This week on, Stimhack league champion, Chilo City Grudge Match winner, and Domino’s Pizza enthusiast Josh01 delivers his review of this weeks top rated deck.
|Pālanā Foods: Sustainable Growth|
1x Chronos Project
2x Medical Breakthrough
1x Philotic Entanglement
3x The Future PerfectAsset (21)
1x Blacklist •
3x Jackson Howard •••
3x Mumba Temple ••••• •
3x Museum of History ••••• •
2x Psychic Field
3x Pālanā Agroplex
3x Team Sponsorship •••
3x TurtlebacksUpgrade (5)
2x Caprice Nisei
1x Cyberdex Virus Suite
2x SanSan City Grid ☆☆ ••••• •
3x Hedge FundBarrier (3)
1x Wall of StaticCode Gate (6)
1x Lotus FieldSentry (6)
| 13 influence spent (max 15-2☆=13)
22 agenda points (between 22 and 23)
54 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Business First
Not that the bar was ever particularly high; we have entered the darkest era of NetrunnerDB’s Decklist of the week. After reviewing Dumblefork, Chill84 took some time off to reflect on the meaning of life and whether humans are inherently good. And who can blame him? If you haven’t processed the same questions while waiting for your opponent to choose which irrelevant card to trash to Faust, then you probably pledged what was left of your soul when you ran in the first game. Thankfully, NRDBir’s responsibility to keep the public wary of front page traps was at an all-time low due to a block of four solid decks consecutively before an aptly-timed Trump parody. Not to be outdone by NRDBir’s ineptitude, DOTW fired back with what may be its worst list to date, Everlasting JobStopper.
Anyone who’s seen the homepage of NetrunnerDB knows how you get a deck to stick to the front, independent of having ever played a full game of Netrunner. You need only a list of cards, a laborious writeup of your deck, and an unwarranted confidence in your deck’s ability to do anything more than complete a legal game of Android: Netrunner. Oh, yeah, and a picture. It’s really all about effort here, and a picture projects more production quality than any content ever will, even if it is a Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory meme, complete with a memegenerator.net watermark.
The tried and true formula of sticking your creation to the front of NRDB has gone from admirable politicking to have your life’s work reach the masses to the exploitative cattle herding for bragging rights that we know today. Maybe it’s a bit generous to call them bragging rights at this point, though, since the difficulty of getting a writeup and google image of your choice on the front page of NetrunnerDB is comparable to plastering it somewhere in the depths of Forbes. For perspective, this entire column was almost an eHow tutorial on how to be the top nerdbear for a week.
Everlasting JobStopper is an exhausting 54 cards, which is guilty of exactly what you may have suspected when you were offered to cut this tower of sadness. For those of you just returning to Netrunner, first of all, I’m sorry, and second, 54 means more than just a suboptimal distribution of cards these days. It indicates you’re up against a corp deck packing Museum of History, which is somehow more boring than it sounds. Museum allows you to endlessly reshuffle a single card from the trash every turn, which is perfect for the crowd of players deluded into thinking that forcing the runner to incur trash costs continuously is a viable substitute for a functional win condition. It seems like every new player’s go-to, partially because this strategy can be abusive against other inexperienced players. If you don’t believe me, join any game on Jinteki.net, and pick back up here in 40 minutes. Like every other Museum deck, it features 3 Mumba Temples and over a dozen extra meaningless assets at the expense of the win condition (2 Caprice, 2 SanSan City Grid).
The benefit, if you can call it that, is that you can now round out your agendas and the rest of your deck with an extra card you were just dying to fit, which should fit nicely into the sometimes awkward Jinteki agenda puzzle. Mechanoise (the creator of Everlasting JobStopper) opted to fill this slot with a Medical Breakthrough that gets you to that magic number of two. This way, if two get scored or stolen, you can feel bad about everything for the 30 remaining minutes of the game before the judge inevitably calls time. In these brief moments of infamy, you wait for the TO to instruct you both to play out your final turns, prompting your somber-faced opponent to ask, “Do you have the third one?” only for you to have to explain yourself in front of your opponent, the small crowd that has gathered, and the TO, who at this point feels an obligation to remind you to speed up your play so as not to go to time for the fourth consecutive round. Seriously, two Medical Breakthroughs? Let’s do some word association: Glenn Station, Helium-3 Deposit, Market Research, Project Ares, Sentinel Defense Program. Got some choice words? Those are all better agendas than the typical case of a 2x Medical Breakthrough in a 54 card deck.
