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Subject: Help a Newb with some basic Deckbuilding questions... rss

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Mike
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So I own 2 core set, and all 4 Data Packs...

I've now played about 10-12 games with the starter decks, and am now going to start customizing my decks.

Here are few questions, which I hope will send me in the right direction.

1. How many Ice Breakers should a deck have?

2. How many Ice should a deck have?

3. I understand that at 45 cards we are expected to have between 20 and 21 agenda points. My question resolves around how many "agenda cards" is ideal?

Examples (I know some are currently impossible)

-10 two point agenda's
-7 three point agenda's
-20 one point agenda's
-3 seven point agenda's

There are several more mixes we can do that would result in diffent amounts of "agenda cards" in a deck. What's the overal consensus as to the best number?

ty in advance for the help guys
 
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Jack Keys
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Honestly, there is no right answer. It will vary drastically based on what the deck's overall strategy is, and the support cards you have. The best way to figure out what's best for you is to just make some decks, play with them a lot, and see what you like and don't like and why.

Here are some general guidelines that I usually use, though:

1. When it comes to icebreakers, I want to make sure I'm able to get the suite that I need early, and I want to make sure that I can recover if one of them gets trashed. I find that in most of my decks, I will have two copies of my primary breakers, and something I can use to search my stack for them if necessary (e.g. Special Order, Test Run). If I'm running with Crypsis as my only breaker, I will include three and something to search. If I'm adding an extra breaker that's non-essential but saves me money on most ICE (Yog.0 without any assistance, for example), I will include one or two.

2. I've found that, for a 45 card Corporation deck, 18-21 ICE is typically the sweet spot. This makes it likely that you'll have enough ICE at the beginning of the game to keep yourself protected, and you'll get enough throughout the game to beef up your servers when necessary, but you still keep a lot of card slots for your essential cards. I've seen people run upgrade heavy decks (ASH and Red Herrings, most notably) and as few as 14 pieces of ICE, and I've seen people stuff HB decks that rely on Accelerated Beta Test with 24+ ICE, so this isn't a hard and fast rule. Just remember to include enough economy cards to be able to rez your ICE, and remember to balance your late and early game ICE so you don't end up with Archer, Janus, and Hadrian's Wall in your opening hand.

3. This point probably has the most contention, and again, it depends on overall strategy. If you have all two point agendas, then the Runner will need to score four agendas to win, but so will you. However, this can help to make lucky accesses by the Runner a little less painful. It also takes up more card slots, since you need more agendas to get the requisite number of points. With all three point agendas, the Runner needs to score three agendas, so if they get lucky, they get further ahead. It also means that, after only two agendas, they could win by scoring something like Notoriety. However, if you've got the ability to defend these agendas, you will get an extra three cards compared to the all two point agenda composition. Because of this, I find that I typically care more about getting an agenda ability (or a point to cost ratio, in the case of fast advance) that meshes really well with my deck strategy than the number of points I'm including in my deck.
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Torsten Oppermann
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I´m no expert myself, but here are my 2 cents:

1. I usually go for 3 breakers for each type. If you want to break a lot of ice, then i suggest adding 2 -3 additional all purpose breakers, like crypsis. The Numbers can vary if i have cards to search for an icebreaker

2. i prefer around 20 ICE´s at least

3. The agenda question is hard to answer since it depends on the agendas. I often hesitate to put 3pt agendas in my decks. They are hard to score for the corp but just as easy to score for the runner as a 2 or 1 pt agenda. If you have enough room in your deck, the majority should be 2 pt agendas

What corp do you like the most ?

 
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Mike1977 wrote:
1. How many Ice Breakers should a deck have?
Generally speaking, I like to put in 9 Icebreakers: 3 for gates, 3 for walls, and 3 for sentries. Also put in a card that fetches or "tutors" programs (test run or special order). Save it for when you've drawn 2 types, then go fetch the third to complete your 'breaker suite.

Mike1977 wrote:
2. How many Ice should a deck have?
About 20, with a mix of cheap ICE for the early game and strong ICE for the late game. Generally overwrite ICE that can be broken for 1 credit, it costs you more to layer than it's worth.

