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Article: Analyzing the Meta

Discuss our latest article looking at trends in tournament winning deck lists.


As an avid Jinteki player (Personal Evolution at that), I must say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with its card pool. The root of the problem is that it requires far more skill than the other factions and relies more heavily on bluffing. How many Jinteki players have you seen attempt the “server of death” or “killer combo” approach? That’s not the way to play Jinteki. So, many go for the “win more” approach and play other corporations (fast advance, tag-n-bag, etc). Sure, an agenda that allows us to look for three copies of a card that does 4 meat damage would be awesome, and sure, an agenda that allows scoring out of hand would make the game easier. However, Jinteki promotes skillful execution, deception, and manipulation.

I sincerely hope Jinteki doesn’t receive too much of a buff. Its econ is a touch shaky at the moment, and a trap that trashes resources or hardware would be nice, but neither are absolutely essential. The reason Jinteki sees such little play (aside from the tournament timing structure) is simply due to ease (which many mistake for effectiveness) at which wins are achieved with the other factions, which I believe will change as runners evolve to better counter the current meta.

Case in point, my Jinteki deck wins about 55-60% of its matches against competitive players, and once I tweak it to better counter Crypsis and virus mills, I tentatively expect that to jump to 75%.


The picture is pretty fitting except for Aggressive Negotiations :slight_smile:

@Lysander I actually do not disagree really. My current favorite corp deck is Jinteki that does pretty darn well. If you find the stream we did called Anthony vs Anthony I played it in that to success. That said you are correct, most Jinteki decks suck and players go into it with the wrong outlook.

Jinteki is also just harder to play to reach maximum potential. The plays are much less obvious then running a fast advance deck. If I was to buff Jinteki I would want to give them some improved ice over anything.

@Sirprim Yeah the image was almost perfect, and I didn’t really feel like editing the negotiations out.

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My main problems with Jinteki are:

  1. When I play against Jinteki, they will often trick me multiple times during the game. (Running into trap, or my choosing not to run an agenda because I thought it was a trap). You would think this would look like a Jinteki win, however I still tend to beat them easily. Jinteki is like: “hehe I tricked you”, and I’m like: whatever I won.

  2. Its hard for Jinteki to put up a decent defense, that isnt reliant on ‘if you run into a trap you could be screwed’. Their ice just isnt very suited to actually defending. This is mainly a concern with guarding central servers. The remote could be a trap, so bluffing can ‘guard’ things there. But for centrals, as long as I can withstand running into a Snare or Fetal, I’m fine. Good runner decks attack centrals hard. Jinteki tends to fold to the pressure.

  3. Its too easy for Jinteki to be poor, and have to click for money. A corp that clicks for just $1 a click too often, ends of being too slow and getting its centrals destroyed before it can advance enough agendas. This problem is made worse by the fact that Jinteki has to pay for traps. Snare costs 4, which can really hurt. Often the runner spends a turn recovery, but so does Jinteki, so the net gain was basically nothing, if they didnt die.

  4. Damage which doesnt result in a kill, tends to be inefficient. Sometimes you get a key card with it and its great, but more often a decent player will put out his critical cards first, draw up, and then run with cards he doesnt mind losing. When he takes damage, if essentially frees up hand slots to draw again, looking for the best cards, without having to discard wastefully.
    Nonlethal Junebugs are pretty expensive for the corp. For example, a 2 advance Junebug costs 3 clicks and $3 for the corp. (Install, advance, advance, pay 1 to activate). If the runner broke 1 ice and took 4, then he probably didnt lose any more than the corp did.

  5. Its agenda mix is probably the weakest of any faction. HB has a pair of strong 3/2 agendas. NBN has the crazy Astroscript, plus the amazing Breaking News. And soon to add Beale. Weyland has the awesome Project Atlas, and also Hostile takeover is nice. Jinteki has:

  • Nisei. Its awesome. But its a 4/2. Everyone else’s best agenda is a 3/2. Nisei is best with a strong remote fort, which is a thing Jinteki is kindof weak at.
  • Braintrust. This is the worst 3/2 in the game. It is basically blank. Its still a good card, but its just not as good as the other 3/2s.
  • Fetal AI. Basically, this is an agenda you dont want to score, since if you do its 5 advances and $5 for 2 points and no ability. Everyone esle would get 3 points + ability for that. You basically want the runner to hit it and lose 2 cards and $2. But thats not great either because they got an agenda. Basically, this card either results in a kill, or kindof sucks. Its pretty much only good if you can trick them into slamming into it without money to score it, taking a free 2 damage.

