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Evolution of a Professor Deck

The purpose of this thread is to create a skeleton or a framework that should form the foundation of most Professor decklists. The reason behind this is that the Professor is in a bit of a unique (or odd) position in terms of what it’s role should be. IMO I think it makes it hard for players like myself to find a good starting point so I decided to work through logically on what a Professor deck at least should have.

Professor Skeleton

The Professor: Keeper of Knowledge (Creation and Control)

Event (9)

Hardware (6)

Resource (3)

Icebreaker (1)

Program (7)

0 influence spent (max 1)
26 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Creation and Control

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

There’s the decklist core I personally have come up with using lots of downtime at work (mostly to prevent myself from getting bored to death) and I figure I should share my thoughts and see where I’m right and most importantly where I might be wrong in doing.

So, this identity already tells us that we are going to be including many different 1-of programs from out of faction, this makes tutoring prime for this deck, 3x Self-Modifying Code and 3x Test Run, easy decision. 2nd easiest decision would be 3x Clone Chips and 3x Scavenge, this allows the rig to be moldable and adjustable as the board state fluctuates. We have to accept we cannot have everything we want/need all at once due to MU limits etc., so we have to expect to trash programs (and return programs) at different points in the game. This also allows recursion options with trashable programs like Parasite, Crescentus, Deus X etc.

In regards to programs, I wanted to mostly leave icebreakers alone because I can see this being taken in different directions especially with Professor and what he has available to him. That won’t be a point of this discussion. However, the addition of Femme Fatale is natural because we are going to sometimes need to bypass certain ice and not necessarily break it (thinking about Tollbooth here).

The next issue is establishing a set of programs (non-faction) that would mostly justify using him (instead of other Shapers) in the first place and the one thing that stuck out in my mind were what I would call “access programs”. Sneakdoor Beta, Nerve Agent and Medium all account for 8 influence already between just 3 programs and this should be something every Professor deck should have otherwise, we can just run Katie/Kit/Chaos Theory with 2-3x Mediums etc. if we wanted to focus on just R&D, but we can provide good reasons to run all 3 centrals and applying pressure on corp with these 3 cards. IMO, this is something that is hard for the other ID’s to pull off and makes Professor worth using overall.

The last issue we need to resolve is definitely going to be memory issues to be able to keep out as many programs in a given time. This leads to adding Djinn (accounting for 2 more influence points, and a total of 11 influence points for the skeleton). Djinn is great because we would expect to run many different non-icebreaker programs to justify using Professor in the first place and this helps add +2 MU on the board and a limited tutor thus potentially saving us from having to burn Test Run or SMC on tutoring for viruses. To me, this should be the first program that hits the board in most Professor games. I have 3 Akamatsu Memory Chips in this skeleton, but what type of +MU hardware a person wants to use is up to them, this is just to signify that we should at least put aside 3 card slots for +MU hardware.

The last 2 cards I did not mention are Sure Gamble and Personal Workshop. I think this forms the foundation of this deck in terms of having some burst economy and some steady economy (yes, trying to use those Runner Economy 101 terms). Personal Workshop is important to allow Professor to maximize its use of options and allows him maximum flexibility within the deck.

This concludes my opening post on establishing a proper framework for a Professor decklist. I’m a big fan of this I.D. and have been spending the last 2+ weeks in figuring this thing out. I still think the proper strategy is up for a lot of debate regarding Professor but I think a good start for players like me to figure out his place would be to start with a skeleton or a framework. I was going to post what my current Professor decklist is at, but I think this is long enough for now and I’ll save it for another post. (I apologize if this post became too long!) Thoughts? Opinions? Am I right? Am I wrong?

PS I was trying to throw this under Deck Archetypes, but couldn’t find the option under the Topics listed in the dropdown menu.


I feel also that Imp is a fantastic card in The Professor, 3 influence and a phenomenal ability. I’d personally include it in every Professor deck, especially with something like Sneakdoor to help you get accesses to combo cards in hand.


I would say that Akamatsus have no place in Prof. Either go for Cybersolutions (if you’re going for the big rig setup), or take Leprechauns if you pack a lot of 2-MU programs.

Either way, Akamatsus are too inefficient slot-wise, from my experience.

