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Strategy Articles

Maquis week: Top 5 cards

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

3rd June 2008

If you did re-login to this site before reading this article, then you fell for the oldest Maquis trick in the book: Stalling for Time :P

Writing this week's Maquis top five is such a different proposition for me when compared to my experience (or lack thereof) with the Ferengi top five. In one week, I've gone from exploring the unknown with the Ferengi, to a full-on Maquis love fest. I think my love of the Maquis comes from my hate of playing straight-up mission solvers. When it comes down to selecting dilemmas to stop an attempt, I know there are so many players out there who are better at it than me. By playing a deck that attacks my opponent in some way, I feel more in control of the game. You could even say I'm something of a control freak. Here, in no particular order, are my Maquis top five cards:

Stalling for Time
Surely this event, released in Reflections 2.0, features in every Maquis deck? For the low, low cost of just drawing it, you can name any personnel and have each opponent return that personnel to his or her owner's hand. All you need to do is remember the titles of some high-cost personnel your opponent has played, and you can stall your opponent for a turn or two. If you're lucky, you could de-staff your opponent's ship, and slow your opponent down for even longer. The Maquis can't generally retrieve discarded events, but if you throw some Non-Aligned personnel with Integrity greater than six and the Ressikan Flute into your deck, you can keep playing multiples of this card every turn. If you can then find some way to keep playing Organized Terrorist Activities every turn as well, then you'll really be Stalling for Time!

Cascade Virus
This interrupt follows the same theme as Stalling for Time in that it does absolutely nothing to help your deck win the game. All it does is slow your opponent down. There are so many personnel that you can prevent from being played with this card: Borum (Selfless Hero), Annexation Drone, Mila (Trusted Confidante), Odo Founder (Adept Imposter), almost any Cadet, Brunt (FCA Liquidator), Kruge (Instinctive Commander), Morik, Soong-type Android, Hiren (Romulan Praetor), and Sean Hawkins to name but a few. If only there was some way to get this back from the discard pile, like there is for Stalling for Time...

Rebecca Sullivan (Resistance Fighter)
Rebecca is the lynchpin of many Maquis decks, but she will often not make a mission attempt all game. While her skills are good, and her six Integrity is more than welcome, she is much too valuable to risk being killed. Once per turn, she can take a Maquis-icon personnel from your discard pile and place it under your deck. While this ability was useful in helping make sure killed personnel could make it back from the grave, it has become much more potent with the release of What You Leave Behind in The Undiscovered Country. Now a personnel killed one turn, can be back in play just two turns later. Don't forget that if the card you discard for What You Leave Behind is a Maquis-icon personnel, then Rebecca can place that under your deck as well.

Biogenic Weapon
This event is another weapon in the Maquis arsenal designed to slow your opponent down. Many decks nowadays will either have an obvious first mission, or an obvious mission they don't plan to attempt. Whether it is Caretaker's Array, Historical Research, Survey New World or (ironically) Investigate Maquis Activity, you only need to play this event to force your opponent into changing his or her strategy. By itself it's a great card, but when combined with Strange New Worlds and some method of removing Law from your opponent's deck, it becomes a great way of preventing your opponent from completing two of his or her missions.

The final card in this top five is a ship, and probably not the ship you were expecting. The Valjean is your standard Maquis ship. It is a mid-cost, low-staffing and low-attribute ship, but it is just what the Maquis need. Instead of wasting three counters to play and return to hand Luther Sloan (Man of Secrets), you can simply play Kalita (Maquis Pilot) to place an opponent's event on top of its owner's deck – right before the Valjean buries it. You even get an attribute boost for the ship as well. It is this attribute boost that is most important though. Any ship that can't fly home for reinforcements before returning to a mission is a waste of deck space. Fortunately, you can use Kenneth Dalby (Insubordinate Crewman) to double the chances of the Valjean receiving its bonus each turn.

You may have noted that only the final card in this top five actually helps your deck. The rest of the cards all attack the opponent in some way, and this week's honorable mentions are no different. Ro Laren (Maquis Sympathizer) gets a mention for probably emptying your opponent’s hand when she helps complete a mission with For the Cause. Shankar (Maquis Soldier) gets a mention for definitely emptying your opponents' hands when he is played, and the U.S.S. Defiant (Stolen Warship) gets acknowledged for being such a pain in the butt.

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

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