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The Path of the Prophets

by James Cream, Staff Writer

1st February 2012

Bajoran Deck: Prayers to the Prophets

Seed Deck: (42)
Missions: (6)
Alter Records (Bajor)
Acquire Illicit Explosives (Bajor Region)
Characterize Neutrino Emissions (Bajor Region)
Refuse Immigration (Bajor Region)
Relocate Settlers (Bajor Region)
Security Briefing

Dilemmas: (23)
Chula: Crossroads
Cytherians
Denevan Neural Parasites
Duonetic Field Genreators
Emergent Life Form
Ferengi Infestation
Firestorm
Flash Plasma Storm
Founder Secret
Hanonian Land Eel
I Hate You
In the Pale Moonlight
Linguistic Legerdemain
Medical Crisis
Navigational Hazards
Personal Duty
Hazardous Duty
The Arsenal: Divided
The Arsenal: Separated
The Clown: Bitter Medicine
The Cloud
The Nexus (technically not but functionally a dilemma)
V’Ger

Facilities: (2)
Chamber of Ministers
Deep Space 9

Sites: (6)
Ops
Bajoran Shrine
Quark's Bar
Science Lab
Cargo Bay
Docking Ports

Other Seeds: (5)
Tribunal of Q
Time Travel Pod
Bajoran Resistance Cell
Space-time Portal
Q's Tent

In Q's Tent: (13)
Kukalaka
D’jarras
Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian
Espionage: Bajoran on Dominion
Dig
Diplomatic Contact
Brilgar
General Hazar
Kalis Ven
Nalan Bal
Rano Drake
Rinnak Pire
Mora Pol

Draw Deck: (63)
For Free at HQ: (19%)
Bareil Antos
First Minister Shakaar x 2
Jaro Essa
Kai Opaka
Minister Rozahn x 2
Ranjen Koral
Teero Anaydis
Vedek Dax
Winn Adami
HQ: War Room

For With Resistance Cell: (17%)
Furel
Gantt x 2
Kira Nerys
Lenaris Holem
Li Nalas
Lupaza
Razka Karn
Surmak Ren
Tahna Los
Tabor

For Free at Quark's Bar: (6%)
Rom
Leeta x 2
Mardah

Also Plays For Free: (30%)
Gold Pressed Latinum (Download with Morn)
Emergency Transport Unit (Download with Gold Pressed Latinum)
Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian x 2 (Download with Bajoran Resistance Cell)
Dabo (Download with Leeta)
Defend Homeworld (Ref Card)
Q the Referee (Ref Card)
Bajoran Freighter x 3(at Docking Port)
Hidden Freighter x 3 (Interrupt)
Bajoran Interceptor x 3(Download with Hidden Fighter)
Ro Laren (to First Minister Shakaar)
Sarish Rez (to First Minister Shakaar)
Kasidy Yates (to First Minister Shakaar)

Card Plays: (27%)
Bajoran Cvil War x 3
Renewal Scroll x 6
Handshake x 4
Morn
Akorem Laan
Odo
Bajoran Warship

The Bajorans, as an affiliation, have a lot of strengths and it is my opinion they are sorely underestimated in the current meta. Recently, I managed to come out on top in a First Edition WCT league event using a Bajoran deck, so I thought it might be nice to re-introduce people to the Bajorans by showing an example of a deck that performed well.

What I particularly like about this deck is that it is purely one affiliation and has no backwards compatible or cheese strategies (disclaimer: in my opinion). In fact, this is a variant on the deck which I gave to Allen Gould when he inquired about powerful but unbroken decks.

The Bajorans have quite a few strengths which make them a competitive choice. First, they have five missions in their home region. This means a player can not only ensure their missions are close together but actually choose the order in which they are arranged. A previous version of this deck abused this with Zefram Cochrane’s Telescope by flanking Bajor with two space mission and then seeding that artifact on the Homeworld.

However, a flaw of this region-based mission strategy in a deck is it requires a wide array of skills. Unlike decks which can focus on a few key skills for all missions, this deck is rather easy to lock out of a mission by eliminating just the right people. However, that brings us to another benefit to playing Bajorans:

You can get whatever skill you want when you need it. The main key to this is Ops, which allows the player to download any personnel to a corresponding site in place of a card play. This ability should be used wisely and sparingly as it also eliminates all card draws for that turn. The sites which I chose for this deck are ones which can use Ops to download the greatest diversity of personnel.

Another benefit of the Bajorans is they are very adept at scoring bonus points. This is particularly useful when the opponent is playing a point drain strategy (See: Edo Probe, Lack of Preparation, 62nd Rule of Acquisition, and The Higher… The Fewer). These bonus point cards include the solid HQ: Return Orb to Bajor strategy and the strategy utilized here: Dabo!

