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Mr. Li

Mr. Li

Mr. Li

Type: Resource: Connection
Cost: 3
Faction: Runner Criminal
Faction Cost: 2
[Click]: Draw 2 cards. Add 1 of these cards to the bottom of your stack.
Set: Future Proof Number: 105 Quantity: 3
Illustrator: Gong Studios
Recent Decks Using This Card:
[Core 2.0] Criminal
Silhouette Exposed V2!
Ken Runs, thats what he does.
Kate 4 Darwin
Want to build a deck using this card? Check out the Android: Netrunner deckbuilder!


I'm really liking Mr. Li, I really do. I tend to do a lot of card digging in my Gabe, so this card can save me a few clicks in the long run.
What I do not like, however, is that he's a resource. I like to keep my tags on as a criminal.
Worth bearing in mind that tutors (e.g. Special Order, Replicator etc.) allow you to shuffle your deck.
Very helpful if your deck relies on a couple of key cards, sometimes even with 3x you have trouble finding what you need.

I just added a bit, over on Early Bird, criticizing the rather bland notion of click/credit equivalencies, which made me think of Mr. Li, and how he completely breaks click/credit analyses, because the value of this card has nothing to do with that.




Well, the received wisdom would state that he costs 3 credits + 2 clicks (1 to draw and 1 to play); in other words: Mr. Li costs "5 clicks" to play.


And then what do you do with him?


You click him to take 1 card into hand.


That's it. Sure you get to look at 2 cards, but you only get to take 1 into hand, so why go "5 clicks in the hole" with this guy?


Because looking at 2 cards and drawing the one you deem more necessary to the current game state is hugely beneficial. You'll always be "5 clicks behind," but it doesn't matter, because Mr. Li gives you some serious power in how you adapt to what is going on in front of you. Anyone who has played with this card knows how useful it can be.


Mr. Li let's you adapt to the context.


And that's what click/credit analyses lack: context.




As a quick aside, I've never seen anyone properly analyze the click equivalency of card draws in Netrunner statistically (which doesn't mean it hasn't been done) but the answer is never "1 click to draw."


Your worst situation in a typical deck, at 45 cards and a 5 card draw, with no cards to help you draw more quickly, is that a draw is worth 0.888 clicks.


This bit about 1 click to draw unless you're "lucky" enough to get a certain card in the initial draw is statistical nonsense: you get 5 cards, whether you want them or not. They may not be the ones you want, but 5 cards for zero clicks is part of the calculation. Andromeda does better at 0.8 clicks per draw.


That's without any cards aiding the draw. I have useful Andromeda decks that work at fewer than 0.5 clicks per draw (something like 0.42, if I recall).


That's still a static model, and your actual click per draw rate will be better, unless you routinely empty your deck, because the 5 cards you had at the beginning will count against 15 clicks, or 20, or however many you make to draw in your game.


N.B. that this isn't a question of probability in getting any particular card, but about clicks per draw: it's never 1, unless the corp is doing some awful things to you.


EXAMPLE and back to MR. LI:


Say you have Andromeda in an actual game. You have no extra draw. You see 27 cards. She starts with 9, so you clicked 18 times to see 27 cards: that's ~0.67 clicks per card you had in your hand (per "draw"). 27 is 60% of 45, so your probability of seeing a card of which you only have 1 copy is 0.6. This is a dependent variable of not only your clicks per draw, but the actual number of clicks you took.


Mr. Li is something different: this card is more qualitative than quantitative. That's why the standard quantitative analysis doesn't show Mr. Li's value. A way to express this in the above example with Andromeda is that your clicks per draw don't get better, but your probability of seeing a single given card increases.


At that point, it's up to the player to make the best decision, so Mr. Li is something of a card that rewards quality play over sheer brute force.

    • theamazingmrg, Lemonbrick and KillerShrike like this

All models of complex things like A:NR mechanics will be oversimplifications. Same with click > draw (or more extreme click = draw). I really hope no one uses click=cred as it's absurdly overvaluing creds for no good reason. But with draw, if you have no draw cards and you want an extra card you still need to spend one click.


The model should be useful for doing something. I'm not really convinced by the idea that draw costs less clicks, because I started with X cards. When I want one more card I will need to pay one click if I have no better options. I see no meaning behind 0.42 CPD metric. I cant see how I can use this number to influence my decisions or improve my analysis (i'd be more convinced by some kind of estimated/average/expected draws/clicks (to get rig set up/till end of game) metric. [edit] I guess CPD is clicks spend on draw till game end related [/edit] 


Also many decks do different things with draw, some have more situational cards that stay in hand waiting for a good moment, others have more cards that are more universally good and don't need much setup to use efficiently.


What I agree is that in any game you will draw finite amount of cards, and in many cases if you setup your rig correctly you don't need many more cards and at that point card draw loses much of its value. Mr Li makes reaching this point much faster, almost like if you drew 2 for a click. Also most dead draws go under your deck, improving draw consistency considerably and even in econ he might be beneficial as for the initial cost you can get your econ cards faster, and many of them are long time investments or require initial capital. Using Li might make plays that would otherwise result in spending clicks for 1 cash result in getting right econ at right time saving many clicks. (And literally time is money in case of desperado and security testing)


I used to underestimate this card, as it is relatively expensive and does not give simple economic gain. Bud improving draw quality and speeding up rig setup can be really important, and as runners econ gets stronger the initial cost is less of a problem.

Also getting you econ and expensive stuff in right order can be really huge. 

    • Lemonbrick likes this

Mr Li is not a bad card.

