Imperfect Blue

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Chimpster
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Imperfect Blue

Postby Chimpster » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:32 pm

Site Article: http://netrunners.co.uk/articles/imperfect%20blue.html

In response to the 'Perfect Blue' article written by David Hoyland, El-ad David Amir (2014 Canadian National Champion) has kindly taken the time to compose an article which asks the simple question: 'What would be a good starting point for a Criminal build?' He explores both the current card pool and future releases to assess whether current Criminal archetypes could be augmented or whether new archetypes could potentially emerge. Is there life in the old girl yet?
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby GuyCliquil » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:37 pm

I seem to hit a Bullfrog when I click on that link.... :P
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Chimpster » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:44 pm

Yeah, it has since been corrected ;)
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby GuyCliquil » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:30 pm

Personally I think the idea that there is a vast card pool not explored a little unlikely and far fetched. The NR community is of a reasonable size but, more importantly, it is highly interconnected. Ideas spread like wildfire when they truly work. When they don't work I think they still get talked about. I think there are plenty of players, myself included, who regularly try and dig deep within the card pool to see if there is something we can do differently. In fact, there are very few cards I don't think I have seriously tried to use in a build. I don't think I am that unusual in that either. I also don't think I am unusual in finding that there are fundamentals to the IDs that are considered "weaker" that genuinely do make the play more difficult.

I think there are plenty of occasions where cards are just better and worse. The problem for criminals at the moment is that though they have a lot of very good cards, they also have to work within a faction that is cards that are noticeably less effective.

The two archetypes used as examples in the article are great. I would note however that in both cases you could easily begin to wonder if Criminals are best at doing what they are trying to do. Account Siphon only robs you of 5 credits; if you really want to be hitting a corp for money simply derezzing or trashing a Architect or Bastion 1.0 or similar has the same effect out of Reina. You only need to hit a an Ichi 1.0. Grim or Lotus Field to get the same effect out of Noise. Is Geist really, as an ID, helping the game as much as Reina's would or Noise's would? Or even Quetzl's? Is the card draw that effective when two Anarch cards give you, arguably, at least as good an ability for card draw?

I have long been a fan of Endless Waltz, and I can see the argument for porting Faust in but the sacrifices made for it (it has lost all meaningful R&D pressure) make me wonder if there is anything truly gained by this.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Panda with issues... » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:16 pm

Normally a fan of El-Ad's stuff, but this is unconvincing.

the Netrunner community *still* has not explored the card pool enough. We have gone through Store Championships, Regionals, and Nationals, but the pool of competitive decks is rather slim


But yet the two deck lists he puts up can be summarised as 'Here's a few new cards allowing another way to connect with Account Siphon'

Drive By and Gang Sign are in neither of the builds he puts forward (though Drug Dealer is).

Not sure this article leaves us any closer to answering the questions posed in Dave's original piece.

We're approaching a point of 'ALL CHANGE' anyway with Data and Destiny, so we'll have to see where Criminal falls after that.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Cerberus » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:28 pm

It's worth noting that El-ad has only done limited testing with those builds, but thinks there is potential. They are very likely not perfect but are a starting point to explore more.

I'm not sure that you are 100% right about the card pool being fully explored (though you've made some great points). It's quite common for decks to take hundreds of games and changes to get them right. Chris Hinkes with his Cambridge PE (and now IG) decks are great examples of this. Most people don't spend the time needed on an ID or card choice to really know, I played Leela for 6-8 months before I was really happy with it fully.

I feel that people often don't test cards because they've been dismissed by the community, I'm definitely guilty if this. 99% of the time the wider community is correct but we should definitely test more.

If only we had infinite time to play Netrunner and no jobs, education, family etc to get in the way. ;)
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby GuyCliquil » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:02 pm

That's an interesting point. It does lead me into a relevant but slightly divergent unrelated question of how you judge whether you are on to something or not.

Let's take as a starting point that you are right and so is El-ad that there are archetypes there waiting to be found. I don't find that as inconceivable as I seem to have said above, certainly when you put it as you have.

Imagine you are starting on a process of trying to build a new archetype, or a new deck design, whatever it may be -, a Marcus Batty brain damage out of Cybernetics, a Larmy HQ pressure deck, a GRINDL rush archetype ,a Nasir deck that uses "Push your Luck" to double up on money or whatever the more sensible amongst you can come up with. How are you able to tell that you are on to something?

