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The Road to Worlds: Regionals Week 10

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

7th June 2018

Second Edition South Dakota Regional winner Zlatan Terzic
Title: Take a nap...this'll take a while...
Headquarters: Earth, Lush and Beautiful Home, Ferenginar, Financial Hub
Deck Size: 48 Cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 29 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Underlying/Loss and other walls
Victory Correctly Predicted By: None.

Zlatan's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I chose the deck because I always played fun or quirky decks. I want to play a more competitive deck.

I did consider using another fun deck. Or construct my own deck. But I knew my own deck wouldn't stand the same chance as this one did.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
After the Minnesota Regional only two weeks prior, I was hoping to face a deck that didn't have EVERY answer to my deck. I didn't want to play against skill cheating decks.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I've only played the deck four times (the four rounds at the Minnesota Regional two weeks prior), and I've never played a deck similar to it. And I did learn a few things. Card interactions, dilemma combinations and decisions that I hadn't noticed before.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
I ran two "Practical Evidence" in the deck. It helped me solve my last mission slightly easier. It also kept a strength based deck stalled slightly. So it was unpredictably successful. With that being said, I will probably remove a copy. And my dilemma pile will change almost completely.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
"Unwanted Guests" was, basically, the win condition of the dilemma pile. Along with "Pawn Against Pawn". They're definitely the MVP's of the deck.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I love the play style of the deck. It's fun AND competitive. Best of both worlds for players.

My Commentary:
Now this is a headquarters combination that you don't see every day. And my expectations were subverted when I looked at the decklist: often, when Ferenginar is part of a dual-HQ deck, it's so that you get Brunt's cheap event destruction in some other deck. That's definitely not the case here, the TOS personnel are in the minority, just there to help grease the Ferengi wheel.

At first glance, the Ferengi elements feel similar to the ones in Nat Kirton's Minnesota Regional deck, but then you start to notice little differences: Martus Mazur doesn't make the Alien Gambling Devices Cheap, Prak does. And Brunt and Solok are still scoring points for At What Cost?, but as back-up we've got Tongo: Confront now. The end result is still blazing speed, but the path taken is different.

The dilemma piles both lean heavily on walls like Unwanted Guests and Pawn Against Pawn, but now there is support from Pattern Loss and Underlying Influence. A word of warning: those dilemmas won't add to the skill requirements of "Rapid Progress" or Unwanted Guests, even if those dilemmas eventually require Transporters - Underlying/Loss use a "when revealed" trigger, and the variable skill dilemmas don't require (specific) skills at that point. Still, blowing your skill gain on a Pawn Against Pawn only be all when a boosted Bread and Circuses is going to be frustrating.

This is where the TOS personnel come in. Ilia will set up your discard pile for Pawn Against Pawn nicely. McCoy will engender violent rage when he undoes your last two mission attempts, as he has for year. And Decker will pull Ilya back to your hand in order to discard with Unwanted Guests or play again for more discard pile set-up. Uhura can get Decker, but why do that when she can download your third Rule #33. Fun stuff!

Second Edition British Columbia Regional winner Michael Van Breemen
Title: FerCar
Headquarters: Cardassia Prime, Hardscrabble World and Ferenginar, Financial Hub
Deck Size: 56 Cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 82 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Everything
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Monty42, Fritzinger, LORE, Hoss-Drone, bosskamiura, jadziadax8, The Ninja Scot, Armus, and prylardurden.

MVB's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I was going to do Terok Nor but I decided that going mass-capture wasn't going to be fun, especially for Amber as I knew she was playing Relativity which has no way to get captives back. So I decided to use Enemy of my Enemy/Central Command and went with Cardassian/Ferengi treaty as it's the only treaty achievement in 2E that I was lacking that was heavily focused on Cardassians.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
The only decks that I were concerned about were Dominion and their point loss (I can only get to 105) and kill decks (not because I couldn't recover but that it would slow me down.) Everything else, I felt pretty much game for at the time.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I played something similar earlier this year while getting my Bajoran/Cardassian achievement but this was before Enemy of my Enemy was available. That one had way more cycling available with Surjak and Ranjen Koral so I felt more free to be reckless with the Central Commands at the time. This time around, I tried to be more careful with Central Command and Enemy of my Enemy, added a second Ocett and more Mila's (which I never saw against Justin, the only one who had interrupt prevention) The Ferengi also gave me access to Lurin which worked well with the extra draws/extra counters for the deck - Start of turn, discard a ship for two more counters, Groumall brings back two to three ships to hand (ideally Rokassas), Damar discards one to draw 3 and I get Central Commands, Enemy of my Enemy or more cards in hand for Elim/Telle to do their things.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
I was surprised that I didn't have Dukat, Prefect of Bajor in the deck along with Seska. I honestly don't know why I didn't and still don't. I like free people (Seska fits that bill) and Dukat can prevent a stop. Granted, there were only seven non-Cardassians in the deck but it still would've been nice to have the option. Against Justin, Crell Moset made a Cardassian get through An Issue of Trust to solve my last mission and Dukat/Crell would've gotten me enough people (2) to get a solve past Intimidation if I had three Enemy of my Enemy's in my hand at the time.

