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The Road to Worlds: First Edition Winning Deck Analysis, Week 8

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

22nd May 2014

Here we are, in the thick of it. Players met this weekend to contest five First Edition regionals, so we've got a lot of ground to cover. Five (very) different decks were played by five different players. I'm excited, let's get started.

(Actually, there were six First Edition regionals this weekend, but one was sealed format. As this is more of a deck design series, I won't be reviewing that deck, but I would like to offer my congratulations to Ken Tufts for his victory there.)

 

The 5/16/14 1E Kazon Collective Regional in Penrith, Australia was won by Ben Wynn. He used a Here By Invitation/Chamber of Ministers deck titled "Bens Regional Deck".

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: Chamber of Ministers (19% of the deck), Here By Invitation (39%, 8% have matching sites), Quark's Bar (8%), Docking Pads (6%)
Draw Engines: New Frontiers, Surprise Party, Handshake, The Celestial Temple, Quark's Bar, Where No Man Has Gone Before, Explore Gamma Quadrant, Rescue Personnel
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 72%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Explore Gamma Quadrant, Rescue Personnel
Unique Dilemmas (to be updated as the season progresses): Ankari "Spirits", Barclay's Protomorphosis Disease, Devastating Communique, Precision Piloting, Tense Negotiations, The Arsenal: Separated, The Three Vipers (7)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 8

Poor Prylars do all the hard work and get none of the free reports

My Commentary:
Well, here we've got our first Reshape the Quadrant winning deck! It appears that all the other decks in the tournament were either RtQ or Continuing Mission decks, so this play group does seem to have an affinity for the modern play engines. The main characters used in this deck are generally the virtual ones, which isn't much of a surprise: there's so much incentive to go to the Gamma Quadrant in a RtQ deck that the new ones look much more appealing. Additionally, the new mains also tend to have shiny Orb icons (Vedek Kira notwithstanding), which helps to fuel The Celestial Temple draw engine. Interestingly, Ben Sisko is used here over Benjamin Sisko (Emissary), despite losing the free report status, station commander keyword, and orb icon.

I didn't classify We Need You Here as a play engine (since it still takes the card play), but its dial-a-skill power is considerable. Since it downloads from the deck the card that enters play, it can in some ways be considered a draw engine too... and boy does it have a lot of company in this deck. Morn, The Celestial Temple, and Surprise Party all stack on extra end of turn draws, which can can add up quickly with draws from Handshake and New Frontiers. WNYH along with the Bajoran Shrine can net a first turn Bareil Antos here, powering The Celestial Temple easily - assuming Ben didn't want to turn a draw into Defend Homeworld and get Kira Nerys for the same purpose.

Without a Docking Ports, one thing We Need You Here isn't going to fetch is a first turn U.S.S. Defiant. While I'm a strong proponent of free-play ships, if there is one change I'd recommend for the deck, it would be to seed a Docking Ports. Several of the potential Here By Invitation free report personnel in the deck lack a site destination for their report, but an early Defiant solves that problem. You can always use one of your draws to download a Docking Pads later for your U.S.S. Danubes. While it is possible that, with the large number of draws and other deck cycling options like Guest Quarters and Bajoran Shrine that this deck has, you may often draw that Defiant early, the games where you don't are likely to be rough for quite a while.

 

The 5/17/14 1E Vandros IV Regional in Nürnberg, Germany was won by Stefan Waldherr. He used a Hirogen/Equinox deck titled "Second time is a Karon".

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: Home Away From Home (25% of the deck), Hirogen Hunt (11%), Restore Victims (9%)
Draw Engines: Handshake, Ancestral Vision
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 73%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists
Unique Dilemmas (to be updated as the season progresses): Chula: The Chandra, Psychic Receptacle (2)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 11

I really hope you hit save

Stefan's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
To be honest I am experiencing some "writer's block" when it comes to deck building at the moment. I tested a lot of more fancy stuff in online test games, but nothing really worked out well. Most of the decks I still have from some time ago are no longer useful (like the pre-errataed CM-decks) or needed a lot of repair to be playable, so I decided to just build a more or less standard Hirogen build. I did play it in another Regional one week before and didn't manage to build something else. So, I just changed it a bit and tried to learn from the mistakes I made.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I just hoped to face some other solver without much real interaction, as I was really slim on defense. I had some ships for battle but not much else. However, I did not expect any battle decks from the other players that attended this time.

