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Tempo Tennin


#1

I want to share my latest Tennin Institute build. I’ve been tweaking it for about 3-4 months, and I think that has some interesting features that might make it well position in the metagame. I took this deck to Canadian Nationals, and it won 6 out of 7 games, taking me to the top 16 (I came in 10th, falling in elimination to 2 runner loses).

I call this deck tempo Tennin, because it is capable of adjusting its speed depending on the matchup. In some match-ups, you play a bit like a glacier deck, building up ice and slowly creating a taxing remote. But, against other opponents or with the right draw, it can play a much more aggressive rush game, scoring out an early Nisei mark II and chaining this into the game winning agendas. This makes it quite adaptable (and fun to play). It also puts your opponent in a bind- if they run aggressively, you can bleed them of resources and set up for the late game, but if they sacrifice tempo to set up, you can rush out a Neisei. I think that this kind of tempo deck is an interesting alternative to the normal FA/rush/glacier strategies.

Here’s the list:

Identity: Jinteki: Tennin Institute: The Secrets Within

Cards: 49 / 45
Agenda points: undefined / 20
Influence: 15 / 15

Agenda (9)
3x NAPD Contract
3x Nisei MKII
3x The Future Perfect

Asset (3)
3x Jackson Howard ●●●

Ice (21)
1x Bastion
3x Eli 1.0 ●●●
3x Ice Wall ●●●
1x Ichi 1.0 ●●
2x Inazuma
1x Komainu
2x Lotus Field
2x Pup
2x Quandary
1x Tollbooth ●●
3x Tsurugi

Operation (13)
3x Celebrity Gift
3x Hedge Fund
3x Medical Research Fundraiser
2x Successful Demonstration ●●
2x Trick Of Light

Upgrade (3)
3x Caprice Nisei

So, some notes on why I made some of the choices I did. The key to this deck is the early burst economy that lets you quickly rez some medium size ice on you central servers, hopefully accumulating some advancement tokens in the process. This is why I’m happy to play successful demonstration and medical research fundraiser. They can occasionally be dead draws late, but that’s fine- the key is to get set up quickly. Once the centrals are suitably taxing, you can build a remote- preferably two end the run ice with a caprice. You can install a 4/2 and not advance it; then, if they don’t run, you get to score it our in a single turn. If you can score a Neisei you are well on your way to winning.

I only run 2 trick of light, and that’s always been plenty for me. I use them in one of three ways. I can use both to score a Neisei, which is sometimes useful. I can use a single one to score a 4/2 that my opponent thought I couldn’t score because they ran archives. Or I can use it, along with my identity ability, to score a future perfect from no advancement counters in a single turn.

The hardest two matchups for this deck are gabe decks with power shut-down and crescentus and parasite recursion decks. A lot of the ice is vulnerable to parasite- often you just need to accept that you will lose a lot of ice, and try to bait their parasites onto quandries and away from tsurugi. Still, the deck has a lot of ice, and I’ve found you can usually win a long game. The key is to be patient, and use Jackson to shuffle agenda’s back until you’ve secured your centrals.

Gabe is hard because again, he makes it hard to secure your centrals. His ability makes it hard to tax him on HQ, and access to multiple derez effects and siphon make it difficult for you to keep your ice rezzed, since it costs a fair bit. Again, play slow and try to ice archives against sneakdoor and put a caprice on HQ to shut down siphons.
Most other matchups have been no problem- it performs well against standard Andy and PPVP Kate decks in my experience. Also, it has the advantage of running no asset economy. The two scariest decks in the meta right now, NEH and RP, both play asset economy, so I imagine that runners will be packing extra tools for that. As a slower, taxing build, this deck is also well positioned to take advantage of decks that retool to fight fast NBN decks, with their low cost porous ice.

This is a fun deck, and it might catch some of your opponents by surprise. I think Tennin has what it takes to be a top tier deck, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. I’m currently considering swapping out one of the NAPD’s for a unorthodox prediction, to give me a way of winning from 6 points and potentially to chain it into a Neisei, and cutting the two pups for 2 will o’ the wisps, which will be good on centrals or to bluff an agenda on remotes.