Mike1977 wrote:
3. I understand that at 45 cards we are expected to have between 20 and 21 agenda points. My question resolves around how many "agenda cards" is ideal?
Try to keep it to ~10 cards, that's 20% of a typical 49-card deck. Anything more and you'll tend to squeeze out critical things like ICE, traps, and economy cards. There's no perfect way to say that certain agendas are better based on cost/agenda value alone. Great agendas like Mandatory Upgrades are hard to score and give you few agenda points, but the payoff is game-changing.

The 3-cost/2 agenda point cards are very very popular (Accelerated Beta Test, Astroscript Pilot Program, Project Atlas, etc). And for good reason: you can install it behind ICE and not advance it that first turn. If it goes unchecked, then it can be scored for 2 points the next turn.
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Simon Gunkel
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1. Depends on how your deck plays. The lowest number of breakers I ever played was 0. I currently have a deck which isn´t that powerful, but I get to do somewhat OK with which has one copy of Wyrm. My Tournament deck had 3 copies of Crypsis. I like these builds with few or no breakers, but they aren´t always the strongest. I think the usual "big rig" approach is to put 3 of each type in, possibly adding Femme Fatale and Crypsis to the mix - Crypsis can break Trap-ICE and will deal with Chimaera when the full suite isn´t out.

2. Depends on how your deck plays. About 20 is decent, but some builds stack cheap ICE and can do with more. And some ICE, while ICE in name isn´t that icy - Pop-UP, Data Mine, Cell Portal, Bullfrog, Chum I´m looking at you (Jinteki so far has the widest array of these).

3. Depends on... The key questions with Agendas to me is: How long do they take to score? And what abilities do they give you when scored? As a result I tend to build around agendas and the agenda density is dictated by my pick.
 
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Michael Scott
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skiesbleed wrote:
Honestly, there is no right answer. It will vary drastically based on what the deck's overall strategy is, and the support cards you have. The best way to figure out what's best for you is to just make some decks, play with them a lot, and see what you like and don't like and why.

Here are some general guidelines that I usually use, though:

1. When it comes to icebreakers, I want to make sure I'm able to get the suite that I need early, and I want to make sure that I can recover if one of them gets trashed. I find that in most of my decks, I will have two copies of my primary breakers, and something I can use to search my stack for them if necessary (e.g. Special Order, Test Run). If I'm running with Crypsis as my only breaker, I will include three and something to search. If I'm adding an extra breaker that's non-essential but saves me money on most ICE (Yog.0 without any assistance, for example), I will include one or two.

2. I've found that, for a 45 card Corporation deck, 18-21 ICE is typically the sweet spot. This makes it likely that you'll have enough ICE at the beginning of the game to keep yourself protected, and you'll get enough throughout the game to beef up your servers when necessary, but you still keep a lot of card slots for your essential cards. I've seen people run upgrade heavy decks (ASH and Red Herrings, most notably) and as few as 14 pieces of ICE, and I've seen people stuff HB decks that rely on Accelerated Beta Test with 24+ ICE, so this isn't a hard and fast rule. Just remember to include enough economy cards to be able to rez your ICE, and remember to balance your late and early game ICE so you don't end up with Archer, Janus, and Hadrian's Wall in your opening hand.

3. This point probably has the most contention, and again, it depends on overall strategy. If you have all two point agendas, then the Runner will need to score four agendas to win, but so will you. However, this can help to make lucky accesses by the Runner a little less painful. It also takes up more card slots, since you need more agendas to get the requisite number of points. With all three point agendas, the Runner needs to score three agendas, so if they get lucky, they get further ahead. It also means that, after only two agendas, they could win by scoring something like Notoriety. However, if you've got the ability to defend these agendas, you will get an extra three cards compared to the all two point agenda composition. Because of this, I find that I typically care more about getting an agenda ability (or a point to cost ratio, in the case of fast advance) that meshes really well with my deck strategy than the number of points I'm including in my deck.


maybe its a Canadian thing,I agree with everything this fellow said.
 
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Frank Brooks
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1) I found when first making runner decks (especially Shaper) I found it important to get all my breakers out. The ability to find them is therefore quite important. Having 3 of each and a couple search cards do that fairly well.

