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Exploring the Core Set - Decks for New Players


I have been creating some decks using a single core set with the goal to improve the pre-constructed decks. I remember my first games of Netrunner as a sluggish and confusing affair where each game took around two to three hours (mostly due to the fact that I didn’t understand the rules completely). Naturally I was interested in trying out every faction and I quickly realized that most of the decks were not working all that well.
So this is an attempt to create deck recommendations for new players to Netrunner where you only need to own a single core set and are able to start playing right away. I also plan to write up a short strategy guide for each faction which gives further tips on how to play each deck.
Before I write the article, I’d like to get some feedback on the deck compositions.
Let’s start with the two obvious candidates: HB and Criminal.

Deck Lists

Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future

Agenda (9)
3x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
3x Priority Requisition (Core Set)
3x Private Security Force (Core Set)

Asset (10)
3x Adonis Campaign (Core Set)
2x Aggressive Secretary (Core Set)
2x Melange Mining Corp. (Core Set)
3x PAD Campaign (Core Set)

Upgrade (4)
1x Corporate Troubleshooter (Core Set)
2x Red Herrings (Core Set) ••••
1x SanSan City Grid (Core Set) •••

Operation (8)
2x Archived Memories (Core Set)
1x Biotic Labor (Core Set)
2x Beanstalk Royalties (Core Set) ••
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)

Barrier (7)
2x Heimdall 1.0 (Core Set)
2x Wall of Thorns (Core Set) ••
3x Wall of Static (Core Set)

Code Gate (6)
2x Viktor 1.0 (Core Set)
2x Tollbooth (Core Set) ••••
2x Enigma (Core Set)

Sentry (5)
3x Ichi 1.0 (Core Set)
2x Rototurret (Core Set)

15 influence spent (maximum 15)
21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)

Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional (Core Set)

Event (20)
1x Déjà Vu (Core Set) ••
2x Account Siphon (Core Set)
3x Easy Mark (Core Set)
3x Forged Activation Orders (Core Set)
3x Inside Job (Core Set)
3x Special Order (Core Set)
2x Diesel (Core Set) ••••
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)

Hardware (1)
1x Desperado (Core Set)

Resource (7)
2x Bank Job (Core Set)
2x Crash Space (Core Set)
3x Armitage Codebusting (Core Set)

Icebreaker (11)
1x Corroder (Core Set) ••
1x Yog.0 (Core Set) •
2x Aurora (Core Set)
2x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
2x Ninja (Core Set)
3x Crypsis (Core Set)

Program (6)
2x Datasucker (Core Set) ••
2x Parasite (Core Set) ••••
2x Sneakdoor Beta (Core Set)

15 influence spent (maximum 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Core Set
Cards up to Core Set


I should note that none of the decks are meant to be tournament-ready. It’s rather tricky to figure out what deck works best for a new player. More economy than necessary seems to make sense, as new players try to play/rez all their cards whenever possible. I am not entirely sure about the 2x Red Herring in the HB Deck. In play testing I never felt like I needed them and almost always would have liked to draw a Snare instead. On the other hand new players might benefit from the extra protection.

With Gabriel I am not sure about the 2x Parasite. While they are amazing cards I don’t know if the influence wouldn’t be better spent on another Corroder and a third Diesel.
Let me know what you think, any input would be appreciated.