The Crow Is STILL F*ing Right

anarchomushroom 110

The raven may be gone but the crow is still fucking right.

This is an updated version of my CTM list from SalMem and what I'd likely be running if I were playing in any tournaments at the moment.

I don't proclaim to be a CtM master and most of this list is taken straight from tf34's CtM list he used to get to the finals of Worlds. Spin Doctor and Tomorrow's Headline are excellent new includes that slot in pretty seamlessly and SanSan City Grid is a welcome return that bumps out Mumbad Virtual Tour for the upgrade slot.

If you aren't familiar with CtM the deck's gameplan is pretty straightforward:

  • Take advantage of your powerful ID ability to make assets very difficult to trash by playing a density of high impact, often tempo positive assetes like Commercial Bankers Group, Daily Business Show, and Rashida Jaheem

  • If the runner does attempt to run early and take the financial hit to trashing an asset, use Hard-Hitting News to send them into tag hell. If they clear the tags, they've just spent an entire turn and 8 credits to clear the effect and have likely gone broke to do so, or they keep the tags and suddenly your deck is live.

  • Once the runner is either in an econ hole from trashing assets and clearing tags, or they're in a tag hole from trashing assets and eating HHN, win the game. You can either fast advance any of your four 3/2 agendas from hand with SSCG, or use Psychographics to fast advance any agenda provided they have enough tags, or if they're in a total econ hellscape, go old school and IAA behind Tollbooth.

The Agendas

I've opted for the fewest agendas as possible. This is a holdover from tf34's list at worlds when Leela was the most common runner, and running 10+ agendas meant triggering Leela's ability often, which would be game losing. But also in a world with Conduit, it's very easy to lose to deep digs on RnD. CtM doesn't have the ability to invest time in protecting centrals heavily early on (and most of your ice doesn't ETR), so minimising Conduit blowout is important.

Bellona

The best 5/3 available to NBN. A common theme with these agendas is that they're all frustrating to steal for the runner. In the case of Bellona, it's possibly the most frustrating as it costs the runner 5 credits to steal, which opens them up to HHN very easily. Agendas that protect themselves are incredibly powerful and agendas that provide tempo when scored, are also incredibly powerful. This is both which makes it an extremely strong agenda in the current standard format.

Project Beale

NBN's second best agenda. It's a build your own Global Food Initiative. It's the only agenda in this deck that isn't a pain to steal for the runner, but the power of this agenda more than makes up for it. Beale is how you win 90% of your games. Either you can FA them from hand with SSCG and zoom zoom to victory. Or you can combine them with Psychographics to score Le Grande Beale (the magic number for the 7 point Beale is 13 tags, or 12 tags, and a single manual advancement). Every CtM worth their salt should be playing 3, no question.

Tomorrow's Headline

A new addition from Gateway and boy, is it good. Steal and score effects are often strong in Netrunner and this is no exception. Scoring this out of hand is extremely nice. In my previous list this was a Remastered Edition which is a fine agenda, but crucially, couldn't be scored from hand with SSCG. Headline can, which gives you a clear FA from hand train (3 Beale + Headline, four turns to win the game).

Degree Mill

Yeah this card's kinda bad but your options for the 8th agenda are pretty limited, and this one at the very least is a tempo hit to steal. I've scored this I think twice ever. Yeah. Not really much to say here tbh.

The Assets

Rashida Jaheem

Just play three. It's busted. Gives you money, cards, for no inf, no rez cost. Trashing a T1 Rashida against CtM is often the correct play, but still kinda sucks because it's either a click and 5 credits, or 2 clicks and 3. Bonkers card. No more needs to be said.

Econ - Commercial Bankers Group, Marilyn Campaign, Mumba Temple

For newer players, they might be surprised to see no Hedge Fund here, a common core econ card for corps. Some CtM lists play it, but I'm not a fan and it hasn't been popular in a while. I like CtM to be able to run low to the ground and all these assets help in that regard (especially in a world where Crims and their pesky accountancy tricks are popular. Bankers is your best econ asset by far, and gives you a net gain on rez. Runners will often (and should) trash this on sight. But if it fires once, you've already made money. Marilyn is consistent drip, and good at protecting centrals with a not insignificant trash cost of 3. Runners will seldom trash this unless the econ advantage is in their favour. It also has the very important benefit of turning on your alliance for Jeeves Model Bioroids (which I'll discuss later). Mumba Temple is perhaps your worst econ asset but still worth including. Very good in matchups where your liquid cash might be low and need to be able to rez ICE or assets to get you back into the game. And again, 3 to trash is not nothing.

