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The Road to Worlds: Week 12

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

22nd June 2017

Second Edition Koblenz Academy Regional winner Tjark Ott
Title: Academy Multi Kulti Regional 2017
Headquarters: Mouth of the Wormhole, Deep Space 9
Deck Size: 43 Cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Skill Doubling
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Armus, jadziadax8, and (the day of the event) Marquetry.

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

Having not much time to build an academy deck I took a regular deck and cut it to academy format - the easiest of my decks to cut down were DS9 and TOS. Because most cheating interrupts are not legal in academy I tried a Pattern Loss / Underlying Influence lock out dilemma pile supported by Holding Cell (DS9) or Coordinated Counterattack (TOS). Finally I flipped a coin - so it was DS9

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I expected to face alpha Klingon (Johannes) and Bajoran (Benjamin) deck but those decks didn't show up. I hoped not to face any deck using Self-Replicating Roadblock.

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 DS9 before but never in combo with this dilemma pile. Ba`ku Planet and Torga IV proved to be a strong combo with losing/getting points.

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?
There weren't any situational cards in my deck, and no cards in my deck exceeded my expectations. I would not include the U.S.S. Bellerophon if I were to play the deck again.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Holding Cell.

My Commentary:
Ooh, a new dilemma pile! Exciting!

Historically, big Academy Format (only Common, Starter, and Virtual cards - no cards with R, U, P, or VP in the collector info) tournaments I've seen have been dominated by Ferengi decks. These decks typically have tons of Acquisition and rely on cards like Unwanted Guests or Pawn Against Pawn to stonewall the opponent. This strategy works because of the dearth of skill cheating in Academy that Tjark notes in his interview. It is for this same reason that a pile like Tjark's is perfect for dominating such an event.

As you'll hear in Alexey's interview below though, this sort of Underlying Influence/Pattern Loss actually has a chance to make waves in Standard Constructed tournaments, which is all sorts of cool. Also cool is his moniker for them, a "skill doubling pile", which is much less clunky than referring to it by the names of the key skill doubling dilemmas. Such piles have the potential to play the same role as the "Rapid Progress"-based Skill Wall piles, but would be potentially easier to use for an inexperienced player since he or she wouldn't have to track as many skills.

Tjark's version of the pile is one of the leaner ones that I've looked at, very focused on stacking the skill doublers and guaranteeing that you draw the relevant wall dilemmas. I imagine there's lots of room for modification - that's the best part about a new deck or dilemma pile, they haven't stabilized yet. You could take some of the pressure off of the draw deck by adding more controlling dilemmas like The Dreamer and the Dream or Swashbuckler at Heart. I could see going for a Jaeger-style hybrid too, using Guillotine and All-Consuming Evil to weed out the Archaeology and Transporters, trying for more of a lock-out. Lots of options!

Second Edition Grimsby Regional winner Stuart Motley
Title: Diversity 2016
Headquarters: Earth, Cradle of the Federation and Mouth of the Wormhole, Deep Space 9
Deck Size: 52 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 43 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: edgeofhearing, monty42, prylardurden, Johannes Mette, LORE, KillerB, TReebel, Fritzinger, jadziadax8, The Ninja Scot, and (the day of the event) Marquetry.

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

In more recent events I've tried to be unpredictable and inventive using Khan at Worlds, which I do enjoy, but it's missing a couple of power cards for it to work competitively. I suggested a [NA] Jonathan Archer Augment that follows his Starfleet abilities. Ah, and my terrible Terek Nor dilemma removal deck that I played at Worlds side event (although I think some new cards have really helped it now). (And I won't mention how bad of a deck I brought to Nationals!) So this time I went back to the tried and trusted DS9 Diversity deck.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Mark really enjoys his Maquis, I hate that deck! Luckily he went for his own trusty speed deck instead. Barry usually plays TNG which was going to make it a heavy Fed day, should have packed more Moral Choices, but I was too lazy to change my deck much.

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 this deck a lot but tweak it every now and again, I had a couple of dodgy draws despite the results, so I'm wondering if I need to take a few cards out to speed it up again.

