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Net deck or New deck?

One of the things that I find curious these days, is not net-decking per se, but the assumption that any deck being played is one from the internet. I went to a tournament at the weekend and played the latest version of my World’s Val deck. One of my opponents asked “Is that just Dan’s deck or have you made changes?”. There were 21 slots in my deck at Worlds that were the same as Dan’s. Meaning stats fans, 29 cards were different – i.e. more than half. My own success (I think of it as such) at Worlds and deckbuilding didn’t even occur I don’t think – people see a Val deck and assume it’s “that DLR one”.

Does playing Val, DLR and Wireless Net make a deck “Val DLR”?

Another example, when I head down to my local games shop and pull out my decks, I’m always asked the same sort of question.
“Is that Headlock Reina?”
“You running Calimsha Kate?”
“Ah! Cambridge PE is it?”
“Is that Chris’s Spark deck?”
“Jumping on the HB bandwagon are you?”

It doesn’t matter how often I berate my local meta or how many withering comments I deliver, people in general seem to assume any deck is one of the “meta” decks that’s on netrunnerdb, or from a tournament. We seem to have lost the idea that people might actually come up with their own decks more often than not.

Does anyone else experience this? I’m not saying I exclusively build my own shizzle, far from it. I often check out the winning lists, ask people for their versions of stuff, get advice on what to include etc. But I am feeling more and more like there’s less emphasis on people being able to build their own decks these days, and more emphasis on a small number of archetypes. Which is a bit of a shame.

Of course some people don’t like deck building, or find it in the least bit fun, but for those of us that do – where’s the love?

It’s great seeing Timmy’s crazy NEH, Spags rocking a Whizzard, Dave doing great things with Leela. Is there a way to encourage more diversity and less assumption that a rare few will create the meta-defining decks worth trialling?


Really quick thought here since I am in class.

People have limited brain space, so often will chunk things into groups regardless of how appropriately those things fit into that group.

So any PE deck becomes Cambridge PE and any Kate is PPvP or Congress. In people’s minds anyway. Regardless of how different it may be, it becomes, in their head, Cambridge PE. In general people do not have the cognitive space to analyze an individual deck, so instead they chunk it in with other decks they think are similar.

What I would do is build a deck that preys on that assumption. Build a rush PE deck that wins based off of the fear of damage.

I would worry less about what people think, and assume, and if you do worry about it use it to your advantage. If your opponents are stuck into thinking that there is only Netdecking show them wrong. I think worrying about their assumptions of your decks is a waste of time.

TL;DR; people have limited cognitive space and therefore chunk things into groups regardless of how appropriate those groupings may be. Build your decks, or netdeck them.


Mate, just for clarity, I built my Val for Worlds to take advantage of people’s assumptions. I’m not actively worrying, I’m couching questions in an editorial Sunday paper’s column style to generate debate. :wink:


Oki doke.

Just my thoughts as to why folks tend to assume certain deck archetypes from a cognitive science/learning perspective.


Thanks for the input! Just wanted to head things off before everyone else thought this was keeping me awake at night or something. :wink:

Look forward to hearing more thoughts when you’re not in class! :smiley:

The fact that you have to specify ‘DLR’ Val means that there’s multiple ways of building each ID. We give things names to compartmentalize them, and give them a shorthand way of referring to them. ‘DLR Val’ means any Valencia deck that includes Data Leak Reversal. They existed before WNP and Paparazzi. ‘Dan’s Val’ means specifically the deck he won Worlds with, though. I had a Comet Valencia for a while. (Turns out getting to Deja Vu+Blackmail in the same click is Really Good.) ‘Headlock’ Reina refers to a style of deck that intends to keep the Corporation as poor as possible.

None of this says you can’t build your own DLR Val, or your own Headlock Reina, or just some other Reina deck… It’s just that if you’re playing Kate and using PPVP, there’s only so many different ways to build that deck, and just on virtue that it has PPVP in it, means that people will call it PPVP Kate, whether or not it’s Calimsha’s list, or even similar to it.