Also, Workshops aren’t nowhere near essential enough to justify putting into a framework. The decision to list Djinn but not list Imp, Datasucker or Parasite also seems kinda weird :smile:

p.s. Keyhole :stuck_out_tongue:

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My opinion on The Professor is that he is a Wild card. The only essential cards for the professor are Test Run, Scavenge, Clone Chip and SMC IMO. After that it’s totally player dependant.

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I would also add Sneak, Keyhole, and Faerie to that list. Because Professor. But otherwise I agree, he’s the one real wild card.

With Personal Workshop, I still think that your best use of that single influence is Stimhack. That card wins games.

I don’t doubt Imp is a great card, just starting out this way and establishing the absolute necessities first helps me and hopefully others like myself in working around a core i.e. identifying cards that are absolutely necessary for this deck first. I wanted to leave programs like Imp up to the player to include seeing that there 19 slots open to “play with”. Same explanation for Datasuckers and Parasites, that’ll be part of my next step towards deck designing.

We can definitely say we absolutely need the +MU from Djinn AND also the limited tutor ability to save Test Runs and SMC for tutoring more useful things. IMO I believe this is probably the anchor to the deck and opens up the deck in terms of choices after its install i.e. SMC’s and Sneakdoor’s 2 MU requirement becomes easier to handle, you can dig for Medium or Nerve Agent when needed without burning real tutors etc. I can see people with their own combinations and usage of Imp, Datasuckers and/or Imp i.e. I seen a variation forgo Parasite for Imp etc. I think this can be left up to a player’s overall plan and style. To me this is what separates Djinn as a necessity card as opposed to just a highly recommended card like Imp, Datasuckers etc.

Akamatsus was merely a placeholder for ANY +MU hardware, wasn’t necessarily saying that this must be used, but anything contributing to MU or combination of should be inside this deck and there should at the very least be 3 card slots used on +MU

Yeah, the Personal Workshops I was semi iffy about, but I couldn’t think of better cards to place to help with maximizing click efficiency. I feel this card could potentially be struck off the core list and allow the player themself to figure out what’s best economy-wise and regarding flexibility.

Personally, I don’t think Professor is as much as a Wild Card as people want to make him out to be. Icebreaker-wise, we know we can do fine with 1-ofs easily, Criminals do it all the time and we have 6 tutors and possibly draw cards compared to 3 Special Orders. Regarding programs as a way to replace not being able to use non-faction non-program cards could be a bit of a crap shoot, but I want to think we can still combine 1-ofs on programs with similar functionality, i.e. Parasite, Datasucker, Bishop for Ice Strength reduction/saving credits on having to pump or Rook, Crescentus, Parasite to perhaps break down a single central server, but again, IMO currently things are fairly open to interpretation and mostly theoretical in what a primary strategy (or strategies) for Professor should be.

Regarding the current core of 26 cards, leaving 19 left over to put together credit economy, ways to draw cards, and some direct counters like Plascrete Carapace etc., we aren’t looking at a lot of “extra” space for non-faction programs especially after we throw in our preferences regarding Imp, Keyhole, Datasuckers, Parasites etc. Maybe 4-5 other programs outside of those and what’s already presented. With 6 tutors, I want to think there’s a chance to create some amount of consistency.

I do want to pick at Keyhole a little bit as well, is the 2-MU worth it and why? I can understand this strategy working well at avoiding ambushes especially from Jinteki, but to me I would feel somewhat obligated to focus my deck a little more around it if I end up using Keyhole. How many 2-MU programs should be allowed in this deck? (We already have SMC and Sneakdoor, 4 card slots that use 2-MU) I’m just having a hard time convincing myself to use it when MU is squeezed while trying to use an ID that encourages diverse program sets.

This leads to my next question, what do you guys think should be the primary strategy in properly being able to play Professor? I’m fairly conflicted and can see different ways, I tried a couple, but haven’t been satisfied yet with what I had so I wanted to see how you guys weighed in on this seeing that this seems to be a pretty versatile/diverse/random ID at least on first glance.

