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Strategy Articles


The Road to Worlds: Week 11

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

15th June 2017

Second Edition British Columbia Regional winner Justin Ford
Title: 2017 BC Regionals
Headquarters: Founders' Homeworld, Contingent Refuge
Deck Size: 43 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Fritzinger, kingmj4891, jadziadax8, and (the day of the event) Armus.

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

I wanted to play something that I have not played at a local in quite some time and my GQ romulan deck was out as I did that with my regional, played my past klingons at the local prior to this event, and did not want to play my relativity deck. I had been working on a TOS ALC bomb deck with some of the new cards from Zero Hour but did not get it to work reliably before this past weekend. I had the dominion deck together from London and decided why not no one has played dominion locally in a while either.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Nothing micro team with no TCS they would have the leg up such as past klingons and integrity bajorans. And go figure we had past klingons and integrity bajorans show up with kill/consume piles. I knew that more then likely people would be playing some what speed/midrange solvers except Michael might have done his TOS battle deck from the last regional to try for the win. The kill/consume piles of Ken and Richard worked to my benefit with ingenious jury rig out early I was able to somewhat crop dust missions to avoid opponent pulling dilemmas back until to late.

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 started playing Dominion prepping for Australian worlds in 2015, then played a Euro-Style interactive battle/stall version of GQ dominion, then played it on and off during 2016 and decided to take it to London for worlds last year. 3rd Place on both playing some high rated players, which was refined each time. I did take my London version and streamlined it a bit down from 50 cards to 42 to attempt to get the key cards in play faster (Excluders, Odo, Crom, high strength Jemmies, etc).

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?
I would say with this version down to 42 cards which was my goal to see how small I could get it by bleeding as much fat out of the deck as possible to get all your resources in play every game and to avoid getting subpar draws. The one change I did was added one additional Odo, Savior of the Great Link since he tends to be secret ID target so I can play another one.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
I would say the MVP of the deck would have to be Explicit Orders. I used both Explicit Orders on my last mission against Michael to pull out and snake the win. explicit orders is an amazing card that allows until end of mission attempt and you don't have to be facing a dilemma.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Like GQ romulans, GQ dominion has a lot of cheats and with high attribute characters helps deal with kill piles, excluders, extra interrupt prevention, and the cost increase missions. I enjoy playing them and like the above deck as well something with the Gamma Quadrant seems to agree with me especially so far in the last two world championships.

My Commentary:
Two events from Strange Bedfellows, Spiteful Strategy and Mobilization Points, have often determined the direction of the New Dominion solvers we've see here. A couple have run both, but since there is some counter-synergy between the two, most decks have chosen one to work with. Spiteful Strategy is great for throwing a wrench in an event-happy opponent's plans, while Mobilization Points has been the way to go when focusing on your own speed instead. What's really interesting to me here is that Justin runs neither one in this deck.

If you're not expecting any event-heavy opponents, Spiteful Strategy is going to largely be dead weight, just getting in the way of drawing what you want. What I find more surprising is not using Mobilization Points in its absence. I suppose that, when you don't draw it early, its impact can be very minimal, to the point of being frustrating that you haven't spent that counter drawing the more powerful Our Death or Explicit Orders or even just that guy with the skill you needed. On the other hand, if you high-roll it and get multiple copies early on, you can get a blazing start... if you filled your deck with the generally overcosted unique Jem'Hadar. Justin hasn't, he's only got six of them, exchanging variance for reliability.

I'm surprised by the absence of Know Thy Enemy as well, that has been a staple of Dominion decks I've looked at recently. I will say though that, when the Dominion decks pick up a loss, I've seen it happen when paired against Klingon decks - perhaps overreliance on Know Thy Enemy is a factor there. I personally would still run a copy or two, but I'd imagine it would depend on what I expected to face.

The moral of the story is that I'm always happy to see that a deck, like the Dominion Midrange Solver, is still unstable. That's easiest for a control deck (they tend to have the most room for tech cards), and hardest for speed solver (there's little room in those decks to variance), but it's easy to imagine that of the powerful tools that the Dominion has available, we'd see a pretty stable group showing up in the winning decks. I'm glad that's not the case.