Card Draw and Filtering - Daily Business Show, Spin Doctor

Daily Business Show is a CtM classic. Big beefy trash cost, low rez cost, and a very powerful effect. I've won so many games off the back of even a single DBS ticking away for a game. It helps make HQ nice and clean and free of agendas, which means you can devote your resources to protecting RnD. It also helps you find the punishment you're looking for when you need it and is just an all round star. I'm only running 2 but I've been strongly considering going back up to 3. It's just that good. Spin Doctor is also a welcome return of a very old and dear friend. It's hard to say why Malcolm Tucker's cyberpunk alter ego is so good, without going off on a big tangent, but needless to say, the ability to recur agendas you've binned into archives, key wincons, econ pieces, the effect is hugely powerful and the draw is forward tempo. Possibly the best corp card to come out of Gateway and a major boost to CtM. Like Rashida, don't leave home without 3 of this angry Scot.

The Runner Hate - Amani Senai, Malia Z0L0K4

Both of these fit the headlock style of play that CtM likes to go for. Amani is a very powerful effect and while it doesn't help you protect agendas per se, if Amani can get one bounce off, it's often a major tempo hit for the runner. Bouncing their Conduit or fully stacked Turning Wheel is potentially game winning in itself. And now that we have a bunch of agendas to score in quick succession, Amani can win games on her own. Malia is an include from tf34 and is a fantastic addition to CtM. For more on why he chose it in his Worlds list, I suggest you go back up and read the decklist writeup. It's lost a little bit of stock now that Shapers aren't playing ProCo anymore in favour of better options, and regass Anarchs with their Liberated Accounts being out of fashion, but there are still powerful hits in the form of Daily Casts, a freshly installed Class Act, or a troublesome Miss Bones.

The Glue - Jeeves Model Bioroids

This card's nuts. Jeeves is where I start all my CtM lists unless I'm trying to kill the runner. High trash cost, low rez cost, already a great start, but the ability is so strong. It lets you

  • No advance any of your 3/2s and still have a click left to do stuff

  • No advance your 5/3s with SSCG or single advance without

  • Build back into a game you're losing by letting you install multiple tempo assets, click for credits, draw back up, etc etc

  • Not waste an entire turn purging by still giving you a click to advance your gameplan

What a card. The glue that holds the deck together. Amazing stuff. Simply superb. Wonderful. A true gem.

The Punishment

Runners suck, runners are dumb. They want to run? Interact with the board state? Fuck that.

Hard-Hitting News

My favourite card in all of Netrunner. Between multiple FFG copies, alt arts, I own at least 15 copies of this perfect card. Playing it for tempo, playing it to send the runner to hell, just magnificent. Being serious, your goal with CtM should be to HHN the runner as soon as possible. Even if they'll have 8 creds to clear the tags, you have just bought yourself a turn and ruined the runner's econ. It's perfect for your gameplan, and leads to some powerful forks. If I catch anyone playing less than 3, I'm sending the crow after you.

Psychographics

Once you've got em tagged, this is how you win most games. You can use this to score big Beales, score 5/3s from hand, you've got options. Super powerful effect, and incredibly versatile. You definitely want 2 and can easily recur them with Spinny D if you need to.

Market Forces

This was often fought over with Closed Accounts but the OG single tag punisher is gone. Market Forces however is more than ample a replacement. If If the runner decides they wanna float a tag or two because they've got the econ lead, you MF that MFer and suddenly, econ advantage in your favour, you send them to hell. Runner is going tag me but they think they're hot shit cuz they've got their busted drip econ keeping them liquid? Market the fuck outta their Forces. There's a definite temptation to run more than 1 but don't. Slots are tighter than they appear in CtM and while Market Forces is great, it can be a dead card if the runner is keeping tags clear. Still a great punisher.

The Rest

Sprint

With Malia stocks a little lower, Sprint makes for a nice 1 inf HB option to get alliance for Jeeves, but is still a very good effect. Gives you plenty of filtering to find the key pieces that you need, good at burying agendas if you're flooded. It's a perfectly cromulent card.

