This is what a Rush deck looks like. Its the best place to start when talking about this deck. Rush is a poorly understood and often frowned over archetype, and its a bit weak because the best Rush decks either tend towards FA and then leave the Rush behind before tuning is completed or are in relatively weak factions. Supermodernism is a Rush deck, its in weyland and you can go find it if you're curious. And there are HB variants as well. And NEH often plays the rush game too, if its not scoring astros and has to commit to NAPDs. Rush can win the game, lets define it:
Rush: Scoring agendas in remotes that are too complicated for a runner to deal with and getting to an end game position that assures victory quicker.
Now, in order to make rush possible the early game has to be really hard to deal with and the deck has to have a super hard late game. So, the first thing we want to score is Nisei Mk II. And the way we're going to do that is put it behind 1-2 gear check ice in a remote and flip Greenhouse on the following turn. The goal here is to set this up on turn 1. That's right, you're trying to score a 4/2 on turn 2. Very few runners can deal with this move. SMC, Faust & tons of cash are required.
The best pieces of ice to do this behind vary on matchup. Mother Goddess is best if you don't expect an easy AI. They simply won't be able to break it. Vs criminal, this is best, but you have to be careful of the inside job. Adam is the only other runner you're really worried and need to double ice for. If you can, you want to be on 3 credits on turn 2. That means 2 & 3 cost ice are great and since any ice in your deck (except swordsman & excalibur) can threaten an ETR, the runner is playing a crap shoot game. If they don't have SMC or faust in the opener, its very very likely that you get your first nisei uncontested.
If you do not have a nisei in hand turn 1, you should play either fast track or anonymous tip to get there. These are the cards you're mulliganing for.
If you don't expect siphon, leave HQ open. Leave R&D open without question.
Once you have the first nisei, you transition to a slightly thicker remote and a few more ice on centrals, but you prioritize keeping your economy up because the late game is going to probably need a lot of money. As soon as you get the option to put the second nisei in you do it. The 2nd nisei is most important and the earlier it happens the better. This one you have to advance, so money is extremely important. If you can do it with a Batty or Caprice, fine, but don't rely on them. If the runner isn't rich, running your server 2x's may be challenge enough. They've also seen your ice by now and are scared if they don't have a full suite. This can tilt an unprepared opponent.
At this point in the game, you know whether to expect AI or not. You're prioritizing finding your closing cards, obtaining money and taxing R&D dig. You are also laying traps with batty & the grail. BE AWARE, your only window to fire grail is during the rez before they get broken. That means they will not have extra subs yet, which means that batty best goes on lancelot servers or merlin servers if you think you can get a flat line.
If traps don't seem like a path to victory, over installing all of your rezzed ice to prepare a mother goddess server may be enough if AI is not present. This is a tough call. Kate & Anarch are likely on Faust, and Gabe is likely on Faust as well. You make the call and deal with it. If there's a lot of faust, then merlin on the remote will usually be taxing enough with a caprice to close the game. The high strength is important because of parasite.
If you don't reach the end game with 2 Nisei counter's you're probably not going to win. If you have them, victory is very very likely. As you set up your final board position, you want to be overdrawing to find your 5/3: either food or TFP. The one you advance vs leave in hand depends on board state and which is riskier. If you have enough money to play the psi game, leave TFP in hand, if the runner has no points and money is tighter, leave Food in hand.
If siphon is an issue, you may need to use a nisei counter at this point to stop it, but only in severe cases of being broke emergencies. These counters are your end game condition. A good player is going to try to convince you to use them. Its better to just have a tone of money from your operational econ and shuffle that back with jackson than to deny a siphon run. Hopefully Nisei + counters will close the remote game, or batty + excaliber/lancelot will close.
For supermodernism, the idea is that you score behind gear checks, money up, and threaten the scorch or agenda win at end of game. For NBN, you just get astros to close the game. For HB, you score behind remotes and close out with biotic. So, all of these decks get agendas early in remotes, and then have something to close the late game.
