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Subject: Jinteki is weak, but! rss

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Wes Holland

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I play Jinteki. But I am under no illusions, it's a weak corp.

The secret is to let agendas sit out with counters on them. Don't let it worry you. Let them sit for more than two turns. Jinteki is very good at going from 0 to 7 points in one turn. You always want them to steal from a remote instead of HQ. Criminal and Anarch prefer running the Central servers anyway for various reasons, having them run on remote exhausts their resources.

The real reason Jinteki is weak is that the card Infiltration exists. Jinteki thrives on its hidden information, and Infiltration ruins that.

Jinteki cards that are a must-have:
Zaibatsu Loyalty (Infiltration is the enemy)
Precognition (Just using it practically ensures R&D won't be run by anyone save Noise for the next two turns.)
Snare (NOT necessarily 3 copies. Two is enough.)
Project Junebug (Same thing as Snare. You can even run one... Imagine a runner hitting R&D and trashing a Junebug. Now your PriReq with 4 counters looks a lot more convincing as a trap.)
Wall of Thorns (This is the best ICE that Jinteki has. Chum is also very good, but requires specific ordering, and Noise particularly is fond of screwing with that.)
Nisei Mk.2 is the best 4-cost agenda. It doesn't have much competition yet, but still.

At this time, I've sworn off of Neural EMP. The only use I've had for it is padding hand to prevent Agenda theft.

Out of Faction cards that are needed in Jinteki:
Tollbooth, good lord, Tollbooth.
Aggressive Secretary is very useful to splash a copy or two. Usually you can nail a needed Breaker, or a Djinn against Noise, then it's game over. It's also necessary to run through ALL of their infiltrations, and have them see as many traps with those as you can, rather than Agendas. HOWEVER, Jinteki doesn't do anything with Tags, so Ghost Branch is NOT very useful.
Archer is iffy. If you can PriReq one, it's essentially game over, but if you can't, it will REALLY hurt to rez it.

While not needed, Jinteki is one of the few corps that can use Matrix Analyzer to good effect. Shadow is also useful, as your money is weak already, and so is your ICE.

Jinteki needs to NOT try and kill the runner. Everyone is always over-careful with Jinteki as it is, so it's very, very difficult to win by flatlining. The only runner that ever gets *slightly* careless against Jinteki is Criminal, but you'll never actually flatline even them. Do not include Scorched Earth. Jinteki wins much more effectively by putting out multiple facedown cards with advancement counters on them. Big-Server is done much better by Weyland and HB.

The point of the ID is not that you should thus try and kill runners, the point of the ID is that when they guess right and get your agendas, they still lose. (As the new Agenda/Ambush explains clearly.)


As I said, I don't think Jinteki is that good, their economy is absolutely TERRIBLE. Watanabe can't make my ice cheap enough. They can't take advantage of Trace like NBN can, HB and Weyland get cheaper, more effective ICE and a better economy together. Still, Jinteki has a place, I think.

(Also, for lols: I had a Braintrust scored with two counters. And a remote server without any asset, but just three pieces of unrezzed ICE... In order, from outside to inside-- Tollbooth. Tollbooth. ... Cell Portal. With 20+ money in the bank from Mining Corp, I could not help grinning like a madman as I put a new agenda in that server.)
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Konstantinos Thoukydidis
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I disagree with a lot of what you mention, but I agree with the main point. A very powerful trick with Jinteki is having the nerves to sit on maxed out agendas and having the patience to advance all your cards slowly. If you can do this, you can store your 5-advance Pr.Req until the point a Janus hits the table, or keep your Private Sec. Force ready until the runner gets careless and lets a tag through, and you smack them down with 4 damage in one turn (perfect when you just spent all your credits on a snare and the runner expects you can't play a scorched).

However you do need a lot of advancable traps and a lots of cheap ICE to make this trick work. defended unadvanced cards usually are ignored by the runner because they're afraid of snares and undefended unadvanced cards are hit immediately, to prevent you from advancing traps before it's too late.

