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Strategy Articles


The Road to Worlds: Regionals Week 11

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

16th June 2016

Second Edition Koblenz Regional winner Benjamin Liebich
Title: They say there's a tunnel at the end of the light... v1.7
Headquarters: Bajor, Blessed of the Prophets
Deck Size: 46 cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 41 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Average Draw Deck Card Cost: 2
Agonizing Count: 3
Odds of Passing a 3-Skill-Dilemma Legacy: 2.7%
See also: We've seen a couple other tight Bajoran builds this season, from Maggie Geppert and Ross Fertel.

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

I've been fine tuning this deck for a couple of months now. Thus far it has never let me down, so it was an easy choice to make. I've had the option of using a Starfleet deck that I've played recently. It works fairly well but since [SF] is currently highly frequented in my playgroup as well as the Koblenz one, I've decided against it.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
The one thing that can really throw a wrench into the performance of this deck is Transport Crash Survivors! So every deck running TCS is generally a threat. Surprisingly none of the players in this tournament were playing it, which made my life a hell of a lot easier. Decks with heavy interrupt prevention can also be a threat but not as big as TCS.

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?
As I said, I've been fine tuning this deck for a couple of months now. So I've got a pretty good grasp on what it can and can't do. One thing I added to this version is Dukat, Anjohl Tennan which was a damn good choice. I always shied away from using him in an Integrity solver because of his natural Integrity 2 but I've underestimated how powerful he really is. There was a situation late in a game where I had a lot of people in my Discard Pile so I could boost him (combined with Covenant) to a whopping Integrity 22!

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'm generally not a fan of including cards that only work under certain circumstances. So I'd like to believe that every card that's in this deck actually belongs there. Another addition to this current version of the deck was Bridge Officer's Test which was recently sort of shuffled out of the meta (at least in our neck of the woods). As most of my opponents were concentrating their Interrupt prevention on my Accessions, I managed to sneak one or another BOT through - which gave me a free mission in two of the games.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Well I'd have to say Accession is still the top candidate for the MVP award, although I wasn't able to utilize it as much as I would've liked (people are teching heavily against [Voy] and Homeward Bound).

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I'd like to believe that I've tuned this deck to a near optimum performance now. What makes it stand out from the other "New" Bajoran decks is that it neither relies heavily on Artifacts, nor does it have to use those pesky 40 pointers which need you to include personnel you don't necessarily want to include just for skill purposes. Kira Nerys, Pious Major and Solbor, Faithful Attendant are key to secure you the points you need to play the missions you actually want to play.

My Commentary:
I've certainly struggled some myself with a mission selection for Bajorans. No matter which way you go, you're stuck with an Agonizing count of at least 3, and quality Integrity space missions are sparse above 30 points. I've been leaning towards the 20-40-40 route (like Maggie does) myself, since that path avoids being targetable by Insurrection, but the high attribute requirements do void some of the advantages of playing an Integrity-based deck. And, as Benjamin mentions, those 40 point missions do take some skills that you'd rather not have to stock in a Bajoran deck. Benjamin's solution is interesting to me - you only need 15 of 30 possible extra points to hit 100, which means you've got some wiggle room in case of Solbor/Kira death or a Dominion match-up. Speaking of Dominion, I do think that at least Solbor should be a Bajoran staple these days, regardless as to which mission set-up you use, as a fairly reliable source of bonus points.

I certainly agree with Benjamin that, if you're only going to use one orb, it should be the Orb of Prophecy and Change. Its ability to repeatedly turn your Dohlems and Monds into Bareils or even Solbors, even when your Accessions are foiled by Lustful Distractions, is invaluable. The amount of raw value from turning a one-cost chump into a five-cost beast, one that you likely put into your discard pile "for free" with Days of Atonement or Indebtedness, is very satisfying. It's even more satisfying when you're against a kill pile and your opponent just can't keep Opakas and Siskos down. Personally, I like to pair it with the purple Xhosa, so that you can retrieve those chumps and keep the cycle going. But as you can see here, that extra bit isn't strictly necessary.

