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Subject: Optimal Deck size rss

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David Homchuck
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I am hoping to join in on the Plugged In Tour and wondering what the optimal deck size if for a corp or Runner deck. My Coop deck is at 49 cards at the moment and my runner at 51. I usually try to keep my runner deck closer to 47-49. Any thoughts?
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Nate K
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Why is your Runner deck so large?
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Ravlin Bay
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General theory is 49 cards (or 44 for TWIY*) for the corp and 45 for the runner.

Want to get the most cards for you agenda points for the corp, and want to get to your power cards for the runner.
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Brent Bailey
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I think runner decks should always be ran at the minimum size, especially since Levy Lab Access. The game is so fast, you need to be consistent in your approach. And, including one-of answers in your deck to end up inflating the size of the deck hasn't been successful in my experience.

I used to always run Corp at 49. But, now I run at 40 because NBN: the World is Yours has the best corp strategy in my opinion. I don't have Opening Moves yet, so my deck may increase to 44, but I've had great success keeping it small and fast.
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Daniel D
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Ravlin wrote:
General theory is 49 cards (or 44 for TWIY*) for the corp and 45 for the runner.

Want to get the most cards for you agenda points for the corp, and want to get to your power cards for the runner.


The TWIY* size isn't as hard and fast a rule as 49 for regular corps. In fact the stats for a 40-card TWIY deck are better than 44 card versions. I assume largely due to the nature of having a more reliable combo, but I've not tested so I can't say for sure.
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Alejandro G.
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My Gabriel deck runs 49 cards and wins just fine. I think it's okay to break out of the "norm" and do what works best for you.
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Nate K
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xpiredsodapop wrote:
My Gabriel deck runs 49 cards and wins just fine. I think it's okay to break out of the "norm" and do what works best for you.


I agree, which is why I asked. I don't want to tell David to cut cards from his Runner deck if there is some good reasoning behind running 51 cards.
 
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Wesley Austin Kinslow
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I think card limits matter less in Netrunner because you have the option to dig deeper with actions whereas in other CCGs (Magic especially) your draws are limited and can often mean a loss if you don't draw optimally.

Having said that it DOES have some bearing as it does affect your chance to draw certain cards at crucial moments but much less so than with other customizable card games.
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David Homchuck
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I hope to cut 3 to 4 cards from the Runner Deck but find myself having trouble anticipating what I will encounter in a Tournament. Probably just a bit of Analysis Paralysis. I fully expect to get crushed as a Tournament newbie but also hope to play to the best of my ability and learn from better players. I most likely will remove the 2 Deus X cards and possibly Crash Space. Are allowed to make deck adjustments between rounds?
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Daniel D
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wedgeex wrote:
I think card limits matter less in Netrunner because you have the option to dig deeper with actions whereas in other CCGs (Magic especially) your draws are limited and can often mean a loss if you don't draw optimally.

Having said that it DOES have some bearing as it does affect your chance to draw certain cards at crucial moments but much less so than with other customizable card games.


This makes me curious to start counting how many cards I draw per game, especially on the runner side. The reasoning you provide only really works if you're drawing >1 card per turn, otherwise the general theory would still hold strong.

Even still I'd argue that draws are just as limited in Netrunner, you don't go over 60 cards in MtG just because you're playing card draw spells.

The reasoning isn't that you're drawing fewer cards; the reasoning is that, when playing optimally/competitively every percentage point counts so you want to have the best odds to draw your best cards. It's hard to make the case that adding an extra "worst" card will outweigh the benefit of a modicum of more efficiency.


That being said, there's no reason why a 49 card runner deck can't win, you'll just have a hard time convincing any competitive players that you really need four extra cards. To be fair I'm extremely curious about Lluluien's 54 card corp deck, though I hold reservations that the extra cards are absolutely essential.
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Jan F.
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I think you can break the usual deck size 45 runner / 49 corp, if there is a plan behind your decision.

I'm currently thinking about bringing my Jinteki PE deck to 54 cards, since I don't want to score agendas as fast as possible and want to reduce the chance (Even if it's just a small percentage gain), that the runner hits too much agendas in a row from my R&D.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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Ahzrab wrote:
I think you can break the usual deck size 45 runner / 49 corp, if there is a plan behind your decision.

I'm currently thinking about bringing my Jinteki PE deck to 54 cards, since I don't want to score agendas as fast as possible and want to reduce the chance (Even if it's just a small percentage gain), that the runner hits too much agendas in a row from my R&D.


This. 45 and 54 card Corp decks appear to be valid choices if you know why you're making them that size.


This topic has cropped up with perfect timing as I just blogged about precisely this about 10 minutes ago!
http://thesatelliteuplink.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/psychograph...
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Daniel D
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Ahzrab wrote:
I think you can break the usual deck size 45 runner / 49 corp, if there is a plan behind your decision.

I'm currently thinking about bringing my Jinteki PE deck to 54 cards, since I don't want to score agendas as fast as possible and want to reduce the chance (Even if it's just a small percentage gain), that the runner hits too much agendas in a row from my R&D.


At that point it really depends on your agenda density though. If you run 10 agendas/49 cards you lower the odds by 0.03% (from 20.40% to 20.37%) if you go to 11 agendas/54 cards. At that point you have to ask yourself if adding 4 "worse" cards is worth lowering the chance they hit an agenda by 0.03%.

