Teaching Netrunner: Part 3

Teaching Netrunner: Part 3

This is part three of an article focused on helping experienced Android: Netrunner players teach the game to new players. You can find previous entries here:

Teaching Netrunner: Part 1

Teaching Netrunner: Part 2

I recommend reading through the previous entries for some helpful teaching methods and context for this article’s decklists. Since publishing parts one and two, I have gotten several requests to update the decks with new cards. These decks are meant to replace the official Core Set decks and are built for balance and rule comprehension. Today, I will provide updated decklists for the original two teaching decks, enhancing the quality of player interaction and making games more tense. It is my hope that this article will help experienced Netrunner players bring friends and family into the hobby and grow a healthy community.


First, let’s review some quick tips on teaching Netrunner:

  •  Be patient – Keep in mind that whoever you are teaching is starting from scratch. They may bring assumptions from other games (eg, Timing Stack from Magic) or have knowledge gaps that you take for granted (eg, asymmetrical decks have different types of cards). In the same vein, don’t count on your first game on finishing in the normal amount of time–set aside at least an hour.
  • Be understanding – The goal of teaching new players Netrunner is to introduce new people to an amazing game. Make an effort to understand what the new players enjoys in games, perhaps by asking them about some of their favorites and identifying any similarities.
  • Have fun – If you’re not having fun, it’s going to be very difficult for a new player to have fun. Realize that teaching games are not normal games and your goal is to show the new player a good game rather than winning.


Now, let’s take a look at the new decklists. I’ll start with the updated runner deck and give an explanation for the changes.

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker

Event (18)
3 Diesel
3 Dirty Laundry
1 Early Bird
3 Infiltration
1 Legwork
3 Modded
3 Sure Gamble
1 The Maker’s Eye

Hardware (5)
2 Akamatsu Mem Chip
1 Astrolabe
1 HQ Interface
1 R&D Interface

Resource (11)
2 Borrowed Satellite
3 Daily Casts
1 John Masanori
1 Kati Jones
1 Tri-maf Contact
3 Underworld Contact

Icebreaker (8)
1 Atman
2 Corroder
3 Gordian Blade
2 Ninja

Program (3)
3 Magnum Opus

For the runner deck, I kept the same breaker suite except for switching out x1 Crypsis for x1 Atman. I think Atman is a little easier to understand and interacts nicely with advanceable ice. Early Bird, Legwork, and Tri-Maf are all simple, useful additions that encourage different styles of play. Astrolabe is a more interactive (and viable) console that requires the runner to pay attention to what the corp is doing. John Masanori helps with risk-reward and makes tags relevant, even when playing against a corp that doesn’t tag. There are more unique cards in this deck, but I think new players should be able to handle it.

Next, I’ll explain the updates to the corp deck.

Weyland Consortium: Building a Better World

Agenda (10)
1 Corporate War
3 Geothermal Fracking
3 Government Contracts
3 Hostile Takeover

Asset (5)
1 City Surveillance
2 GRNDL Refinery
2 Primary Transmission Dish

Operation (16)
3 Beanstalk Royalties
3 Hedge Fund
1 Invasion of Privacy
2 Punitive Counterstrike
3 Restructure
2 Shipment from Kaguya
2 Snatch and Grab

Barrier (8)
2 Changeling
1 Curtain Wall
2 Hive
3 Ice Wall

Code Gate (5)
3 Enigma
2 Pop-up Window

Sentry (5)
2 Rototurret
3 Shadow

The corp deck underwent more changes than the runner, most notably with the addition of x2 Punitive Counterstrike. Melange could sometimes lead to bad habits and was generally boring so I replaced it with some utility assets, filling out our influence this time, courtesy of NBN. I also included some very thematic cards like Invasion of Privacy and Snatch and Grab to immerse players more in the universe. I switched out Private Security Force because it could sometimes lead to negative play experiences, locking the runner into drawing up every turn. Curtain Wall emphasizes positional advantage while providing a big effect that should satisfy the Timmy in all of us. Changeling shows how important ice subtypes are and makes the corp pay more attention to what the runner is doing. GRNDL refinery can provide large amounts of money which is always a good feeling.

Like the changes to the teaching decks? Have your own suggestions on what to include? Discuss in our forums! Join me next time for some alternative teaching decks that allow more choice for new players.

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