I'll first preface by saying that this deck is a homebrew so it's rather janky and likely unoptimized, but I think it's absolutely bonkers. Currently 9-1 with it on Jinteki.net, and this is considering that I am a rather new and inexperienced player and average something like a 40-45% winrate.
The problem with decks built around two cards (and requiring them in pairs, no less) is that they are awfully inconsistent. The smaller deck size helps here, but it isn't enough. That's where Localized Product Line comes in. Whether we are scoring agendas or losing them, LPL lets us find the right cards to win the game.
LPL is expensive, and landing Punitives needs a trace (or two). We also want really expensive ice to comfortably advance an agenda to 5 tokens and set up for a double/triple Neurospike the next turn. So we add in lots and lots and lots of econ to pay for our stuff.
Now onto the numbers:
With 11 econ cards in a deck of 44, that's exactly 1 in 4, but slightly skewed higher due to mulligans. In the first two turns you'll see 7 cards, so on average roughly two econ cards. On average, an econ card nets (very) roughly (regardless of click efficiency) (7+5+4+8)/4=6 so playing both econ cards at the start of the game will set you up at roughly 17 credits. This doesn't seem to be enough at first glance to rez expensive ice and still pull off the LPL combos. However, the idea here is that you won't need to do both. Pulling off the combo will most often mean winning the game, and a runner facechecking Chiyashi is also likely to secure a server for a long time while majorly setting them back. We just need enough credits to pursue either option.
An example scenario (with some math, so tl;dr below):
To give an idea of the power of the deck, imagine you start the game with Celebrity Gift to reveal Bacterial Programming, Hansei Review, Punitive Counterstrike, and two ice. You follow up by Reviewing BP into archives and end the turn. You're at 18 credits. On the runner's turn, they run archives to start denying credits from your ID and find, to their delight, an agenda! (Or they could fish HQ a bunch of times looking for the agenda and then realize it's in archives. This would be a strictly better and likely more common scenario for you) However, this is in reality probably a trap. The runner now must steal the agenda, but in the remaining 38 cards of your deck, there are 2 copies of LPL and 2 copies of Punitive. The chance of not hitting any is 343332*31/(38^4) * 100% = 53%. So the chance of hitting at least one is 47%. If you hit a Punitive in the top 7, then as long as the runner ends their turn with 10 or less credits, they will die. If you play another econ card like Hedge Fund or Hansei Review (which is extremely likely since you saw 7 cards from BP) then this goes up to 12 credits. Of course, if you get LPL then that number goes down to 8. If the runner is installing Earthrise Hotels or Rezekis, even with Sure Gamble they will likely die.
tl;dr If the runner accesses something like Bacterial Programming on turn 1, there's roughly a 47% chance of them straight up losing the game if they cannot get to roughly 9-13 credits by the end of the turn given the above scenario.
While the plan can seem rather obvious, and the runner still has 3 clicks and 5 cards to accumulate credits, this scenario is not always the case. When an agenda is revealed from HQ and there's no ice, some runners might spend a click or two poking HQ. They might do something like Hedge Fund -> Docklands Pass -> run HQ -> run archives and end the turn at 7-9 credits.
Lots of the time, the runner won't have information on your gameplan if you don't reveal your hand to make money, and you can get even more burst econ by installing Mwanza City Grid in R&D and tempt a run there. If you start the game with a copy of Localized Product Line in hand, then none of these odds matter, and the moment the runner steals an agenda while you have 2 more than double the runner's credits, you win. (A tough ask for sure, but surprisingly easier than one might expect since the runner must spend credits to install cards whereas the corp installs everything facedown and for free. Also, Mwanza City Grid is a silly card when it comes to gettings credits fast if you don't care about losing agendas)
Throughout the midgame (roughly turns 3-6) you can accumulate as many as 30 credits since you won't be rezzing ice extremely often (since they are so punishing to facecheck, runners may be waiting for breakers or building up the board). Using those credits, I often find myself making scoring servers and getting an agenda to 5 advancement counters while holding the threat of double/triple punitive in hand. And then on the turn after, Localized Product Line for two Neurospikes will end the game.
Various Card Choices:
I wish there was the influence to run the full set of LPL, but Jackson 2.0 is too strong, especially for this deck. The worst thing that can happen is for two copies of either Neurospike or Punitive Counterstrike to get trashed by an Imp or Wanton Destruction, leaving us without a good win condition. Spin Boi lets us spin them back into R&D so our combo is still viable. The one game I lost was because of two Wanton Destructions hitting exactly when I had all my win conditions in hand.
I'm not sure if Gene Splicer is a worthy include here, given that I almost never find myself winning by accumulating 7 agendas points. If I can score 2 5/3 agendas, given the ice and economy of the deck, it's likely because the runner cannot get in for several turns as opposed to me sneaking/bluffing them out. I always ended up tutoring/drawing into neurospikes and winning off of a single agenda score. Perhaps the best glaciar card in the format would be more appropiate here as it even has synergy with the ID. Rashida Jaheem should also be an include here, just because I find myself clicking to draw cards far too often due to Reviewing cards into archives quite often. I suppose Gene Splicer could have incidental value in terms of bluffing 5-advanced cards in remotes, it just hasn't come up yet.
I also don't know about Tithe. It was originally included as a way to make running archives slightly more annoying (for ID) without having to commit a 8-12 cost ice that's never actually worth rezzing. It can also serve as a good bluff if the runner assumes all my ice are giant behemoths. I think I'll leave it in.
Konjin has been a hit or miss card. With all the expensive ice I'm running, it feels like an auto-include but with how little I'm actually rezzing 12-cost ice (and how little a runner would be running after a Chiyashi encounter) it can be a bit of a dead card with no other rezzed ice. Sadaka on the other hand feels like the perfect trap for this deck. The first sub means I can dig 3 cards deep for Punitives and I can also set up BP's to force steals. The second sub is also great given my identity, and also because so many high-value resources are meta.
I'll get back to this sometime after more playtesting. My mind is still a bit blown about my last 10 matches, and just how unstoppable the deck felt. It's entirely possible I've just been getting lucky, and my winrate will fall back to 50% quite soon.
7 Sep 2021 Diogene
8 Sep 2021 JacquesZhang
9 Sep 2021 JacquesZhang