Teaching and Learning: Jinteki Deck

(This is a sequel to: This article)
At long last, the public’s cries have been answered. What follows is the long-awaited article and decklist for my 7th Teaching and Learning deck. While you are here, please check out Fighting_Walloon’s teaching league. This is an online league using only my Teaching and Learning decks. The league is very relaxed and welcoming to players of all skill levels (although if you are an expert you should use your best judgment before trying to hustle some newbies…). More information here:

https://forum.stimhack.com/t/the-second-bigboy-teaching-league-starts-june-3/8893

Without further ado, here is the article:

FetalPEBen_M

Decklist

Jinteki values balance, honor, and deception. They create uncertainty in the runner and cause them to second guess their plans. Jinteki does not only fight the economic war. They attack the runner’s hand: both their ability to draw cards quickly, and their inability to deal with losing certain cards. Against Jinteki, runners must carefully balance making money, installing their rig, and keeping their hand-size up. Failing to maintain this balance can have fatal consequences.

Playing This Deck:

In your opening hand you are looking for an economy card, hopefully 2, and some Ice. You do not want Snares in your opening hand if possible, since the runner will likely access them before you can easily afford the 4 credits. This deck plays very aggressively (although not as aggressively as GRNDL!). Spend the first turn or two establishing your economy with a couple operations. Try not to play Celebrity Gift until you have installed some ICE (particularly on a remote server since you would like that ice to be unknown), but don’t be afraid to use it if you don’t have another way to get money. Once you feel comfortable economically, go for a score. Komainu, Enigma, and Kakugo are all excellent ice to begin a scoring server with, but Eli and DNA tracker can also work in the right situation. Getting an agenda, or two, out early will make the runner feel much more pressured to spend resources running, opening more scoring windows for you later.

In the mid-game you want to leverage work-compression to score agendas. This means creating situations where the runner could get into your scoring remote, but is likely to either die or open a safe window for you to score another agenda immediately afterward. Kakugo, Hokusai Grid, Ben Musashi, House of Knives, and Fetal AI all aid you in this regard. Try to combine as many of these effects as possible to make your remote server truly dangerous. The runner will be furious when they decide not to run your potentially lethal Fetal AI score, and it turns out to be a Global Food Initiative. On the other hand, if you managed to score 4 early points, the runner may be forced into the opposite situation, having to run a heavily upgraded Fetal AI for fear of a 3-pointer, only to be met the next turn by a lethal Neural EMP!

Finally, if the game goes very late and the runner has built a full rig, you have a few ways to close out the game. If you have managed to get to 5 points, then your single Biotic Labor will either close out the game for you or force the runner to attack centrals recklessly, trying to find that last 3/2 before you do. If you have built a remote server of multiple Kakugos, then you can try to use Upgrades, Jackson Howards, and even Snares to try to force the runner through them as many times as possible. A runner who gets fooled too many times may find themselves out of cards entirely!

Tricks of the Trade:

Hokusai Grid + Ben Musashi + House of Knives + Action window 5.3: All 3 of these cards do Net damage to the runner when they least can afford it: right before accessing an Agenda. When the runner passes the final piece of ice on a server, ask them if they want to access. Only after they agree do you have to rez and use these cards (You do not have to ask on Jinteki.net. Just use the “action before access” button). At this point it is too late for the runner to jack out. Hopefully they are about to take more damage than they bargained for!

Komainu + Personal Evolution: Normally a Komainu would not be an adequate defense for an agenda, but Personal Evolution makes stealing an agenda with no cards in hand a lethal proposition. Most single-ice remote servers are either painless for runners to Facecheck, or cannot prevent an agenda from being stolen, but Komainu out of PE is both nasty to run into AND agenda-protecting at the same time. The fear of Komainu also empowers your other gear-check Ice. Many runners will dig for their Sentry breaker while you score agendas, only to groan when they see they allowed you to score 4 points behind only a simple Enigma.

Biotic Labor + Philotic Entanglement: This interaction is not common since both cards are 1-ofs, but it is so powerful that it is worth mentioning. A surprise Philotic Entanglement can nail a runner with 3, 4 or even 5 surprise net damage. At the right time this can lead to both a Jinteki victory, and a moment you and your friend will never forget!

Finally, I would like to point out that this is a net-damage-based deck that does NOT use a shell game, does NOT use advanced traps, and does NOT use Mushin No Shin. I really wish FFG would support this style of scoring-damage deck more. Kakugo and Ben Musashi were a great start, but there is still a lot of ground to make up. In my mind this is how Jinteki was always meant to be played. Hopefully after playing with it you see why!