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 remember playing Hirogen way back like most players in the dark ages of 1E. I was playing an almost identical deck the week before so I had great training, playing against the Fed/BRC build I would face again in Nuremberg and against a great player like Enrico. I was reminded that Handshake's first function, most of the time, just costs you a turn with this deck (if the opponent is smart and just discards) so I never used it for the first function in Nuremberg. Also, I added Cytherians to have some protection from point loss dilemmas to go out safely with three missions.

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 added a Devil as I expected the Fed/Bajoran Treaty to see play and this bought me some time in two games. I also added a Kevin Uxbridge if something really annoying would show up. I expected Peter to play Holograms and wanted dearly to destroy a Holo-Projector as I was burned by Enricos Holograms the week before and Peter tested some Hologram decks in the weeks prior to the tournament. I used the Kevin once against the Implants and the Devil twice, so both were useful. Also, Mabus was just in there because he is a Governor to pass Executive Authorization. Normally, he never enters play in the deck, being a card play, but I actually needed him in the first game. I would bring all the same cards again to this tournament.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Computer Crash - it just wins games. The game against peter was insane, my point loss dilemmas and the Crash really saved me, denying a game winning download by Peter. Also, Crash (and also Devil) bought me an important turn against Johannes which made the difference.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
It's fun to play and YAAM balances Delta really well. The third mission requirement (possibly four) makes it well matched to Alpha solvers, all of my games against Alpha players were won by one turn.

My Commentary:
And now we have our first Delta Quadrant deck! Home Away From Home/Equinox with Hirogen and a side of Talaxians is a very solid choice when you're building a delta deck. With the Kazon, you've got to set up your free plays with a Maje or two first (or use the Kazon Voyager with Make It So and forego all those nice Equinox guys), and the alpha-hirogen have a higher skill density than the Medical Vidiians. As Stefan notes, he played a very similar deck at the New Bajor regional last week, but there are some key changes.

What a sympathetic face

As noted in a prior article, Admiral Cartwright's ability to destroy a treaty can win games, but that's not the only way to ruin your treaty-using opponent's plans. The Devil works on all treaties (not just Federation ones), and those are becoming more and more common. Treaties are one of the most effective ways to stack play engines (I'm looking at you, Bajoran Resistance Cell), so while The Devil may not be useful in every game, it can make all the difference against some of the most competitive decks out there. Open Diplomatic Relations can get those treaties back, but the most common ones are the ones that seed without it, which saves a seed slot (and doesn't broadcast the deck's intentions in the doorway phase). However, even if ODR is on the table, for the cost of drawing an interrupt, you can force your opponent to drop two cards from hand and (usually) use up their next turn's card play to get their personnel working together again. I'll take that trade any day.

Kevin Uxbridge saw a decline in his use during the heyday of TNG decks. The ones at the top of the big tournaments last year tended to use Handshake and Continuing Mission as their draw engines, which were immune by virtue of being Incidents rather than Events. While you would see the occasional Oo-mox, losing five points to kill that attribute boost just didn't seem that appetizing. These days we are seeing a resurgence in Kevin-vulnerable critical events, like Holo-projectors in Enrico's Hologram deck, a deck that Stefan lost to in that tournament. While we haven't seen many Reshape the Quadrant victors yet, stopping an early New Frontiers can set a deck back several turns. Even in a mirror-match, Stefan's own Ancestral Vision (powered by the support personnel Gem, rather than the nullification-protecting-but-card-play-costing Chakotay) presents a juicy Kevin target, along with those deck-replenishing Isomagnetic Disintegrators (you thought you weren't really saying goodbye to those nice cards when you played those The Powers, Mutations, and Handshakes, huh?).

Stefan also talks about the balance between Alpha and Delta quadrant affiliations. You might ask, how could the factions possibly be balanced if this Delta deck has only three free play engines (as opposed to, say, Ryan's five engines from his deck last week) especially considering that they need 40 more points to win? Well, looking at the deckbuilder counts, on non-mission specialists, Ryan had 168 skills across 41 personnel (~4.1 skills per personnel), while Stefan had 150 skills across 29 non-mission specialists (~5.2 skills per personnel). Though one extra skill per personnel may not seem that big, bear in mind that the Delta quadrant benefits from some nice download chains like the Borg triplets (after playing Marika for free), and Penk fetching Hajur, all the while still having access to the Alpha player's favorite, Anya and Salia through Defend Homeworld. Delta players enjoy a routinely short spaceline without They Will Be Coming Borg on it too - and while they also grant Alpha players that advantage, the Delta player can more routinely count on it.

