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New to deckbuilding (and terrible at it) - please critique my first list!

My goal was to have a fairly straightforward deck for my first ever list. I always aim to have Opus installed in the first turn and all of my rig online by the fifth, so that I can start running everywhere I want. I played with the list about 10 times (won some, lost some) or so and have tweaked it a little. Even then I still feel something is missing, but not quite sure what.

I’m fairly nervous on posting this as this here as almost everyone here is good and because I’m still not sure about my decision making. Anyway, here it is:

Straight to Business Chaos v0.2

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (21)
2x Account Siphon (Core Set)[color=#4169E1] ••••• •••[/color]
1x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus)[color=#4169E1] ••[/color]
1x Indexing (Future Proof)
1x Legwork (Honor and Profit)[color=#4169E1] ••[/color]
2x Modded (Core Set)
3x Quality Time (Humanity’s Shadow)
3x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)
2x Tinkering (Core Set)

Hardware (5)
3x Dinosaurus (Cyber Exodus)
2x R&D Interface (Future Proof)

Resource (4)
1x Hades Shard (First Contact)[color=#708090] •[/color]
3x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

Icebreaker (4)
1x Cerberus “Lady” H1 (All That Remains)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)[color=#4169E1] •[/color]
1x Gordian Blade (Core Set)
1x Mimic (Core Set)[color=#FF4500] •[/color]

Program (6)
3x Magnum Opus (Core Set)
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)

15 influence spent (max 15)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to All That Remains

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.


As far as first decks go this isn’t bad at all.

The one thing that stands out most to me is the inclusion of Dinosaurus. What do you plan on using it for? If Femme, why include Mimic? Mimic doesn’t seem as good a target because just about the only regularly played ice that would come into range of a str 5 Mimic is Grim,but Archer would still be out of range. Lady well, that saves you one cred per Eli, which you need to pass 5 times in order for it to be worth the install cost of Dinosaurus, I wouldn’t consider this a good choice. Gordian can be very good, but mostly depends on how often you face ice like Lotus Field and Merlin. Tollbooth too, I guess, though that would be one of te prime targets for the Femme ability.

Also, if you’re going to get any benefit from those Account Siphons you don’t want to be clearing tags. Especially since you have little in the way of Resources that need to be protected. Running tag-me is awfully risky without meat damage protection though, because Scorched Earth is still very much a thing. Plascrete Carapace is therefore a card I would seriously consider adding 2 of.

Just 1 Lady is perhaps not enough. Sure you can get out the first one pretty fast in multiple ways, but after you’ve used it up you need to install a new program in order to put it in the Heap and be a viable target for Test Run, otherwise it’s only good with Scavenge which you might also need for Femme. I’d consider adding at least one more. If you run into Wraparound on a regular basis I’d also consider adding an Inti.

These are just my opinions, of course. Use or ignore them as you see fit.


Seems like a reasonable list.

My preference would be for Diesel instead of Quality Time. Diesels will be much better if you are digging for that Magnum Opus (cause if you are digging for Opus, it probably means you are low on funds).

As was mentioned above, Plascretes would be a good inclusion to allow you to float tags.

I assume the Dino is gonna host Femme 95% of the time? Which will be a solid rig, but may take a long time to get assembled, as it is tough to run early with Opus out unless you have your killer set up.

I can see Tinkering as your method of emergency pressure before your rig is all set up, but I might consider using those slots elsewhere, maybe Plascretes or a third Modded. You may consider -1 Emerg Shutdown, +1 Corroder, -1 Lady, +1 modded/plascrete. That’ll free your Scavenges to concentrate on resetting Femme to deal with that you would have Shutdown. If you end up in a match where Eli is more of a worry than Grim/Archer you could mount the Corroder instead of the Femme on the Dino.


@Palpster, Dinosaurus is indeed to host Femme most of the time. One of the reasons I run with Dino (besides liking the card) is because I wanted the least amount of programs I could get by with and Dino made it so that Femme was a reasonable Killer. Mimic is there for early runs, when I don’t have the econ / TestrunScavenge combo for Femme. As soon as I can get her out, Mimic would be discarded in her favour. Not sure if it’s enough of a reason to merit deck space, but that was the general idea.