(Doubling the Subroutines: People name things to give more information in a smaller space. That’s it.)


I think so, yes, in basically the same way that “HB Food” is an HB glacier deck with Global Food Initiative. I mean, what else would you call it?

The way we talk about decks in our crew, we’re referring to archetypes, not specific lists. When we say ‘Headlock Reina’ we don’t mean 1-for-1 Sam’s list, but rather “Reina that uses Vamp and not Siphon for econ denial, with Clone Chip/Crescentus.” It’s a handy verbal shortcut in the same vein that “glacier” or “fast advance” are, referring to specific cards and a way of playing them. The only time we mean specific lists is if we refer directly to the author: “Calimsha Kate” or “Chris’s Spark” or “Dan’s Val DLR.”


Does it though? To me it seems (from what people say in my experience) that they’re talking about using DLR as one of the primary win conditions, Fall Guy, Drug Dealer, etc. My conversations lead me to believe folk are making assumptions about what’s in a deck by using this shorthand, without necessarily considering wider implications. How about you?

“Stop homebrewing, learn existing archetypes” is, like, the Stimhack get-gud gospel. And it’s a pretty proven way to go from B16 to T16.

For me, deck building is like show-and-tell. I have my project (Connections Sunny), I pimp it in Slack, and, one day, if I ever think it’s good enough, I’ll put it on NRDB with a big snazzy write-up assuring you that 2nd Film Critic is better than 3rd Fall Guy, Data Folding is better than Dirty Laundry, and whatever I decide re: The Supplier + 3rd Folding vs. 2 Career Fair.

Everything else I play is a (possibly-tweaked) net-deck. Because I figure I might as well enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor and then be like hey @GumOnShoe I played your Sol, I see what you mean about Paywall or hey @Sotomatic I played your Hayley, I can’t believe how much better this is than Stealth Kit - turns out an econ ability + influence for Switchblade is pretty good who’d a thunk it?

And then maybe someday someone will win a tournament with my Sunny and be like hmmm this Supplier is dubious. Or maybe I will lose to one NBN too many, get discouraged, and play Apoc MaxX for a while.


Its easy to make people think you’re not netdecking - just play bad decks and don’t do very well!

It’s worked for me :smile:


I think that both is important. To really test a new deck you need to go against already proven decks. So if the meta asks, if that is x or y it is a good sign as in they take part in the bigger netrunner community, even if it only is as a consumer. On the other hand it is equally important to have a new influx of ideas in the meta, which will most likely start locally. But those new ideas cannot be trimmed to great decks unless the proven decks are present, too. Most likely some players will lean more to one side then to the other but both is important to be able to evaluate the new idea and the old ones.


Aha! Well, you see “HB Food” is different than “HB Foodcoats” which is what the groovy gang at Worlds was calling the type of deck with bonkers bay grid, sexy robots and in fact 90% of the same cards across decks. Most of the decks were functionally the same with slight changes in ICE and/or Agenda composition (do you do NAPD or 3/2s in the majority?).

Because I saw a DLR Val deck at Durham Regionals, before WNP or Drug Dealer were released, yes. DLR Val means Valencia that has DLR in it.

DLR in itself is a win condition, so you’re saying the same thing by saying that the deck has DLR as a win condition, and the deck has DLR in it. Unless you think that someone put DLR into a deck thinking they’d use it to lose with?

As for making assumptions about what’s in a deck by using a shorthand… Well… Do you see Sunny and assume there are Underworld Contacts? Do you see Kate and assume there are SMCs and Clone Chips? When you see Kate play a PPVP, do you assume there are Lucky Finds and Sure Gambles? I’d say it’s not so much an assumption as a logical deduction. I mean, while you COULD play PPVP and have 0 Lucky Find and 0 Sure Gamble, it’s not exactly a logical thing to be doing.

