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Info on DBS'ing - What does this do to R&D?

I’ve heard a lot of people say that DBS makes you safer by putting agendas on the bottom of your deck. But, I’m not sure that this is true. Before I go any further I’ll say that it’s a great card for hand management, but I think in general its a horrible card for deck management.

Reasoning is as such:

  • Consider a shuffled deck. It has an order with clumps of cards; if it’s well shuffled there are outliers where tons of agendas are to the top, bottom, or directly in the middle, but for the most part they’re predictably spread through the deck with a tendency towards even distribution even if they never get there.

  • Consider DBS. This allows you to look at the top n+1 cards of your deck (where n is the number of DBS installed). You get to put any one into your hand and the rest on the bottom of the deck. This choice, how is it made? It depends drastically on what you’re trying to do and what phase you’re in, but very often corps put agendas on the bottom, “removing them from play” for a time. If your opponent is trying to rush or FA the plan may change and they may be grabbing agendas for hand. Regardless of the decision they make it clears the top of the deck of any cards you probably have seen the last few turns.

  • How does this affect R&D accesses. Lets consider a few cases:

  1. With no shuffle effects this doesn’t affect R&D at all on the top. It increases the rate at which you must access R&D and the depth in order to maintain a lock, but the quality of accesses should remain consistant to a normal game without DBS in play. The mitigating factors being that the corp is probably getting what they need economically and defensively to shore up that R&D, but if you could just access R&D they are actually helping you if you have any sort of depth to your digging, say from RDI or Medium. Ultimately they’ll reach a point where they draw past themselves and start accessessing cards they’ve seen already. There’s probably a high concentration of agendas there. If you’re good enough (or played decipher star wars), you should be able to predict when this moment comes in the game if it goes long enough.

  2. With a shuffle effect if they’ve been putting agendas on the bottom of the deck, then R&D hits should be more profitable than normal. They’ve been taking out the non-agendas in order to keep agendas safe, weakening their position in R&D. Assuming you can afford accesses, you probably should be going after R&D. If they’ve been taking agendas out and holding them in hand, then R&D just got a whole lot worse. RP is probably the most likely to do this with a caprice holding up HQ. The best mode to deal with this sort of R&D is to figure out a way to snipe it. Woman in the Red Dress and Deep Thought are your only options here other than looking at everything, and they leave something to be desired.

  3. If they’ve jacksoned agendas back into the deck as part of that shuffle effect, R&D should be gold. Just run it.

A good corp player will be able to mask all of this. And a good runner will trash DBS every time. But, a great player on either side will be able to pull next level moves with this sort of information. It’d never be perfect because variance is a thing in card games, but probabalistically you should be able to use a card that’s normally a strength to your advantage with appropriate set up.

Do people agree or disagree on any of these points? I’m largely sharing because I took the time to think it out and it all seems to fit.


Most of what you say here is how I feel.

I have not had as high priority trashing DBS lately. I find it is must trash against NEH though cause one of the ways I beat them was RnD lock , and one of the ways I lose is they quickly put together astro + fast advance tool.

DBS is amazing at finding one ofs and stuff like that though. Having DBS in my deck makes me put higher value on tech cards that are just good in one specific matchup like Susan, even if it does make R&D denser.


All I know is that every time I let a DBS sit on the table, I think “Why am I not playing Showing Off again?”


You are right about it being hand management rather than deck management. But if you can see 2-3 cards, you have a better chance to make an optimal play that turn. You get what you need when you need it. This can also save clicks you would otherwised have used to click jackson or draw.

Er… not sure about that post really. For starters random does not mean evenly distributed. You seem to be implying that a deck should start out approaching an even distribution after shuffling and that’s not true.

Furthermore an agenda has to go somewhere. Either it’s stored in a remote, in a central or it’s stolen. As you go through your R&D without DBS active that means more of those agendas are coming into your hand when you aren’t ready to score them. They either stay there, or sit in archives or get installed in a remote. R&D is a single location to defend if you can keep your agendas there. Not only that, but leaving agendas there until you want them does not impact your play at all, but storing them in your hand does. You’re right that leaving a DBS active makes R&D weaker to accesses eventually. Before then it contributes directly to the corp having a better chance for that never to matter.