As I've played more, I've started to see that many games are won by the runner when they only had 1 or 2 breakers out. This is especially true with Criminal and Anarch decks. The Criminal decks will have stolen several early with well timed Inside Jobs, appropriate use of Sneakdoor that sort of thing. They start to get into trouble when they need 2 different breakers to get into a server. Anarch has Parasite which in a sense behaves like a universal breaker. A game rarely finishes with me having the full suite out. Oftentimes it is just one breaker and Crypsis. As you get better at manipulating the corp's money, you will find less need for breakers if you can run on servers where the corp just can't afford to rez the ice to stop you. This is espeically true for corps that fun very expensive ice. If you can figure out which are the most expensive, you can make them make hard decisions about which server they will let you access.

2) As other's have said the amount varies. As a good rule of thumb, I'd say 20 out of 45-49 is safe. That means you will probably start with 1 or 2 ice in your opening hand and will draw them roughly half the time. As I just mentioned it is also very important to have ht right balance between cheap and expensive ice. Although Enigma and Ice Wall can be lame late game draws, they can really save your bacon early game.

As you play around with different decks, you might find that you can get away with as little as 14 in the right Jinteki deck or as much as 28 (uggh) in the right HB deck. I'd say stick to around 20 and play around with that.

3) As above, the number varies dramatically by deck composition and play style. If you want a slow churn out a ton of ice and then drop down an agenda safely deck, then you might be able to do a 7 agenda deck, but you might also want to play a 45 card NBN deck with as many 1 point agendas as you can. It can vary. I'd say most decks tend to have 8-11, but I'd go so far as to say that most decks do 10. That way you have about 2 3-pointers, 6 2-pointers, and 2 1-pointers. Usually something like that or 3 3-points, 4 2-points and 3 1-pointers. Do what seems right and you can shift from there.

_________________________

I usually give the advice that you should start with whatever decks you liked to play the most in the core set and switch out cards to better match your play style. Try out cards from the datapacks or the other core set decks that you want to try OOF that you think might help. Once you get the feel for the effect of what adding just 2 cards does to your game or actually sensing a difference when you removed a single copy of a card from your deck, that is when you are ready to start things from scratch. Make a Chaos Theory or Because We Built It deck. Try something different enough that you are actively not including cards because of the change in identity.

Good luck!
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Rob L
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skiesbleed wrote:
2. I've found that, for a 45 card Corporation deck, 18-21 ICE is typically the sweet spot. This makes it likely that you'll have enough ICE at the beginning of the game to keep yourself protected, and you'll get enough throughout the game to beef up your servers when necessary, but you still keep a lot of card slots for your essential cards. I've seen people run upgrade heavy decks (ASH and Red Herrings, most notably) and as few as 14 pieces of ICE, and I've seen people stuff HB decks that rely on Accelerated Beta Test with 24+ ICE, so this isn't a hard and fast rule. Just remember to include enough economy cards to be able to rez your ICE, and remember to balance your late and early game ICE so you don't end up with Archer, Janus, and Hadrian's Wall in your opening hand.


I'd really like to emphasize the last point of this. Having a good balance of ICE is very important. Also, make sure the ICE you pick fits your deck's strategy. Don't throw in a Janus 'just because', try to tailor your choices to your deck.
 
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Iain Galloway
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As a beginner, your priorities are slightly different to an experienced player. I use the following rules of thumb when building a beginner deck:-

1) I want to minimise the impact of individual small mistakes.
2) I want to minimise the probability of having to play around a poor draw.

This means you *don't* want to play tight toolboxy decks. You want to play solid decks with fewer moving parts and built-in resilience to poor draws and screwing up the occasional risky play.

So:-

1) Pick a barrier, sentry, and code-gate breaker and play three of each, *or* play two of each and three copies of Special Order or Test Run.

2) For experienced players, this is a complicated question. I've seen coherent decklists with anything from 14-28 ICE. I'm currently playing an extremely experimental deck with only 12. As a new player, though, you really want to get used to economic play (clicks, cards, credits) before doing really tricksy stuff, so I recommend 24-26 ICE in beginner decks.

3) Pick useful agendas that you can score safely. The mix doesn't matter as much as you might think it does. A randomly accessed card is worth slightly less than half an agenda point on average regardless of how your agendas are distributed. The mix only affects variance, which isn't likely to be important compared to having agendas that are actually good.

Two cases are exceptions:- 7x3-points and 10x2 points. It's harder for the runner to win vs these distributions because there's no way to score exactly 7. However, it's *also* harder for the corp to win (because there's no way to score exactly 7!). I recommend not worrying about it just yet.
 
