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The Road to Worlds: European Continentals

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

4th August 2018

Second Edition European Continentals winner Stefan Slaby
Title: Knowledge Shift
Headquarters: Romulus, Patient Stronghold
Deck Size: 70 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 50 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Chula Hybrid
Victory Correctly Predicted By: pfti, prylardurden, Armus, Fritzinger, bosskamiura, LORE, BCSWowbagger, and Hoss-Drone.

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

With me I brought the Cardassian deck I'd play on day 1, the Romulan deck I'd play on day 2, and my trusty 5-space-Voyager battle deck (just in case). I also considered Ferengi, but hadn't prepared them. Starfleet was another distant possibility.

Cardassians have become extremely strong & versatile (especially with The Enemy of My Enemy), and I just love having an excuse to actually use One in a competitive deck (whose ability makes him useless in Borg decks, except the kind I don't touch). But they do have certain weaknesses, and I was expecting people to come prepared against them, so I chose to play them on day 1 where a lost game or two shouldn't hurt me much.

Among all my options, Romulans felt best equipped for day two. Both of the other decks are pretty much lost if you prevent/destroy the right events/interrupts at the right time. The Romulans have so much going on that you simply can't kill everything, and I'm pretty much happy to play with whatever I get through. I was right, I ended up winning one game completely without bonus points, and two games without Deliriums.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
As usual, I was hoping not to face too much event destruction / interrupt prevention; even though the current meta meant that everybody would probably bring a little.

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?
Cardassians with The Enemy of My Enemy are pretty new. I did learn that if you always solve on the first (or second) attempt, Telle suddenly becomes a lot weaker. I hope I learned that one should actually check the contents of their discard pile before playing The Enemy of My Enemy, even when it's already 20 cards high...

I also learned that both my decks perform quite well against Dereliction of Duty (because both have major cheating options that aren't abilities on personnel).

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?
In the Cardassian deck, Feast on the Dying to retrieve two interrupts was generally a winning move (especially the turn after a sucessful Dreamer, when I wouldn't have to fear prevention of either).

The Romulan deck has quite a few situational cards it can download. Expedient Opportunity doesn't seem to do much in this deck, but is a lifesaver against certain Damage cards, and enables hilarious range-saving by using an opponent's Stakoron missions. Sent Back got rid of peeping T'Pol when needed. Some of the other one-offs didn't see any use this day, but I wouldn't cut them.

Why do you use new Romulus and D'Deridexes instead of Birds-of-Prey in your Romulan decks these days?
Well, first ... because I can. Since Navaar got butchered by errata, I don't really need non-aligned personnel in this deck. Second, because it's a better fit in many small ways. This version of the deck runs fewer Cmd icons, and a Bird-of-Prey would get de-staffed more often than a D'deridex. Also, this deck runs very few past personnel, so the Bird-of-Prey would often be weaker. And with more 5-cost than 4-cost personnel in the deck, the D'deridex is also a bit easier to download.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Cardassian: The Enemy of My Enemy.
Romulan: Power Shift.

My Commentary:

They haven't changed a whole lot lately. Even this deck, with "with tiny adjustments for the 2018 meta" doesn't have any cards from a set later than A Time to Stand, and those are dilemmas. There's just not much else to give Romulans these days. They've got kill prevention and stop prevention and prevent/overcom and attribute gain and point gain... there's not much to want. Skill gain is the main Romulan weakness, but having seven skill monsters like Ptol around means they don't need to gain too many of those.

I usually review day two decks here, but I'm going to switch my focus to Steve's day one deck, since we haven't looked at this version of his Cardassians before. It's about as small a deck as I've ever seen him run - he likes to have plenty of options at his disposal. But there's still room for the trademark three copies of Delirium - if you see this in another player's deck, they likely netdecked Stefan (though I've definitely been converted to the church of Delirium too).

I like seeing just a little bit of capture here too. All-in capture decks risk being blown-out by Number One or her ilk, but just having three copies of Trap is Sprung, an Ensnared, and a couple Eveks gives you a chance to inconvenience the opponent without assuming too much risk yourself.