In the end, Jinteki tries to trick you, but gets insufficient reward for succeeding. It doesnt have the good economy tools, or defense tools, to play a strong game. Other decks can fool you also, like Weyland getting you with a trap because you thought the double advanced card was Posted Bounty or Government Contracts. Or HB/NBN putting a card face down, threatening a 3/2 agenda, but when you run it you lose money and then its just a Bernice Mai, or SanSan, or whatever, and youre out a lot of money.

When those decks trick you, and you lose lots of time, the back it up by using their economic lead to power ahead. But when Jinteki tricks you, if you arent dead, then Jinteki was set back a lot by his buff, because he just lost a 2 advanced Junebug, or $4 for the snare. Whereas Weyland made you break a Hadrians Wall and another ice to get in to that Secretary, and wrecked you, Jinteki had weaker defenses due to low economy and weak ice. So you arent as far behind. Jinteki might push through an agenda while you recover, but if he does he is even poorer, and its time to smash his centrals.


@Alexfrog: You’ve hit the nail on the head. There are ways for Jinteki to circumvent the issues you’ve highlighted, but the number of effective builds are limited, and require fairly significant contributions out-of-faction. The issue is that a stand-alone corp with no influence should still function at 85% or more of its max capacity. Jinteki functions at around 50%, if that (primarily due to having porous ice).

As far as I’m concerned, Junebug is garbage. In one turn at best you advance it twice. Runners know better than to run a twice-advanced asset with fewer than four cards or a net damage-mitigating card. Edge of the World is nice, but is far too predictable in a Jinteki deck. Wyldside works as a natural counter to Jinteki damage builds, as does Quality Time and Diesel, to a lesser extent. At least Ronin will force runners to attack remotes, rather than exclusively hammer centrals.

The only Jinteki builds I’ve seen with any consistency are shell game RP, and program-trashing PE. The latter (which I play) works extremely well in that if a runner hits an Aggressive Secretary, he can’t bounce back as quickly, especially since net damage often trashes program duplicates and even Jinteki’s crappy ice can prevent runs if the runner lacks the proper breaker. Toss in a couple Archers to protect centrals and ensure the job is done, and the runner’s basically dead in the water for several turns, allowing you to win the game despite your poor economy and in-faction ice.

I’ll go ahead and post my Jinteki deck in the appropriate subforum, since I’ve never seen another close to it. I’m sure there are better out there, but given Jinteki’s inherent weaknesses to overcome, I’m rather proud of it. I look forward to seeing Jinteki’s in-faction buffs that’ll diversify builds.

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Agenda mix is everything in this game. I really feel that’s why HB and NBN are so widely used - because they have relevant Agendas. I feel that once NBN gets Project Beale there’s going to be a HUGE swing over to NBN in the meta.

3/2 Agendas are the lifeblood of a good Corp deck right now (unless you’re on the Scorched Earth plan, obviously) and Jinteki just fails at it.

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I think braintrust should have needed only 1 over advancement counter for it’s ability at the very least. Atlas and Vitruvius are both actually stronger effects and easier to pull off.

See, I think it at 1 credit reduced cost per over advance would be too strong - certainly stronger than the other two. I think they could have done a -2 discount for each 2 advancement counters over the requisite.

In any case, neither of these happened and the result is a subpar agenda worse than all the other 3/2s…

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I dont know, you’d have to score it as if it were a mandatory upgrades to be able to go infinite cell portals with akitaro, which would permanently lock the runner out of one server for the rest of the game.

Sounds powerful, but then again so does sea source scorch.

And they can still break the cell portal if they have the credits to do so. I am fairly sure Atlas counters are stronger.