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The Road to Worlds: First Edition Winning Deck Analysis, Week 13

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

25th June 2014

Well, I haven't had any luck with results on the recent Delphic Expanse or Risa Regionals, so I've just got two decks to review this week, but boy are they are out for blood. Be warned!

 

The 6/22/14 1E Andoria Regional in Fargo, North Dakota was won by Kevin Jaeger. He used a Borg They Will Be Coming deck titled "I'll get you a toe in the alpha quadrant dude. Bunch of amatuers. I'll even put nail polish on it.". His tournament report can be found here.

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: They Will Be Coming (38% of the deck), We Are the Borg (20%), New Arrivals (20%)
Draw Engines: We Are the Borg, New Arrivals, Strategic Base
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 71%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Resistance Is Futile
Unique Dilemmas: Conundrum, More of Your Kind (2)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 12

Toilets flush the other way in the southern hemisphere, but what happens when you flush one in a nebula?

Kevin Jaeger's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
I have a special place in my heart for 1e Borg, since they are what I started with back in 96 when First Contact came out. My best friend at the time loved the Enterprise crew and I loved the Borg. So when we got into the game, we pooled our resources and seperated out what we got so we could play them as rivals essentially. When I don't know what else to play or when I'm feeling nastalgic, I come back to them - and since I haven't had a chance to play 1e Borg live since 2006-ish, it was time.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I wasn't really concerned with this. Was just looking to have fun.

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 played a variation online recently, so I knew what I was doing.

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 played around with the dilemmas a little. I don't like to be predictable with them. I played with Artillery Attack just to see how effective it can be and it was going 4 kills, 3 kills, and 3 kills. I don't know if I would use it again. I have some new thoughts in mind for what to do with the dilemmas.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Transwarp Hub. Soft nullifies Cytherians, allows me to access most of the spaceline easily so I don't waste time going down the spaceline, provides a place to dock to avoid a battle minded opponent, provides repairs, holds a red drone to keep Resistance Is Futile active while I leave, and most importantly: works in conjunction with the gateway to play in whatever quadrant my opponent is in while still coming back to do my business.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Resistance is futile.

The are just assessing his compatibility for assimilation

My Commentary:
First, let's see if we could correctly identify this as a Borg deck in the seed phase. We've got a lot of Federation missions, but none of the popular 50-points-with-mission-specialists missions that are popular in TNG decks, so that's probably out. Insurrection and the Stellar Cartography missions are popular in Enterprise-E decks, but Earth is not because Federation Flagship: Relaunched discards when you play most of the Admirals. Earth likes to show up in TOS decks, but we've got no Agricultural Assessment. Those factors plus a couple nebulas (including the Borg favorite, Evade Borg Vessel) might push me towards making the Borg guess, but I could see it going either way - assuming I'm even paying attention.

The first thing I noted about this deck was the large amount of Objectives available to it. Neither of the other two Borg decks I've covered in this series even comes close to the total number found in this deck (16!). One thing I was clued in to by a friend is that, if you can figure out what a Borg deck is planning to do, you can really screw up a Borg deck's tempo by removing their options - like, say, solving Earth before First Contact is stopped. Well, you can't do that here; even if you download Brunt with Writ and Selok with Assign Mission Specialists for a first-turn surprise Earth solve, Kevin's still got plenty of options for blowing you up or assimilating you, or locking you out of other missions with Post Garrison.

I do like to see a Disruptor Overload or two in aggressive decks, but it is even more important when there's some personnel battle involved. While it is nice to be able to nuke an Ablative Armor, being able to take down the Transport Inhibitors that are protecting your opponent's personnel is even more important. However, you don't often see it in Borg decks because Borg decks hate bad probes, and they don't like cards you can't download. Borg decks, even one like this that has two end-of-turn draws, usually prefer to turn the draws into downloads; thus there isn't much opportunity to actually draw through the deck. Even if Kevin had put some Disruptor Overloads in here, it's a distinct possibility that he wouldn't be able to draw into them when he wanted them.

And, speaking of end-of-turn draws, New Arrivals makes a return appearance here. While it might seem like a strong limitation to hold a deck down to one card play and one free play, especially in light of some of the 4-5 free play decks we've seen in this series, the disadvantage can be mitigated in certain types of decks. Borg, like non-Borg decks that use cards like Assign Support Personnel/Dominion War Efforts and Holodeck Doors, download personnel into play routinely by way of the Borg Queen. Since downloads don't count as free plays, you increase the rate of card-playing without discarding the New Arrivals, keeping that seedable end-of-turn draw in play. You're still playing fewer cards than your opponent, but if you're assimilating a good number of your opponent's personnel (or blowing them up as was the case for Stefan's Kazon New Arrivals deck last week), then that card play advantage doesn't mean as much.

When I covered Niall's Borg deck a few weeks ago, I was initially surprised to find Reactor Overload in the draw deck. It isn't a high priority Referee card and he wasn't running Q's Tent: Civil War, so I chalked it up to just being there as a good probe until I saw Long Live the Queen and remembered about the Reactor/Queen-swap trick. Well, it happened in reverse this time: I saw the Reactor Overload in the draw deck, and assumed for a while that it was for the Queen-swap, until I realized that there was no Long Live the Queen available. I guess this time it's just in there as a good probe!

 

The 6/22/14 1E Ferenginar Regional in Burnaby, British Columbia was won by J. He used a Kazon Battle deck titled "Gangster of Love". His extensive tournament report can be found here.

