If you haven't heard, there is an incredible Startup league running on the GLC discord server. GLC is a great place to discuss formats, find events, and all around enhance your netrunner online community. This corp deck took me to the top of swiss after the first five weeks. Seeing that it's an endless league, it seems time to give it a detailed write up and switch to a new corp. You can see my runner deck here.
Startup is a runner favored format with very aggressive runners that have quick and easy solutions. Our plan is winning before turn 9 off scoring a single agenda and blasting the runner with two Nuerospikes. This deck is moderately complicated to pilot, in general you want to go as fast as possible. We do not win games built around taxing runs, we are not glacier, we are quick and dirty combo.
This means Predictive Planogram as a draw three 90% of the time. This means never manually advancing our remote because we want to let La Costa Grid do the advancing for us while we dig for our Nuerospikes. In general, we never ice HQ (outside of a runner threatening to trash our operations) and we place a single Engram on RD. Get used to the idea of burning your resources, once the runner shows us a killer we do not install a new Saisentan and likely don't even rez the one we placed on the remote. Once we have a single Palisade protecting our three point agenda, we do not look to install another. We go as fast as possible towards our win condition with some exceptions. Of the 24 games I've played between the league and jinteki casual lobbies, I scored out twice. We want to score one agenda and end the game. This type of play forces runners to face check spikey ice that can one shot them or take a lethal access after an Engram Flush into an RD or HQ Snare.
Jinteki: Personal Evolution was not the ID the deck started with. Restoring Humanity offers more money and a smaller deck that allows us to find our pieces easier. About a month ago, after playing a match with HolyMackeral, we were discussing the necessity of dealing more damage. Unfortunately Anicam is one of the best Startup consoles and there are a few other tricks that can take a runner out of 6 damage being a kill. PE solves this by offering 7 damage (one from scoring the agenda and two from the Spikes) on your kill turn.
Our agenda suite is a bit... mediocre. But Jinteki has exactly two options for three pointers in startup and so we play those two options. Vulnerability Audit is the agenda we'd prefer to be scoring. Prioritize it over StM. There are many choices for the last two points required to meet deck specifications. Serum would allow you to save one slot on agendas and does provide more counterplay to imp. After our discussion, HolyMackeral sleaved up a similar deck with Sting which does offer some sideways Nuerospike wins. We are choosing to play House of Knives because scoring a single House is a huge threat and can often win the game on its own. Do not just fire off your house counters immediately, use them specifically to "add a damage" to Snare! accesses' or to snipe a card on a turn you are threatening Puni.
Snare! mostly exists to slow a runner down. It's not particularly often that it kills them, but because we tend not to waste clicks iceing HQ, it is your HQ ice. Often times we reveal our grip with Celebrity Gift showing our Snares and then Sprinting away the extra agendas we were holding. Because we are a Snare! deck, one must plan their rez's ahead of time and always keep 4 credits available, even off a random RD access.
Spin Doctor is part of the package of aggressive card draw we are running. Influence is tight, and unlike our other options, it only draws two cards. If we haven't found our combo pieces, it is often incorrect to shuffle cards back into HQ. With that said, we tend to leave our Spin Doctors naked, not in our scoring server, and let the runner trash it if they want and look to find value if they don't.
Celebrity Gift, Hansei Review and Hedge Fund are simply the best economy available without spending influence. In general we fire off Gift turn one even if it reveals an agenda but later in the game it can be correct to hold them. We tend to overdraw, it may be correct to move to the third Review it has been excellent. Our economy is all burst because we don't have time to go mining or run advertisements. With how much we overdraw, there is a strong case for Subliminal Messaging; however, if the runner isn't running, we should already be winning.
Neurospike deals a lot of damage. Make sure to track your economy; three credits is expensive and if you are too liberal with your ice install and rez's you can price yourself out of your kill. Ideally, we start our turn with our agenda two advancements off scoring. Add one from La Costa, one from click, and play two spikes. We do have to plan ahead a few turns to ensure we have the proper advancements and credits to close.
Predictive Planogram and Sprint take the place of a tutor to help us close. The rate of one inf is just too good when compared to our in format tutor option. Try to hold on to one copy of sprint as long as possible; it is far more efficient to sprint away extra agendas in HQ then to be forced to ice it. If your board is relatively well set up, click to draw instead of playing Sprint if you don't have any agenda's in need of tucking.
Punitive Counterstrike is very strange to run as a two of and not a three of. Inf is incredibly tight and I couldn't find a build that I like that supported all three. In general this means your Puni kills come from a runner not having time to draw up while also contesting or from a runner hitting an agenda on a turn they were not prepared to. You certainly could fit the third Puni or fit an Archived Memory to function as a wildcard as either a Puni or a Nuerospike.
Anoetic Void is certainly cuttable. Its trash cost is laughably low; however, runners have so many bypass tools. We are not trying to use void to tax out the runner; we are using it to beat their bypass and force them to find their breakers.
La Costa Grid advances your agenda for you so that you can be busy making money, installing ice, and finding your Neurospikes.
Engram Flush might be a mistake of creation, but it does not have End the Run on it. As such, it is highly advised to not install it on your remote. Instead, put the first one on RD and if you install a second, maybe HQ (although a second on RD is often better). Engram really works to tax a runner out or tag team with your other damage cards to ruin a runner's day. What to name with a turn one engram is often difficult. Common knowledge is to name 'event' for the best hits... but this deck really enjoys naming Program. Hitting a breaker, a botulus, or an imp is such a blowout.
Enigma and Palisade are not exciting fellows to have around, but they do their job and end the run. Both of these ice are intended for the remote to force gear checks for access. We would certainly play Quandry or Vanilla if they were available. There is some consideration for Lotus Field over Enigma but a penny saved is a penny earned.
Karuna has out performed itself but feels a touch pricey. Feel free to add more. It fits somewhere between Engram and Saisentan. It can go on any server.
Saisentan does not offer the same raw power that standard Jinteki ice holds... but... I have achieved more flatlines on Saisentan then any ice since Cortex Lock. Those are high marks. Informed runners should not be face checking you until they have found their Killer. But... if you apply enough pressure, they will anyways. Similar to Engram, take a moment to decide what to name. Think about how the runner has played the last few turns and what is most likely in their hand. Would they have played all their events? Are they likely to be holding programs or hardware they couldn't afford... what is likely to be there based on the archetype they are presenting. To note; Saisentan is dirt cheap to break by most killers so don't expect it to do much work outside a blind check. If the runner hasn't shown a killer, put this on the remote, otherwise, take the time to review your options.
All in all, this deck is a blast to pilot. The biggest mistake you can make is going too slow. Do not manually advance an agenda unless it's to score a HoK or you've found both your Spikes. Break the habit of scoring a three point agenda just because you are able to; let that 4/3 marinate until you've found your kill cards. If this deck becomes popular, it will be necessary to add some type of silly shell games that punish runners for extending into your remote.
If you have any questions about the build, feel free to hit me up in the GLC discord. Startup has quickly become my favorite format and I am excited by the new directions NISEI is taking the game. It is an endless league; come on by and sign up.
22 May 2021 asphy