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The Changing Face of Evil

by Michael Shea, Chief Ambassador

15th May 2018

"I'm a much more complicated man than you give me credit for." - Gul Dukat, Return to Grace.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Deep Space Nine. In many ways the series was revolutionary for Star Trek for its darker tone and complex portrayal of humans and aliens who lived not in the utopian paradise depicted in The Next Generation but in a universe dominated by shades of gray.  When Nathan and I pitched a boutique set commemorating Deep Space Nine, we wanted the overall feel of the set to reflect the character of the show. When we were deciding on specific cards to pitch, it was clear to both of us early on that we wanted pivotal moments and characters well represented.  So, the series' principle recurring antagonist, Gul Dukat, was a natural choice.

In many ways, Dukat is a personification of the dark moral ambiguity of Deep Space Nine. He begins the series as a representative Cardassian militaristic imperialist bent on reclaiming Terok Nor and Bajor. Through flashbacks, we observe Dukat as being capable of Machiavellian machinations and casual brutality seldom seen in Trek. But, as the series progresses, the character transforms into almost an antihero – a determined underdog, and the last true Cardassian. And, just when we think we might be able to grow to like Dukat – to accept his transformation and partial redemption as a guerilla leader and a freedom fighter – he betrays the entire Alpha Quadrant and allies his people with the Dominion in a Faustian attempt to reclaim what he sees as Cardassia’s rightful dominance. Our challenge as designers was to try to capture this remarkable arc. Allow us to introduce Dukat, Erstwhile Ally and his ship, Naprem, Renegade Vessel.

Dukat NapremAt this point, it's important to note that neither Nathan nor myself had any misconceptions that we could design cards capable of replacing Dukat, Cardassian Representative or the Tenaktalar, Vanguard of the Occupation. Strictly speaking, in just about any Terok Nor deck, these cards are just too good to be replaced. So, we decided to try to give the Terok Nor player the incentive to think outside the typical mill build. Delta Pavonis, Secure Expansion and Weyoun, Shrewd Strategist pointed to a possibility: the Terok Nor engagement deck. In this deck, one that requires speed, Dukat, Cardassian Representative felt too expensive at cost 4. And, while Dukat, Dominion Puppet and Dukat, Liberator and Protector both satisfy the need for cheap Leadership and command stars, neither feels thematic to the build. In addition, Weyoun and Delta Pavonis alone aren’t quite enough to really make the deck work. We decided that Dukat depicted from Season 4’s Return to Grace through Season 5’s By Inferno’s Light and his captured Bird of Prey fit the battle theme nicely. In addition, and in a design first, we opted to give the cards both the [DS9] and [TN] icons to reflect the character’s descent from ally to traitor in Season 5, while also opening-up design space for a Deep Space Nine engagement deck down the line.

This Dukat has two skills needed to help complete Delta Pavonis, and at cost 3 he’s more playable than his more expensive [TN] persona. His 2 Leadership reflects his position as guerilla leader and his eventual ascendance to the head of the Cardassian Union, albeit under Dominion authority. His Diplomacy and 2 Treachery reflect his success at conducting secret treaty negotiations aligning Cardassia with the Dominion. But, it’s his ability that really sets him apart: for the cost of a card from hand, he allows any [Dom] or [DS9] personnel to begin an engagement once per turn. He does not even necessarily have to be present with that personnel – after all he spends the rest of Season 5 getting the Dominion to fight Cardasia’s battles for him. Pair him with Weyoun, Shrewd Strategist and Delta Pavonis and you can begin a free engagement to remove an opponent’s dilemma from the game without the need to destroy an event in your core. His ship, the Naprem, amplifies his ability, giving your [Dom] or [DS9] personnel a choice rewards for winning the engagement he begins.

This deck takes advantage of the new text on Dukat and Naprem that allow engagements without the deck burden of manuever events.The deck also incorporates Keevan for capture, and allows for the scoring of bonus points from both Jem'Hadar Ambush and Labor Camp for the two-mission win and to compensate for any Pheonix that might hit the table. Untapped Influence is there to take advantage of the limited mill, just as War of Attrition and Undermined Defenses are there in case the Terok Nor player gets close to the critical mass of 10 dilemmas (a well-timed Inevitable Triumph might help with that). The goal of the dilemma pile is to slow the opponent down and make him or her vulnerable to attack - perhaps even bluffing the opponent into going home to repair while the Terok Nor player racks up the bonus points in preparation for the two-mission win.

Enjoy. And, stay tuned for more from Far Beyond the Stars!


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

Decklist

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Missions
Headquarters
3U96•Mouth of the Wormhole, Terok Nor
Planet
36V16•Betazed, Occupy Homeworld
8U62•Survey New World
Space
37V15•Alpha 5 Approach, Transport Crash Survivor
40V23•Delta Pavonis, Secure Expansion


Draw Deck (45)
Event
3C453x Jem'Hadar Ambush
1U931x •Labor Camp
1U1081x Rescue Captives
31V211x •Undermined Defenses
2C691x Unexpected Difficulties
31V231x •War of Attrition
Interrupt
17V401x Bridge Officer's Test
33V241x Inevitable Triumph
22V232x Ruling Council
31V262x Untapped Influence
Personnel
Bajoran
31V291x •Kira Nerys, Grudging Ally
31V301x •Nasin, Following Orders
3R1131x •Odo, Wayward Link
Cardassian
3R1411x •Damar, Useful Adjutant
44V42x •Dukat, Erstwhile Ally
31V311x •Revok, Eager Ally
28V251x •Yaltar, Draft Supervisor
Dominion
31V323x Edan'Atal
3U1531x •Founder Leader, Beguiling Teacher
3C1562x Imat'Korex
43V172x •Keevan, Pragmatic Captor
3S1632x Noret'ikar
31V341x •Rayva, Bureaucratic Ally
43V181x •Remata'Klan, Steadfast Sentinel
3C1683x Tozara'Kesh
40V302x •Weyoun, Shrewd Strategist
Ship
Cardassian
44V132x •Naprem, Renegade Vessel
Dominion
3C2032x Jem'Hadar Warship
0VP1882x •Tenak'talar, Vanguard of the Occupation
Dilemma Pile (35)
Dual
29V13x Adopted Authority
0VP1111x An Issue of Trust
36V21x Becalmed
40V23x Brink of War
30V41x Discommendation
6P63x Hard Time
22V42x Healing Hand
22V52x Honorable Pursuit
26V41x Intimidation
0VP1671x Moral Choice
18V53x Polywater Intoxication
2C201x Racial Tension
0VP772x Secret Identity
0VP1642x The Weak Will Perish
40V91x Weight of Command
Planet
24V53x Greater Needs
38V71x Know Thy Enemy
Space
0VP893x Gomtuu Shock Wave
0VP341x Tactical Disadvantage


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