#2

I’m excited to see people running Tennin and congrats on your placement! I didn’t playtest your list yet, but some preliminary thoughts:

  • I like the concept overall of coming out of the gate hard with burst econ and having 21 ICE.
  • I’m uncomfortable with running seven 4-strength ICE in here because of Atman. I’d consider swapping Ichi and/or Bastion to balance out your strength curve.
  • What do you think of Enhanced Login Protocol? Every time you make it harder for them to run, you increase the number of tokens you get. Additionally this is a deck that can often keep the opponent from scoring for a fairly long time until the Runner is set up.
  • I really prefer my opponent to have to steal four agendas and having 3 TFP starts to go against that - if you do -1 TFP +1 Philotic then you have an easy 3/2 score. Clone Retirement is also strong in Tennin and puts your opponents on fear of Archer.

#3

I love that you can neveradvance a 5/3 with trick of light and the ID, I’m sure you surprised some opponents!


#4

Thanks, you raise very good points. I agree that Atman can be difficult for me- perhaps I should switch out the Ichi for another Tollboth, and the Bastion for…well, maybe a wall of static? Or a guard? Hmmm, I’ll give that some thought.

Enhanced login protocol looks interesting, but influence is tight, and card slots even more so. Still, it combo’s very nicely with Nesei, and if they have to spend two clicks to run archives and deny me an advance, then that is a win-win, so its worth a try.

I don’t like clone retirements- I used to run them, but giving your opponent bad publicity in a taxing deck is just so bad for you. Philotic is an interesting thought, but if I were to drop a TFP, I’d probably try going with 2 unorthodox predictions instead- they have more synergy with my strategy, and there have been a few games where I score 3 2 pointers and then just have to score yet another 2 pointer for the win, or worse a TFP, so some 1 pointers that can be fast advanced with trick of light would help out.


#5

I ran a very similar deck at the Seattle regionals back in June. It did well, though not as well as you. Got me into the top 16 (barely).

I agree about no Clone Retirement. You want no bad pub. Also agree one the number of ToL’s. I thought the sweet spot for ICE was 19, but I can see how 21 would be nice.

Not sure about Medical Research Fundraiser. I didn’t try it, but definitely considered. Giving the runner money in a taxing deck seems worrisome, but I can understand that it is an investment (gets a Tsurugi rezzed), that will pay off in the end. How does MRF work for you?

I used 2x Subliminal and 2x Akitaro. The Subliminals put that extra pressure on the runner, and often payed off. One nice thing to do with those is just hold one in your hand when you are poor, and the runner thinks you won’t be able to score with just 2 creds. That surprise instant 1 cred sometimes saves the day. The Akitaro’s maybe were suboptimal, but often they could save a ton of money, and I think many times they discouraged a run as the runner assumed they were Caprice. Which is good as it gives you more time to stack another unrezzed ICE on the server to make that Akitaro really pay off. I think I had GLC’s instead of Successful Demonstrations, to help assure that I could draw into enough early ICE. With your 21 ICE, that is probably covered.

I really liked having 1 Interns (would have liked more). That can bring you back a trashed Caprice, or it can save you some money dropping another ICE onto a 3 or 4 ICE’d server. Bonus points if it’s a Tsurugi that the runner just Parasited. You could swap out one of your Caprices for an Interns as you often don’t want a Caprice right away (though maybe you do for Siphon pro). Maybe could swap out an Inazuma for an Interns?

I’ve recently added 2x Paywall Implemenation into a Tenin deck. That can be quite annoying for the runner. Pay you if they make a successful run, give you a token if they don’t. Total gravy when you don’t have anything great on the board to advance and the runner makes a worthless run on archives just to deny you an advancement.