There should be no primary strategy, thats why he I think he is a Wild card. He is flexible and can adaptable to different situations. You should have cards that compliment a strategy like hq lock with Sneakdoor, Nerve Agent, Pharamones while also including RD pressure with medium/keyhole. Against big ice decks you can install big breakers. Against rush decks you can save money and install your small cheap breaker suite. Zu, Corroder, mimic. Every game is going to be different with The Professor which is why he is also the most difficult Shaper to pilot well. Just my opinion of course on how I think The Professor should be played.

Threads like this come up every so often on here and BGG. Every time I give it some fresh thought but come to the same conclusion: it’s just not worth thinking about at the moment. Searching for a “framework” implies you care about deck construction, efficiency and overall perofrmance - concepts which, unfortunately, don’t really apply to The Professor. Sure, he’s fun to think about, but he’s not T1. Trying to optimise him seems a little redundant, since even the most optimised Professor deck will be worse than a number of other things you could have done instead. Let me elaborate…

The rationale behind playing the The Prof. is that you want the ultimate in adaptability. The thing is, though, you don’t actually need that versatility in the vast majority of cases. The nature of LCGs is that metagames arise; decks become popular and prevalent. As such, a competitive deck doesn’t have to have solutions to every possible problem, just the most common ones. Occasionally those tuned decks will lose to something surprising, but their focus makes them so much stronger against the strategies they are prepared for that it’s worth that minor sacrifice.

Preparing for every eventuality just means you are less ready for the situations that arise most commonly. Moreover, if all of your solutions are program-based (which they almost necessarily will be as the The Prof.) you are reliant on search effects to retrieve them when you need them. I realise search effects are in-faction for Shaper, but you don’t want to have to search for every single card you want to play because this is inefficient, expensive and unreliable.

Other IDs succeed because they stock multiple copies of the cards they want - which means they see them early through natural card drawing. The risk The Professor runs is that he draws a lot of dead cards - those silver bullets he included that are irrelvant in the current matchup. Sure, other IDs draw dead cards too when the multiples show up in the late game; but the difference is that the first time the card shows up it’s useful and the runner can get on with his/her game, whereas The Prof. will often not hit the cards he needs early enough, because sometimes he draws the dead cards first.

The questions you have to ask yourself when building for The Professor (in fact, any deck for any LCG) is “what can I do with this deck that other decks can’t do?” and “how often does this actually make a big enough difference to really matter?”. For example, The Prof. can dial up the most efficient breaker for the ICE he is encountering, which is obviously nice, but this is only a gain vs. other possible decks if 1. it was a different breaker to the one most other decks would have been running by default anyway, and 2. you don’t also have to install a second breaker of the same type later on in order to be more efficient against a different ICE - because at that point you pretty much cancel out any monetary saving you’ve made by playing efficient breakers.

In choosing The Professor you have to be certain that his ability is more than making up for not just the 14 influence he doesn’t have but also the ID ability text and 1 link he doesn’t have because he isn’t Kate. If you think you’re only breaking even with that then you are still behind other identities. Remember, The Professor has also sacrificed access to out-of-faction events (which IMHO are the most powerful cards in the game) and hardware. His lack of an ability means that he provides no economic edge throughout the game and has no pre-defined gameplan of his own. You are entirely reliant on those programs doing that work for you and, at present, they don’t come close.

I think a few conitions need to be true for the Professor to become viable:

  • A significant number of high influence but highly desirable programs need to exist, that would be otherwise inaccessible to other Shapers.
  • The Runner metagame needs to move away from events; The Prof. can’t compete without access to some of the most effective cards in the game.
  • The Corp metagame needs to diverge sufficiently that The Prof.'s versatility becomes a real strength.
  • The environment needs to evolve such that there are other benefits to running one-of cards: such as a runner equivalent of cards like “Diversified Portfolio”, rewarding multiple programs.

Finally, I know there are several good players around here who have won events with The Professor - some even at a decent competitive level. I am not saying that he can’t win, just suggesting that he doesn’t do so consistently enough to be considered competitive. I’m sure those good players will be the first to acknowledge this, and in many cases probably built their decks initially to challenge themselves because they know this to be true. So to them I say “well done and well played” but to novices who are searching for a framework to underpin Professor decks I say “try the other Shapers first; they are versatile enough, for now. Check back here in a year and perhaps we’ll talk again”.