I had no situational cards although I didn't play a single Tacking despite ending games with less than ten cards in my deck most games but I'm not going to take those out. After all, it's nice to have the option of dealing with Holding Cells and Biogenic Weapons.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Central Command and Enemy of my Enemy - Prevents all or almost all stops and the ability to gain all skills, attributes and keywords until end of mission attempt for the few to make it through is just very hard to deal with.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I'll be curious to see what others come up with who didn't spend less than an hour to throw this together.

My Commentary:
Michael's tournament report reveals significant concerns about the power level of The Enemy of My Enemy. Other concerns, often specifically about the microteam potential of the card, were brought up in the Card of the Day thread as well. So hey, let's make this commentary about The Enemy of My Enemy.

It is definitely the most powerful skill and attribute cheater interrupt in the game. Its closest competitor is probably Covenant - they both pull skills and attributes from personnel in the discard pile (just like you'd expect a Bajoran card to), and they both have very soft costs. Self-milling three cards isn't very big when you can run three Tacking Into the Winds, but removing a card from the discard pile doesn't cost you much either (though it does prevent you from targeting that same personnel again). Where Enemy pulls ahead is the target requirements - any Cardassian can use it, and any personnel can be the target of it. Covenant requires that the target is a Bajoran personnel, and to even use it in the first place you need to use Bajoran Treachery personnel.

I would not say, however, that Enemy is the most powerful cheater interrupt in the game. That (dubious) honor would go to The Central Command - after all, why gain skills and attributes when you can just completely erase the dilemma's effect? I suppose that Enemy would have more effect in getting you around something like Tsiolkovsky Infection since Central Command won't protect you there, but the applications of Central are so wide. Too much treachery for An Issue of Trust? Central Command. Not enough Integrity for Gomtuu Shock Wave? Central Command. Not enough weapons for Outclassed? Central Command.

If there's a problem, to me, is that with the top two interrupt cheaters in the game, Cardassians have the ability to overwhelm all but the most robust interrupt prevention out there. And when the cost of failing to prevent those interrupts is so high, that can be a problem. In a vacuum, Enemy is just a really strong card. In the Cardassian affiliation it feels a bit out of place and could possibly be too much.

Second Edition Koblenz Regional winner Benjamin Liebich
Title: Silent Nights at the Rum Cake Factory
Headquarters: Earth, Cradle of the Federation
Deck Size: 56 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 38 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Chula Attrition
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Me and monty42.

Benjamin's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I wanted to throw my opponents a curve ball. Usually people expect me to play either Bajorans or Klingons at high level events so I wanted to try something different. As far as other decks are concerned, I had a Bajoran deck with me but I didn't feel like playing it. In fact I'm probably gonna shelve the Bajorans for a while. I've kinda gotten sick of them.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Nothing in particular one way or the other. The only thing I'd probably consider a bad match up for this deck would be a battle deck (because the ships aren't that strong) but I didn't expect anybody to play one.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I stole the idea for the download chain (Spock->Picard->McCoy;Guinan;Lwaxanna->Common Groundx2) somewhere. I can't for the life of me figure out who I stole it from but that person deserves a lot of credit because it worked like a dream in each round!

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
My plan was to complete Aldea first and then using Field Studies to burn some extra points from Guinan and Daneeka to get an easy run through Kavis Alpha but I think I only did that once. All the other times I snuck through KA on my first try for one reason or another. Also dropping the occasional Cluttering Irrelevancies on my E.M.H Programms proved to be very effective.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
I don't think there's one real standout card in this deck as it all gels very well together. However the U.S.S. Oberth has quickly become a personal favorite of mine. It's the Federation's cheap uber service. There were times where I had all three of them in play.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Not really. Only that I like this deck a lot. I'm looking forward to playing it again. I also consider it to be a very good beginner's deck. It's probably gonna go right to the next prospect I can find.

