Netrunner decks for Teaching

Hi Everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster.

There have been alot of people catching me playing Netrunner in various places and some of them want me to teach them. I have found that using my normal decks can be a bit overwhelming for people trying to learn the basics. I was thinking of building 2 decks specifically for teaching that:
1.) Contain cards only from one core set (so they could conceivably run these decks without any additional data packs)
2.) Teach the game’s feel in a way that does not build false expectations.

I want to modify the core decks to take out bad cards (like data dealer) and fine tune them into a reflect more of how netrunner feels at higher levels of play.

Any suggestions? I was thinking Gabe and HB. The recommended Kate and Jinteki, in my opinion, reflect an unrealistic way the game is run at higher levels.

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I’m not going to post a deck list, but I personally like using either Weyland or NBN as my Corp deck, as it gives the corp a feeling that they can punish the runner in some way for running be it tag and bag or closed accounts. Jinteki isn’t all that strong in core, but it is still pretty fun to play. As for runner, I think anyone in core could work.

I was teaching the game to a couple people recently and I had the luxury of prepping decks beforehand to teach. I’ll post the decks and my thoughts since you’re curious.


That would be awesome. Lately I have felt that the decks I always have on me are terrible for teaching new players. Having some simple starter decks on-hand would probably be a very good idea.

Here are a couple rules of thumb that might be useful for building teaching decks…

1] Low on “things to track”. The more things to remember to track each turn, the less stressful the game will be for new players. On the Runner Side, Daily Casts and Personal Workshop are problematic. The Core Anarch virus suite has a lot of automatically generated counters that can become a little fiddly for a new player to track. On the Corp side, cards like PAD and Adonis/Eve Campaign aren’t quite as attention occupying since the Corp generally has fewer moving parts to track in the first place, but a card like Marked Accounts might be a bridge too far.

2] Low on Tutors. Since a new player won’t know the contents of the deck they are given, generic tutors like Djinn, Test Run and SMC are going to be difficult and time consuming to play. Special Order is an exception, since its intended purpose is very obvious and the cards it searches for are lower in number.

3] Low on Combos. Similar to the above, without knowing the deck contents it is difficult to know which cards to hold off on playing until a combo appears, and if there are Tutors in the deck, which combo pieces to tutor for.

4] Heavy on Operations/Event Economy. These decks should allow the new player to make choices based on board state, instead of mostly playing themselves based on available economy. Since a new player is less likely to anticipate future turns, Event and Operation economy will be easier to use since the effects are typically immediate.

5] Heavy on End the Run. Porous Ice relies on a somewhat intuitive knowledge of how frequently Agendas appear when allowing the Runner to access will be an acceptable risk. Newer players may have trouble with this and feel like they have less control over the game.

5] Low on Tag, low on Bag. TnB often relies on combos and anticipating situations where the corp might dip below a certain number of cards or insufficient clicks to clear tags or scoring Breaking News or Posted Bounty at specific times and in particular ways. Not always simple for a new player to pull off.

6] Include exceptions to all the above recommendations. Despite all the reasons to not include the kinds of things listed above, it is important not to hide the game from someone you are trying to teach it to. Try to include single exceptions to the above guidelines. Having a card on the board you have to track isn’t a big deal so long as there aren’t too many. Having a piece of porous Ice, or Asset/Resource Economy on the board is the same way. The ability to get a flatline kill should probably be in the deck, just not as a primary goal requiring lots of set-up.


I’ve finished part 1 of my Teaching Netrunner Article, you can find it here: Teaching Netrunner: Part 1 - StimHack

I’ll be publishing part 2, including my teching decks and advice, within the next 2 weeks.


Sorry to necro the thread, but hoping someone else has some solid teaching decks that will include up to The Source (or whenever in Lunar Cycle).

Have you seen the decklists update?

No, hadn’t seen them. But I did build the ones in the article and they worked well last night. Good times!