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Strategy Articles

Dominion Week: Top 5 cards

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

13th May 2008

For a long time, two years in fact, I had a huge fascination with the Dominion affiliation. At the time of its debut in Call to Arms, my brother (Will) and I were sharing cards. Between us, we had three of each rare, but usually no more than that. This meant that if one of us wanted to play a particular affiliation, then the other couldn't. At the first post-Call to Arms tournament, I played a Borg deck and my brother went with Dominion. I quickly moved onto other decks, but Will didn't. His Dominion deck went through nineteen iterations between September 2003 and September 2005. All the while, I couldn't build my own Dominion deck because Will's deck had the important cards. Finally, in October 2005, Will moved on and I was able to build my own Dominion deck based around Bred for Battle and The Stone of Gol. Unfortunately, it performed rather badly at the tournament, so I put the cards back in the binder and ended my fascination there and then. Talk about a let down! Here, in no particular order, are my Dominion top five cards:

Our Death is Glory To the Founders
I am quite sure that this interrupt will feature in everyone's Dominion top five list. It was, and still is, the best event/interrupt destruction in the game. While other decks have to worry about scoring points to use Kevin Uxbridge and Amanda Rogers, or playing an equipment to use Grav-Plating Trap, a Dominion player simply has to play a Jem'Hadar personnel. It's a good job Dominion decks are filled with them. The only downside to this card is that it can do nothing about events already in play. I know all card games need balance, or was it just an oversight by the designers?

U.S.S. Defiant (Commandeered Warship)
The 10th Anniversary collection had some highs and some lows. While the Romulan pair are definitely the lows (has anyone ever used them?), the Dominion Defiant is one of the many highs. I suspect it was originally designed to encourage Dominion decks out of the Gamma Quadrant; and, boy, did it work. Following the completion of Destroy Iconian Gateway and/or Rescue Prisoners of War, Dominion players could use this ship to move two overcome dilemmas to an Alpha Quadrant mission. As they only needed four or five personnel to complete that mission, and as they probably had enough personnel to make multiple attempts, the U.S.S. Defiant (Commandeered Warship) effectively turned all Dominion decks using it into two mission win decks.

Ikat'ika (Honorable Warrior)
Aside from being one of the first Jem'Hadar with a command icon, Ikat'ika should make this list because of his attributes and his ability. First, the threat of Gomtuu Shock Wave means that eight Integrity is always welcome on any personnel. Then, you should look at his Strength: having nine, compared to most Jem'Hadar with eight, means that you can complete certain missions by sending one fewer personnel on the attempt. To round things off; his ability, to increase his own attributes by two, is perfect for overcoming dilemmas and completing missions. You don't even have to lose him to the discard pile at the end of the turn. When he is about to be killed, you just need an Emergency Transport Unit to save him. None of these reasons are why I picked him though. I just wanted to tell the following story: one player (whose name I shall omit to save embarrassment) I face regularly in London likes to pronounce Ikat'ika as "Ick-ah-tick-ah." Now I, and others, have started doing it as well. This brings up an interesting question: shouldn't we all be able to pronounce card titles however we like?

"Fraction" as I shall now be pronouncing this card, is the perfect choice for slowing down your opponent during a game. Quite simply, Fraction stops any non-Jem'Hadar personnel when they are played. While this might actually help Dissident decks from discarding cards when they play personnel, I can speak from experience when I say that the majority of the time it is going to hinder and frustrate your opponent. It is also particularly useful when combined with a strategy of returning personnel to hand. I haven't yet tried a dual headquarters deck with the Maquis, because a dilemma pile is often good enough to do the job. Dilemmas like Hard Time, Chula: Pick One to Save Two and Biochemical Hyperacceleration are doubly effective when the personnel you return to hand won't be back attempting missions on the next turn.

Bashir Founder (Imperturbable Infiltrator)
It takes a good infiltration deck, one that plays well whether you go first or second, to make cards like Bashir Founder stand out. By himself, he only subtracts one from the attributes on each of your opponent's personnel. However, when you combine him with Misdirection and The Clown: Bitter Medicine, you can increase the reduction up to a maximum of four. Suddenly, a simple mission requiring an attribute>32 could take upwards of nine personnel just to complete. Even if you don't plan to give him to your opponent, this version of Bashir Founder has decent skills and attributes for a personnel only costing just two counters to play. Definitely a win-win situation.

Before I finish, I'll give an honorable mention to Remata'Klan (Unit Leader). Being able to exclude other personnel from random selections is an awesome ability. Personal Duty and An Issue of Trust are no longer guaranteed to stop all but one personnel with the particular skill, if he is facing the dilemma. His skills aren't bad either.

Which cards would you pick in your Dominion top five? Let us know on the message boards here.

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