I hope you are all enjoying the preview season for The Automata Initiative. I’m here with an update to the Standard Ban List, which will accompany the new set. This update will be effective for Competitive-tier Standard events from 11/08/2023, the same date that The Automata Initiative becomes legal for Competitive-tier Standard events.
Note: Null Signal Games Organized Play are making an exception to normal card legality policy for the Asia-Pacific Continental Championship (APAC), which takes place on August 5th-6th. As such, we will also be making an exception to the effective date of this ban list—this update, the legality of The Automata Initiative and the rotation of Data & Destiny and the Flashpoint Cycle will all be in effect for APAC. Read more in last week’s update from Organized Play.
Summary of Standard Ban List 23.08 Changes
Effective date: 11 August 2023
Obokata Protocol banned
Explanation of changes
These changes to the ban list are driven by the development of The Automata Initiative.
During playtesting, Tithonium felt very powerful in the new Standard environment and started appearing in a large variety of Corp decks. The rotation of Paperclip and the other heap breakers means that the facecheck penalty of Tithonium and the continual tax it generates are increased. Encountering Tithonium unprepared costs the Runner their two most valuable programs and their most valuable resource, and ends the run. This is out of line with players’ expectations for the threat a barrier can pose. Even if the Runner has an installed fracter such as Cleaver, Tithonium will still tax 6, compared to the 4 for Paperclip.
Furthermore, Tithonium countered Arissana’s trojan-based game plan. To avoid having to push the new trojans’ power level to make them playable even with Tithonium in the format, we decided early in the development process to ban Tithonium and free up this space.
Bukhgalter is stronger than the desired power level for icebreakers. It is relatively cheap to install, handles small sentries at no cost (or even makes a profit) and then scales smoothly to larger sentries. There is no reason for Criminal Runners to play any other killer, and Bukhgalter remains a desirable import for the other factions. By removing Bukhgalter from the game, we hope to improve both killer and sentry diversity.
All four Corp factions are getting a new 3-point agenda in the Liberation Cycle. Today we can reveal the new Jinteki 3-pointer: Fujii Asset Retrieval.
Agendas dealing net damage have been part of the faction for a long time, with cards such as Fetal AI, Sting! and Obokata Protocol playing a major role in Jinteki deckbuilding for years. In fact, the latest competitive Jinteki decks all play a full set of Obokata Protocol. Protecting nearly half your points with damage is very strong when your faction is able to deliver damage from a variety of sources. Having Fujii Asset Retrieval and Obokata Protocol in the same deck would gate the vast majority of points behind damage, which is not acceptable. This is why Obokata Protocol is getting banned. We also hope that with a weaker defensive but stronger on-score effect, Fujii Asset Retrieval encourages more proactive archetypes, instead of leading Jinteki players to focus on card attrition while hiding Obokata Protocols until the Runner cannot steal them.
We are aware that these bans do not address all the issues we have with Standard at the moment. We currently believe that economy on both sides has slowly increased in efficiency and quantity over the last several years of releases, recently resulting in competitive oversized 60-card Runner decks that do not suffer from a drop-off in card quality. However, as rotation provides a major shakeup for the format, we chose not to address these issues at this time. We will wait to see the impact of rotation and The Automata Initiative before making any further changes to the Standard Ban List.
Standard Ban List 23.08
Effective Date: 11 August 2023
Changes from Standard Ban List 23.03 appear in bold.
|All cards with the “current” subtype||All cards with the “current” subtype|
|Bloo Moose||Archived Memories|
|Clan Vengeance||Cayambe Grid|
|Kabonesa Wu: Netspace Thrillseeker||Engram Flush|
|Liza Talking Thunder: Prominent Legislator||Gold Farmer|
|Mars for Martians||High-profile Target|
|PAD Tap||Hired Help|
|Salvaged Vanadis Armory||Mass Commercialization|
|Watch the World Burn||Mti Mwekundu: Life Improved|
|Shipment from Tennin|