Another note: Kes appears in duplicate here, and this should not be surprising. Her download of The Gift (like Daniels' download of Out of Time) can break up combos and win games. Don't want that V'Ger to blow up your ship? No problem, Kes has a Gift for you. Clouds have you down? There's a gift for that too. All but one of your leaders are sitting on their thumbs while the other is off on some Personal Duty? Recieve the Gift of space travel and avoid some Friendly Fire - notable as a combo that shows up in multiple here.

 

The 5/18/14 1E Cardassia Regional in Palm Bay, Florida was won by Alex Taylor. She used a TNG Federation deck titled "TNG Feds Netdeck Style".

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: Finest Crew in the Fleet (33% of the deck), Attention All Hands (22%), Scientific Diplomacy (19%)
Draw Engines: Continuing Mission, Handshake, Kivas Fajo - Collector
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 69%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists
Unique Dilemmas (to be updated as the season progresses): Ferengi Bug, Implication, Kelvan Show of Force, Male's Love Interest & Plague Ship, Scientific Method, The Arsenal: Divided, Unscientific Method (7)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 10

So many pieces of Voyager fan fiction end this way

My Commentary:
Nobody sets up that Assign Mission Specialists two-mission win quite like the Continuing Mission Federation. Each mission here is a potentially 50-point affair with the specialists available to them, but you need more than just the Engineer and Diplomacy that the initial two specialists grant. But there aren't any more Assign Mission Specialists cards stocked in the deck? What's going on, how do we get those wonderful specialists out of the tent?

The answer is something that I discovered while looking at decks from the World Championships last year. Sebastian Kerstein's TNG Ferengi deck made use of Nanoprobe Resuscitations to recover his copy of Assign Mission Specialists that he'd discarded at the start of the turn, and then replay it that same turn. I love that technique - barring an unfortunate Amanda Rogers, you're much better off stocking multiple Nanoprobes and situationally using it to recover AMS, while still having the option to recover something else with it if the need arises.

Alex (well, the deck title implies that it was copied from someone) takes that technique a step further by using the Jean-Luc Picard from Chain of Command (rather than the skill-laden Premiere version). Though there are no Ready Room Doors to try to get him out early, once he's out he counts as the Communications Borg that Nanoprobe Resuscitation requires in order to immediately restore personnel on the top of your discard pile to life. Four Nanprobes are included in the deck, and only three more uses of Assign Mission Specialists will download all the specialists in the deck - so one is guaranteed to be a back-up, and that's assuming that, in any given game, Alex would actually need all eight specialists.

This is the second time we've seen Scientific Diplomacy in this article series, but this deck doesn't use the Ferengi Trading Post that Kris used to assure compatibility. However, in a 36 card deck, it would not be uncommon to see a Wall of Ships or U.S.S. Enterprise in the opening hand (as ships, unlike facilities, are compatible with Scientific Diplomacy personnel), but even when it isn't, there's that U.S.S. Nebula in the Tent that Attention All Hands can download.

This deck is pretty light on ships in general, likely due to the card plays in its games being used up on Assign Mission Specialists, Handshake, and Kivas Fajo - Collector. That leaves the deck pretty vulnerable to battle, but Alex has some decent defense options too. Even if the Enterprise is downloaded with a Wall of Ships, it in turn downloads another to boost its attributes. Reyga, in addition to protecting the ship and away teams he's in from Ferengi attacks, downloads the potent Metaphasic Shields. Strategic Base will protect the Outpost well, but be careful: its defense boost doesn't increase the amount of shields extended to ships that are docked there. If there were room in the tent, I might recommend stocking another Galaxy class ship there, and seeding Federation Flagship: Recovered as a back-up plan.

This deck also uses my favorite TNG Federation download chain: Assign Support Personnel downloading Sergey and Helena, who in turn download Nikolai Rozhenko. Nikolai doesn't report for free anywhere, but TNG Federation decks don't have any Treachery personnel who do report for free. That Federation Treachery can be useful for a number of dilemmas (like In the Pale Moonlight), but beyond that his other skills are also fairly rare for his faction. Primitive Cultures love Civilians with Anthropology, and you can just never have enough Computer Skill these days. Sure, you can also get Erik Pressman with Assign Support Personnel, but why get one personnel when you can get 3 for the price of one?

 

The 5/17/14 1E Cardassia Regional in Roswell, Georgia was won by Ryan Sutton. He used a TNG Klingon deck titled ""Cowards take hostages-Klingons do not." ATL Regional".

