What's New Dashboard Articles Forums Chat Room Achievements Tournaments Player Map The Promenade Volunteers About Us Site Index
Article Archives
First EditionSecond EditionTribblesAll

All Categories Continuing CommitteeOrganized PlayRules CommitteeDeck DesignsVirtual Expansions
Card ExtrasSpecial EventsTournament ReportsEverything ElseSpotlight SeriesContests
Strategy Articles


The Road to Worlds: Washington Regionals

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

27th April 2017

Second Edition Washington Regional winner Justin Ford
Title: 2017 Regionals Deck
Headquarters: Romulus, Patient Stronghold
Deck Size: 50 cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Victory Predicted By: KillerB and (albeit too late to count for the contest) The Ninja Scot

Justin's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I was considering new Dominion, past Klingons, and of course Relativity. But GQ Romulans won out, since I haven't played that deck locally in a significant amount of time. Also, no one else really has played Romulans before this regional here locally. The natural unstopping ability and kill prevention coupled with automatic 5 points every turn is hard to say no to.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Thinking of what I was going to face I knew it would be all types of solvers that simply put out personnel quickly and go off and running with some unstopping capabilities. I really did not want to face interactive style decks; as I wrote in the 2E predictions thread Michael's deck is very efficient coupled with his skill tracking. That was the most nerve racking game of the day.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I did play it once before. I believe it was the start of our 2016-2017 league, and did pull out the win. Beyond that, I played variations before but never did that well locally. I have played against the GQ Romulans a lot around the world when traveling over the last 2 years so I was very familiar with the deck style and type. I would say the one thing that I learned from this Regional is that every deck needs to have some sort of event prevention in it to deal with namely battle cards and any other dilemma enhancing cards. I will probably adjust the deck and might make it a little bigger. It is currently at 50 cards.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
The deck itself was cut down significantly from its 70 cards to 50 in an effort to speed up the solving ability and getting all the key cards needed to go out and power through the GQ missions. Situationally, there were not that many. But I might change up maybe increase the deck size to 55 and include some interrupt/event destruction to make the deck a bit more robust in general to also protect my events if the situation requires it. The only change I would try is maybe the tried and true method of the scout ship for the increased range and perhaps a second expedient journey to be able to fly home and back each turn with new people.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
I would say against Michael my MVP would have to be Timescape, which saved me the game due to the fact he had enough people for 3 attempts. Against Ken, who was running a kill pile, I drew Donatra and Ruwon early on and Rekar which allowed Ken one less drawn dilemma. Plus, the overcome ability in which space mission dropped Donatra first attempt to nuke The Clown: Guillotine and got 4 dilemmas under with no kills, thanks to Ruwon. Ken Secret ID'd Rekar to allow himself more dilemmas. So, I promptly brought Data out and ran through my planet mission for the win.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I would say that the Prejudice & Politics coupled with Getting under your Skin Is a tad bit over the power curve as a affiliation is benefited based on points. No other affiliation has any constant point stream generation that Romulans do. In all my games I had at least 35 bonus points by the end of the third mission in which I could have power shifted through 3 people through to solve. When you combine all the components together: Donatra, Rekar, Ruwon, Karina, The Die is Cast you end up with mission attempts that are very difficult for your opponent and usually ends up throwing to many dilemmas to get the stall.

My Commentary:
We've looked at another Gamma Quadrant-based Romulan Solver recently: Greg Hodgin's deck from the Atlanta regional. Despite having similar strategies, the decks look pretty different. Right away, I noticed the size difference: Greg's packing 23 more cards than Justin - that's not a huge a difference for the download-heavy Romulans, but any decrease in size is an increase in draw reliability. In addition, Justin has Historical Research, which means he'll be able to get Tal or The Viceroy on turn one in half his games without needing to flood the deck with extra copies of those personnel. In fact, Justin is so concerned with drawing a ship reliably, he has more ships or ship-downloading cards in his 50 card deck than Greg does in his 73 card deck.

The topic of ships brings me to the second major difference: Justin is using the new, Romulan-only headquarters mission, and appears to be doing so for the ship cost-reduction alone. That's a somewhat dangerous choice for a deck that plans to travel to a different quadrant, since the D'deridexes have significantly less range than the more commonly used (and equal cost after the reduction) Bird-of-Prey. That said, range isn't the only thing that matters - the D'deridexes are always going to be able to pass Outclassed (rather than needing 3 Past Romulans to activate that ability), and Justin does have two Rasuls and a Expedient Opportunity to help out with range issues.

