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The Road to Worlds: Regionals Week 4

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

28th April 2016

Welcome back for another season of The Road to Worlds. Around this time every year, we have a three-month stretch where each region of play for the various Star Trek card games gets to have its "big dance." Whether the players of your locale are rated 1800 or don't know their rating, whether your nearest regional attracts 4 players or 40 players, once a year everyone brings their best decks and competes for their regional title. I'm here to celebrate with the winners, ask them what they think, and analyze their decks.

Second Edition Space Coast Regional winner Ted Reebel
Title: Orlando Regionals 2016
Headquarters: Caretaker's Array
Deck Size: 60 cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 46 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Chula Attrition
Average Draw Deck Card Cost: 2.2
Agonizing Count: 3
Odds of Passing a 3-Skill-Dilemma Legacy: 1.1%
See also: You may find some similarities between this deck and a recent one by Alexey Korolev.

Ted's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

This was the same deck that I had used the week before in Orlando which, with the exception of the dilemma pile, is the 5-Space Voyager deck that Alexey built. I knew that the deck was competitive and very good as I had to face it several times over the last few months in online play. I had also considered playing with the Relativity deck that I have used in our last few local events and have had success with. I also considered bringing my All-Space Relativity/Voyager Build.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
No there weren't really any decks that I was really looking to face. I was hoping to not face any deck that had a lot of event/interrupt prevention/destruction.

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?
Yes I did, as I stated earlier I had played it the week prior at the Orlando Regional and had played against it several times over the past few months. I learned that it really does have the tools to just about overcome most situations.

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 found the Uninvited to be a little less than useful for me as I either had it too early in the game to use effectively or didn't have it when I could make use of it. After playing the deck for several events now I think I would cut the Cluttering Irrelevancies and would probably add in a couple of Unexpected Difficulties.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
I would say that both Field Studies and Homeward Bounds were keys to the deck. I think that the Amanda Rogers would have to be The MVP for me as it stopped some things that allowed me to go on and win several games. Although I think that I would have to give an honorable mention to Running a Tight Ship.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I would just like to give a thanks To Alexey Korolev who built the original deck. Also have to say that right Now All-Space Voyager is probably the deck to beat at the moment.

My Commentary:
I've already talked about two other 5-space Voyager decks this season, and one of them was this deck, so I'm going to focus on what's different this time: the dilemma pile. As we saw last week in Rick Kinney's deck, there's a style of Chula pile that is popular in Florida that is very Chula heavy. It's interesting to see different regional variations in how specific piles are built. In Minnesota, your Chula piles tend to just run the most powerful Chula dilemmas, and fill in the rest with staple power dilemmas. Head to the west coast though, and their versions tend to fall somewhere in between.

I recognize I'm painting with fairly broad strokes, but it is very useful to have an idea of what you might be up against, and what dilemmas are likely to be drawn. Knowing what might be coming can inform your decision about how many people to attempt with and when. Up against a Minnesotan Chula pile? Maybe it is time to attempt small, reduce the odds of drawing another Chula dilemma and make that Hard Time feel pricier. Up against a Floridian Chula pile? They're more likely to get those Chulas anyways, could be time to attempt with a bigger crew in order to get more dilemmas under due to the risk inherent in some of the weaker Chula dilemmas. My personal favorite is to use Minuet to cheese my way past The Precipice - an event most likely to occur in a match between a Minnesotan and a Floridian (Nat Kirton loves Minuet).

Ted mentioned that he's thinking about cutting Uninvited, but I would not only caution against that, I'd recommend adding more in order to better complement his pile. To me, the big advantage of the Chula-heavy pile is that you've got more low-cost Chula fodder to throw at a mission that already has several The Games stacked on it. Uninvited is very flexible with this sort of pile in its ability to either (a) pull up one of the chump Chulas when you need it or (b) make absolutely certain you stack plenty of The Game on a mission that you want it to be painful to solve (like this deck's Inversion Mystery). Once Inversion Mystery is done, your Chula pile is much weaker, so stave that disaster off as long as you can.

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