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Sharing / hiding decklists

Was reading IG and Kit threads and thinking about the mechanics of keeping decklists secret.

  1. To what extent is this even possible over time? If you play a deck in a tournament each individual opponent may see 20-30 cards, and by random sampling your group of opponents over the tournament will see more. Most of your deck’s plan is going to be on exhibit, and you might hide some 1-ofs or tech cards on a per-opponent basis. And of course people won’t know if you are playing something as a 2 or 3of etc. But if the deck is just stomping people this will get figured out by motivated players worldwide.

  2. Related question, what is the assumption of ethics of a TO collecting decklists? In Netrunner this is generally left up to the players to post afterwards, so I think that is a reasonable guideline for the TO to follow to prevent surprises.

Not super possible. People that have played against the deck will know the deck. Trying to make it so that it’s harder to discern this information is a fool’s errand, if you ask me.

The argument that persuaded me that banning scouting was bad was that otherwise, the people with the most friends at any given tournament get an advantage. It’s not enforceable to stop players from sharing their in-match experiences, and by the end of the day, a competitive group of friends would probably roughly know every player in the cut’s archetypes and/or weird splashes, if nothing else. This is only the same information you could get by just watching a game, no more, no less.

I don’t think there will ever be any deck that’s so super secret that if the decklist was never released to the public it could never be replicated; a good player who has played against a deck could almost certainly replicate it if they wanted to. Even if not card for card, I’d imagine pretty damn close.

In a high level tournament, they should collect decklists and perform more than 0 deck-checks throughout the day (probably in the top cut), I think. Leaving this out means people can get away with illegal decks.


I’m hoping that with the judges program deck checks happen. I think the game is growing enough and getting enough exposure for it to happen.

It’s a completely pointless endeavor. I think the only time it may matter is before an event if people know who you are, you might not want to publish your lists.

But I think you have to be spags, mediohxcore, or wooley before that’s a concern.

Otherwise, the games skill ceiling “protects” your deck from being “stolen” if you care about that.

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If your janky-ass homebrew can’t win games without surprising other players with the goofy gimmick splash you’re running, it’s only going to work for that first tournament anyway.

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Keeping a deck secret is valiant, yet sad. We could’ve kept the Whizz L4J bottled up, but I prefer the Whizzevolution to it not happening. Little made me happier than this in Cambridge: 8 Crim, 9 Whizz

Sure, one could complain about net decking, but there’s little preventing that in this age. This is still a game of skill. Most times, I could lay my deck out before a game, then invite the opponent to beat it. Granted, a few Corps need/love surprises, and that’s cool. Sadly, most don’t.

(NOTE: I read zero things in this thread before posting. #selfishignorance)


I don’t really see how this could happen. If your deck is any good, you’ll end up winning some meaningful event and drawing attention. Otherwise, your deck might be great jank – but it wouldn’t face the likes of Prepaid Kate.

Regarding 2), I think TOs should post the deck lists for the cut on acoo.net or similar. I think archival history is important and interesting, and will probably get more developed over time.


I feel like it’s reasonable to hide a decklist within a tournament for as long as you can if you feel like it, but it’s a pain in the ass and it won’t last long. The anti-scouting rule I think is also reasonable, but I don’t think it should be enforced very strictly. I think that it’s fine to move to a back table or something with your opponents permission and to make it clear to anyone who might be watching that you don’t want them to, (and also think people should ask before spectating a game, and refrain from spectating games after the cut if they’re in it).

But to expect decklist secrecy after you played it in a tournament is probably a waste of your time; you won’t get it if the deck is worth shit, and scouting rule goes out the window once the tournament is over.

AFAIAC, I like publishing my lists. When the main motivation for winning is prestige, someone else winning with your deck is the next best thing to winning yourself.


Scouting is technically illegal. So if you feel like somebody has seen one of your cards when they’re not playing you, or if you think that the people at the tables adjacent to you may have overheard you mention a card you play while interacting with your opponent, you should be able to get them DQed for scouting.

Also if somebody decides to watch your match. Or anybody elses match. And if you hear people talking about their games.

Oh and if you see anybody checking their phone, they might be going onto social media where the TO or store staff put a photo of the tournament, where a card might be visible. So that’s illegal scouting to.

If you work hard enough you could DQ your way to the top prizes!


Took a minute to read that this is sarcastic… At the Cambridge regional, I heard a LOT of talk along the theme of ‘I love clot!’ - mainly coming from New Yorkers with no clot slotted…


In mind, there are two levels of knowing people’s decklists. There is knowing archetypes (Butchershop vs. Astrobiotics, Bootcamp vs. Scorch Weyland), which sometimes can give you a decent edge knowing what you’re going up against. This tends to get ruined by top 8, and I don’t think scouting to prevent this should be super strictly enforced. Its fun, and it adds a minor interesting dynamic to the game (gives hidden decks a mild edge, minigame of figuring out what you’re up against).

