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Breaking the wall of "static"

I wrote an article about “reinventing” the way we deckbuild.

Probably too abstract for anyone that wants to go knee-deep into analyzing all the meta-deckbuilding options that are out there at the moment. But sometimes, you might wanna take it one step further. You might want to break new ground and maybe reinventing the wheel doesn’t mean making a new NBN deck with Scorch AND Astro.

I’m open to discussion about it. Friendly and nice discussion though. Remember that I am on your side. Astro is an amazing card that needs to be played if you need more consistency and a bigger win ratio. It’s just that I believe we can explore a bit more.

Link To Article - Clicky Click


TL;DR for all those not qualified to go above knee deep.

  • “The simple fact here is that some cards are just way better.”
  • Author played a cyberpunk game. It was pretty neat. They finished around 3 a.m.
  • “My point here is, that at the end of the day, it’s not just about efficiency and consistency. [Unless you want the best chance at winning large tournaments.]”
  • Go out and play “wacky” cards, combos, have fun.

I think a large part is ‘what do people want to get out of their playtime’. If one is looking to prep for a large tourny, or even just stay competitive then they’ll play consistent, efficient decks. If one wants to play fun crazy games where they’re always reading new cards and finding wacky interactions, they’ll play those decks. The problem arises when one party only brings wacky fun, and the other only brings competitive-level. The fun player feels completely shut-out and their deck didn’t get to do it’s thing, and the competitive player felt like they wasted their time.
There’s things one can do to help mitigate this:

  1. Get better at negotiation - make sure you say what you’re looking for in a match. Both online and in person. “I don’t care” or “I’m just want to play a game of netrunner” isn’t helpful when people end getting crushed and salty
  2. Bring multiple decks - easier online then in person. When I go to a casual game night I always try to make sure I have at least 1 corp and 1 runner with me that are fun-level decks, in case there are new players or people just looking for a fun match up. This is more a responsibility for competitive players, as casual players aren’t as likely to be able to build multiple decks.
  3. Don’t be afraid to refuse games - and don’t make fun of or bully other players for being fun or competitive.

Sidenote I’ve always wanted to play a tourny using the random deck generator. That looks like it has the potential to be super-wacky fun.


I think one of the points of his article that was missed above was that you can actually do quite well bringing an interesting mess into a tourney if you know how to pilot it and can exploit the fact that the other player probably thinks you are playing something different. Then again, it was one experience with only a few (4?) games a side; certainly not enough to call it statistically significant.

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In reply to @karmaportrait as well.

The article was to showcase that there are indeed entirely different builds out there that can work in the highest of competition level tournaments. I personally started with playing underplayed IDs and making the best out of those and now I am trying to explore even deeper by changing the whole idea of how we deckbuild.

It’s not just about “playing wacky combos and having fun.” And if you want to do well in a tournament it’s not just about “picking the best and most efficient cards.” It’s about learning how to mix both and bringing that new thing that will just stun everyone in its path.

My article is more of a statement of belief that, that sort of thing can happen.

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I’m a huge proponent of this school of thought, and I believe at the end of the day, there’s going to be a lot of luck involved, and a lot of mind games played. I’ve seen very efficient decks go down hard cause they were played on autopilot, and the operator couldn’t figure out how to win. A lot of this game is skill and bluffing. I once protected my hq with 5 agendas in it with nothing but a breaker bay grid. Once people start making different decks, and stop blindly thinking only efficiency matters, then we’ll see a major upheaval. Only time will tell.

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The problem with the power of surprise for me is partly because surprise is hard to maintain during longer tournaments, but also because it’s hard in netrunner to force the opponent into reacting instead of just following his own gameplan. Your surprise have to lead your opponent wrong somewhere if it has to have any reasonable value.


Stunning everyone is hard to combine with refining a deck though; unless you’re one of those blessed with a massive local player base your innovations will quickly become known during the refinement process. Last GNK I went too someone took a really sweet RP kill deck with scorches, and by round four people were slapping down their plascretes against him.

Stunning smart people is also pretty hard - I took a crazy Biotech deck to a 50 person event that literally caused each of my opponents to hold their head in their hands thinking for minutes on end…but then half of them did work out the correct line of play and won.

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We here in Seattle have something of a reputation for winning SCs with ''wacky" decks. Add one part idea, two parts playtesting, and a dash of hipsterism.


More than a dash really


“Burning it down” and starting from a random source is kind of like playing guess and check. You may discover things you didn’t understand, but its often a slow way to get an interesting deck to come out. One ofs & two ofs are a great way to give your deck some variety, but you can do this intentionally.

And even if you can come up with new stuff, you’re probably not going to break the meta. The fact that a DLR deck with “whacky resources” won worlds is not surprising, and to a lot of us who were paying attention it made a lot of sense.