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: Legitimate Leader of the Empire (33% of the deck), Attention All Hands (26%), The Great Hall (12%)
Draw Engines: Surprise Party, Continuing Mission
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 62%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists, Heart of Glory
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 10

Ryan Sutton's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
I chose Legit Leader of the Empire because I had the most experience and best luck with it in the past. Battle is still a huge factor in Block now. Sure we don’t have the tactics but battle is still a great strategy. In OTF complete there are tons of tricks for strategy. In Block, there are not as many tricks. There is not a lot a player can do to defend themselves beyond cloaking and having Ablative Armor, so when you can't defend you gun up. At Nationals this year, I did not have a battle plan and it cost me the tournament against Scott as he beat me because he felt no worries that I was going to fight him. So he out solved me very quickly without worrying about me fighting him. In my deck building, I made a critical error for Block play. I must pack the guns to win. So in this tournament, I thought who better to play than the Klingons which gave me the options to battle everyone anytime. I initially thought about playing the NA Borg again, but fell back on the Klingons as they have a better skill spread and better ways to get people directly on the ship. I knew Ferengi were still strong in Block if played like Scott does - I figured he would be playing them and I wanted the easy battle option so I settled on Legit Klingons.

No war room is complete without a really big map

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I wanted to face decks with little battle protection. I would take advantage of the weak or low defense decks and cruise to a victory as they tried to rebuild. Eliminating a player's initial build up of resources in block really hurts them and slows the game down for them. That was my goal. As far as what I didn’t want to face… that was easy, I did not want to face Scott’s (Neelix) deck from Nationals. It is a fine tuned machine with all the tricks. He knows exactly what needs to happen to get his crew equipped with the right people to plow through dilemmas. His ability to protect against battle was very strong. This deck worried me immensely. As the rounds passed and the undefeated players got less and less, it was going to come down to myself vs. Scott’s very quick and resourceful Ferengi.

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?
Prior to this tournament I had a ton of experience with the Legit Leader Klingon deck. I had won at least 4 Block tournaments with a variation of it since Block’s release. Two of those Block wins coming from the Block Tournaments at GenCon. One in 2012 and one in 2013. I had also won with Legit Leader in a virtual tournament. I love the flow when combined with Officer Exchange Program. The one thing I learned is that placement of missions in the mission phase is crucial when you are planning to interact with your opponent. I believe this to be even truer in Block than any other format as there is really no way other than Get It Done to travel longer distances.

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 included Surprise Party in my deck which was a situational card that I ended up regretting putting in this version of the deck. In my game against JR, I almost decked out. He decked out pretty early in the game. I was worried I was going to deck out as well which was something that I am not used to at all. Surprise Party made my drawing go very very fast to a point where I actually passed up on draws to make sure I did not run out of cards. I don’t believe that this deck needed those in it. The draws were consistent enough each turn to warrant not having it in play to draw an extra card. Also, there was a point in Scott’s and my game that I didn’t play it, not because I didn’t want to draw cards, but because I didn’t want him to get the 2 draws from the initial play because he was lacking a Command Star and I didn’t want to give him the draws to draw into it so that he could have piloted his ship.

I found Kahless, Kamala, and Riva it be very good cards in this format. Kamala’s skill choice versatility makes her great !

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
The MVP of my deck was actually a weird card but it was HQ: War Room. With the Subspace Shockwave being so strong against Klingons I had to have it so that it could be used to pass it without getting stopped. William T. Riker with his Cunning upped was what won me the game. If I would not have had him in combination with HQ: War Room, I would have lost the tournament.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Not really. However, I do have something to say about my opponent, Scott. He is definitely one of the best block players in the world. He knows the tricks and he knows effective strategy in Block better than anyone. If it would not have been for luck, I would not have won the tournament. Our final Score was 110-105. Neither one of us completed the opposite type of mission. Scott all Planets. Myself all space. The last turn of the game I traveled half the spaceline and scored 70 points to win. Up until the last turn when time was called, I was behind 40-105. What an epic game. It is one for the books and one that was worthy of the title: Regional Championship Match.

No warship is complete without a really big gun

My Commentary:
In week 6, we looked at another Legitimate Leader Klingon deck, built and run by Kris Sonsteby. As I've already discussed that deck at length, I'm going to discuss Ryan's creation in comparison to Kris'. First up: more ships. Many more ships. Like, loads of ships. A swarm of ships, and three ways to download them (Attention All Hands, Call for Reinforcements, and Officer Exchange Program). Looks like someone was aiming to blow people up, especially without those attack-restricting Scientific Diplomacy personnel around to get in the way.