My Commentary:
It's difficult to balance the need to become experienced with a particular deck versus the desire to remain unpredictable to your opponents. There are so many ways to tech against specific decks when building your own deck that Ben's right, it is quite valuable to be unpredictable. As much as you might love your own personal Bajorans or Klingons, maybe it is time to try something else. Then again, it is possible to overvalue unpredictability, like I do. I have quite an extensive graveyard of decks that I won't go back to because I've played them too many times - once.

I, too, have come to appreciate the Oberth. I'm not sure how to show it with math, but from an anecdotal perspective, the difference between 3 and 4 cost is huge. Especially in the digging-for-a-ship scenario, being able to dig one more counter can make a big difference. The Oberth might have made a bigger splash except for the fact that it competes with 8 range Excelsiors in most earth decks. Here's my perspective: if you've got a 2-span space mission, go ahead and use those Excelsiors, you'll be glad to have the 8 range. But if you're stuck with a 3-span space mission, you're going to need to play multiple ships anyways; consider some Oberths to fill those ship slots. You can even play two in one turn!

The other two Infestation missions really only show up in Infestation decks, but Kavis Alpha gets around. >32 for 30 points is more reasonable than >36 for 35 points, but where it really shines are the skills required. Any deck that previously used Investigate Alien Probe should seriously consider Kavis Alpha. In exchange for swapping Programming for the Medical that probably already comes on those Biology personnel, you get to use a non-Insurrectionable version of the classic. Additionally, Klingon deck get to solve it with Strength instead of Integrity, and a Vintner deck like this one can solve it with Cunning. It's nice to have the option.

First Edition South Dakota Regional winner Kevin Jaeger
Title: Scoutmaster Kevin?
Deck Archetype: Interference
Play Engines: Protect the Timeline, Smugglers' Rendezvous
Draw Engines: Temporal Almanac, Finally Ready to Swim, Remote Interference, IDIC: Power of the High Command
Bonus Point Mechanics: Romulan "Reunification"
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Me, pfti, DarkSabre, monty42, KazonPADD, Armus, Hoss-Drone, LORE, bosskamiura, jadziadax8, The Ninja Scot, and prylardurden.

Kevin's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I've been wanting to play with the Vulcans for awhile, fortunately all the bad stuff got abused and banned before I came out of winter hibernation so I was able to approach this deck with a fresh perspective. I've also had my eye on remote interference for a long time. Cold Front just gave me what I needed to finally feel like I could invest the time in playing both of these things. Along the way it became clear that solving certain issues meant bringing in Starfleet. I wasn't confident that this deck was a good Meta call for the cities regional so I just waited to bring it out now.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
The biggest reason I didn't feel like I could bring this to Minneapolis is that Borg is a tough matchup and with Huth and DVK likely in attendance, it seemed like a bad idea. Stefan's battle deck is a likely loss as well but there are some small tricks to try and even up the odds in that matchup.... I'd still hate to play it out though. : )

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
Like I said, never played with the drones or Vulcans before so it was definitely fun doing something new.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
The HQ Defensive Measures is in there to protect the stealable missions and is your primary target for Defend Homeworld actually. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I went an entire tournament, not playing Borg, and never used Defend Homeworld...

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Holographic Camouflage. While the drones and remote interference package do the reliable heavy lifting for card draws, it's the threat of damage from the camo that makes your opponent sweat. Then there's also the bonus points that pay for the only logical and let you round the corner for the 2 mission win.

(Honorable mention to Only Logical. It would have been mvp if I hadn't gone 1 for 9 on it... but that one I did call correctly saved a ship and 11 people from death so it does get the shout out.)

My Commentary:
When I first saw Admiral Mendak's lore, I thought it was kind of weird that it did so much name-dropping. Then I forgot about it until I was looking through the lore of the personnel in this deck to see who mentioned Jonathan Archer, and when I got to Archer himself, I knew I needed to actually look at the "outside the game" part of the decklist. After I clicked on Admiral Mendak, I finally got it: He's a great Temporal Benefactor! Admiral Valdore will be in the game on turn one, ready and waiting to receive missives from the future and activate the various benefits of the aforementioned seeded doorway.

