|Bait and Blast
A Preview of the Jinteki Traps and Agendas in Honor and Profit
|Android: Netrunner The Card Game | Published 18 February 2014|
“For centuries, humanity has accepted that the difference between visionary and lunatic was like the flip of a coin. This is no longer acceptable. We have the technology to select ‘visionary’ with every flip. The time has come to stack the odds in our favor.”
Like Creation and Control before it, Honor and Profit focuses on the cyberstruggles between two of the seven factions from Android: Netrunner. While fans of the five other factions will find plenty to appreciate among the expansion’s low-influence and neutral cards, roughly two-thirds of the 165 new cards in Honor and Profit are dedicated to Jinteki and those Runners affiliated with the Criminal faction.
This intensive focus on the Jinteki and Criminal factions makes Honor and Profit the perfect upgrade for players looking to explore and enhance their Jinteki or Criminal decks, and it makes the expansion a fantastic second step for newer players drawn to either faction’s distinctive play style.
In today’s preview, we’ll explore how Honor and Profit advances Jinteki’s aims and methods beyond the game’s Core Set.
In Pursuit of Perfection
Honor and Profit introduces three new Jinteki identities, each of which allows players to shape strategies that differ significantly from those permitted by the Core Set identity and the identity, Jinteki: Replicating Perfection, found in the Trace Amount Data Pack.
By reducing the number of agenda points either side needs to score in order to win the game, Harmony Medtech (Honor and Profit, 1) promotes a shorter game and encourages the Corp player to experiment with ways to exploit early advantages. Naturally, Harmony Medtech works well with the “fast advance” strategy promoted by the new agenda, Medical Breakthrough (Honor and Profit, 5).
If you think you can prevent the Runner from making successful runs, you might want to use the identity, Tennin Institute (Honor and Profit, 3). An advancement token is generally worth one click and one credit, so if you can get a free advancement token each turn, you are effectively gaining two clicks, when compared to a baseline economy. It’s worth noting, too, that since Tennin Institute can advance any card, it pairs well with a lot of Weyland’s ice. It can also help you make a more tempting bluff out of assets, like Snare! (Core Set, 70), that can’t be advanced.
Several popular Android: Netrunner identities offer players economic rewards for meeting various triggers: installing programs or hardware, running on HQ, or installing cards from HQ. Nisei Division (Honor and Profit, 2) joins these identities, allowing a Jinteki player to gain a credit whenever he or she reveals any number of secretly spent credits. Naturally, all such identities are most effective when their triggers are met as many times as possible, so these identities tend to encourage highly focused deck builds. To further explore how a Jinteki player might take advantage of the Nisei Division identity, we present a sample deck list below, created from just one Core Set and a copy of Honor and Profit.
3x Cerebral Cast (Honor and Profit, 13)
3x Diversified Portfolio (Honor and Profit, 26)
3x Hedge Fund
3x Mushin No Shin (Honor and Profit, 15)
2x Neural EMP
2x Scorched Earth ****
1x Shipment from Kaguya *
2x Ice Wall *
1x Wall of Static
Code Gate (2):
1x Tollbooth **
Total Cards: 49
Like many Jinteki decks, “Bait & Blast” plays a bit of a shell game; it wants to create a good number of remote servers, dare the Runner to run at them, and catch the Runner off-guard with a lethal Ambush.
The deck is light on ice, but it has a decent assortment of ice select to end runs, strain the Runner’s credits, and deal net damage. Meanwhile, the deck’s economy is driven forward by a number of operations, including Diversified Portfolio, which becomes more effective as the game goes on and you can create additional remote servers. It gains additional efficiencies with cards like Mushin No Shin and Shipment from Kaguya.
Of course, because this deck is built around the Nisei Division identity and its focus on secret bids, it includes a number of cards that create such secret bids. Currently, in Android: Netrunner, secret bids are the signature effect of Jinteki’s Psi cards, so “Bait & Blast” leans heavily upon a trio of Psi cards that appear in Honor and Profit – The Future Perfect, Psychic Field, and Cerebral Cast.
As you can see, each of these cards introduces a powerful gamble. Win, and you can prevent the Runner from stealing three agenda points, wipe out his grip, or give him a brain damage or tag. Lose, and you find yourself short of the credits you wagered, as well as any investment you made into installing, advancing, or playing the card.
Of course, if you do the math, it would appear that two-thirds of the time, you should win these wagers, but Jinteki’s Psi cards represent the corporation’s research into the untapped potential of the human mind. They point to information that lies beyond the commonly accepted limitations of human perception, and if you can tap that information, perhaps you can shift the odds more fully in your favor with each of these wagers.
Meanwhile, each of these gambles plays into your larger strategy. Your deck doesn’t test itself against the Runner; it tests the Runner. It dares the Runner to pursue your agenda points. It dares him to hunt for agendas in servers that you’ve lined full of traps. It dares him to run blind, and it dares him to expose cards. With “Bait & Blast,” you set the Runner upon a razor’s edge, forcing him to run without slipping even once, and if he should ever slip, you have a host of cards to deal net damage, brain damage, and even meat damage.
Seeing the Future
It doesn’t take a psychic to recognize that Honor and Profit is going to introduce some truly exciting possibilities for Jinteki fans. With three new identities, as well as a host of agendas, assets, ice, and operations to support each of them, Jinteki looks to emerge from Honor and Profit one step closer to perfection!
The run for Honor and Profit has only just begun… Keep your eyes open for more previews, including a look at some of the new identities and strategies coming to the game’s Criminal faction!
Based on the classic card game designed by Richard Garfield, Android: Netrunner The Card Game is a game for two players set in the dystopian future of Android. It pits monolothic megacorps against subversive netrunners in a high-stakes struggle for the control of valuable data.