Replicating Perfection – System Core 2019

Oh, wonder!
How many goodly agendas are there here!
How beauteous ICE is!
O brave new world,
That has such cards in ‘t!

Ooh, check me leading with a bit of culture! Well, sort of. It’s Friday, so RC — your resident Lily Lockwell — is back again with some seriously meaty scoops. This week we have an article about what of those aforementioned beautiful cards you can have in your decks, courtesy of a crack team of writing commandos: @scd, @divadus, @vesper, @inactivist, @bluehairedhackergirl, @venali, and @icecoldjazz…

Today, we are happy to announce many of the newest, most exciting changes coming to Organized Play, providing you and your friends with all sorts of new ways to engage with the game. Truly a Rebirth for the game — welcome to the Brave New World.

Editor’s note, May 2020: This article has been split into multiple parts for increased readibility:

  • For the MWL update containing Standard MWL 3.0 and Eternal MWL 1.0, click here.
  • For Lead Developer David “divadus” Withington’s explanation of changes to the System Core 2019 cardpool, click here.
  • For the new Organized Play policies, click here.
  • For information on the new Eternal format, as well as notes on other upcoming formats, click here.

System Core 2019

As previously announced, one of the new things NISEI is bringing to the game is a yearly System Core. We received a new Core Set last year, and we’d like to set the precedent of revising it every year. A certain Other Card Game does this to great effect and the System Core will be a powerful tool in our arsenal; with it, we can rescue certain cards from rotation, get rid of problem cards from previous core sets, prepare for future product releases, and push the meta in new and interesting directions. Mixing together cards from across the game’s history, System Core 2019 also provides a well-balanced and fun “out of the box” experience for new and veteran players alike. Lead Designer Gregory Tongue spoke at great length about this in this article.

Without further ado though, here is your brand spanking new Core:


Alongside the release of System Core 2019, we will be rotating the tournament-legal cards from Terminal Directive and, of course, the Revised Core Set. Some of the key cards from this set (Marilyn Campaign, IPO, Abagnale, etc.) appear in System Core 2019 and thus are not rotating at this time, and others may show their faces in some form or another in future products or System Cores. This rotation and the introduction of the new System Core will be effective at the same time as the new Standard MWL on 21 December 2018.

Our initial plans for rotation also included the Lunar Cycle, however, this created some unique problems with the competitive meta that we were not able to address satisfactorily without releasing new cards, so it will remain legal (for now). With Lunar and some other products considered for this rotation, many cards deemed necessary to keep in the Standard card pool felt clunky or unfun in the System Core, yet we could not replace them without releasing new cards, which we are not ready to do until early 2019.

We considered several different options, but Terminal Directive made the most sense. It contains no cards with competitive merit that we couldn’t save from rotation by putting in System Core, and the ones that we did all work extremely well within the Core Experience format — and they’re fun. It’s not too large that we would remove too big a chunk of the card pool, nor are any of the cards particularly near to most players’ hearts; nobody is going to miss Long-Term Investment. TD also contains a critical mass of problem cards, especially considering its size, and an unprecedented number have errata which presents an additional hurdle for new players.

Unfortunately, your Brute-Force-Hack promos are now probably worth even less than they already were. Lucky for you, they still work great when lit on fire — you can keep warm in the winter, light cigarettes, and can create some ultra-rare textless versions.

As stated before, we’d like rotation to occur more frequently but in smaller chunks at a time. As such, we may rotate cards up to twice a year; usually a single cycle and/or deluxe at a time. The exact schedule will be announced in the near future. We’ll release a roughly equal amount of new cards each rotation cycle to keep the card pool about the same size. Rotation will generally happen in chronological order, but don’t be surprised if we mix things up now and then. We’re going to prioritize what is healthiest for the game long-term.

Alright, what’s the deal with the cards from Magnum Opus?

First things first, let’s get the naming conventions out of the way. There have been a lot of terms thrown around, so we’d like to offer some clarification here. Hired Help and Watch the World Burn are Orgcrime cards, also known as Community Cards, while Border Control, Timely Public Release, Embolus, Crowdfunding, Labor Rights, and Slot Machine are Champion Cards. Together, these are part of the Magnum Opus set. This “set” will be legal in Standard and Eternal and subject to the most recent MWL for each of those formats. These cards are not legal in Snapshot.

Woo, Kati Jones is back! I never did get to use my Kati alt-arts, and now she’s swooped down in her hopper and stolen my heart all over again… roll on the 21st of December!

Rules Update

A new version (1.1) of the comprehensive rules has been published. This version provides a handful of error corrections, only one of which is a functional change to fix a bug. Starting with this revision, updates from previous versions will be highlighted in orange and linked from the change log.

  • Fixed rule 10.1.3 to correctly handle forfeiting/swapping cards that had been converted to agendas.
  • Fixed typos in rule 4.4.9b and in examples for rules 9.8.2b and 9.8.5b.
  • Added reference numbers for the abridged timing structures in section 12.
  • Added definitions in rules 9.2.7b, c, and d for the (P), (R), and (S) symbols used to denote paid ability, rez, and score windows.
  • Re-worked table of contents for better readability.

Other Business will be updated with the new legality very soon – hopefully in the next 24 hours, and we’re about to start work on NetrunnerDB. I’ll shout out on Twitter, Facebook and Slack when it’s ready! Until then, here’s a sneak preview from the dev server…

Q1 Game Night Kits still for sale; get them here. Prize support is currently in production and will be shipped as soon as we get our hands on it. If you’ve already ordered a kit, it should be in your hands by mid-December at the latest. You’ll get an email confirmation from our team when your order ships out!

We’re working on several resources that will be available on the website in the coming days; our “Resources” page should be up and running this weekend. We’ll have a “rotation guide” that will make sorting your collection easier, tournament match slips, top cut brackets, sheets to help run tournaments by hand, posters you can print and hang up to advertise Game Nights, and more!

We’re still accepting applications for translators!

And lastly, in a day of serious scoops I have a tiny bit of news of my own… now has its own RSS feed! Several people have asked for this, and so we have delivered. 🙂

That’s all from us today, tune in next week – same time, same IP address – for our usual monthly Exposé, aka “Here’s what we’ve been up to for the last month”. Sneak preview: a lot of it will mention the new Core list and MWL. Until then, build those servers, pawn your dead Imps, and most importantly…


  • Serenity "SwearyPrincess" Westfield

    Serenity is the VP of Engagement for Null Signal Games, and wishes it was her full time job. Known by some as "Netrunner's Cool Goth Mom", she's a DJ in her spare-spare time and streams under the psuedonym SwearyPrincess!