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James Finkle
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m0wgli3 wrote:
As a beginner, your priorities are slightly different to an experienced player. I use the following rules of thumb when building a beginner deck:-

1) I want to minimise the impact of individual small mistakes.
2) I want to minimise the probability of having to play around a poor draw.

This means you *don't* want to play tight toolboxy decks. You want to play solid decks with fewer moving parts and built-in resilience to poor draws and screwing up the occasional risky play.

So:-

1) Pick a barrier, sentry, and code-gate breaker and play three of each, *or* play two of each and three copies of Special Order or Test Run.

2) For experienced players, this is a complicated question. I've seen coherent decklists with anything from 14-28 ICE. I'm currently playing an extremely experimental deck with only 12. As a new player, though, you really want to get used to economic play (clicks, cards, credits) before doing really tricksy stuff, so I recommend 24-26 ICE in beginner decks.

3) Pick useful agendas that you can score safely. The mix doesn't matter as much as you might think it does. A randomly accessed card is worth slightly less than half an agenda point on average regardless of how your agendas are distributed. The mix only affects variance, which isn't likely to be important compared to having agendas that are actually good.

Two cases are exceptions:- 7x3-points and 10x2 points. It's harder for the runner to win vs these distributions because there's no way to score exactly 7. However, it's *also* harder for the corp to win (because there's no way to score exactly 7!). I recommend not worrying about it just yet.


I like 7x3 and/or 10x2 more than mixed agendas because:
A) These are the two best configurations for maximizing R&D accesses needed to win
B) They allow for the corporation to be more consistent with their traps. In a 7x3 deck (or 6x3+1x2), the Corp can run ambushes like Aggressive Secretary/Project Junebug, and the runner has to figure out whether install-advance-advance is a trap or an agenda. With 10x2 (or 9x2 + 2x1), assuming primarily 3-advancement agendas, every asset and/or upgrade can be bluffed as an agenda that can be scored next turn, which includes Edge of World and Snare!
 
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Mike
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I'm finding making Corp decks much more difficult then Runner decks...

I feel that because of the Ice and Agenda's I have so little space left... (45 cards).
 
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Jeremy Larner
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Mike1977 wrote:
I'm finding making Corp decks much more difficult then Runner decks...

I feel that because of the Ice and Agenda's I have so little space left... (45 cards).


Bear in mind that conventional wisdom would include 49 cards in a corp deck, rather than 45.
 
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Iain Galloway
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wildfire393 wrote:

A) These are the two best configurations for maximizing R&D accesses needed to win


That's a contentious point. They also maximise the number of R&D accesses and advances needed for the corp to win. They're primarily useful when the corp intends to draw out the game (e.g. Jinteki core).

wildfire393 wrote:
B) They allow for the corporation to be more consistent with their traps.


1) Edge of the World, Junebug, and Aggressive Secretary are not cards I would recommend putting into your first constructed deck.

2) On the other hand, bluffing an upgrade or asset as a 3/2 (or 3/1) is very important. However, doing so does not depend significantly on your actual agenda mix.

In any case: the basics are much more important!
 
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Iain Galloway
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Jadiel wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
I'm finding making Corp decks much more difficult then Runner decks...

I feel that because of the Ice and Agenda's I have so little space left... (45 cards).


Bear in mind that conventional wisdom would include 49 cards in a corp deck, rather than 45.


Yeah. I'd usually recommend 49 cards for a beginner corp deck.

Don't fret too much about "having space left". If you have 10 agendas, 24 ice, 9 money cards, you don't need anything else to win. What are you trying to find space for? For the most part, you'll find that it isn't that important.

Do you fancy sharing one of your corp decks with us? We can help you trim it.
 
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Mike
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Jadiel wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
I'm finding making Corp decks much more difficult then Runner decks...

I feel that because of the Ice and Agenda's I have so little space left... (45 cards).


Bear in mind that conventional wisdom would include 49 cards in a corp deck, rather than 45.


May I ask the reasoning behind this?

 
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Jeremy Larner
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Mike1977 wrote:
Jadiel wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
I'm finding making Corp decks much more difficult then Runner decks...

I feel that because of the Ice and Agenda's I have so little space left... (45 cards).


