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The Road to Worlds: Second Edition Regionals and Dilemma Popularity

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

23rd July 2015

As with last week, now that the three-month-whirlwind of Regionals Season is over, it's time to bask in the glow of all that Trek! This time, we're looking at the results of the Second Edition Regionals, and again I've also compiled this data and more in some Google spreadsheets. Over the season, I've refined my classification of deck types, so you may notice some differences between how the article labels a deck and how the table does. Here are our winners:

Week Event Format Winner Affiliation Deck Type Size Dilemma Type Size
1 Cardassia #1 Standard Constructed Kevin Reitzel DS9 Control Solver 60 Standard Attrition 46
2 Sector 001 Standard Constructed Nathan Miracle Terok Nor Control Solver 50 Persistent Attrition 30
3 Deep Space 9 Standard Constructed Al Schaefer Cardassian Speed Solver 45 Standard Attrition 36
4 Neutral Zone Standard Constructed Daymon Watt Dominion Midrange Solver 53 Standard Attrition 38
4 Omarion Nebula #1 Standard Constructed Mr Slade Relativity Midrange Solver 60 Unfair Comparison 31
4 Ferenginar #1 Standard Constructed Kenneth Tufts TOS Earth Dilemma Avoidance Solver 57 Standard Attrition 55
4 Qo'noS #1 Standard Constructed Joel Skon New Dominion Midrange Solver 50 Chula 35
5 Andoria #1 Standard Constructed Nat Kirton Voyager Speed Solver 56 Standard Attrition 29
5 Cardassia #1 Standard Constructed Daniel Matteson New Dominion Control Solver 72 Standard Attrition 51
5 Borg Standard Constructed Stefan Slaby Voyager Control Solver 82 Chula/Tillman 50
5 Cardassia #2 Standard Constructed Joseph Bazemore TNG Earth Speed Solver 63 Standard Attrition 43
6 Omarion Nebula #2 Standard Constructed Soren Ramme Nielsen DS9 Control Solver 50 Standard Attrition 37
6 Andoria #2 Standard Constructed Kevin Jaeger TNG Earth
7 Vandros IV #1 Standard Constructed Sascha Kiefer Relativity Speed Solver 35 Standard Attrition 40
7 Qo'noS #2 Standard Constructed Joshua Sprung Klingon Interference 40 Kill Attrition 43
8 New Bajor Sealed Deck Enrico Evink TNG Earth
8 Vandros IV #2 Standard Constructed Tobias Rausmann New Dominion Midrange Solver 48 Standard Attrition 33
8 Andoria #3 Virtual Constructed Matthew Hayes New Dominion Midrange Solver 49 Standard Attrition 42
8 Kazon Collective Standard Constructed Steve Hartmann Terok Nor Control Solver 54 Standard Attrition 47
9 Risa Standard Constructed Thomas Vineberg New Bajoran Speed Solver 100 Standard Attrition 60
9 Ferenginar #2 Standard Constructed Kenneth Tufts TOS Earth Dilemma Avoidance Solver 59 Standard Attrition 55
9 Delphic Expanse Standard Constructed Nickolay Korotya TOS Earth Dilemma Avoidance Solver 60 Standard Attrition 56
10 The Void Standard Constructed Phil Schrader New Dominion Midrange Solver 51 Chula 35
10 Qo'noS #3 Standard Constructed Sean O'Reilly Borg Speed Solver 42 Standard Attrition 28
12 Vandros IV #3 Standard Constructed Tobias Rausmann Terok Nor Control Solver 68 Achievement 63
13 Rura Penthe Standard Constructed Kyle Schewe Klingon Midrange Solver 51 Standard Attrition 43
14 Vandros IV #4 Standard Constructed Sascha Keifer New Dominion Midrange Solver 42 Standard Attrition 49
14 Ferenginar #3 Standard Constructed J Starfleet Control Solver 44 Standard Attrition 42
14 Romulus Standard Constructed Len Neidorf TOS Earth Speed Solver 44 Chula 25

Congratulations to all our winners, players, and/or tournament directors on another successful Regional Season. Now take this information and use it to conquer! Towards that end, I've compiled some more data that you may find useful:

The Sample

I used the top 3 dilemma piles of every standard constructed regional with 8 or more people, the top 2 of every regional with 6-7 people, and the winning dilemma pile of every regional that had 5 or fewer attendees, for a total of 58 dilemma piles reviewed. I tallied both the total number of appearances of each dilemma in those piles, as well as the number of decks each dilemma appeared in.