Deck Stats:
Play Engines: The Kazon Collective (23%of the deck), New Arrivals (13%), Going to the Top (2%)
Draw Engines: New Arrivals, 34th Rule of Acquisition
Percentage of deck that plays for free (or is downloaded reliably): 72%
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists
Unique Dilemmas: Trilithium Raid (1)
Non-Dilemma Seed Cards: 18

J's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
Two reasons: meta and achievements. When I read last week's Road to Worlds Article, I was impressed by how good of a deck Stefan's Regional-winning build was and really wanted to try it out. I was also strongly considering Dominion, which is what I was playtesting and honing prior to that article.

I tried playing a speed solver and then a speed solver with minor interaction, in the Canadian Nationals and Seattle Regionals respectively, and Richard's deck was much, much faster. So, I thought I'd change it up and go heavy interaction. Our local players haven't seen a lot of that - though Ken runs absolutely anything - speed solvers are really the heart of the meta here.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I had teched against the decks which would perform best against mine. I assumed that both Kurtis and Ken would run Borg and wanted to play in the GQ to make it disadvantagous to come mess with me, but ultimately settled for immunity to assimilation. I also expected to see lots of Homeworlds to hide out at behind Strategema. But of course, what I would like to see is a single outpost in the middle of nowhere.

The blue screen of death has been upgraded in the 24th century

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 had never played Kazon before and earned the Play Kazon achievement at this event. I had previously played them with Equinox, but that deck was so heavily yellow it would be more properly called an Equinox deck supplemented with Kazon, and it did not qualify for the achievement. I do always draft them in Voyager Warp Speed (and prefer them to Vidiian there).

Actually I learned a lot. I didn't have much of a clue in Round 1, but by Round 3, I had it pretty well parsed - which was good as Kurtis and Ken are really solid players.

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?
One of the big key points of my deck is the rainbow in the tent. That's not just because it's all legal here. As I mentioned, our local meta is speed solvers. Players like to build decks which are very fast and have high point, stealable missions and no protection at all. The idea being to simply outrun the opponent.

But as I had a pair of Temporal Micro-Wormholes and not one but FIVE different affiliations to bring in with the most common mission icons - I could steal anything and did. It was a rare game when I bothered solving one of my own missions.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Computer Crash. I had put this in instead of Stefan's thirteenth dilemma since thirteen dilemmas isn't an achievement but twelve totally is. But also because Richard's Nationals winning Federation deck uses download cheaters to bust dilemma combos. This card, revealed at the right time, could mean the deaths of everyone.

Oh and also Mission Debriefing, since it makes any ship that attempts any mission cannon fodder.

But where Computer Crash really stepped up to the plate was when I moved in for my armada to destroy a certain Locutus' Borg Cube. Kurtis tossed three (or more) Awakens to download drones to boost his ship defenses (we were both going General Quarters free, since both decks like to download personnel). As a result of blocking the downloads, his ship had base shields and no multiplexor drone, while my point box was suddenly 50 points richer.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
A lot of fun on my side, not as much on the other. I'd like to thank Stefan for making such a solid deck to start with and remind everyone to watch out for this type of build at the other big events this year. If you are not ready, it will destroy you.

We noticed you're traveling to the end of the spaceline and... we think you're doing it wrong. Here, let us help.

My Commentary:
Well, I already covered this deck last week when Stefan won with it, so let's look at the differences. As J notes, he included a number of different personnel in his tent for the surprise mission-theft, though I imagine they'd do in a pinch for protecting his ships against aggressive Romulan and Ferengi opponents too, should the tides of war shift. Kirk, Azetbur, and Navaar are all targets for Going to the Top, while Telek R'Mor can be downloaded with Temporal Micro-Wormhole directly.

The Disruptor Overloads are gone: while they can be handy for ship battle, they're more essential for personnel battle - and the Kazon can easily land ships to avoid those Transport Inhibitors. Being able to land his ships provides other benefits too: Ken Tufts, with his KCA deck that made it to the top table, was (ab)using Barclay Transporter Phobias with things like Thine Own Self - but when you can just land your ship, you can avoid those nasty things.

In his tournament report, J mentions that he'd hoped to replace the Ferengi Trading Post. While he's marauding down the spaceline, destroying facilities in his wake, the last thing he wants to do is seed a location to which you can report your own Alpha Quadrant personnel. He opines that the 34th Rule of Acquisition draw engine is too important, and I'd tend to agree, but I doubt that one reporting location that doesn't grant any free plays is much of a risk anyways. Even for a TNG Ferengi opponent, Attention All Hands and Ferengi Military Operations specify your outpost, so they're still just going to be trickling out one personnel or ship per turn - in the middle of your territory (Head Writer's Note: it is all my territory.)

Another fun trick I gleaned from the tournament report is the interaction between Cytherians and Outgunned. When you take a Cytherianed ship with Outgunned, the Cytherians will just continue to demand that the ship's new owners trudge toward the end of the spaceline. Now, some decks that utilize multiple quadrants will avoid Cytherians (or use it as a self-seed), since the shorter spacelines make for easier bonus points. However, in a deck like this you can have it both ways. The Cytherians will stop the attempt and bring the ship to you and you can commandeer it to get some easy points.

 

Thanks for joining me on this trip through the regional season. Unless results come through for the few outstanding regionals, we're done for the season... almost. Next week I'll be back with a wrap up and some charts. I love charts!

 


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