Bear in mind that conventional wisdom would include 49 cards in a corp deck, rather than 45.


May I ask the reasoning behind this?



Often you want to reduce the probability of the runner hitting agendas when running R&D and HQ as much as possible. Most decks would prefer to have their agendas coming at a slower pace.

By increasing the number of non-agenda cards in the deck (adding 4 non-agendas to go from 45 to 49), you achieve both of these aims. The cost is that you deck will be a little less consistent, but conventional wisdom would argue that the benefit is greater than the cost.
 
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Mike
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Jadiel wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
Jadiel wrote:
Mike1977 wrote:
I'm finding making Corp decks much more difficult then Runner decks...

I feel that because of the Ice and Agenda's I have so little space left... (45 cards).


Bear in mind that conventional wisdom would include 49 cards in a corp deck, rather than 45.


May I ask the reasoning behind this?



Often you want to reduce the probability of the runner hitting agendas when running R&D and HQ as much as possible. Most decks would prefer to have their agendas coming at a slower pace.

By increasing the number of non-agenda cards in the deck (adding 4 non-agendas to go from 45 to 49), you achieve both of these aims. The cost is that you deck will be a little less consistent, but conventional wisdom would argue that the benefit is greater than the cost.


Ok, I understand... Mind you if "peak" optimization occurs 49, and the minimum deck size is 45, we really are talking about a very small "optimization" difference.

EDIT: Damn nevermind, it makes even more sense mow... Because at 50 cards, the agenda points go up... I get it...
 
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Iain Galloway
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Mike1977 wrote:
Jadiel wrote:
Bear in mind that conventional wisdom would include 49 cards in a corp deck, rather than 45.


May I ask the reasoning behind this?


Conventional wisdom in deckbuilding games is that a lean deck is better because it's less random. This is doubly true in Netrunner because you receive only 15 influence to spend regardless of how many cards are in your deck.

So, 45 cards would "usually" be best.

However, for corp decks, we have one other constraining factor - we must include 20-21 points of agendas regardless of whether we include 45-49 cards.

The maths is fairly complicated and probably out of scope, but you can use the following rules of thumb:-

On average, for a 49 card deck, compared to a 45 card deck:-

1) The corp will need to draw an extra 1-2 times to find the cards it needs.
2) The runner will need to make an extra 1-3 random accesses to score 7 points.

Unless the game has gone horribly wrong, 1-3 random accesses costs the runner far more than drawing 1-2 cards costs the corp, so most corp decks (and especially straightforward beginner ones) gain more out of playing 49 cards than they lose.
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My opinion on this one:


1. that is defined by the deck itself.
There are some decks based on Big Rigs, with one of each Icebreaker. For that matter you'll have to consider two things:
-card draw
-tutoring
I like to have 2-each for the 3 'Breakers I use, and I consider them with Diesel (draw) and Test Run (tutor).
But, as said before, there are some decks that only run 3x Crypsis, or adding one or two Wyrms or one or two Femme's.
Some decks - Criminal - run well without any 'Breakers untill mid-late game, where they'll fetch a Femme or a Crypsis.


2. again, that is defined by the deck itself.
If you play a 49 card Control Corp deck you should have 18~19 ICE on your deck. If you go for 54 as I did you'll need 20~22.
I play low on ICE and high on Operations because the way I like to play and the decks I build.
There is a horizontal build of Jinteki with lots of traps that manages low on ICE, but that's part of that deck strategy.


3. I guess the number of Agendas has to be balanced by the Operations/strategy you have in your deck.
Slow decks and ICE Fortress decks like to manage 7 Agenda Cards because they have the resources and the time to leave an Agenda in a Server being advanced through 2-3 turns.
Fast Advance decks like to manage more 1-2 Points Agenda Cards and will drop-n-score Agendas from hand.

I don't know if there is a "magic" number of Agenda cards but I run 10 Agenda cards in a 54 cards deck and I really like the balance of this mix. I play 2x 3 points Agendas and 8x 2 points Agendas. This will avoid the Runner scoring 3 points in one Run most of the times, forcing the Runner to fetch 4 Agenda cards to win the game but also allows me to have a non-Agenda card in hand for 3-4 turns and that is great because will give me time to build or prepare my combo.


Those 3 questions will always depend on the deck you've built and not on a "magic" number like other games where there are some "magic" numbers!
 
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