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PE in flatline over other IDs

Maybe this has been asked before, but I didn’t find it. What’s the reason to run PE in flatline Jinteki? If you are going for the kill, usually with Ronin, why isn’t RP used? I ser the benefit of the 1 net damage for each agenda, but I could also make a point for taxing the runner clicks. If they hit traps and can’t replenish their hands, it’s easier to kill them. Could someone tell me why is PE so muchos better that no one even considers something like RP?

Maybe it’s a silly question, but I’d like to hear you out.

Doing the damage ‘all at once’ is important for the kill. That seriously discourages deep digging against PE - do you really want to hit two agendas and a Snare/Fetal on a Legwork run? That same scenario is much less scary against RP, even if RP is trying to kill you.

RP does work for flatlines, but basically requires ice that can seriously harm the runner - often a Faerie is enough to avoid that. Kitsune is probably the first example of a piece of ice that works better in flatline RP than PE…


Works even better in W.


The slow taxing damage from PE is pretty considerable as well. Hitting a fetal and dropping 3 cards is much more likely to set up a Ronin or Neural EMP kill than two damage.

If your only concern was double Ronin you could definitely try to run it in RP and probably have some success but most PE decks have lots of kill conditions centered around Snare, Ronin, Cerebral, Neural EMP, or even Scorch.

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I have limited experience with PE, but I find its value to be in its attrition game rather than its flatline threat. Granted, it can flatline, but against good players that becomes less valuable. I am not saying you cannot flatline good players, but that PE is very strong as an attrition deck. It is just as or more taxing than the most demanding of glacier decks, except it doesn’t tax credits - it taxes cards. Playing a lot of single-point agendas increases PE’s attrition factor, forcing the Runner to score many times to win while also navigating the flatline threat. PE’s ability makes it difficult to predict exactly how much net damage you will take on any given run. For this reason, I think it is better to think of PE as a click-compression/attrition deck than a flatline deck. There is an in/famous article about click-compression by @hollis:


Granted, the decklist here looks drastically different than those used at Worlds 2014, but the article is a must-read.


I can’t speak for others, but the reason I settled on PE for it is that it increases the threat of a flatline more than other ideas do and puts the runner under constant card pressure, which means increased micro-management and therefore an increased chance of flatline. You can’t flat out stop a guy checking a Ronin, but Fetal’s hurt a bit more to mis-hit. Stuff like that.

That’s not to say the RP and Nisei aren’t excellent kill deck identities IMO, they just tend to lend themselves to different strategies. Nisei in particular requires a very specific set of cards to maximize the ID text.

Side note: I’m kinda sad people are playing so much PE now and ruining my surprises. It’s a terrible ID, stop playing it!

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I feel deterring R&D dig is the main PE benefit. Even PE flatline can be a bit weak if runner mainly focuses on R&D, with other IDs this strategy becomes even better.


Yeah 4-8 extra net damage across a game is no joke, especially when it’s on top of everything else.

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Just played my first game with this last night using an exact copy of Hinkes’ Cambridge PE. After my brother got his teeth kicked in three times by Black Tree at the last store tourney, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I understand the technical goal of the deck, but I lost 7-4 to a Shaper deck last night because he ran carefully, kept his hand full, didn’t fall for traps, and hammered R&D almost exclusively. Admittedly, I did a lot of damage, but after a Levy AR, that was pretty much all she wrote.

Maybe it’s because it was my first game using a faction and playstyle I don’t normally play (Jinteki and flatlining), perhaps part of the problem was that I wasn’t aggressively trying to sneak out Agendas, or the fact that I never landed a single Ronin. I don’t know why but from my side of the table, he never really seemed at risk of dying. He just made sure to draw up/overdraw before running R&D, and ignored the Cerebral Overwriters/Psychic Fields. Again, maybe he didn’t feel pressured to run anywhere else.

Maybe it’s the fact that Shaper is the worst matchup for this type of deck. I don’t know… it just doesn’t seem very good to me.

Shaper is absolutely the worst matchup here, most of the good anti Jinteki cards are green, and they frequently have other uses against non Jin players.

Careful running, DX recursion, and Levvy are the keys to beating this deck, but its very possible to get into a situation where you die anyway.

Play it 10 times in a variety of matchups and you’ll probably feel better about it. I lost my first 3, but have won 80% of my matches since with it.

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This style of deck isn’t an autoplay deck. You can’t slap it down like NEH and just win. It took me months to learn how to play it well.


You played the deck, literally, once. That’s like playing a champion in LoL once and saying “oh they suck”. No, you just suck at it. Get better! :smile:


Git gud scrub.


You can do it out of other builds. It’s just harder. That extra damage is nice, but, people know what’s coming out of PE. At Gencon, I knew people were expecting @mediohxcore’s RP build, so I ran a damage build counter to the meta. 5 flatlines in 12 games, and had another set up if he would have ran my scoring remote (Susanoo into a Shock-filled Archives).

Also, I didn’t have Ronin.


Might be a best to just play some amount of fetals/snares/shocks (to punish komainu run-throughers) and/or 2 junebugs or something in RP glacier. You’ll get more kills by confusing people with RP than you will by brute forcing them to death like with PE. I never tried it myself, but I’m sure it would work at least ok. A well timed Junebug in a remote will probably put away a game, but I’m not sure it’s enough easier than actually just scoring a Nisei and winning the game to make watering down your deck with situational nonsense worthwhile. If you advance a Ronin and don’t actually kill them with it or use it immediately, they’ll probably suspect shenanigans and at that point it wouldn’t be worth it.

I was brainstorming a Jinteki deck that used power shutdown combo + ronin to kill. If you use subliminal to gain the click to trigger Ronin from 4 and get 2 neurals, you can do 5 damage in a turn. If you stick Jackson for a turn you could deal 6 or use the free click to put the 4th advancement on Ronin). Seems like a lot of influence to do something that is largely just cute, though. If you wanted, you could play a couple of Shipment from SanSan and an Interns to try to FA kill with Philotic as well, but I think that might be a little unreliable.

Here’s a draft if anyone wants to try it:

Disclaimer: this deck is probably shit because you can just use Ronin and Neurals from hand to do the same thing. I just try to make everything into a power shutdown combo.


While I’ve since switched to a build not unlike yours, I was having some fun previously with the Fetal AIs in my deck, because some runners would let their handsize drop to 3 and then Legwork into 2 FAIs and die. Not what I’d call a reliable tactic by any means, but fun.

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I love me some AD combos - @BazooKaJoe

My first thought was “You could mushin no shin a ronin using diagnostics to bypass the double event cost! …wait, no.”

My friend who I play in person with made a deck like this (after he saw me playing combo weyland). It did not play ronins, just the shell game with a bunch of 1-pointers and jacksons and hope to combo kill with 3x or 4x neural or philotic FA. It was not all that bad, you just had to hope not to get the philotic stolen. When he took it to the store tournament though I milled him out with my andy keyhole deck.

The biggest problem was just that all the combo pieces are out of faction, so 3 of each plus archived mem plus SFSS is the whole 15.

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Does seem like a lot of work. I just used typical tax with the following damage cards: Philotic, Fetal x3, Shinobi, 3x Komainu/Tsurugi/Pup, Yagura, Thorns, 2 Shock

Amazing what a desperate Runner does. (See: Mihn in the final Finals game)


Terrible ID, you really should all just stop playing it … XD