The Two Year Turn: How I Learned Netrunner by Noah McKee

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Excellent read, thanks @Nobo715!
Would love a game sometime. :slight_smile:

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Noah is a boss. I have huge respect for anyone who systematically improves their game, especially if they are on well balanced decks. I saw Noah taking notes @ GC & Worlds and I was impressed by the fact that he’s been able to stick with that approach and remain disciplined in improving. It’s the kind of player/approach that can really succeed at anything.

For a substantial portion of the year, Noah was on Yog + Personal Touch as a decoder in Kate, something I’ve not seen anyone else do successfully. He was able to have consistent success pretty much across the board with this build. In November, if you didn’t know, he had switched to Gordian Blade and 3x Technical Writer. These builds are pretty unique; nobody else is winning big tournaments with these. It’s one thing to play a strange ID/style that isn’t balanced and finish near the top in one tournament by avoiding/having good luck in your bad matchups. It’s another entirely to play your own style and consistently be active at the top of tournaments (Noah won or finished in the top 4 of a SC, Regional, US National, Worlds, and SHL this year). There are not a lot of people like this (Noah, Timmy, Minh, Jon D are all I can think of).

I didn’t know he’d been playing so long and working to get better all the time. That’s more impressive than just showing up and lucking out right away like me :grin:. Great read.


I picked up the game almost exactly 1 year ago, and have won store champs but want to kick on to the next level. This article was exactly what i was looking for… Best of luck for next year Noah!


This was an excellent read. I made it to my first Worlds this year, and reading about how you worked to improve your game is inspiring. I decided to start working on my play for next year the moment the tournament ended, and seeing that the hard work can actually get you somewhere just reaffirms my plans to get better. Thanks, Noah!

Great article, @Nobo715! Was always wondering what you were writing in your notebook after matches – presumed it was win/loss records against certain opponents. It’s a great habit to note your mistakes; one I think I might try to pick up.

I felt pretty terrible for Noah seeing him get knocked out on unfavorable psi game at both Nationals and Worlds, but it’s super impressive that he placed so high at both tournaments and won that huge West Coast regional. Need to re-read this piece a bunch and put some of these ideas into practice to get on his level!

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Great read, really interesting to hear so many specifics of a great player’s technique for improving their game.

It seems like Noah thinks his very “external” method makes him a bit of an outsider amongst his peers, but it really is to each their own I think. to be really great at something, you need a ton of challenging practice, but what is useful is different for every person; I don’t think there’s anything inherently “better” about someone who can keep it all in their head or learn purely by intuition vs. a player like Noah that can externalize and systematize the process; both have different strengths and weaknesses and clearly Noah’s process is bringing him great results!

Anyways, congrats on the great finishes and thanks for the interesting insight!


Oh, so that’s what was in the notebook. Great read, Noah. :thumbsup:

I’m always looking for more insights like this as I work to improve my own game. You left me with a question, though – what did you do with the stuff you wrote in the notebook afterward? Did you periodically review its contents to see if you were still making the same mistakes? Or did you find that the act of writing your misplays down made enough of an impact on its own?

It forces you to consider why you lost a match, which is something not enough people to do.


I laughed at the corp deck name after looking through the decklist; not far off! What really stood out to me was the x3 Maker’s Eye, x0 Same Old Thing, and x3 Technical Writer. Love the addition of Sacrificial Construct as well, though the article mentions it’s good against Haarpsichord, why is that?

I like the idea of writing down mistakes to make yourself more conscious in the future–I make plenty!

Haarp plays Shattered Remains to kill Plascretes. And players can’t help but pull off the Astro token to unadvanced Shattered Remains before access play, so it actually fires pretty often.


Ouch! I’ve never seen that play before, but now I have more respect for Haarp kill!

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That was a great article! The structure of your plan is a great tool for any new player or even an experienced player looking to get to the next level. Also, congrats on being a real man and sticking with RP.

Really well written, thanks :slight_smile:

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Agreed 100%, and I have even more respect for anyone who takes the time to post a lengthy article like this, in the hopes that other players struggling in the same way might get some helpful information needed to improve their own game. @Nobo715 is a gentleman and a scholar.


Great article. I’m even more pleased I have these :smiley:


Inspiring , insightful , and entertaining … A truly worthwhile effort by a rising star from the Bay Area. – Vanity Fair

Seriously though great article


how many games/ hours a week playing online do you play or did you play to get to the next level? I spend a lot of time on Netrunner but haven’t made the commitment to play online yet. Just looking for an estimation if any top players could give a real estimation at their peak of learning and playing online how much time was logged?

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I’m super pleased that Noah has written this. It has lots of great advice for players looking to develop themselves. More than that though it’s great to understand how Noah has gone about his development. Noah has learnt most of the skill he has, and it’s really through hard work he did so well.

When I sat down against Noah he told me he’d looked up my Leela deck online in case we played. After 8 rounds of Swiss a lot of people wouldn’t have been doing research on their possible opponents, but he was. He’s one of the most focused players I’ve ever met.

Team UK are basically in love with your Kate deck.

Great article, great decks, great player. Was really nice to meet you Noah, hope to grab a drink with you next year.