Jinteki has always noticably lacked this pattern of play. Up until biotech, you didn't have a credible threat to end the game and allow early rush. RP has tried it, but it requires a lot of board state and tends towards glacier. And PE is just on net damage. The Rush deck that Jinteki is good at is going to revolve around making that last agenda unobtainable by using Jinteki cards:
Once your scoring remote is ready. IAA (install advance advance) the 5/3. Putting the 5/3 in the remote early is risky, though it may blend as a caprice/batty which you'll install many of. You only do this if HQ is seriously threatened. The final turns of the game are going to be very very exhilarating. You're going to win and lose psi games. You are going to be dug by medium and every other card the runner can go at you with, but if you still have 2 nisei counters the runner only has 2 real shots at getting a win, and that means if they need money or cards they drastically reduce their chances by spending clicks they need to attempt a win.
Like any other rush deck, this rush deck has power in the early game and falls off quickly in the late game if it hasn't advanced its position. In order to leverage the power, it seriously compromises its early game safety, often leaving centrals open for 4 or 5 turns and refusing to rez ice even if its installed to hold on to credits.
Early SMCs and Fausts can make playing this deck occasionally feel like a losing proposition. And late game mediums are very rough with the deck. That said, in a highly competitive environment I was still able to go 4-1 because the deck itself is just extremely extremely threatening.
To deal with faust, swordsman should be placed on the server the runner favors, potentially with batty to snipe the mimic, or to get the faust if no mimic post clone chip. Clone chip is your biggest enemy.
To deal with SMC, layer 2 ice of different types. Early game it is hard to fetch multiple breakers while leveraging a run, even for Shaper BS. It can be done, and you will lose to this occasionally, but you do what you must because you can.
To deal with Medium, just go fast. Unless the runner is absurdly fast (MaxX was my only lost on the day because of this). Medium isn't likely to come into play with breakers soon enough. A noise that tries this will be very vulnerable to swordsman as he likely won't have mimic as that takes time. That said, medium is the #1 issue of the deck aside from siphon. You can trade interns if you must for CVS. Interns is easily a clutch card getting back a nisei that's been trashed from R&D. And CVS has risks since it makes you more porous, but its a decision that you as pilot will have to make.
To deal with criminal inside jobs, Guard helps. Excalibur>Mother Goddess is also extremely sufficient.
Siphon is one of the hardest things to deal with. You have only 2 options: 1. More money than god and play psi games to win or win on cheap points like Mythic ice. As long as you have econ in hand and can get to 3 you're fine. 2. Caprice/Batty HQ 3. This is not an option. You shouldn't do it. But the nisei token is there. Do either of the first 2 first, you'll compromise your game. Wasting money on sealing up HQ and making it taxing with merlin is a better choice than using a nisei counter. But you do what you must.
Adam is another slight weakness of the deck. He can pressure early game and 1 ice will not be enough. Like the crim matchup, turn 2 scores are unlikely. You're probably shooting for turn 3 or 4. Adam folds if you can get enough ice on the board that's nasty enough, but you must unfortunately delay and that gives him some power other runners don't get. On the flip side his breakers must be found and his likely option is faust. Batty + Swordsman is probably how you break him for the end game, though there are other ways: winning psi games and taxing faust with grail.
Parasite - Parasite is really bad for your deck. You're going to lose games to it. Vs anarch, you need to prioritize going faster than grimoire and clone chips can land. And you'll need to be careful to use higher strength ice on remotes. Most of your ice is 2 strength. The good news is you often go so fast that parasite can only affect part of your game. If they're used on R&D, you're lucky. If the come on the remote, it's rough, you'll probably lose your psi resources and get locked out if you don't play it well.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy. You'll find that if your opponent knows you and knows the list that this can be defeated. I was on a losing record going into KoS. Much of this decks power is in being unknown, and so while I share this with you; you'll find that it doesn't work as strongly if your opponent knows the list. You can still probably get early niseis, but a practiced opponent will run your scoring remote and defuse your psi tricks. They'll dig you. They'll be generally nasty. There's counterplay, but its much harder to win in these scenarios. The games are still winnable, I will stress this, but it'll be on your piloting skills.
Don't blink. Play chicken. Win, crashing into your opponent if necessary.
Welcome Ser Knight to the table. Psi Well!
Props to @Cranked who gave me the frame for this deck. He's got better more robust "midrange-rush" decks that have "better ice". I could not have built this without him and its arguable that his deck is more sustainable. My main changes were more card access (3x fast track, 3x anonymous tip because finding a 5/3 is very very important) and the grail to make opponents back off.
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