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The Road to Worlds: First Edition Winning Deck Analysis, Week 9

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

28th May 2014

I feel like I'm on vacation with only one deck to review! After last week's record five decks, this is a nice change of pace.

The 5/24/14 1E Omarion Nebula Regional in Manchester, United Kingdon was won by Niall Matthew. He used a Borg deck titled "Bareil of Borgs Omega coated love beads". His tournament report can be found here.


Deck Stats:
Play Engines: We Are The Borg (73% of the deck), Unicomplex (44%), New Arrivals (17%), Borg Scout Vessel
Draw Engines: New Arrivals, We Are The Borg
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 95%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Add Distinctiveness
Unique Dilemmas (to be updated as the season progresses): Altonian Brain Teaser, Emergent Life-form, Kazon Bomb, Q-Flash, Undetected Beam-In (5)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 13


Niall Matthew's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
Because Borg are Awesome! I love the complexity of them.

However, I've played them a certain way for a while now and I've noticed a lot of players playing them the same way too. They Will Be Coming, Gowron of Borg, Assimilate Species etc. One thing I like to be is unpredictable, so I set myself the following aims for a new Borg deck:

I considered using Bajoran Resistance Cell, but I haven't played them enough to be comfortable with them.

I also had an Orion/Bluegill/Barber deck which I was VERY close to using due to the ability to discard the opponents Events, Interrupts, and Incidents. That deck is effective against the Handshake/Isomag draw engine.

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 as many different deck types as I could, from speed solvers to heavy interaction. The best type of deck is one that you have experience in. After winning this event, I'm looking to improve on it. However, I really wanted to take on a Bajoran deck, any type, as long as it had Bajor.

I think he's a bit camera-shy

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've played a lot of Borg over the years. When building a Borg deck, you need to memorize every card in the draw deck (this is more important with Borg due to their reliance on probing).

I've had experience with small decks, the double outpost setup, my patented Reactor Overload 'Queen Swap' and using Harness Particle 010.

I learned that the Borg Scout Vessel is my new best friend. Downloading via Spacedoor, Space-Time Portaling it to hand, then replaying it with all the personnel I've built up in my hand is very effective, and it saves a seed slot on Transwarp Network Gateway when reporting with crew to the Alpha Quadrant.

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?
Just Transport Inhibitor. I found it quite ironic that I'd end up using one of the most anti-Borg cards in the game, but myself and Paddy (KazonPADD) decided to add it in due to the presence of Stu Marsh (SAM2000). Stu plays heavy interaction all the time, aiming to capture key personnel by turn 3/4, so the addition of this equipment helped me buy time to get Harness Particle 010 completed before time was called.

A surprise hit in the deck was Post Garrison. I'd seed Undetected Beam In and follow it up with a Q-Flash, where the opponent would hit The Issue Is Patriotism. My opponent would be forced to immediately battle my four drones present (hopefully assimilating one along the way) and when the battle is over, use A Change of Plans to download Post Garrison and lock the opponent out of the mission (Huge thanks to Latrell for helping me develop that combo).

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Twelve of Thirteen: This guy helped me bypass Paddy's Transport Inhibitor by allowing my Borg Scout Vessels to land on Bajor, resulting in one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen in a Borg game; Assimilating Deep Space Nine itself, along with Chamber Of Ministers and all but three of his personnel. Using an assimilated Morn to get card draws at the newly Borgified Quark's Bar was definitely something which had to be seen to believe. Twelve of Thirteen is an essential add to all Borg decks when it comes to planet assimilation. Transport Inhibitor also helped me against Stu, I may keep it in the deck for future games as protection against another Borg deck.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
It was very different from the Borg decks I'm used to, but it's not so complex as I can easily rely on drawing cards rather than converting every card draw into a download. Also, I was disappointed that I didn't get the chance to open a sealed First Contact Booster :(

There's always my next regional event, which will be in Bremen (Stefan's home town.)