While I agree with most of your assessment on The Prof, I disagree with the conclusion. It is my belief no ID is T1. While there are most certainly players who are T1 and decks that are T1, in my opinion the ID is merely a compliment to a certain play style. (I’ll probably get flamed for this statement). To build a competitive Professor deck takes months of playtesting which is where many players fall short IMO. You have to know your deck and how to squeeze every advantage in your favor. The Mulligan is especially important to Prof knowing what to look for in your opening hand. Dead draws can be turned into money via FCC which hits on one of your main points. You are more reliant on shaper events but Shapers have some very potent events to begin with. The Professor will always be a very difficult ID to play and Pilot well. In the hands of a T1 player though I believe that the Professor can be just as competitive as other ID’s.

Some good points, but I have to quibble with your point that the Corp meta is not varied enough to make good use of extreme versatility.

I think that right now there are several good decks that stretch the runner many different ways.

  • the rush decks, Astrobiotics and to a lesser degree Supermodernism
  • the taxing decks, RP, ETF, Tenin, Cerebral Imaging and even Making News can create some serious taxing issues
  • kill-based decks, Midseasons NBN scorch, flatline PE/Harmony Medtech, Weyland

It’s tough to build a competitive deck that can take on all three types, especially the first two. So perhaps the Professor is an answer? Unfortunately one of the best answers for most runner problems, Account Siphon, isn’t available to him.

I would further add that the Professor’s “lack of influence” is illusory. Most Prof decks I see actually pack 20+ influence worth of OOF programs. The only out of faction events that are impactful enough to feel their lack are, what, the criminal holy trinity of Siphon/Shutdown/Inside Job? Maybe Legwork? Well, there are program substitutes for all of those effects except Siphon.

The biggest problem for the Prof has really not been the lack of influence, but rather the paucity of good answers to the memory choke problem. Enter Leprechaun. Whether this will be enough to push him to the “next level” remains to be seen.

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Granted, but explain to me how, using only programs, The Professor can tackle them any better than Andromeda or Kate (or any other ID)?

Does The Professor have some speed advantage that I’m not aware of? Last time I checked it was Andromeda that started with 9 cards…

The Professor’s only advantage here is that he can potentially select the most efficient breaker for the ICE he is encountering. But, as I explained above, this is only a gain if it’s a different breaker to the one he would otherwise be playing as a default and he doesn’t have to amend his rig later to accommodate other ICE.

The Professor adds flat out nothing here. All the anti-net damage tech is already in-faction for Shaper and the anti-meat damage tech that isn’t Plascrete is all Hardware or Resource - which are unobtainable for The Prof.

You have actually played this game, right?
It’s fairly common knowledge that some cards are designed to be just not as good as others - Hard at Work, anyone? The Professor is actually very good design, in the sense that he’s the card that most consistently gets people talking and thinking. Unfortunately he’s the ID that least consistently brings home trophies.

You’re absolutely spot on here… you will get flamed for that statment.
You simply can’t separate the ID from the deck - you say that T1 decks exist then you’re automatically conceding that T1 IDs exist, becuase those decks wouldn’t work if you switched the identities.

You’re actually not wrong that certain IDs do complement certain styles; but you’ve missed the point that they pretty much define those styles. You can’t generally play a style with a different ID to the one that it is intended for. So yeah, if you want to play a “program flood” style then yes, The Professor complements that style better than any other ID. But the long and short of it is that that style is weaker than what almost all of the other runners can currently do.

The lack of Professor decks winning big events suggests otherwise. If the T1 players are playing him, then he’s obviously not as good as you think; if they aren’t playing him then they have obviously decided for themselves that he’s not as good as you think and switched to Andromeda.

This is not a sound line of argument. Yes, those decks include 20+ influence of programs, but you should include cards because you need them, not simply because you can. If you walk into the supermarket (grocery store for our US friends) and cat food is being given away for free, do you take some even if you don’t have a cat?

In the case of The Professor I would have to ask if those programs are all consistently useful? For example, he often packs several different breakers of each type which means in any given game lots of the value of his ability is being utilised on cards which he doesn’t need once he has one breaker in play. Similarly, Keyhole is a fantastic card, but do you really need it in a deck that can already play RDI, Indexing, Maker’s Eye (and a single Medium if desired)?

