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4 Dark Horse All Our Yesterdays Cards that Merit your Attention

by Brian Sykes, Meta Analyst

28th October 2020

During the development of All Our Yesterdays, I was able to review the cards both in playtesting and proofreading contexts.  During my reviews, I saw a few cards that made me go "Huh.  That could be really good in the right deck."  Now, these cards don't go in ALL decks, or at least not to the same degree of effectiveness, but these are the cards I like to call "sneaky good" - that is, given the right set of circumstances or deck design, these cards could be game winning.  So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my 4 All Our Yesterdays "Dark Horse" cards:

Divisive Patron: Divisive PatronThe secret may already be getting out on this card, as I've seen it mentioned frequently since the set released.  Regardless, this is probably one of the biggest combo-enabler dilemmas maybe ever.  For a measly 1 cost, it gives you a -1 discount to ALL of your dual dilemmas in the current attempt.  If you have 2 playable dual dilemmas you come out ahead, and can use those discounts to inflict extra attrition.  Sure, there's a risk that your opponent will go attempt the mission where the Divisive Patron is sitting, and make life a bit difficult, but good placement will minimize that risk.  I recommend going for a different mission of the same type as the one being attempted (i.e., if they're attempting Space Mission 1, put it on Space Mission 2), as that then forces the choice on the following turn between attempting the same mission with the discount still in effect, or switching gears, but starting with a fresh mission; a tradeoff that's basically a "Heads-I-win, Tails-you-lose" situation.

So what do you do with this card? The short answer is "whatever you want" - it really does open up a ton of options.  However, that's probably not an overly helpful answer, so let's look at a couple of examples.  I see Divisive Patron being useful in setting up wall combos.  Find a wall dilemma with attribute requirements on both sides (e.g., Gomtuu Shock Wave (or V'Ger if you're playing in a Hall of Fame format tournament)), and throw enough cheap dual walls in front of it to effectively guarantee a hit.  You could also straight-up cheese your opponent with attrition dilemmas.  Example: They attempt with 7 people, you throw Divisive Patron, Hard Time, The Weak Will Perish, The Dal'Rok, and Polywater Intoxication.  Result: 4 personnel removed from the attempt, ZERO dilemmas under the mission.  You could have thrown Hard Time/TWWP/Polywater anyway, but by getting that extra dilemma in minimizes the risk of a small team of stat sticks solving with 4 anyway (that's been known to happen), and if your opponent can pull shenanigans and solve with 3? Tip your cap to them, but at least you still killed 2 and put another on Hard Time - it happens occasionally, but is a lot harder to pull off.

 

Jhamel: JhamelThis card takes me back.  When To Boldly Go came out in 2006, I made a Starfleet Integrity deck using Jonathan Archer, Headstrong Captain, Hoshi Sato, Uneasy Educator, Inad x2, Engineering PADD, Running a Tight Ship x3 (remember when that thing was non-unique?), and Disinterested Visitant to do 3 easy missions (Encounter at Farpoint, Investigate Alien Probe, and Investigate Destruction) while giving my opponent very few dilemmas.  This deck has been on the shelf for almost a decade and a half collecting dust, and when you think of popular Starfleet builds, integrity missions don't immediately come to mind.  However, with Jhamel, that might be changing.  With the ability to choke your opponent's dilemma draw at an integrity mission, I can see a version of my 2006 deck becoming playable again in the modern meta.

Why do you say that? Well, a few things.  First, there's a lot of really easy Integrity missions out there, and even more if you bring the aforementioned Headstrong Captain out of the binder.  That's a big ask, as some of the other versions of Archer are among the best personnel in the Starfleet affiliation, but this might be enough to get the old warhorse out of the binder... definitely a design win in my book.  Second, while Jhamel cuts your opponent's cards off, she doesn't hurt your cards, so things like the aforementioned Disinterested Visitant, Running a Tight Ship, or even Vic Fontaine can make your dilemma choke a one-sided, nigh unanswerable affair.  Finally, the Starfleet HQ mission itself, Earth, Humanity's Home, can get you over the goal line with those precious 10 bonus points.  When you're doing 3 easy 30-pointers, that card text is cash mad money.

Finally, did I mention that Jhamel is the first (and currently only) Starfleet personnel with native Telepathy? That can be a very useful thing to have, and may get her a spot in more generalized Starfleet decks, as she brings good support skills to the table.  Whether you're splashing her into an existing build, or designing an entire deck around her, Jhamel is definitely a card with meta-altering potential.

 

Shras: ShrasSo let's just start by taking this guy at face value: 3 cost, 6-7-5 attributes, and 5 skills, one of them rare and one of them doubled.  On its face he's fairly priced for what you get, and that double Diplomacy and interesting combination of Engineer, Medical, and Security make for a fairly unique combination.  If that were all he is, he'd still be a useful card and good skill-gap filler. But that's hardly all he is.

If you haven't noticed lately, there's been an increase in big point (40+) mission usage lately, and with The Omega Directive coming out earlier this year, more 50-point missions are now in the eco-system.  And why not use big missions? In addition to generally reducing the number of attempts needed to win the game, running big point missions allows you to efficiently and effectively use dilemmas like Slightly Overbooked, Unfair Terms, and Well-Prepared Defenses, as well as support cards like U.S.S. Enterprise-J and Reprimand.  Those are all good cards, and there hasn't been a lot of downside to building decks to take advantage of these good cards.  Until now.

Take a look at Shras's ability.  When facing a dilemma (that "when" means once per dilemma), he can gain any skill on any opponent's big point mission.  ANY skill, on ANY opponent's big point mission. For free. Given how many skills are on a lot of these missions, that opens up a LOT of options.  And since he's limited to only once per dilemma, there's nothing stopping him from dialing up whatever while rolling through an entire combo.  Against certain decks, this guy is a JAG (Just a Guy), but against other decks, he's maybe the single best skill cheater out there, and one that probably merits a spot in your deck if you suspect big point missions in your meta.

 

Woteln:Woteln Do you remember, in my Top 5 All Our Yesterdays Cards article, I discussed Gonik and how, as a non-unique Klingon personnel, he can take his talents to Bajor, and join the KCA? Well, if Gonik is 2010 LeBron in this bad crossover sports analogy, then Woteln is Chris Bosh.  He rolls in from the prime universe with his stacked skills and attributes, but unlike playing him to Qo'Nos, where he's a JAG, he shines in a KCA deck.  When you have access to Cardassians and their capture tech, the decision to allow an opponent to capture a choice person out of your discard pile becomes a lot more consequential. 

Maybe you won't get to load up your brig, but that means you're getting a 3-cost beefcake for 1 counter - a deal that's almost never not worth taking.  And if your opponent makes you pay retail for him? Well, he's still fairly valued, even at 3, and that opens the door for all sorts of fun capture shenanigans to ensue.  Labor Camp, anyone? Condition Captive? Yes, and yes! And that's just off the top of my head - I'm sure there's all sorts of shenanigans that can be leveraged if your opponent doesn't want to give you a discount. Like Chris Bosh on those championship Miami Heat teams, Woteln is a key support piece who can elevate KCA to tier 1 in the hands of a savvy player.

 

 

 

Overall, these cards may not be world-beaters - at least not all of the time - but I hope that this article has shown that they do have a place in the metagame, and that any of them can be "sneaky good" enough to get you a win.

Until next time...


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