#6

I played with subliminal messaging in an earlier version of the deck. The problem I has was that it was good once you were already set up, but by that point I am usually fine just clicking for credits, but it doesn’t do much to get you set up. This deck needs money early, especially if it wants to rush out a Nesei Mk II. I’m not thrilled with MRF, but it plays an important role in the deck. One of the things that lets me run such expensive ice is that all of my econ cards provide a big burst of money, so I can often rez a tsurugi and something else first or second turn. Same thinking behind successful demonstration over green level- the Successful Demonstration lets me go broke rezzing expensive ice, and then bounce back to 7 credits next turn. If I draw a MRF early I just play it- I can use it to rez an ice that will cost the runner at least 3 if not more per run. Late game, when I’m trying to score agenda’s in my taxing server, I often don’t bother to play them, but by that point its usually fine, you have your economy set up already.

I like the idea of swapping a caprice for a interns- that helps with the problem of drawing caprice too early and having her trashed out of hand, and recurring a tsurugi sounds very strong.

I’m thinking of taking out the pups in favor of some will o’ the wisps, dropping down to 19 ice will probably be fine, and pup always seemed to do less for me than my other ice.

Akitaro is an interesting option, and not one I’d considered. I do love bluffing a caprice with some other upgrade, but I’m not sure what I would cut to include it. Also, will o’ the wisp will do this in even an even crueler way, since if they end up running it it it will bury a program.


#7

Akitaro vs. Will O’ the Wisp should be a pretty easy decision to make after you’ve piloted your deck a few times; Akitaro if you’re often poor, and WotW if you’ve usually got 4-plus credits lying around.


#8

So it’s actually very similar to RP. Stronger defence on fewer servers, a swap to operation economy and penalizing not running instead of forcing it. The early game would be much better, RP gets spread pretty thin. It almost seems like the archetype Nisei Division wants to be one day. I actually think I prefer running against NEH to dealing with this Jinteki agenda suite.


#9

So I may have been wrong about this deck being well positioned in the meta- I’ve been having a bit of a problem against the resurgence of sahasrara Noise decks. D4V1D gets through tollboth and inazuma, tsurugi dies to parasite, and noise’s mills speeds up the game and eats up jackson uses. I actually got milled to death one game- I had a double advanced game-winning future perfect on the board, but my last two cards got milled before I could score it.

It’s not an impossible match up by any means, but it is tricky. I need to test more, but I’m planning on going up to 3 lotus fields and dropping the komainu, and I’m definitely adding in an interns, and trying to find room for a second one. Fortunately, I don’t think these changes make my other matchups that much worse, but it is tricky- against noise you want decent strength ice, while against andy you want your quandries. Got to try to find the right balance.I also feel like you might have to be a bit more aggressive about going for scoring windows and take some risks, since in the long game the milling becomes more and more problematic. Anyone have any ideas for this match-up? How do you tech against noise?


#10

Seems like Noise can be slow, so getting some agendas out really fast might help. Maybe replace the successful demos with Green level’s to add a little draw, and/or slotting in a Fast Track or two?


#11

I’m not a fan of cheap etr ice in Tennin, unless you’re doing Tennin Lightning or something - which you partially are. Your icemix pulls in different directions, does it work or do you often find yourself with the “wrong” ice? My Tennin NA deck goes for taxing ice all the way, influence on 3x Tollbooth and 3x Eli (rest is a Scorched and Jackson), plus Pup, Komainu, Tsurugi, a Susanoo and a couple of Chums. My cheap ice stays relevant through out the game (although there’s not much of it).

I also don’t like Medical Research Fundraiser if you want to tax the runner. It’s good enough if you want burst for an early rush score, but it loses a lot of steam in the late game by giving creds to the runner. I use Melange MMC and Restructure instead - they kick in later, but provide a bigger benefit.

My Tennin similar, but I got a secondary focus on flatlining the runner - not as a primary goal, but as another way to slow him down. (Careless runners just die.) I replace Future Perfect with Fetal AI and 2x House of Knives - Fetal works like a mix of Snare! and NAPD, decent in a taxing deck. Snare!, Fetal AI and Edge of World makes runners very wary of running the scoring remote, which means central defense is even more important, but the remote is that much safer.


