Blacktree. Cambridge PE. Yin. These are all names for Netrunner's most intelligent and dangerous corporation, Jinteki: Personal Evolution. But today, we will be wearing the mask of the EMPIRE. A ruthless and oppressive regime of clones with three ways of crushing resistance.
The EMPIRE doesn't mind being a little evil. Profiteering is the backbone of this deck, providing us with enough money to IAA multiple times over the next few turns to control the runner's actions. Profiteering is even great at dealing with Account Siphon, although not better than Targeted Marketing. Since three bad pub is usually enough to make runs almost free, we focus more on using gear-check ice to make the runner dig through their decks to find breakers, and possibly locking themselves out if their breakers get discarded. That means Eli 1.0 and Pup are out, and Wraparound and Yagura are in. Even Chairman Hiro becomes a bit of a liability.
The EMPIRE does not tolerate insubordination. That's why we run Punitive Counterstrike, even with a relatively high-agenda density. By scoring a Profiteering, we can often find ourselves at a point where a Mushin No Shin card will kill the runner whether it's a trap or not. There's an obvious synergy with The Future Perfect, but in terms of damage Fetal AI is equivalent to a three-pointer when using both Punitive Counterstrikes. Filling up archives with 1-point agendas, emptying their hand with Jinteki: Personal Evolution's ability, and then using a single Punitive Counterstrike the next turn is also a viable oppurtunity.
The EMPIRE exerts control over the aphysical, with powers of lightning as well as mental manipulation. Any game involving this ID will require Yomi, the ability to read the minds of others. But in order to win, we use this as a force. Consider using Mushin No Shin on a card. If the runner started the turn with 2 or fewer cards, they cannot afford to run it in case it's a Project Junebug, since without card draw assistance they can only reach 5 cards in hand. Likewise, if the runner started the turn with 0-3 credits and a five card hand they will have difficulty playing the breakers they need before running what could potentially discard those breakers. Use this opportunity to advance agendas or, even better, Ronin. Unorthodox Predictions gets a special mention because it often allows us to score a The Future Perfect in the next turn for a guaranteed 4 points, putting us on match point.
The EMPIRE is patient. Keep track of the number of cards in the runner's stack. Assuming they have 45 cards and no Levy AR Lab Access, we have to do 46 net damage to just straight up win the game. We always have enough to fire Snare! plus any traps on the board, and so will likely do around 15-20 damage over the course of the game from the runner's misfortune alone. If I land a Cortex Lock subroutine or a triple advanced Project Junebug as well, that's when I start to consider the deck-out strategy. Ronin and the ID work wonders here using up runner clicks in the drawing that will eventually lead to their loss.
Sometimes our devotion to the force of Yomi does not help us conjure up the stolen agendas, nor does it give us clairvoyance enough to find the runner's grip. But the EMPIRE has Philotic Entanglement, an agenda with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Thanks to the new card 24/7 News Cycle, we don't even need to run a single Shi.Kyū: IAA Philotic Entanglement // Advance Score, 24/7 News Cycle, Neural EMP will kill a 5 card runner from 2 agendas up. They will witness the power of our fully functional battle station.
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13 Jan 2016 NobbyNobs