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?
Not that much, I do have death prevention with Dax and Bashir combining to bounce off of each other but medical teams is also there for big killing piles, although not every deck will play killers.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Possibly Preposterous Plan, as Barry and I were both playing Guinan. I had a bad draw to get me going but it helps when your opponent has couple of cards to get the decks' engine going.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Going back to Prep Plan. In some ways it's made Promenade school obsolete as its easier to score the points without stopping anyone. So it may actually come out of the deck. I can see why this has recently been added to the watch list, maybe some form of cost could be added? Or rather than amending it maybe make a stronger card to play against it than Khaaaan!

Thanks to everyone that came to London Worlds, it was great to see some new faces, and faces I hadn't seen for years.

My Commentary:
I do miss Promenade School. I don't believe that the Jaeger Bomb deck needs errata (except maybe my nemesis, Aid Legendary Civilization), but I will say that it is a shame that in this case a flavorful affiliation-specific point-gain card is on the chopping block in favor of using TNG Earth, Guinan, and Preposterous Plan. It's just a much lower-risk strategy, with a higher ceiling for its outcomes. Promenade School can be nullified, and involves stopping four personnel to use, while Guinan's only going to be stopped by something like Alarming Rumors (and you lose nothing when Preposterous Plan is blocked).

Bustling With Activity is another card that I've missed seeing - Quark has largely usurped it in these decks. That said, these two cards need not be as exclusive, using both can be fine. Quark does have unrivaled flexibility, and can download many cards that Bustling can't, but he's only going to get you one card. Bustling, while preventable/destroyable, can be used again and again, not just to get lynch pins like Guinan and Jaresh-Inyo. It can also fetch essential skills, or the Bashir/Exri you need to prevent those kills. It allows more flexibility in deck building too, since fewer slots need to be extra copies of those essential people.

I imagine the Tactical Disadvantages and Gorgons in the dilemma pile are also a good for the surprise factor. It is much more common to see Tactical Disadvantage in Borg or Dominion decks, since those decks can often threaten to win the showdown with only one ship. Because of the increased prevalence of those dilemmas in those decks, I'd be less likely to, say, cycle extra ships under my deck with These Are the Voyages against them than I would against a federation deck like this one. But these beefy DS9 ships are just as good at winning Tactical Disadvantage showdowns, wile also providing essential battle protection, kill prevention, etc.

Second Edition Kazan Regional winner Alexey Korolev
Title: Klingonischer Hoher Rat
Headquarters: Qo'noS, Heart of the Empire
Deck Size: 57 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Standard Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: prylardurden, Danny, KillerB, TReebel, Fritzinger, and jadziadax8.

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

I wanted to try something new (I mean, not [Fed] or [SF]). I was considering Bajorans, Romulans, Khan and, maybe, TNG with new tricks. But I almost had no time for playtesting, so I just updated an old deck I played at one of russian online tournaments.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I was afraid of any speed solver with skill-doubling dilemma pile. And I faced them twice - victory against Oleg was true miracle since I recovered after he blew up my ship. This type of dilemma pile emerged after release of Hard Time and became very popular in Russia recently. Bread and Circuses is the latest addition to it.

This is how our meta responds to the Jaeger Bomb threat - skill-doubling dilemma piles, lot of prevention (Grav-plating traps, Mila, staffers, Lustful Distractions) and occasional Provoke Interstellar Incidents. After December National tournament, where I got the wooden spoon with Jaeger Bomb, no one is playing it here because metagame has shifted and everyone is prepared.

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 my own version of German Klingon solver once. But it was bad deck - very unstable and unreliable. Addition of High Council cards really revitalized it, ability to download Gowron, a ship or any event you need in current situation (or just to feed Worf) is huge.

Speaking of events, B'aht Qul Challenges are not viable Plan A in the meta I described above. Nick had two grav-plating traps in his hand by the time I completed my first mission, Oleg had three grav-plating traps in hand and staffer Worf in play. But at least this combination forces your opponent to spend resources and, in effect, protects your other support cards.

