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JosephCurwen

More than the minimum deck size?

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I'm new to card games in general, and I was wondering why it is so bad to go with a corp or runner deck that is say 54 cards instead of the minimum 45? I find that I can't reduce my deck size because there are so many cards I want in my deck. Will this affect my play? I guess I'll be pulling from more cards so  I will see even less of everything in the deck, but isn't that just part of the gamble since you probably won't see half your cards anyhow? What difference will an extra 10 cards make?

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Right now I have a HB deck with 64 cards in it. The only thing I'm afraid of is having so many agendas in the deck that I might pull 4 in a row or something…

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Mr. Curwen - I thought you were dead . . . ?

But anyway, this has been discussed elsewhere, but I'm too lazy to look it up, so I'll just recap.  The answer is different depending on Corp vs Runner.

For Runner, it's fairly simple:  the smaller your deck, the more likely you are to draw the most important cards in your deck.  While all your cards may be important to some degree - that's why they're there! - some are clearly more important than others.  For instance, in a Virus deck, you definitely want to get your Djinn out early, as it lets you go find all the Virus cards that drive your strategy.  The smaller your deck, the faster you're going to get your Djinn.  Now, whether 45 is small enough, or whether 40 (from using Chaos Theory, the new Shaper identity) is so much better that it's worth going with a less useful special ability, well, that's a subject for debate.  But once your Runner deck starts getting up past 55 or 60 cards, you're definitely hurting efficiency.

The situation with Corp is more complicated due, of course, to the Agendas.  You need a minimum number of Agendas, but drawing them is bad; but the number depends on your deck size.  As you already noted, the larger your deck, the greater the chance of getting stuck with a lot of Agendas in your hand and nothing to defend them with, which is bad (I ran some statistics on this to confirm, but that's definitely how it works).  As such, you want as small a deck as possible, to minimize the chances of drawing too many Agendas.  But!  Within a deck size range, you definitely want as many non-Agenda cards as possible - again, to reduce the frequency of Agenda draws.  So for Corp, the situation, at least right now, is very simple:  49 cards is definitely the most efficient, as it gives you the most cards with the fewest Agendas.

How to get all the cards you want into that small of a deck?  Well, you can't:  that's why deckbuilding is a challenge.  But you can boost the efficiency of your deck by using "tutors":  cards that let you fish out the cards you want on demand.  Djinn is one, but there are several others; Special Order, Project Atlas, etc.  With those cards in your deck, you don't necessarily need to run three copies of everything; you can run two or even one copy, relying on your tutors to help you find them.  That will help you get your card count down while allowing for a little more diversity in the deck.

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There is no perfect size in this game on the Corp side. In most card games, I would say you should make the smallest deck allowed so that you maximize your chances of getting to your best cards the quickest. The difference in Netrunner is that you don't neccessarily want to get to your Agenda cards as quickly as possible, in fact, slowing down can be the best.

It's something I like about this game is there is a lot of room for creativity in deck buidling. While I agree that 49 is a good deck size to shoot for as a general rule, I see the ideal deck size as being a very felxible number depending on the deck.

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JosephCurwen said:

I'm new to card games in general, and I was wondering why it is so bad to go with a corp or runner deck that is say 54 cards instead of the minimum 45? I find that I can't reduce my deck size because there are so many cards I want in my deck. Will this affect my play? I guess I'll be pulling from more cards so  I will see even less of everything in the deck, but isn't that just part of the gamble since you probably won't see half your cards anyhow? What difference will an extra 10 cards make?

Yes. It will affect your play.

Building a large deck will stack the odds against you. The more cards you put in a deck- even if each card has a max number of copies- the smaller your chance is of drawing any of them. This is at the least a great inconvenience and at worst a crippling weakness in card games. Card games- Netrunner included- are about getting the right tools at the right time.

Large decks play sluggishly and react poorly to their slimmer opponents. The player of the smaller deck gets the cards he needs sooner because the chances are less against him than in the larger deck.

Trying to include everying is a common mistake. You only need certain cards to put into play the strategy you need to win. The more cards you put in, the harder it is to gather and deploy the cards that really matter. Making a fat deck means putting quantity in the way of victory. Part of playing card games is identifying what you need and recognizing what doesn't contribute to winning the game- and slimming down accordingly.

Lots of card gamers have crunched the numbers and found that adding even a few cards is enough to significantly disadvantage their games. 10 cards is a lot.

It doesn't matter that you won't see most of your cards in the course of a game- what matters is drawing the cards you need to win as soon as possible.

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Runix said:

The situation with Corp is more complicated due, of course, to the Agendas.  You need a minimum number of Agendas, but drawing them is bad; but the number depends on your deck size.  As you already noted, the larger your deck, the greater the chance of getting stuck with a lot of Agendas in your hand and nothing to defend them with, which is bad (I ran some statistics on this to confirm, but that's definitely how it works).  As such, you want as small a deck as possible, to minimize the chances of drawing too many Agendas.  But!  Within a deck size range, you definitely want as many non-Agenda cards as possible - again, to reduce the frequency of Agenda draws.  So for Corp, the situation, at least right now, is very simple:  49 cards is definitely the most efficient, as it gives you the most cards with the fewest Agendas.

Not disagreeing; just throwing out the exception (which, in a sense, confirms the logic of playing the odds in corp decks).

Weyland Decks that focus on suddenly blasting the runner to oblivion with Scorched Earth need to be able to get at least 2 of them in hand to reliably and safely pull it off. Even with the presence of search cards in Weyland's arsenal, it may be preferable to run just 45 cards to max out the chances of drawing the Scorched Earths, the cards to search for them and, of course, any other cards needed to support the strategy. With more agendas to choose from as each expansion is released, playing just 45 cards may not be such a risk when it comes to the runner chancing upon an agenda.

Similarly, the bigger the cardpool becomes, the more likely the 45-card corp deck size is adopted by other decks as new strategies arise. From experience, slimming down decks is something quick, rushing strategies benefit from the most. Should any new speed-based deck types arise, I wouldn't be surprised if they went for 45 cards rather than the safer but slower 49.

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