In this deck, Dabo is used to potentially net the player a two-mission win. Most of the cards in the deck give a Dabo win and even those which do not can be eliminated from the deck late game. Specifically, the ships can be downloaded out of the deck while solid draw engines can be used to eliminate the deck thereby allowing the player to Conduct Services, bringing only good probes back into the deck to ensure a good result.

The final benefit of playing Bajorans is that the deck does not require many seed slots to set up. As such, it can run a solid defense in dilemmas. In my opinion, more is better when it comes to dilemmas, as no dilemma combo can hinder every possible opposing deck.

The Play Engines

This deck actually uses four different ways to report personnel for free and two ways to report ships for free. What this means is on some turns as many as six cards can be played for free; this benefit is not limited to the first few turns. Quite opposed to most modern decks, this one starts out quite slow but stays consistent in its ability to play numerous cards throughout the game.

The first of these is the Chamber of Ministers which allows Ministers, Vedeks, and Kais to report for free. Unfortunately, this pool of personnel tend to be limited in their skill sets with the exceptions of Vedek Dax, Teero Anaydis, and Bareil Antos. Other solid free report personnel which play here include the high Integrity and 3X Leadership Kai Opaka as well as the much-needed low Integrity and Treachery personnel like Winn Adami and Jaro Essa. (Side Note: this deck utilizes an Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian to complete Bajor with the printed requirements.)

Quark’s Bar acts as a secondary free report site. At this point, there are not very many personnel who can report for free to Quark’s and even fewer of those are Bajoran. However, this deck utilizes three such personnel to good effect: Rom, Leeta, and Mardah. All three of these personnel have great skills but the best of these is Rom, as he has the skills for two of the Bajor Region space missions. Leeta is one of only two unique personnel to appear in this deck in multiple copies. This is because of her special download of Dabo which is always good to get going early.

Next we have the Bajoran Resistance Cell Objective which not only allows one Resistance personnel to report for free each turn but acts as a draw engine early game to get things started. One added benefit of this play engine is that it allows the personnel to report to the HQ, Deep Space 9 (given a matching site), or any planet surface. The former two options are nice as they allow a player to get staffing to their ships and commute the personnel who play for free to the Chamber of Ministers or Quark’s Bar to the mission of interest, while the latter is mainly useful against battle strategies or to restock a mission attempt.

The final free report locale and the hardest to set up is First Minister Shakaar. He allows a Civilian-classification personnel to report to him at the Chamber of Ministers once each turn. In order to get him into play rather early and utilize this fine ability, I have two copies of him and one copy of Sarish Rez (who can download First Minister Shakaar) in the deck. Because this is a little tough to set up, I do not stock very many Civilians in the deck unless the deck is focused on this play engine. Rather, most of the people who can report for free to Shakaar can also report for free as Resistance personnel or to Quark’s Bar. In essence, this simply increases the likelihood of getting more people into play in a single turn.

The Draw Engines

The primary draw engine in this deck is Renewal Scroll. This card is one of the few affiliation-specific draw engines in First Edition (we need more!) and it works quite well. The one drawback of Renewal Scroll is it requires the player to have at least three Bajorans in play before it can be used. As such, it works best in an all-Bajoran deck such as this one. This deck has little trouble getting three Bajorans out on turn one and is essentially guaranteed to have those requirements by turn two. In an ideal situation, the player should not need to use this card until turn two.

The use of Handshake here (always the third function) is almost superfluous. The card works much like Renewal Scroll but requires that the player has at least three cards to throw away. Of the two, Renewal Scroll is the more useful as it can be used with only one unwanted card and allows the player to retain choice cards in hand. But having a Handshake in a poor opening hand is always nice. I consider both of these cards to be "double win" card plays as both net more cards than they get rid of and they both set up fodder for Dabo and the necessary bonus points.

During the first few turns, I often use Bajoran Resistance Cell to get a few bonus draws. This card not only allows the player to download a Bajoran Espionage card and place it on a mission but then nets the player two card draws for doing so. Currently, there are only two Bajoran Espionage cards in the game: Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian and Espionage: Bajoran on Dominion. My deck runs four total Espionage cards and can therefore do this trick four times. I tend to try to download the two copies of Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian as soon as possible in each game to avoid drawing them and then save the two Espionage cards in the Q’s Tent for when they are needed. If you do draw an Espionage card from the deck, make sure to toss it into the discard pile quickly so that it will be set up for the next draw engine.

