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The Changing Face of Evil

by Nathan Miracle, Design Director

30th October 2020

“Your concern is touching, Major, but I think you misunderstand me. I'm not attacking the Dominion fleet, I'm joining it.” -Dukat, In Purgatory’s Shadow

“I never realised how much the Dominion and the Orion Syndicate have in common. It seems that in both organizations, loyalty is everything.” -Gelnon, Honor Among Thieves

“The Son'a are known to have produced vast quantities of the narcotic ketracel-white.” -William T. Riker, Star Trek: Insurrection

“You're witnessing an historic moment. The birth of the alliance between the Dominion and the Breen.” -Weyoun, Strange Bedfellows

Cardassia Prime Robert Hewitt Wolfe wrote and produced for Deep Space Nine during its first five seasons. He described the Dominion as “a sort of unifying anti-Federation.” Most of the adversaries the Federation faced prior to the Dominion were defined by a single species - Klingon, Romulan, Ferengi and so on. The willingness of the Federation to incorporate many viewpoints gave them an edge against these foes. The Dominion held up a dark mirror to the Federation, providing an enemy which also benefited from species diversity, but did so by taking advantage of other species instead of cooperating with them.

Within the Gamma Quadrant, the Dominion maintained a stable hierarchy - Founders in charge, Vorta as their administrators, Jem’hadar as their enforcers, and everybody else beneath their heels. The Alpha Quadrant posed new challenges for the Dominion, and so over the course of the series the Dominion expanded to include new allies. Most of the Dominion cards in Apocalypse Rising represent the top-brass Cardassians who were directly involved with the Dominion. Today I want to highlight two cards which go beyond that initial alliance.

“Contact our forces in the Alpha Quadrant. Tell them to fall back to Cardassian territory. It appears this war is going to take longer than expected.” -Founder Leader, Sacrifice of Angels

Following the loss of Terok Nor, the Dominion consolidated its headquarters on Cardassia Prime. The Subjugated Planet gives the Dominion a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant, and also rewards you for bringing together all of the Dominion’s allied forces. Each new species you play allows you to make both players draw a card. Spending counters on playing personnel rather than drawing cards, especially in those early turns when counters are most precious, helps this headquarters get on to missions quickly.

“It's really quite simple. They expected the war to be over long ago. It's not. For that, they blame us. Now, if the war isn't ended soon, they'll shift the blame to you.” -Damar, The Changing Face of Evil

At the head of the Dominion, orchestrating the vast alliance of species, we have the Founder Leader. Eager to find new allies, she provides a cost discount for your next Breen or, in a hint of future possibilities, Son’a. Equally eager to shift the blame, the Founder Leader will readily kill your Cardassian or Vorta to get rid of an annoying event. Conveniently, if you happen to kill your last Cardassian or Vorta you can trigger Cardassia Prime’s card draw when you replace your hapless lackey.

Founder Leader “We've gained no new territories. In fact, our influence throughout the quadrant has diminished. And to make matters worse, we're no longer masters in our own home. Travel anywhere in Cardassia and what do you find? Jem'Hadar, Vorta, and now Breen.” -Damar, The Changing Face of Evil

Through playtesting, I have piloted Dominion Zoo a few times. Here are a few cards I recommend:

Audacious Assault - Since you want to have a wide variety of species anyway, why not make them cheaper? If this card shows up in your opening hand, you can set up very quickly.

Lam - An old trick with Audacious Assault, Lam can stop all your personnel of a particular species (except Breen) to get extra use out of Cardassia Prime.

Crom - Already a popular choice in any Strength-based Dominion deck, Crom can download Founder Leader and help you get personnel of species you have not yet drawn.

Gelnon - Do not underestimate the value of having your headquarters in the Alpha Quadrant. Just make sure you play another Jem’hadar first to get full use of the headquarters ability.

Penetrate Enemy Lines - Just in case you need to draw even more cards.

Explicit Orders - This card seems better than it is, but in a pinch it can fill a skill hole.

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