We've seen how effective many of the elements of this deck can be in the recently reviewed decks from Mr. Meinhard S. Rohr. Smuggler's Rendezvous continues to shine as the place where you can play all of the people, as long as you don't mind not playing tons of people per turn. Holographic Camouflage continues to enable the small Raptors to constitute a genuine threat - sure they only hit for one flip, but there are two of them, and it is hard to run away from them. Temporal Benefactor is still downloading personnel, card draw interrupts, Timepod Rings, and Disrupted Continuum.

In addition to all those things, this deck adds Romulan Minefields, the free-play event that clutters the spaceline and draws two cards. The Raptors will be unaffected by the minefields, but the rest of the ships in the deck are Vulcan, Starfleet, or Non-Aligned. You'd think they'd have some trouble, but UFP: One Small Step and three Time Locations means that there's a good chance those ships can just hop around the spaceline with impunity.

I find it cool that, though this deck shares many elements with Stefan's battle deck, the personnel selection is completely different. My opinion my be a little less sunny if I start seeing deck after deck based out of Smuggler's Rendezvous, but it does give the location a bustling with activity feeling that we've always wanted from DS9. I'm curious how a Smuggler's Rendezvous mirror match would go.

First Edition British Columbia Regional winner Justin Ford
Title: MACOs 3.0.0
Deck Archetype: Solver
Play Engines: Protect the Timeline, MACO Training Camp
Draw Engines: Finally Ready to Swim
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Monty42 and Latok.

Justin's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I had just played my Bajoran solver last weekend and most players up here typically think that I will play the Bajoran deck since I have played it for years in various different types. I also wanted to test how well MACO can deal with enemies of the state, one of the new dilemmas that can create a lock out situation if you are not able to or forget to tech for it.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Honestly knowing up here we favor solvers over interaction which I would rather face since interactive opponents you have to be very careful and almost plan 2-3 turns ahead to deal with this component.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I did play MACO twice before so I knew how the deck would work, I did make some changes to the deck I played before by adding Sniper and Post Garrison. I realized on of the main mistakes I made was not taking the time to read taking charge which of course I know now won't download objectives on to opponents mission. This however was not all bad, I did have one post garrison in my deck which I did use against MVB, and the other post garrison in my tent actually was instrumental in helping me deal with enemies of the state thanks to taking charge. My next iteration potentially of the MACO interactive version should be to dump taking charge and add one more sniper.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
I would have to say the combat ready cards are really a nice boost to the MACO affiliation I was able to beat a God combo from Richard in one go thanks to jury rig. He gave the anthro in away team and transporters on staff ship followed by Chandra then God. Chandra hit and left me with one integrity 8 and jury rig to pass God. Hideaki and Reed are great when you do come across enemies of the state. One easy way for MACO to beat enemies of the state is to have hideaki and reed plus lower decks nets you integrity 10 on your universal MACO. You can then use a jury rig to put yourself over 31 integrity with 3 people. The other option is using Jonathan archer as well and download porthos which makes your humans attributes plus one for integrity 11 on the universals and passing the dilemma. You can also split your crew and encounter dilemma with one, and then initiate combat with other to sniper x3 the dissidents. Then re attempt mission and opponent can now no longer download this turn so you pass dilemma.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
I would have to say the MVP of the deck would have to be MACO encounter and post Garrison which against Michael is what allowed me to squeak by with the mod win. Close second was hideaki and reed since I could have radially dealt with the dilemma until Ken came over and took hideaki with mirror Odo.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I think right now MACO are a strong affiliation with a lot of flexibility to be the quick solver with several downloading "cheaters" as well as the ability to run interference on the opponents missions. The deck typically attempted turn 2 to start seeing what kind of dilemmas are present to adjust who is played on following turns. You do not have to necessarily use sniper or post Garrison and stick to just solver. A lot of options to choose from.

My Commentary:

Oh boy, MACOs! Actually, the last couple times we've looked at MACOs, they haven't run Post Garrison. There are a couple Snipers seeded here, but unlike the Jaeger Sniper deck, this deck doesn't have Cardassians to back up the MACOs and cover every planet mission. That hasn't stopped other planet lock-out decks we've seen recently, and this deck isn't stopped either. Your friend and mine, Temporal Benefactor, comes to the rescue and downloads Disrupted Continuum, which gets the third copy of MACO Encounter. Yay! Now there are Sniper traps at three missions!