Mr Li... it costs you five CE to get in play, and once in play you can exchange two for two. He has a ratio that's on his own even less than 1:1.
But as we saw with QT + SG, sometimes cards that are 1:1 or less can be very valuable when part of a machine that nets more than 1:1.
Trading useless cards for unseen cards can be good if you're looking for cards that give you a high CE ratio (Sure Gamble, Lucky Find, Stimhack) or cards that are expensive but helps you with your win conditions (Corroder).
If you see Mr Li as part of an economic engine, you'll need to find five Easy Marks with him to break even, or two SG and one EM.
Compared to QT which breaks even on it's own (as an 1:1 card) or Diesel which is a profit immediately.
Card + Installation + three credits + click + card + click + card + click + card + click + card + click + card = you pay 15 CE for 10 (you get ten cards -- five of those you put back, those five are included in the 15).
You now have five cards in hand, let's say they're Easy Mark equivalents:
Card + Event-play + Card + Event-play + Card + Event-play + Card + Event-play + Card + Event-play = you pay 10 CE for 15 credits.
So 15 gave you 10, and those 10 needed to give you 15 in order for the entire shenanigan to end up being break-even.
Even one SG and one LF is enough for Mr Li to break even:
Card + Installation + three credits + click + card + click + card = you pay 9 for 4 (and 2 of those are put back, but that's already accounted for in the 9 -- seeing it as 7 for 2 is another way to view it, but Mr Li does lets you look at the top four cards of your deck, not the top 2).
Then SG+LF  is card, event-play, five credits, card, event-play, double-click, three credits for 18 (minus 8).
So 9 became 4, add an extra click [for the double] to have 5, and those 5 gave you 10 (which is 9 + 1 = break even).
However, if you see Mr Li as some sort of expensive tutor or weird Special Order variant, it doesn't matter whether or not he pays for himself, he's helping you get cards that give you accesses and hopefully agenda points.
And of course you can mix the two; get both econ cards and win cards.

I don't see using Mr Li's ability as 1 for 1, a click for a card. I see it as 2 for 2. 

You pay one click, get two cards, pay one of those cards. Hopefully the bad one.


And paying bad cards to get good cards is a good deal, even when it's a 1:1 CE ratio.


the misunderstanding is that we think all cards are worth the same as all clicks as all credits.

They're not, nor do we think that.

It's just that we wanted a common word for all of these "currency units". To be able to talk about, and count, "CE:s" as an abstract unit.


The basic message is that Mr. Li costs one card-in-hand, one installation-opportunity and three credits to get into play. He costs five CE.


That's not to say that one card has the same utility or "value" as one credit always, nor vice versa. No CE-proponent believes that, and that's a pure strawdoll argument.


Clicks are for sure the most valuable among all the CE. Biotic Labor is an amazing card; even though it costs 6 CE to get you 2 CE.


It's just that... playing Biotic Labour to get four clicks and spend those four clicks just clicking for credits or drawing cards is a very bad deal. You just paid 10 for 5.


Even Biotic and spending the clicks on Hedge Funds and Restructures would be weird. Playing Biotic on the last click into two Restructures nets you 2 CE (4 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 10 + 10 for 30), but wasting a valuable click-gaining card just to get credits would raise many eyebrows since the advancement opportunities are so rare.


The win condition of Netrunner isn't to have the most CE, it's to have the most points (or to flatline the runner or mill the corp). If you can spend your Biotic-fueled, four click turn not on CE-gaining but on winning, it's worth it.



That's also why work compression opportunities are something for even the most adamant CE proponent to be on the look out for.

Same Old Thing (or Archived Memories) into Sure Gamble (or Hedge Fund) is a bad deal, you spend 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 5 for 9, 1:1, but sometimes you find yourself with the SOT/AM available and a desperate need to turn that into nine credits, netting 0 CE but turning one (situationally) "bad" card into one "good" credit.

I'm not really convinced by the idea that draw costs less clicks, because I started with X cards.

If anything, you get Y clicks every single turn of the game, so that's what should be discounted! (Just kidding.)


Naw, but I actually don't disagree with Meadbeard, we're just talking past each other. If you can get cards more cheaply than for one click (such as Diesel or Inject), or exchange credits for cards (such as I've Had Worse, Quality Time or Earthrise Hotel), you can discount that part of the CE cost accordingly.


Sure Gamble costs seven CE to play and only gives me nine (net two), but one of those CE is a card and my deck is set up to give me lots of cards cheaply.


A single use of Opus or Armitage costs me one CE to give me two, but no part of that CE cost is a card even though my deck is set up to give me cards cheaply.

 If you could always spend clicks for cards, clicks would be strictly more valuable than cards since they would in effect be a superset of cards.


But you can't. You can't when your deck is empty and you can't during a run, for example.

You can only make the exchange sometimes.

Apr 19 2015 11:45 AM

Just to change the context a bit, and re-ground the discussion from the heights of abstract theorycraft, Mr. Li has some advantages beyond simple click equivalents.


In-faction Criminal generally isn't great at card draw.


Criminal has many powerful events in-faction. Notably, Criminals can tutor icebreakers using a very common and reasonably efficient in-faction event.


Not all, but many Criminal identities favor fast and consistent aggression, running a lot..ideally at least once per turn in many cases.


Not all, but some Criminal decks are good at exploiting Corporation weaknesses and being somewhat opportunistic.



Mr. Li is a deck smoother, or "fixer" which allows a Criminal to dig their deck in a reasonably efficient way, complementing an opportunistic, aggressive deck strategy,


Now, personally, I tend to prefer John Massanori in my Criminal decks in general, Mr. Li works better in slower Criminal decks that save up for big runs, like Iain,

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