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Is there a right or wrong answer to this question?


It is not. I can link you the video about the tournament. Granted, they only did 5 random deck checks, but 4 of them had illegal decks. (it might have been 3 out of 4, still super bad). Even if that specific story I saw was phony, which I doubt, there are MANY articles and statements from ex-pro players of MtG about how much cheating there is at high level tournaments. It’s a major issue, not just one player here or there.


What kind of illegality, minor or major ? Block problems, like if you’d play with the Genesis/Spin version of Reina in ANR tournaments, or more wrong problems, which may be proxys (in Magic esp), or deck construction problems, or out-of-format cards which are a clear no-no ?

There is a blur line in probity there (typically set around proxys).


They didn’t say exactly what each one was (it wasn’t proxies though), but the typical things deck-checks catch are either 1. An extra copy of an important card added after the initial sign-in, or 2. A deck that has clearly been fixed to give perfect draw (every other card is a land, combos in perfect order multiple times over, etc. These types of draw fixing are resistant to a quick shuffle and still tilt the odds largely in the players favor). To my knowledge the most common types of cheating in MtG are draw fixing and shuffling tricks, like what Fabrizio (multi-time champ caught cheating recently) do to win. Though I have heard stories of people going to great lengths to find ways to inconspicuously mark cards.


“Perfect riffle” x1 included ?

I’m not a real expert, but if you have this

  • land
  • creature
  • spell
  • land
  • creature
  • spell

“Perfect riffle” 1x that and you have 50% chance of having

  • land
  • land
  • creature
  • creature
  • spell
  • spell
    Then again.

The other 50% just reversed the deck :

  • land
  • spell
  • creature
  • land
  • spell
  • creature.

I’m no expert, but if you expect a perfect order cheat, then you can be a perfect pain in ass when shuffling too :slight_smile:

Best pratice imo (that’s what I do but I may be SUPER DUPPER wrong there) is riffle / small mash series followed by a riffle / big mash.

I’d say small mash regroup stuffed cards, and riffle zone or do nothing, 50/50.
Then, if it was stuffed, then you’re in better chances as an opponent than if it was total random (but maybe that’s stupid superstition of mine, I do that since 25 years, and since that’s a kid invention at this time, I’m not so sure at the validity of this).


Latest Sam Harris Podcast actually delves a bit into cheating. One thing I thought was neat was where they are talking about speed limits, and how people like speed limits, but if cars were developed and programmed to only follow the speed limits, we wouldn’t like that. In essence, we like rules, but don’t necessarily want to apply them when to ourselves.

In regards to cheating or crime, Robin Hanson talks about how the criminal doesn’t view their behavior as a crime, because the reason for committing the crime is “good” in their mind. (I think some where around the 20 minute mark)

My hunch is that in regards to cheaters cheating at a MTG event, the thought is that it is “justified” because if they don’t cheat, they are actually in a worse off position because everyone else at the tourney is cheating too.


It’s interesting how I agree with most of what was said, and yet you undermine your own points by claiming there’s lots of cheating in MtG.

There’s zero proof of this. Because if there were, it wouldn’t exist.

Deck/Decklist Problems are what you’re thinking about, and it’s frequently a failure to de-sideboard that wouldn’t have gained any advantage in the current matchup. Identifying a stacked deck is notoriously difficult, as anyone who has actually spent time looking at how to randomize effectively would tell you. Judges go to a lot of effort and trouble to make sure everyone is playing fair, and they know common cheats that can be performed and are very good at spotting them.

Now, 10 years ago, what you’re saying would’ve been accurate, because there wasn’t a big system around making sure nothing bad was going on. Now, we have judge conferences and multiple videos describing common cheats and tricks and how to catch them.

Judges are required to check at least 25% of decks present in any tournament. If cheating were so common, we would be finding lots and lots of these errors. They do track them, and they do ban people for ‘happening’ to get the same errors over and over.

Also I think your LoL knowledge is either out of date or stuck in Bronze. (Or maybe Plat, I hear those guys are dicks…) Currently I haven’t had serious problems in a good long time, at least two years. There’s a couple outliers, but mostly they just feed intentionally, get reported, and immediately get feedback saying the report was successful and they banned the offender.

Back to the topic at hand…

This reminds me of WAAC when I played 40k. People will tell you to Win At All Costs, but then there are still some ‘costs’ that are too high. Too many restrictive rules/community guidelines leads to rules lawyers of the variety “Well what I did wasn’t specifically listed, so it was fine!”, so instead using a few rules and a general “Don’t Be A Jerk” rule is usually better.

Mind Games are okay, lying to an event organizer is clearly not. Lying to your opponent is mostly fine, but intentionally prodding/poking them to incense them is not.


Only when ‘giving’ information that an opponent normally wouldn’t have. “I just installed an agenda.” “That’s a trap.”

You cannot lie about open game information - number of cards in archive or HQ, credits on hand, which click you are on, etc.


I’m not surprised to see ruthlessness at a competitive event and accept it as coming with the territory. Although, at the vast majority (90+%) of Netrunner tournaments, I don’t see any.

