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Android: Netrunner» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Opening Hand Priorities and Mulligans rss

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William Frank
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Deciding to take a mulligan is a tricky thing. You're guaranteed to be stuck with whatever you draw, so what if it's the fabled "4 agendas and no ice" discussed downthread? For the runner, what if you end up with three Femmes Fatale (yes, I'm being pretentious with that plural, so sue me), a Toolbox, and a Net Shield? (Besides that you should probably fix your deck.)

What are the priorities for what you want in your opening hand?

Runner

The Runner has what I see as four basic categories: Economy, Breakers, Stack Control, and Tricks.

Economy is obvious--cards that get you money as a major purpose. Magnum Opus, Underworld Contact, Liberated Accounts, Armitage Codebusting...you know what I mean.
Breakers are likewise obvious. If you're running Noise Anarch, you can probably include virus cards here too.
Stack Control lets you either go through your stack faster, or search it for cards. Special Order, Test Run, Diesel, Wyldside, the upcoming Mr. Li, are all Stack Control. (Rabbit Hole counts here as well, actually.)
Tricks are everything else--Notoriety, All-Nighter, Inside Job, Sneakdoor Beta, Deja Vu, Ice Carver...critical cards, but less strategies in and of themselves, more plans that boost existing strategies.

In order of priority, for me:

- Economy. If I don't have something that can get me economy (for my Kate Big Rig, that's either Magnum Opus or Underworld Contact with a link boost), that's almost guaranteed to be a mulligan, unless I have...
- Stack Control. Test Running a Magnum Opus is suboptimal but if I have a strong hand all around, I might be able to live with it. Diesel is a dangerous proposition here, but it has paid off for me often enough. Advantage of a minimal-sized deck...
- Really, I suppose that's about it. I mean, yes, I'd rather follow that up with Breakers (not counting Femmes, because that's what Test Run is for) over Tricks, but really, Economy or Stack Control or GTFO.

Corp

The Corp has similar categories:

Economy. PAD Campaign, Melange, Hedge Fund...
Defense. Mostly ice, but also cards like Ash, Wielder of the Boomstick and defensive upgrades like Jinteki's bag of tricks.
Agendas. Unless you're playing tag-n-bag, and really, even then, you need these to win the game. But so does the runner, after all...
Tricks. I don't have Stack Control listed because while the Corp does have some (Anonymous Tip, Project Atlas, Aggressive Negotiations), it's less prevalent, as the Corp has a mandatory draw every turn. So those cards fall into the Tricks category, along with tags, Snares, sysadmins, and so on.

My priority for Corp hands:

- Defense, preferably ice. If you don't have at least one piece of ice in your hand, preferrably two, it had better be the otherwise perfect hand. (My favorite opening ice is Tollbooth, but that's expensive. Wall of Static is a pretty good second.)
- Economy. Hedge Fund or Beanstalk Royalties let you threaten that the ice you just put on HQ and R&D is bigger stuff; and a naked remote could be a PAD Campaign or Melange (if it's an iced remote, you could be saying say "go ahead, run HQ, there's nothing there").
- Again, really, that's about it. I'd rather not have one of Winners or Tricks over another--I'd rather have some of each, especially a cheap Agenda (Breaking News is my favorite) that I can afford to get stolen without ruining me, and that I can use to good effect, along with the Tricks (Psychographics, Closed Accounts, and so on) to make it happen.

Thoughts?
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João Almeida
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As a runner, I mulligan if I don't have at least 2 economy card. As a corp, I try to have at least 2 pieces of ice. I usually draw a lot in the first turns, so my mulligan criterias are not really sofisticated.
 
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B C Z
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When playing Noise, I mulligan if I don't have Wyldside.
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Wesley Austin Kinslow
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byronczimmer wrote:
When playing Noise, I mulligan if I don't have Wyldside.


I'll keep a hand that has Workshop + juicyness but otherwise, yeah, I'll try to mull into the Wyldside if I can.
 
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Der Teiler
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With my Chaos deck, I either want to have a Magnum Opus or a Personal Workshop with something to install on.
 
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Justin
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As corp, I don't just want ice, I want ice that I can afford (depending on economy cards) to rez on runner turn 1.
 
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Marcus Aurelius
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One important thing to consider is, when you are playing the runner especially, whether your opponent took a mulligan. This could even affect your decision to mulligan, but also your opening.

If the corp didn't mulligan his hand is at least decent, and likely not stacked with agendas, and probably has at least 1 ice he can rez to defend one of the central servers. In this case you definitely want the hand with your cardinal development cards like Wyldside/Magnum Opus.

If he did mulligan his hand can be anything, even 5 agendas, so perhaps you can keep your "faster" more punishing hand.
 
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David Jensen
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I don't really mulligan. May as well practice the hands. Suppose you mulligan into it the worst?

Tournament settings; really tricky. It'd have to be really awful.

As Criminal, I run aggressive Gabe and tried a few games just for fun to mulligan if I didn't get a Sneakdoor Beta.

As Corps, I did mulligan in a tournament with 3 agendas and no ICE. I could have played it. I figured I would draw into ICE but I decided that if I was going to lose - then there is nothing to stop fate, may as well give myself a chance. And so I took a mulligan.

 
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Alejandro G.
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Kate: Magnum Opus or Test Run, otherwise we mulligan.
 
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Brian H
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I watched a video recently where there was talk of when to mulligan on either side. Check it out if interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIY37KZJluU&list=UUVISFgM7zto...

(These guys also did a great tutorial video on how to play A:NR that I watched when I first got the game. Did a way better job than just reading the rulebook)
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