I’ve been playing Netrunner since March and have no real MTG background so the learning curve has been steep. For me, SHL has been invaluable. Getting waxed by the top players in the world and then having them take the time to give me feedback has been awesome. @erinrockabitch, @anon50033301, @RTsa are a few that were exceptionally helpful. @bblum in particular has gone above and beyond to help me. Playing a casual with him and open dialoguing along the way about what plays I should be making was probably my personal highlight.
So here’s a few of the things I’ve noticed playing SHL vs General Population on OCTGN. Not that you don’t get good players in GenPop but SHL is almost always a much higher caliber.
- I can make huge mistakes in GenPop play and not even know it because they may not take advantage of it. In SHL, you know almost immediately you messed up because the opponent capitalizes and you lose.
- I can put together a janky deck and think it’s pretty good playing GenPop. Take the same deck to SHL and you see quickly how weak it really is.
- There are card interactions/rules that I was playing incorrectly and nobody pointed it out until SHL.
- A lot of times the top guys will play decks they’ve been wanting to try out against me in SHL. So I get to see a wide variety of decks piloted at a high level and see “how” they win. I also get to see their different strategies for picking apart my decks.
So basically, by playing tier 1 netdecks (that fit my style) in SHL I can focus solely on what I need to do to become a better pilot and better player. I also have a “diary” as @Badeesh mentioned of my league matches, what mistakes I made, and what would I do differently. Still a very long ways to go though.
One kinda funny story. I jumped into SHL3 after I’d been playing for about 3 weeks (total noob). My first win came against @spags. He was absolutely beside himself that he was losing to me and throwing out acronyms way faster than I could google them. All I could think was “what a jerk!” Not only did I have no idea he was one of the top players in the game, but it was actually reading his blog from Worlds 2014 while researching ANR that inspired me to start playing in the first place. Now I would relish the opportunity to be acronymically abused by him.