So you need to make a lot of lightly defended servers and mix your traps and agendas behind them. You do not want the runner to see your hidden cards for free. Each run needs to have a cost so that their economy stays as weak as yours. If the runner has a great economy, (e.g. Kate 1st turn Magnum) then this might not work either, in which case you may try to waste their money on bigger servers as those kind of runners end up being confident enough in their economy to run more often on unadvanced cards.

Jinteki was weak because it was easy to guess what was in the deck when only core and WLA were out. Now that this is not the case, Jinteki is shaping up very nicely. However Jinteki, most of all other corps, is the one which relies on player skill than the available cards. As a corp, it needs a completely different way of thinking than, say, a standard big ICE HB corp, which leads a lot of players who run Jinteki like HB, to declare that they are "too weak".

PS: I never used Tollbooth in my Jinteki. Too expensive in influence and cost.
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Steven Tu
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The more diverse the cardpool the stronger Jinteki becomes. And it's really a "think what the opponent is thinking" type deck. If you think your servers are safe, drop a trap in it and advance. EXPECT that stimhack or inside job. Sometimes you really can smell it coming.

But of course, you win some you lose some. If you never bluff with open agendas (3 advance in one turn), the runner will never fear your traps.

It's definitely a big gamble faction
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Yan
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I wont open a can of worms and go into details about this, but I will say this. I feel like you have much to learn about Jinteki. Not saying that Jinteki is the best corp or anything, but reading your post gives me the impression that you think you know the ocean when you only ventured knee deep into it.
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Wes Holland

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Each run must cost the runner, this is why Tollbooth is essential. It is expensive in influence and cost, but nothing gives a better return on investment.

Jinteki is a corp that really enjoys having an MMC out for more than a turn. If they can build a credit advantage it can be very very hard to knock them off again.

Can you figure out why you should not run the full complement of Snare or Junebug...?
 
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Eric Steiger
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CrushU wrote:
Can you figure out why you should not run the full complement of Snare or Junebug...?


Because as soon as the Runner sees one, they assume you're packing 3, which is almost as good as actually packing 3, but without having to, you know...do so.
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BT Carpenter
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CrushU wrote:
At this time, I've sworn off of Neural EMP. The only use I've had for it is padding hand to prevent Agenda theft.

...

Jinteki needs to NOT try and kill the runner. Everyone is always over-careful with Jinteki as it is, so it's very, very difficult to win by flatlining.


These are the interesting points for me, and seem counter to each other.

Neural EMP in the early game disrupts the Runner's hand -- if they do a Run early then a quick Neural EMP can disrupt a useful card out of their hand and into their discards. Hitting the FIRST copy of a given icebreaker or useful card is much more disruptive to the Runner than hitting the second or third copy, when the card has been reduced to a damage soak.

Neural EMP in the late game protects Agenda in hand (non-trashable card they might hit, except for Imp/Demo Run) and gives an opportunity to go for the jugular if they accept lots of damage on a non-game winning Run.

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BT Carpenter
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PlayroomEJS wrote:
CrushU wrote:
Can you figure out why you should not run the full complement of Snare or Junebug...?


Because as soon as the Runner sees one, they assume you're packing 3, which is almost as good as actually packing 3, but without having to, you know...do so.


Agreed with Junebug (or Secretary). Not agreed with Snare! 3 Snare!s are great for early psychological protection of your PADs and late protection of your Agenda in hand.

If a Runner hasn't seen any Snare!s and Jinteki's holding a fist full of cards, HQ runs get much less frequent because of the presumed Snare! presence. That or they're in R&D and Medium/Maker's Eye becomes that much more risky.

ALWAYS keep enough cash to activate your Snare!s
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Why not run Snare! at 3X? That is actually a great card when it goes off (besides the bluffing aspect), and it often does go off if you hold it long enough.
 
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I have had success in thwarting the meta by not including "obvious" cards, like omitting Junebug as Jinteki or Scorched Earth as Weyland, but I'm not sure I can condone running less than 3x Snare!. :)
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Wes Holland

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Because once they've hit three snares, they are no longer afraid to run R&D or HQ. If you run two Snare!'s, then they can at most hit only two... And will forever wonder where the third one is, and always draw to 3 cards before running HQ or R&D.