As for the whole Siphon/Plascrete deal, you’re totally right, I don’t have a lot of resources to trash, so this is a kind of tagme deck. Never thought of it that way and will definetly add 2 Plascretes! And again, you’re right about 1 Lady not being enough. I think I didn’t feel that already because I’ve yet to encounter a heavy barrier deck. I’d imagine it would screw me over pretty bad.

@cspieker, originally I had Diesel, but after playing a little bit, I felt the need for more speed in order to have the 5th turn full rig. I don’t end up trashing a lot of cards, since Modded is there and can help me get rid of two at once. I also run a lot of events I don’t mind to trash, since I can always SOT them if needed. That’s the theory anyway, and in the few games I did, I felt Quality Time had a very positive effect in my game.

As for your other suggestions, I have to say I agree. I was testing Emergency Shutdown to see if I could derez the very annoying ICE like Archer and Tollbooth and keeping in theme of taxing the Corp (and saving me credits). But you both made me realize that Plascrets are essential and that they serve the dual purpose of allowing me to keep the tags (saving me money) and survive meat damage. And as much as I hate to admit, Corroder is a better fit indeed. I love the card, but I’m sick of always playing with it, hence Lady. But it sure does fit right in, and as you said, allows more Femme scavenge retargets.

I have to ask, what do you guys feel about the Mimic decision? Also, I’m thinking on -1 SMC since I usually have more than enough draw and Test Runs for the programs.

Thank you both very much for the feedback. Very kind of you!

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First off, good for you for the well-thought-out decklist and being so open to ideas. You clearly have a decent handle on good decisions and the basics of deckbuilding. Great start!

Here are some idea and their reasoning:

  • -1 Dinosaurus / I like your idea to use it, but 3x is too much. It’s not horrible if you don’t see it all game (you don’t really need the MU) so this will open up a slot in your deck
  • -1 Same Old Thing / Similar reason to above. You probably are only going to use it once a game and it’s not horrible if you don’t see it. Think of SOT like this: if you don’t see it that means you are (probably) just drawing the Events you wanted to play anyway
  • -1 Emergency Shutdown / This will let us run another Legwork, which fits your deck better, I think
  • -1 Mimic / For similar reasons that have already been stated. You don’t ever want to burn a tutor on Mimic and can’t count on drawing it. I say cut it!
  • +1 Legwork / You’ll need this against NEH and will almost never be a dead draw (compared to Emergency Shutdown)
  • +2 Plascrete / You’ll need this :wink:
  • +1 Lady / Deck slots are really tight at this point, but I think it’s correct to have 2 Lady’s.

Again, nice work and good luck!


Hello, and welcome aboard! One thing that is a welcome sight here is when you include your rationale for your choices. For instance - why Dino over other consoles? Why is it so important that you’re running three copies? Writing a little about those sorts of things can really help someone else get insight into what you’re going for here :slight_smile:

Onto the deck:
Agreed on all the points raised above, here are some of my own:

Possibly worth considering is to get a third Modded in (you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it, with the Interfaces). The third Same Old Things looks like a thing I might cut.

One thing: You’re Chaos Theory, embrace your ID. I’d try to go for a 2x Clone Chip + 2x SMC split, instead of 3x SMC. In games, it ends up being about the same amount of tutoring, but also gives you resistance to program trashing (you have that via Test Run, but still - this is mid-run and much cheaper). Other IDs sometimes have memory issues when pulling this kind of thing off, CT doesn’t.


Greetings! If this is indeed your first deck then I am quite jealous. You seem to have a fairly straightforward plan and your deckbuilding is very streamlined considering you are new to the game, much better than any of the decks I fumbled with when I was starting out.

A lot of my thoughts have already been stated.

Firstly, I would suggest considering cutting down to 2x Magnum Opus and replacing it with another program like Sharpshooter or Deus Ex, which would make your tutors much stronger, and should not hurt your ability to have access to Magnum Opus early on significantly.

Dinosaurus is not bad, but it is really expensive considering what it does in your deck. I would consider playing Astrolabe instead, as it helps with free card draw, which is probably more useful to you since you shouldn’t have significant credit problems once Opus is installed anyways. If you disagree with this, I would still strongly recommend going down to 2x. (Astrolabe is fine as 3x, since seeing it early is actually a good thing).

