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Borg Week: Top 5 cards

by James "RedDwarf" Hoskin, Staff Writer

22nd April 2008

After the release of Call to Arms in September 2003, the first deck I played in a tournament was a Borg assimilator. It used Abduction and The Will of the Collective to assimilate personnel, and aimed for a two-mission win thanks to the points gained from One With the Borg. I finished the tournament in second place, but the note I made afterwards was "Too slow! Abduction didn't work as the good players didn't give me the opportunity." Since that day, I've been partial to mass-assimilation on more than one occasion, and this is reflected below. I humbly present (in no particular order) my current top five Borg cards:

Queen's Borg Cube
Any time that your opponent thinks that your nefarious strategy will involve their personnel, whether it be for assimilation, battle, infiltration or points scoring, they will usually hide out at their headquarters mission for a good portion of the game. This leaves you twiddling your thumbs while your opponent builds up extra personnel to deal with the threat – unless you've included this ship in your Borg deck. You can use it to start an engagement at a headquarters mission. While the engagement probably won't net you any personnel, it does mean that you can use Adapted to Service Us and Changed History to assimilate your opponent's events and top-of-deck personnel, respectively. The Queen's Borg Cube gives you an additional opportunity to assimilate, and truly brings new meaning to the phrase "Resistance is futile."

Annexation Drone
Despite looking strangely similar to the Preservation Drone (a twin perhaps?), the Annexation Drone is truly unique. He was the first card to guarantee you (and you alone – Guinan) 5 points just for playing him. You didn't have to leave your headquarters. You didn't have to rely on the top card of your opponent's deck. All you had to do was to make sure that all of your non-Headquarters missions resided in the Alpha Quadrant. Those 5 points could then be used for a variety of strategies. You could use At What Cost? for speed, or You've Always Been My Favorite to download the specific cards you needed (or even just keep them for later). After a quick spot of assimilation, I find that there's nothing better than playing multiple copies of Reborn to assimilate even more personnel.

The second Reflections 2.0 entry in this list. At the start of each of your turns, this event allows you to download any Borg icon personnel or ship. You then have to discard cards from the top of your deck equal to the cost of the downloaded card, but the Borg Queen (Guardian of the Hive) and Back to Basics are just two cards that can benefit from a big discard pile. If you're struggling to draw a particular card you need, then Quintessence can help you get it. Aside from personnel and ships, you can also use it to download events as well. All you need to do is download First (Unstable) or Fourth (Neonatal Drone) and they can download the event(s) you need. My favorite strategy, though, is to repeatedly download Two of Nine (Transtator Drone) to destroy my opponent's events.

Assimilate Resistance
One of the best Borg interrupts in the game is Knowledge and Experience. When a personnel you "command but do not own" (i.e. a personnel you've assimilated) is facing a dilemma, you can lose 5 points to prevent and overcome that dilemma. The issue I always had with this interrupt was that you needed to assimilate a personnel before you could use it. This meant adding a bunch of assimilation cards into the deck, and slowing the whole thing down. This is no longer an issue, though, because of Assimilate Resistance. By assimilating a personnel from your opponent's discard pile, you can streamline any Borg deck by removing all the other assimilation cards from it.

This last card in my top 5 has nothing to do with assimilation. It's a cheater interrupt, plain and simple. It allows you to replace all levels of any one skill in a dilemma's requirements with 2 Programming. When coupled with the Continuity Drone, who can interlink Programming, this interrupt makes the Borg almost invulnerable to any dilemma requiring skills. At least, it feels that way when I am trying to choose dilemmas for a Borg opponent!

As usual, there are a couple of cards that didn't quite make my top five. This week, honorable mentions go to Fifth (Neonatal Drone) for her ability to keep Energize from decaying – ever – ...and the soon-to-be-released Harvest Drone. With him in my deck, I may have to aim higher than my current minimum of ten assimilations per game.

Which cards would you pick in your Borg top five? And would you mention "assimilation" eighteen times while writing about them? Let us know on the message boards here.

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