For what it lacks in a scoring threat, it lacks tenfold in a truly artless flatline threat. There are two Psychic Fields, but neither a single Ronin nor Neural EMP. For Psychic Field to be capable of a flatline threat, the runner has to immediately run at one of the AP sentries before drawing any cards without a Killer capable of beating a 2-strength sentry. To be clear, it can only be the single Swordsman or Tsurugi, since the three Komainus are rendered entirely impotent by Psychic Field. Alternatively, the Runner could run at one of the two Harvesters to refill their hand.
Let me cut this prosecution of JobStopper’s record breaking anti-synergy short to talk about Harvester. Salvage was winner of the Stimhack bad cards bracket a while ago, and while constantly in fierce competition with other useless advanceable ICE, Salvage does not set your boardstate back while it is rezzed. Harvester may be the worst card printed in some time, because unlike every other bad card, it has virtually zero upside and massive downside. It could be used to try to mill the Runner, but even if that strategy were effective (or employed here), Harvester would just be used like a clickless Diesel. Even the worst of plans that can be aided by Harvester rely on it firing, which adds another layer of wishful criteria to an already frustratingly situational card.
JobStopper has the same number of Harvesters as Medical Breakthroughs, and I’m not sure whether two or three of each would be a greater indictment of this oversized pile of cards I am now generously referring to as a deck.
With all the influence wasted on superfluous assets, there is none left for a respectable barrier, which leaves two Himitsu-Bakos, precisely the kind of ICE you’d prefer not incur install costs in a deck with limited ICE. Though Jinteki has no shortage of reasonable code gates (crick, yagura, lotus field), Mechanoise finds a way to include a single Crick in a deck with fifty-one potential installs, twenty-six of which have trash costs, limits Lotus Field to a singleton, finds room for two Harvesters, and inexplicably swaps Enigma for Datapike. The sentries, as noted earlier, somehow manage to maximize anti-synergy with one another, but feature a Susanoo-No-Mikoto, potentially the single worst ICE against D4V1D in Android: Netrunner. You might think it’s part of a plan to tax D4V1D, but Susanoo is the only ICE in the entire deck which gear checks D4, and somehow checks with the least potent facecheck threat possible.
Mechanoise’s JobStopper boasts both a title and meme that would imply it is a Whizzard slayer, but between having a plethora of ICE that is easily beaten by Faust/Mimic/D4V1D, an innumerable number of assets (seriously, no amount of repeating “Whizzard can’t deal with them all!” makes a recurring 3 credits to deal with them a comparably favorable strategy), and an overlooked win condition, I can’t think of a deck that is much worse against Whizzard. In fairness, I can’t say that’s a significant criticism, because I can’t think of a deck that is much worse against any runner. And before you even get started, let me quell the “not every deck has to be good/think outside the box/I fart rainbows” sentiment I know is building up somewhere on Netrunner Geeks right now. Bad decks are not foreign to DOTW, and they’re not a useless concept. New ideas that make it to the front are what makes Netrunner fun for some players, and what puts others on varied legitimate strategies and archetypes. JobStopper is not a new idea. It is a port of an uninspired Museum of History craze that is played more than any other archetype in ANR today. And for what could be two potentially powerful cards, Museum of History and Mumba Temple are seemingly always thrown into the same deck with no discernable synergy I can identify other than that they are next to each other in the datapack. Even at the least ambitious of goals, being a respectable port to an often replicated archetype, JobStopper falls short of its mark.
Amidst the vandalization of our community website, there is a lesson here. If JobStopper can’t teach us anything about Netrunner, maybe it can teach us about NetrunnerDB, and the political landscape of Netrunner. Only a week after a Donald Trump parody made it to the front, we elected a deck that promises to defeat the same old archetypes keeping us down, when after even the most superficial inspection, is clearly lacking both the credentials and tools to effectively deliver. It says one thing, does another, and rallies what I can only conclude are the least informed nerdbears using tried and true methods of rounding up likes. We are delivered the same old garbage in a new shell, full of topical promises, and left wanting. But we’re not a political party.
You have the tools to slap a picture of the Baha Men and a couple of decks with all the Cerberus breakers or Pup and Komainu on the front page, but you’ve resisted. As agents, we should aspire to be more judicious with the tools to manipulate the front page of NetrunnerDB, and as likers, we have a responsibility to be more selective about who we choose to represent us. Did you vote this election? If you voted for JobStopper, did you see the two Medical Breakthroughs? Did you dig deep enough to find the code gates? Have you been on the other side of an excruciating Museum deck without a realistic win condition? These are the kind of questions we need to remember to hold ourselves accountable in future elections. Only you can stop JobStopper.
Well, that’s not true. Anyone can stop JobStopper. It’s the worst deck I’ve ever seen.