Second Edition Dessau Regional winner Johannes Mette
Title: Dessau 2017
Headquarters: Qo'noS, Heart of the Empire
Deck Size: 54 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 48 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Danny, Fritzinger, and (after the start time of the event) Armus.

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

I chose the deck because I can play it in sleep. Since Worlds I have changed the deck only by a few cards. The deck can react to many things without requiring additional cards. I had several unfinished decks but they were not yet competitive enough.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I was hoping not to hit any speed solver, as the deck starts a bit slowly. Otherwise, I have mastered in so far with the deck most situations against many different types of decks. Fear can not be said, but skill-tracking piles stop this kind of deck partially very efficiently.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
In most of my games the two ETUs helped me, otherwise the deck is very stable and the cards fit very well with each other. You could also play the deck with Worf, Son of Mogh and remove the events.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I tried to translate German to Klingon for this answer, but the result made no sense. Let's stick with some German, it's like Klingon...

Das Deck ist ein stabiler Solver, der einfach zu Spielen ist und der sich vielen Situationen anpassen kann.

My Commentary:
The obvious comparison here is with Sascha Kiefer's Klingon solver from the Kassel Regional a couple weeks ago. They're very similar decks, both midrange Klingon solvers with a lot of those familiar Klingon solving tools: Red Riker, Gowron, Bridge Officer's Test, that sort of thing. And yet, each deck makes some revealing tech choices, so let's take a delve in the the differences here.

Johannes mentions that skill-tracking piles are a potential weakness for this deck, while I mentioned it as a strength for Sascha's. I'd emphasize the "potential" part there, since decks with Bridge Officer's Test, The Promise, and Riker are still going to be a bit above the curve versus skill walls, but Sascha's deck definitely went after those decks harder with a full three copies of the Test.

But what Johannes' deck lacks in skill gain is more than made up for with its anti-attrition tools. He's packing multiples of Gowron, more Treachery personnel to dump for him, and his choice of Worfs is also more anti-attrition. Worf, Son of Mogh is great for speed (though he helps the opponent's speed too), but The Strongest Heart with a suite of expendable events just chews through those stopping dilemmas. I've always felt that Klingons get more out of stop prevention than anyone else, since each one of their personnel (with their sky-high attributes) does that much more to threaten a solve.

Johannes also drops Alpha 5 Approach (Transport Crash Survivor) in favor of Cardassia IV (Rescue Prisoners). Sascha's mission selection set him up for solving 115 points worth of missions with a few point-spending events - if his draws line up, that can lead to some bigger bursts. Johannes' deck goes for 105 points, but Rescue Prisoners is a much easier mission with situational anti-capture text. I've learned too that Rescue Prisoners' 1 span should not be underestimated, since being able to fly home from space and back out to Rescue with an 8-range ship can save you a turn or two over the game. Take into account the 3 copies of Skeleton Crew that Johannes runs, and I bet he doesn't miss Transporting those Crash Survivors.

Second Edition Illinois Regional winner Casey Wickum
Title: Granblue Fantasy
Headquarters: Earth, Lush and Beautiful Home
Deck Size: 44 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 30 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Skill Wall Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: LORE, Naetor, jadziadax8, Marquetry, and (the day of the event) Armus.

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

I've always liked TOS and have played them well, and it seems like when I branch off into other affiliations it takes me a few games to get into serious business mode. They have the ability to cheaply micro team as well as recover from kill piles and generally avoid being destaffed thanks to cheap and easy to staff ships. And with Captain's Log able to prevent the 4 commanders from being randomly selected from things like Personal Duty, I was confident in my ability to snake through popular space dilemmas like Gomtuu. The ideal theme was to go with 7 or 8 regardless of the type of dilemmas you feel might come then sweep through the next turn to solve. And my new bro Nilz Baris who cares enough about his grain to get rid of Biogenic Weapons and Insurrections.