#12

By cheap end the run ice, you mean ice wall and quandry, right? Well, ice wall starts out cheap, but with the identity ability it can become quite taxing mid to late game, and it is also useful to manually advance now and then when I desperately need a trick of light battery. Quandry is a bit more of a judgment call. I run it in order to force the runner to get out a code gate breaker early, and also to increase my chances of starting the game with 2 pieces of ice I can actually rez. If a 1 cost piece of ice forces my opponent to spend 5 on yog or 4 on gordian blade, then that is actually a significant one time tax. It’s also there partially to soak up parasites, keeping them away from the more expensive tsurugi’s. I actually very rarely find myself with the wrong kind of ice, and when I do its more likely to be too many expensive hard to rez taxing ice than too many cheap end the runs.

That’s actually the same reason I like medical research fundraiser. The window of vulnerability for this deck is usually the early game. If you get stuck without economy cards and with a hand full of expensive ice, you can be in trouble, especially against criminals with siphon and shutdown. MRF is not ideal, but if you start the game with it it lets you rez multiple pieces of relatively expensive ice early. MMC and restructure are both better cards, but they require you to be already set up to use them effectively- for mmc you need a secure remote, and for restructure you need to sit on lots of money. By the time I have a secure remote, I would rather score from it than park an mmc in it, and I don’t often have lots of credits lying around- I spend my money quite aggressively rezzing ice, so restructure would often just sit in my hand.

I like the idea of running a secondary flatline threat. I tried that in earlier iterations of this deck, and it never quite worked out for me. I never did try edge of world though, that’s an interesting thought.


#13

I avoided Quandary specifically to empower Tollbooth - my logic may not be sound, but the thought is that if he’s not getting a decoder early to deal with Quandary, the first Tollbooth may create a scoring window while he gets an answer online. Or at least force him to back off a critical server for a bit. Finally, I’m running only 17 ice, and it works because they’re all expensive to break. Quandary is almost a dead card in the late game.

I see the point of MRF - usually I get at least one early Hedge or Gift and get going, but in a few games my start is slowed significantly (when I don’t see those cards). MRF is a dead draw in the late game though - at that point I care far more about the runner’s credits than my own. I may have to try it out (swap for restructure).

Edge doesn’t land very often, but Snare! and Fetal especially are good at making the runner think twice about running. That Fetals often acts as NAPD 4-6 (2 creds + 2 cards is a bit easier to steal but taxes better than 4 creds). Hokusai and House of Knives makes Komainu threaten a flatline (as he can’t dump his hand and then draw up after), in addition draining the runner of even more resources. Basically, with the sentries and those cards my deck taxes both credits and cards.

I like the synergy between traps and tennin - Tennin baits the runner into running, but traps will punish that.


#14

I’ve continued experimenting and perfecting this list. I still think its strong, and has picked up some nice new toys. I took 2nd place with this deck at a recent tournament (26 people), and I’m still enjoying playing it.

Tennin Institute: The Secrets Within (Honor and Profit)

Agenda (9)
3x NAPD Contract (Double Time)
3x Nisei MK II (Core Set)
1x Philotic Entanglement (Honor and Profit)
2x The Future Perfect (Honor and Profit)

Asset (5)
2x Daily Business Show (All That Remains) ••
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••

Upgrade (3)
3x Caprice Nisei (Double Time)

Operation (13)
3x Celebrity Gift (Opening Moves)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
1x Interns (Mala Tempora)
3x Medical Research Fundraiser (Honor and Profit)
1x Successful Demonstration (Creation and Control) •
2x Trick of Light (Trace Amount)

Barrier (5)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof) •••
2x Ice Wall (Core Set) ••

Code Gate (6)
2x Lotus Field (Upstalk)
2x Tollbooth (Core Set) ••••
2x Yagura (Fear and Loathing)

Sentry (8)
2x Komainu (Honor and Profit)
3x Pup (Honor and Profit)
3x Tsurugi (True Colors)

15 influence spent (max 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to All That Remains

Here are some updated play instructions and matchup discussions:

The deck looks a lot like an RP deck. You trade the click tax and the ability to leverage asset economy for the ability to play never-advance with 4/2 agendas like NAPD and Nisei MK II. Plus, you can actually score a future perfect from 0 advancement counters- use your identity ability to advance it once, then trick of light and advance twice and score. This allows you to fake the runner into runs on your large taxing servers with Caprice or an asset like Jackson or Daily business show.

