX. PPVP Kate was also doing well. Apocalypse MaxX should also be noted for combining Apex's Apocalypse with MaxX.


Netrunner Cerberus "Lady" H1
Netrunner Clone Chip
Netrunner Desperado
Netrunner Parasite
Netrunner Prepaid VoicePAD
Netrunner Yog.0


The next gamechanger was the NAPD Most Wanted List 1.0. PPVP Kate suffered most of the losses, rendering the archetype useless. Faust Noise was weakened, it had to drop a few Clone Chips, but was still playable. Dumblefork took over and it remained the top runner deck for ages, only changing to incorporate new good-stuff. It is basically Whizzard: Master Gamer with cutlery, Parasite, Faust, Wyldside + Adjusted Chronotype with Levy AR Lab Access as a cherry on top. You could still pack the Anarch powerhouses into a deck and have leftover influence for various goodies. MWL 1.0 made Anarch stronger. To replace the PPVP Kate Shapers tried Nexus Kate, weakening NBN traces with Rabbit Hole and solving problematic ICE with Security Nexus.


Netrunner Artist Colony

Kala Ghoda introduced Artist Colony, which elevated Shaper-bullshit™ to a new level: Pitchfork Haley. Hyperdriver Kate also got popular, using Hyperdriver and Professional Contacts. It also utilizes Faust, Clot and Parasite to form a well-working Shaper swiss army knife.


Netrunner Pālanā Foods: Sustainable Growth

Business First added Pālanā Foods: Sustainable Growth, which didn't rely on assets to generate credits. This reduced the relevance of Whizzard and Imp in the meta.


Netrunner Sensie Actors Union
Netrunner Commercial Bankers Group
Netrunner Jeeves Model Bioroids
Netrunner Mumbad Virtual Tour


Democracy and Dogma (Sensie Actors Union, Commercial Bankers Group) and Salsette Island (Jeeves Model Bioroids, Mumbad Virtual Tour) elevated the the need for Whizzard's recurring credits. Faust Noise was also doing well. Salsette Slums was an important piece, but it gained popularity later on.

This was the pinnacle of Anarch power. Almost 60% of runners played Anarch and their share was 70% in the tournament top positions.


To be continued...


Want to know what caused the biggest hit to Anarchs in the history of Netrunner?

You can find "part 2" of the article here:
History of Anarch - part 2 + MWL thoughts



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Example decks in article:

Suggested reading on historic meta:

Necro
2017.04.12. - Station One