I was teetering around with Voyager before hand and strongly considered them as well. Steve's last minute preregistration is probably what tipped the scales in favor of TOS, as I felt that they offered a better shot against an non-meta player than Voyager would have and his events would have given me some fits if I went with Voyager. For a short while I was going to bring some Cardassians that I have slowly been working on out to play, but I have zero experience playing them in any level of event, so I smartly decided that it would be best to save them for another time.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I had been studying and practicing ways to counter the Jaresh + PP + Guinan combo that has been popular of late so I was hoping to get a chance to go up against them as I did in Round 2. Federation in all varieties in always common here, so I was hoping that Captains Log would provide some form of protection against the Moral Choice gauntlet. The one deck that I really never want to face is Terok Nor, as I really don't like my dilemmas being janked around with as it can cause me some serious issues since I like to mostly use skill walls or cards that directly eliminate people to set up those skill walls.

I wasn't too worried about battlers or capture as they really don't show up here, as in a pinch Spock could sacrifice himself to save the ship, and Number One can initiate Prison Breaks. Plus, if they spend too long setting up their interaction they could quickly find them selves down a couple of missions before they get out.

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?
TOS is my main squeeze, I know them very well so I really never have any issues in remembering what they do and when to use their abilities. Since they have meta-policing built-in in the form of their upgrades, I can pretty much plan for most situations that can come up. The deck is pretty much designed to be out the door with the Enterprise and 7 or 8 aboard on Turn 3 and then I hope to start to get off to the races early and try to create some pressure.

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?
James T Kirk, Highly-Decorated Captain over Original Thinker was a hard choice. But the Kirk double-download was critical in many of my games and used I think in 3 out of the 4 rounds to pretty much set everything up, as he can fetch his ship to fetch more people, or get more Commanders out if the Enterprise and Captain on the Bridge is in hand or play.

I included Provoke Interstellar Incident to help out with TNG+DS9 power and other other odd occurrences that could pop up in Dual HQ. My personnel can naturally solve it as well even though it is off attribute and skills so I really didn't have to worry about it being fully dead weight. Having the extra turn against Al really did help and put me well ahead.

I was toying with Inspiring Leader for the free Range +2 in some testing games. I found the lack of range to not be able to go from Mission - HQ - Missions to be a real pain and I have seen several Outclassed pop up as well recently and it nullified one I believe in the match vs Maggie. It doesn't have a particular downside as it is just one cost and in conjunction with the TOS draw I don't see much reason to nix it.

Overall I think all of my cards saw play and most pulled their own so I don't think I would remove any, a second copy of Sisko might be a nice addition since his interrupt nuke seems to be a target of things like Secret ID a bit too often.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
For this particular tournament it was Nilz Baris. Recently I have been seeing a lot of Insurrections pop up and an occasional Maquis deck as well. He really provided me with the ability to run the Integrity > 25 mission combo with out much worry as he was direct factor in two of my wins during this tournament. He could nuke the Biogenics and provide all the mission skills for Strange New Worlds from Steve, and he nuked an Insurrection in two games I believe.

I'll always throw a shout out to the Infinite Diversity, Rapid Progress dilemmas though, and, of course Counterinsurgency when I've got the fodder for it. I rely on them a bit too much in every game I play.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
TOS I still feel is the Jack of All Trades but master of none really, but their flexibility does allow for me to really handle any kind of environment that can come out. The Captains Log + Captain on the Bridge was mostly experimental but both did pay dividends in the later rounds from cheap replays from any stray kills or Hard Time returns was a major bonus as well.

It was difficult deciding on which McCoy to use between Experienced and Dilemma Bouncer, as they both have serious upsides. I went with the 4 Coster to be as fast as possible and to cover up a couple of skill holes since normally with the Bouncer I have to hold him back.

My Commentary:
First, let's start with an excerpt from Maggie's tournament report: "Casey made good use of "Rapid" Progress and Infinite Diversity. I was frustrated because I had BOT in hand and no Security Drills to give me someone with 2 Leadership. He Dreamered me and I lost my BOT. The next turn I got Security Drills." This is a recurrent theme in the tournament reports of Casey's opponents. He is an excellent skill tracker, and makes great use of the variable skill wall dilemmas (and has for much longer than I've been classifying piles as "skill wall attrition").

