The decks in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76uJ68st4VQ
Jinteki: Personal Evolution
Agenda points: 20
3 Fetal AI
3 Gila Hands Arcology
3 House of Knives
1 Philotic Entanglement
2 The Future Perfect
2 Jackson Howard••
1 Project Junebug
3 Psychic Field
1 Shattered Remains
3 Eli 1.0•••
1 Neural Katana
3 Hedge Fund
3 Mushin No Shin
3 Neural EMP
1 Scorched Earth••••
3 Sweeps Week••••••
The original idea comes from Chris Hinckes who won the Cambridge Regionals with it. It had only 8 ICE and low economy. Then Jurgen Marx won the German Nationals with an improved version. I started experimenting with variations of this version on OCTGN and at local tournaments with great success. Not only is it strong, it’s also very fun to play.
Then at the Dutch Nationals something surprising happened: 3 of my opponents out of 6 played Feedback Filters (FF) and won. Those games were very close but still, that card had a big impact. Suddenly it’s more like 30% chance winning instead of 90%. At least half of the top 8 had FF in their deck. A card nobody would even consider playing few months ago, suddenly it's the new Plascrete Carapace.
After further testing, the best way to handle the deck was clear. Generate a mountain of credits with Security Testing, Desperado and ignore all the remotes while digging for the FF with John Masanori and Mr. Li. Once the FF is on the table with 40+ credits, simply run all the remotes and laugh at the net damages. The matchup boils down to > 90% chance of winning if your opponent doesn’t have FF + a recurring source of money. Or < 10% chance of winning if he does.
For the Belgian Nationals, the big question was how widespread will FF be? I decided to stick with the Jinteki deck and hope for the best. It was undefeated till round 6 of Swiss where I faced a french player who knew the perfect counter: Security testing and Mr. Li till he had FF. I played him again in the top 8 and lost again to the same scenario. Rushing agenda while the runner was digging for FF was the counter plan. But the Jinteki deck doesn’t have enough economy to win the race, especially when Account Siphon comes into play.
For Worlds I decided to add my own original variations to the deck to address the above issues: 1 Shattered Remains to kill the FF and laugh at the useless mountains of credit, 3 Sweep Week to have a shot at winning the agenda race against Andromeda. For that I had to cut the Pop-Pup Window, Cerebral Overwriter and Subliminal Messaging (which is useless anyway with Security Testing)
I didn’t have time to test the changes before Worlds and almost played Cerebral Imaging (Reuse is awesome) or (god forbid) Near Earth Hub. Fortunately I remained faithful to the Jinteki church. I had so much experience piloting the deck and tricking people with traps or Psi games (100% on Psychic Field, 80% on Future Perfect) it would be a shame to play another deck.
At Worlds it turns out nobody plays FF. That was quite unexpected and it made the deck extremely successful.
The only deck without FF that have a shot at winning is Kate with recurring Deus X + Levy AR Lab Access and Same Old Thing to use LARLA from Heap when the Stack is empty. Even then it’s still a good matchup for Jinteki. At round 7 at Worlds, I played against Spags who was running such a Kate deck. His deck was emptied twice and he only had 1 card left in hand with 6 agenda points. In R&D there were 3 Snares, 2 Fetal AI, 1 Future Perfect and one 3/1 agenda remaining. Gaining 3 credits and running R&D each turn was his last hope of winning. He miraculously hit Future Perfect and won the Psi game. That was the only real defeat at Worlds. The other defeat was in round 6 due to time running out while being behind in agenda points.
Some players were also overconfident against Jinteki. I faced El-Ad, the Canadian champion in the 1st match of the top 16. Being top seeded, I could choose which side to play. From the intelligence I gathered he was most likely not running FF so I chose to play JInteki. When I arrived at the table he was shuffling his NEH deck convinced he had such a good match up against PE that I would chose to play Andromeda against hist NEH. Of course he got burned quickly by Jinteki. His plan was to run R&D and ignore all the remotes. This strategy doesn’t work because there will be Ronin and Philotic Entanglement lurking among the traps. It also let the Corp scores Agendas freely. Sooner or later the runner will hit Snares or Fetal AI and will be finished by a combination of Ronin, EMP or Philotic on the Corp turn.