There is also knowing the exact decklist, even if you know archetypes. One of the best examples I can think of is with Killteki is knowing how many Overwriters your opponent is running. IE, there are two overwriters in the bin, and a mushin’d card on the table. Knowing if they run 3 Overwriters or not (which is extremely hard to scout out) is pretty big in that situation. Or knowing if your opponent runs any one-of’s such as a single cortex lock or whatever. This can also change tournament to tournament, so knowing someone’s list from a previous tournament doesn’t guarantee it.

This being said, I’m pretty okay with decklists being public knowledge after the tournament, its interesting to see what was working when and gives you nice snapshots. Plus it’s cool to have other people play your list.


Want to re-stress this by Xenasis. They should do this, and I can’t believe it isn’t done at least once during a tournament. Imagine if a player is able to deduce a few minutes ahead of time who he faces in the next round, and that his opponent knows his deck through and through. So imagine if he slips in a trap card in place of something else, because his opponent knows this imaginary cheater doesn’t run traps, so anything advanced in a server must be an agenda. Or even just changes the agenda suite for some reason. A quick trip to the car because I “need something real quick”, a switched out card or two later, and now you’ve managed to tech for a particular opponent and without decklist checking, no-one will be the wiser. That’s not to mention just having an illegal deck because you have one influence too many (either intentionally or accidentally).

We all would love to think that our community is above such tactics, but I think it’s naive to think that people like this don’t exist, or that none of them come to Netrunner. I don’t think everyone that plays is part of the Netrunner “community”, and it seems like at least the occasional check to deter cheating should be an easy call, if a little more work for TO’s.

I’m in favor of this!

Not because I worry about anyone cheating on me, but because it will add just enough down time between rounds to guarantee a proper smoke break even if I go to time.

I think that “hiding” your deck before a tournament doesn’t even matter unless your on completely new tech and going for the surprise factor, or your playing in a relatively small meta.

Deck checks are a great idea, I think its easier to do in Netrunner than other games. At ETX Washington regionals they deck checked the decks we weren’t using at the moment. So we continued play while they check the decks that weren’t being used. Easy, effective, and keeps everyone honest.

My friend @ossa and I don’t really share decks with eachother before game of thrones tournaments… there are after all at max 11-13 other people, so getting a leg up on one another is a pretty big deal… When there are 50+ other people it doesn’t matter. If everyone tries to bring hate cards for @mediohxcore its going to hurt other matchups at larger events. Just not worth it.

Netrunner is pretty great at people posting up there winning decklists and stuff. I love the willingness to work together and share in this community. The game of thrones worlds 1st place deck from last year was a “secret” for a quite a few months after the event finished because that is the nature of that community.


Frenchs are ultra serious on the no-scouting enforcement.
A bit too much.

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I think this is actually fairly critical. If you know what archetype you’re playing against, this can change your behaviour a whole lot, from mulligan decisions to actual play styles. (“Why yes I’ll take that 3-pointer. Thank you very much!” vs. “Hmm, I’ll probably Imp it…”).

If you’re done with a round, just go outside. Don’t go watch games at other tables as a courtesy to the players. Go talk with your friends about the past round, but try to keep it general. Saying you were annoyed with all the Oversighted Curtain Walls in BS is fine, saying he hit your I’ve Had Worses with Scorch probably is not. Admittetly, sometimes I still slip up as well. But I’m trying to not give people’s fun away as much as I can.

If you know the popular archetypes, you usually can deduct the deck from a few early accesses anyway.

Earplugs and horse-blinders in a sound-proof room. Communicate only via strictly approved gestures or by hand written document. All written communication must be destroyed immediately after being shown to the opponent in a shredder classified at Top-Secret Positive Vetting or higher.


Seconded. I would avoid giving away anything other than ID, since that’s going to be public information as soon as they play (if they do) anyway. I might make a few vague comments (“That Valencia deck he played had some interesting choices in it.” “That RP was really solid, excellent build.”), but that doesn’t give away anything specific, so it’s probably OK.

…It’s probably a good thing I don’t participate in tournaments. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Let’s face it - spectating is fun, and actually playing with spectators is fun as well, as long as they don’t misbehave. I can sorta see Dan’s “don’t spectate games in the cut if you’re in it” bit, even though I see issues with a) curiosity and b) that fucking stupid lull in the double-elim structure.


Screw that - I’m here to make interesting plays, see interesting plays and (most importantly) talk about interesting plays. The concept of having any kind of meaningful discussion about the minutiae of a match that just finished without mentioning specific cards seems super-unrealistic in a game where even the tiniest deviations amongst the cards in question completely change the narrative - compare “he ran into a Destroyer third click” with:

  • “he ran into a Rototurret third click”
  • “he ran into Ichi 1.0 third click”
  • “he ran into Ichi 2.0 third click”

Three different stories there, and I literally don’t see a way of anonymizing that particular bit of data while keeping the narrative intact and/or meaningful.

Travelling for four hours in order to stand in front of a store and only be able to say “yeah, I played some cards and then he played some cards, and then one of us won” is not something that engages me to the point of spending a whole saturday and a week’s worth of grocery budget.