Original Series Federation decks are one of the best decks to back up that type of dilemma. TOS Sisko is arguably the best interrupt prevention in the game, since he is both reusable and tough to counter. Since most skill gain is interrupt-based, Sisko can carry a lot of the weight on his own. But some games he'll only need to buy you time until Coordinated Counterattack can hit the table (he can also help make sure it stays on the table too). Once that beast arrives, even the Garaks and Siliks will be shut down, and your skill tracking can continue unimpeded.

This ability to boost the effectiveness of skill walls with relatively little investment is why you often see TOS as the affiliation of choice for backing up other skill-intensive piles, like damage-based or 8472 piles. Whether you're trying to make prefix codes stick, or get a bunch of dilemmas in the opposing core that don't actually do anything to stop the active team, it is very valuable to be able to buy that stop with something like "Rapid Progress". If Casey were looking to branch out and try a new, yet familiar TOS build, I might recommend 8472 to him.

Interestingly, Casey's choice to make this an integrity-based TOS build using Ba'ku Planet means that his deck is also going to have a tough time against a skill-wall pile. Not only are treachery personnel the kind of low-integrity types you don't want when solving integrity missions, Ba'ku Planet actively encourages excluding them in exchange for more points. Just be careful that you have a way to block Driven, or you might accidentally give Casey a free mission.

Second Edition London Regional winner Nicholas Yankovec
Title: Dominion again. Sigh
Headquarters: Founders' Homeworld, Contingent Refuge
Deck Size: 46 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Kill
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Armus, The Ninja Scot, jadziadax8, TReebel, and LORE.

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

I haven't played Trek much for the last year; since Orlando last year, I ran Worlds (and didn't get a chance to play), and attended UK Nationals (where I played Borg), as well as one Unjustly tournament back in January (Khan I believe). I am so out of the loop at this point, I wanted something familiar.

So the choices were either Borg Assimilation, Khan, Romulan, Starfleet, or Dominion Jem'Hadar. Seeing as I'd played 2 of those in the past 6 months, Doug was playing Romulan, and I (mistakenly) thought Danny would play Starfleet, leaving me with my favourite, Dominion.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I knew Doug would be playing Romulan Stakoron Gamma missions. I knew it would be the same deck I built for him for Worlds, where he finished very respectively (7th, I believe).

Beyond that, and the feeling Danny would go back to the Starfleet well again, I had no idea what Will would end up playing. I knew once my deck was set-up, it could pretty much speed through most of the dilemmas this group typically plays, so I was hoping not to encounter any super fast speed decks.

I also was hoping I wouldn't run into many new dilemmas from the last few sets, as I would be woefully unprepared for them. As I discovered in my last 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?
Lots of experience playing this deck, the Dominion Jem'Hadar deck has long been my favourite. I didn't learn anything new, although changing it around I made a few schoolboy errors; I had no Odo Founder, I had removed all my Treachery Vorta (making Vorta Discipline less than useful).

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?
Special Modifications was helpfu, boosting the range of the Subek'Somek to 8; not always that useful, but nice to have it there in case I struggled with a second ship.

I wouldn't include Vorta Discipline in this deck again, for the lack of Treachery Vorta.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Friction, without a doubt. My games against Will, and Doug, I drew Crom in my opening hand, downloaded my two non-Jem'Hadar personnel (Martok Founder and Inglatu), so free to play Friction and have no worries after that. It can really slow down an opponent. This is the reason why I also ran with a Kill pile, as it takes even longer to rebuild your crew.

A close second is the Subek'Somek - once I have Crom, Martok, and Inglatu, and quite often Talak'Talan, that's 3 or 4 Diplomacy and using the ship's game text allows me to use Strength instead of Integrity, so Gomtuu isn't a huge threat. Likewise, I got past all the WNOHGB that were thrown at me, using Strength instead of Cunning.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Not particularly, it's a good solid deck. My only game loss, a modified loss, was to Danny, who beat me 60-35 IIRC. He was using the Hard Time dilemmas, Underlying Influence and Pattern Loss. Having no Archaeology and only 2 Transporters delayed me for far too long, ensuring I had the mod loss. Good dilemma pile, and one I was completely unprepared for!

