Hello, and welcome to another Android: Netrunner article. Today I will be covering the way the Corp can manipulate the flow of the game based on one of their primary deck construction choices: Agenda counts.
So, one of the important deck building considerations for the Corp is how many Agendas to include. For a standard 45-49 card deck you need 20-21 points, but that can be anything from 7 3 pointers to 21 1 point agenda (sometime in the future once they make some more 1 pointers.) How you choose to fill your agenda points as far as how many Agendas to use will have strong repercussions on your game play, mainly on how many are needed for each side to win but also the likely hood of drawing into them both for your self and the Runner when he wants to top deck.
Since the abilities of Agenda are different for each faction I will only speak generally about the point scale rather than dig into the actual abilities as it influences which category is best for the faction to play/ which are available rather than which categories are available. Also, these are assuming a standard 45-49 deck size. Obviously different deck sizes will need different Agenda counts, thus skewing the potential categories.
7 3 point Agendas
In my mind the best choice for a trap deck, as all of your Agenda will now take 5 points to score, meaning like traps they hang out for a while masking the traps vs the real Agendas, while also giving you more room in the deck for said traps. Both players will always need 3 Agenda score/steals to win the game. One of the main advantages of the 3 pointers is that, since they are harder to score, they often have stronger abilities than their 2 point cousins. On the other hand there are very few in faction choices at the moment, so some Corps can’t even try this and those who can have little choice in which Agenda to use.
10 2 point Agendas
Since most of the Agenda released have been at this point total this is one of the easier totals to play. With 10 Agenda you’re likely to see one in your opening hand. Further, if you play entirely 2 pointers both players will need 4 Agenda to win making it less likely for the Runner to luck sack into a win before you’re prepared. The two pointers have a range of advancement counts, from 3 to 6, so I can’t say anything generally about how easy they are to pull off. Every faction will play differently.
21 1 point Agendas
Just kidding, this is currently not an option. Maybe some day. That said, it would likely make for an interesting fast advance deck as all of the agenda would surely be easy to score. Either side would need 7 to win, meaning you can lose some to the Runner without having to worry too much. Without Medium/Maker’s Eye the Runner will need 7 different successful lucky runs. Also, you can always fuel Archie without feeling too bad. On the other hand, nearly half of your deck is Agenda leaving little room for ICE, economy or tricks.
A mix of 1 and 2 point Agendas.
The actually possible use of 1 pointers. Based on the exact ratio you’ll find in most games players need 4-5 Agenda to win. Further you’ll likely have fuel for Archer that you won’t mind using. As with the pure 1 pointers you’ll run into issues with large proportions of the deck being Agenda, meaning both in game you’ll be seeing them more often, but also you’ll have less room for other important functions.
Of course, other than these extreme categories there are a number of intermediate categories, such as the 3 3 point, 6 2 point that most factions were forced to run with just the core set. For the most part these intermediate tiers are going to have strengths and weaknesses of both tiers around them. For instance, the base option just mentioned does not have the guaranteed 4 Agenda to win that the all 2 deck did, but likely due to the factional Agenda currently available has a more interesting suite of powers once Agenda are scored. At this point you’re likely building the Agenda suite around the powers of the Agenda rather than the point totals. And of course there are other, weirder combinations you could make, such as Weyland playing 3 Government Contracts and then a mixing of 1 and 2 point Agenda. At that point playing the deck is the only way to tell if the Agenda mix you are using is right for your playstyle/ deck build.
Good luck constructing your Corp decks. Happy … Corping? Not being hacked? UnRunning?
Happy Agenda Scoring!