Kris mentioned in a response to my article that he actually did plan to play Gowron to The Great Hall, and use the draw he generated to download the Pagh, giving him a way to move away from the Hall and activate Legitimate Leader's free plays on the second turn (if he is drawn in the opening hand). This time, though, there is only one Gowron, and with the scarcity of Hall free-plays, I suspect Ryan is planning on downloading him in place of the card play on turn one. Sure, that means the ships don't start until turn two, but after that they just keep coming.

With only two primary play engines, and a battle agenda, generating tons of draws was likely a lower priority, hence the change from Let's See What's Out There to Surprise Party. Even then, Ryan notes above that the Surprise draws every turn ended up being a bit too much, especially in games where you're battling the opponent first, and attempting missions second. By the time the opponent is comfortably under your oppressive thumb, you don't want to be at risk of losing the game to a double deck-out.

We also see the appearance of a number of Non-Aligned personnel, and a matching facility to allow the universal ones to report for free using Attention All Hands. Having Non-Aligned cards is important to a Ferengi battle deck, since TNG Ferengi lack any FCA to attack their own affiliation using HQ: Defensive Measures. Though the Klingons have no attack restrictions, those Non-Aligned cards still provide useful skills, and staffing for the powerful Zalkonian Vessel. Beware though: although there are five universal non-aligneds in this deck, only three of them are free plays with Attention All Hands. It's easy to forget the restrictions on its free reports, but Dr. Syrus and Millin are excluded due to their AU icons.

I read a lot of decklists and tournament reports. One block dilemma combination that I keep hearing about is Spaceborne Entity/Virus. It can often lead to the destruction of a ship, and I keep expecting to see it in the winning block decks. However, while Kris used Spacebourne and not Virus, Ryan used Virus and not Spaceborne. I still believe the combo to be good, but being unpredictable can be even better. And, if you're expecting to see plenty of Here By Invitation decks, that U.S.S. Defiant won't get a direct hit from that combo, even if you fail the Virus.

 

The 5/18/14 1E Borg Regional in Hart bei Graz, Austria was won by Stefan Slaby. He used a Non-Aligned TOS/First Contact Federation/Cardassian deck titled "Dr. Who? Dr. Royse!".

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: Federation Flagship: Relaunched (16%), Assign Support Personnel/Dominion War Efforts (12%), Central Command (8%), Deep Space Station K-7 (7%), Crell Moset
Draw Engines: Guardian of Forever, Handshake, Duck Blind, Crell Moset
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 73%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists
Unique Dilemmas (to be updated as the season progresses): Armus: Energy Field, Executive Authorization, Sleeper Trap (3)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 14

He seemed like such a nice guy, until you get to know him

Stefan Slaby's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
I wanted a flexible deck that has all of the follwing:

Also, I didn't want to play Borg this time; and I severely dislike decks that restrict your card pool like [1E-TNG] and [1E-DS9] do.

I decided to go with Cardassians as my main force for the three free personnel they get each turn (one at the HQ, one support personnel, one with Crell Moset) and the seven ships with matching commanders they have. I also added many copies of Mavek to repeatedly download useful equipment (like Transport Inhibitors). I briefly considered combining them with regular (HQ-based) Federation, but decided to go with Federation Flagship: Relaunched instead for the awesome abilities of their personnel (and for Make It So). As an afterthought, I added The Guardian of Forever and a time location where I could report some useful Non-Aligneds.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I was hoping to face [AQ] decks that I could battle (or block with Transport Inhibitors). I was hoping not to face [DQ], or somebody else with two Transport Inhibitors (as I didn't include a landable ship either). I was expecting to face Homefront, but wouldn't mind as the free play at Cardassia was the least important of my free plays.

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 played U.S.S. Enterprise-E + Cardassians before, but last time I had combined it with the Son'a and had planned to stay at home instead of going out to battle. I misjudged the amount of time and resources it takes to both A) start my various play/draw engines and B) head out to battle the opponent. In one game, I had enough resources to battle to my liking, and I actually blocked my opponent from accomplishing any missions, but because the personnel I sent to battle are the same ones I'll usually send to four-personnel-redshirt missions, I hadn't attempted a single mission myself when time was called. Nobody had scored any negative points either, so it ended in a true tie 0-0.