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?
No situational cards. High Council downloading engine turned out to be very reliable. Dragon Teeth is also quite strong. Next time I will swap Cardassia IV with any space mission - you dont need it if you may download Enterprise-J any time.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Gowron, K'Tal, Worf and Qel'Poh were quite useful, but in this particular meta Cluttering Irrelevancies was a true star. I used it every game, including playing three copies of it on the last dilemma of my last attempt in game against Oleg.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
You may ask, why I havent used that skill-doubling dilemma pile myself? Because I am very bad skill-tracker. This is also the main reason why I am not Tsar of All Russia yet.

My Commentary:
It has been quite some time since I last saw a Guidance/K'Tal deck without K'mtar. K'mtar does provide a nice boost (usually fetching Energize/Surprise party for speed, or whatever interference jank you need to get that stuff rolling), but he is not without his downsides. The most obvious is the guaranteed Agonizing Encounter number of 4, though at least in this case, the number is still 4 from Leadership and Security. The other benefit to not using K'mtar is that you can actually use the missions that Klingons are the best at: Strength missions! The mission selection here is not different than most Guidanceless Klingon builds, but you also get the flexibility that K'Tal's downloading provides.

One thing I've felt has been missing from the recent Klingon builds we've looked at is that, despite the use of Provoke Interstellar Incident, we haven't seen any K'wovs. Not only does he provide all the skills for that mission, he adds some critical species diversity to help with the ever-popular Intimidation. Perhaps even more important, with dial-a-skill walls everywhere, is that his species is Hologram. He allows the use of one of the best dial-a-skill cheaters available, Cluttering Irrelevancies. With Bridge Officer's Test supporting K'wov and Cluttering, stopping this deck with walls is a tall order.

This deck also runs two copies of the new dilemma, Dragon's Teeth, which I've found to be quite effective. At first glance, it seems like a clear anti-speed card - low cost personnel are going to be naturally vulnerable to it. But as decks slow down, so does the rate of hand-emptying. Midrange and Control decks love to include more situational cards (usually events and interrupts), and those cards often sit in the hand until the time is right to use them. Well, while you're waiting to use them, your personnel could be dying, since averaging over 3 cost per personnel (assuming a 6 card hand) is a lot to ask from the majority of decks.

Second Edition Online Regional Winner winner Tyler Fultz
Title: Preposterous DMZ Maquis
Headquarters: Quatal Prime, Quiet Mining Colony
Deck Size: 76 Cards
Deck Archetype: Control Interference (Card Denial)
Dilemma Pile Size: 33 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Kill
Victory Correctly Predicted By: jadziadax8, Armus, Naetor, kingmj4891, TReebel, Danny, and Honest.

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

I had already played my other tournament-winning decks at major events over the past year- TOS 8472 at GenCon, TNG ALC at Chicago Masters, GQ Dominion in the other Online Regional - Maquis was the only deck left to take to the big leagues.

I like it because it can artfully take advantage of the new Maquis cards from A Time to Stand, and the purple missions make me happy as a TCU fan.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I was hoping to face decks without much Law, event destruction or kill prevention. If they lack those, I can generally keep them out of two of their missions with Biogenic Weapon and Strange New Worlds. The worst-case match-up for this deck would probably be a Klingon micro-solver that could do all its missions with four people and was loaded with the skills for Strange New Worlds.

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've probably logged more Maquis hours than most any other Trek pilot, but the old Athos IV Maquis have definitely been played out. The new cards in A Time to Stand have made it fun and new again. I really wish this current DMZ version of the Maquis had been the original one and not the hopeless For the Cause.

I did learn that the mirror match is a tough one though. We both had serious trouble completing our missions after the first was blocked with Biogenic Weapon. The deck doesn't have much event destruction, and I'll probably add in a Tacking Into the Wind.

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?
The ability of Organized Terrorist Activites to slow down your opponent by putting their hand back on their deck is never to be underestimated. I set my opponents back several turns in every game.

