New MWL and other changes
The new MWL, FAQ and Tournament Regulations have arrived recently. Is everybody excited? Is it the end of NBN and Anarch? I know you have fetishes for charts and numbers. I have a handful of those, that's why you are here. TL;DR version

Summary - MWL changes, card errata

You can check out the official announcement.


Runners cards of MWL

Netrunner NAPD Most Wanted runner

As you can see, Anarchs have been running "wyld" for some time. They have been the most successful runner faction for a year.

Important:

  • The general interest for Anarchs has been dropping since the last two data packs.
  • I strongly advise you to compare numbers on all decks (dashed lines) versus the top 30% (solid lines). If the "top 30%" is above the "all" that usually means something powerful.
  • My current deck data on Fear the Masses is scarce.
Keep these in mind when evaluating the charts.

My main problem with Anarchs is that they have an answer for all the ICE in faction. You add a nice draw-engine, IDs with relevant powers (see Whizzard: Master Gamer and Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire) and you have pretty much everything a corporation need to fear. Cool flatline protection (I've Had Worse) is also helpful. You can figure out that Anarchs ruled cyberspace. Yeah, they totally needed a nerf.

D4v1d

This is why big ICE is not good enough. It makes Weyland players cry. It is the nightmare of glacier corporations. It laughs at your Assassin, Archangel and solves Wraparound without bothering to play a Corroder. Come on, half of the decks were not playing any fracters (barrier breakers) because of this and Faust. Even some cheeky Sharpers included it because it is great with recursion.

Personally, I considered D4v1d as the root of the problem, not Faust. It's the ultimate protection against nasty, big ICE and makes you fearless. You should be sweating when the corp rezzes a huge sentry. Anarchs should have a high-risk-high-reward play style, not a low-risk-high-reward one. I craved with all my heart that it would be on the new MWL list. I am happier person now. If you are an Anarch player, you should still include one or two copies. This card is a powerhouse.

Faust

People were outraged. If you played corp, you had felt powerless because of this card. If you look at all the other AI breakers (Atman, Crypsis, Knight, Eater, etc.) you will see that they all come with a huge downside. The problem with Faust was that it had no downside. Yes, it needed cards as fuel, but Wyldside+Adjusted Chronotype solves that like a charm. An early Swordsman is a good silver bullet, but it is easily countered by Mimic.

You just cannot break every ICE with it. But for big ICE, there's D4v1d. For low-strength, multi-sub ICE (i.e Komainu), there's Parasite. It was hard to play corporation in that environment. The meta needs this change.

Wyldside

This is just another step needed to tune Faust down. Since the common template was 3x Wyldside + 2x Adjusted Chronotype, this is a major 3 influence blow to the builds in question. I'm a bit surprised that it's not Adjusted Chronotype that is on the MWL. Maybe they want to keep the design space open for more click burning cards in the future.

The future of Anarch

As we have seen with the previous MWL, it does not make cards disappear from the meta. It only kills previous archetypes (i.e. Prepaid Kate) and makes room for other archetypes from the same faction. This is not the last time we see Faust or D4v1d. Maybe they will return as one-offs in some weird Shaper or Criminal build. D4v1d is still a valuable card in any Anarch deck. But the Faust+Wyldside+D4v1d era in Anarch should be over. I'm pretty sure Anarch players will return to their beloved fixed-strength breakers + Datasucker. Maybe it's time for Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe to shine. If not, Whizzard: Master Gamer and Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire will always be a good option.


Corporation cards of MWL

Netrunner NAPD Most Wanted corp

NBN is just nuts.

Breaking News

Last time I checked, 81.3% of NBN decks contained this card. It's an agenda for fast advancing and enabler for tag-and-bag or Exchange of Information decks. I guess the problem was not with the fast advance part. The old-school NBN FA deck only contains 1 Breaking News and 1 15 Minutes. There are some serious tag punishment cards (i.e. Boom!, Observe and Destroy) lurking around the corner. There's no need for all hell breaking lose in the future.

Mumba Temple

I like to think about it as a harder-to-trash, humbler Sundew. Though it is not a constant flow of credits, you can maximize its benefits by rezzing assets at the end of the runner's turn. Did the runner think you hadn't had the credits to rez that nasty piece of ICE? Well, surprise. Also it is great against Account Siphon.