If you are going to run multiple Account Siphons, you should probably run at least 2x Plascrete Carapace.

You should have more than 1x Cerberus “Lady” H1 as your barrier breaker. Corroder is a nice supplement for it for getting through Ice Walls, etc. However, another possible option is playing 2x Lady if influence is a problem. If you choose not to use Corroder, then 1x or 2x Clone Chip is worth considering as an easy recursion method.

Lategame Legwork is extremely powerful, and can easily win you endgame scenarios, and I would consider playing more of them.

My suggestion:

-3 Dinosaurus
-2 Tinkering
-1 Same Old Thing
-1 Account Siphon
-1 Indexing
-1 Magnum Opus
+2 Astrolabe
+1 Corroder
+1 Legwork
+1 The Makers Eye
+1 Modded
+2 Diesel
+1 Sharpshooter/Deus X

Alternatively, if you would prefer to play Dinosaurus, cut Mimic and a Dinosaurus to play 3x Modded and 3x R&D Interface (In addition to whatever other changes).

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Thank you all for the kind words and for taking the time commenting. What a warm welcome! I’ll post my whole rationale before addressing your suggestions. Should have done it in the first post, but didn’t want to scare anyone away with a huge wall of text.

Netrunner is my first card game ever and I spend all my energies trying to keep up with all the rules and interactions, as well as learning basic card game skills that veterans have. So in order to make things easy on me, I resort heavily to netdecks. But lately I’m beginning to get more comfortable with the game, so I decided it was time to delve into the most complicated aspect of the game. I tell you this because this is what it made me choose Chaos Theory – keeping things as simple as possible. I looked at her and saw an easy to understand ability as well as a 40 card limit, which I thought would teach me a lot about Netrunner deck building and the importance of deck slots. So that’s exactly the theme of the deck. Keeping things simple and direct.

The first cards on my mind were the breakers. I wanted only one copy of each (that precious deck space) and I wanted to avoid Corroder because I wanted to explore other cards (since I’m always playing with it), so that’s Lady chosen. Gordian Blade was an easy pick over Zule. And for the first time, I realized how crap almost all the regular Killers are so I was kind of lost in picking one. Mimic was not an initial option because I knew I wasn’t going to include Datasucker/Parasite. In any case, I knew I wanted to play Dinosaurus (because of theme, and trying to pick other consoles besides the usual ones) so I thought Femme could be made viable if hosted on it. Mimic was another suggestion for early breaking, because I was having some trouble getting Femme on time, so I wouldn’t run at all for the first 5/6 turns. To be honest, I’ve yet to use it as planned and tutoring for it just to trash it 2 turns later really does suck.

Economy wise, I knew I needed to have a constant stream of credits to fuel the breakers and Opus fits that role. Memory was tight, but it’s a perfect fit with Dinosaurus saving 1 Mem at worst. Sure Gambles are kind of obvious. On one version of the deck I had some Dirty Laundries, but I found them kind of unnecessary with Opus. Modded was a nice fit with not so cheap programs and hardware.

SMC was an auto include because I needed to get a full rig as soon as possible. Test Run for more tutoring and picked Scavenge to recurse Lady and Femme target. And I have to admit I did not remember at all that Test Run combo’d with Scavenge in order to have free program installs. Femme was looking the right choice all along and I was/am pretty happy with it. I knew I also needed to draw all my pieces quickly, so I used 3x Diesel in the beginning. I ended up trading them for Quality Time because I felt I needed even more speed and the 3 creds were worth it. I also don’t usually end up trashing a lot of cards because of Modded and the extra copies of Opus and Dino. Tinkering was suggested to me and I really like it because it’s unexpected and it allows very early pressure.

RDI and Indexing for R&D pressure and Legwork for HQ. Account Siphon for econ denial and to help me fund my breaking sprees. I have to say that choosing Influence was, and still is, the hardest thing to do. I don’t have many cards memorized so I get really lost. Siphon was one of the safest choices I could make, so that’s also one of the reasons. I tried including Emergency Shutdown because huge ICE is a real problem (Archer) and the plan was to tax the corp at the same time it makes it easy for me to keep running.

