The challenge this week was to play a Jinetki: Personal Evolution deck that had done pretty well at worlds. I hadn't played Jinteki in a long time so was looking forward to getting back into the world of bluffing and traps that a lot of Jinteki decks rely on.
I played 5 games with this deck against a variety of opponents. I won 1 game and lost 4, though I came close a couple of times.
This turned out to be my only win with the deck against an unusual Keyhole based deck.
I scored a Profiteering out early but didn't take the money due to my fear of Nasir using it to power more shenanigans on his runs. I think in retrospect I should have, it would have allowed me to manipulate the game better.
I missed a kill at one point by forgetting that I could use an agenda score to hit for 1 net damage, but eventually won by baiting him into a Junebug trap.
I had a good start with this deck against a resource heavy Andy. However I found myself very poor early on and tried to go horizontal to bluff out some agendas. This didn't go well for me and I lost fairly quickly. I do wonder if it is harder to bluff on Jinteki.
vs. Chaos Theory
I mulliganed for money ending up with an early agenda flood. I saw Film Critic hit the table early and that put a crimp on a lot of my plans for a kill. Once again I found the deck to be poor and this was not helped by a Vamp I should have seen coming as it was off a Same Old Thing. Keep an eye on the trash folks, you never know what might come out of there! Or you would if you paid attention unlike me.
Since I was just done playing Apex, I was interested to see what this matchup would be like. I found myself unable to really inflict enough damage to kill, despite setting up a couple of good hits, forcing him to spend cards for access and then getting the damage in. I scored up to 5 in this game but my poor piloting led to me losing.
This was a fairly typical Prepaid VoicePAD Kate and I decided to try and score out quickly. I managed to get to 5 really shooting cards out of his hand wherever I could to keep him down and digging for options. This worked for a while until the Levy hit the table and then it was all over. I think I could have had this one if I had rushed even harder.
I think it's safe to say that I never really got this deck. It's definitely one of those decks that I have no doubt is great in the hands of the architect but takes a while to learn in the hands of a less inexperienced player. I could definitely see the potential of the deck and I really liked the inclusion of punitive counterstrike, it gives it multiple angles to take the kill.
There isn't whole lot I thought was wrong with the deck in principle, though I do think a Back Channels would be a better choice over Targeted Marketing. I also think a bit more ice with 'End the Run' subroutines would be a fine thing, forcing the runner to spend creds, and take time, searching for their rig. You can't always get the kill and with more people packing plascrete again these days and the regular addition of film critic I think limits the deck's options for kills are a bit more limited.
Net damage itself is still a very real threat I think and the deck taught me to respect that once more. Should Jinteki rise again in the meta over the Store Championship season I can see me reconsidering Net Shield, which I ran for a while in my Hayley build or some other form of Net Damage protection. I haven't played around with the latest Jinteki ID, Chronos Protocol, but the potential to shoot the relevant parts out of their hand is really interesting and is going to make me look towards building some kind of rig shooter deck, something I've come across already.
I do hope that more corp deck types become viable, as it fundamentally changes the game when a new corp deck archetype hits the meta hard. The recent trend back towards glacier builds after worlds is evidence of how even a single card, in this case Global Food Initiative can fundamentally change how people approach the game. Variety is the spice of the game and I look forward to seeing what comes over the course of the Mumbad cycle and beyond.