Bajoran Shrine is another nice supplemental draw engine. This site allows a player to discard a poor card from hand while cycling useful cards from the discard pile back into the deck where they can be drawn or downloaded out. I have had variant of this deck which used an Orb or two to get this draw engine going a bit better, though that isn’t what is happening in this deck. The best complement to conducting services at the Shrine is Dabo (whether won or lost), as Dabo eliminates undesirable cards from the discard pile, allowing wanted cards to be cycled back into the deck during the service. As an example, perhaps the opponent has killed or incapacitated everyone with skill X. You can now Dabo + conduct services to place them back into the deck and then use Ops to download the target personnel back into play on the following turn.

The final and least-used draw engine in the deck is Cargo Runs. This deck certainly has Equipment, freighters, and smugglers to do this but it acts specifically as a backup option or supplement as I find it a bit distracting in the grand scheme of things. This draw engine is best used late game when there are many extra ships in play and the Espionage draw engine has been depleted or very early game in those rare instances where all other draw engines are locked out.

Even Ships Report for Free

This deck features three different ships. The Bajoran Freighters can play for free at the Docking Ports and can contribute to the aforementioned Cargo Run draw engine. Bajoran Interceptors have the best range of Bajoran ships (while moving within a Region) and can be acquired for free on any planet using Hidden Fighter. This trick is useful for getting free ships out but also in battle avoidance as Bajoran fighters can land or be reported directly to Bajoran Resistance personnel who have appeared on a planet. Now, the ability to battle a landed ship does exist, but it is not commonly stocked so a player can utilize a landed fighter to hide out and collect up Bajoran Resistance personnel and then send them on a one-turn, last-ditch mission-solving run.

The final ship in the deck is the Bajoran Warship which doesn’t often see play in this deck. It is useful against battle strategies as it is a beast that can cloak, although it doesn’t play for free. Staffing it isn’t incredibly hard with this deck, even though there are very few Alternate Universe icon Bajorans, as getting just the right Bajoran into play is always an option.

It Only Gets Better

Of all the affiliations in the game currently, it is my opinion that the Bajorans have seen the most love from the current game designers in the Virtual Expansions. At first this might come as some surprise to you, as they certainly have not had a high number of virtual cards. But I’d like you to notice how many of the Bajoran Virtual cards that can be found in my deck: All of them. (Well, all that have been released since Jason Robinette took charge of First Edition design, which could be ironic considering Jeremy Commandeur has won a couple major events with the Bajorans.)

That is a solid statement about the quality of those cards. Not only are they all useful but they are all useful together. There is some designer who really knows a thing or two about what the Bajorans weaknesses are (or were) and what they could most use. But let’s take a look at those cards:

D’jarras is the type of card which someone might never use in one game but could ensure a win in the next. It recognized one of the major flaws of the Bajorans before its release and that is Maglock. The Bajorans are not particularly proficient in Officer and there are even fewer Officers who report for free. As such, it is not hard for an opponent to target that classification and eliminate them. Many games I played prior to the release of Shades of Gray came down to me downloading for Officers until I either found three or the opponent won. But here is a card which causes all of the numerous Bajoran Civilians to qualify as Officers long enough to overcome that nasty dilemma. Because of its status as a "sometimes useful" card, D’jarras has been relocated to my Q’s Tent where it can be downloaded into play by Akorem Laan, who plays for free at the Chamber of Ministers, when First Minister Shakaar is present, or be downloaded to the Promenade Shops (a card not in my current build).

One of my favorite Bajoran cards is Bajoran Civil War. This fun little event can come in handy when facing another Bajoran player but more often is used to convert one card play into two personnel. Prior to the release of Shades of Gray, only five personnel qualified for this download; General Hazar, Kallis Ven, Rano Drake, Rinnak Pire, and Gantt. Brilgar became the sixth. What’s more these personnel represent two classifications which are rather hard to get for Bajorans; Officer and Secuirty, especially when the deck is focused on free plays. I relocate my Confederates to the Q’s Tent (with the exception of Gantt) so that they won’t clog up the draws. This is because Gantt is the only one which can play for free without a Bajoran Civil War. Because of the Q’s Tent limitation of one copy of each card therein, Brilgar is useful in increasing the number of personnel that I can hide in the Tent and adds to the variability on skills that I can grab with Bajoran Civil War.

This brings us to the two best Virtual Bajoran cards. Dig and Diplomatic Contact, or rather the two people who can special download them; Ranjen Koral and Winn Adami. Both of these cards allow the player to simply pull a card from the discard pile and place it in hand. In the case of Dig, it can be used for any card but only once before being discarded. Diplomatic Contact, on the other hand, can only be used to get personnel but can be used multiple times if that personnel is a different affiliation than the Diplomat. In the case of Winn, the affiliation is Bajoran making one think that this card would actually be more suited for a mixed affiliation deck. Although I have used it in a mixed affiliation deck with great effect, it does actually work quite well here. Remember that Rom is key for most skills on the space missions. Since he can be considered Ferengi affiliation when using Diplomatic Contact it is not discarded and can be used to fetch Rom multiple times. It can also get Leeta, Mardah,Kasidy Yates, or Morn from the discard pile without detriment. As such, red shirt those personnel at your leisure, all but Morn can replay for free!