Now you can say goodbye to your Temple-FA NBN decks. Mumba Temple is a vital part of many horizontal Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions and Gagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon builds. The kind of decks which players always bitch about. Being strong and annoying is usually enough to get you on the MWL list.

Museum of History: unique

Again, it's in Industrial Genomics: Growing Solutions and Gagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon decks that scares and infuriates people. I like the whole concept of corporation recursion, but it usually boils down to constant shuffling and timed-out matches. I believe these decks can be handled and beaten by a good runner. Unfortunately these are the decks that might nudge players in the direction of abandoning Netrunner.

Since Museum of History is not old enough (6 months) to be on the MWL, some other measures were implemented. The same thing worked for Wireless Net Pavilion previously. Will this and the Mumba Temple nerf enough to remove the IG prison decks from the meta? No, but they will be a bit easier to play against.

AstroScript Pilot Program: limit 1 per deck

This might be final nail in the coffin of NBN fast advance. More on that in the next paragraph. Keep in mind that there are already a significant amount (~20%) of NBN decks without AstroScript Pilot Program.

The future of NBN, in defense of NBN FA

NBN is currently overpowered. The previous MWL added 6 extra influence to the common NBN FA build, but it was not enough. This time the burden should be enough to dethrone NBN.

On the other hand, I want to keep NBN fast advance in the meta. It just needs to be weaker and a bit slower. If you don't have fast advance in the meta, runner decks will lose the need to do pressure in the early game. Janky decks are fun, but FA is there as a reality check. If you have no chance of beating FA, your deck is slow and your concept is probably overcomplicated. Without FA, you might end up with the runner equivalent of IG prison decks.

Playing against FA is not easy, I know. The runner must be aggressive. A well timed HQ multi-access and an R&D lock are essential. There's also bluffing going on with remotes which is stressful. Yes, there's luck involved, but you are there to mitigate risks. Beating FA also relied on Clot AND it's recursion/tutoring. This is where Criminals fell short, they require precious influence for both. Will they be good again with the fall of NBN FA?

With the introduction of Jeeves Model Bioroids and Lateral Growth, HB might become the most able faction for fast advancing. This is a sudden change in the faction flavor of NBN. Maybe Damon wants to redefine NBN as "tagging and tag punishment".


Cards that I wish were on the list

I am content with this list. Originally I wanted Levy AR Lab Access to be included. It was in 2/3 of the decks not so long ago. It's default in Shaper, is a must have in Anarch (to keep Wyldside going) and various Criminal builds (Gheist, Drugs Andy, Party Ken) were using it. If the Faust+Wyldside thing becomes irrelevant, then Levy AR Lab Access should be fine.


Other important FAQ updates


Other tournament rule changes

  • Tournament scoring: Winning = 3 points, Modified win (timed win) = 2 points, Draw = 1 point
  • More time for top cut matches (40 min) and finals (60 min)
  • Third-party tokens are officially allowed if they do not obscure the play area.
  • New rules for cards lost and damaged during tournaments. You can proxy.


 

My opinion on the new MWL and card errata - TL;DR

  • Anarchs, NBN FA and IG are nerfed. Strong and annoying decks will lose power. It is well deserved.
  • Cards on the MWL list will not disappear from the meta. Cards are on the MWL because they are overpowered. Will players stop playing strong cards? Absolutely no. Usually they will cut corners on less powerful parts of their deck.
  • The Most Wanted List will make certain archetypes extinct, leaving space for new builds.
  • Criminals will be played more due to less fast advance corporations.
  • Anarchs will likely to return to fixed-strength breakers + Datasucker. Some influence will be spared for D4v1d, I'm sure.
  • Since asset spam decks are weakened, Whizzard: Master Gamer will see even less play.
  • NBN FA should be weakened but I hope it will stay in the meta. It is the flavor of the faction and also a barrier against overly slow runner decks.
  • NBN is likely to move towards being a tag-punisher faction.

I would love to see your comments below.

Necro
2016.07.13. - Fear the Masses