That brings us to the last major difference: the dilemma pile, which is attrition-based instead of Greg's kill pile. Part of this choice is likely player preference. I just don't see Justin playing kill piles that often, so the choice of pile may have been entirely based on Justin playing the pile that he knows he plays well. It's a good choice though, for two other reasons. First, he's got several other local players that play kill piles frequently, so they'll likely know how to play around one better. Second, efficient speed decks are common in his playgroup, and those decks are the toughest match-ups for kill piles, due to the speed at which they rebuild from a wipe. Whatever the reason for the choice, it was clearly the right choice.

First Edition Washington Regional winner Michael Van Breemen
Title: Another tournament, Another Thong... I mean Tong
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Play Engines: I.K.C. T'Ong, New Arrivals, The Regent's Flagship
Draw Engines: New Arrivals, Study Divergent History, Process Ore: Mining, Pride of the Fleet
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists, Arbiter of Succession, Process Ore: Mining
Victory Predicted By: Bosskamiura, rsutton41, scox, and The Ninja Scot

Michael's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I was going after KCA (which was my play x10 once an online tournament goes in), KCA Flagship (only KCA achievement I didn't have) and Gorkon win (so that I could get my Great Warner win achievement gold) There wasn't any other achievements that I was going after as I was more worried about what I was going to play for 2E at that point.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I don't do well against interaction. Beyond that, I was pretty fine with whatever.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I was playing it in an online tournament earlier in the month but as I had lost one game, decided to at least get my 10th play with KCA and see if I might do better. I changed the deck around a little to get more command stars in the draw deck which helped a lot.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
Nothing situationally, I didn't even get a ref other than Defend Homeworld (although against Ken I should've gotten Mirror Image but was too tired at the time to bother apparently.) There wasn't anything that more useful than others although anytime you can pass a dilemma that you shouldn't with a special download is a good day.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
The deck itself was cut down significantly from its 70 cards to 50 in an effort to speed up the solving ability and getting all the key cards needed to go out and power through the GQ missions. Situationally, there were not that many. But I might change up maybe increase the deck size to 55 and include some interrupt/event destruction to make the deck a bit more robust in general to also protect my events if the situation requires it. The only change I would try is maybe the tried and true method of the scout ship for the increased range and perhaps a second expedient journey to be able to fly home and back each turn with new people.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
That's easy - the T'Ong because without it, the deck wouldn't work.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Onto the next achievement deck!

My Commentary:
Oooh, a T'Ong drop deck! These are fun. I feel like I've reviewed one before, but I can't seem to find one in my spreadsheets. Perhaps I am recalling being fascinated by Johannes Klarhauser's 2016 Worlds deck. In any event, that makes a good deck for comparison, and helped me figure out how Michael is playing the T'Ong repeatedly. Johannes used the Space-Time Portal (which he stocked x5 in his deck), but I didn't see anything similar in Michael's deck. Then I remembered that mission specialist heavy decks would use Nanoprobe Resuscitation instead of additional copies of the central objective, and realized that Michael was recurring the Portals with Probes (which has the added benefit of being able to rescue something else in a pinch).

From there, the rest of the deck comes together nicely. New Arrivals is of course essential for any deck that uses a play engine that does something besides play cards for free. Adding end of turn draws like that is essential as well in any deck that needs its card play for playing nouns like the T'Ong - you're not going to be able to generate card advantage with things like Handshake or Kivas Fajo. No, instead we see two of the three recent, powerful end of turn draws, Study Divergent History and (downloaded with Taking Charge) Process Ore: Mining. Those draws plus your end of turn draw is enough to refuel after a T'Ong drop every turn.

Also like Johannes' deck, this deck also uses the Regent's Flagship to get (a) a seeded ship and (b) Regent Worf on turn one (after which he can later just drop the Reshape the Quadrant). Worf's downloads are perhaps even more important than the seeded (and very powerful) ship. Taking Charge, as I've noted, gets the Mining started, but perhaps more importantly Pride of the Fleet nets you a fourth end of turn draw. I mean, you need a draw to recover from spending a card on recurring the Portal, right? Fun!

 


Discuss this article in this thread.

Back to Archive index