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Regionals Training Plan?

Cue the music

I’m planning on playing in my second regional on August 5. My first Regional earlier this month did not go great.

One important limiting factor: Unlike our new USA National Champion and other top, top players, I cannot jam 6-8 hours of games on Jinteki a day or at a time. I generally can play at most 8-12 games a week between face-to-face and Jinteki games, some weeks more like 4-6.

What advice to get the most out of the experience? (My goal is finish with a better than .500 record)

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I don’t think many people have 6-8 hours a day to grind on jnet, so you’re in good company :P.

My advice: find a ‘top deck’ that you also enjoy playing, play it over and over again against good players, then ask them for advice. Hopefully you have face to face opponents who enjoy competitive play and can give you advice, but if not, I’m sure some slackers would be happy to. I’m not an amazing player by any means, but I’ve done well at a couple of regionals, and could play a couple matches with you and provide feedback.


My advice can apply to a major event in any game really. They are small things which can add up to making a difference on the day.

  • Try and get a good night’s sleep - it can be easier said than done though.
  • Make sure you stay hydrated. Drink water instead of soft drink, coffee, etc.
  • Take healthy snacks and a lunch instead of buying whatever is around.
  • Make sure you are comfortable. Wear comfortable clothing. I even go so far as to take a cushion to sit on.
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I obviously don´t know but I don´t think it´s necessary to invest 6 hours a day on jinteki to become National Champion. I also doubt that he did that. Maybe he is just a very good player?
So yeah, learn to play I guess, play when you have time and feel like it and play lots of different decks, talk about games afterwards, check out new deck ideas. But there´s no training routine you need to follow I thing, that´s just overdoing it.
Talking from past personal experience : I had my best results when I didn´t take it too seriously. Once I knew I was really good at this game I expected to win and that´s a very stupid attitude: You feel really bad after coming in 3rd instead of being super happy you got there against a huge field of other top players.


Considering you have limited time to practice, my first recommendation would be to stick to decks you’re already comfortable on. Obviously if you have a 20% matchup against a common deck in the meta then you are going to need to include some appropriate tech to improve your odds, but try not to stray too far from your comfort zone.

I won a regional at the height of the IG Asset Spam/Slums Whizzard meta during Mumbad Cycle playing Apocalypse Maxx and Temple NEH because those were the decks I knew inside and out, even though Whizzard and IG were far and away considered the decks to beat. I’m probably an above average player at best, but luck was on my side and I was playing decks that I had played for literally months leading up to the event.

On the other hand, I’ve also shown up to Regional and higher level tournaments with card-for-card netdecks of the “undefeated winner of X regional” and fallen flat on my face due to inexperience or just clash of playstyle.

When you have to grind out 12+ games of Netrunner back to back (assuming you don’t have the luxury of ID’ing most games), it really helps to be on something you can play like the back of your hand, even if it isn’t objectively the best deck out there. Sometimes by playing something a bit outside of the metagame you can also throw off your opponent’s ability to predict your actions which can also come up big in the swiss rounds.


So here’s my two cents as a general guide.

  1. Look at the popular decks which are doing well right now
  2. Mess around with each one until you find one you like
  3. Start playing with friends against all the other popular decks

Rinse repeat

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Find a proven decklist from someone good that’s not too old but doesn’t have to be too new either, resist the temptation to change any cards, and try to find like-minded people to build other decks using the same methodology (this is easier with jinteki.net nowadays). That’s called a ‘gauntlet testing’ approach, and it’s been talked about extensively on the podcast The Winning Agenda, so if it seems interesting probably check it out? It is useful to play regularly, at least a few times a week, but even those people who do really well don’t need to play constantly.

I will dig though the back list of Winning Agenda podcasts. For some reason, my iPhone only lets me download the last 10 or so episodes. I have to go to a laptop to listen/download older ones.

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That’s weird! iTunes seriously is a fickle beast. If you search ‘Winning Agenda Gauntlet Testing’ on your favourite search engine it should come up.