Hades Shard (paid for) because I really like watching the expressions of players realizing you can’t Jackson those agendas out. One of those guilty Netrunner pleasures. And because the deck is event heavy, I thought Same Old Thing would be a wise choice, since it would allow me great flexibility in choosing the best event to recur.

So that’s my rationale behind the decisions I made for the deck. I’ll address your suggestions now:

-1 Dinosaurus or even no Dino at all. This is one of the things that still puzzles me when deckbuilding – the quantity of cards. I feel that Dino is a central piece for the whole rig. Without Dino, Femme is super expensive for breaking and I don’t get enough memory for the whole rig. Femme+Lady+Gordian+Opus is 6 total, but Dino takes it down the 5 limit. Wouldn’t this be considered an automatic 3-of? As for no Dino at all, the rig just wouldn’t work without extra memory and economy to boost for Femme. I feel that cutting Dino would require a total deck rework, like the one Cheezewheel posted. Astrolabe would be cool, but I would still need to find the economy for Femme, if there even is any that can support +4 credits every turn. I recognise that when the rest of the Dino cards appear, I wish it would be something else, but I still can’t make the call between Dino consistency and more flexibility with the extra deck space.

As for only 2x Same Old Things, I can totally see it. I usually don’t have time to use even 2 of them, much less 3. So I’ll incorporate that change immediately (everyone of you suggested that change by the way!). Same thing with Modded, since I’ll rock some Plascretes now. Will feel much safer Siphoning and not caring about tags.

+1 Legwork is a weird one for me. Not because it isn’t powerful, but because I feel I still lack the skill of knowing when to use it. For example, if I manage to get an R&D lock and know that the next 2/3 cards aren’t agendas, should I Legwork? Or should I wait a little bit longer?

As for the Fracter consideration, it brings up another major point I’m finding out now that I build my own lists. Card loyalty/hate and theme over efficiency. I know that Corroder is amazing. I even like the artwork quite a lot (big deal for me)! But it’s hard for me to include it because I want to try new things and play with new cards. I mean, what’s the point of buying all the packs if I keep using the same cards? I know I’m a newbie and that I should keep things basic, but in this case, I feel that Lady (besides being fresh and exciting) is quite viable. I feel kind of bad saying this in a forum filled with hardcore Netrunner veterans, but this casual artwork appreciating side is quite important to me and makes me enjoy the game quite a lot. I like winning and I’m competitive, but I get bored quickly when everyone is playing the same cards and builds, over and over. So this is a tough one for me to balance because I’m not advanced enough to pilot less-efficient cards and jank.

Should I cut down to 2 Opus? Again, it’s one of those cards that I just have to have early. The deck doesn’t function without it.

+2 Clone Chip is a very nice addition indeed. Now that I have 2 Ladies I can feel more comfortable breaking all those barriers.

By the way, should I always hit max influence? Like I said, I struggle quite a lot with influence choosing and sometimes go 14/15 or even 13/15. Is it a bad habit that I should practice to avoid?

Holy cow, 1300+ words. I’ll shut up now. Thanks again @JohnnyCreations, @PeekaySK and @Cheezewheel. Also, here’s the new revised list that I’ll be playing and testing with:

Straight to Business Chaos v0.22

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (19)

Hardware (9)

Resource (3)

Icebreaker (4)

Program (5)

14 influence spent (max 15)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to All That Remains

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

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That’s only 5 MU total, so that’s why I’d go down to 2 Dino. :smile:

If you want to get better at knowing when to Legwork then you should keep playing the card!

The example you give is a good time to Legwork, but more specifically, you should Legwork when you think the Corp has agendas. It’s hard to quantify exactly when this happens, but trust your gut and your experience when you think the Corp has agendas in hand, and then Legwork!

[quote=“Roz, post:8, topic:2805”]
I feel that Lady (besides being fresh and exciting) is quite viable.
[/quote] For what it’s worth I totally disagree with those people saying you should run Corroder over Lady. Lady is hyper-efficient and you need a very good reason to not run it in Shaper (influence free). In other words: fuck corroder.

