Core 2.0 Demo Decks?

Just to break this discussion into a separate thread from the Core 2.0 thread – what would good, new demo decks look like with this Core? Not talking about teaching decks, or even “good” decks, but explicitly demo decks.

While many dislike the old FFG demo decks (Kate, PE), I actually find them quite useful and good for explaining the basics of the game. Given how frequently already I’ve seen people say something like “Wow, Siphon’s gone? I might come back to the game now,” I suspect we’ll have a need for demo decks to drum up new players or reteach returned players, well before FFG can get official ones printed.

So, Stimhack, what would you put into a demo deck? Keeping mechanics to a minimum (so, no traces, no bad pub) seems wise, but beyond that, what else would you do?


Okay, no replies yet, that’s cool, that’s cool.

Here’s an idea, then: Changing as little as possible from the existing demo decks, I’d keep PE as the Corp (few cards change here), and then make Chaos Theory the Runner. Unlike Kate, you don’t get an “active” ability to help teach the player about how those work (just extra MU), but the cardpool is mostly the same, swapping out Toolbox for Dinosaurus, maybe swapping in an Indexing for a Maker’s Eye, etc.?

I’m not even sure what the requirements for such a demo decks are. Using a deck with only one core set, keeping mechanics to a minimum? I’m not sure if that’s even possible. I tried to create a Shaper deck like that, but with the amount of 1-ofs and 2-ofs in the box, my deck currently only consists of 32 cards. And that’s already with Underworld Contact, which I’d prefer to have left out due to the link requirement. I don’t see how I can build a functional 40-card deck with one core and minimal mechanisms, because you’re nearly forced to use some of the slightly more complex cards just to fill the deck …

Edit: Okay, I tried again. It has link and recurring credits, but I think that’s what I would give someone for their first game:

Demo Deck Shaper

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Revised Core Set)

Event (17)

Hardware (6)

Resource (6)

Icebreaker (9)

Program (2)

12 influence spent (max 15, available 3)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

I think demo decks can be below minimum size. This old Stimhack article has the lists for both the official ones and some suggested alternate ones. In both, the Runner deck is 30 cards and the Corp deck is 39.

I’ve made a rough draft of some new-core-only demo decks of the same size. It turns out there’s actually a lot of cards in the new core that are interesting but not complicated, which is very nice for this. For example, I think Himitsu-Bako and Yagura are both more interesting than Chum, but they’re not going to require nearly as much explaining as it did.

Revised Core Corp demo deck

Jinteki: Personal Evolution (Revised Core Set)

Agenda (7)

Asset (9)

Operation (7)

Barrier (7)

Code Gate (6)

Sentry (3)

4 influence spent (max 15, available 11)
16 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
39 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Revised Core Runner demo deck

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Revised Core Set)

Event (15)

Hardware (1)

Resource (3)

Icebreaker (9)

Program (2)

7 influence spent (max 15, available 8)
30 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Edit: Fixed Corp deck, which had too many agenda points.

From yads in #recruiting_center slack (with permission):

Another PE deck:

Another CT deck:

Nice, all of these are worth looking into.

I like the approach that nut took with his – a Gabe/Weyland matchup sans damage for teaching basics about runs and econ; then Reina/PE for teaching other concepts. They’re on nrdb, I’ll post links up later.

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The thing I found with the Dyson Memchips and Underworld contacts is that starting without link 1 makes underworld contacts virtually unplayable. It’s such a huge tempo loss to get them up and running that by the time you get it up, you’re not going to have enough game left in order to profit from it. UC is much better in Reina who starts with 1 link.

I assume you mean starting with 0 Link makes UWC unplayable.

With CT, if you want to go that route, use Rabbit Hole. She has enough memory as it is, and so doesn’t need the Dyson. I’d suspect Gabe never wants it. Reina ftw (not necessarily because of UWC)!!!

Of course, meant starting without link 1 :slight_smile:. Even with rabbit hole, it’s such a huge investment that I don’t quite see it being worth it, unless you see it turn 1, which with only 2 in the set, seems unlikely.

Out of curiosity, is there really a need to find 2.0 demo decks? I’ve always used the FFG Demo Decks and, and as long as you follow there general guide and play carefully, I found they can be very useful. Even if none of those cards were legal, I’d still think I’d use them because they’ll always do a good job at showing key concepts in a simple quick manner.

I’m only asking because I’m genuinely curious, and showing people the game is one of my favourite things to do. Not trying to invalidate your post.

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There’s a lot to be said for having someone’s first experience with the game to involve cards that reflect what they will actually see in later games (and potentially buy themselves). It’s a big enough card pool to get one’s head around without introducing them with cards they’ll never see again.

