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Strategy Articles

The Next Phase

by Charlie Plaine, Unity Lead Designer

16th December 2011

One of the ideas we had midway through development of Unity was to create some dilemmas that would support our existing teams. Unfortunately, not all of the cards that we designed made it through development, but a few did. Specifically, the Vastly Outnumbered team gets Optical Delusion, the Equinox team gets to play with Last Stand and today's card, The Next Phase, is the dilemma tied to the E-Squared team. However, while it might be best in the hands of the crew of the Future Enterprise, it's going to be deceptively useful.

Starting with it's designed use, The Next Phase will naturally pair well with the native abilities of the E-Squared team that remove themselves from the game. While it's true you can eventually return them from exile with Elder T'Pol, in the mean time you can use them to stop your opponent. All three of the "big" E-Squared crew come with six skills each, and total attributes in the 16 or 17 range - with some careful tracking and maybe some Bitter Medicine, you can get an all stop with a single dilemma.

When you think of manipulating the discard pile, you probably think of Dukat (Pah-wraith Puppet) a.k.a. Greasy Dukat - and we'll get to him in a minute. But the affiliation that comes to mind is Bajoran, and with cards like Basso Tromac and Covenant available, it should be easy for the Bajorans to exile quite a few personnel. A single Esteemed Vedek could be a nightmare for your opponent's to match when facing The Next Phase.

Finally, let's talk about Greasy Dukat. His ability to continually remove cards from your discard pile, his low cost, and his being Non-Aligned means that he's a powerhouse and he's running rampant across the tournament scene. Well, while The Next Phase might not be a weapon against him, it should make an opponent think twice about exiling a personnel in your discard pile. No longer can he or she just remove your best people from the discard pile - now they have to be careful they don't come back to haunt later mission attempts. It might not discourage his use, but a copy of The Next Phase (or two) in enough dilemma piles might just keep your personnel safe.

Of course, there's always the option to use Greasy Dukat on your own discard pile instead of your opponent's. That way, you can remove from the game anyone you can manage to discard, and set up your own copies of The Next Phase. Layers upon layers... just like the rest of Unity. Enjoy!

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