I thought I’d make a new thread here to discuss a newer kind of deck that was all over the place at the Slovakian Nationals that I just finished playing in. The basic idea is that Obokata Protocol and Punitive Counterstrike go really well together, and can work in a variety of Jinteki IDs. The ID that I played it under was Pālanā, and was just going to post and discuss my deck in the already-existing thread for Pālanā, but it turns out other people had a similar idea as I did, and were playing it in Nisei Division and classic PE.
I can’t speak for exactly what the other decks were doing, other than trying to kill people (PE was still doing the 1-pointer shenanigans with traps, Mushin, etc, but the other decks had other ideas), so I’ll just post my deck list and discuss what my deck did, and the pros and cons of it.
I named the deck after the old Deadcoats archetype, because after playing it for a while I realized that my game plan was the exact game plan of that deck; tax the runner on runs, and kill them for stealing your 3-pointers. This works best by far in Jinteki now, due to their agenda suite, and worked great for me on the day (I got 6th overall, and the only games I lost was due to bad luck, which I’ll discuss later).
So clearly you play 3 Obokata Protocol. I was also playing 3 TFP and 1 Labyrinthine Servers, which should really have been either a Hades Fragment or a Eden Fragment, or some better 5/3, but for some reason that didn’t occur to me until I had already taken a 14 hour series of bus rides away from the rest of my cards on the morning of the tournament. As the 7th point, I was playing “Clones are not People.” The idea, then, is that I score 2 agendas, but the runner has to score 3, and my agendas (save the one) all suck to steal. The reason the final agenda isn’t something like Nisei or Philotic is because it doesn’t do me any good to score it, given that I only want to score 2 agendas, and I can’t Punitive off a 2-pointer.
The obvious thing is that Film Critic just shits all over this strategy. The runner can just take your agendas, and you can’t even punitive them for their trouble. A lot of people’s answer to that seemed to be voter Intimidation. The obvious downside to this is that not only does the runner need an agenda already in their score area in order to turn Voter Int on, but that it’s Psi game based, so you have a 33% chance to lose (barring runner credit shortage, super mind games, etc). Over Regional season, I played Blue Sun Boom exclusively, and I think over 4 regionals, I lost 3 games with it. It was Midseason’s based, so FC was a problem as well. However, in that deck, I ran 3x Consulting Visit and 1x MCA Informant. It was really, really good at killing Critic. So I ported some of that over to my deck and ran 1x Consulting and an MCA as well. This kills the Film Critic.
Anyhow, before I discuss too much further, here’s the deck list that I played at the actual event, and because I’m a nice guy, here it is right below.
Red Dead Re-Deadcoats - 6th at Slovak Nats
Pālanā Foods: Sustainable Growth (Business First)
Code Gate (8)
15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
21 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
I went back and forth on whether 2 or 3 Clones was the right number a lot. I had 2 Clones and a Fast Track at one point, figuring I could always Consulting to get the Clones if I needed to, and could similarly Consulting for the Fast Track as well. However, that’s slow, and usually requires 3 turns of your agenda being in the scoring remote. Overall, I thought it was just more consistent to have 3 Clones, and figured extra ones could always just be used to fight other currents in a lame, expensive way if I really had to.
Other than that, the deck is basically just money, ICE, and useful upgrades. Ash is really good here, because it helps you turn your money into another win condition. Crisium is kinda okay, but vastly less useful now that Siphon is gone. It’ll still usually make Shapers pay 5 when they go into R&D in the hopes of getting an Indexing off later, but those are almost always turned off by a Mirāju on R&D to reshuffle when they go back in to try and score. Mostly, I just needed 1 influence Weyland cards, which is also why Errand Boy is there. I think the Consulting Visit is good enough to justify them. I was rarely sad to see Crisium, and Errand Boy either taxes 3 or gives me economy of some sort, depending on what I need. I could see going to other options if I can find something better, though.
One option is to just play more Jinteki and Neutral cards in their place, and actually pay for Consulting. This has some merit. I was actually thinking of adding a second Consulting, though, probably in place of Crick. I never really felt like Crick did much, so I don’t think I’d be sad to see it go, and think I’d be fine on 16 ICE. The reasoning is that I can kill Critic faster, and that I have kind of 5 Punitives for ultra-fast retrieval. I say kind of because having 2 Consulting Visits is still only having one Punitive, seeing as they’re a double. This might be going too far down a rabbit hole, though, but I want to try it out. I lost a game due to not getting any of my 4 Punitives in the top half of my deck when any one of them would have killed the runner on either of his first 2 agenda scores, and that felt really bad. It might just be too much shit though.
The other game I lost was in the cut vs a Hayley deck with 2 FCs. For this reason (and others), it might also be good to shove a Preemptive Action in to shuffle the goodies back. However, I lost this game in a hilariously unique way. He stole a fairly early agenda from the Film Critic he installed turn 1, so he was up 3 points at the start. I countered by scoring an agenda with a Clones attached, so I was at 4. A few turns later, I found my Consulting, and threw the MCA on the FC. The following turn, he installs his second FC (damn) and then runs R&D, seeing an Obokata. He sticks it on the MCA’d Critic, kills the critic, and then gets a credit or something for his final click (doesn’t really matter). “How odd,” I think. I IAA the agenda in my hand in my scoring remote, made completely safe by the Batty and Ash contained therein, given his current credits. His next turn he throws down a Freedom, draws up, and runs Archives for the win.
This is hilarious, because if I hadn’t MCA’d his critic, he couldn’t have won. I gave him the opportunity to kill it, and he used it against me in an awesome line. Afterwords, I severely considered if MCA was the right choice. I still firmly believe it is, because the chances of him having Freedom already drawn and that one of my remaining agendas was on the top of my deck was definitely less than the 33% chance that Voter Intimidation gives him. It was actually drastically unlikely that he could win from his position, and got fairly lucky. Good on him, though, it was an awesome way to lose.
Anyhow, I’m overall very happy with the deck. Some things I might change are the extra Consulting and a possible Preemptive (as already noted). I’m also not sure about Lotus Field. It taxes almost everything people play these days for 3 credits, and at a 5 credit rez, it often doesn’t feel worth it. People these days almost never run against Jinteki unless they already have a Code Gate breaker installed, lest they hit a DNA Tracker, so when it’s time to rez it, say, on the remote, it feels like the runner is getting the better deal, especially when it’s my goal to kill with Punitive. Aside from that, 5 is a lot to pay for an ETR. The deck does need ETR Ice, though, and I do want that ICE to be taxing, so I might shop around some. The Barriers feel like a better bang-for-your-buck. They really just force the breaker to be installed, and then tax a couple credits a run, and that’s fine. I like Launch Campaign because it gives my server something to do while I’m waiting to score, and I really need money, I wish Jinteki had a better money asset, but nothing is good enough to bother with. Oh yeah, and Labyrinthine Servers should be any better agenda. Any of them. God what a dumb agenda for this deck.
Anyhow, that’s where I’m at with the deck. If others want to chat about it, or their versions of it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I saw enough ideas and different IDs that I’m open to hearing what people think might be a better idea. From what I saw at the tournament, there could be quite a lot of ways to go with this kind of thing.