I like to play a lot of jank. I like doing the unexpected, but I am most successful when I do such things intentionally. Reinventing the wheel is usually a waste of time. Reasoning your way towards taking advantage of unused cards is usually more efficient.

Playing and building sideways does not have to start in a field of ignorance, it can be done by looking at the patterns of those around you and seriously questioning which tenants you are holding as axioms incorrectly and then trying to prove them wrong.

I read the article and while its good natured and well intentioned it really bothers me. Because, just trying random stuff is something you have to do, but to do it well you need a lot of thought and you need to be honest about your goals and how the tools in your kit are going to contribute to that. If we want a more varied meta and highly skilled deck engineers, we should encourage the adoption of methods which use an understanding of the current game state to leverage the new one.

Putting “good cards” in a deck because you need a “few of those” kind of ignores why cards are good and means you’re creating a suboptimal deck that even you don’t understand. When I look at @Zeromus’s spark deck or @tmoiynmwg’s neh deck I see capitalization on core game mechanics not guys willing to play random shit to see what happens. And you are only able to do this by understanding the game as a whole, including what makes the current decks good.

Maybe, if you don’t care about winning games this doesn’t matter to you, but I’d suggest you’re on the wrong forums then.


This is not about me trying to make something to either just have fun or to actually win. People seriously need to stop referring to that every time they answer to one of my opinions. Just because I am mentioning something entirely different, doesn’t mean you have to assume that I am not taking winning as seriously as you do. That is just straight out hypocrisy.

Anyway, I agree on the rest. Surely you need to learn from those that understand the game and surely you can’t just barge in and start doing random stuff. Reinventing the wheel might take time, but starting from scratch sometimes, might work better for some people. Despite the understanding of how the game works, the whole “reinventing the wheel” was mentioned as a means to an end. That end being the fact that you want to play the game with the same-old stuff that have been played over and over again just because those “experienced technicians” say they are good.

Maybe all those technicians have been making the numbers that they have been using as proof for how well their decks work in the first place. If some guy made a really good deck and everyone followed him, then at the next tournament, most decks would look like his, thus making that deck look successful cuz there was bound to be one that would beat the others. Whoever played that best, would come victorious (hence why we have certain people winning with those decks, because it’s not just about having a good deck, but also piloting it well).

So using the numbers that you made yourself in the first place in order to prove something successful is something I find weird and annoying even. That’s why I said that maybe reinventing the wheel might be a good option.

Playing and building sideways do not start from a field of ignorance. Just because they aren’t listening to the so-called masterminds of creating decks, doesn’t mean they start from ignorance. Maybe we have to shake our heads and figure out the solution ourselves. If you want to net-deck, go ahead. It’s not wrong, it’s basically helping you understand the game better. Maybe you don’t have time to deckbuild yourself, that’s totally understandable. But don’t come to me saying that built something entirely new and innovative when you are using the same old tricks.

Netdecking doesn’t mean also blindly follow whatever you are told. You learn from it and then you move and do your own thing. Unless you want to blindly follow the pack and do the same thing. I personally find that boring and unintersting. BUT I ALSO WANT TO WIN. Just to clarify before I get attacked about that again.

I am pretty sure I am honest enough about my goals and the tools I use in order to make those happen are all around me. I am just probably more open to them than you are since you see more “high chance of winning with” cards.

In the end of the day, this article is not for everyone. I didn’t expect everyone to understand, I am not here to change that either. I am here to discuss it and bring some awareness to the matter. I am here to just open a discussion about how else the game could possibly be played. Possibly being the key word here.

I wasn’t attacking you, I was attacking your ideas, and probably only some of them. It is the way the article embraces the “mysticism of doing something different for the sake of being different” that I find annoying. There are a finite number of strategies in netrunner because the goals are determined, the card pool is fixed, and the number of viable decks is only so large. “Reinventing the wheel” doesn’t get you very far when there’s only so many wheels to invent. Eventually we all end up playing the same thing as someone else.

There is a hivemind that recognizes what’s good in this game and gravitates to recurring strategies. There are people who like to be pilots more than engineers and who don’t innovate. I’ve not met one of these people and had them claim that they “played something new”. And there are a few outliers who seem to be able to take anything and turn it into gold with excellent piloting. But that is an illusion. They are playing a game based on fundamentals and they are a novelty only so long as the deck they played isn’t embraced. They are not inventing new forms of netrunner. And just looking at bad cards in your binder and forcing yourself to play with them is not enough create winning deck lists or even “original” decklists.