Having versatility is nice, but it always comes at the price of efficiency and specialism. The Professor undoubtedly has an edge in a number of niche cases, but he’s so much weaker against the field in the normal run-of-the-mill scenarios.

Firstly, these events are meta-defining at the moment - most top Criminal decks are running some, many or all of them. They are also consistently splashed out of facttion. That tells you something.

Secondly, the program alternatives are significantly weaker and The Prof. is inherently limited to one copy of each - which means he can’t sustain a strategy built around them as Criminals can. Crescentus is decent, but with access to only one Parasite and no denial events to accompany it The Prof. can hardly sustain an ICE destruction strategy. I can’t even think what the program to bypass ICE is - are you talking about Copycat? If so that’s a decidely poor card. If you’re talking about Femme then that’s a no-brainer, almost every deck is packing one of those - but criminals play it in addition to the events! And Nerve Agent doesn’t even come close to being an adequate replacement for Legwork for a number of reasons:

  • Sniping agendas from HQ takes critical timing. When you need the big hit you need it now, which is why Legwork is such a huge tempo card - it gives you the level of access you need in a single click and it takes the Corp by surprise because it’s a hidden card.
  • Nerve Agent is the opposite; it takes time, effort and probably money to set up - you need to make three successful runs in order to get the level of access provided by Legwork and you completely telegraph it because the program is in play and totally visible to the Corp (meaning he can undo all your work with a timely purge).
  • That’s not to say that Nerve Agent is bad, it’s just that The Prof. doesn’t have access to the support cards which complement it: Grimoire, Surge, Parasite/Crescentus (one of each only), Power Shutdown, FAO, Account Siphon.

So the natural development of your argument would be “so use Sneakdoor”, which is fine and certainly has merit. But now we’re talking about needing probably two search effects and 3MU spare to set this up, which means the deck needs to come out in the right order and give you the combo pieces. This just adds fuel to the fire that The Prof is unreliable and inconsistent.



I agree with many of your points and its perfectly fine to feel this way about Professor, I’m sure you’re not the only one. Never was it the intention of treating or building up Professor to be a top tier deck currently, but as a meaningful discussion towards a beginning of pushing Professor Decklists to its limits, where IMO, the first step is creating a framework. Despite the “wild” nature of the ID’s (which I believe is a little overstated), this shouldn’t take away the fact that a Professor deck needs some amount of rhyme or reason towards its design besides just being a novel idea. So I don’t feel like I need to defend the merits of talking about and discussing a Professor deck because I’m not trying to prove that it can be better than the other ID’s currently out there, otherwise then you would have an argument. I clearly stated in my original post, this thread was about discussing what NEEDS to be in a Professor deck, not whether or not its competitive or “viable”, that’s another discussion which I currently don’t care too much about with all due respect. Let’s focus on trying to push Professor to its limits where its currently at and continue to add onto it as time progresses :wink:

I would also like to pick at a few parts of your argument that I would like to address. First regarding the cat food analogy, a more appropriate analogy (for someone like myself) is if I had a cat named My Deck and I had all the different flavors of cat food available to me for free, would I buy it? I probably would and if I knew my cat’s didn’t like seafood flavored cat food, I would just grab all the beef and chicken. This leads to my next point about analogies, to me its purely a persuasive tool that does nothing for discussion and is mostly used when there’s something to gain i.e. politics or sales. The issue with analogies is that they can be created or even twisted to fit anyone’s argument and it just muddles discussion. It’s like you are trying to make something black and white when the matter has many gray areas, sure you might convince some that your opinion might be correct given the analogy but it doesn’t mean the gray area issue goes away or is magically resolved. It’s better left up to sound logic, reasoning and application to figure out those things in a card game. It seems rather silly in hindsight now that we somehow were able to make a connection with a card game and cat food, doesn’t it? I prefer to avoid analogies for this sort of thing, politics does an awful enough job muddying social issues with these, don’t need discussions about card games getting muddied similarly.