SanSan City Grid

Another of your win conditions. This used to be Mumbad Virtual Tour however it's a must trash, high trash cost installable that actually helps win you the game. If the runner trashes this, you can send them to hell, just like with MVT. If they don't, you just fast advance and win the game. Six to rez ain't nothing though, so make sure your econ is in a good place before you start spending 8 to score a single Beale. This is also a very juicy Imp target.

The ICE

NBN has, next to HB, possibly the best in faction ICE suite in the game right now. With the exception of Tollbooth, all the ICE in this deck have higher strengths than their rez costs, and all tax at least 3 credits from the runner.

IP Block

One of your few ETR options. A very good early face/gearcheck for runners without a link, and once they go tag me, it becomes a 2 cost barrier that costs 3 to break. It also doubles up as being excellent AI hate. I would play 3 if I could, but #slotsm8

Slot Machine

This is the most broken ICE in the game. It's just absurd. Play 3. Anyone saying this isn't busted needs to have a long hard look at their empty credit pool and growing pile of tags. It's busted. It is just broken. And it synergises with all your other cheap but taxing ICE. Gah! Ban plz!

Tollbooth

If the runner has gone into econ hell trying to contest your board, then this is great ICE to protect your SSCG and agendas. I've won more games than you'd think just IAA-ing Bellonas behind a Tollbooth and a single other piece of ice. Too expensive to even consider running more than 1 of, but a fantastic piece of ICE to help close out a game.

F2P

People aren't talking about this card but the numbers on this are bonkers. Four to rez for a 5 strength sentry is already, not too shabby. It costs 4 for the runner to get through without a breaker, with MKUltra it's 6, with dumb breakers it's also 4 credits, and you don't even wanna hear about Na'Not'K. I've seen some people play 1 of this and 1 of Turnpike but I think this is an easy 2 of. Super taxing, super nasty facecheck, absolutely nutty piece of ICE.

The End

I think CtM is in a very strong place right now. It has good agendas, good assets, and good win conditions. I don't know if this is the best list out there, but it's certainly the one that I would feel most comfortable playing in a tournament right now, and the one I would recommend to people looking for a list to play. Your ICE is bonkers, your pressure is very good, and you have good matchups across the board. Anarch you can out-money now that they don't have Stimhack, Shaper is tricky but you can take advantage of a slower setup time and slightly worse early econ. Crim is probably the toughtest MU but I think is relatively even and largely depends on the ID. I haven't played against the Hivemind Maxx list that's sweeping the meta by storm, but I feel like you're favoured (but better players tell me it's Maxx favoured).

CtM is great. CtM is a tonne of fun. And if anyone tries to disagree with you, just remember...

the crow is still fucking right

5 comments
9 Apr 2021 tehepicwin

I agree that CtM is really fun, and I wish we saw more decks like it. I uses tempo, non-binary tags, and bluffing. Playing around HHN and trashing lots of assets opens a huge decision space for both players. Thanks for spreading the word that the crow is right!

9 Apr 2021 tzeentchling

Sprint is fine, I guess, but maybe there's a better card for 1 HB influence? I dunno, Magnet or Eli 1.0 or something?

9 Apr 2021 anarchomushroom

Magnet is a pretty bad ICE that doesn't really do what we want. It isn't particularly taxing, and the effect doesn't really do much (the Maxx deck is able to just Simulchip anything that gets pulled to it). Eli is fine, but Sprint helps us find what we need. If I wanted a cheap to rez ICE with a moderate tax, I'd just play a third IP Block.

9 Apr 2021 michaeln

Slot Machine costs the runner three to pass and may occasionally have OKish other effects. Doesn’t seem that amazing.

10 Apr 2021 anarchomushroom

Slot Machine right now is an absolutely busted piece of ICE. Think about what your gameplan as CtM is: you want the runner on low credits. If they run through a Slot Machine once a turn, maybe that's fine. But the second sub fires so regularly it's often "runner lose 3, corp gain 3." If that fires once, you breakeven, anything past that and you are making money by doing nothing. If you put a Slot Machine on a central then cards like The Turning Wheel and Conduit are massively devalued when they have to run through those repeatedly.