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How to deal with Controlling the Message without using Anarch?

Hey, like many of you, I’m running into a fair number of CtM in my meta these days. It’s been quite the problem to deal with, actually, since I’d rather play things that aren’t Whizzard or DLR MaxX. A few things are difficult without them:

Capital Investors is a trash-on-sight sort of card, but at 4 credits and 2 clicks to trash it’s such a tempo hit, especially early. It ends up giving CtM enormous sums of money that they can use to HHN very early if I try to do anything, sapping me of 4 clicks and 8 credits, if I can even afford to deal with that. Sensie and DBS provide tremendous card draw, allowing them to just create endless servers each turn that are impossible to check when dealing with the former. Then they get to sneak out agendas (particularly Breaking News). If they get a Breaking News off with a click to spare, then they can just Closed Accounts me so I can continue to not be able to deal with anything they’re doing or, if I did manage to steal an agenda, they just take it back with EoI and now they’re +2 or +3 instead of +1 and I have to deal with 2 more tags. All of this can happen extremely early in the game because of the econ and card draw provided by both Capital Investors and Sensie Actor’s Union/DBS, so it’s hard to develop any kind of board state as the runner before you just lose.

God forbid they throw any fast advance tools into the mix that I have to deal with. It’s hard enough to deal with a 2-trash asset (Cap Investors, Sensie), dealing with a 5-trash San San is a nightmare. God forbid all of those traces don’t sap me through Aryabhata Tech, hitting my econ anyway even if I try to play safe and make targeted trashes.

Anyway, the point of this topic is: Without using Anarch, how have you built your deck to deal with and/or what is the best way you’ve found to play against NBN: Controlling the Message? Which of the above mentioned issues are important to deal with now, later, or can be ignored? What kind of tech cards have you found useful without otherwise stifling your deck?

I’d built a Nexus Kate deck, thinking that maybe having all of that link + Magnum Opus would allow for better targeted control of their assets while making me more resilient to their traces, but that takes a few turns of set-up and by the time I can go deal with those Capital Investors they already have like 30 credits. And I’m talking like within the first few turns. Capital Investors is just… yeesh. I’m even thinking of slotting in a couple of Networking. Turns into a solid economy card if you’re actually dealing with tags that often :smile:. I’m reluctant, though because of how dead it is without those tags.


Temjuin contract.


Ok, how are you using it? Turn 1 put on Archives take 12 credits? Any open central? Are you finding that using it as sustained economy throughout the game can allow you to keep pace since you get paid for running? Are you using it out of Crim, Shaper, or both? What kind of breakers are you using with it so that you can continue to run while making that money? What are you targeting with that money and what is priority for trashing? How do you protect it from being trashed if you get Breaking News’d? Details, man, details!

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Whizzard gets 3 cr/turn to deal with all the assets, and ice destruction to deal with the very strong ice (Data Raven, Tollbooth), and Faust to deal with gear checks efficiently. And even those decks are running Employee Strike and Slums.

So why does anyone think any non-Whizzard ID can have game here? Serious question, based on a lot of testing.


I’m seriously afraid that the answer is just going to be “You don’t. Have fun with Whizzard!”

Why the tag from the ID is unpreventable, I will never, ever understand. If it was, I’d start putting together a Jesminder deck.


Look at the Silver Bullet Kate list that just won the UK Nationals. Magnum Opus and Rabbit Hole, but Astrolabe instead of Nexus, to keep on top of asset spam. Employee Strike is big against CtM. Running Film Critic and NACH can also defuse a lot of NBN bullshit right now.


E: Link to Silver Bullet Kate, for the curious.

My first thought this morning was actually just switching off of Nexus (too much Corp money floating around to reliably use the ability), keeping the Holes, and using Astrolabe. Maybe even doing that out of Chaos Theory for the smaller deck and extra memory for Opus.

Employee Strike is probably better than Networking if you’re spending the influence anyway. Plus it’s great against a large number of other IDs.

Between CtM and PriSec Argus, I’m now starting to think that Film Critic/NACH has hit a critical-mass of meta-relevance to be worth including. Employee Strike also does serious work there. Looks like there’s a deck starting to form in here!

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I’ve put together a Kate list that ended up a mashup of Silver Bullet Kate and the Nexus deck I was running, using cards through Blood Money. My meta is somewhat different than their’s was, so I made some changes (fewer indexing and no Inti, for example) and used some of the influence for tech cards I don’t need in my meta (Vamp, in particular) for the stuff that does fit.

Meta-Check Kate

Kate “Mac” McCaffrey: Digital Tinker (Core Set)

Event (18)
1x “Freedom Through Equality” (Democracy and Dogma)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
2x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)
2x Employee Strike (Data and Destiny) ●●
1x Indexing (Future Proof)
3x Quality Time (Humanity’s Shadow)
1x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
2x The Maker’s Eye (Core Set)

Hardware (8)
2x Astrolabe (Up and Over)
2x Clone Chip (Creation and Control) ☆☆
1x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
3x Rabbit Hole (Core Set)

Resource (7)
1x Beth Kilrain-Chang (Blood Money)
1x Film Critic (Old Hollywood)
2x New Angeles City Hall (Future Proof)
1x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)
2x Temüjin Contract (Blood Money) ●●●●

Icebreaker (5)
1x Atman (Creation and Control)
1x Cyber-Cypher (Creation and Control)
1x GS Shrike M2 (Data and Destiny) ●●
1x Paperclip (Blood Money) ●●●
1x ZU.13 Key Master (What Lies Ahead)

Program (7)
1x Clot (The Valley) ●●
3x Magnum Opus (Core Set)
3x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)

13 influence spent (max 15-2☆=13, available 0)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Blood Money

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.

