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Strategy Articles

Cardassia Takes Command

by Kenny Nguyen

16th March 2010

For as long as I’ve been playing Second Edition, I have rarely heard any positive comments about the Cardassians. In response to this, for the most part, large majorities of my deck building sessions (which occur on roughly a weekly basis) have been directed towards making the most of the affiliation. I’ve always been a fan of trying to design decks around what everyone else passes off as bad, and it is not always easy, but I am going to present you with a list that will (hopefully) sway some people’s opinions on the affiliation's competitive playability.


The Concept

As with all decks, there must be a concept behind its construction. For this deck, I chose pure mission completion, based around the Allegiance card The Central Command. The raw power of this card is undeniable. Come up against Gomtuu Shock Wave? You may be damaged, but you’ll still get through the mission. An Issue of Trust causing you stress? Walk right through it. A lot of dilemmas that were once walls against Cardassians are nowhere near as threatening now because of this interrupt.


To begin with, a large majority of the personnel in the deck will need Treachery or Officer (not such a hard feat for the treacherous Cardassians). Second, the deck needs to be large enough to be able to ensure that the three-card mill from The Central Command isn’t too big to worry about. This problem extends to ensuring that it remains consistent enough to run smoothly and without serious problems.


The Key Cards

The deck’s namesake, The Central Command, is easily one of the most crucial cards in the deck, allowing you to force your way through powerful dilemmas and get ahead quickly. Due to the large size of the deck, Enabran Tain (“Retired” Spymaster) is included to allow you to quickly work through your deck and find the remaining key cards. Ocett (Dogged Rival) will allow you to return any card from your discard pile (which is likely to be quite large because of The Central Command and Ensnared) to the top of your deck, allowing you to make the most of a single copy of The Central Command.


High-Command “Motivation” kills off Enabran Tain (“Retired” Spymaster), Ocett (Dogged Rival) and Evek (Agent of Cardassian Justice) in order to make use of their effects once more, as well as allows you to gain an additional counter each turn (which won’t always make up for the cost of High-Command “Motivation”, but the effects of the personnel surely will). Back to Basics in the dilemma pile will almost always be turned on (unless, of course, you have just used one) and gives the deck more of its own walls against other decks. Telle (Macet’s Aide) is just a powerful personnel in his own right, and can force your opponent into awkward situations.

Strengths of the Deck

The requirements on each of the missions are fairly common among the personnel. You are hardly ever stretched for a skill (the one exception being Programming, which can be a problem, hence the inclusion of some Non-Aligned personnel with Programming), which makes completing missions easier. Commandeer Prototype opens up interesting options for ships to screw with your opponent. Ensnared is a beast against most decks, stripping key personnel away from an opponent. Swagger and Corbin Entek (Undercover Operations Supervisor) are more than enough to handle most irritating and problematic events.

Weaknesses of the Deck

A major flaw with Cardassians is their mediocre personnel, thus mission completion will often fail without six or seven of them. Two powerful personnel, Dukat (Prefect of Bajor) and Crell Moset (Notorious Exobiologist), require the deck to run Non-Aligned personnel, which can lead to Evek (Agent of Cardassian Justice) and Ensnared being a turn slower than desired. As The Central Command is integral to the functioning of the deck, if it gets prevented, this can be quite offsetting and can negate the advantages the deck has. To address this problem, the deck includes Mila (Trusted Confidante). In addition to this, Ocett (Dogged Rival) is able to recur any lost or used copies of The Central Command, giving a form of recovery from discard or prevention. Finally, three of the four non-Headquarters missions have spans of three, which can make it difficult to manage personnel with just a single ship (though this can be offset by obtaining a ship through Commandeer Prototype).


Overall, the deck performs quite consistently and can have draws that are quite insane, where dilemmas are simply overcome with little to no effect. Although it struggles against certain dilemmas without the assistance of The Central Command, it can easily complete most missions in two attempts, and it is common to power through missions on the first attempt off the back of The Central Command. Give the deck a try for something new, and perhaps it will help change your opinions of the Cardassian affiliation.


This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:


Print DecklistPrint ChecklistCopy DeckDownload Into DeckPADD

1U153•Cardassia Prime, Hardscrabble World
3U91•Extract Defector
14U52•Commandeer Prototype
1S176•Intercept Renegade

Draw Deck (58)
17V273x Ensnared
6P232x High Command "Motivation"
1U931x •Labor Camp
2C693x Unexpected Difficulties
7C433x Swagger
20V123x The Central Command
1R2302x •Corbin Entek, Undercover Operations Supervisor
14R682x •Crell Moset, Notorious Exobiologist
13R521x •Damar, Cardassian Liberator
5P242x •Dukat, Prefect of Bajor
1R2361x •Elim Garak, Agent of the Obsidian Order
6P443x •Enabran Tain, "Retired" Spymaster
19V93x •Evek, Agent of Cardassian Justice
6P453x Goran
18V221x •Korinas, Observer from the Obsidian Order
10R581x •Macet, Skeptical Commander
1R2451x •Madred, Calculating Captor
1R2461x •Makbar, Chief Archon
4U1202x •Mila, Trusted Confidante
1R2483x •Ocett, Dogged Rival
14U691x •Silaran Prin, Between Darkness and Light
16V332x •Telle, Macet's Aide
13C941x •Julian Bashir, Rebel Captain
11P251x •Khan Noonien Singh, Genetically-Engineered Nemesis
16V421x •Lore, Brother and Son
2R1571x •Roga Danar, Decorated Subhadar
13R971x •Tuvok, Coldly Logical Soldier
1R3521x •Vash, Treasure Hunter
0P161x •Queen's Borg Cube
2R1701x •Aldara
1R3881x •Reklar
10R1063x •Trager, Patrol Ship
19V141x •Tenak'talar, Vanguard of the Occupation
13R1201x •Phoenix, Risen From the Ashes
Dilemma Pile (45)
8R13x Agonizing Encounter
10R22x An Issue of Trust
14R13x Back to Basics
8R51x Cardassian Processing
1C141x Center of Attention
14U41x Chula: The Chandra
13R41x Chula: The Dice
4C151x Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
0VP93x Hard Time
17V61x He Wasn't Nice
14C103x Old Differences
3U261x Secret Identity
13R202x The Dal'Rok
0D22x Timescape
8C81x Cultural Differences
12C51x Excalbian Drama
1S331x Kolaran Raiders
10C121x Necessary Execution
12R141x No Kill I
3U251x Rogue Borg Ambush
12U191x Vault of Tomorrow
15V12x Breaking the Ice
17V21x Causal Recursion
1S171x Command Decisions
12R41x Distress Call
3R123x Gomtuu Shock Wave
1R351x Maglock
8R131x Outclassed
0VP331x Personal Duty
11P71x Unbelievable Emergency
7R151x Where No One Has Gone Before

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