Benjamin mentioned not facing any decks with Transport Crash Survivors, which is huge for Bajorans, especially with a mission build like this one. The heights that Bajoran Integrity numbers reach don't only mean microteaming, it also means that a full size team is going to put some dilemmas under with a first attempt. Hard Time, The Weak Will Perish, Ingenious Jury-Rig, those dilemmas just don't have enough oomph to stop a Bajoran team when they can threaten to solve with three people left. In my opinion, that's a good thing - those dilemmas have seen incredible peaks in usage since the Integrity decks of yore have died out. Of course, without TCS, if that first team puts several under, the mission falls to the second micro-team, which is part of why I've also seen a rise in the use of Skeleton Crew for those decks that need to do something else with their mission slots - or would rather just microteam themselves.

Second British Columbia Regional winner Kenneth Tufts
Title: "About 20% cooler in Ten seconds flat!"-Rainbow Dash
Headquarters: Mouth of the Wormhole, Deep Space 9
Deck Size: 36 cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 36 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Average Draw Deck Card Cost: 1.92
Agonizing Count: 2
Odds of Passing a 3-Skill-Dilemma Legacy: 9.5%
See also: Kevin Jaeger's deck from last week was inspired by this one.

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

I wanted something fun to play, that I didn't have to think too much about, and would at least be worth a play hit for an affiliation for achievements, come on you had to know it would come back to achievements some how right :) . Add in: I had a busy week, so grabbing a deck I already had built was a big bonus, and this deck just jumped out as the go to choice. The one other consideration was my New Dom deck, but as I need some specific 1E Dom achievement wins still I figure I'll work on that from that end. And it's a mean more interactive deck, I wanted to play nice little keep-to-my-self-and-solve deck, so that made the choice of DS9 over New Dom easy.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
In a perfect world, I face other fast solver types, as this is IMO one of the fastest solvers so I should win most races. Heavy early game counterspell play can hurt me, so I hoped not to face that, or New Dominion as I can deal with one point hit from the HQ and still 3 mission win but the second forces me to 4 missions. Add in that new Dom has other interference and is often counterspell/anti event heavy - it's my worst match up. I ended up facing both SF that have extra counters and New Dom. I was very impressed with how the games went, but a little different luck and they definitely could have both swung the other way.

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 have played this deck(or very slight variations of it) twice before in events, and earlier versions of it a LOT more in testing.

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?
At 36 cards and designed to draw out by the end of turn 3, there is nothing situational in this deck. It's all tight focus on speed of getting everything out and solving.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
At first I was going to say nothing; it's all about the combo of the whole deck. Then I thought: well I could pick not so much one card but a SET of cards in the Common XYZ engine that runs the deck, then I realized what the MVP is... QUARK, Vastly Outnumbered! For the Ferengi slot to power up the Common cards there are much better choices in terms of skills and integrity and heck even cost. Leeta is a much better fit, both Rom and Nog are better technically, but what makes Quark so crazy good is that download. It REALLY helps you set up the common cards or get them if you miss drawing them to start the chain. The more I think about him I wonder just HOW he exists in Second Edition. In the 2E environment, where downloading is a LOT more limited than 1E, his 2 cost to DL any CARD would be amazing if it was on an event. Add in that with him you ALSO get a body with OK attributes, and a few OK skills - a couple of them that tend to be rarer for DS9 even - he is really amazing. When you then realize that maybe occasionally he might also play for free... It's just WOW time, and it occurs to me that it is amazing he has never seen the business end of the errata team.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
While this deck is by no means abusive or broken, I feel it's definitely one to watch for over the curve power level on a speed solver type deck. I mean: it is reliably dropping 16-18 personal by turn 3 (7 of them stopped for the turn), with a ship out, turn 4 sees the second ship, and turn 5 the Holding Cell to offer protection for your later attempts/cheaters. It recurs personnel from casual kills/ability use very well - the Xhosa was doing work for me in my games. Thus, the deck has some good staying power for a speed-puke-everything-out deck. And unlike some of the other fast/splat decks, the personnel are fairly high quality allowing a lot of missions to be solved with very few people (3,4,5,5 without interrupt boosting). The best part, though, is I find it a VERY fun deck to play win or lose. I can just relax and follow my game plan. Even if stuff gets countered, the deck still runs quickly. So, I still just do my thing and have fun.

