• The Attack Zone 2x02: Netdeck, Net-LEARN!

    The Attack Zone returns for the second installment of its second run.

    Today, we start by checking some homework to see who is responsible and who is procrastinating. Then, JT takes the center chair to bring up the topic of deck evaluation and netdecking. Given that two of the three of us find from-scratch deckbuilding to be a weakness, this is important for us, and we're sure that it's important to a lot of you, too.

    Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you again in two weeks!

    Want to correspond? Mailbag@thereservepool.com, @TheReservePool on Twitter, and of course our blogs and forums at www.thereservepool.com.

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    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Drakolich's Avatar
      Drakolich -
      Wow that was really awesome. Listening to your tactics on backtracking why people put certain cards on the teams was cool.

      Thanks for the great podcast!
    1. Barbain's Avatar
      Barbain -
      Not able to see a link to the podcast itself, as in, a direct link or an iTunes link. Not sure if its just me though.
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      Quote Originally Posted by Barbain View Post
      Not able to see a link to the podcast itself, as in, a direct link or an iTunes link. Not sure if its just me though.
      Link just added.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Barbain View Post
      Not able to see a link to the podcast itself, as in, a direct link or an iTunes link. Not sure if its just me though.

      Thanks for the fix @Flexei ... I'll say that subscribing is a good way around that problem
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      I realize I'm flying in the face of your podcast a bit here, but I have a fundamental issue with netdecking. I feel like it ultimately hurts a player to rely on it, giving them tunnel vision. I basically feel like it amounts to playing the game with blinders on where you're ignoring the potential of many of the other cards that have been produced thus far. I also feel like it hurts the community at large which can be witnessed by the vast amount of bard teams we're seeing around right now. It leaves many players (including some of our own staff) going "I can't beat this. I might as well play it."

      Of course, you're talking about "the competitive" aspects of dice masters, and as always there are tiers and teams that everyone is going to play, but I find it much more rewarding to come up with my own solutions to meta and I think its better for the health of the game when other people do the same.

      (And I may be the one whipping up an article about a couple decent tools to combating Bard Blitz coming in Civil War here soon)
    1. Randy's Avatar
      Randy -
      I feel like it ultimately hurts a player to rely on it, giving tunnel vision. I basically feel like it amounts to playing the game with blinders on where you're ignoring the potential of many of the other cards that have been produced thus far.
      I don't disagree. That's why we talked about playing it, getting to know it, putting in those reps. I'm a decent team builder, but I'm not so naive to think there's nothing for me to learn from others. Quite the opposite. I WANT to learn the other teams. I want to get to know them. So when I feel there's a change that needs to be made, I'm more familiar with the different roles and how they function. There's a very real difference between taking a team list to an event and expecting to do well, and practicing with a team list you found until you make it YOUR team. That's a point we tried to hit home during the podcast.
    1. memmek2k's Avatar
      memmek2k -
      Quote Originally Posted by Flexei View Post
      I realize I'm flying in the face of your podcast a bit here, but I have a fundamental issue with netdecking. I feel like it ultimately hurts a player to rely on it, giving them tunnel vision. I basically feel like it amounts to playing the game with blinders on where you're ignoring the potential of many of the other cards that have been produced thus far. I also feel like it hurts the community at large which can be witnessed by the vast amount of bard teams we're seeing around right now. It leaves many players (including some of our own staff) going "I can't beat this. I might as well play it."
      I think there's a happy medium - a new player can "catch up" with the local meta a lot faster with netdecking and appropriate learning. Many players need to understand how the meta cards work before they can move past them, especially the ones without prior CCG experience.

      I also don't think competitive deckbuilding is for everyone, and I think that's a good point they bring up. And for casual play, I would certainly encourage not netdecking. But at a competitive level, it's going to be the the Johnnies that tend to need bring their own solutions to the meta, rather than e.g. a Nuts & Bolts Spike whose solution to the meta is their own internal preparation.

      I do agree with you, though - I can't bring a straight netdeck team to a tournament. I have to modify it by at least one card. It's just not rewarding for me. But I also don't do super well at tournaments, so :/

      I hope that a lot of the Bard teams will start to fade away with the Relentless ban - Bard doesn't have a PXG-less T3 win if you just field a couple sidekicks now (and with the Ring global available from that team, shouldn't be a problem). Our playtesting has Poly-hulk (not that this team is any better in terms of creativity...) back to being useful against the team, and non-meta overcrush teams can even do well with a skilled pilot.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      The other thing is that I don't think the barrier for entry should include "being a gifted brewer." There are a lot of excellent from-scratch Brewers out there and I'm not one of them.

      You ultimately do want to get to the point of understanding so that you can tweak or know what decisions are needed. Net decking on its *own* is bad, but if you play it out from beginning to end its not - hence the "learning" element.