What is that journey like for people who know the game fairly well? I don't think that has ever been documented. I may, or may not, have dipped my hand into making new decks with some modest success. But how does you tell if the deck you are working with is getting steamrolled because it is early days and it is playing against truly refined machines, or if it is getting steamrolled because it is genuinely just not going to be able to stand up on its own two feet? Is it instinct? Or are there some rules of thumb?

I think, if the spirit of creativity is to be encouraged and it is perceived to be lacking, there would need to be a greater level of understanding from players of my level or just above of how to know when the spark of creativity is worth pursuing, or when to know you're going the wrong way down a one way street.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby mendax » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:29 pm

For me, when I'm building a new deck 95% of it is made through theorycrafting. I'll have a central theme I want to explore, and this can largely be filled out before testing.

To judge whether a build has potential, part of it is based on results, but more for me is on how it feels. This can be mostly condensed into 3 questions:

1) How disruptive is it to the other side? How much pressure does it put them under?
2) How resistant is it to various forms of disruption (Noise, Siphon, Midseasons etc)?
3) How well does it deal with bad starts or draws?

There are other meta calls beyond this, but that's my basic starting point. Any deck that doesn't put the other side under any real pressure is unlikely to be good, no matter how smoothly and consistently it functions. This is why glaciers need some way to lock a game down - pressure from the boardstate - or they just lose to remote camping. Any deck that can score from hand exerts pressure in that way, but are often vulnerable economically. And so on.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Nemamiah » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:02 pm

You shouldn't expect a deck to work straight away, but what you can look at is why it isn't working. Often, it will be something obvious that you can tweak, and that's a good sign that there's still mileage in your build. Fix it, then play it again and reassess.

For example, if you play a deck and it's too slow, put some draw in. If it's too poor, put some more money in. Add ice or breakers if you can't find enough. Making a successful original deck will usually take a dozen or more of these iterations, something most of us don't have the time or patience for.

On the flip side, you also need to know when to abandon the whole project. This will usually come at one of two points. You might have gone through the above process, and decided you just can't balance the deck; maybe it's so economy hungry that you can't even fit the other cards you need in, or you need to make the deck faster but have no influence you can free up for draw. The second one is where you decide the idea of the deck is just fundamentally flawed; it's not the balance of your deck that's wrong, it's just never going to work.

In my opinion, people (myself included) grab upon the second reason way too often. There's almost always a change you can make to improve the deck and try again.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby GuyCliquil » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:58 pm

Great points made above.

I can't help but note that upcoming packs in the Mumbad cycle appear to have considerable Criminal love!
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Cerberus » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:48 am

Leela is the only deck I can use as an example that is vaguely mine. But even with her I looked at what other authors were doing and tested to see if it worked.
One of my first versions of Leela had Clone Chips and Dogs gallore, but Criminal just don't have the recursion needed without sacrificing other areas. I took her to a lot of tournaments and the games I lost I was making notes on why, sometimes it was that I was too slow to stop the Astros but actually a lot of the time I could link it back to not having enough R&D pressure or my Cerberus Rex being over taxed etc and so tried changes to fix these problems.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby MasterAir » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:40 am

Have you tried to get Leela on Drugs Cerberus? Drugs seems pretty enormous for most criminal builds.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Cerberus » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:28 am

MasterAir wrote:Have you tried to get Leela on Drugs Cerberus? Drugs seems pretty enormous for most criminal builds.


Very minimal testing. Economy is still the problem and so I'm not sure if the drain this causes is worth it, as I said, minimal testing though.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Brendan » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:51 am

Drugs are not cheap. I think you want to run them in a deck that has a nice big jump-start and/or bonus economy - Andromeda, Gabe or Ken. I don't think they're a great fit for Leela, but I've not done huge amounts of testing myself.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Panda with issues... » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:52 am

Brendan wrote:Drugs are not cheap. I think you want to run them in a deck that has a nice big jump-start and/or bonus economy - Andromeda, Gabe or Ken. I don't think they're a great fit for Leela, but I've not done huge amounts of testing myself.


One of our locals has got good work out of them in Iain Stirling.
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Re: Imperfect Blue

Postby Brendan » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:59 am

Yeah, that's the economic identity I forgot...

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