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Cube Drafting: 101

Originally published at: http://stimhack.com/cube-drafting-101/

Discuss the latest StimHack article here.

I think that along with the list of advantages to cube drafting, the disadvantages should also be mentioned - namely the time to set up the cube, and not getting some extra cards to take home.

I don’t think this is a real disadvantage considering you did not have to pay for packs. You are correct about the longer starting time however.

I suppose so.

You could say that there is a lower up front cost if you don’t already own very many Data Packs.

A “Core Cards Cube” draft variant could be very appealing to those new to the game, who do not have the means to assemble a mega cube to play from, but who want a little variety from just playing the same Core decks all the time.

There aren’t nearly enough cards in the core set to build a cube from, and no IDs. You might be able to put together a small one just for 1v1, but it would be pretty uninteresting. Cube is more suited for people who play a lot, as it’s a pretty hard format and is most fun for people who are bored with constructed.

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I’m really interested in this topic because, planning to organize 3 SCs in my city next year, I’m thinking about doing one of them in a non-standard format and draft is my favourite option at the moment. As standard draft is not a possibility due to high cost being certain to decrease attendance, I’m thinking about doing a cube draft. Do you have any ideas on how to make such a tournament? I’m looking for a system that will be independent on number of players (let’s say there will be at least 16 participants but most probably 20-30, maybe a bit more if I manage to grow the community in the meantime or it turns out that the format appeals to general boardgamers and they join the event), will allow all players compete in the same tournament despite drafting from several cubes (I guess they’ll have to be identical and size of drafting groups needs to be kept as close as possible), includes no cuts (I want the tournament to be pure Swiss with everyone allowed to play right till the end) and no mid-tournament redrafting (building a deck once and maybe correcting it a bit between rounds is the most we’d be able to afford time-wise).

Did anyone try a similar thing in Netrunner? Do you have any useful ideas or see possible problems? Do you know successful or unsuccessful examples from other games?

I’ve been thinking about making an ONR cube from my rather large pool of ONR cards. Could be wacky fun times.

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There are some widely known drafting methods not mentioned here.

For 1v1 Drafting - Winston Draft:
For each player shuffle 80 to 90 cards from the cube together in one big deck without looking at them (do this for each side, for a total of 2 decks). Choose someone to draft first, then put the top three cards from the deck face down next to it as three new small piles of one card each.
The first player looks at the first small pile. He may choose to draft that pile or not.
If he drafts it, he replaces that pile with a new face-down card from the deck.
If he doesn’t draft it, he puts it back, adds a new card from the deck face down, and moves on to the next pile.
He looks at that pile and decides to draft it or not, replacing it with a new card if he drafts it, adding a new card to it and moving on if he doesn’t.
If he doesn’t want to draft the third pile, he adds a card to it, then drafts a random card from the top of the deck.
Continue until all cards have been drafted. Construct your 30-card decks and play.

The beauty of this format is that you only know about half of what your opponent has. You can still deduce what he’s leaving you. I find this format immensely enjoyable.

For 1v1 Drafting - Divy Draft:
For each player shuffle 80 or 90 cards from the cube together in one big deck without looking at them (do this for each side, for a total of 2 decks). Choose someone to draft first. He draws the top 5 cards from the pile and makes two piles out of them. The piles can be 1-4 or 2-3 cards. After he made the piles the other players choses the pile he wants to draft and then the second players draws five cards to make piles.

The beauty of this format is the amount of choices you have to make, either leaving your opponent with more cards or with a bomb,

For up to 8 players - Rochester Draft:
At least that was what I remembered, when I read the Tenchester Draft. All cards are drafted in each 10-card pack. After everyone picked one, the last players picks a second one and it goes backward until all cards are gone. The advantage of this format over Tenchester is, that you can accommodate more players with he same amount of product.


So I’ve played a ton of constructed Netrunner, but I am completely new to drafting. I normally play 1v1 and am very excited to try out the 1v1 draft format shown in the video (which was very helpful…thanks for creating it !)

I think I have all the rules down for how the draft itself works, but could I trouble someone to point me in the right direction for the draft deckbuilding rules.On FFG’s site, I saw a photograph of a card with “Draft Rules” written on it, but I didn’t find a ruleset I could actually download.

From the draft identities, I see you play 30 card decks with no influence restrictions. Fairly self explanatory, though I did have a couple of questions…

1) How many agenda points does the corp deck have to have ? Is it 15 (hence the 5 PriReqs in the starter pack) ?

For a 30-34 card corp deck, play 14-15 agenda points. For 35-39, play 16-17 agenda points

2) I’m assuming in draft you can comingle agendas from all corp factions into a single deck ?

There are no card restrictions. Furthermore, you can even play more than 3 of a single card in draft format.

3) How many points are required to win ? I think I saw 6 somewhere ?

Confirmed. 6 agenda points are required to win.

4) Other than the above, are there any other differences from the standard deckbuilding rules ?

7/27, Edit: I wasn’t able to find official rules, but after digging around the internet, I was able to answer my own questions. Posting above in italics in case anyone else finds the answers helpful.


Cube is awesome. We’ve used SneakySly’s list (thanks!) in our playgroup and it works pretty well. Some preliminary conclusions based on what worked / didn’t for us :

  • Giving the runner 1 “crap” copy of each type of breaker was good. It gives an incentive to pick good icebreakers, and keeps things balanced overall (for instance wraparound and swordsman become MVP if you give crypsis to runners).
  • We decided to stick with 7 agenda points as the condition victory even if that meant slightly longer games, as going to 6 meant that you can win with just 2 priority requisiton (too much variance).
  • Talking about priority requisition, we felt that they were too “good” to have as the default agenda. Basically it doesn’t give enough icentives to pick up other agendas apart from the best 3/2s. We will most likely try corporate wars or blank 4/2s in their place next time.
  • Very focused strategies don’t work well, and in particular dedicated tag punishment was a failure. You just don’t have the critical mass to make cards like psychographics or even scorched earth work. I will most likely be cutting them next time.
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Does the 7 point games worked well? I thought the same, 2 pri req to win is just too easy.

On the other hand, to avoid it being “too good” I’m planning on use 3 pri req and 2 exec retreat, also not every player own 5 pri reqs!

yeah I’ve asked most of this on the facebook group :slight_smile: thanks for summarizing here!

I’m very excited about this as I had my own Cube List that I will try to share we you in another post guys.
I’m building this Stimhack list and look forward to try it.
I’m wondering :
When we “Cube-Draft” playing Magic The Gathering with my friends, we do not only randomize all the Cube together no matter how many players we are but we keep a specified ratio of Cards from each Color in Mtg (Artifacts, Multicolored and Special Lands being one more Color) and put the rest out of the game.
Does it make sense to do the same with this Stimhack List ?
Maybe a specified percent of cards from each faction or from each type ?
Something like “if you’re playing 1v1 shuffle all the Events together and secretly draw 18 of them, etc…”.
I’m also curious : how did you get to this list ? Mine was only 3 of each card from the official draft pool with only 2 for the ones being only one in the Core Set (I bought 2 core sets).
Thank you guys,

When new datapacks come out do you just add everything? (3x of all the cards, minus the identities)

Link in the article: http://netrunner.meteor.com/draftinfo/ needs updating to new meteor’s location.