      In the end, though, I'm going to bring whatever gives me the best chance to win, whatever it is.
    1. Stormyknight's Avatar
      Stormyknight -
      Net decking turns into a bad thing when you can't adjust on your own with the set releases. If originally you saw the Bard deck and said "hey that's a cool deck I'll try that" then a new set comes out and you put your own spin on it, then you have successfully added something to the meta. If you can only play a list that you saw online and refuse to change until another winning list comes out, then it is being stubborn and only hurting yourself. Technically anyone is net decking if they are using any combo or list that they read about or saw win.

      Net decking a "shell" of a team is not bad in my opinion, evolving and molding it into your own variation then testing it.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stormyknight View Post
      Net decking turns into a bad thing when you can't adjust on your own with the set releases. If originally you saw the Bard deck and said "hey that's a cool deck I'll try that" then a new set comes out and you put your own spin on it, then you have successfully added something to the meta. If you can only play a list that you saw online and refuse to change until another winning list comes out, then it is being stubborn and only hurting yourself. Technically anyone is net decking if they are using any combo or list that they read about or saw win.

      Net decking a "shell" of a team is not bad in my opinion, evolving and molding it into your own variation then testing it.

      This is true. Net decking is bad when it stops with net decking. Hence, the net *learning*
    1. ccm00007's Avatar
      ccm00007 -
      @Flexei made my point for me. I feel that netdecking, if it is all that a player does, is a significant difficulty for said player. Yeah, you can learn how a deck works if you play it enough. But you run into big disadvantages if you try to foray into new mechanics, or if everyone just ends up ignoring great cards because they didn't catch on as great "meta" cards. Would I have been able to build my WKO Batman team if I didn't mess around with Green Goblin: Norman Osborn just a short while before? I doubt it.

      Brewing breeds innovation. Netdecking breeds fine-tweaking. Both have a place, and neither deserves to be dismissed as a weakness; it's something any player should strive to improve on.

      As far as I'm concerned, brewing may not be a prerequisite to be a good player, but a good player should try to brew something up him/herself, if only to know how the different cards work.

      And instead of just replying here, I intend to put my money where my mouth is: I think I'm going to do a brewers' guide. A step-by-step guide on how to build good decks from scratch. I've got some notes made for my personal use that I can share on the topic.
    1. zeon20's Avatar
      zeon20 -
      While I do think the community could benefit more if we had more brewers in the competitive scene rather than people net deck teams, I also understand why player do it. Not everybody has the time to create their own team that can successfully win in a high level tournament. And when your spending your own time and money travelling to these big events, the last thing you want to do is risk losing cause your trying something different. Also not everyone is a brewer, some are just really solid pilots. And net decking allows them to do really well in tournaments because they are able to learn tech created by others and in some cases, utilize that tech better than the creator. So there certainly isn't anything wrong with netdecking for the competitive scene in my opinion.
      @Jthomash2 Working at a mental health clinic, I get the hippa joke lol.
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Sharing team lists helps to develop the strategy in the community.
      You said it in the podcast - it helped you to understand how it works and how to use Resurrection (with Ring).
    1. grundalow's Avatar
      grundalow -
      Thanks for the shoutout JT!
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by grundalow View Post
      Thanks for the shoutout JT!
      Congrats on the win. I'm sure it was well earned! And based on what I saw of your team, you went through a process somewhat similar to this. Any thoughts you'd care to add?
    1. grundalow's Avatar
      grundalow -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jthomash2 View Post
      Congrats on the win. I'm sure it was well earned! And based on what I saw of your team, you went through a process somewhat similar to this. Any thoughts you'd care to add?
      Well, in my recent PDC adventure, I was working with a game mechanic that was new to me: control [the mechanism, not the archetype]. I spent some time going over that aspect of the rule book to ensure I was (1) doing it the right way and (2) understood it well enough to use it to my advantage. In the short term this helped me play my team well, but in the long run it gives me a better understanding of a game mechanic, as well as understand how to disrupt it.
    1. grundalow's Avatar
      grundalow -
      And I'm willing to admit, at the WKO, I made a mistake and never read your Constantine. I just assumed it was Hellblazer. While it had no impact on our game, that was a major lesson learned for me.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by grundalow View Post
      And I'm willing to admit, at the WKO, I made a mistake and never read your Constantine. I just assumed it was Hellblazer. While it had no impact on our game, that was a major lesson learned for me.
      Ha! Someone later on said, "Aren't you going to name a character?" I simply replied, "no" and the look of shock later when I asked him to reroll an action die was priceless!
    1. Jwannabe's Avatar
      Jwannabe -
      I wouldn't mind a blog entry on the ring/resurrection combo.

      Great podcast. I fall into the anti-net decking category for teams that I play , buuuuuttttt I really like trying out other people's builds to get an idea of how their brains work in comparison to mine. This makes me really glad we have a very open and mostly friendly community.