Where this deck does look like it goes all-in is on The Enemy of My Enemy. However, both of the cards that seem to show up for that interrupt have alternate uses. Data (Battleship Offier) can also be used to generate skills on Garak (conveniently putting him in the discard pile for use with Enemy). Garak can't use One (Peerless), but Gorgan can, and is only beatable by Rule #144 or another copy of One!

First Edition European Continentals winner Stefan de Walf
Title: Rohrmulan Reunification
Deck Archetype: Interference (battle)
Play Engines: Protect the Timeline, Smugglers' Rendezvous
Draw Engines: Temporal Almanac, Temporal Shifting, Finally Ready to Swim, Remote Interference
Bonus Point Mechanics: Holographic Camouflage, Assign Mission Specialists
Victory Correctly Predicted By: monty42, pfti, Armus, prylardurden, Latok, Hoss-Drone, bosskamiura, LORE, Fritzinger, BCSWowbagger, and scox.

Our Commentary:
Mr. Rohr and I did a little something different this time. He'd answered the same questions about (largely) the same deck three times in a row now, and I was planning on discussing the power level of his deck anyways, so I figured, why not ask him what he thinks of the power level of his own deck? What can seem like an oppressive deck doesn't always look that way to the player behind the deck, so let's see what his thoughts are:

What do you think about the power level of the deck?
I think this deck is really good. It has two extremely good things going for it: You control the whole spaceline with the drones, making live miserable for the opponent - and extremely powerful personnel to actually function as a quite efficient speed solver. For me, it is one of the strongest decks around. It has some slight problems against aggression. While it can cloak or turtle on the homeworld, a good aggressive deck with solving capabilities can hurt it. Paddy's deck had 4 ships out quickly and was at my toes at our Kaiserfest game, I was kind of saved by the spaceline setup there. Also, the stealable mission is kind of a pain. I have one measures in there but then I need to anticipate the steal. I made an error against Julius, allowing him to steal the mission as I did not track him being able to pass the last dilemma (and messed up that I could not generate another draw to fetch HQ). You can build a deck against it quite well, but I think you might need to make sacrifices at our places. However, I like how this deck just destroys the MACO nonsense, which was the initial reason to build it.

Is there an element that you think should be considered for errata?
The whole drone ship stuff is just really strong. It was already strong before the new tools, but now it is over the top. You get spaceline coverage for almost no investment. While I enjoy games where the action is all over the place, it is really hard to play around the drones. Camouflage is way too good (I remember a time before camouflage where I was playing drones with Maximum Firepower and even that was annoying) with no cost, the second drone ship allows for so much control it's almost painful. It's hard to balance by not just nerfing it into the ground, but maybe it should have another cost associated with the drones, like being forced to discard a card to start a battle or something like that.

Also, the 5 points are ridiculous, this is the easiest way to start errata - I don't know how this mistake could be made again after the TNG Ferengi backlash. This card is amazing without the 5 points already - yes please, I want to move to my opponent, draw two cards, kill 2 guys and cripple the ship. Wait, I also get points for that? Thank you very much! Removing the points and maybe only allowing a single battle per turn might be a reasonable errata that does not just remove this card or the second drone ship.

Benefactor is also way too strong and an auto-include in most decks - even without the skill sharing ability. I use it in this deck only for the first Almanac draws and the free downloads of amazing personal, adding 6 skills to people as some of the other decks can do, is frightening.

Is there more that your opponents could have done to adapt to the deck, either while playing or while deckbuilding?
Playing Romulan as well helps, but then it's a speed match which the deck is also good at. Julius' deck was quite annoying, Klingons can be nasty. Of course, if you manage to get your ships to or over 15 shields, you are also in a good spot. A really fast 2-mission win deck that can turtle it out while only sending ship-shirts to adjacent missions can also outspeed the deck and ignore the drones - but that can be re-countered with a better dilemma setup. The treaty can be killed, but the deck is also fine as a Romulan/NA deck.

How do you feel about Smuggler's Rendezvous? (My personal concerns with it are more flavor-related than power-related, hence asking about it separately.)
I can't say much about the flavor, but I like the card. Seeding a ship, getting UFP for free and being able to control all other time locations from here is very nice. I like that the corresponding mission is stealable - I enjoy this way of design also with the other important missions that allow for an engine.

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