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How we ran a Custom ID Tournament

This is a cross post of a tournament report my tournament co-organizer left on reddit, but reformatted, Stimhack style.

Today we ran an experimental tournament format in Seattle: Custom IDs only. Here’s how it was structured:

1] Two weeks before the tournament, people submitted a single ID of any faction.
2] A one-week period for editing followed. IDs were discussed on the local area’s Netrunner Facebook group, one at a time, and creators made changes to adjust for balance, clarity, and fun.
3] In the week leading up to the tournament the IDs set in stone so people could deckbuild.
4] The tournament was 4 rounds of Swiss, then a secret ballot vote for “best designed” Corp and Runner, with the winning designers getting additional prizes - followed up by the top four double elimination rounds.

Since people could only submit a single design, everyone ended up playing at least one ID created by someone else.

The organizers could veto or edit IDs if it seemed like designers were acting in bad faith, but no vetoes occurred. There was a single directive to stay near the 45/15 range and to avoid Professor-like abilities, so that deck-building wasn’t a huge burden. Between everyone wanting to have a fun tournament, and not wanting to lose their shot at winning “best designed ID” by creating something egregiously overpowered, participants were incentivized to carefully power balance their IDs.

A local volunteer assembled card art for the various IDs and I printed out proxies for people to use at the tournament. You can peruse all the created IDs here: http://imgur.com/a/gNswg

The winners of the “Best Designed ID” vote were Shaper / Jonathan “The Quail” Douglas: Mnemonic Archivist and Weyland / Charybdis Acquisitions: Business Unbound.

The top 4 finishers played:
1] Shaper / Jonathan “The Quail” Douglas: Mnemonic Archivist and NBN / Freebee Collections - Privatized Net Police.
2] Also Jonathan “The Quail” Douglas: Mnemonic Archivist and Freebee Collections - Privatized Net Police.
3] Criminal / Hiro Protagonist: Net Samurai and HB / Neural Networks: Putting Your Mind to Work
4] Anarch / Loni Stryker: Meatspace Infiltrator and Jinteki / Awashima Think Tank: The Future of Security

No ID that was played went undefeated. All of the IDs that were played won at least 2 games. Everybody, to my knowledge, had a blast.

You should try it sometime ; ]


a) awesome!
b) the direct links to IDs seem to be busted, although the link to the complete album works so it’s not a huge deal

i fixed the links.

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Between the 3 Quail players, never before has a Netrunner tournament seen so many copies of Window.


Well now I need to get off my ass and join the Seattle Netrunner Facebook group. As a Vancouverite, I would have travelled for something this neat.

The Seattle meta is fun and inventive. At once point this year it had an uninterrupted streak of a 3 or 4 weeks with the featured decklist of the week on NetrunnerDB, 4 decks in a row I think? All inventive, all tournament winners. I think it was Exile Gambles for Days, Au Revoir CT, and the original Butchershop… and maybe a 4th I’m forgetting? All out of Seattle.

But I would recommend trying to organize something like this in Vancouver!

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That’s amazing! Are there decklists from the tourney?

My props to the designer of Sourcerer. Though the title text “Zealot of the Source” is a bit on-the-nose, everything else about it is fantastic; It’s a clever name, and the ability (despite reading weird) offers fantastic gameplay. It’s 2/3 of Whizzard’s ability (making for a cool Wizard-Sorcerer dilemma; focused power or flexibility) but it can do much more, paying for Pups, Pop-ups, Psi Games, Gagarin tax, NAPD and more. I could see it as a real ID, and I would probably play it.

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I don’t have all of the decklists, but I can offer mine:

PPVP Quail

Jonathan “The Quail” Douglas: Mnemonic Archivist (ID submitted by @jakodrako)
Shaper, 45/15, 0 Link, “The first time you make a successful run on any central server each turn, you may add 1 card from your heap to the bottom of your stack.”

Event (18)

Hardware (14)

Resource (2)

Icebreaker (7)

Program (4)

…and my corp:

Yellow Deck Wins

Freebee Collections: Privatized Net Police (ID submitted by me)
NBN, 45/15, “The first time the runner takes any number of tags each turn, gain 2 credits.”

Agenda (12)

Asset (6)

Upgrade (3)

Operation (15)

Barrier (3)

Code Gate (3)

Sentry (7)

Surely the best Quail build is Window+Siphon spam


I think John M is super here, play 3 quality time, 3 diesel, 2 john M. draw entire deck, first successful run on central you place a card from heap in to your hand. :D.

This window business seems clunky.


Once you get a Siphon in the bin and a Siphon in hand you can siphon at least once a turn for the rest of the game with Window


It’s like a good version of Street Chess


The way the ID ended up worded, you could use the ability with installs from Clone Chip. Also SMC and Savoir-Faire after the initial 2c spend.

It was left this way because of the overall power level of the runners in the tournament, but if it was printed as a real ID I doubt that aspect of the ability would remain.

Edit: Interestingly the creator of Sourcerer played Quail in the tournament instead of his own ID, so no one ended up playing the ID.

Having to run a central twice each turn [once to trigger the recursion, and another run to land the siphon] cuts into the economy of this a bit. Still obviously good though. Influence is tricky if you want three Siphons and three Windows in the deck to put the combination together early, but again … still obviously good.

None of the Quails went that route though.

So does drawing through the entire deck before getting use out of the ability, but I might be missing something.

Please tell me the Flame player(s) included stim dealer.

Love this. Great card design, great tournament design, and good balance among the abilities.


If you’ve a Siphon in the bin, you can get that one back in the middle of playing your other Siphon.


Flame started out as not having brain damage count against hand size. Many people thought that was too powerful and that it eliminated entire corp strategies so the discussion got reopened. At that point the creator decided that Flame should be “Whenever you take brain Damage, gain 2 clicks” and since everyone was so tired from debating the original version of the ID, this went unchallenged and arguably made the ID even more powerful. Eventually some people said that they might not attend if such an ID was allowed to persist and a few days before the tournament we made a push to get the creator to restrict the ID to “The first time on your turn” even though the official editing window had passed. He agreed and everybody was happy. Only took 200+ comments and messages to get to that point.

Then the Flame creator skipped the tournament, dropping the night before because he wasn’t feeling well.

So nobody played Flame.

Which would have been annoying if it hadn’t been hilarious.


Taking some 20 click turns while play testing the second version of the ID was very entertaining though. Laughter inducing. Intentionally absorbing Heimdall subroutines fire in order to gain clicks was likewise amusing.

I didn’t play in the tournament because I felt we needed at least one organizer not playing in order to maintain objectivity about some things, but if I had it probably would have been Stim Dealer Flame.


“Draw entire deck to get use out of your ability with another card” sounds way clunkier than “find one card to get use out of your ability”.