My Commentary:
For a deck that hasn't won yet, it's one I've managed to mention quite a few times. I've seen it pop up all over the place: Locals, Regionals, Online... I think people are thirsty to play with a successful pure speed deck. I know I am, that's part of what made me take a relatively untested speed deck to the Georgia Masters this year. There's just something satisfying about dumping your hand multiple turns in a row, while your opponent has played a few guys, an event, and a ship. I know I've labeled many decks as speed decks, but they seldom have the same clarity of speed as this one, or Kevin's version from last week. Maybe I need a new category: Cocaine-Fueled Sheen-Fest.

Anyways, something I don't talk about much is the value of a draw, and how that is dependent on the average cost of your deck. I'm actually planning on dropping the "average draw deck card cost" stat after this season, since it doesn't take into account cost reduction or other means of gaining counters, and as a result the numbers don't actually change that much or reflect the real speed of a deck. The idea of measuring the average cost of a deck is sound though, since it will affect how much you value those cards that make you draw rather than spend extra counters.

Imagine this: if you've got a hand filled with 3-cost cards, you simply won't be able to empty it that fast, and you simply won't need to draw that often. If you're looking for some sort of card advantage for this deck, you'll value things like At What Cost? more highly than, say New Life. But if your hand is full of 1-cost cards, yes you can dump them all in one turn, but then you could find yourself spending all seven counters next turn just to refill your hand. If, however, you can find a way to fill your hand for less than a counter per card, like with Rule of Acquisition #6, then we're ready to make a deal.

This deck has access to both counter gain and cheap card draws, which is what makes it really tick. Unlike TOS, DS9's ships (the good ones anyways) don't come cheap, so spend a turn using Common Purpose to dump a ship along with the other cards in your hand. Well, now that your hand's empty, let's just refill it with Common Cause and keep the train going. Sounds like fun!

First Edition British Columbia Regional winner Kenneth Tufts
Title: New basic Hiro Solver v1.3
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Play Engines: Hirogen Hunt, Home Away From Home, Holodeck Door, Liberation
Draw Engines: Process Ore: Mining, Ancestral Vision,
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists, Process Ore: Mining
See also: This is reminiscent of Tuft's Hirogen Computer Crash deck that won Canadian Nationals in November only, you know, minus the Computer Crashes.

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

For an achievement hit on Play Hirogen, and as it turned out, a hit on Win with them as well - but that was just a lucky bonus. I considered a few other Achievement decks I had built, but they all needed Wins only and had been under-performing - not a great plan to bring to a regional when I might face even stiffer competition than at the average local. So I looked at what was good for a play hit. Had I had more time to build it from scratch, I might have gone with a Protect the Timeline TOS Terran Empire deck. But as this was a busy week, I decided to just modify my Hiro build from Masters. It had been a fun deck to play. And despite the look of its record at 50-50 in that event, it had scored 100 points in every game and both games I lost were razor's edge I-could-win-next-turn type games.

Now if you look back at that, you're going to ask me: 'but Ken you barely changed anything, just swapped one card and added two. That's not really changing the deck!' And you'd be right, except it took a long circle route to get there. Let me share the tweaking-this-deck story with you, because I actually spent ~16 hours playing with it to end up with those few tiny changes lol...

So day one of going to tweak it I pulled a bunch of cards out, put some others in, and thought I had kept the achievement safe. But on checking, found that I had failed that and had broken it as a Hirogen deck. I copied that to a new version and archived the old one, then being out of time for that day, went away for a bit to think... When I came back the next day, I had a great idea to fix the problem. So, I spent several more hours fiddling with it a bunch. I solved the issue, it was Hirogen again yay! Or was it oh no... it was oh no. I looked again and realized, in this last round of tweaks, I had broken a CORE concept of the deck in that I was no longer likely to ever staff the Equinox on turn one to bring Gem to the Visions. The core starting concept of this deck was all about setting up visions and mining right away efficiently in a solid solver. Well darn it. But I still had some time before work on Friday at this point. So, copy that version, archive the original, and back to attempting to fix that part again.

As I started on that, an hour or so in, I realized during the last few 'fixes' I had horribly broken my ability to solve some of my missions or if I could still solve them, it would be for a lot less points. At this point, time was low, I said #%@ it, archived what I was working on, grabbed a copy of the very first version tweaked it slightly to make sure I got McCoy and an Officer turn one more reliably. Also ended up keeping the same dilemmas - just hoping they would do better. As the dilemma changes I had worked on in one of the middle versions had needed to pair with some of the other changes.

