[Startup] Pickup Flower, Subtle Smile

Oddball 1235

Pickup Flower, Subtle Smile

"I [Gautama Buddha] possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvāṇa, the true form of the formless, the subtle Dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa."

Last month ThanosPKC came out with a fun Restoring Humanity glacier deck, trying to score behind Bioroid Ice and Anoetic Void and Hyoubu Precog Manifold. I enjoyed their deck, but started tinkering with the ice, agendas and card draw. For kicks, I also swapped over to Hyoubu Institute, because I found I was not leaving facedown cards in Archives often enough and that it can be triggered on both players turns.

Hyoubu Institute?!

Hyoubu Institute is often seen as a janky kill ID relying on Complete Image, but I think has some surprising interactions that can provide the econ needed to fund our game plans. The trick is to try and trigger our ID, once a turn, as often as possible:

Flower Sermon - You can use Flower Sermon on either player's turn, not only providing card draw, but a steady drip of econ. Save the last token on this agenda. More on this later...
Engram Flush - Often only triggers when we first rez Engram in the early game, but effectively being able to rez it for one credit is an amazing deal.
Celebrity Gift - A strong economy card that can give Hyoubu a maximum profit of eight, instead of seven.
Subliminal Messaging - An additional credit per turn is great, but what about two credits? When we "reveal" Subliminal to return it to our hand, it triggers our ID!

UPDATE: This is now enabled on Jinteki.net. Thank you Jnet team!!!
Our ID - If you're going to click for a credit and have no other way to trigger our ID, take a peek at the Runner’s grip, or stack.

Gradual Enlightenment

”Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times…”

Only through the repeated running our servers will the runner find enlightenment. Only then, when we achieve victory, will they find peace and understanding. We have three key cards to end the run and score agendas:

Anoetic Void – Usually a glacier card in Startup that will help us defend our remote. Early on, you likely may be only able to stop the runner once due to the need to play multiple cards from hand.

Later in the game hopefully will have more cards to pad our hands with Flower Sermon, Red Level Clearance, and Subliminal recursion to end the run multiple times.
Hyoubu Precog Manifold – Our more unusual choice, but one that offers multiple triggers, by only spending 0-2 credits. Some runners seem to hate PSI games, so sometimes you might get away with scoring an early agenda, just by protecting it with Hyoubu Precog and some extra credits!

Later in the game when they have to run, leverage the “free” credits you can earn from Flower Sermon, Red Level Clearance and Subliminal to mess with the Runner’s PSI game math. You know how much extra money you can earn to keep them out and score, the Runner does not.

Don’t forget that you can use Hyoubu Precog to protect a central server when you are not planning on scoring, especially if you draw an extra copy.
Nisei MK II – A classic Jinteki agenda. Once scored it will help protect additional scoring attempts, prevent multi-access runs, or stop Stargate for a turn. I think this agenda shines in this deck.

Path to Awakening

Often our early game plan is simple: at the earliest possible moment we need to score a Flower Sermon, or Nisei Mk II. Usually we do this, by installing, advancing once and playing Anoetic Void, or Hyoubu Precog Manifold. We should aim to only use one piece of gear check ice. Depending on the board state, you might need to leave a central open.

As the game progresses, shore up centrals while you can with Engrams and Saisentans. We need to aggressively draw, digging for more fuel and tools to keep the runner out of our scoring remote. The Runner will score agendas, we cannot defend everywhere, but we will make steady progress on our own scoring plan.

Do not be afraid to go low on credits! Our event suite and ID triggers from Flower Sermon and Subliminal will sustain us. We can bounce back from spending nearly everything to score agendas and punish the runner.

Ideally we can score out with three agendas (two pointer, two pointer, and Vulnerability Audit), but this deck can score out four two pointers if necessary.

Sudden Enlightenment

”My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world”

Help the runner suddenly find release from their burdens with these Jinteki staples:

Snare - keep it in hand to punish the runner, return it to R&D with Spin Doctor, or Longevity Serum, and put it on top of R&D after the Runner commits to accessing with Flower sermon.

The last combo is tricky and sometimes allow you to surprise flatline if the Runner hit our destructive ICE, or is carelessly forgetting we can use Flower Sermon to hit 4 credits.
Engram Flush -Taxing on centrals. Due to the credit refund from letting these subs firing, the runner may find themselves dead after face checking this and plowing into a Snare in the early game.
Saisentan - The Jinteki ice of Startup. If they don't respect Saisentan, either by staying up at a larger hand size or having a sentry breaker, you can find yourself with an early flatline win.

Subliminal Messaging

What has happened before will happen again, the cycle of birth and rebirth will continue until the Runner reaches enlightenment:

Subliminal serves many purposes for us. The pressure of Snare, Engram and Saisentan along with the runner having to repeatedly run our scoring remote, will hopefully give the runner pause. When they do we get paid twice over for our efforts, receive extra cards to pad our hand, or cards to burn for Anoetic.

Absolute Clarity

I'll be the first to admit this deck is totally janky, but it's been surprisingly fun and has a positive win rate. We have Hyoubu Precog, Nisei MK II, and Anoetic's to score out seemingly unsafe agendas. We get to combine it with the best Jinteki threats Startup can offer. Give it a try!

Thanks for sticking around and reading about this list. If you have time, please check out my friend and I's podcast, Retromancer! We plan on talking about the decks we have been playing, including this one, in an upcoming episode.

9 Sep 2021 Ätsch

This looks super solid! (in the context of Hyoubu Institute: Absolute Clarity that is ;). Really like the maximum usage of jinteki's unconditional ETR-suite. Great writeup, i think this is the best Hyoubu Institute: Absolute Clarity I have seen to date, definitely gonna try this out.

Calvin B4L3Y might be a consideration here, cause this deck really needs the card-draw.

9 Sep 2021 belazor

Nice deck; you love to see Hyoubu see some play!

9 Sep 2021 Oddball

Thanks for the kind words @Ätsch. I hope you have fun piloting this. I would love some feedback.

@belazorme too!

9 Sep 2021 Oddball

Another thing I should add: Longevity Serum can be bluffed as a Spin Doctor, or Snare.

It's useful if you're saving your last trick (Anoetic, Hyoubu Precog) in hand to score your final agenda.

9 Sep 2021 ThePatrician

I played Ätsch with this deck and lost to Precog. What an excellent card :) Excellent build and write up.

20 Oct 2021 Oddball

Subliminal Messaging being revealed and returning to hand now triggers Hyoubu Institute: Absolute Clarity. I've updated my original write-up.

Thank you JNet developers!

8 Dec 2021 Zeromus

What is it that Red Level Clearance does for this deck that I'm missing? Is there a trick with it that triggers your ID? Thanks!

8 Dec 2021 bowlsley

@Zeromus AFAIK there are no particular tricks to RLC, it's just there as yet another way to speed you up, either by drawing or by installing more things.

10 Dec 2021 Oddball

@Zeromus bowlsley is totally right! In my original deck it was just another way to draw cards faster, rush, or help setup Celebrity Gift.

In my more recent iterations I replaced them and Sprint with 2x Brans and Digital Rights Management (like ThanosPKC's original deck that inspired me).