That and it's kinda expensive to keep money back for Snare! all the time; it drains Jinteki's fragile economy. You could feasibly run NO snares in Jinteki, because come on, it's in faction, why wouldn't you run it? But they just... never... see them... where are they?!

I play blue in Magic: the Gathering, I think that's why I've gravitated towards Jinteki. Blue is the only color with counterspells, but there are blue decks that run none, because opponents will play around them anyway.

And this is why you absolutely cannot plan on killing runners with Jinteki. While a Jinteki player could capitalize on a paranoid runner and not include Snare! at all, this same runner will never be caught off-guard by Jinteki traps. (Unless you do something crazy like splash in SEA and Scorched Earth. You bad person.)

Neural EMP, when used to try and take out a key card from a runner's hand... The problem is they're all key cards. The runner can just draw more, in almost every circumstance. And when they can't, you just won the double-snare'd R&D jackpot anyway. Besides, Personal Evolution is a built-in, free Neural EMP anyway.
 
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Eric F
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byronczimmer wrote:

Agreed with Junebug (or Secretary). Not agreed with Snare! 3 Snare!s are great for early psychological protection of your PADs and late protection of your Agenda in hand.

If a Runner hasn't seen any Snare!s and Jinteki's holding a fist full of cards, HQ runs get much less frequent because of the presumed Snare! presence. That or they're in R&D and Medium/Maker's Eye becomes that much more risky.

ALWAYS keep enough cash to activate your Snare!s


Junebug requires a bluff to be successful, or Trick of Light. Trick of Light makes it a safe storage for your advancements (or you can fake a naked agenda as a Junebug...even better?)

Snare is just a jerk card. You can always just hit one, and it's almost always useful. It doesn't matter where it is (you can TRY installing them and passing them off as PADs), but it is useful and doesn't require premeditation and trickery like Junebug does.
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Eric F
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CrushU wrote:
And this is why you absolutely cannot plan on killing runners with Jinteki. While a Jinteki player could capitalize on a paranoid runner and not include Snare! at all, this same runner will never be caught off-guard by Jinteki traps. (Unless you do something crazy like splash in SEA and Scorched Earth. You bad person.)

Neural EMP, when used to try and take out a key card from a runner's hand... The problem is they're all key cards. The runner can just draw more, in almost every circumstance. And when they can't, you just won the double-snare'd R&D jackpot anyway. Besides, Personal Evolution is a built-in, free Neural EMP anyway.


I'd disagree with this only because you can totally plan on killing a runner. The main problem is that Jinteki needs to get an advantage before forcing a runner to take risks.

Arguably, once a runner hits a Snare (and they will, they need to keep running, accessing cards, and trying to find more agendas to win), you ARE at a huge advantage. They waste the rest of their clicks recovering from the snare, Neural EMP can do that much more damage...and that's the opening you need. This is the perfect time to play a Junebug and advance it twice...is a runner going to take another giant risk and run a naked agenda with 2 advancements? Are they going to run home and draw their hand full of cards? Will they just let you agenda go and give you the points scored?

===

All cards are key cards, yes, but some cards are more key than others! I would never underestimate net damage, especially for its time-wasting capability (forcing a runner to draw cards to find what they need), or actually hitting cards they were planning on playing for future turns.
 
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Konstantinos Thoukydidis
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ignisphaseone wrote:
.is a runner going to take another giant risk and run a naked agenda with 2 advancements? Are they going to run home and draw their hand full of cards? Will they just let you agenda go and give you the points scored?


Problem is that it never works like this in practice. What usually happens is that you waste all your credits paying the snare, and you're in no shape next turn to play an agenda and advance twice, never mind scoring it the turn after the next.
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Then what is the point of Snare!?
1. If you cannot keep 4 credits available then the runner doesn't care at all if you run Snare! or not because, obviously, you cannot use it even if they run into it.

2. If you run fewer copies of Snare! and the runner plays as if you have Snare!, I suppose you can get some advantage that way by increasing the diversity of your deck for free. However, it also means that you are *always* bluffing Snare! which I think will end up costing the runner less overall (since he should be calling your bluff from time to time even if Snare! is a real threat). It is an interesting point worth looking into though.