My Commentary:
Dilemma piles like Nick's are the reason why I don't classify kill piles as Tragic Turn piles - he doesn't run it. If anything, the most essential parts these days are All-Consuming Evil and The Clown: Guillotine, but we've got enough multi-kill non-consume dilemmas recently that I imagine it's possible to see a competitive kill pile without even those two. In fact, there are only six total consume dilemmas in Nick's pile (3 Guillotines, 1 Overburdened, 1 Entanglement, and 1 Anachronistic Deviation) in 35 cards. I'd say he's actually getting close to the point where ACE isn't worth it anymore.

The more prevalent heavy-consume kill piles are ones where you often lose most of your team but bury the mission, rebuild, then take the mission more easily on the second attempt. This pile is not one of those piles. There's Hard of Heart/Ardent Predator for 2-cost double kills, and Cornered killing 2 for 3 cost (and requiring skills while they're at it) - that would even be a good ratio if we were looking at stops per cost! A Taste of Armageddon and Simulated Prey go up to 4 cost for two kills (a bit more like the usual kill to cost ratio), but the kills are guaranteed to happen and the first kill is guaranteed to be someone with a mission skill.

With those kinds of ratios, that places this pile somewhere in between a consume-kill pile and a standard attrition pile. You'll get more attempt stops per mission than a consume-kill pile, but your opponent won't have to rebuild as much (a higher mission attempt per game count). On the other hand, you'll stop fewer attempts per mission than a standard attrition pile, but your opponent won't be able to put up as many attempts per game. What makes this pile really shine in my eyes is the sprinkling of attrition dilemmas (like An Issue of Trust) and non-skill walls (like Distress Call and Know Thy Enemy). Those dilemmas will help increase the number of attempts your opponent needs in order to solve their missions, while you're still draining the number of personnel they have in play with your other dilemmas. I like it.

First Edition Illinois Regional winner Corbin Johnson
Title: Historic Coming To Regionals (II)
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Play Engines: The Regent's Flagship, Emblem of the Alliance
Draw Engines: Historic Coming Together, Pride of the Fleet
Bonus Point Mechanics: Historic Coming Together, Assign Mission Specialists, Kira Taban
Victory Correctly Predicted By: prylardurden, LORE, JeBuS, and Armus.

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

I had considered bringing my Nationals deck. It's a bit long-in-the-tooth though since Habit Of Disappearing got nerfed.

I looked for a deck that looked fun and found Matt Zinno's in last week's regionals article. The explanation both in the article and in the deck's strategy made it look fun and easy to learn. I tweaked the deck to fix the tactics issue.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I wanted to interact as little as possible. However, I was open to whatever might come up.

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 have never played KCA. I learned the deck's subtleties on the fly: I read the lore of nearly every personnel to get a sense of the free plays for the emblem card every turn.

I am a Fed/Baj/BRC TE junkie though and am very well versed in how the mirror quadrant works in general.

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?
Surprisingly, the two 1EC cards ended up not being played the entire tournament because I didn't have the personnel in play at the time to allow the use of them. They should probably stay in the deck though or possibly throw them out for a regenerate.

Historic coming together is some nice tech. I can understand some of the controversy. I found the synergy of this with Disgraceful Assault very compelling. The combo hit in every game (sometimes twice).

The old school Q's Tent is a nice touch allowing small red shirting away teams.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Quantum Torpedoes in conjunction with Disgraceful Assault and Historic Coming Together was a big punch in the face to two or so of my opponents at their mission attempts. The synergy makes it hard to pick just one.

My Commentary:
Oh, yes, this deck. I remember this deck. There's actually a perverse sense of joy whenever a local deck does well elsewhere. It's like, "Yeah, I lost to that, but so did you!" Just a little bit of vindication.

In any event, it looks like Corbin took the tactic changing advice to heart, because there are only 2 of 10 tactics that don't kill. I didn't pay much attention to Matt's Isolytic Burst, but it's great for a Battle Bridge pile that you only plan to use with your dilemmas. Weapons and Shields are nice, but Range is the king of solving. In the more solitaire-type games, it is possible for non-Range ship stats to never matter, but Range will always count.