The Data

The following charts express the percentage of those 58 piles that included each listed dilemma at least once. That way, having three All-Consuming Evils in every consume pile won't make it look like such piles are more common than they really are.

The next charts compare this year's data to the data from the last four years. I only used the top 40 duals, and the top 20 planet and space dilemmas here for brevity.

Analysis (In this section, dilemmas names will be followed by: D(dual)/P(planet)/S(space), their rank this year and, in parentheses, their rank last year)

I was expecting the big story this year to be the erosion of Hard Time's D1(3) dominance of the "three cost, removes one, doesn't go under" category. After all, The Weak Will Perish D7(-), the first dilemma to really challenge it since The Dal'Rok D24(14), came out recently in Balance of Terror. While TWWP has made quite a splash, you may have noticed that Hard Time's use has not only failed to drop, it has unseated An Issue of Trust D3(1) for the first time since 2012. Of course, you can just add TWWP to any dilemma pile that you'd include Hard Time in, so then my expectation changed to seeing TWWP beginning to replace The Dal'Rok - but there's been only a modest drop in Dal'Rok use. I guess the thirst for this type of dilemma could just be insatiable, but average dilemma pile size also seems to have gone up. Proportionally, we're still seeing the same amount of Hard Time-type dilemmas, there are just more slots in the average winning pile for them.

The other factor in the place switch between Hard Time and An Issue of Trust is subtler: the rise of the Chula dilemma pile. Hard Time and its ilk are essential to pile; you want to be getting four removed from the attempt with one under with The Game D23(-) -> The Chandra D12(12) (and in later attempts, Pick One to Save Two D17(50)) -> Hard Time, buying time to stack plenty of The Games on one mission. This is of course easier to accomplish when Hard Time can be supplemented with The Weak Will Perish and The Dal'rok. At the same time, An Issue of Trust is less essential in the Chula Pile, since it goes under and doesn't have Chula in the title. Only the larger Chula piles tend to include it.

The ascent of Chula has had another effect: the rise of Where No One Has Gone Before S3(3) and Greater Needs P3(4). Both were already popular dilemmas, but when you can routinely stop 3 personnel for four cost (4 personnel with Polywater Intoxication D6(9), which has also risen), it's even easier to make these attribute-based dilemmas stick. They were already popular due to their tough effects; only the 8-cost dilemmas can even compete in terms of impact from failing a single dilemma. Another incidental benefactor of the Chulasplosion is Vault of Tomorrow P4(8), since it can be used to fetch The Game and others.

Other niche piles (Unfair Comparison D110(65), All-Consuming Evil P21(7), Legacy D-(-)) saw a decrease in use. I suspect a large factor here is some players just like to use niche piles, and those are the players who flocked to Chula this year. Another factor is the spike in use of ACE piles last year, and the rise in decks that can handle that pile well this year. Both DS9 and The Dominion were benefactors of a boost from Strange Bedfellows at the beginning of the season, and both gained significant cost-cheating capabilities to complement their already strong kill prevention.

Moral Choice D5(4) use just keeps going up and up with the prevalence of the various Federation factions (particularly Voyager, Relativity, TOS, DS9) (Note: while Moral Choice's relative rank has gone down, its actual prevalence has gone up). Piggybacking along for the ride is Shocking Betrayal D31(46), the anti-Federation dilemma for Federation players. Interestingly, it also has potential in Terok Nor decks with the new emphasis on having multiple affiliations in play, but that's not where I'm seeing it. Of course, benefiting greatly from the increase in Moral Choice use is this season's darlings, The Dominion.

While the Dominion chews through anti-Federation favorites like Ardent Predator S5(9), they stumble against things like Adopted Authority D13(19). However, Adopted still has a decent chance to hit for full effect against the Federation factions, while Artificial Ability does not. That explains to me why Artificial Ability D34(22) hasn't seen a meteoric rise along with the New Dominion HQ, even though it is a fantastic way to tech against The Dominion.

Infinite Diversity Awards

Finally, I've once again tracked the dilemmas that only one person used in the whole sample. Here are our IDIC winners:

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