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Paranoid Jeopardy

by Jonathan Engel, Guest Writer

12th December 2014

Odo BoT

“I’d like New Cards for $400, Alex.”

“Odo, Surreptitious Ally.”

*bing*

“What’s the best way to repeatedly take a specific [E] card into hand from discard pile in a Next Gen. or Earthspace-9 deck?”

“Correct!”

As best I can tell, this Odo is the answer to a question no one has asked (namely, the question I posit above). It reminded me of the game show Jeopardy, where contestants are given answers and must come up with the questions.

When thinking about deck-building, Odo’s ability is the reason to use him. The ability matters because without it, Odo is a terrible card for an Earth deck. Compare him to the recently spoiled Undercover “Terrorist”. Sito Jaxa is similar to Odo in having an ability that gets something back from the discard pile. However, Sito is a personnel you just splash into your [TNG] deck for her skills and attributes; her ability is just a minor bonus you’ll infrequently use. Odo is NOT splash-able – because he’s [Baj]. As the only personnel of his affiliation to play to Earth, Odo effectively makes Secret Identity and The Caretaker’s “Guests” into cheap kill dilemmas.This vulnerability is the reason that Odo is not worth playing in an [E]-based deck unless you’re going to use his ability. I’m kind of inclined to think of him more as a weird sort of 3-cost event, in terms of his place in the deck.

“What’s the best way to repeatedly take a specific [E] card into hand from discard in a Next Gen. or Earthspace-9 deck?” Odo! (Note that if you want to retrieve large numbers of personnel / ships, you’d be better served by more efficient retrieval cards, such as Tacking Into The Wind or Back To Basics. Odo is made for getting back something very specific.) Odo is good at doing a certain thing. The real question, though, is why would you want to do that thing?

At this point, I tried to imagine what kind of situation it would take for me to want to use Odo to repeatedly retrieve one or two particular [Fed] cards. To be honest, I couldn’t come up with one. That’s part of why I said this Odo is the answer to a question no one is asking. You would only ever ask “What’s the best way to repeatedly take a specific [E] card into hand from discard in a Next Gen. or Earthspace-9 deck?” if you had some reason you wanted retrieve those cards. Is there some engine available to Earth decks that repeatedly kills or discard your [E] personnel / ships for a benefit? Nope.

(Well, let me digress on two ideas I wasn’t satisfied with. First is Matthew Dougherty, but if you use him repeatedly you’re blowing up enough stuff that mass retrieval is probably more efficient. The other idea I had was playing U.S.S. Prometheus or U.S.S. Valiant cheaply with Smiley, then blowing them up with Extreme Measures, then getting them back with Odo. I find that a more promising deck concept than the Dougherty one; you’ll probably want a small deck to help draw into multiple copies of Extreme Measures, plus max out on copies of Smiley and other Engineer personnel. /end digression)

Kirk FT

Hmm. Okey-day, what about personnel who kill themselves for a benefit? That has a little potential. The most obvious option is James T. Kirk (Living Legend). Slightly less obvious and much less useful (but still worthy of considering) is Spock (Trainee Instructor). Both of these [E] personnel kill themselves to do something. I’m not sure their powers combined are enough to justify a deck, but this is a thought experiment, so let’s run with it.

At this point, I have these two self-sacrificing personnel, plus Odo. From there, I just started filling in a deck with cards to give me a chance to use the deck’s core. Naturally, that meant the deck recreates the episode where Odo and Sisko go to Earth, which has been taken over by Bluegills, and help the Bluegills recruit Kirk from the Nexus so they can all go on adventures together. Well, the deck needs Paranoia cards, strength-based missions, etc., etc., etc. [TNG] personnel get boosted by becoming Bluegills. Sisko boosts all [Fed] Security personnel. Hollow Hospitality, though less important, still powers up your few [E] dudes. The goal is basically to have crazy levels of skill redundancy and crazy-high attributes. Meanwhile, Kirk eats the occasionally dilemma just to make your opponent’s life harder. The ability to solve your main three missions using only four skills is a truly beautiful anomaly. Meanwhile, the dilemma pile is a fairly boring but hopefully serviceable generic attrition pile.

Now, when Spock sacrifices himself to save the ship, don’t search for the Genesis Planet, just call on miracle-worker Odo! You could even score a flavor win by using Odo to retrieve Sisko! Most likely, though, you’ll just want to use Living Legend every chance you get, and take advantage of Odo to maximize those uses.

The deck isn’t anything amazing, but I believe it’s a passable attempt to make use of Odo with the cards currently available. Keep your eyes open, though. Odo may be the answer to a question no one is currently asking, but you also never know when Design might put out new opportunities this Odo can exploit (or maybe the Dougherty or Extreme Measures routes have more potential than I realize…).   


Discuss this article in this thread.



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Decklist

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Missions
Headquarters
1S161•Earth, Cradle of the Federation
Planet
9R6•Deliver Ancient Artifact
1S178•Investigate Coup
1U197•Search and Rescue
Space
28V23•Provoke Interstellar Incident


Draw Deck (41)
Event
24V131x Christening
31V153x •Hollow Hospitality
31V183x Peaceful Coexistence
31V191x •Power Loss
25V162x Tacking Into the Wind
Personnel
Bajoran
32V92x •Odo, Surreptitious Ally
Federation
24V301x •Benjamin Maxwell, Misguided Maverick
31V351x •Benjamin Sisko, Acting Head of Starfleet Security
31V361x •Dexter Remmick, Alien Thrall
1S2621x •Elizabeth Shelby, Formidable Presence
13R611x •Erika Benteen, Leyton's Adjunct
31V371x •Gregory Quinn, Alien Courier
5P283x •James T. Kirk, Living Legend
0P112x •Jean-Luc Picard, Starship Captain
18V251x •Jenna D'Sora, Veteran Security Officer
2C1261x •Kelly, Relief Tactical Officer
1C2743x Lopez
27V101x •Miles O'Brien, Conn Officer
22V371x •Morgan Bateson, Confident Commander
28V351x •Richard Castillo, Assuming Command
16V371x •Ro Laren, Headstrong Ensign
32V131x •Sito Jaxa, Undercover "Terrorist"
11P181x •Spock, Trainee Instructor
1R2861x •Tasha Yar, Chief of Security
6P532x •William T. Riker, Wistful Admiral
4U1501x •Worf, Conn Officer
Ship
Federation
1C3933x U.S.S. Excelsior
Dilemma Pile (25)
Dual
8R11x Agonizing Encounter
10R22x An Issue of Trust
4C61x Back Room Dealings
14U41x Chula: The Chandra
4C151x Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
6P63x Hard Time
21V31x In Development
24V61x Insurrection
14C71x Moral Choice
28V31x Overburdened
22V82x Pitching In
3U261x Secret Identity
13R201x The Dal'Rok
24V111x The Oracle's Punishment
2C251x Timescape
Planet
10C121x Necessary Execution
3U252x Rogue Borg Ambush
Space
8R131x Outclassed
1R421x Personal Duty
7R151x Where No One Has Gone Before


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