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Would you follow BigBoy's tips still?

Digging through old posts on Abram Jopp’s blog, I found these two posts.

I’m always on the lookout for good advice and teaching articles. So, I am curious whether the community would endorse the ideas shared here. They seem very good to me.

4 Tips for Improving Your Runner Game

2 Tips for Improving Your Corp Play


After a quick glance they all seem fine to me. Especially “Non-Temuj Econ is a Crutch”.

They are solid tips – remember they are tips for learning not for winning though.

The other tip I would add to this is to avoid the mini-games in netrunner. By this I mean don’t play Valencia Blackmail spam or Noise mill or any of the shutdown combo decks (NEH, CI7) if you actually want to get better at the game. These decks are incredibly linear and play out like a lottery - im not saying they are bad strategies in fact some of them are highly competitive, but they do nothing to improve you as a player at the general game.

Pick up solid midrange decks such as good stuff Andy or various flavours of ETF that will improve your fundamentals instead. There are a set of 6 articles written by elusive on the stimhack.com page that are an excellent primer for new and intermediate players alike that I would highly recommend for further reading.


Thanks. I have enjoyed Elusive’s articles, too.

I’m curious what you see as the key differences between tips for learning and tips for winning? The distinction is interesting. I wonder what it entails.

Its the same distinction between learning for self improvement and learning what you need to pass the exam. One is fundamental and will make you better overall, the other is solely focused on the outcome.


I think BB hits on this pretty clearly in his discussion of silver bullets. If you are in a Scorch heavy meta, the quickest way to increase your win rate is to slot a Plascrete. This doesn’t actually teach you much about playing Netrunner, though (it does teach you a tiny bit about deckbuilding/meta calls). Playing without the bullet means you will hopefully learn how to adapt your actual playstyle - which will teach you how to play even when you don’t draw those bullets, increasing your win rate in the long run.

The case of silver bullets might make this easier to see, but I think the general underlying maxim is this: getting better at Netrunner means getting better at making the array of choices you are offered in a given game. Tweaking your deck or memorizing conditions to keep/mull a given starting hand might give you better options to choose between in any given game (thus increasing win rate in the short term), but that is different than learning how to maximize outcomes.

As a weird analogy, think about it like this: you can stick a mediocre driver in a tuned up NASCAR stock car and let them practice on an empty track for a week, or you can let them drive a cab Mumbai over the same period. The driver in the stock car might be more likely to win a race at the end of the week, but my guess is that the cabbie, who is used to dealing with all the imperfect conditions and chaos of the street, has probably picked up a lot more knowledge about driving in general.


Yes, well more than a year later @TheBigBoy’s advice in these articles is still very good.

The best piece of advice, which I think we can see has proven to be very true, is that 17 (or more) ICE really is a crutch. Most competitive decks don’t run 17+ ICE any more, and we can see careful placement of the ICE these decks do have is important to their strategy and win condition.

The only item I disagree with (especially in the meta of September 2015) is not slotting clot. I don’t think there is much to have been learned from being run over by the astro train. Clot in a FA-dominated meta is an important part of the game, but there is a lot to learn about when and how to play it. If you have to use your SMC to get your Clot out, but then won;t be able to get into the scoring remote anyways, then it’s not a good time to get it.

But I think of clot (again, especially in the meta of this article) to be a special case beyond the other silver bullets. I also think Abram’s stance on silver bullets aligns nicely with @Elusive’s articles about playing learning games. Silver bullets don’t teach players better basic skills, just niche skills to handle specific threats.