Introducing Sunset

The past few months have seen a lot of very important competitive Netrunner tournaments, with Worlds in October followed by a series of high-profile Nationals in November through December. In these months many new strategies and archetypes have emerged on both Runner and Corp side, and the meta has evolved a lot. We are quite happy with the continual exploration of Standard, so we are not enacting any changes to the Standard Ban List

We are aware of some problems with the current meta: most notably, Corps have proven to be significantly stronger than Runners in tournaments. While some amount of side imbalance can be fun and healthy, we are approaching too strong of an imbalance. Yet, the various solutions that come to mind are risky, as the source of this side imbalance is a large diversity of threats, with multiple Corp archetypes being competitively viable in each faction. This is generally a sign of a healthy metagame. We will reconsider implementing some changes after the results of the Circuit Breaker Invitational in January.

In the meantime, we’ve been working on something else.


With the start of the new year, we’ll be introducing a new, temporary, non-competitive format for Netrunner, called Sunset. Sunset is essentially Standard with an extended, experimental banlist added to it. Our main purpose with this format is to gather information about what Standard may look like when the release of the set code-named Dawn rotates out some very important, meta-defining cards. The results of this open testing will inform Design and Development teams’ work on Dawn in addition to the closed playtesting that is continuing. (Reminder: we’re always looking for more playtesters to help us shape the future of the game! Click here to learn more!)

Sunset is mainly intended for online play on and will not be legal for Circuit Opener and higher level tournaments. It will exist as a temporary format until Liberation Part 2 is released. We will also be organizing NSG-run online events starting in Mid-February. Stay tuned for more information on how to participate!

Sunset banlist

Sunset follows the most recent Standard Ban List 23.09, with the following additions:

Explanation of changes

When Rashida entered the cardpool in the Kitara Cycle, she quickly proved she could get the job done and then some! Rashida sped up corps by 1-2 turns, which required Runners to have tools to match that speed. Rashida’s presence led to the need for Runners of all factions to contest early remotes cheaply and painlessly, whether by chucking a Boomerang, stomaching a bit of damage through Bankhar, or using Self-Modifying Code to get past gearchecks.

We’re thrilled with what the meta looks like now, but with Dawn we finally get a chance to explore one that works differently. However, this is such a high-stakes decision that we want to see what a meta without Rashida looks like in Sunset.

Rashida going is such a huge hit to Corp economy that we need to hit Runners to rebalance things. With the ban of Daily Casts and Dirty Laundry, we aim to take away the most readily available options. We want to force Runners to look into their specific faction pools for their economic engines instead, which should create some more interesting deckbuilding choices. Furthermore, we are banning Paladin Poemu as it is too easily applicable in every archetype, even ones with comparatively few installables.

As the lack of Rashida hits Rush strategies the hardest, we are banning Boomerang, Self-Modifying Code and Bankhar as the easiest includes to contest early remotes. This should provide them some early safety and allow them to function despite losing some of their early explosiveness.

On the other end of the speed spectrum there are hyper-glacier decks that were sometimes even cutting Rashida freely. NGO Front is a universally available option for such decks to both make money and force uncomfortable runs through taxing servers, and it’s also rotating with Dawn. We’re curious to see how glacier decks can adapt to the loss of such a crucial card. Additionally, to force these lists into a more proactive play style, we are banning Attitude Adjustment and Drudge Work as some of their main ways of managing agenda flow.

With Dawn we will also have the chance of reevaluating some of the choices made in System Gateway. Paperclip in particular has had a fundamental impact on the design of barriers and breakers. Its recent departure has had players reconsider the fracters remaining in the card pool and has resulted in Cleaver becoming the go-to choice for many Anarchs and Shapers. We want to explore alternative options here with a ban of Cleaver in Sunset.

Similarly, Hard-Hitting News was the tagging card that entire meta games have revolved around. With its rotation and the change in how tags tend to be applied, Reality Plus now appears to be above the curve ahead of the other strong identities in the faction. In Sunset, we would particularly like to see how other IDs can explore tagging strategies, so we decided to ban Reality Plus in this format. Bellona is another above-the-curve card that is played in 3 copies in all NBN decks by default, and lengthens games by asking Runners to sink their economy into agenda steals followed by clearing tags. We want to see what NBN can do without one of the cards that define its current competitive identity, and what other strategies it can come up with.

We are excited to see this alternative format being explored and are looking forward to a fun off-season until Liberation Part 2 is released! 


  • jan tuno

    Wakes up every morning excited to experience a whole day of witnessing the beauty of the mystery of it all. Likes writing about games.