Reports of My Death were Greatly Exaggerated: CTM is Back

Blackwing 101

This is a CTM Decklist I've been trying out. So far 12-1 on Jnet. It evolved partially from a very similar NEH list, and partially out of a CTM list I played a ton last format.

The general idea is the same as CTM has always been: Put up assets, and the runner either has to trash them and drown in tags, or let you sit on as much money as you want which you can then feed into traces and ICE.

Bladderwort gives CTM the kind of "mandatory trash asset" that Commercial Banker's Group used to be. It synergizes beautifully with other asset spam, where you can rez whatever assets you need to, to stay below the threshold for doing net damage, up to and including rezzing sansan early. A game where I do 10-12 net damage with 1-2 bladderworts is not a rarity, and that is a crazy tempo hit on top of what CTM already does.

Getting an AR-Enhanced Security scored early is crucial in my view. Really rich runners or citadel can make life very difficult, so the added protection of ARES on top of the ID really gives you the added layer of punishment you need to make runners either leave your assets alone or pay a heavy price. Even Misdirection isn't really a threat to this setup. If the runner wants to pay an extra 2 clicks and 2 credits every time they trash an asset, go for it. The 2 clicks is especially important as they then can't trash more than 1 other asset for free.

To that end, hiding it early behind an ice, placing it with 2 other assets (less ideal), or scoring it with a sansan (more ideal) is a good play. ETR Ice, ARES behind it, and Bladderwort is a really ideal start, where you can the next turn score the ARES, and then they are already left to either trash the bladderwort and take 2 tags, or take a net damage and let you get a credit. Talk about Sophie's choice.

I tend to prefer to get a sansan up before I start scoring Beales and Tomorrow's, as in my view getting tempo with placing of other assets and drawing is generally more important than triple advancing naked or thinly protected agendas. This also means that you can put more effort into protecting centrals and don't really need much remote protection as SanSan already benefits from CTM and ARES protection.

The list is otherwise pretty standard CTM. I prefer BOOM! over other punishment as I find CTM has enough tempo to make psychographics or Market Forces less worth it, and Amani already does Self-Growth's job. The trash cost is also less of a downside when they take an ARES tag for hitting it.

Most of the ice is negotiable and some of the assets are negotiable. I might look into replacing turnpike with Hydra as once the runner has to leave your assets alone all the trickle from PAD Campaign and Bladderwort often leaves you with excess money and the only threat to your eventual win is hitting centrals. An additional SanSan could be useful, and the ratio of hedge fund/prisec/regolith/PAD Campaign is definitely a point to look into tweaking.

2 comments
14 Sep 2022 RvdH83

+1 NASX, -1 PAD Campaign seems like a logical improvement. In some situations NASX can give you a Bladderwort trigger.

14 Sep 2022 Blackwing

@RvdH83 Good idea! Will do.