I liked @Brodie’s point, where usually you’re talking about an archetype, but if you use the author’s name, you’re talking a specific list. IG Bleed is an archetype, Hinkes IG is a specific decklist.

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Okay, it does to you then, but at that point it’s becoming a bit meaningless. If you were to ask me if I was playing a Val DLR deck, you’re just asking "do I have the DLR card in my deck at that point. Which isn’t really categorising the deck in any way, except for that one card.

No, you’re being a daft there I take it! My deck has DLR in there, but it’s rarely the sole route to victory, whereas in the Dan version, it’s often the main victory point.

I don’t really take your point on Kate having SMC etc. I expect Shaper to use one of their best cards, I expect Criminal to have Account Siphon, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I expect 95% of Runner decks to have Sure Gamble, but that’s not getting us anywhere.

That was the point. The only thing you know about a deck calling itself ‘DLR Val’ is that it has DLR in it. You can make assumptions or logical deductions from there, that may or may not be true, because DLR Val is an archetype, not a specific list.

Although I’ve not played the deck a whole lot, I’d say the deck has DLR as a fallback plan when it can’t win normally. It just so happens that it’s a very very good fallback plan.

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When I say “DLR Val”, I mean the one with WNP (or maybe just Fall Guy).

If there are none of these things, it is “some weird Val deck that also has DLR”. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’d say DLR is more about an early game vs. late game plan than a plan A and plan B. The DLR package gives the deck inevitability in the long game- once you get set up, your opponent has to race you. Then there’s options for how to approach the early game. MinhMaxx seems to use siphon to slow the corp down and Maxx’s draw to speed up setting up the late game set up, so its more all-in on the late game plan. Dan’s Val deck, on the other hand, seems to rely more on blackmail and faust to snipe early agendas while setting up for a late game if the corp tries to turtle up and play it slow, so its more plausible to just win in the early game without ever needing the late game plan, but having it still pressures the corp to play differently and that augments your early game pressure.

My experience is that it wants to mill loads of cards, while keeping you poor enough you don’t score out - then either go for a win from multiple milled agendas or mill the Corp out completely. Ideally the Runner gets a lock on with so much in the way of asset protection (Fall Guy / WNP) that’s it’s mathematically impossible to get rid of the DLRs and score out before you run out of deck or there’s too many agendas in the bin for it to matter. It’s generally played with DLR being a central part of the deck - when the card is played and how it’s used is where some skill and experience come in. Conversely just having the card in your deck without the protection for it is a whole different ball (card) game.

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I think it’s perfectly valid to talk about decks in this manner. Archetypes don’t refer to a specific decklist but a specific strategy. ‘Cambridge PE’ has transcended any original list and come to mean a PE deck that threatens remotes as both traps and potential agendas, as likely to attrition your stack as it is to flatline you. Even if someone shows up with a homebrew PE, if the strategy is the same, it’s Cambridge PE IMO. In the case of Val DLR, I consider any deck that is running WNP+DLR to be a DLR deck. Nowadays when I see these cards or others like Fall Guy or Paparazzi hit the table, I immediately assume the other cards are in there. Whether it is a fair assumption to make about my opponent as a deck builder is of no consequence to me.

In your case, I would say your opponent incorrectly but rightfully assumed you were playing DLR Val. If your list doesn’t play WNP or Paparazzi, you’re not Val DLR, or an archetype at all, which is fine. Not every deck falls into an archetype, although maybe yours falls into another camp like Val Junk/Goodstuff or something.


“although maybe yours falls into another camp like Val Junk/Goodstuff or something”

My main point here is that the only camp it falls into potentially is “Gaz’s”, the idea that there are even other camps is what I’m railing against. :wink: Why can’t it just be a deck wot I made? (Many times I being my own decks to games nights and they’re just shizzle I’ve made up.)