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Strategy Articles

The Versatility of Terok Nor

by Michael Shea, Chief Ambassador

16th June 2018

A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. To force them to acknowledge your greatness. - Gul Dukat, Sacrifice of Angels


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When I returned to Star Trek 2e in 2009, I felt a bit overwhelmed when it came time to decide whether to build a deck and start to relearn the game on my own. With so many choices, and so many cards, I almost game up and decided I'd simply been away from the game too long. After all, I hadn't played since Energize. So, when a friend tried to get me to build my own deck and come play in a friendly local touyrnament, I nearly refused. That is, until I remembered that there was such a thing as a Terok Nor deck. As anyone who knows me, or watched my Top 5 Spotlight on Terok Nor, probably already knows by now, the story arc from Call to Arms to Sacrifice of Angels is some of my favorite Trek. So, the idea of being able to build a deck to capture that story convinced me to give this game a serious try once again.


Back in 2009, there was really only one reliable Terok Nor build, and that was the two-mission solver with Ruling Council (which used to allow players the option of scoring 10 points), Kressari Rendezvous, some hand weapons, and the Vanguard of the Occupation. It wasn’t a terribly exciting or versatile deck to play, and it was so predictable that it was neither challenging to build nor difficult to defend against. Today, for the player wanting to try his or her hand at the Terok Nor faction, there are so many more options. In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll try to cover a few of them to provide an overview of the faction’s evolution and potential.


That basic speed solver mentioned previously still exists in some form, and this build is best suited for Slipstream format. This build, which I’ll call the Ruling Council Build, takes advantage of that interrupt’s ability to allow for additional mission attempts in a turn.Ruling Council It also relies of the Terok Nor Triumvirate from Peak Performance to get needed cards in play quickly. The addition of Strange Bedfellows Crippling Strike allows the Ruling Council Build player to keep their opponent trapped at their headquarters mission while he or she is out attempting and, hopefully completing. Throw in a copy of Damar, Useful Adjutant and there are few builds more powerful for the Slipstream format. In Standard Constructed, however, the build lacks the depth needed to go the distance.  


When Raise the Stakes dropped in 2009, it introduced a thematic card for Terok Nor called Tenuous Alliance. This card was fantastic. It had story, it had the feel of the faction, and it was unique. The only problem, there was very little reason to play the card as there was no benefit to spending the four counters to get rid of dilemmas, especially since the Terok Nor player would be losing dilemmas as well. Then, Balance of Terror introduced a new series of cards and a new deck type was born. Commonly referred to as the Dilemma Mill Build, this deck builds on the basic solver by adding in cards that incentivize and reward dilemma milling. If the Dilemma Mill Build player can keep his or her opponent tied with a good attrition pile or with a few well-timed Crippling Strikes while War of Attrition and Tenuous Alliance take their toll, then the full benefit of Undermined Defenses can lead to a three-mission turn against the right dilemma pile. However, against a skill with little random selection and ample “chose a personnel with X skill to be stopped” dilemmas, this dilemma has to fall back on Ruling Council or Untapped Influence to take the win.


Tenuous Alliance

A more abbreviated version of the Dilemma Mill Build – I’ll call this Dilemma Mill Light – doesn’t care about Undermined Defenses at all, and Tenuous Alliance rarely shows up in this deck. The goal of Dilemma Mill Light is to get just enough dilemmas removed from the game to make cards like Dukat, Dominion Puppet, Edan’atal, or Untapped Influence worth your while. And, since this build doesn’t actually burn up the Dilemma Mill Light player’s own dilemma pile, it’s possible to play something other than a thick attrition pile. Using Weyoun, Dominion Representative and Keevan, Pragmatic Captor to eliminate valuable skills needed to cope with a Chained Environment / Nth Degree dilemma pile or a Doubler pile is may favorite strategy with this build, and both are potent combinations indeed.


Another variation on the Dilemma Mill Build is the Dissident Mill Build, using Jake Sisko, Morn, and the Terok Nor Dissidents to deck out an opponent and deplete him or her of the resources they need to mount their own offense. With a smattering of Jem’Hadar workhorse personnel to fill in skill holes and attribute shortfalls, this deck can really shock an unprepared opponent. But, in a meta with large draw decks, this Build’s main offensive weapon is rendered much less effective, so this Build, perhaps more than any other, relies on the element of surprise and a little bit of luck. But, if chance is on the Dissident Mill Build player’s side, this can be an effective deck indeed. And, the addition of cards like Damar, Martyred Outlaw; Niala, Intelligence Asset; and Elim Garak, Imposing Patriot, it just might be time to try a dual HQ Cardassian-Terok Nor Dissident deck. Perhaps you’ll be the first to win a major event with this?


Naprem,REnegade Vessel

Finally, the Terok Nor faction is among the most well-suited for a Battle Build, with access to Delta Pavonis, the aforementioned Crippling Strike, No Escape, and relatively cheap ships and personnel, it’s possible to field a formidable attack fleet in time to catch your unfortunate opponent with a damage marker at their space mission and blow them out of the stars. Even if ship destruction is not your goal, new cards like Dukat, Erstwhile Ally; Naprem, Renegade Vessel; and Weyoun, Shrewd Strategist give you the benefit of battle without the burden of multiple maneuver events in the draw deck. Putting together a hybrid Battle/Dilemma Mill Light Build has tremendous potential indeed. And, like Dissident Mill, can be devastating against the unprepared opponent.


Terok Nor has come a long way since Call to Arms, and the future seems promising indeed. In the meantime, enjoy the versatility this faction has to offer. And remember: no matter what Build you choose, make your enemies understand how wrong they were to oppose you in the first place!


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