The other advantage this deck has over RP is its ability to threaten to score earlier in the game. This allows you to pressure slower runners or bad draws with an early Nisei MK II score. This is due to the ability to score faster, and the amount of fast money this deck packs. On the other hand, against more aggressive runners you can hunker down and build up your defenses, using Jackson and Business show to control your draws and avoid flooding while you build big servers.

This deck wants to rez its relatively large ice early, so it relies on big burst economy to set up quickly. Your R&D is also fairly resilient, since you run only 9 agendas, and 5 of them protect themselves (Future perfect and NAPD), so you can often rely on porous but taxing ice early game, like pup and yagura, saving the hard end the run ice for your scoring server. The philotic gives you a surprise score off of the trick of light, and can even flatline a runner who is trying to run through Komainu for cheap.

The big trick with this deck is to figure out when your scoring windows are. You need to be attuned to the runner’s play style, and decide what tempo to play at. Do you want to rush out some agendas, or sit back and defend your centrals? You can choose based on the matchup. The ability to switch up the tempo of play is what gave the deck its name. And finally, I just started experimenting with daily business show, but it is awesome. Park it in your scoring server while you set up and you can control your draws and get just what you need to start scoring, whether that’s a Nisei MK II, a caprice, or a few more pieces or ice. If they run your taxing remote to trash it, that’s still a win for you. Finally, late game it can masquerade as an agenda, forcing another taxing run for nothing.

Ice Choice:

The main thing you want from your ice is consistent taxation. You need a few hard ETR’s to force breakers, but most of the ice is chosen for its ability to tax. This includes the classic Eli 1.0 (although if lady takes off I may swap out at least 1 for a viper), Komainu, tsurugi, and pup. I originally ran quandary, but yagura is twice the tax once they have a breaker out, and almost an etr on R&D. Ice wall can get quite taxing once you start adding tokens with your ability, and it can just end the run early. Tollbooth is amazing as always, and femme seems less prevalent lately so it does extra work. Finally, the lotus fields are a bit on the weak side, but they add extra etr’s and do excellent work against noise, which can be a hard matchup.

Matchups:

Here are some matchup specific notes. First off, classic Andy decks. The key is to weather the early assault and get set up. You want to ice archives early to turn off datasucker and security testing, and wait to set up a scoring server. If they have parasite this matchup can get tricky, but you’re usually favored in long game.

Everything I said about andy goes double for gabe. Gabe tends to be much more pressure in the early game, and the threat of sneak door requires multiple ice on archives, but if you can hold off the early pressure and shut down siphon your usually fine in the long term, you can outlast their economy. Don’t be shy about putting caprice on HQ, and if you can score a Nisei MK II you’re usually set.

Leela requires a different approach, but you have a strong matchup here. You need to slow down and make sure you always score agendas with at least 1 click left to replace whatever she bounces. Save your Nisei tokens, since these decks tend to run powerful run events, especially siphon. Also, don’t forget that you can pre-emptively rez caprice to prevent her being bounced.

Noise has you on a clock. You can’t play the waiting game the way you would against Andromeda or gabe, since the mills will start to really hurt. Instead, you should try to rush out some agendas relatively early. Noise is often inconsistent setting up, so don’t be afraid to take a few risks. Sometimes D4v1d or knight will ruin your day, but if you play around them a bit you can take some calculated risks and often be rewarded early game. Also, be aware that tsurugi and komainu will usually eat parasites, and should only be rezzed if they will get their money’s worth right away, you can’t expect them to be a recurring tax.

In pre-paid Kate the parasites are the biggest problem. On the other hand, they tend not to have so much repeatable multi-access, relying on one of events that will miss fairly often in your agenda light deck. Eli is considerably worse if they are playing Lady (and they should be). You may need to play a bit faster tempo in this matchup as well, or you can try to outlast their burst econ and score in the windows that can open up when the econ events are expended.