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 can't think of any particular card, but the whole deck has to be sized down to run more consistently. I'm good at building a beast that can do everything, but I suck at downsizing it. (Also, I'd seed Space-Time Portal directly. It's been years, but I'm still not really used to the rules change where using downloads advances you to the order phase... having to wait for turn two for Crell Moset really slowed me down.) Editor's note: I believe it would take more than just seeding the STP, since returning the ship to hand would also advance you to the order phase. Possibly the best solution would be to find a way to seed a second ship on which a Holodeck Door could be seeded.

I used the Guardian as a drawing engine because I wanted to use my card plays for ships, but the deck size / ship ratio often left me without ships to play for multiple turns... I think I should have skipped the Guardian and used just Handshakes instead, maybe throw in a Nor and some Freighters to play for free. What Does God Need With a Starship gets you extra ships anyway, no opponent can afford to get his main ship stopped each turn.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Crell Moset. He's awesome. One unrestricted free play, getting to play Mavek again and again, extra card draws,... being able to get him is totally worth multiple seed slots and flushing all [1E-DS9] cards down the toilet.

What Does God Need With a Starship would be a close second. stopping a ship or getting to download a ship anywhere is an awesome ability for a deck that wants to build a fleet. I play this at any point during my opponent's turn when enough people are on the same ship, and then I'm fine with both effects...

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Not sure if I like Transport Inhibitor. After reading discussions about it I decided to try it; it really is something you have to tech against or you lose. Do we need that? People have said that it counters some strategies, which is true I guess, but, trick question: who do you think is more likely to have enough counter-cards against TI in their deck: decks which have a strong interactive strategy that gets blocked specifically by TI, or everybody else who might be locked out of a Planet/HQ by TI? Dual Distortion Field had numerous counters too, and see where it is now.

I'd... just like to ask a question

My Commentary:
Note: I wrote this commentary before I received Mr. Slaby's excellent explanation of the deck. There is a lot going on in this deck. I mean, figuring out the basic free play engines and card draw sources was pretty easy. The TOS personnel and ships are all Non-Aligned, but I suppose that's just some insurance in case the treaty gets destroyed. That's when I came in to some trouble. The ratios are different from a lot of the decks we've looked at here; it's the largest winning deck we've seen, but that is a mind-boggling number of equipment. Almost half the tent is full of it, and there's more in the draw deck! And the ships, there are enough ships to blow up a small moon. Several uniques have multiple copies, even as many as six...

And that's when I saw the first cool thing: Mavek. He costs your card play, but when you play him, you download any equipment. Okay, he's unique, so that happens once, unless... where's the Crell Moset... there he is. Only one of him, there must be a seeded Holodeck Door... check. Okay, and a seeded ship? I guess it has to be the Enterprise-E, returned to hand (to get the door to hand and download Moset), and then replayed next turn. Alright, early on, he's got Crell. Now only six Maveks seems like a small number, but then again, there's those seven Nanoprobe Resuscitations I saw earlier and made me look at the number of mission specialists in the deck (only two). So, we're cycling Mavek early and often for equipment and maybe draws, cool. There's even some Jean-Luc (downloadable with Defend Homeworld) action, so some of those Nanoprobes can translate to free plays too.

What about all these ships? I see a battle bridge side deck, he probably wants to shoot a thing, but does he really need this many? Ahhh, What Does God Need With a Starship?! Now there's a card that deserves to see more play. Even just its ability to nullify a common and nasty dilemma is good, but the ability to play it on your opponent's turn and make them choose between giving you another ship and allowing you to stop their own ship is vicious. That card can escalate things quickly, especially when your opponent just wants to keep moving and get to some mission solving, so they give you a ship. What can one ship hurt? Well, now that ship is part of a small armada following them. When the opponent has to make that choice the next time, they have to choose between making the armada even bigger and getting stopped so the armada gets closer. I'm officially scared.

The Guardian of Forever is a great choice as a draw engine for an armada deck, since it doesn't take that precious, ship generating card play. Every time you play a New Frontiers or a Kivas Fajo - Collector or a Handshake, that's one turn that you didn't play a ship. But with Dr. Who Royse time traveling for fun and profit with his companion, Rose Kathleen following him on alternate turns, those draws don't come at the cost of a ship. These ships, they make armadas that protect time-travelers, ones who dabble in cultural observation.

 

So, wait, five deck reviews, and I only mentioned Bajoran Resistance Cell once, in passing? I'm in love. Maybe we can keep the streak up for the decks from next week. Remember, in the meantime, be sure to check out the Road to Worlds podcast! Also, please take the time to check out Mike Harrington's brilliant 2E regional deck reviews.

 


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