So there ends the tale of how I spent all my spare time for two days in a row to change 1 card and add two cards to a deck. I hope you enjoyed that look in to my some times frustrating deck building process.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I'd love to face other DQ decks, preferably pure DQ ones or really any one with no AQ missions. Only needing to go to 100 points helps me a bunch, since I have opted out of the larger steal-able DQ missions. Also, I had a few tricks set up in my dilemmas to hopefully let me steal available DQ missions safely, and with a BB door/ablative armor, and some NA ships and leaders possible battle opportunity could help me gain an edge in these games.

I hoped not to face really fast AQ solvers, I'm a fastish solver but a top-tier AQ deck will get to a hundred before I hit 140 in the current game state in most games. Also a good battle deck would wreck me, I had some defense with the BB door and my one ablative if I could draw in to it and my 12 shield ship however with out a homeworld to have a safe haven to hide at sooner or later I would fall behind their build up and go all explodie.

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 just recently played it at Masters, and I have played several variations of Hiro/NA DQ solvers in the past so it was a very familiar deck to me in all ways that matter. Did not really learn anything new this time.

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?
Ablative Armor, it was never really useful since no one was playing much battle, and my BB door would have me winning most face offs, however it did allow me to be little more carefree on the Equinox against Roxanne once her larger Vidiian Ship hit the table, and it was some semi insurance in another game though not really needed, the rest of the times it was just fodder for the mining. I would not take it out as it could be very important against another semi aggressive DQ deck or a full battle deck, and with a AU icon to help protect against Temp Shifting (along with the extra McCoys), and the fact that I need cards to toss every turn for mining any way, it can keep its one slot in the deck.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Um, um, it's hard to call any one card a lynch-pin of this deck, it is really all about the sum of its parts, I mean both draw engines are critical, but each on their own aren't more important than the other really, the trick to get geo out for the start of my second turn is great but there are other ways to replace those draws, etc. etc. for the other mechanics of the deck like the free plays etc.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Today's event was surprisingly kind to me with 4 out of 6 players bringing DQ decks though one with some AQ missions, but since I could use stealing and battle to stall her out it didn't matter as much that I would have to go to 140 against her. The deck is good, but this performance was above average for it IMO, I did not hope to win today and was pleasantly surprised when I did, due to some favorable match ups.

My Commentary:
I feel like decks that don't rely on a card-play-dependent draw engine have been really prevalent this year. Whether it is Habit of Disappearing (as it will be in the other First Edition deck this week), or New Arrivals, or Kira's rump, or (as in this case) Ancestral Vision and Process Ore: Mining, decks that have the flexibility to play ships or valuable personnel for their card plays have seen a lot of success recently. In this case, those two stackable facilityless-planet-based engines are both easy to set up and relatively safe in the more sparsely populated Delta Quadrant. Gem shows up turn one with Assign Support Personnel to start having visions, and Sullin usually responds to a Cantankerous Doctor's cry with I'm a Doctor Not a Bricklayer being playable on an opponent's turn.

This deck can put out more personnel per turn than Kazon battle, so it could protect its draw engines from personnel battle fairly well. However, I suspect that even the Ablative Armor, when drawn, would only buy a turn or two at most when the Kazon are able to continue to play ships to join the fight. That said, ask Justin Ford, and he'll tell you that some of the most threatening battle decks are now KCA-based Mirror decks. These Hirogen are likely to have significantly more time to prepare for that invasion, which is great news for a speed deck. Hopefully the boys in dark blue will already be up a few missions, perhaps even with a fleet of their own by then.

The dilemma of note here is Caretaker's Wave. With its conversion, it is almost certain to become a Delta Quadrant staple. If you can make your opponent fail some medium difficulty requirements with a good-sized crew, then bad things are going to happen. Sure, the opponent gets to choose, but they choose between three flips (guaranteed destruction with this Battle Bridge Side Deck) or one flip and stranding their ship at the Caretaker's Array. Any deck that has the capability of switching to an aggressive mode (like this one, or maybe Kazon or Vidiian) should not have much difficulty in dealing with a single stranded ship - if they even need to. None of these missions are stealable, so if you strand some Federation ship which won't be attacking, then that could be a fate worse than death if there's no Space-Time Portal out.

