Standard Ban List 20.09

We are excited to bring you the latest update to the Ban List for the Standard format, Standard Ban List 20.09, in time for the 2020 World Championship. The list of changes from 20.06 are as follows:

Summary of Standard Ban List 20.09 Changes



Effective date: 25 September 2020

Please scroll to the bottom of the article to see the full 20.09 ban list, with the latest changes highlighted. Our release notes for this update follow below. Before we dive into them however, we have two small announcements.  

Committee Name Change

In line with the MWL changing its name to the Standard Ban List, as previously announced, the MWL Committee will now be known as the Standard Balance Team. A separate group within NISEI will be formed to curate the Eternal MWL.

New Committee Makeup

We’d like to welcome Oguz Han “Lostgeek” Asnaz, who’ll be joining the Standard Balance Team to replace Seamus Macleod! You may know Lostgeek’s face from Paule’s Café, the Champion card he designed for winning the first ever NISEI Online Eternal Championship. Alternatively, you might be aware of him as the creator of the Project Crow teaching decks, or from his work as one of the developers of

While not a member of the committee, we’d also like to welcome Daniel “Labbes” Vomland to NISEI. He’ll be joining the Game Development department as the new Playtest Coordinator, and will therefore be working closely with the Standard Balance Team. Labbes has been a consistent top performer both in the German meta and internationally – you may have caught him on stream putting the competition to flight during the recent Continental and Intercontinental tournaments!

Both of these new recruits are longstanding pillars of the community, and we know they’ll be a great asset to our work!

Explanation of changes

While we were reasonably happy with the 20.06 meta, a few facts stood out: 

First, Corp win rate was significantly above the Runner win rate. 

Second, Criminal was marginally ahead of the other Runner factions.

Third, 5/3 GameNET decks were strong enough to be competitive, and so slow and ponderous that a large number of tournament games went to time, with players and spectators reporting that they were dull and unexciting.

With these observations in mind, we decided it was important to target some aspect of Corporations in general, and the 5/3 GameNET deck in particular. Once we decided to do so, it became evident that a primary benefactor of this would be Criminal decks, so we felt a small hit on the Criminal lists was appropriate. Notes on our particular choices follow.

SSL Endorsement

This ban has two motivations, with differing emphasis. First, it is an overall hit to Corporations; by removing a 5/3 that provides unavoidable value to the Corp, we have increased the Runner’s ability to keep Corp economy in check in the early to mid game. Second, it targets the 5/3 GameNET decks in particular, as SSL Endorsement is a key part of their agenda suite and game plan.

Gold Farmer

This ban has the same two targets, but with the emphasis reversed.

Gold Farmer, in combination with GameNET’s ability, disincentivizes running. In combination with the low agenda density of the 5/3 GameNET decks, this devalues early accesses, leading to slow and grindy games. Removing it will therefore force GameNET decks to pivot to more proactive game plans and allow Runners to apply early central pressure.

We also observed that Gold Farmer is becoming a worthwhile splash out of faction, and therefore represents a small hit to other Corps as well.


While not everyone agrees that Criminals are significantly ahead of the other Runner factions at the moment, we feel that the above changes to the Corp side will primarily benefit Criminal decks, widening their lead over other Runners. We therefore felt it was appropriate to curb Criminal decks slightly by selecting a card that finds its way into nearly all Criminal decks.

PAD Tap provides a check to the Corps in the early to mid-game, forcing them to either commit to a tempo hit by trashing it or provide Runners with ongoing econ. PAD Tap has also pushed a few cards such as Pop-Up Window and Corporate Sales Team out of the game, where without it there might still be a place for them. We believe that removing it will slightly reduce the ability of Criminals to suppress the Corp’s economy in the early game.

Changes we considered but did not enact

With the next NISEI release still a few months away, we felt that an update was necessary in order to create a fresh meta for Worlds. We considered several other options in addition to a Ban List update to achieve this, including introducing new or rotated cards into the card pool. Unfortunately, time constraints prevented these options from being viable, so we restricted ourselves to just a Ban List update.  

Additionally, there are no hits to the Asa Group decks, which emerged as some of the top Corps over the course of the five major tournaments held under the 20.06 Ban List. Despite their competitive success, we don’t believe that any of the various different Asa decks have proven to be problematic. Moreover, the bans targeting GameNET will allow Runners to better tailor their decks to counter Asa, thereby curbing its dominance. We believe that faction diversity will be maintained, as the Asa deck’s weaknesses are better exploited by Runner decks optimised to deal with it.

Overall, we don’t expect the above changes will make Worlds radically different from the 20.06 meta, but hopefully different enough to feel fresh. With the exception of GameNET, we expect most existing deck choices to remain viable in the wake of these changes.

Standard Ban List 20.09

Effective 25 September, 2020.

Cards on this list may not be used in Standard format games.

Changes from Standard Ban List 20.06 appear in bold.

All cards with the “current” subtypeAll cards with the “current” subtype
Aaron Marrón24/7 News Cycle
Bloo MooseAzmari EdTech: Shaping the Future
Clan VengeanceBreached Dome
CrowdfundingBryan Stinson
DDoSCayambe Grid
Dorm ComputerClone Suffrage Movement
EncoreFriends in High Places
Film CriticGagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon
Gang SignGold Farmer
GPI Net TapHired Help
LaambJinteki: Potential Unleashed
Liza Talking Thunder: Prominent LegislatorKakugo
Mad DashMumbad City Hall
Mars for MartiansMuseum of History
PAD TapMti Mwekundu: Life Improved
ŞifrSensie Actors Union
Salvaged Vanadis ArmoryShipment from Tennin
Temüjin ContractSSL Endorsement
Watch the World BurnWhampoa Reclamation
Zealous Judge