I haven’t done the maths on this but I’m pretty sure that it does protect RnD. If there’s an agenda and a different card sitting on top if you don’t have DBS and draw the non agenda there’s now an agenda on top. If you do you make it slightly less likely that there will be an agenda on top during the runners turn when you draw a card.

Again though, maths might disprove that.

It does protect R&D early, because you can hide agendas in the early game (making the accessible part of R&D less dense) but you are absolutely going to shuffle way before (via JH) the runner loops through to what you put on the bottom to begin with. It also helps you not need to protect HQ more than necessary to defend from AS or similar cards.

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It doesn’t protect R&D, it does give you information about the density of R&D. There’s a subtle distinction there. Until you know about cards in R&D you have to assume an approximately even distribution of about 0.4 points per access. If you DBS agendas to the bottom you decrease that number slightly, if you DBS non agendas to the bottom you increase that number slightly.


This analysis reminds me to make sure to know how many cards they have left in R&D when a DBS that I don’t plan to trash right away is rezzed.

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Let’s look at a 10 card deck with 3 agendas in it. Agendas are N, anything else A. Here’s a few possible orderings:


There are 10! ways of actually ordering these; less since there are only 2 “types” of cards and we’re not differentiating. But whatever, here’s a very small sample that should illustrate why DBS doesn’t protect you that much. We’ll assume there’s a single DBS active on the field. For the first ordering DBs fires, you pick the non-agenda card. You’re still vulnerable to indexing, maker’s eye. R&D interface, not so much. The second ordering puts you more at risk than you were by forcing an agenda to the top that would have been deeper. The Third ordering is the same situation where you have to decide to make your hand worse 2 times in a row creating that agenda bubble potentially on the bottom of your stack (which is better than being flooded perhaps, but doesn’t actually improve R&D’s quality, you’re still susciptle to maker’s indexing and RDI). And the last one actively makes the runner’s accesses better in just a few turns.

These decks were a bit more “dense” than a normal deck of netrunner cards. But 3 agendas in 10 cards is not highly unusual. If this you combine them into a 40 card deck you can see how DBS doesn’t necessarily protect your R&D accesses because even if it lets you move an agenda that was on top, you still have agendas below it that might now be exposed.


(Same orderings as above, just now a deck, has a few more 1 pointers so think Jinteki PE)

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That’s an interesting post but for some reason it just makes me think of Batman.


To me playing with DBS means that it allows me to get a far better understanding of what to expect on top of my deck. Of course you need to memorize which cards you put below the deck but once that is done and in addition to the cards you have in play/HQ/archives you have an incredible edge in what else there is left to draw. In case you run multiple DBS it is actually quite easy to stack the bottom of R&D for the future. In more then one game I actually let the runner have a multi access knowing that he will probably steal an agenda but keeping the knowledge of the order of the cards was too important to me. If you throw more cards into the mix that can grant you additional information (Architect) or draw more cards (Jackson) you can have much better grasp of what is going to happen. All you have to do then is to exploit that knowledge for the win.

The only problem I have with this is that I tend to mix up the knowledge of different games over the course of the tournament if it gets really long. Which is of course horrible. (Try playing 10 games of Memory in a row and you know what I mean.)

No need to be good, especially on OCTGN.

Just mark down how many cards there is in R&D. Say it’s 30, then mark 15 which is the number of turns you’ll have to wait and count down from 15 (each corp draw is -0.5). Say you’re now @ 9 before golden R&D, just 0.666 if second DBS gets rezzed and your count is now 6 before golden R&D.

Well… You see what I mean. I’m sure there’s something easier than this to track that.

That’s why DBS shouldn’t be splashed out of FA I guess. Your game must be close in those “15” (or whatever) turns.


Seriously on the showing off though, it also works against hades fragment in new RP vs noise