The 2nd issue is with meta. Usually I’m more supportive of meta seeing that it’s many people testing and playing somewhat proving a certain archetype works. This does not prove that other ideas do not work because we have no idea on what “failures” everyone has gone through before coming to their conclusion on a successful deck type. Perhaps other deck types haven’t been tried yet or haven’t been thoroughly tested enough and perhaps a particular ID is just plain old unpopular and never warranted the attention or given the chance, not saying this is the case for Professor, just pointing out that we never know what failures have been encountered just the successes. The other issue regarding meta and Android: Netrunner in general is lack of opportunities to actually playtest. These games generally go on longer than say a Magic the Gathering game, but the other kicker is that we are forced to split our attention across at a minimum two decks, a Runner and a Corp deck, making it harder to playtest and really prove whether or not a deck type is actually considered successful or failure. This literally means a Runner deck will have 1/2 to 1/3 of playtest opportunities then most other card game decks, based on game length and having to play 2 decks at a time. So my perception of the meta in a card game as new as Android: Netrunner is a bit more flimsy than something like Mtg. And if we don’t explore every avenue around something like Professor, how do you expect to find other successful decktypes that currently aren’t out there, unless you are content at confining yourself to what’s already tried and proven (which to me is rather boring). Even successful deck types weren’t conceived without its failures, they don’t just magically crop up in a forest where Android Netrunner faeries pick them and deliver them to the masses either. Someone(s) spent the time to do similar exercises and discussions like this to help figure these things out.

Again, I respect your opinions and I’m sure most are valid and even I can agree with a lot of them, but I would most appreciate trying to not turn what was originally is a thread towards discovering best practices/ideas for Professor deck into whether or not Professor is worth pursuing in the first place. Maybe not for yourself, but please don’t take the interest away from others like myself. Thank you :wink:

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Regarding this perception of Wild Card, I would like to post what I think is currently the best strategy for a player like myself (I like being aggressive). My primary strategy is to run mostly on centrals as much as possible, getting as many accesses as we can, preferably to win early. Behind this strategy, I formed a deck full of all the cheapest things, cheapest breakers, cheapest economy etc. I expect it to burn out if it doesn’t score early and fast enough, but I want to keep the opponent off balance for as long as I can with the cards given.

Light Rig Professor

The Professor: Keeper of Knowledge (Creation and Control)

Event (12)

Hardware (6)

Resource (6)

Icebreaker (7)

Program (14)

1 influence spent (max 1)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Honor and Profit

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

This is currently where I’m at in terms of my deck design. I did not get to try this variant yet, but will soon (within the week) and I have been slow towards OCTGN and playtesting on there (which I will). But see after adding in the Core cards and then highly recommended cards aka Parasite, Imp, Datasuckers, Faerie, I only have room for 5 other program considerations. So the program suite might look a bit of a wild card, but all I feel like I need is easily deployable Breakers and ways to make them cheap to use as long as I can, Bishop, Parasite, Datasuckers, Dinosaurus, Crescentus etc. Knight, Femme Fatale are there to fill holes to prolong my advantage as long as I can. I also tried to use the cheapest and most “efficient” in terms of economy so thats why I picked Armitage and Personal Workshop over its 1 credit cost and Personal Workshop saving me some clicks/credits (however, you view it). Deus X and Disruptor are definitely hate cards (plan is to use Disruptor similarly as Deus X but vs Weyland and NBN instead of Jinteki) and this isn’t much different than people running Plascrete Carapaces and that to me isn’t tutorable and is even more limiting (not saying Disruptor is a better answer, but its a possible solution, thats a program and falls in line with Professor’s theme). Diesel helps push my deck along and ideally save me some tutors.

This setup, I don’t see as having much different when compared to other decks, besides the 1-ofs on programs. I still run 3 copies of Events, Hardware and Resources I find important. 1-of’s of icebreakers isn’t that strange i.e. many Criminal decks run 1-of’s on breakers and rely on only 3 copies of tutors. SMC also has the added benefit of saving a click for the tutor and install. We also have Femme Fatale, Faerie and Knight to compliment some of the breaking when needed to cover gaps that we have to accept in our deck and having gaps or disadvantages in a deck isn’t that uncommon either. And even if we want some amount of consistency, I can see this deck’s strategy tossing the icebreaker suite for 3 Atman and probably being able to function fairly well with Datasuckers, Bishop, Parasite etc. Much of my programs are trashable for an effect, which makes memory slightly less of an issue (still an issue though) and allows me to rotate through programs that I should be able to use in most situations.