I thought that Outmaneuvered would play more of a role than it did. Turns out that skill gaining without needing to face a dilemma (ala Confessions) is not that prevalent. I'll probably keep it in though for the 1 game in 10 that I need it.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Amaros, Earnest Vaguard. The ability to download a random assortment of events and interrupts early game is crazy. Peak Performance design at its finest! The standard setup was to draw one Preposterous Plan and then download another one, Sense of Obligation and Organized Terrorist Activities. That combo gave me an early 10 points per game pretty consistently.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
The online time limit is way too long, and it enabled this deck. You can look at how Oliver Thust's version of this deck did at German Nationals last year to see how a time limit can hurt a slower build like this. Online games should be 1:00 just like normal tournament games. There's nothing about Lackey that makes playing any slower than in person.

My Commentary:
Amaros really should be the MVP of every Maquis deck, because he is basically every card you want. The ships he downloads have to have the Maquis icon, but the events and interrupts can be absolutely any event or interrupt you want! He's even card-advantage-neutral, since his discards and downloads are at a 1:1 ratio. That being the case, you might expect to pay a premium for him up front, but with 4 skills and 4/5/6 attributes, you're paying about half a counter in exchange for his ability. Even the Amaros from Energize has an ability that costs more, and that's not exactly a top of the line ability. Rebecca Sullivan can even recycle those discarded personnel for free (though, with a 76 card deck, you're still unlikely to see them again). As a non-aligned personnel, considering the number of other non-aligned Maquis personnel, I've even considered using him and a few Reides and Sarks in non-Maquis decks that want to download specific events.

Using him to set up the Sense of Obligation/Preposterous Plan combo is clever (probably more effective than getting Smuggling Run, but who would do that?). Doing so gives the Organized Terrorist Activities/Allegiance engine the kickstart it often needs. Shankar is great, but can't be downloaded by Amaros, so he's slightly less accessible. Denying your opponent a hand (while often removing essential personnel or verbs) multiple turns in a row can be back-breaking, especially when your dilemma pile is chewing up the personnel who do manage to hit the table.

Tyler is right, though, that this deck's weakness is its ability to get full wins. I would note that only the mirror match took more that 1:15, and I do think some things that are simple in real life (like examining the top cards of decks and piles) are more time-consuming in Lackey. Despite the fact that Tyler posted some impressive times with this deck, he's right that the weakness of the Maquis is solving missions. They've got some decent tools for attribute gain - Santos and Not Easily Taken are quite effective - and Anthwara/Defiant Reprisal are adequate anti-kill tools. But their stop prevention is very limited, and importantly these days, their skill-gain is almost non-existent. Still, it wouldn't feel like playing a scrappy resistance force if things were easy, right?

Second Edition Fargo Regional winner Kris Sonsteby
Title: No Excuses... Play Like a Champion!
Deck Archetype: Draft
Victory Correctly Predicted By: monty42, Danny, Johannes Mette, LORE, KillerB, TReebel, Fritzinger, Armus, jadziadax8, The Ninja Scot, and (the day of the event) Marquetry.

Kris' Commentary:
Do you have much experience with draft formats like this one?

Sealed deck 2nd Edition is my favorite format, and I play at least one gig annually like this as part of the New Year's Charity Draft events. While this was the largest draft I've ever tried (we went full rainbow, all 40ish sets at 2 packs per set) and the actually drafting took forever, it was a lot of fun. Huge props to Matt Hayes for putting all the product together for us!

Could you tell me something about your draft priority? For example, did you go for broke on personnel with skills for your missions, or did you generally find drafting powerful dilemmas to be more important?
We were each given 3 randomly assigned Headquarters to start with, and I received my pick of Borg, Bajoran, or Klingon. About halfway through the very first pack (or 5 minutes into a 5+ hour project for those counting at home) I found Acquire Illicit Explosives, and knew then and there I would run Bajoran with that mission as the cornerstone. A space mission in the HQ's region (if applicable) is an enormous advantage even in constructed, and in the drag race that is a sealed deck game it is borderline over powered. As to the rest of the draft, I picked up on the fact fairly early on in the process that I was the only one Blessed by the Prophets in my draft pod, so I "bought low" on purple people and ships the entire time.