3. If Snare! doesn't give you an opening, then I'm not sure what will. As a surprise factor I think it is one of the most cost effective cards available, right behind Agressive Secretary. Archer is strong but very expensive for Jinteki. Troubleshooter is strong but (usually) expensive as well. Generally speaking, there are only a few ways to create an opening:
a. Your server is too expensive for the runner to run, either because they have no credits and/or because your server is expensive to break. This usually includes tags since often the runner will spend credits/clicks to clear them.
b. You trash an ICE breaker needed to get through your server.
c. You threaten a flatline through net damage.
d. You threaten some key rig parts in their grip through net damage.
e. Some combination of the above.

The most common way to make an opening for is using strategy "a", but my impression is that Jinteki isn't very good at that...
 
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Ryan Angell
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jinteki has two different strategies but until trace amounts came out neither was developed enough to be viable.

personal evolution - you run snare/fetal ai. Your ping ice - data mines/katanas- "protects your central server"- you are really just hoping the runner takes some net dmamage on the way to taking more net damage hitting snares and the fetal ai in R&D and HQ. your ETR ice stacks up on a remote server where you advance your agendas.

replicating perfection - you run junebug/ trick of light. Your ETR goes in front of your central servers hopefully draining the runner so by the time the runner hits your remote servers guarded by your ping ice they kill themselves on junebug.


there is nothing wrong with trying to splash but junebug and snare but unless jinteki gets some way to get easy credits i dont think you can pay for both besides if you are the table talking type you can talk your opponent into worrying about the one that isnt in the deck
 
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Steven Tu
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sniktsnikt wrote:


replicating perfection - you run junebug/ trick of light. Your ETR goes in front of your central servers hopefully draining the runner so by the time the runner hits your remote servers guarded by your ping ice they kill themselves on junebug.


Putting ETR ice in front of centrals is just as well as leaving your R&D unguarded. They could run any ETR ice (wall of static) and just bounce off, using only 1 click, then run your remotes.

Contrast that to having, say, a Viktor, Neural Katana, and Enigma. Now there's a choice
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Kester J
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DbZer0 wrote:
ignisphaseone wrote:
.is a runner going to take another giant risk and run a naked agenda with 2 advancements? Are they going to run home and draw their hand full of cards? Will they just let you agenda go and give you the points scored?


Problem is that it never works like this in practice. What usually happens is that you waste all your credits paying the snare, and you're in no shape next turn to play an agenda and advance twice, never mind scoring it the turn after the next.


Agree with this.

I rapidly soured on Snare! because it feels like it sets corp back almost as much as the runner. The damage costs 6 clicks for the runner to repair (without help) at a cost of 4 (arguably 5) for the corp. Which is a decent trade, but not the amazing card some seem to see it as.
 
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Konstantinos Thoukydidis
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The snare has other effects as well. It forces the runner to always run with 3 cards in their hand, which can often delay them enough. It forces the runner to run with at least 1 click, to be able to take the tag out. All this means that a runner expecting snares and low on cards is almost certain never to hit your central servers, which means you have 1 safe turn to build.

Also now that Fetal AI is out, Looking for a lot of cards in R&D becomes very scary
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DbZer0 wrote:
The snare has other effects as well. It forces the runner to always run with 3 cards in their hand, which can often delay them enough.

I actually disagree with that. If the runner believes you have a Snare!, and you have 4 credits, and they have less than 3 cards in hand, they should still reasonably run about 20% of the time. You are threatening a loss, sure, but a 2 point agenda is at least 28% of their (and your) win condition.

I do agree that having access to Snare! should cause the runner to be more cautious and that is an advantage to the corp, which I think was your point.

What are the conditions that cause the runner to have less than 3 cards in hand? I am honestly curious because most of the ways I can think of are less cost efficient than the runner hitting a Snare!.
 
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Konstantinos Thoukydidis
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slacks wrote:
What are the conditions that cause the runner to have less than 3 cards in hand? I am honestly curious because most of the ways I can think of are less cost efficient than the runner hitting a Snare!.


