Rotation and Revised Core
Wow, so many changes. You thought the rotation is going to shake things up? Add the Revised Core Set into the mix and guess again. Netrunner is being reborn. Stay with me as I contemplate about what is happening and crunch the numbers.

Table of contents

I'm providing card usage statistics in brackets. This shows the percentage of all decks using at least one copy of the card from tournaments with the last three cardpool (Crimson Dust, Free Mars, Blood and Water). These numbers are coming from 79 tournaments and 282 runner + 282 corporation decks collected from AlwaysBeRunnin.net. You can click on the card names to get more detailed information.


Changes, changes, changes  

Rotation  

As previously announced, the first rotation in Netrunner will happen October 1st 2017. This means that the cards of the first two cycles (Genesis and Spin) will not be legal for tournament play. More on that: FFG "System Refresh" article

Revised Core Set  

Surprise! Revised Core Set (AKA Core 2.0) was just announced by FFG. It will not include any new cards (card list). Although some cards have been removed from the core set and some have been added from the rotating cycles. This means some of the original Core set will not be tournament legal. Also some of the cards are saved from the rotation by becoming part of the big box Revised Core Set release.

At the time of writing this article there were no official information on when these changes take effect. Although FFG Oranized Play tweet confirms that Revised Core Set will be released later, but the changes in brings legal on the 2017 Netrunner Worlds tournament.

What we lose and what we save with the Revised Core Set  
cards lost cards saved
Anarch
Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire [3%] Reina Roja: Freedom Fighter [1%]
Déjà Vu [37%] Retrieval Run [7%]
Parasite [22%] Singularity [0%]
Yog.0 [16%] Force of Nature [0%]
Grimoire [3%] Spinal Modem [0%]
Corroder [4%] Morning Star [0%]
Wyrm [0%] Darwin [1%]
Medium [39%]
Wyldside [5%]
Djinn [1%]
Liberated Account [25%]
Scrubber [8%]
Imp [3%]
Singularity [0%]
Hemorrhage [0%]
Xanadu [0%]
Criminal
Desperado [26%] Doppelgänger [1%]
Ninja [0%] Faerie [1%]
Account Siphon [41%]
Data Dealer [1%]
Lemuria Codecracker [0%]
Decoy [0%]
HQ Interface [5%]
Fall Guy [5%]
Emergency Shutdown [2%]
Peacock [0%]
Pheromones [0%]
Mr. Li [0%]
Shaper
Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker [8%] Chaos Theory: Wünderkind [0%]
The Toolbox [0%] Dinosaurus [0%]
Net Shield [3%]
Akamatsu Mem Chip [2%]
Indexing [6%]
Notoriety [4%]
Test Run [4%]
All-nighter [0%]
neutral runner
Access to Globalsec [1%] Underworld Contact [3%]
Dyson Mem Chip [0%]
Haas-Bioroid
Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future [27%] Haas-Bioroid: Stronger Together [0%]
Accelerated Beta Test [23%] Project Vitruvius [36%]
Corporate Troubleshooter [1%]
Experiential Data [0%]
Ash 2X3ZB9CY [3%]
Green Level Clearance [1%]
Project Ares [0%]
Hudson 1.0 [0%]
Strongbox [0%]
Jinteki
Cell Portal [0%] Whirlpool [0%]
Data Mine [1%]
Zaibatsu Loyalty [0%]
Chum [0%]
Akitaro Watanabe [0%]
Precognition [0%]
Celebrity Gift [17%]
Swordsman [11%]
Braintrust [8%]
Trick of Light [6%]
Ronin [2%]
Yagura [2%]
Hokusai Grid [1%]
Himitsu-Bako [0%]
NBN
Breaking News [16%] TGTBT [0%]
Astroscript Pilot Program [9%] Project Beale [7%]
SanSan City Grid [11%]
Matrix Analyzer [0%]
Wraparound [12%]
Pop-up Window [11%]
Bernice Mai [0%]
Flare [0%]
Weyland Consortium
Posted Bounty [0%] Project Atlas [12%]
The Cleaners [1%]
Scorched Earth [5%] Punitive Counterstrike [4%]
Security Subcontract [0%]
Aggressive Negotiation [0%]
Research Station [0%]
Hive [2%]
Dedicated Response Team [0%]
Elizabeth Mills [0%]
GRNDL Refinery [0%]
Caduceus [0%]
neutral corporation
False Lead [0%]

Cards lost, breakdown  

What do we lose when the rotation and the new core hit?