Germany, you have been targeted for sexecution.


My Commentary:
Interesting, we have here our second Borg winning deck for Regionals 2014, and it is one that looks significantly different from the first. The first thing I noticed was the conspicuous absence of They Will Be Coming, a card that has been the centerpiece of many of the successful Borg decks I've looked at in the last year. We've actually got a mix of Alpha and Delta quandrant missions (three of each), and one of the Alpha missions is... Bajor. Though the presence of Bajor is what would probably tip me off to the assimilation in my future, it is an atypical choice which may successfully confuse some opponents. Many Borg decks that seek to assimilate a homeworld will include multiple - there will likely be a premade counterpart in the deck for one or two of them, but also with the ability to assimilate an opponent's personnel in case they're an unlucky sap who has chosen to play an affiliation that matches one of those homeworlds.

In this case, Niall isn't worried about matching the opponent's affiliation, there's no Assimilate Counterpart in the deck anyways. Bareil of Borg has his sights set on Bajor, and for good reason: it is one of the more powerful homewords out there, and a popular one in Niall's meta. He's not likely to be headed straight there, though, as the printed point values of all of his objectives only come to a total of 95. No, first he's got to Harness Particle 010, in the Delta Quadrant at the location of the Transwarp Hub. Doing so will double Assimilate Homeworld's points, making for two-mission win - and a safe one at that since Borg are immune to the popular point denial mechanics out there (and in this deck too).

I'm sure their intentions are peaceful

Now, just because there are no Objectives that explicitly assimilate personnel (like Assimilate Species or Assimilate Counterpart) doesn't mean that you don't have to worry about also seeing the point value of Add Distinctiveness go up. When the Borg assimilate a planet, they automatically assimilate all opposing facilities, and all personnel aboard those facilities (though, oddly, while docked and landed ships get assimilated too, the personnel aboard those ships are safe). Niall assimilated a Morn in Quark's Bar this way, generating some more draws for him. For that assimilation to matter (i.e. the game hasn't ended), Niall must've skipped doing HP010 first, planning instead to make up the last 5+ points with Add Distinctiveness.

There's also a really clever dilemma combo that Niall mentioned above that could also usher your personnel into the Hive. Failing to nullify Undetected Beam-In will download some drones to your ship or away team (like the Three and Eight of Nineteen drones, to be found in the Tent). Now, Undetected specifically states that they do not attack, but the following Q-Flash will serve up a The Issue is Patriotism. Now you're attacking the Borg, giving the Talon Drone (with boosted strength) an excuse to start abducting and assimilating your personnel. The ability to download Post Garrison afterwards is not something I caught without him pointing it out, and is another great, unexpected play to have up your sleeve.

They Will Be Coming decks typically have some issues in dealing with Cytherians, and I suspect that's part of the reason why Niall went with a Delta Quadrant-based Borg deck. TWBC decks can't really afford to use Space-Time Portal to return an afflicted ship to hand (without a way to replay the ship), but Niall will have no such trouble here. That Borg Cube can just report again (for free if We Are the Borg is out!) to one of his facilities, and all those personnel can be dropped on the next turn with one of his two Borg Scout Vessels.

Niall mentioned his "Queen Swap" combo, which addresses a confusion I had about this deck. Most Borg decks I look at have a large volume of both the Shades of Gray and First Contact Queens in order to ensure early access to them. However, Niall, while he runs eight copies of the SoG Queen, there's only one FC queen. There's a trick though: Niall plans to download Reactor Overload, and use it on himself. He's seeded a Long Live the Queen though, so once he's killed off his SoG Queen, he can download the one copy of the FC Queen he's stocked. Quite a nice trick, and helps him pull off the goal of building a small Borg deck that he set for himself.


That's all for now, remember to check out the Road to Worlds podcast for all your recap and prediction needs. I'll see you next week for coverage of the winning deck from next week's Minnesota Regional.


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