Playing cards and hitting other traps. If they started their turn with less than 4 cards for example, it makes it more scary to do runs with stimhack or inside job, or just playing a medium and running 3 times.
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Martin Larouche
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Zhab wrote:
I wont open a can of worms and go into details about this, but I will say this. I feel like you have much to learn about Jinteki. Not saying that Jinteki is the best corp or anything, but reading your post gives me the impression that you think you know the ocean when you only ventured knee deep into it.


This basically.

Jinteki is not a weak corp. I see it as the net damage corp. Make the runner pay not with credits, but with cards... all the time.

It all depends on your play-style. Myself, i have a much higher win ratio with Jinteki than any other corp. In almost all my Jinteki plays, i manage to flatline the runner.

It's really not that much more difficult to win consistently with Jinteki. Focus ONLY on ICE that does net damage and have tons of ambush which do net damage. The runner will lose a LOT of time just replenishing his hand and will have trouble running safe from damage.

The runner HAS to run to win. Jinteki is the best faction to limit his runs. With any other faction, the runner needs credits and an icebreaker to run. With Jinteki, he needs credits, an icebreaker AND a full hand. The runner is scared when playing against Jinteki much more than any other corp... use that to your advantage.

I should really start counting my win ratio with Jinteki, because i believe i have lost only twice with them VS i cannot count how many wins... most of those being flatlines.

As for your exemple, i would NEVER use tollbooth in a Jinteki deck. It's counterproductive to the Jinteki goal. Putting the runner low on credits is a hard battle that Jinteki will lose (that's the strength of NBN). Putting the runner low on cards in his hands is a much better deterent against further runs.

Agressive Secretary is good for any corp BUT Jinteki. It doesn't serve their purpose.
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BT Carpenter
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deedob wrote:
Focus ONLY on ICE that does net damage and have tons of ambush which do net damage. The runner will lose a LOT of time just replenishing his hand and will have trouble running safe from damage.

I add things that cost the runner clicks and undo their actions to that list. If the Runner has a barrage of net damage, click-losses (which prevent hand replenishment) and uninstall/program trash actions to deal with... they're always playing catch up.

Early damage is key here. Disrupt the first copy of a critical infrastructure piece and the rest will follow.

Quote:
Agressive Secretary is good for any corp BUT Jinteki. It doesn't serve their purpose.


Really? Once the Runner has a rig online, the only delay is hand size, and all duplicates are purely damage soak. Take away part of that structure and now the Runner has to protect their hand again, until the critical piece is replaced.
 
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Konstantinos Thoukydidis
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Problem with Aggressive Secretary in Jinteki is that one is too few and 2 is too many. AgSec is too costly and requires an even greater opportunity than Junebug. If you get it at the start of the game, it's practically useless. Which means that if you have only 1 copy in your deck, there's a big chance you'll get it either too early or not at all. If you run 2 otoh, this is less OOF cards you can field for money making (which Jinteki sorely needs, especially for AgSec). At the moment I at most splash 1 AgSec for the occasional unexpected surprise, but I can count the times it has worked in the fingers of one hand.
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I played two very enjoyable games against a Trace Amount-updated Core ID Jinteki last night, with a Criminal deck I'm rather confident with. I lost both. Now, I made some mistakes because I don't often get to play Jinteki, but...in the hands of a skilled player, I really don't think they're weak. At least, not anymore.

A net damage focused Jinteki can have a fantastic lategame. This is because, if the runner isn't very careful, they will simply run out of cards. A runner without cards is dead in the water, and then it's only a matter of time before Chum calls something nasty from the deep...

The only reason I don't rate Jinteki more highly right now is because they're weakest against Noise, who really got a boost in the last two data packs (Imp; Liberated Account). Mimic cuts through Katana safely, Crypsis is often out and able to deal with Data Mine, Wyldside insulates against net damage (at least, for a time), and milling Fetal AI or Snare into Archives renders them sterile.

That said, Jinteki also have a psychological advantage that NBN SE or Weyland do: they might just kill you if you're not careful. It's another way that Jinteki makes up in practice what they seem to lack "on paper".
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