Of course, drafting isn't just about getting what you want; its also about keeping your opponents from getting what they want. Were there any cards that you drafted just to keep them out of other players' hands?
Absolutely. Since the entire affiliation tool box was open and one of my pod mates mentioned they had a Maquis HQ, as soon as I opened the Reflections 2.0 pack I sniped a Biogenic Weapon before anyone else could see it. I also took a Far Seeing Eyes a few picks later just in case anyone was seeing green. Other times, when there wasn't anything vital in a pack I wanted, I just kept snagging ships to limit my opponent's options when deck building. By the end of the draft, I had Ferengi, Klingon, and Federation fleets!

Did you find that your deck had any surprising strengths or weaknesses through the course of playing it?
Not really, as I felt I had power cards literally everywhere. All of the missions were either overtly strong for their low attribute totals (e.g. Survey New World) or covertly helpful (e.g. Runabout Search.) The dilemma pile even resembles something I would use in constructed, with a bevy of 1-cost and 2-cost personnel hate choices plus a pile of devastating rares. Then you look at the draw deck and find a fortress of dilemma modification and / or manipulation with the right amount of speed to keep the pressure on. And if all that wasn't enough, there's even a Phoenix lurking in the background to force a 4-mission win if need be.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
It is easily Acquire Illicit Explosives, although honorable mentions have to go to Astrometrics Lab for keeping my little ships chugging along most of the day and also to Kasidy Yates, Freighter Captain who came into play every game and who dialed in Honor to help me to pass a dilemma and then solve a mission in the final showdown versus The Animal.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Nope, I would just like to publicly thank you for all your hard work with the Road to Worlds article series and the prediction polls. Having done the job myself once upon a time, I know how thankless, and more importantly time consuming, that is. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by the community!

First Edition Fargo Regional winner Matthew Hayes
Title: Song on Fire / Must Be Nice
Deck Archetype: Draft/Sealed
Victory Correctly Predicted By: edgeofhearing, LORE, Armus, TReebel, scox, The Ninja Scot.

Matt's Commentary:
First off, let me just say that as Kris alluded to in his report for our 2E event the day before, we had a 'MegaDraft' that was way more ambitious in scope than even I truly realized would turn out to be, and each of our players was a real trooper in that the draft process alone, covering every set from 2E Premiere through Zero Hour, exceeded six hours. Something I won't repeat. And I take the blame for thinking it would be only about three hours. Now, admittedly, when we got to the fourth hour, I polled the other 7 participants and even suggested we turn the remainder of my 'packs' into a 'sealed' style drop/dole out, to shave off time, but, the consensus (with no dissenters, mind you) was to soldier forward and complete the MegaDraft. (I plan to repeat the event in the future, in part, that is, having had this eye opening learning experience, that I'll likely keep the pre-assembled, randomized HQ Missions 'packs,' and Missions 'packs' and combine the Dilemma 'packs' into the Other packs, but, cut the randomized Other packs to just 6-8 per player, and not the grand scale of easily 50+ that it was. We drafted twice as long as we played and everybody did seem to have fun, so there is that.

With that day's event under our belts, I didn't want to subject my 1E players to an identical situation on the day after. So, with the agreement of my fellow Sunday players, we modified the event greatly and just had 7 affiliation/decktype options to build a deck from and the 'draft'/preparation only took two hours before gameplay began. Thomas selected Cardassians, Ben gravitated to Federation, John requested Ferengi, and I went with Starfleet (having the desire to try out many of the new cards in Broken Bow, naturally.)

I acknowledge that this will color the responses to your questions a bit differently, but, to continue...

1. Do you have experience with this kind of draft event?
Not for the Trek CCG no. Although, I've certainly enjoyed the Trek draft events for either edition when able, but, since I've gotten into Magic the Gathering as of last July, I've been a fairly constant presence weekly at our FNM drafts at Little Big Wars in Fargo (shout out!) We have a pretty good group of 16 players who rotate in and out as often as they can play. I've had a blast drafting with them.

