Getting out of tag hell

The last couple weeks, my primary real life opponent has been on a tag-focused CtM. He tells me he’s working on an even nastier SYNC tag deck, too.

In my runner games, I keep finding that sooner or later I end up having to go tag-me, which just plays into his hate. With Runners having less money these days and fewer ways to shed tags efficiently, it is hard not to fall into the trap.

Some of the key problems: AR-Enhanced Security, HHN, tag ice, Mumbad Virtual Tour, CtM combined with must-trash assets (Commerical Bankers, etc.)

What are some ways to avoid this problem without broken cards like Aaron?

Artist Colony Fan Site (or use an SMC I suppose) for Misdirection.

Chop Bot Apex!


I hope the new Apex card is called NomNomNom. Got to be called like that, just imagine what a cool deck name it is : Chop Bot Apex NomNomNom.


Your post only describes how you lose by playing his game. You play vs CtM, you trash his assets, you get tagged, and then you are in trouble.

How were you supposed to win, how was he going to do it?


Misdirection and Hunting Grounds do a lot of work against taggy CtM. They are weak to best defense, so dummy box might also help you out. They usually play a lot of agendas, so mad dash and freedom thru equality can lower the number of accesses needed to win.

It’s a good archetype and doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses, but you can definitely improve your chances.

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Misdirection, Employee Strike and On the Lam are all cards against CTM. However it might help to know what runner you are typically playing against it.

This is key.

You cannot win as long as you play his game. Break the rules, play yours. Focus on R&D/HQ, for example.

You should also reconsider what is important to trash.For example, Commercial Bankers might not actually be a high target. As long as you have money and they can’t score, you should be fine.

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As a die-hard CTM player: trash the DBS. It is the single must trash asset in every build. Treat it as you used to treat Sensie. There’s a reason I’m willing to go bankrupt rezzing DBS and then click for 3 credits turn after turn.


If you expect to see a lot of CtM, Salsette Slums is a godsend for 2 influence.

I find that the Tapwrm + Sac Con engine lets you get away with letting them keep most of their economy. As others have mentioned, the real priority is usually to trash their draw filtering (DBS, Whampoa, etc.). Some varieties of CtM are also playing MCA Austerity, which can also be a high priority target.

If you’re still struggling, try playing a high link runner. It’s honestly kind of hilarious how much getting to 3 or 4 link completely throws a wrench in their plans. I think Ed Kim with Archivist and Sports Hoppers is a prime candidate. You can play Nexus if you really want to add insult to injury.

Check new installs for naked agendas and camp the remote. Otherwise just click for credits a bunch.

  • I play a lot of CtM / Sync, and the primary way I lose is not being able to tag the runner until I get flooded, then get all the points stolen out of centrals.
  • My winning plan in CtM is (1) score an ARES to protect assets, (2) get money from bankers groups and PADs, and (3) have enough money to rez tollbooths and land HHNs.
  • The deck ratios are terrible. 10 econ cards, 11 agendas, and 12 ice. Usually only 2 HHN.

So then you have to think about how to flip those plans as the runner.

  1. Prevent ARES scores. Get up to 8 creds, then check remotes. Don’t run through Ravens (tempo, plus QPM), but otherwise you can pull out breakers and see what’s up if you have the money.
  2. Manage their econ. Trash Bankers on sight if you can stay above 8 creds. A lone PAD isn’t too threatening, but multiples are not great for you. It’s really hard to afford multiple Ravens and Tollbooths without the drip econ.
  3. If their board is looking nasty, build up your cash (~20$) and then trash it all in one turn. Both ARES and CtM only fire on the first trash.
  4. Keep in mind that many people only have 2x HHN in their deck. There’s only a ~20% chance they have it on turn 1. Also, once they’ve played their first one, there’s only 1 more in their deck.
  5. After you’ve played the control-the-board game for awhile, they will have agendas in hand, and they probably can’t afford to defend their centrals. Hit them with multiaccess. Get to 5 points, then…
  6. …Go tag-me when landing the killing blow. Floating tags usually doesn’t do anything on your turn (Data Ward the exception), and it basically blanks Ravens and Turnpikes. Indexing, Legwork, etc to snag the last Beale or GFI.

This is just a general way obviously. Tech cards can help a lot, like Hunting Grounds, Misdirection, On the Lam, Film Critic (for Quantum Predictive), Employee Strike, Slums (gets around CtM/ARES), or link. Deuces Wild also lets you gain 1 and remove a tag. Political Operative can bank clicks for trashing when you clear their board (#3 above), and also helps to counter MCAAP if they’re on it.


I’d actually argue it’s still pretty high because taggy decks tend to only run a handful of econ cards. Leaving the bankers is like giving them a tollbooth or landing an HHN.

Don’t kill yourself trashing it, but do it if you can stay above 8$ at the end of your turn.

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I’m running a copy of Dorm Computer in my Steve deck. It’s really excellent against NBN decks that run Raven and QPM. Additionally, even if you have two or three ARs scored, a single Dorm Computer counter will allow me to safely kill a key asset and suffer only the CTM trace (obviously the CTM trace can’t be avoided #ThanksJesminder).

Hard-Hitting News sucks though. If FFG spoiled a card that said “Operation – Terminal: On the Runner’s next turn, he or she loses four clicks and 8/12 credits” the community would absolutely shit a brick.

I love CTM and I don’t think it’s broken though. Currently I deal with HHN by playing Tapwrm/SacCon. If you’re going to Time Walk me I’m going to Time Walk you right back. In general anything that forces the corp to waste time doing something at least evens the playing field. You might lose a turn to HHN but in the long run it’ll even out.

Of course we would, that doesn’t require a successful trace nor a run.

Here’s the thing, HHN is a very bad card if the Runner has a reasonable amount of money. If you are consistently getting hit by it and being forced to spend 4 clicks and 8/12 credits, you should rethink your Runner strategy because then you are playing the Corp’s game.

It’s also a bad card vs tag me Anarch Mars “and it restarts” (french meme explanation :stuck_out_tongue: : “and it restarts” is the french slogan for the chocolate bar.).

Playing as CtM a handful of games, in part to help me understand the match up better, I’d say the card I most want to survive is DBS followed by Bankers. If you let me filter my hand every turn and gain 3-6 credits, I will find a way to win.

This is especially true if CtM is on SEA Source + tag punishment.

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Is there a viable Nexus Ayla build to be found? If I know I have to play CtM/SYNC, I’d be fine with playing a tier 2 runner with link and a citadel sanctuary.

For criminal 3x Aeneas and turtle can go a long ways. I also used Maw to trash HHN out of hand, but if you know you are playing against asset spam, Doppelganger is probably better value.

In Anarch, Slums and Hacktivist do a lot of work. Mining Accident can help tip the credit differential back in your favor. I’ve used System Outage too, but I don’t really recommend it (but it is funny with equivocation).

I’ve played a nexus Ayla list similar to this one when I knew I was going to be up against a lot of SYNC:

I cut something for a Misdirection as well but honestly that was overkill. The SYNC/CTM matchups felt like I couldn’t lose.

Against really fast corp decks (specifically CI), it can be a bit slow to set up, although you do have Clot + Sac Cons and Pol Op can sometimes be really clutch for taking out MCA, Jeeves, etc. You are not favored but it has game I guess is what I’m trying to say.

Also Find the Truth is bonkers. Would recommend.

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