It's definitely a benefit, 3 games in every 1000 being won because of that isn't completely insignificant. Judging how many you lose because of those 4 "worse" cards is far more difficult, but I'd wager it's higher than 0.03%.


EDIT: To be fair Lluluien mentioned he doesn't feel his deck could work if he cut any of the Agendas, so if the effects are so valuable as to require four extra cards it's a completely understandable reasoning. I do feel judging corp deck size is a lot harder than judging runner deck size so putting them together in this topic feels odd.
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John Thornby
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Magicdave wrote:

This. 45 and 54 card Corp decks appear to be valid choices if you know why you're making them that size.


I disagree here. CCG 101 teaches us to play the smallest deck you can unless there's a very good reason not to. Netrunner breaks that mold to an extent because of the need to access cards / draw into agendas, but by and large you still need the efficiency of a small, streamlined deck.
The gain you make by diluting your agendas is tiny in comparison to how much you lose by bloating your deck unnecessarily.

Finally, one set of data I saw on the OCTGN games (it might even have been David's, I can't remember) showed that decks with more influence were consistently out-performing those with lower influence, or not using their full allocation. If you run a bigger deck then you are essentially diluting your influence, which the data suggests is a bad thing.
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Dave Sutcliffe
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xenakis wrote:
Magicdave wrote:

This. 45 and 54 card Corp decks appear to be valid choices if you know why you're making them that size.


I disagree here. CCG 101 teaches us to play the smallest deck you can unless there's a very good reason not to. Netrunner breaks that mold to an extent because of the need to access cards / draw into agendas, but by and large you still need the efficiency of a small, streamlined deck.
The gain you make by diluting your agendas is tiny in comparison to how much you lose by bloating your deck unnecessarily.

Finally, one set of data I saw on the OCTGN games (it might even have been David's, I can't remember) showed that decks with more influence were consistently out-performing those with lower influence, or not using their full allocation. If you run a bigger deck then you are essentially diluting your influence, which the data suggests is a bad thing.


That's true, but there IS a tradeoff and there IS a benefit to going to 54, as well as a cost.

I don't favour 54 cards myself but I can see the argument is there, particularly if your deck isn't built around seeing specific cards. More importantly than my opinion: the OCTGN results back it up with results to demonstrate the viability of 54 cards.
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Chris Miller
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Bodasafa wrote:
Are allowed to make deck adjustments between rounds?


No. You have to write down your deck beforehand (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/organized-play... - this is the FFG suggested sheet) and there is no substitution between rounds.
 
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John Thornby
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Magicdave wrote:

That's true, but there IS a tradeoff and there IS a benefit to going to 54, as well as a cost.


Yup of course, but I think most would agree that the benefit is smaller than the cost in the majority of cases. The Jinteki example above suggests it's looking for the flatline win, which we also know from the OCTGN data is unreliable and relies on runner error rather than Corp skill. Any deck that doesn't want its agendas because it doesn't intend to score them isn't actually pressuring the runner to run. If the runner is free to just raid RnD with a full rig and Deus X it's handshake time for Jinteki.

Magicdave wrote:
I don't favour 54 cards myself but I can see the argument is there, particularly if your deck isn't built around seeing specific cards. More importantly than my opinion: the OCTGN results back it up with results to demonstrate the viability of 54 cards.


That's 54 card Corp decks though, right? There's surely no reason to make a runner deck any bigger than it has to be?
 
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Dave Sutcliffe
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xenakis wrote:


That's 54 card Corp decks though, right? There's surely no reason to make a runner deck any bigger than it has to be?


Oh definitely! I assumed we were talking Corp. There's no excuse for big runner decks.
 
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Peter O
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xenakis wrote:


I disagree here. CCG 101 teaches us to play the smallest deck you can unless there's a very good reason not to. Netrunner breaks that mold to an exten

Finally, one set of data I saw on the OCTGN games (it might even have been David's, I can't remember) showed that decks with more influence were consistently out-performing those with lower influence, or not using their full allocation. If you run a bigger deck then you are essentially diluting your influence, which the data suggests is a bad thing.


That data shows a correlation and not causation. As you say, CCG 101 says minimum decks size which suggests the best players (most likely with prior card game experience) are automatically going to minimum deck size. The OCTGN data would need to be carefully mined to see if the same player had different win rates at different sizes, and even there a non minimum deck size may suggest an untuned deck and hence a poorer win rate not because of deck size but because the deck hasn't been fully tuned and play tested yet.

I think one of the more interesting tidbits to come out of that data is that while 49 card decks have the best overall win rate, when you examine just the best players the 45 card corp decks pull ahead in win rate. This suggests 49 card corp decks may be a fallacy that enough good players have taken as true that they all play 49 card decks and artificially improve the win rate on that deck not because its best, but because enough good players THINK its best. Fascinating.
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John Thornby
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^ This!

Definitely agree here;smaller decks are simply more efficient in most "normal" circumstances. It was very early in core that the idea to run decks at the top the bracket developed. In that environment the Corp was stronger - the runner had less instant speed stuff, less efficient breakers and fewer economy options. The corp wanted draw achieve agendas slowly but surely and could afford the drop in efficiency because the runner pressure wasn't nearly so high as it is now, the 49 card deck developed in order to reduce the variance of top-decking.
Today it's a totally different story, the runner has huge multi-access capability and can run sooner than before. Diluting the agendas makes so little difference, so you are better off with the deck efficiency IMHO.
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