Second Hamburg Regional winner Tobias Rausmann
Title: Warship Voyager 2.0
Headquarters: Caretaker's Array
Deck Size: 84 cards
Deck Archetype: Control Interference
Dilemma Pile Size: 50 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Damage Attrition (Tillman)
Average Draw Deck Card Cost: 2.21
Agonizing Count: 2
Odds of Passing a 3-Skill-Dilemma Legacy: 18.6
See also: Of the other million 5-space Voyager decks that have won this season, this deck is most similar to Stefan Slaby's version.

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

For the Regional I wanted to try out one of strong deck types of the current meta. And Voyager is now even stronger with the new Phase II cards. Adding some battle cards like Stefan Slaby did and you get a deck that can easily solve missions and still hurt your opponent.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)?
I played a battle Voyager deck a few times before and even with the new cards there is not much difference in way you play it.

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?
Dukat is such a card. A player in my group often plays with the Dyson Sphere and Dukat hurts him a lot. Another Situational Card is Kirk. He is nice surprise against Secret identity.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Homeward Bound and William Telfer are very strong cards and should be watched for a potential errata.

My Commentary:
Oh, Five Space Voyager. Is there no rest for the weary?

Yeah, so, it's here again. Combining the deck with a ship battle component does seem to erase some of the deck's baseline weaknesses. The deck can be beaten by a more aggressive deck, but adding its own aggressive components should give opponents some pause. Knowing that you can get your own crew wiped out from underneath you can give a powerful solver like this one a chance to run away with the game.

Anyways, we know the deck can lose, but I don't think that is enough to save it from errata. Yes, it isn't as overwhelming as Lefler/Kira, and it doesn't block out the sun like recurring Organized Terrorist Activities with Allegiance out. But when standard attrition piles are running 3x Distress Call, a dilemma that underperforms in every other match-up in the whole game, that's a huge warning flag for me that a build is abusive.

But what to change? Homeward Bound is the big flashy power card, and probably the most suggested target. It is often suggested to change it to be more like the card it cloned, Ruling Council, by only unstopping Voyager-icon personnel. But these decks run so light on non-Voyager personnel, that it seems unlikely to me that that errata would have any effect on the deck. Giving the card an actual cost would probably be where I'd start, but I actually think there's another card that deserves more hate.

William Telfer, that guy you couldn't bear to watch in that episode that stood out as being bad even in the series that stands out as being bad, yeah, he is, in my opinion, the evil mastermind behind this deck. He finds those Homeward Bounds no matter how large you make your Voyager deck, but he's even more flexible than that. He can pull out that clutch Bridge Officer's Test to beat that Distress Call; or a Cluttering Irrelevancies to dial just the skill you want; or Grav Trap/Amanda Rogers to protect those other cards. You don't even need to stock a bunch of these cards in order to have them when you need them, you just need that smarmy hypochondriac.

What do I suggest? It's a simple change, elegant even. Just alter the wording of his ability a bit. Something more like "When you play this personnel, he is the worst. While this personnel is facing a dilemma, consider what you've done. Hang your head in shame. You may do this only once each turn." Much better.

First Edition Austrian Regional winner Julius Melhardt
Title: It's time for the Classic Empire 2.0
Deck Archetype:
Play Engines: Halkan Council, Protect the Timeline, Nanoprobe Resuscitation, Imperial Intimidation
Draw Engines: Habit of Disappearing, Temporal Shifting, Imperial Intimidation, Process Ore: Mining, Study Divergent History, Agony Booth
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists, Fear Will Keep Them in Line, File Mission Report, Reap All the Glory, Process Ore: Mining
See also: Our first Terran Empire winner since the new cards came out, let alone specifically TOS Terran Empire.

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

I’ve been a fan of the Mirror Universe since it first came out. Back then I had the Free Play options of rather strong personnel (both based on quality skills and presence of skill cheating though special downloads on the TOS personnel) but with the obligation of flying to another quadrant. After the latest expansions, especially with the new Mirror missions, Mirror was the thing I’d like to play.