[quote=“Roz, post:8, topic:2805”]
By the way, should I always hit max influence? Like I said, I struggle quite a lot with influence choosing and sometimes go 14/15 or even 13/15. Is it a bad habit that I should practice to avoid?
[/quote] I don’t know about it being a “bad practice”, but it’s definitely something to think hard about. Here’s what I would suggest for a final edit to your deck (really like it, by the way):

  • -1 Dinosaurus / For reasons already stated
  • +1 Utopia Shard or +1 Femme Fatale or +1 R&D Interface / Utopia will give you even more pressure; the extra Femme can really help you land that siphon, get into that remote, or land the indexing; and the extra RDI will ensure you can get a solid R&D lock early.

I’m actually going to recommend a friend of mine play this deck for an upcoming tournament. He’s still learning the deep aspects of runner play and this seems like a fairly straight-forward fun deck to pilot!


Whoa, talk about not paying attention the most important deck details. I guess somewhere during the process I got convinced I needed +6 and never bothered to check it again. Silly me, lesson learned.

Of course -1 Dino makes perfect sense now. Even with rig fully built, I can wait for Dino and then Scavenge the required breaker on to it.

Thinking back on the games I had, I don’t remember ever really pushing the tutors that hard to find all my pieces. This makes me think I can cut a Magnum Opus and still see the card early enough. I guess it’s one of those things that I just have to test in practice.

About your other suggestions, I’m torn between the Utopia or the extra RDI. Knowing myself I’ll probably go for the Shard over the extra RDI consistency. Also, did you suggest Femme for another bypass or for the added consistency? I’m guessing the first, since I usually just Test Run her. In any case, I didn’t think about that possibility and that would indeed help my case against big ICE, if I can afford her.

I’m also considering some form of net damage prevention, since my local group does like Jinteki. I think Net Shield would fit right in, provided Dino was installed.

That was my goal, so that’s a huge compliment. Thank you =)

1 Like

I did some writeups on a very similar deck of mine. They’re getting a bit old now but might help your tuning.

Dinomite (1st, Auckland Chronos Protocol)
Dinomite v2 (1st, Auckland Vagabond Store Championship)
Dinomite v3 (1st, Auckland Regionals)


Net Shield is probably less beneficial than Feedback Filter. It seems – although I haven’t played the list – that you’d have enough money for FF to be functional against Jinteki, and it can actually prevent kills, while Net Shield just means they do LESS damage. FF is closer to Plascrete in terms of effectiveness, while Net Shield feels more like Muresh Bodysuit.

Net Shield is easier to tutor, but if that’s the major consideration I’d go for Deus X first – it can break through a number of nasty ice, and can prevent a blast of net damage that comes all in one go – and if you’re adding clone chips it provides you with yet another target for them.

[quote=“Roz, post:10, topic:2805”]
Knowing myself I’ll probably go for the Shard over the extra RDI consistency.
[/quote] Certainly not a bad decision. Utopia Shard can act like a free Legwork, or in conjunction with Legwork to make sure you see everything. It also makes you harder to kill once it’s out – just remember that when you pick the cards from HQ you don’t get to see them.

I… I might have trouble remembering that, sometimes. :expressionless:

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Oh, I also just now noticed you went down to only 2 Test Runs. I’d say you need 3 for sure. Also a +1 for Net Shield or Feedback Filter. With a smaller deck Jinteki PE will crush.

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Thanks! It was good to know that, from your experience, you prefered Feedback Filter over Deus X for net damage prevention. I was also worried about memory, and Feedback solves that.

Indeed. Like I said above, I think I’m going to try Feedback Filter, just because of potential memory issues and because I think I can have enough money to prevent losing too many cards. I got beat pretty hard by a PE, this past game night. My stack actually got empty, a first for me in Netrunner, so I’m hoping I have enough money with Feedback to deal with it. Also a nice bonus not being afraid of eating a Cerebral.

Gah, no deck slots for the Shard. =(

Yeah, I was pretty nervous making that change as well. I’m thinking of cutting a single Opus, although I’m not sure of it as well. If I end up doing it, Test Run is going back to 3. I’ll have to give it a try to know for sure.

All in all, the list feels quite a bit more solid now. Damage protection and more breaker recursion makes me happy. Thank you all for the help. I can now understand why people say deckbuilding is the best part of the these types of games. The player interaction and overall niceness is quite pleasurable.

1 Like

3 Test Run and 2 Opus is probably the right move. Worst comes to worst, you can get Opus with Test Run. The reverse is not true. But yeah, testing is a good idea.