Finally, any deck with magnum opus (like the stimhack based chaos theory list) or lots of stealth credits can be a big problem. They can just go bigger than your taxing ice, so you need to play fast and sometimes rely on a caprice psi game or two. Luckily, these lists are fairly rare, since I think they are the decks toughest matchup.


#15

I’m back on Tennin institute now that rumour mill is out. I’ve gone in a more fast advance direction now. I won a 14-person GNK in Toronto with it last weekend.

This is fast advance deck built around trick of light and clones are not people. The strategy is to ice up all your centrals and then sit back and use tennin’s ability to build up advancement counters. But you don’t need to rely on fast advance. In matchups where you need to go faster (such as severnius combo or just a late game smoke deck), you can build a remote and score with caprice. This is also your answer to clot–shaper’s running clot tend to be weak to just building a taxing caprice remote. And this deck has a good matchup against the big boy’s MaxX deck of the week–turtle up, recur Crisium, and grind them out. DNA tracker will cost them 9 if they want to be able to trash the crisium, and fire wall can easily build up counters to cost 7-8. Try to put eli’s in front of the fire walls and yagura’s in front of the DNA trackers so they soak up cutlery. It’s not a blowout by any means, but you also have all the tools you need to win.

At the GNK I went 3-1, with the lose being an incredibly close game vs. crim where I would have won had a random access not scored and trashed my game winning “clones are not people”. I beat Big Boy’s MaxX, severnius combo (once you have a nisei mk 2 scored its really hard for them to win), and good stuff anarch.

Tennin fast advance

Tennin Institute: The Secrets Within

Agenda (10)
3x Braintrust
3x Medical Breakthrough
3x Nisei MK II
1x Philotic Entanglement

Asset (3)
3x Jackson Howard ●●●

Upgrade (5)
3x Caprice Nisei
2x Crisium Grid ●●

Operation (16)
2x "Clones are not People"
1x Archived Memories ●●
3x Celebrity Gift
1x Friends in High Places ●
3x Hedge Fund
3x IPO
3x Trick of Light

Barrier (5)
3x Eli 1.0 ●●●
2x Fire Wall ●●●●

Code Gate (6)
3x DNA Tracker
3x Yagura

Sentry (4)
1x Cobra
3x Pup

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Terminal Directive

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.

Let’s enjoy Tennin for the last 4 months before trick of light rotates out!


#16

I jumped into that deck, because I love Tennin and had great games with that ID in the past.

I suggest you exchange those Fire Walls with Hortums (which I did and it’s amazing!).
Taxes a bit less, but has end the run-subroutines and gives you the option to tutor up to two cards if triple advanced (happens a lot). So you can search your “Clones are not people”, ToL or an emergency Jackson way easier.
And: -Cobre, -Pup, -Yagura for 3x Mind Games. So my deck is that:

Hell is other people

Tennin Institute: The Secrets Within

Agenda (10)
3x Braintrust
3x Medical Breakthrough
3x Nisei MK II
1x Philotic Entanglement

Asset (3)
3x Jackson Howard ●●●

Upgrade (5)
3x Caprice Nisei
2x Crisium Grid ●●

Operation (16)
2x "Clones are not People"
1x Archived Memories ●●
3x Celebrity Gift
1x Friends in High Places ●
3x Hedge Fund
3x IPO
3x Trick of Light

Barrier (3)
3x Eli 1.0 ●●●

Code Gate (10)
3x DNA Tracker
2x Hortum ●●●●
3x Mind Game
2x Yagura

Sentry (2)
2x Pup

15 influence spent (max 15, available 0)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Terminal Directive

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.


#17

Thoughts on a Colossus? No ETR, but the Strength continues to go up, and if they assume you’re running one of the barriers they might be more likely to faceplant into it. I guess your only tag punishment is trashing resources, but it’s still pretty rough with a hard Trash a Program sub.