Our Lord and Saviour  

This is the biggest impact. Jackson Howard has been the most used corporation card by far. It's a 3x auto-include in almost all decks. Jackson not only avoids agenda-flood but also speeds up corps by drawing fast. These two functions synergise well as drawing increases the risk of agenda-flooding. He offers recursion, although it is uncertain when you will see those cards again in your HQ. Besides he protects from decking out by adding a few more cards to draw.

Living without JHow will be hard. You already know this if you have ever played cache refresh or the Terminal Directive campaign. Spending a click to draw becomes a risk. Digging for a specific card transforms into playing Russian roulette. So can we replace Mr Jackson? Short answer is we can not. There is no single card which does all the things Jackson Howard does.

You can mitigate agenda-flooding and draw more by playing Daily Business Show [21%] or Special Report [1%]. Sensie Actors Union [1%] is an option with insane draw, if you can make room for the current 3-point MWL penalty.

Disposable HQ [0%] might save you from too much agendas in HQ, provided you play it right. Whip out some binder-fodder by showing off your Whampoa Reclamation [0%] or Shannon Claire [0%] (Showing Off, get it?).

I recommend Estelle Moon [29%] and the various colors of HB Clearances for drawing a lot of cards at once. But this time it is more risky! (Don't say I didn't warn you.)

Preemptive Action [11%] is a good recursion option, you might also sneak some agendas into Archives for a round and reduce pressure on HQ with it. Same goes for Museum of History [2%]. Use Friends in High Places [50%] if you want to recur stuff into play. Team Sponsorship [8%] can work in the right decks. An over-advanced Project Vitruvius [36%] (thanks Core 2.0) or Archived Memories [23%] do the trick if you want cards right back to HQ.


Econ denial  

This is the most used runner card leaving the tournament legal pool. Removing this run event has huge implications. It weakens the runner economy while strengthening the corporation's. It's a double win for the suits. Anarchs' similar card Vamp [5%] is also rotating.

Faction without its fangs
rant of a Criminal player

Dear FFG,

You are removing the main flavour of a faction. It's hard to name a more authentic Criminal card than Account Siphon. It does the very thematic thing a "Criminal" would do. By terminating this card, you completely alter how this faction plays as a runner.

It was not about landing successful Siphons. The threat itself was much more important. The corporation player saw that you were playing a blue ID and thought: "Oh, I have to ice up HQ on turn one". Your turn haven't even started but you were forcing the opponent's moves. The faction's aggressiveness did't come from face-checking ICE. It came from the fact that corporations had to keep unrezzed ICE on HQ in the early- to midgame. They didn't rezz even if their agendas in hand were at stake. Just to keep future Siphons uncertain in outcome.

This early pressure and sense of dangerousness was unique to the faction. One could do really clever things. As a corporation you had to be on your toes and learn how to play against Criminals. I understand that this makes the learning curve steeper. It seems you want to protect new players from frustrating experiences, but you are making the game bleaker. You are neutering a whole faction. I don't want to play "the people who derezz and bypass stuff". I want to play Criminals.

- Necro

Yes, this card was powerful and over-abused. It's natural that Criminal players packed 3 copies. Third of Anarch runners were also slotting 2. The problem came from recurring this event with Same Old Thing [44%] three more times. To make things graver, the orange faction also facilitated Déjà Vu [37%] (which is rotating) for draining even more credits.

I wish this card stayed, econ denial was a valid strategy. Many times it was needed to keep fast-advance, Jinteki traps and psi-games in check. I believe the power problem and off-faction abuse could have been adjusted by putting Same Old Thing [44%] on MWL level 1.


