by Jay Earle
So, after writing my best 3 Android Netrunner cards, I started thinking on it (and reading other people’s lists) and came up with an idea for a different list. These are the three cards that most change the game.
What I mean by that is that these three cards shape the meta game of how both players are going to play, some by being in play, others by their mere threat of being played (scorched earth, I’m looking at you) These three cards (plus honorable mention) can completely change how games are played and decks are made. So let’s start.
The big daddy of game changers. Since one or two of these can flatline a runner once he’s tagged, and there are decks built around doing so, the meta game has evolved simply off of this card’s existence. Firstly, Runners have become downright allergic to tags, doing everything in their power to keep from receiving them/not have them during the corp’s turn. Secondly a smart Runner will know that a mystery tag can appear any time so they try to keep a full hand at all times, since with 4 cards in hand it takes two to finish them off. And thirdly is the straight meta card, Plascrete Carapace.
Generally speaking this is one of the more environment defining cards at the moment. Runners will often be cautious against Weyland and NBN. My fast advance NBN deck still uses Data Raven despite having no use for the tags as the Runner still balks at the idea of tags against NBN.
Another environment definer by its simple existence, Project Junebug leaves the runner hesitant to run against Jinteki on an advanced agenda without enough cards to soak the damage. Master of the bluff, this is one of the prime tools in Jinteki’s arsenal to keep the runner guessing and hopefully either away from your agendas or dead from trying them.
Playing out of faction leads to even more fun. No one will expect Junebug in an NBN fast advance deck and might therefore face plant against what they think is just a 2 advanced agenda, With a cost of only 1 faction point it won’t even break the bank. I’ve even slipped a single copy in for fun when at 14 faction points since the runner spooks real quickly when they hit one and don’t see two or three.
Whizzard: Master Gamer
While the other two can shape the game by their mere threat, Whiz is known from the beginning if he’s going to be an option. That said he can still be a major influence on how the game plays. By more or less dropping the cost to trash assets a number of normal corp strategies are no longer viable. Pad campaign with no ICE? gone. Sansan city grid’s too expensive to remove? Nope, I’ll gladly pay the two creds. Spend all my credits just to get in? can still trash Adonis Campaign. The corp now needs far more defenses for their resources to keep them intact, leaving them with fewer defenses where they want to put them.
Honorable Mention: Sansan City Grid
I’ve already covered my love for Sansan, but it does alter how things play. A well-played fort with Sansan in it can let a speed deck keep agendas off the board. This forces the runner to run against the primary servers. which you can spend your resources defending since you know that’s where they’ll be needed.
So those are the cards I see that most affect the meta game of Android Netrunner. Good luck running!