I didn't expect this deck to do this well, but I feel like I learned a lot through the lower bracket run in the top cut. Every game I played I got better with ice placements and became more aware of how I could lose in a higher pressure situation with open decklists. I'm still amazed I managed to win in a variety of ways, ranging from the Regenesis from board + double Big Deal to the full 7 from the board, with a bunch of other scoring patterns in between. That said, I feel like the habit of including somewhat unexpected 5inf cards in other factions still runs strong in my veins and I should talk a bit about why I think the deck works and why it's cool.
Why Jinteki?Boat is everywhere and there's a good number of really good ice against it in the faction. You can play Anansi, Saisentan, Anemone and Data Loop which are great. Even Thimblerig can do a lot against it as outermost on a remote, as you can force the runner to encounter it many times during a single run to tax counters if they don't have a decoder for 2 mere credits. You can reposition ice on top of that, which is obviously amazing. There's also a couple surprisingly cheap but taxing ice like Mind Game and Bathynomus. The latter has been really great even on HQ and R&D, as it always forces Boat counters if the often single copy of MKUltra is late to the party or if Ika doesn't wanna wake from its deep and restless slumber.
Why Big Deal?The card is really cool and having a secondary win condition in a glacier deck sounds like a solid plan. Scoring a 5/3 from hand is fun on its own, but it's even cooler if you can score 4 points in a single go with Regenesis. You can sit a Spin Doctor or Moon Pool (which I didn't have on the day) protected in the main remote, safely discard an agenda while moneying up and see what happens. This way of playing also works pretty well against Stargate, because you threaten points while ensuring you don't lose at the same time. The 17 cost operation is trashable, but we can play Snare to discourage runs on HQ.
Why AgInfusion?Big Deal Regenesis is cool, but if you play it in Restoring Humanity the runner wants to check your archives to deny you credits anyway and that's not good. Icing archives is very very reasonable these days because of Boat, but it's even better in an ID that discourages runs in general. If you have an Anansi rezzed as outermost somewhere else, the runner doesn't really wanna run on an "useless" server to get booped into it, they might just wanna chill and do something else instead. Additionally, once you've rezzed a big ice you don't have to spend much more on ice because you can force them to face it over and over again for free, allowing you to money up to score from hand. Aside from the Big Deal plan, AgInfusion is still great in a world of Anemone, Data Loop and Obokata, which makes closing games from the board 100% doable.
All these points (with a couple more observations) are what helped the deck reach a record of 6-1 plus an ID, losing only to Darta's Hoshipko in the very first round of the top cut on time, but getting revenge against him in the second game of the grand finals. I feel like the deck went through extra tight and longer games than I would've preferred but that's just #AgInfusionThings. I also somehow managed to face Boat Anarchs 5 games out of 7, which isn't ideal for the ID ability due to Hippo, but great for the 10 sentries in the deck. I got lucky a couple times over the two days of tournament, but Darta himself always says that you don't win them with strokes of back luck.
It was great seeing a couple new faces and I hope the community can keep growing with time. Huge thanks to everyone involved and all my friends as always, pretty much every game was very tight and very very fun. Here's the runner I played. You can watch the tournament's games here, though some of them are split in two due to some technical difficulties.
Hail Hydr- I mean Apex