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DJ Hedgehog's Mushin No Shin: Part 1, Tournament Day!

I think my point is that if I came on this forum telling everyone that making sacrifices to Cthulhu in exchange for guidance has helped my game considerably, you probably wouldn’t think much of it. Saying that your “intuition” has helped you figure out if a face down card is an agenda or a trap, without quantifying said intuition as being rooted in a deep understanding of game theory or a high degree of familiarity with your opponent is about as useful as Cthulhu’s blessing (apologies, Dark Lord, for these blasphemous words).

There are many ways you can make a good guess about what your opponent has played face down, but winning games consistently is about good game theory and tactics. Calling it some unknowable intuition is just superstition. If you have an “ear” for music, it’s not some gift you were born with that no one can learn. You are good at pattern recognition, plain and simple.

I absolutely take exception to the idea of this being “Cheating”. I know exactly what the OP meant by “influencing” an HQ grab; sometimes players will routinely grab cards in the middle of your hand that are raised or more prominently displayed. Ergo, I usually will do this against a player that I believe will buy into it / not notice it. It is just part of the Yomi, part of the mind game. Cheating? That’s just frustrated loser talk.

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What does random mean? How is “randomness” determined when it is a player making the decision? Where does random end, and player decision begin?

I guess I’m confused here. The rules do not say the runner rolls a dice to determine the card they pick. Is there some specified way that randomness is to be ensured, or am I missing something? How I display my hand for the runner to pick a card is just a minor part of the gameplay - a good player should not be having problems here.

Interesting that people that think differently than you are losers and bad players.


Offtopic may be:

IMHO, the second picture depicting tired MTG Pro Players is a bit far from reality.
AFAIK, it was taken on Pro Tour Dublin in the end of the day (these guys are well-known players from our community and “tired guy with headphones” was actually meditating, by his report).
Do you imply that MTG and ANR could really be compared in terms of game complexity and exhaustion put on players?
As for the quote for the photo, I would gladly be in their shoes on the Magic Pro Tour since you need to much more effort to win a qualifier to get at Premium level event than in any ANR one. ;)))
Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Overall, I like the style of the article very much and I absolutely agree with all aspects of it. Only reasonable mind can save you on the long distance.

Thanks @cryoclasm. I did not know the players or the circumstance, and didn’t mean to make a statement as to the picture specifically. I just did an image search for “sleeping card players” or something of that nature and found that photo.

You are not wrong that Magic requires more time and effort and can potentially lead to pay outs for the competitors. In a perfect world, Netrunner would have similar events but it’s just not as popular as Magic is after 20 years of production.

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A lot of people not giving reading and intuition any credit. To say that it’s not real just tells me you haven’t experienced it. One of the most important “skills” I have “acquired” is picking off unprotected agendas in a deck that’s playing lots of remotes. Played a PE deck this week at a local tourney where i “guessed” right on every agenda he installed. I promise you intuition and the ability to read my opponent was the primary reason for this success.

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What you call “intuition” I call “knowing the pacing of the game”. I had a player in my local meta just last night tell me that I was “good at legworking when there are agendas in HQ”. Can you say I have good intuition? Yeah probably, but more realistically I know the pace of the game and understand times where agendas get built up in hand.

When it comes to unprotected agendas I find that I’m pretty good at that too, but again I don’t attribute this to intuition or reading my opponent. I let the table state and the actions of the game decide when I should run remotes.

What makes me a good poker player (I’m totally willing to do a post-worlds poker tournament, btw) is that I’m completely random and I know the pacing of the game. I don’t always fold/bluff/raise when it’s expected and I know how to force “tells” for people who think they can read me. I also understand what a good player would do given the multitude of variables in a given hand, and use that to my advantage. You can’t “read” a donkey, because they aren’t going to do the best play when you expect.

So, to your point, I think we may mean similar things at least. You’re a good player and you know what to expect from other good players and you understand the pacing of the game. Those two may make it seem like your getting a read on your opponent when really your experience and knowledge are what are doing work.


I think it’s both. You know X amount of agendas SHOULD appear after X amount of draws. I also think there is a difference in our examples. You are talking about Legworking a hand after corp has drawn X cards, that is most certainly pacing as you know they have to be clumping if they’re not scoring or discarding. Running facedown PE remotes isn’t as easy to calculate, not to mention the adverse affect of running a trap. There is some pacing to it, but PE can play enough assets and upgrades to balance the agenda and trap count. Pacing alone won’t cut it when the ratio between traps/agenads is close to even.

Anything beyond a teachable skill is just your own personal explanation for how you make decisions. Can you teach players how to be what you call intuitive? If so, it’s a scientific, concrete, learnable thing, just like reading facial expressions. It is also fallible. If it is not teachable, then it’s just you making lucky guesses a majority of the time, in which case it’s useless to other players, and perhaps also a bit braggy.

I can “read” what many of the people in my local scene are doing simply because I have over 50 games played against them, and I’ve seen their patterns. I know whether they are risk averse players, whether they like trying to feel smart by outwitting opponents, whether they will always try to make the “best” play, and therefore I can make a much more informed decision when playing against them. That’s not intuition, that’s just experience.

Playing against a new player recently, I tried to make the “right” calls on probably around 7 psi games over the course of the game (he was RP). My opponent bid 0 on every game except once. I lost most of the games (most of them were played for the winning agenda). Now, if I played that guy again, I’m far more likely to bid 0 and he has to adjust his strategy or risk losing a lot of Psi games. My chances drastically improve after just one additional game playing him. Imagine how well I could bid against him after 10 games, or 100? The more opportunities I get to see what he will do in most situations, the more info I can draw on to make a good guess as to what he will do in future ones. Again, it’s experience.

What’s your record with “intuition” against someone you have never played against?

It’s not the first time ive had this debate, and this will be my last comment on this topic, because I think we’re generally talking about the same thing using different terminology.

It certainly is teachable to a degree, & to a degree it isnt. Translate that as arrogance if you like, but to not think that there is such a thing as intuition makes you sound robotic. If the game were so mechanical, tilt would not be a thing. Emotions and “soft” skills are a big thing in A:NR. Especially live A:NR, and being able to sense this in your opponent can be very important.

That all being said, we will probably just have to agree to disagree. Our human brains were wired to interpret things differently. You take a hard line scientific approach to things, and I stay open minded to what might not be measureable or quantifable. Since I can never fully “prove” my assertion, you will probably always disregard it. Which is fair.


I get what you’re saying. I’m not trying to say everything that leads to a specific person winning is scientifically measurable either.

We are probably beating a dead horse so I’ll shut up about this after this post as well.

I think insofar as it relates to helping people improve their game, anything unteachable is background noise. If one is to develop an unscientific intuitive decision making system, since it can’t be taught, it’s just up to each person to feel it out. It’s a sports player having a lucky sock. You can’t teach someone to have a lucky sock, and it’s only really meaningful to you.

I think people can fall into traps, where they rely on intuition overmuch, and take a win or a correct choice to mean their system works. It gets worse when they throw out any conflicting data as “I got unlucky” or “nothing I could have done”. I think as players we always want to be questioning our plays and choices in games, and striving to find ways to improve our decision-making process. I think intuition is what we turn to when we face 50/50 choices that are scientifically a coin toss. It helps in the fringes but is not a replacement for sound strategy and tactics. Once you’ve exhausted those two paths, intuition is a fine place to go to try to bump that 50/50 to 55/45 or something like that.

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Nor should you have to prove anything. Those of us who know, know, and those of us who are late to the game and don’t know could benefit from more reading and less typing.


Chill84, is officially The Man.