Not saying this is the best strategy hands down or trying to tote my own boat, but I would prefer to view this as an example or a way to try to provide Professor with more focus and with more focus we can then work for providing more good reasons to include particular cards into a deck that’s cohesive rather than just taking a quick glance and immediately relegating Professor to a random, wild card ID.

Disruptor isn’t worth it. Either you’re dodging a trace from an operation, Ash or Bernice (and have to pre-emptively burn a searcher) or you’re going up against a tracing ICE, in which case you should be pulling either a more permanent solution (breaker) or a card that’s just generally more useful for that slot (Faerie).

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I guess the main focus wasn’t necessarily to showcase my deck, but to provide an example of presenting a strategy, trying to build around it and see whether or not it works primarily if we can work out of the Core Framework. Perhaps some cards aren’t as core in the framework listed as I would hope, was just seeing if there could be a brainstorm of strategies to focus/feature a deck around. This with an idea that a Professor deck can be built around an amount of consistency rather than just chalking it off as a purely random ID. However, I only bring one perspective or style and was curious to see what other people could bring and possibly try to design a deck out of the framework focusing around other people’s idea on a good focus for a Professor decklist. This way, perhaps we can find some weakness in my idea of what’s absolutely needed in a framework and address it, i.e. Personal Workshop might not be that needed given a particular strategy.

You’ve said this isn’t a discussion about whether or not he’s competitive, but I think that is absolutely implicit in this whole situation. If you just want to test The Professor in a casual way, in an environment where meta isn’t a consideration then you can totally do that in your own living room with your friends. You don’t need to post on an online forum to get that experience.

In my opinion, as soon as you bring that discussion to the internet you are basically looking for ideas, advice and to share best practice with a knowledgeable community and/or validation of your own theories and ideas. Once you get to that situation the advice currently is, “why would you do that when other decks are so much more successful?”. If success isn’t your driving force then that’s fine, but it is for a lot of the people who read this forum.

You’re right, The Professor probably hasn’t been tested to death. But the point is he doesn’t need to be - you can see how he is going to play and what difficulties he’s going to encounter without even getting the cards out of the folder. You don’t need to explore “every avenue” because you have a pretty accurate road map.

Playing other IDs gives you a lot of information about how The Professor will play - you can look at what the other decks do successfully and how they deal with certain problems and then draw parallels with The Professor and think about how he would achieve the same (or better) results. The community in general have done this and realised that having a raft of programs doesn’t (yet) have the same effectiveness as being able to run a boat load of strong events.

A deck is very rarely greater than the sum of its parts - most cards in most decks are at least decent in isolation. Combos are where this potentially differs and there was an article about that a while ago (maybe a year?). The conclusion was that each card in a combo adds to its complexity and reduces the likelihood of you pulling it off, so it had better be a worthwhile result. What The Professor does is to turn everyday, basic actions into combos, because he needs a search ability and a memory solution for any effect he wants to drum up. Unfortunately the effects he can muster are slightly less effective than the events all the other decks are playing so the natural conclusion is that he doesn’t really have anything to offer at this point in time.

Admittedly the catfood analgoy wasn’t the best. It was actually drawn from personal experience when I was a kid. My Grandfather was a sucker for a bargain and would buy anything that was on offer at the shops, claiming he was making a saving. Unfortunately, most of the stuff he bought went to waste because it wasn’t something we wanted or needed, so it was a loss not a saving. Most Professor decks I’ve seen fit this mould exactly - they carry a tonne of programs they don’t need under the pretense of getting value out of the free influence.

Sure, there are a lot of good programs out there - Sneakdoor, Keyhole, Morningstar, Imp, Medium. That’s 16 influence right there, yet somehow Andromeda manages to win consistently, often without using any of them. The secret to a good deck isn’t in having one-off single cards to cater for any situation, it’s about having multiples of the staple cards that form the nuts and bolts of your deck and are effective against the common situations.


When I get the new pack with Leprechaun, I’ll build a Proffesor deck to test as well and see how far we can push the build. I will keep some of the skeleton that you have come up with and then add my own flavor.