Range reductions remind me of a handy chart from the classic Wesley Crusher COTD site, calculating the probability of being able to move across X number of mission cards based on a ship's range and the average span of missions in the game. Sure, the mission pool is a wee bit larger these days, but I doubt the numbers have changed that much:

           2 cards   3 cards   4 cards
Range 03   00.55     00.00     00.00
Range 04   04.42     00.01     00.00
Range 05   19.36     00.17     00.00
Range 06   49.38     01.26     00.00
Range 07   78.33     05.97     00.05
Range 08   94.39     19.04     00.38
Range 09   99.28     42.10     01.86
Range 10  100.00     67.80     06.73
Range 11  100.00     86.80     18.11
Range 12  100.00     96.22     37.07
Range 13  100.00     99.32     59.64

Most good ships start at range 8... and look at the probability drop off when going from 6 range (the max for most tactics is -2) to 5 range (from Isolytic burst). That's just mean. Now, I get not using it as the primary tactic in the pile, the chance of a three tactic kill from Breen Disruptor Burst is just too juicy, and you may find that nice attack of opportunity with your huge Regency 1, but Isolytic Burst is nice to have somewhere in the side deck.

First Edition British Columbia Regional AND Second First Edition Online Regional winner Michael Van Breemen
Title: Emperor, without Training
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Play Engines: Deep Space Station K-7, Protect the Timeline, Nanoprobe Resuscitation,
Draw Engines: Duck Blind, Process Ore: Mining
Bonus Point Mechanics: Process Ore: Mining, Assign Mission Specialists
Victory Correctly Predicted By (British Columbia): The Ninja Scot.
Victory Correctly Predicted By (Online): Armus, The Ninja Scot.

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

Because it was my play x10 for Terran Empire. I wasn't planning on playing anything else.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Frankly, I didn't know what was going to be played by everyone else so I just wanted something flexible enough to deal with most shenanigans.

After the fact, I didn't want to face Computer Crashes until the end of the game.

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 almost the exact same deck in the second online regional (shifting some dilemmas, an actual Captain Kirk) and some draw deck shift (fewer Nanoprobes)

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?
Two copies of Crew Reassignment was for Ken (since I figured he would run some Kevin Uxbridges) and Lt. Palmer (to get him to use his Remember the Alamo on Darian Wallace.) But everything was doing what it needed to do - Masaka Transformations got rid of my all-interrupt hand against Richard so I could get people into play, Nanoprobe kept me in the game against Justin despite not being able to download anything until the last turn of the game (he was decked and handless at that point.)

If I could fit it in - a Quark's Isolinear Rods would be a good idea if that kind of deck of Justin's comes around again.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Jean-Luc for all of your Nanoprobe needs.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Onto other achievements...

My Commentary:
Figuring out a Michael Van Breemen First Edition deck is always an adventure. I try to do it first in hard mode: before receiving his interview answers, and without looking at which achievements the deck qualifies for. I was doing okay, I'd identified the play engines, the draw engines, and even why there's a Hero of The Empire in a Federation deck - he needs Kirk in order to get a turn one Crew Reassignment, which allows him to play all those Mirror Quadrant TOS personnel for free. But I couldn't figure out how that Terran Empire Outpost gets into play until I cheated and looked at the achievements.

It doesn't. It's just there to activate the Terran Empire achievement in an all-Alpha Quadrant deck. That explained why the Mission IIs were listed upside down in his decklist - so he didn't have any non-TE outposts in the deck (sort of), thus voiding the achievement. Doing so made me very confused about where those mission specialists were supposed to go, until I finally actually looked at the individual mission images.

Anyways, quirky achievement strategies are not all this deck has going for it. I've written before about the solving power of the TOS Bridge Crew; the solving power of the TOS Mirror Bridge Crew is also pretty great. Being able to run the two crews together, they are greater than the sum of their parts. Those classic equipment downloads are more powerful when you can share their effects with all your people.

The real icing here is that Michael gets to have his cake and eat it too; not only can he get all these powerful personnel working together, he can get them all to report to the same location. Needing to hop between quadrants to join these teams together used to be prohibitively time-consuming, but not anymore.

Also, extra congratulations are in order for Michael for winning with this deck in two simultaneous tournaments, one online and one in real life. I've had a deck show up multiple times in the same regional season, but this is the first time I've had it win twice in one week when played by the same person each time. Congratulations!


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