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Strategy Articles

The Road to Worlds: Regionals Week 12

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

21st June 2018

Second Edition Complete Online Regional winner Michael Van Breemen
Title: DS9E Paranoia
Headquarters: Earth, Home of Starfleet Command
Deck Size: 50 Cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 69 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Everything
Victory Correctly Predicted By: bosskamiura, LORE, Armus, The Ninja Scot, monty42, Latok, and Hoss-Drone.

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

Because I didn't have this achievement (Paranoia DS9 Earth). I also considered other decks that I didn't have the achievements for yet.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Decks that didn't have TCS is what I didn't want to play against or against heavy kill piles. Anything else, I was pretty game for.

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 tried the Paranoia achievement before but wasn't successful using it as the focus so this time, I went the opposite way with it as the events were rarely played (except to blow up opponent's events or to keep Leyton going.) Coupled it with Cadets and decided to give it a shot.

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?
Melora Pazlar's ability was used in practically every game which surprised me. Beyond that, there wasn't much in the deck that I wouldn't include again or had any situational cards.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Melora Pazlar won me games.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
The people and Paranoia events made this achievement hard to get, especially since it only counts Paranoia events and not the interrupt which compliments this strategy.

My Commentary:
You know, MVB's been on quite the streak lately, and it roughly correlates to his decision to switch to kitchen sink-style dilemma piles - I think he's onto something. In his interview from week nine, I asked him why he's been using these huge piles, and he said he primarily did it to be unpredictable, and there's clearly value in that. I think, too, that it helps de-polarize some match-ups. For example, if you've got a good mix of stop and kill dilemmas, you're more likely to be able to do something to stop-prevention-heavy Cardassians, while still having choices against kill-prevention-rich Equinox.

When I saw the deck name, the first thing I looked for in the list was The Big Picture. It's a potent cheater, and is something that has made me consider chasing the paranoia achievement as well. The catch with it is two-fold: (a) as MVB points out, it doesn't actually count for the achievement itself and (b) you need to actually play those paranoia events to use it. The downsides on most of the paranoia events so far outweigh the advantages they offer that The Big Picture still doesn't do enough to tip the scales. As MVB has discovered, the only winning move is not to play (paranoia events). Just hold them in hand and discard them to fuel Leyton and Oq'nab!

Other than the paranoia package, this deck looks like a fairly standard DS9-Earth Cadet deck. There are a bunch of cheap chumps, supplemented by a few high-attribute tanks to make up for the cadets' lack of solving ability outside of the Sector 001 region. Some of those tanks are interesting choices though: I feel like Data, Commanding Officer gets better and better every year, since draw decks get more and more predictable. Also, The Traveler's draw-back is pretty severe for his two cost, but if you just hold him back for the solve he can really prove his worth. The Traveler, Data, and Moriarty represent 27 cunning on their own - any other 6-cunning personnel represents a 4-person solve on either of the deck's planet missions (those three even have all the skills for both missions).

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