Nor should we frown on people who “blindly follow the pack.” You never quite say that you look down on people that net deck. You’re very careful to avoid it, but the undertones are there. I bet you truly believe you don’t look down on such people, but reading what you’ve written I see that line of thought anyways, even if its subconscious or something you don’t wholly embrace. Its there.

Novelty, originality. These things are overrated. You’re welcome to your fun. You’re welcome to have your opinions. But if we’re trying to get better at this game, throwing off the chains of well reasoned thought and prior success is not a recipe for success; in my opinion.


Indeed. Cyberpunk themes often focus on embracing the sameness, the copy, the inauthentic instead of the original, the real, or any of the other positivistic terms that made Lyotard flip his shit. We’d be remiss if we forgot that all of us are plagiarists and data hounds.


Noone said you have to. Nobody is forcing you. I am just trying to approach the game and its mechanics from a different side. You are ok to think that what you are doing is better or maybe makes more sense due to all the numbers that prove their rate of success.

The hivemind is something I never tend to personally follow. I am sorry about that. I will take ideas from the hivemind and develop my own, but not follow it in its entirety.

You might be right, I am careful to avoid saying that I don’t like netdecker when my subconscious does so. But it’s a specific kind of net-decking. Every person I’ve met that is new to Netrunner, I told him to net-deck some “good” decks with high win-ratios in order to help him/her learn the game faster and understand what combos can be made. Those decks are good and smart. That’s why they win.

I even go on netrunnerdb sometimes and scroll through decks to see if I find something fun and innovative to try out myself. So you could say I net-deck as well.

What I don’t like, is people who’ve played the game for 3 years already and are still net-decking really specific things. But they can do whatever they want. This is still a game, and I enjoy playing it, so I am not gonna sit down and judge anyone who does anything in a GAME.

You say that you don’t want to judge people, but it feels like since you’re bringing it up that that’s not the case. And I’m not judging you here. I’m just saying what my interpretation is of what you’re writing. I agree with 90% of the stuff you’re saying. There’s salient points in what you’ve written. But I’m finding it hard to believe that you don’t care when you insist on talking about a subject, and when you use words and phrasing that has a general negative connotation (perhaps there’s a language barrier and I am misinterpreting you).

My own personal philosophy: Being the change you want to see and doing things you want to do should be enough for anyone. If you want to ignore the “hivemind” feel free. Froody. But its not a negative thing and a lot of people, even after 3 years of play find happiness in just doing the netdeck thing. This doesn’t sadden me because its what makes them happy and it doesn’t stop me from going off and doing my own thing. I go off and do my own thing all the time. I tell people they should play memstrips. I tell people to play paywall implementation and sacrificial construct. I have advocated putting cards like fester in a deck and taking them to a tournament. So I’m not ignorant of the way the general competitive populace looks a these cards and evaluates them. But we move on. And if we’re good at what we do, that populace one day ends up copying something we’ve done. Like maybe there’s a memstrips in the top 4 at worlds in 2015.

My 2 creds, do your own thing, even if that’s following others, and keep an open mind.

So we are more or less saying the same thing. You’re just accusing me of actually looking down on others through my words in some way despite the fact that I claim not to do so?

I don’t know about a language barrier, I try not to bring that up since it doesn’t really matter what language we speak in, as long as both parties in a discussion are willing to listen. If I say something wrong, you should give me a break and just allow me to rephrase. It’s never a language barrier problem imho.

As I said, I don’t mind people net-decking and I even mentioned that I condone it myself when talking to other NR players.

The hivemind can be happy with what it’s doing. I don’t care about that. I am open enough though, to be able to listen both to the hivemind as well as my own mind.

Are you aware that some (most?) people see the word “hivemind” as a pejorative? I’m bouncing pretty hard off most of your writing I see here because I see it as rather condescending. I really don’t want to argue in several hundred word posts like gumOnShoe, just wanted to say that’s probably why you aren’t getting a lot of interesting back-and-forth here.

I didn’t mention the word Hivemind. I referred to it because gumOnShoe did.

Nowhere in my article is that word mentioned. If you didn’t read the article then please don’t throw accusations and make assumptions. :wink:

It’s funny that you said “you aren’t getting a lot of interesting back and forth here.” Because I am getting that through private messages. Maybe people are afraid of that “hivemind”? Maybe people don’t wanna come out as the “open thinkers” and stand out?

That’s a whole different topic though. I’ll maybe post it somewhere, where it won’t be looked down upon. So that people can actually speak freely.

Oh what is that you are saying Constantine? That people like to only trash-talk here? Oh no waaaaayyyyyy!

Fair enough. I picked that particular word because you used it in the immediately preceeding post twice.

I did read the article, for what it’s worth. I really don’t want to argue about this tone issue though. Obviously, you disagree.