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The Road to Worlds: Regionals Week 3

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

19th April 2018

First Edition Deep Space 9 Regional winner Jon Carter
Title: What mines? Ohh these mines, funny I just flew by them
Deck Archetype: Interference
Play Engines: Continuing Committee, Office of the Proconsul, Cybernetics Expertise, Free Orion Slaves, Drone Control Room
Draw Engines: Duck Blind, IDIC: Power of the High Command, Remote Interference, Surprise Party, The Traveler: Transcendence, Process Ore: Mining
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists
Victory Correctly Predicted By: bosskamiura, DarkSabre, Hoss-Drone, KazonPADD, Fritzinger, Armus, jadziadax8, Latok, sexecutioner, monty42, pfti, rsutton41, The Ninja Scot, and GooeyChewie.

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

I had two decks that a brought with me. Specifically, I brought [redacted] and the deck I ended up playing. [redacted] was a meta call that I thought might make people angry. So I decided to play the other deck I had thrown together the night before. So it was once again Romulans, now with new minefields.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Really there wasn't much I wasn't ready to see, the minefields slowdown solvers and give me some battle protection. Maybe something with lots of wormholes or transwarp conduits. But generally, the deck is ready for most options. It is pretty fast.

I guess a Computer Crash recursion would have shut down many of my ship options.

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?
Lots with Romulans, not much with minefield. But with two draws and at least a few times of playing it for free the draw mechanism was new to me.

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 threw a few random things in because I needed cards to feed to process ore mining. Fire Sculptor did some real damage to MACO and was a sad moment for Michael.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Minefield. It slowed down the solvers and handled a lot of my drawing needs. Super good with IDIC draws even if you don't use Vulcans.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Non-property-logo Romulan continues to be amazing. Spires and Minefields just make it super fun. Watch out, more people should play it!

My Commentary:
Remember last week, when I digressed and discussed the idea of a Romulan deck that seeded 22nd Century ShiKahr just to get draws when you play a Minefield? Well, it looks like I wasn't the only one to put two and two together there. Jon has taken his already very good pure-Romulan solver and spiced it up with some Scheme card tech.

There's a good conversation about the power level of Romulan Minefield going on in the forums right now. Some excellent players have added their two cents, and I recommend going ahead and giving it a read, and participating if you've got some thoughts on the matter. I'd like to say that I both really like the idea of this card, so if it is the subject of errata I hope it doesn't get hit too hard, but as someone who is about to travel to play some Trek, I'm not super excited to dance around the Minefields myself.

I will say that I'm surprised to only see IDIC, Minefields, and Spires of Romulus from Cold Front appear in this deck. Even aside from the other scheme cards, non-property logo Romulans got some nice new tools in the set, like Holographic Camouflage, or even just some Vulcans to report at 22nd Century ShiKahr (and mix using the Treaty). But I guess the moral of the story is you hit a seed limit eventually, and if what you've already been using ain't broke...

At the World Championships last year, I remember having a debate with Ken Tufts (spoiler alert, I was on the wrong side) about the usefulness of Fire Sculptor as an anti-MACO tech card. I remember saying that, as much as it kicks MACO decks in the teeth, it wouldn't be worth the dead draw in other match-ups. I wasn't really taking into account deck cycling engines like Handshake or (as Jon used here) Process Ore: Mining. I guess that, when you've got a way to turn those tech cards into something else you want, the risk of a dead draw just isn't that big a deal. And shutting down MACO decks is that big of a deal.

As for [redacted], I'm hoping to get a chance to experience that deck first-hand at the American National Championships at the end of the month.

Second Edition Deep Space 9 Regional winner Steve Nelson
Title: Bajoran Resistance visiting DS9
Headquarters: Bajor, Blessed of the Prophets
Deck Size: 54 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 32 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Me.

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

Knowing Casey W. would be attending, I assumed he would be using his Rapid Progress, Infinite Diversity dilemma pile. I choose to go with my 2 mission Bajoran Resistance strength deck with its multiple interrupts to combat those wall dilemmas. I considered my Maquis lock-out deck, but Casey, Maggie and Al had all faced it, so I didn't use because they would be familiar with it.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Really like to play against Federation affiliated decks since my dilemma pile works good against them. Did not want to go against any decks that had interrupt prevention stalling my attempts to completing missions quickly.

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 last used this deck at Worlds '17 in Orlando. It went 3-3 with some real close losses. Being very familiar with it I know all the tricks it can do with whatever it goes against.

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?
Sticken Dumb was very useful. Twice it got used to combat Dragon's Teeth, another time I tried to use it against An Issue Of Trust. (prevented) If any card in my deck was useless, it was Neural Parasites. Facing two Khan decks made it useless, and in the other two games the situation to use it was not worth using. With the new expansion with Dual HQ's, I thought It would work great. Wrong.....

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Just Like Old Times. With all those bonus points, doing a two mission win is much faster than three. The points also fuel your Bajorans abilities. Surmak Ren would be a strong honorable mention with his ability to download any interrupt for a specific dilemma.

My Commentary:
After Extreme Measures was released, I rushed to make a Bajoran Resistance deck... and was disappointed. I think, after looking at Steve's deck, that I was doing it wrong. I'd just tried to make a regular old solver, just using the equipment to activate abilities, and it felt slow and awkward. Here, Steve is using all the tools available to the faction, both the solving and the battle, and it clearly works a lot better that way.

For one thing, the mission selection for Resistance Bajorans looks a lot nicer when you're useing Just Like Old Times for some bonus points. Bajorans don't have a lot of good 35 point strength options, but the 30 point options are top tier. Branching out a bit to cunning also takes care of any range issues the Bajorans have, with a 2 span space mission in the headquarters region (even a 4 range ship can go back and forth). And should you be forced to go to Starbase 718 (ie, you're playing against a battle deck), the 1 span on Rescue Prisoners means that the Xhosa can still fly from the Starbase, to home, and then out to Rescue all in one turn.

Now, even when you're shooting for strength missions, Bajorans don't have the beefiest strength, so how do you increase the likelihood of winning those 15 points from Just Like Old Times? Well, Steve is running a couple under-used dilemmas that make that task easier. Both Arena and Left Behind will plop the opponent's personnel at some other mission, away from the protection of the rest of their crew, making the combat easier to win (tying up fewer personnel in the process). Left Behind has some pretty strict requirements already, but it has that Transporters that means it synergizes with Pattern Loss. 3 Biology and 3 Medical or 3 Navigation, 2 Transporters, and Shields>8 is not something most decks can pass even with a few cheaters.


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