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Strategy Articles

Ferengi week: Top 5 cards

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

27th May 2008

In previous weeks, I've been able to include one or two tournament-related anecdotes in my top five articles. This week, however, I'm going to struggle. This is because I have only ever played one Ferengi deck. Even then, it was in a themed "Ferengi Civil War" tournament a couple of years ago, where there were various Ferengi-style objectives to complete besides just winning the game. Thinking about it as I write this article, I'm not entirely sure why I haven't played Ferengi more. I do remember another player in London trying them out shortly after the release of Strange New Worlds, so I guess his deck didn't fill me with confidence in the affiliation. Without any proper tournament experience to base this article on, this week's Ferengi top five list is based on the cards I perceive to be good. With reason this week, they are in no particular order.

Rule of Acquisition #33
Despite absolutely hating this card because of the "talkie" element, I have to acknowledge that the rest of the card looks like a great dilemma cheater. Turning any one skill of a dilemma's requirements into 3 Acquisition is a no-brainer considering that over half the Ferengi personnel currently released have at least one Acquisition. The other option (increasing a Ferengi-affiliation personnel's attributes by two until the end of the turn) is also incredibly useful. I can't tell you how many times I have been just one or two short of the attribute I needed to complete a mission. Of course, I have never played this interrupt, but should I ever decide to build a Ferengi deck, this interrupt will definitely be added to the deck. Whether I play the card and actually say the "talkie" is a whole other matter.

Leosa (Grifter)
Leosa makes this list purely because she can mess around with any deck using Holograms. Of the 18 Holograms currently released, only five of them cost one counter or less to play. This means that most of the time, you will probably be gaining an advantage over your opponent: By stopping your one-cost personnel, you force your opponent to return a Hologram (most likely costing more than one counter) to their hand. Your opponent will then have a decision to make. They can either play the Hologram again, just to see it returned to their hand the following turn; or they can continue without their Hologram personnel. Either way, Leosa is going to cause your opponent some headaches.

Brunt (FCA Liquidator)
Unlike the other cards, I can speak with some experience when I talk about this one. During the 2007 World Championships, I spotted several non-Ferengi decks that included Ferenginar (Financial Hub) for the sole purpose of playing Brunt for event destruction. My event-heavy Voyager deck suffered at his hands in more than one game. Now that Instigate Dissension has been released in The Undiscovered Country, I wonder whether this version of Brunt will be seeing quite so much play...

Side note: If you take a close look at the left side of the Brunt card image, you'll see that it has been placed over another card image. A planet dilemma if I'm not mistaken. I wonder why. Conspiracy theories may begin... now!

Rule of Acquisition #141
Why would you add a nine-cost event to your deck, when it does nothing for you by itself? I can think of three good reasons: The first is to turn Morik "the weedy-Borg" with a highest attribute of five into Morik "the über-Borg" with attributes of 13 Integrity, 14 Cunning and 14 Strength. The second reason is to act as fuel for Par Lenor (Lascivious Emissary), so that you can spend an additional nine counters in a turn. The third and final reason is to keep the highest-cost card in the game hidden in your hand just in case your opponent decides to play Gorgan. I know of at least one player who used this third strategy at the World Championships last year, and I like the idea a lot.

Ishka (Moogie)
Deck manipulation is always a useful tool, and Ishka lets you rig the top card of your deck each turn. Whether you want to retrieve a card placed under Ferenginar by accident, or hide a card under Ferenginar for safe keeping, Ishka lets you do it. If you combine her with Zek (The Grand Nagus), then you can achieve an extra card draw each turn, or an extra card beneath Ferenginar. The options are (almost) unlimited.

In the spirit of Ferengi week, I'm going to bend the rules a little. The sixth card in this top five is one of numerous Ferengi cards that can increase personnel attributes. While most of the others are specific personnel who can only increase their own attributes, this ship increases the attributes of all Ferengi-affiliation personnel aboard. The bonus only works when the ship is at a space mission requiring Acquisition or Treachery, but almost one-third of space missions attemptable by the Ferengi affiliation require one of these two skills, so there are plenty of choices. I expect there is no better feeling than getting Quark (True Ferengi) from 14 Cunning up to 15 Cunning!

I'm not sure that the Ferengi should get honorable mentions. This week, Rule of Acquisition #144 and Ferengi Computer get a plain-old mention for helping you cheat past dilemmas and prevent personnel from getting stopped. Also, I’ll give a plain-old mention to Dabo!. I don't know how Dabo is played (does anyone?), but the gameplay on this card just feels right to me. Thumbs up to the designers for this, and thumbs down to the designers for the "talkie" on Rule of Acquisition #33.

Which cards would you pick in your Ferengi top five (or six)? Let us know on the message boards here.

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