But there is even a better reason to use Dig and Diplomatic Contact; they can be used to rig probes for Dabo. What’s more, if the player performed an Ops Download during that turn the probe card will remain on top of the deck for the next turn as well, unless the opponent was foresighted enough to stock a copy of The Juggler. Because of their value alive, I tend to keep Winn and Ranjen in the Bajoran Shrine Conducting Services rather than sending them on mission attempts. They can be pulled away to help solve mission but are best saved for that moment when the player really needs a certain card from the discard pile or just a few more points off Dabo to win.




Decklist

Print DecklistCopy Deck



This deck is legal in the following Card Pools:

  • Complete

This deck is legal in the following Rules Sets:

  • Open
  • Revised
  • Warp Speed

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


Mission (6)
Mission
S1x Acquire Illicit Explosives
29 V1x Alter Records
S1x Characterize Neutrino Emissions
S1x Refuse Immigration
S1x Relocate Settlers
U1x Security Briefing

Seed Deck (30)
Artifact
R1x Time Travel Pod
Dilemma
C1x Chula: Crossroads
R1x Cytherians
5 R1x Denevan Neural Parasites
U1x Duonetic Field Generator
7 U1x Emergent Life-form
5 R1x Ferengi Infestation
U1x Firestorm
9 U1x Flash Plasma Storm
6 V1x Founder Secret
7 V1x Friendly Fire
11 R1x Hanonian Land Eel
5 C1x I Hate You
U1x In the Pale Moonlight
6 C1x Linguistic Legerdemain
6 V1x Medical Crisis
C1x Navigational Hazards
19 VP1x Personal Duty
7 V1x The Arsenal: Divided
9 V1x The Arsenal: Separated
25 R1x The Cloud
22 VP1x The Clown: Bitter Medicine
10 R1x V'Ger
Doorway
C1x Q's Tent
P1x Space-Time Portal
11 U1x The Nexus
Facility
Bajoran
R1x Chamber of Ministers
R1x Deep Space 9
Incident
2 VP1x Tribunal of Q
Objective
47 U1x Bajoran Resistance Cell

Site (6)
Site
114 U1x Bajoran Shrine
C1x Cargo Bay
C1x Docking Ports
C1x Ops
R1x Quark's Bar
U1x Science Lab

Draw Deck (63)
Equipment
11 V1x Emergency Transport Unit
13 V1x Gold-Pressed Latinum
Event
R3x Bajoran Civil War
U2x Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian
U1x HQ: War Room
U6x Renewal Scroll
Incident
C1x Dabo
62 U2x Handshake
6 VP2x Handshake
29 U1x Q the Referee
Interrupt
U3x Hidden Fighter
Objective
41 U1x Defend Homeworld
Personnel
Bajoran
24 V1x Akorem Laan
R1x Bareil Antos
43 R+2x First Minister Shakaar
U1x Furel
51 C2x Gantt
R1x Jaro Essa
R1x Kai Opaka
R1x Kira Nerys
R1x Lenaris Holem
R1x Li Nalas
U1x Lupaza
C2x Minister Rozahn
R1x Odo
28 V1x Ranjen Koral
R1x Razka Karn
R1x Ro Laren (Blaze of Glory)
44 U1x Sarish Rez
R1x Surmak Ren
R1x Tahna Los
52 R1x Teero Anaydis
P1x Vedek Dax
30 V1x Winn Adami
Bajoran/Federation
112 R1x Tabor
Bajoran/Ferengi
R2x Leeta
U1x Mardah
4 V1x Rom
Bajoran/Non-Aligned
2 V1x Kasidy Yates
Non-Aligned
R1x Morn
Ship
Bajoran
C3x Bajoran Freighter
U3x Bajoran Interceptor
115 R1x Bajoran Warship

Q-Tent Side Deck (13)
Equipment
R1x Kukalaka
Event
13 V1x D'jarras
U1x Espionage: Bajoran on Cardassian
46 VP1x Espionage: Bajoran on Dominion
Incident
21 V1x Dig
22 V1x Diplomatic Contact
Personnel
Bajoran
31 V1x Brilgar
C1x General Hazar
U1x Jabara
C1x Kallis Ven
C1x Nalan Bal
C1x Rano Dake
C1x Rinnak Pire



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