After the match I asked El-Ad if he had FF. He said he had 65% of winning against PE so the extra 5% from FF was not necessary. It was clear the meta in America was quite different. The Cambridge deck is dismissed as something easy to beat. In Germany, it’s as dominant as NEH and many runners play FF and infiltration.
Another highlight of the deck at Worlds was round 5 against Andromeda. I played Sweep Week first turn. My opponent and the people around were cheering at the surprise. Then came the 2nd Sweep Sweek as click 2 to the loud cheers that could be hear across the room. ICE on HQ was click 3. On his turn he ran R&D and hit… Snares! Two turns later his 2nd access was … Snares!. What a bad luck for him
A lot of people asked about the removal of Cerebral Overwriter and the addition of Sweep Week.
The Sweep Week turned out to be good. They provide a big boost in economy and help keep the Corp above 9 credit to rez Komainu or absorb Account Siphon and still be able to pay for Snares! They also help pushing for Agenda points if necessary.
Contrary of the opinion of other Jinteki players, I don’t feel Overwriter is a must have. It’s certainly a good card and is better than Project Junebug against Kate. But Kate is already a favorable match up since nobody plays Kate with FF. The real threat to address is FF.
Even with no FF at sight at Worlds. Shattered Remains turned out to be decent. It kills Clone Chip (less recurring Deus X), Pre-Paid Voice Pad and Desperado.
Overall I’m quite happy with the current version and won’t change any card at the moment.
Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie
3 Account Siphon
3 Dirty Laundry
1 Emergency Shutdown
2 Inside Job
2 Special Order
3 Sure Gamble
1 Feedback Filter•
1 HQ Interface
1 Plascrete Carapace
1 Femme Fatale
1 Sneakdoor Beta
2 Bank Job
3 Daily Casts
2 John Masanori
1 Mr. Li
2 Security Testing
This deck is built to beat Near-Earth Hub. It basically punishes decks with naked remote servers with Bank Job, John Masanori and Security Testing. 3 credits + 1 card for 1 click is like having Magnum Opus and Professional contact combined. It generates a lot of credit early to trash the assets and put early pressure. At Worlds it went 4-1 against NEH. The only defeat was actually due to time running out while behind in agenda point (9 minutes left in the round when the game started)
The tradeoff is that it performs poorly against decks with no remotes or heavily guarded remotes (eg. Cerebral Imaging) as the naked remote punishment cards are useless and there is no long game economy. Given the large presence of NEH, I was not too worried.
This build also wins easily against PE Cambridge style thanks to Feedback Filters, Security Testing, John Masanori and Mr. Li. The goal is to generate a lot of money and dig for Feedback Filter.
Against Replicating Perfection, it’s not great but still ok. This build can still put a lot of early pressure and hopefully score enough agenda before RP is able to build an economy.
Let’s compare some alternatives.
- The benchmark is Sure Gamble providing 4 burst credits.
- Lucky Find provides 6 burst credits - 1 click = 5 burst credits at the cost of 2 influence
- Daily Cast provides 5 credits overs 4 turns
- Armitage Codebusting provides 12 credit - 1 install cost - 6 clicks = 5 credits on a flexible schedule.
- Magnum Opus costs 5 and each click provides 1 extra credit. It means a runner has to use it at least 11 times to be better than Armitage Codebusting. Magnum Opus is good for late game economy at the cost of an early tempo hit, 2 MU and 2 influence.
- Bank Job provides 8 credits - 1 install cost - 1 click for the run = 6 burst credits. With Desperado it’s 7 credits. It’s the best deal if there is a naked remote.
Since NEH. PE and RP tends to have unprotected remote servers, I decided to go for Daily Casts and Bank job for maximum credit in early and mid game.
Medium is awesome and put a lot of pressure on R&D. It also punishes decks with light or porous ICE (eg. NEH). Often the Corp will have a scoring window but have to skip it to purge viruses as 5+ accesses might just finish the game. It definitely worth the 2 extra influence compared to 2 R&D Interface.
Since Architect is there, Mimic is a must. It replaces the 3rd faerie.
Passport is surprisingly good. Most of the time you just want to access R&D for Medium or HQ for Siphon.
I'm not totally satisfied with Yog but don't know what to do. I tried Zu Keymaster and Atman but wasn't totally satisfied and they are expensive in influence.
I would also swap the 2nd Passport for a 3rd Special Order.