Identities  


Anarchs, Criminals and HB are loosing their most played and most successful identities. Players will have a hard time filling in those voids. I understand the decision on leaving out Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future [27%] and Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker [8%] from the Revised Core set. Getting rid of the "1 free credit per turn" IDs open up a lot of design space for other cards.

Whizzard: Master Gamer [20%] has been the top runner for quite some time. He was ideal for the meta, which was dominated by asset-spam for years. Luckily Scrubber [8%] and Imp [3%] are staying and will help taming such corporations. I really hope Friends in High Places [50%] and Estelle Moon [29%] find a cosy spot on the next MWL, otherwise runners will be in big trouble.

Possible Anarch usurpers for Whizzards' throne include:

Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie [21%] was a great Criminal choice. She has the stable performance required for big tournaments and can deliver a nice credit-lead from turn 1. After that she is basically blank, which makes her a great Rebirth [16%] target. It's surprising how far her start-of-the-game ability took her.

Give these IDs a try:

Huh, this is a biggie. Haas-Bioroid is losing its flagship identity which was the strongest corporation recently. It was easy to get that free credit almost each turn. Sometimes even on the runner's turn. We are left with mediocre and bad IDs. You can try playing the cards of a popular Moonies deck with another ID, but I doubt if Estelle Moon [29%] works well without Jackson. The fast-advancement plan is hindered by the lack of SanSan City Grid [11%] and Shipment from SanSan [9%] (was great with Jeeves Model Bioroids [25%]).

I'm completely puzzled about what to do with HB. EtF just outshined all others (except CI). Let me give you a couple of bad ideas:

At least the Shaper scene is diverse, you have some working alternatives. I'm a bit underwhelmed by her substitute, Chaos Theory: Wünderkind [0%]. I just don't find that +1 MU so impressive. Ele "Smoke" Scovak: Cynosure of the Net [5%] seems better, she is also 40-cards-min and 1 free (stealth) credit each turn looks more tempting.

Try these wonderful runners after rotation:


Economy  
Netrunner Desperado
Desperado [26%]
Netrunner Kati Jones
Kati Jones [14%]
Netrunner Sweeps Week
Sweeps Week [20%]
Netrunner Restructure
Restructure [18%]

Losing Desperado [26%] is another great hit for the Criminals. It was ideal for checking remotes and it doubled the usefulness of runs. Probably it was too good, it was hard to consider any other blue console. Aeneas Informant [16%] will have to fill its void. Sort of...

I liked the design of Kati Jones [14%]. Elegant, presented meaningful choices and was accessible to all. We will miss you, Kati!

NBN players will have to pass up Sweeps Week [20%]. Played right, it was Hedge Fund for only 1 credit. Recovering from low credit count was priceless. Biased Reporting [4%] seems a bit similar but it has many limitations.

I don't worry about losing Restructure [18%]. If you are not afraid of terminal operations, IPO [37%] is for you.

While Account Siphon [41%] and Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future are no more, Jinteki is keeping Celebrity Gift [17%], mind you. Also Liberated Account [25%] is staying.


Multi-access  
Netrunner Medium
Medium [39%]
Netrunner Keyhole
Keyhole [11%]

Medium [39%] was a powerhouse. The usual Anarch strategy was to destroy ICE on R&D and then hammer it with Medium (often multiple ones). This forced the corporation to dig and pay for more ICE or to clear viruses. None of which was pleasant. This card was often seen in Criminal decks as well. (Anarchs are also losing Nerve Agent [3%]).

R&D Interface [13%] is leaving us. Luckily Indexing [6%] is saved from rotation and can be used instead. Check out Equivocation [13%], The Maker's Eye [13%] and Deep Data Mining [6%] as well.

I'm listing Keyhole [11%] under multi-access as it was great for burning through R&D. Especially with Eater [9%] and with Account Siphon [41%] on the sides. Those days are over.