That's where the Post Garrisons come in. MACO Encounter doesn't lock the mission out on its own like Enemies of the State does, it just sets things up for Post Garrison. With Taking Charge, you can download it to the location of the MACOs, though since none of them have any of the traits required by Taking Charge, you'll need to get you crew there first. Once you do though, and the Garrison is up, your MACOs will then benefit from the attributes +1 from the Taking Charge too. At least MACO Encounter only downloads two personnel, not the three that Sleeper Trap gets you. This is fine. In fact, I'm very excited about this!

This is all on top of all the MACO solving tools we've talked about in other articles. The kill prevention from Combat Ready: Solidarity, the dial-a-skill of Combat Ready: Jury Rig, the various benefits of Temporal Benefactor, these all put pressure on you while you're helplessly flopping against the planet dilemmas. All this and there are still plenty of dilemmas to work with - there are a full 18 dilemmas in the seed deck. You have to slug through all of those dilemmas first, before the last one gets converted into the third MACO Encounter.

Next time I play First Edition, I'm seeding six space missions.

Second Edition German National Championships winner Benjamin Liebich
Title: It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights. It's time to meet the muppets on the muppet show tonight.
Headquarters: Mouth of the Wormhole, Deep Space 9
Deck Size: 62 Cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 38 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Attrition with Pattern Loss in space.
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Monty42 and jadziadax8.

Benjamin's Commentary:
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?

I had absolutely no idea what deck to play for this event. I was looking through the recently played decks for the past couple of weeks but nothing really spiked my interest until the Vienna Regional last week. But it wasn't the winning deck that caught my eye, not even Steve's broken Keevan deck. It was the 4th place deck of Nerdopolis Prime that I found quite fascinating. So I took this past week to take it apart, put it back together, put it through the blender once or twice and this is what came out in the end.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
To be honest every deck that isn't a speed solver will probably have a tough time against this deck because not only is it fast but also very resourceful. I specifically didn't want to see any decks using A5A. With the two Integrity>25 space missions I had chances to make 5 different 4-person attempts per turn.

Prior to this tournament, did you have much experience playing this deck (or decks like it)? Did you learn anything new about it when you played it this time?
I've played rainbow DS9 a couple of times but never with the added bonus of the Promenade School/At What Cost? engine. I have to say I was skeptical at first because there are a lot of moving parts but it worked perfectly.

Did you use any situational cards (cards that you wouldn't expect to be useful in every game)? Are there any whose usefulness exceeded your expectations? Were there any that you wouldn't include if you played the deck again?
I never like to use situational cards because in cases where you don't need them, they'll just clutter up your hand at some point. But in a deck that runs both TATV and Miracle Worker I figured I could give it a shot because I had more chances to recycle it. So I through in Call to Arms. I was already running Dukat, Erstwhile Ally because I was using Fed Garak for Promenade School and I had a good portion of 4-costers so I thought why not use it for some extra bonus points in case anybody plays Dominion or uses the Phoenix. I didn't have to use it in the end but I maintain it was a good idea because apart from CtA all the other parts were already there.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
I already mentioned the Promenade School/At What Cost? combo. Together with Common Purpose/Common Cause it gives you an insane (almost Ferengi-like) amount of counters to spend. Holding Cell worked beautifully as it ate up Central Commands, Common Enemys and other things that would usually annoy you.

But I'd specifically like to mention a combo that played a huge role in winning the final and deciding match: Pattern Loss/Temporal Conduit! My dilemma pile already relied heavily on dilemmas that either return or go to the opponent's core so being able to strip away the few that actually went under was a huge benefit!

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I knew this deck had the potential of doing really well, I didn't expect it to do this well. I haven't even had the time to iron out all the kinks so I believe there is still some more to be found in there.

My Commentary:
Back in the Week 5 article, I complained about people use the Lego epithet to describe Tuft's Rainbow DS9 deck. My argument was that the deck was a proven effective netdeck, but that it's not that the deck built itself. It's that a clever players built and tested and proliferated a powerful deck. We can be annoyed to see the same deck over and over, let's just be honest about why we are seeing it.

This deck is the next part of my argument. Yes, it uses the same engine, but it is not the same deck. This deck's cost curve is actually quite a bit higher, using cards like True Ferengi Quark and Defiant Commander Worf. There are two different 7 cost ships in addition to the Xhosa, Centaur - and now the Enterprise-D too. In order to afford these beefier personnel and ships, it uses a third engine, Promenade School and At What Cost?. It's true that the deck doesn't need to be that different in order to accommodate that engine, but it does mean that the personnel selection doesn't have to be as all-in on the Common engine. The double Martoks and the like are gone in favor of more species variance.