I going to go out on a limb and say, for Netrunner, there is no place for it. I think most of the veteran players have had the fear of Mumbad put into them and have seen their local communities dwindle. As a result, although we already were to some extent, the community is more focused on being welcoming and friendly to new players, and making the experience overall fun. A lot of times, players will even steer away from play strong decks if they are considered NPE at competitive events.


I just do the opposite and correctly identify every card I play face-down for any reason. That’s one they never see coming.


When 419 becomes legal, you’ll already be ready!


I think you’re misunderstanding me, I wasn’t advocating for cheating, I was describing how the competitive mindset might extend beyond the rules of the game.


It depends, do you want Netrunner to be a fun game about strategy and hacking or do you want it to be a game about being a racist piece of garbage who is more concerned about browbeating opponents than actual tactics?

Common courtesy and sportmanlike conduct is a necessary part of both competition and games. If it isn’t, it’s a garbage game and a garbage competition conducted mostly between garbage people.

Let’s be honest, Sirlin’s own views on what is “scrub mentality” and his promotion of being an asshole under a guise of competition and the fact that his own games have awful, toxic communities aren’t unrelated events. Same with Mr “There are no right or wrong” answers. Remember when female Magic players came out against the abuse they got in the game? Most of it was handwaved with the talking points we see here.

EDIT: I mean, look two or three posts below this one, the one about diversity in the Netrunner community and so on. Then consider where Sirlin’s or Mr No wrong Answers guy leads us to.

Anyways, this is nonsense. Chess competitions don’t have any of this bullshit and they are more competitive than our children’s card games will ever be. There’s no reason whatsoever to tolerate abusive behaviour in gaming. Period.


That said:

You must treat your opponent with respect.
You must not be unsporting.

My verse/take on that is:

When my opponent is taking his turn, I don’t interrupt him. It’s just straight rude, and wastes time.
Like I had a guy who would ask STUPID questions, while playing and interrupt, that was his “MIND GAME.”

I DIDN’T SAY THIS TO HIS FACE, but he was a really good player, but I honestly I wanted to ask “Are you stupid? You know this is how this works…” But when I have called him out on his “Mind Games” he cried and started to deny and argue. I did call him out once in a tourney to beat him, so IDK…

I always do mind games whenever I play, but not like rude games, but only when it’s my turn in netrunner. Unless he starts a conversation on his turn.

I find in netrunner, people can make a 3 click turn or a 4 click turn like BOOM DONE. And if you are just being a jerk while he is making a quick click turn, that’s just LAME.

I value playing time versus “Mind Games”

I mean cause you can have a CRUCIAL turn, and just start like a 5 minute conversation. That’s BS…

My 2¢


This raises an interesting point. I haven’t played competitive chess as an adult, so things may have evolved significantly (and/or the standards are different). But when I did play, my sense was that if you hung your queen (say) where your opponent could pretty obviously capture it and then smacked your forehead and said, “Oh man, that was dumb!”, that was highly frowned on. And that was true regardless of whether you just missed something when you were moving (i.e. you were dumb) or whether you were attempting to bait your opponent. You shouldn’t express either one verbally or physically (big sigh, rolled eyes, etc.). Obviously this was the ideal, and people would forget this sometimes (especially because we were all kids, etc.).

But commentary in this thread suggests that the roughly equivalent IAA and “oh, that’s (not) an agenda” would be considered OK. Is the contention that because Netrunner is a game of hidden information and bluffing, the verbal interaction that would be frowned upon in chess is actually OK here? The chatter that happens at high-level poker tournaments seems analogous here. Or something else entirely?


In poker, speech play is generally accepted as a valid tactic. Honestly I see it backfire more often than not, but it doesn’t bother me and I don’t hold it against anyone for trying it.

In Netrunner on the other hand, it’s borderline angle shooting IMO. I don’t really have a reason why other than the community norms are what they are. Certainly a bit of friendly chatter is fine, but you should stop if your opponent asks you to.

FWIW, MTG falls somewhere between those two in my experience.


I think for the most part, there is a general (though clearly not specific) consensus as posted several comments above. I think the most distilled essence is, “Don’t be a jerk to the person you are playing.”

There are many avenues one could take from this foundation, but if at it’s most base, you can honestly answer “Yes” or “No” to the question, “Am I about to be a jerk?” then you will hopefully reach an appropriate decision to what your action should be.

If, for example, you answer, “Yes, I am, HOWEVER in this particular case it’s okay because…” you are still going against the base principle.

For me, many more words could be said, but I’d like to think in general everyone (though “everyone” doesn’t always mean “everyone” ) in the ANR community recognizes there is a right answer.


I agree about Sirlin, Hlhe is an ass most of the time. I do not know about his games’ communities but concerning chess, there is a lot of technology cheating now, check it in Google or smth, and even in older times, there was unsportsman like conduct, a lot actually. I have actually seen Kasparov and Karpov trade “kicks” under the table in a chess olympiad when I was a kiddo. Circa 1986 iirc. Competition brings the bad out in many people imho.