Haven’t tested yet (obviously), but it seems like it would be reasonably strong if the Silver-Bullet was.

I’ve seen people doing a decent job with Networking in Criminal; Account Siphon is still the best tool in the game against a corp that wants to out-money you.

Haven’t played it myself, mind you, but I have spectated quite a few good players doing this on Jinteki (I think @Matuszczak was one of them?). You can care less about Hard-Hitting News than other decks do: Criminal are generally OK at recovering from 0 credits, so you can float some of the tags for a turn or two and know that you can always get rid of them cheaply with Networking. Essentially, I think it works because you can survive their tag punishment without losing too much tempo, and they pretty quickly just run out of it. EoI is the only really dangerous thing they have, and that requires you to have a GFI.

As I say, this is all based on watching rather than playing, so someone else can probably give a more informed view. But it seems worth a try!


I guess you can play Andromeda + rabbit holes ? :stuck_out_tongue:
With temujin / secutest I guess you would be fine. Dunno about influence tho.

EDIT : something like that could be really good against CtM spam I think

New Runner Deck

Andromeda: Dispossessed Ristie

Event (15)
3x Account Siphon
2x Career Fair
3x Dirty Laundry
1x Networking
3x Special Order
3x Sure Gamble

Hardware (11)
3x Desperado ☆☆☆
1x Plascrete Carapace
2x R&D Interface ●●●●
3x Rabbit Hole ●●●
2x Sports Hopper

Resource (12)
1x Councilman
3x Earthrise Hotel
2x Political Operative
3x Security Testing
3x Temüjin Contract

Icebreaker (7)
2x Faerie
1x Femme Fatale
1x Mongoose
1x Paperclip ●●●
1x Passport
1x ZU.13 Key Master ●●

12 influence spent (max 15-3☆=12, available 0)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Blood Money

Deck built on https://netrunnerdb.com.


Maybe Rabbit Hole will start being the Jackson Howard of Runners


I was going to say Rabbit Hole, but someone already did. But one Rabbit Hole bringing in another Rabbit Hole is kind of thematic, so I’ll say it anyway: Rabbit Hole.


What a world we would be living in!

Scoring fast with indexing spam out of shaper can work - poss out of prepaid shell so you care less about tags

This isn’t really answering your question, but I just wanted to say that it’s crazy how Traces and Link pre-Data & Destiny could have been lumped in with Expose for mechanics that had little to no impact on any given game (with a couple notable exceptions), but now one of the most important questions you have to ask when building a Runner deck is how to deal with traces and tags.

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I think that’s ultimately a good thing, since under-utilized mechanics are actually being brought back in interesting ways. Otherwise, why even have that sort of thing in the game? The problem I see right now, and I was talking with a friend about this the other day, is that the Corp has recently gotten all of these strong ways to give and interact with tags, while it seems like the Runner hasn’t seen anything particularly strong in a while. There’s a number of Runner cards that do interact with tags, but nothing really feels good to use. Paper Tripping is super clunky, Networking is basically dead if you’re not dealing with many tags per game, Crash Space isn’t Hardware, etc… I can only hope and assume that there’s more stuff coming in this cycle for the Runner to use. It seems like this cycle has put more emphasis on themeing the packs to decide what comes out first, rather than necessarily intra-cycle balance, which feels kind of, well, bad.

I did see that new resource revealed from the 3rd pack and it’s neat, but it still doesn’t seem like something that would be effective. Hopefully there’s more stuff along those lines, but better, coming.


I was dismantling every CTM I faced with SecTest Gabe, even before Temujin. Deuces + Crash Space > their shenanigans. If you’re going with 1-2 slots of meat damage protection, CTM makes Crash Space really really attractive in that slot. If I get it early, it’s easily worth >20 credits.


Team crash space!


The only worry I’d have with Crash Space is it getting trashed via All-Seeing-I or just during a moment you have to take tags from Breaking News. I guess by then it should have done it’s duty, though.

I’ve always considered Crash Space as underrated damage protection. It absorbs the same amount of damage as Sports Hopper, but it can be trashed for later if you are actually tagged. Maybe not a problem as long as you’re not getting Midseasons’d, where it just delays the inevitable by a turn or two. Maybe worth another look with Midseasons falling out of the meta! Oh man, and it’s non-unique so you can have a bunch and you don’t even need to sacrifice deck slots since it also occupies damage protection. Hnng…

I’m really loving all of these ideas and callbacks to old cards that deserve a second look.

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I had fun playing Prepaid Kate against CTM. It wasn’t an easy match up at all, but you can recover from Closed Accounts, your power cards are not resources, and you can hold some of the econ in your hand. Additionally it makes Deuces Wild really good. It took me a while to get used to the match up and how to play it. I would try and wait to score until I could get into R&D for a power Indexing run after forcing a Jackson if possible.

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