One thing nobody’s mentioned yet that I find important is how you think about your overall plan during each game. Sure, each deck has a “static” game plan that is evident during deckbuilding – leverage your money against theirs with ash to score out; or dig with daily business and fast advance, or set up stealth for free runs and win with rnd lock – but there is also the dynamic game plan that arises during each game of responding to stifle the opponent’s plan.
Some turns it’s obvious what to do (play hedge fund and ice up), but you know those turns where it’s not really clear if you should click for credits or dig to find certain cards? Every turn, even the hedge fund turns, be thinking about what the opponent is trying to do, and come up with a sequence of plays, across multiple turns, to thwart that. These plans could last only long enough to rush out your first 5-3/nisei/astro or to land a siphon, or could last the entire game.
For example, against RP, it’s impossible to beat IA’ed nisei + caprice + ELP/ash, but they can’t set that up all in one turn, so if they install an upgrade alone, try to kill it before the nisei comes down, or if ELP hits first, hammer centrals to either kill it or snipe the caprice out of HQ. Either way, you’re spending extra clicks several turns in advance to alleviate the click pressure they’re trying to build up for their IA turn.
Or for a longer-game example, playing blue sun against a stealth runner, from the beginning of the game I’m going to start thinking about an end game where I stacked double or triple caduceus, or double tollbooth, to thwart their ability to get in anywhere for free (much less getting in twice to kill ash the first time). That’s going to affect my early-game rezzes: every ghost runner credit I make them lose in the early game is one fewer time they can run twice per turn in the late game.
Don’t even get me started on playing PE… because I don’t understand how to play it well yet! But it’s clear at least that it involves repeatedly trying to set up a situation 5+ turns in advance where the runner can’t afford to check your ronin or afford not to check your overwriter.