As for HQ, we have various multi-access options still available. But what will non-Shaper runners do about R&D? The Turning Wheel [7%] is an universal solution, especially if you run a lot. Criminals can utilize Spy Camera [1%]. Tag-me Anarchs can give Counter Surveillance [6%] a try. Or you just save up influence for The Maker's Eye [13%] or Indexing [6%].


New MWL?  

A new Most Wanted List is due. This October the current MWL 1.2 becomes half year old. Also a lot of cards from it will be illegal and some entries will make less sense in the new environment. FFG tweeted that there will be a new MWL before Worlds. Maybe we won't need an MWL at all? Eh, almost as if...

  • Level 1
    • runner
      • Parasite [22%]: rotates
      • Yog.0 [16%]: rotates
      • Wyldside [5%]: rotates
      • Temüjin Contract [41%]: Criminals are hit big time by losing Account Siphon [41%] and Desperado [26%]. This card is going to be their main remaining economy. It's still the best runner econ card besides Bloo Moose [53%], so the extra influence is OK here. Even so, players are willing to include 2-3 copies off-faction.
      • Clone Chip [22%]: Anarch won't be spamming Parasite [22%] anymore. Nor will Noise recur viruses. Maybe program recursion still needs this nerf.
      • Cerberus "Lady" H1 [7%]: It still makes sense, this is a superb barrier breaker and ideal for Shapers. Anarch should have the best fracters, so the tax here is just.
      • D4v1d [2%]: It's already 4 printed influence, maybe you can let Anarchs off the hook after they lost Parasite [22%]. Although I would not remove both this and Clone Chip [22%] from the MWL at the same time.
    • corporation
  • Level 3
    • runner
    • corporation
      • Sensie Actors Union [1%]: The biggest combo decks are dead, NBN fast-advance is in rigor mortis. Digging for a specific card won't win you the game anymore (hopefully). I believe this can be level 1 in the future.

Possible additions for the next version:

  • Friends in High Places [50%]: Level 3 please. Now. You just can't have this after they killed Whizzard.
  • Estelle Moon [29%]: I understand that drawing a lot risks agenda-flooding, but she is still powerful. I don't understand how this card got printed.
  • Aaron Marrón [34%]: Ok, we have Breaking News [16%] bullshit out of the way, but he packs a lot of value.
  • Bloo Moose [66%]: Universal, easy economy embraced by all factions with only a few downsides. Should be taxed. Unfortunately a card has to be at least half year old to be on the MWL.
  • Same Old Thing [44%]: Event recursion is strong. Especially that it is influence-free for everyone. It also encourages abusing off-faction events. Countering currents is also easier for the runners, thanks to this card.

Alternate winning conditions  

It seems FFG is pushing the old-school Netrunner experience. Promoting positive-player-experience™ and making the game more accessible to newbies. It seems that a lot of combo decks died out.
You won't be seeing these anymore:


Meta predictions  

I have no idea. But let me make a few wild guesses:


TL;DR  

You have to build decks without these cards:
These are the most used cards (above 10%) on recent tournaments. There are other rotating items as well!

Account Siphon [41%] [95%] Jackson Howard
Medium [39%] [27%] Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future
Déjà Vu [37%] [23%] Accelerated Beta Test
Plascrete Carapace [33%] [21%] Eli 1.0
Desperado [26%] [21%] Quandary
Parasite [22%] [20%] Sweeps Week
Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie [21%] [19%] Caprice Nisei
Whizzard: Master Gamer [20%] [18%] Restructure
John Masanori [20%] [16%] Breaking News
New Angeles City Hall [17%] [11%] SanSan City Grid
Yog.0 [16%] [11%] Subliminal Messaging
Kati Jones [14%] [10%] Fetal AI
R&D Interface [13%] [10%] NAPD Contract
Keyhole [11%]
Hostage [10%]

Support me

Did you like this article? Are you using AlwaysBeRunning.net or KnowTheMeta?

If so, please check out the ways you can support me and my sites:

Necro
2017.09.12. - Crimson Dust