2. Could you tell me something about your draft priority? For example, did you go for broke on personnel with skills for your missions, or did you find drafting powerful dilemmas to be more important?
Well, again, this was a different beast, but, under normal circumstances, I believe the best option is to find a happy medium between both. Picking key to moderately decent personnel half the time and selecting strong dilemmas the other half should almost always yield the stronger decks, certainly, no argument.

3. Were there any cards that you drafted just to keep them out of player's hands?
Again, different beast this time around, but, normally yes, that is a strategic element inherent in any draft, the 'hate draft' option. Especially as the last few cards in a pack get wheeled around and choices that would help your deck become few and far between. Stuff you don't want used against you and such or those that would thwart your path to victory.

4. Did you find that your deck had any surprising strengths or weaknesses through the course of playing it?
Strengths included the combination of a few cards, notably, We're Ready (with no [NA] cards in the deck), Surprise Party, Seat of Starfleet and Protect the Timeline, assuredly. Weaknesses, well, once we started playing our first game, I immediately thought not having Defend Homeworld to nab Maxwell Forrest (TEC) in order to guarantee Enterprise on first turn would have bit me in the butt, but, fortunately I opening hand drew either Forrest or Daniel Leonard two of my three games and in the other drew one of my five ships around turn four.

[NOTE: each player had one copy of Surprise Party, Lower Decks, HQ: Secure Homeworld, and HQ: War Room and either a Regenerate or an Isomagnetic Disintegrator.]

5. What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
The pair of We're Ready and Protect the Timeline. Getting the extra draw from WR (above each player's SP), and the extra free report from PtT (beyond the appropriate/matching Headquarters facility each player had) proved money in getting fast crews out and attempting lickety split.

6. Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I want to thank Dan Hamman and his design team for the new cards for [22] [SF] . Cool stuff. Looking forward to more in the next two sets, absolutely.

First Edition Space Coast Regional winner Rick Kinney
Title: Palm Bay OTSD Regional
Deck Archetype: Sealed OTSD
Victory Correctly Predicted By: None (to be fair, he hasn't played First Edition since Second Edition came out).

Rick's Commentary:
Do you have much experience with OTSD tournaments?

Not since 2E came out. I haven't played, watched, followed or discussed 1E until I decided to play in Daniel's OTSD Regional. Once I decided to do that, I did run a few questions by Daniel, Sean and on the Forums to get some much needed advice. I also read up on the rules (for beginners - thanks BCSWowbagger) so I could at least know some basics.

What tough choices did you have to make when building your deck?
Being a sealed deck, there weren't enough good choices to force me to make any tough decisions. I used every dilemma I had and seeded every seed card that came in the box and packs. I did debate on how to keep the draw deck as small as I could, but I didn't see any way to use less than the 42 cards I ended up using. I REALLY wanted to go with all-space missions, but I only pulled four space missions in the whole kit-and-caboodle.

Did you find that your deck had any surprising strengths or weaknesses through the course of playing it?
Weaknesses - absolutely, I was low on several skills and completely missing some as well. Also, I only got four NA personnel in the deck so I couldn't use a bigger NA ship with better range. The Zalkonian Vessel had a range of nine but needed two NA and a Gold star to staff. Having nothing to nullify Interrupts and Events was a let down as well. The main strength was pulling the Federation/Romulan Treaty. I wanted the option to steal missions if at all possible. This treaty gave me that option, and I needed it.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
For this deck with this card pool, I'm going with Jo'Bril. His skills helped me with several dilemmas, as well as enabling me to use Reflection Therapy. I did use Romulans but didn't draw into too much Treachery, so Jo'Bril helped offset Scotty's Honor.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Seeing as I don't play 1E, it would appear to me that my victories were simply a matter of luck of the draw. There were several instances where a mission was cleared out, but due to one reason or another, it couldn't be completed by my opponent. Either missing a skill, or the right type of ship, or not enough range or whatever. Daniel and Sean's games could just as easily have gone in their favor. But in this tournament, I was able to hold on to the the right personnel at the right time, to get four full wins.


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