Also personally I don’t have separate copies of the original Demo Decks and Core 2 is a great opportunity for me to have standing teaching decks built that aren’t inkjet proxies. That they would represent decks that someone can immediately go out, buy a Core and build themselves can only be a plus.


I stumbled across this thread while deliberating over whether something like the following would be a good idea:

Haas-Bioroid: Stronger Together (What Lies Ahead)

Agenda (10)
2x False Lead (Revised Core Set)
2x Priority Requisition (Revised Core Set)
3x Project Ares (Revised Core Set)
3x Project Vitruvius (Revised Core Set)

Asset (9)
3x Adonis Campaign (Revised Core Set)
2x Aggressive Secretary (Revised Core Set)
2x Melange Mining Corp. (Revised Core Set)
2x PAD Campaign (Revised Core Set)

Upgrade (2)
2x Strongbox (Revised Core Set)

Operation (8)
2x Biotic Labor (Revised Core Set)
3x Green Level Clearance (Revised Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Revised Core Set)

Barrier (7)
2x Heimdall 1.0 (Revised Core Set)
2x Ice Wall (Revised Core Set) [color=#006400]●●[/color]
3x Wall of Static (Revised Core Set)

Code Gate (7)
3x Enigma (Revised Core Set)
1x Hudson 1.0 (Revised Core Set)
3x Viktor 1.0 (Revised Core Set)

Sentry (6)
2x Archer (Revised Core Set) [color=#006400]●●●●[/color]
2x Neural Katana (Revised Core Set) [color=#DC143C]●●●●[/color]
2x Rototurret (Revised Core Set)
10 influence spent (max 15, available 5)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (22)
3x Diesel (Revised Core Set)
2x Indexing (Revised Core Set)
2x Infiltration (Revised Core Set)
3x Modded (Revised Core Set)
1x Notoriety (Revised Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Revised Core Set)
3x Test Run (Revised Core Set)
2x The Maker’s Eye (Revised Core Set)
3x Tinkering (Revised Core Set)

Hardware (4)
3x Dinosaurus (Revised Core Set)
1x The Personal Touch (Revised Core Set)

Resource (2)
1x All-nighter (Revised Core Set)
1x Sacrificial Construct (Revised Core Set)

Icebreaker (9)
3x Battering Ram (Revised Core Set)
3x Gordian Blade (Revised Core Set)
3x Pipeline (Revised Core Set)

Program (3)
3x Magnum Opus (Revised Core Set)
0 influence spent (max 15, available 15)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Revised Core Set

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

(I’m pretty happy with the Chaos Theory deck, but not too sure how I feel about Ashless HB)

But my next thought was, trace notwithstanding, maybe revised core NBN would be a good introduction? It plays a lot more like regular Netrunner than porous-ice-and-Astrotrain Core 1.0 NBN with all its attendant frustrations and confusion, and also lacks the various NPEs of program destruction and flatlining. You’d definitely want to explain the consequences of tagging, but even those are much easier for a runner to manage than the various things that other corps can do to them.

Is it a good idea to build demo decks which are based on more then one core? “Yes this is build by the core but you need multiplies.” seems not like selling argument.

The point of demo decks is to illustrate mechanics, not to illustrate what’s in the Core, not to even teach how to play well. It’s for demos, plain and simple. Show the basics and then use other decks for these other purposes.

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Is there a reason that there isn’t any influence spent on the Chaos Theory deck?

Not a principled reason, no…old-core versions of this deck spent most of their influence on Corroder and Ninja.

I’m certainly open to any suggestions you have, though I can’t think of much to change. I don’t love Pipeline, of course, but I don’t want to make the runner think too hard about MU management, which kinda locks me into this program suite, and anyways Pipelinesaurus isn’t too bad, though I suppose I could be convinced to replace it with Femme and Faerie. I’ve toyed with Demo Run and Cyberfeeder, but I don’t think they particularly add anything.

The FFG demo decks also don’t spend any influence. The point of demo decks is definitely NOT to be “good decks” or even to teach fundamentals, but to illustrate the game in its most basic form. The original FFG demo decks are actually quite good at this – they don’t have traces or bad publicity, have only one type of damage, only 1 card lands a tag, they’re all Shaper, Jinteki, and neutral cards. It’s a stripped down version of the game, and I’d argue that discussing influence with a very new player is a bad idea – it increases complexity and distracts from the point of the demo. If they like the demo, then tell them about factions, influence, etc.

Did you settle on demo decklists?

I definitely wouldn’t discuss influence during a demo, except maybe at the end if they’ve asked about deckbuilding. But I don’t think demo decks necessarily need to be monocolour. I have done demos & teaching games with decks that spend influence, and it generally just doesn’t come up; if it does, I just say that the card colours have to do with the deckbuilding rules, I don’t go into detail.