The CC gave me a lot of Mirror options to choose from – every single one with its advantages and disadvantages. I’ve played two Mirror decks recently (one KCA flagship deck – before the achievement was existing – and a first version of my deck). The KCA deck is very stable and strong, but the Empire deck is even better. A strong mixture of card draw engines (Study Divergent History, Temporal Shifting, Imperial Intimidation) combined with free play engines (Halkan Council and the Classic personnel with Crossover: An Invitation) and massive bonus points getting you at 110 points after two missions (Fear Will Keep Them in Line, Assign Mission Specialists) was my point of playing this deck. My KCA deck was weaker, especially because the personnel are not as good at skills and they don’t have as many options for Special Downloading equipment.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Because being the only Mirror Quadrant player (hopefully) with lots of bonus point to win after solving two missions I hoped to face everything except Alpha Quadrant for a two mission win – so the match against former World Champion Stefan Slaby was the “easiest” game – the only one I won after two missions and 100+ points. For the competition a KCA deck would have been very interesting (first time in our meta for me to face a Mirror deck).

The only deck I didn’t want to face was another Terran Empire deck like mine. 1E has a lot of opportunities right now, a lot of possible winning decks, so I didn’t want to have a Mirror Match.

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 it the tournament before, just changing the dilemmas and the “interfering stuff”. Learning – yes – again. Dear 1E players – read the complete cards, if I’ve read Protect The Timeline correctly, Ensign Davis would have never been part of my first downloaded Mission Specialists (I thought I need three Natives on the ship the first tournament and the first game of the Regional not to get stopped).

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?
Disruptor Overload was very fun this time - next time, next disrupting stuff. I’ve heard 2016 is the year of the Interrupt ??? ;-) ;-) ;-)

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Crossover: An Invitation, if we're only counting cards benefiting my strategy (and not disrupting the opponent’s). My TOS personnel being native to Halkan Council while reporting is so damn strong!!!

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
What the CC did to/with 1E in recent years is simply fantastic! Being a player of both editions I see everything that happens to the players. 2E is almost dead in Austria now (even if we have the Continentals this year) – because of Phase II (and NOT because our meta is lame, because we HATE the new strong stuff playing it!!!), 1E has its resurrection. In my opinion, there are around 15 possible winning decks around. 1E game design managed to design new strong cards, benefiting from old cards without destroying old cards and strategies. The TNG and DS9 stuff is a sort of Phase II the other designers should think about and do.

My Commentary:
I love it any time First Edition embraces its role as the Role-Playing Game edition of the Trek CCG universe. First Edition started to lose me when successful decks were the ones that eschewed Trek Sense in favor of having the craziest download chain, or mashed the correct mix of personnel with an arcane word phrase in lore (bonus points for it being printed there long before it became useful). Then we started getting cards like Continuing Mission and Reshape the Quadrant, and the story that a personnel or ship belonged to started to become relevant again.

In Through the Looking Glass, the most recent set, we got Protect the Timeline. Sure, you can play Time Locations without it, and you'll still get their free plays which can stack with random Admirals and Ambassadors, but there's now a good reason not to. There's value in consolidating your free-play locations, so that you're not spending turns running all over the spaceline (and off of it) to collect the personnel you play each turn. Ask any TNG player, and they'll also tell you how nice it is to have overlaps in free-play-engine coverage for your personnel. Being able to choose which engine to play each personnel with on any given turn can really help you maximize your personnel played per turn without needing excessive draws.

Of course, this deck sure does have plenty of potential drawing power. Now it doesn't have an excess of free play engines, but it has other ways to spend down cards in hand. There are plenty of interrupts and doorways around that can also play "for free" and either fetch cards into play (thanks to a Defend Homeworld-downloadable Jean-Luc) or throw a wrench in the opponent's plans (typically, here by destroying their wrenches). And those draws are largely of the non-card play variety, and I believe I've already mentioned this week how valuable those can be. Still, there are several duplicate unique personnel, and the best card-play draw engine, Temporal Shifting, is ready to turn them into cards you want - or be played on an opponent who you suspect won't have any AU-cards to discard.

On top of that, the easily activated Fedora (Taking Charge) will activate all sorts of bonuses for your crews. Fear Will Keep Them In Line should be generating those 15 bonus points every time, while also downloading the draw-inducing Agony Booth, and beating Gomtuu Shock Waves with Agonizer-boosted Integrity. Add in the Reap All the Glory points and the saved seed slot for Process Ore:Mining and you've got yourself a deck that is fun and competitive.

 


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