Beginner's collection plan

Current status:

The first version of this is completed and can be found here.

I’ve started planning the next version. Skip down to here for details

(original first post is below)

I think it would be very helpful to have a sort of purchase/decklist ladder for beginners, where each “rung” consisted of one thing to buy, a pair of decklists to make with that thing and the cards from the lower rungs, some beginner-friendly advice on how to play the decks, and some suggestions for other things to do at that rung.

Ideally, the decks would be suitable for a new player to take to their local weekly Netrunner night, and would also build skills and introduce the main ideas behind major deck archetypes.

The suggestions for other things to do at each rung might include ideas for things to try tweaking, or for how the new cards might be useful in earlier rungs’ decklists.

I’m too new at Netrunner to do much of this well myself. But there seems to be a fair bit of interest in helping newer players get into the game and improve, so I’m hoping some more experienced players might be willing to help.

Here’s a very minimal example of what a rung might look like:

Rung 0
Purchase: Core set
Decklists: These

Playing advice: See the decklists link.

Other suggestions: If you find that you keep getting scorched, try making space for Crash Space and/or Decoy in the Runner deck. Or if you don’t mind using a few proxies, try Plascrete Carapace.

What do other people think? Is this a good idea? Would you be willing to help with it? I do think the starter decks that were suggested in the esports thread here would probably be better, but since they aren’t likely to happen, perhaps something like this could help to fill the same gap?


I think this is a great idea. I think finding the best decks for the smallest number of packs bought is a really interesting optimisation problem. @Humanoids mentioned he thought critically about packs before buying so he might have something to contribute.

Introducing folk with the opening gambit: you can probably get a second hand set of cards online for about £250 can probably be improved upon.

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I’ve taken a stab at building something like this around the recent beginner decklists from Run the Net and Run Last Click.

It’s currently in a draft state here. The summary of the stages is on page three.

I did put in a few suggested changes to the Run the Net decks, strictly for reasons of avoiding or delaying the purchase of a few sets. I also mentioned in the introduction that players might want to use proxies rather than taking my suggestions for changes. I haven’t tested any of these changes yet.

The most expensive stage currently is $85 (all prices MSRP). After it, there are two stages that are $60, and the rest are $45 or less. I may attempt to build decks to split the $85 stage in two.

The best thing to do imo is borrow a friends decks / jnet to see if you like it. If you do buy the lot in one go from someone exiting the game. It’s way cheaper if you do it that way and I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t quickly buy everything once they are hooked

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It’s true that most players buy in once they’re hooked, but “what should I buy next” posts are pretty common on the reddit, and it’s not uncommon for the poster to list a smallish but not tiny collection. “Help me build a deck, I only have these packs” also comes up a fair bit, and again the collection listed isn’t necessarily tiny.

It’s also true that buying a used collection is cheaper, but used collections aren’t always available.

Plus, I’d hope this would be helpful for people who aren’t so thoroughly hooked that they don’t mind spending hundreds of dollars right away, but who like the game enough that they’d like to keep playing if there were a cheaper option. Currently, I think most such players end up quitting shortly after they start.

I guess if reddit is where the people with limited collections are, that’s where I should be asking for feedback on this, but it’s the sort of thing where it’s helpful to have all the discussion in one place, and reddit threads kind of die within a day or so of being posted.

Here’s a version 0.2 (summary table).

I’ve added the decks from the “World Champion on a Budget” article, rearranged some stages, and took advantage of the World Champion Runner Deck to make Run the Net’s beginner Whizzard deck a bit cheaper. I also dropped Run the Net’s Andy and GRNDL beginner decks, because they needed a lot of packs that didn’t contribute to any of the other decks. The upshot is that I’m no longer suggesting people change any decks for budget reasons, and there are now only two stages over $45 MSRP. One is $60, the other is $55.

In addition, I reworked the introduction and added more notes to each stage.

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At the suggestion of a Reddit user, I moved this to a GitHub repo.

Then I turned it into a website because GitHub has a system for doing that.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t recommend GitHub Pages for anything non-trivial at this point in time.

Unless someone points out a problem with the plan, I am likely to declare the current version to be 1.0.

I’ve started thinking about the next version of this. I think the current version has two main problems:

  1. Rotation

  2. The most common advice to new players seems to be to buy the deluxes first. The current plan conflicts with this advice pretty hard.

With that in mind, here’s my current draft outline for the stages for in the next version:

  • A single core set (no change here)

  • Maybe Terminal Directive, depending on timing and how good it turns out to be.

  • Single-deluxe stages. These will each require only one deluxe and one core set (and TD if that goes in). Players can use these in any order.

    Data & Destiny might be left out of these, just because of the difficulty of building core + D&D runner decks.

  • An all deluxes stage. This would have decks that use multiple deluxes. If D&D doesn’t get a single deluxe stage, it will be the recommended purchase for this stage.

  • There’s a few options I’m considering from here:

    • Stages that build up like in the current version of the plan. This allows for building up to stronger decks that draw from more of the cardpool, like the Run the Net beginner decks.

    • A stage with a bunch of decks that each only need two data packs and the stuff from the previous stages. Most of the Run Last Click beginner decks and virtually all onesies decks could fit here.

    • Some kind of hybrid or mix of the above.

I think the main challenge here would be building the core + single deluxe decks and core + all deluxes decks, because there aren’t many existing published decks that fit those categories.

Questions for anyone reading:

  • What do you think of this draft plan?

  • Would you be interested in building decks to contribute?

  • Would you be more interested if there was some kind of prize or competition, like a core + deluxe online tournament of some kind?