I like separating Pattern Loss from Underlying Influence as this dilemma pile does. I've written a few times lately about going heavy on space dilemmas to take advantage of your opponent before they've got all their deck's tricks on-line - this strategy represents a different way to do that. Though I have only a little personal experience playing with or against Underlying/Loss piles, generally there's a lot of time blown being stopped in space, but by the time you're working on planets, you've finally managed to get your skill stuff working. Suddenly you go from zero to three Geology in two interrupts flat, blasting through a boosted Captain's Holiday. It's hard to make that call, since I feel like decks are more likely to have incidental Transporters (Shran, Tolian) than Archaeology. Certainly looks like the plan went well in Koblenz, maybe it's time to try it out.

First Edition Space Coast Regional winner Sean O'Reilly
Title: OTSD Melbourne Regional 2018
Deck Archetype: Sealed
Victory Correctly Predicted By: DarkSabre, Armus, LORE, The Ninja Scot, and prylardurden.

Sean's Commentary:
Do you have much experience with OTSD tournaments?

I have a lot of experience playing OTSD tournament. From the time the boutique product first released in 1998 to now, I have played in dozens of such tournaments. I have always found luck combined with strategy wins OTSD tournaments. If you can get a two-affiliation Treaty (without relying on the three-way one that comes in the OTSD box) then you can steal opponent's missions. The reason this is so good is because you avoiding facing the opponent's dilemmas and possibly score some bonus points from your dilemmas.

What tough choices did you have to make when building your deck?
We supplemented the OTSD box with two Reflections packs (something that gives you extra cards but nothing usually too overpowered). I got a Federation/Klingon treaty so I obviously included every [Fed], [Kli] and [NA] personnel. One thing I try to do is avoid using more than one [Univ] mission as they are usually easier to steal. The problem was missions. I did not get many so I was forced to include a Romulan-only mission. Because I had three [NA] personnel with Computer Skill, I added two Romulans with Archaeology so I could so solve Iconia Investigation if I needed to (reporting the Romulans at the Husnock Outpost) The other tough choice was breaking down what verb cards (Events, Interrupts) to include. I wanted to keep them to a minimum because I have found you really don't want to go over 35 cards in your draw deck in the OTSD format. I put in Kivas Fajo to draw decks; Yellow Alert and Lower Decks to pump up the attributes of my personnel (this helped against certain dilemmas); and Q-Net and Loss of Orbital Stability to hinder my opponent. The only cards that would have been useful in my games that I didn't include were Countermanda and Fire Sculptor - to prevent my opponents from fetching already-played Rogue Borg Mercenaries from their discard pile using Res-Q or Palor Toff.

Did you find that your deck had any surprising strengths or weaknesses through the course of playing it?
Dilemmas were my weak point. While they usually are in OTSD format, mine especially were. I did not get enough dilemmas so I had to intentionally missed some to get to 30 seed cards. Also, my three space dilemmas I got were not good as they stopped no personnel: Abandon Ship!, Two-Dimensional Creatures and Quantum Singularity Lifeforms (no opponent was using Romulan ships). I also had no personnel with Leadership -- thankfully that didn't turn out to be a problem because had I face the Q dilemmas as originally written it could have been VERY bad. Ship battle was something I did have to worry about because none of my ships had SHIELDS greater than 7. Thankfully none of my opponents used that strategy. (In an OTSD tournament last year I ran into a player who packed two Husnock ships and a Wormhole -- as you can imagine that game turned ugly for me quite fast.) I did have plenty of Diplomacy (Sarek, Deanna Troi and Kareel Odan) to get through any Q-Nets (including my own).

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Simple. Time Travel Pod. It is a game-breaking artifact that can devastate an opponent in OTSD format. I was able to acquire it every game. One opponent did nullify it using Amanda Rogers, but the other two times I used it effectively to make their ship go bye-bye for a long time.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I often used this dilemma combination under an opponent's mission I would try to steal: Hyper-Aging, Microvirus and Chalnoth. It made a simple 20 to 35 point mission worth 35 to 40 points -- helping me need to solve just three missions for the win (as I only used one 35 point mission and two 30 point missions).


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