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The Road to Worlds: Canadian Nationals

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

22nd November 2018

Second Edition Canadian Nationals winner Michael Van Breemen
Title: Trelliemma
Headquarters: Earth, Humanity's Home
Deck Size: 51 Cards
Deck Archetype: Control Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 30 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Kill Pile
Victory Correctly Predicted By: Armus, bosskamiura, Johannes Mette, and The Ninja Scot.

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

Amber wanted to play the Cardassian deck and this was really the only other deck we still had together. If I hadn't been sick almost the entire time between Texas and then I would've come up with something else.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I didn't know what Ken or Justin were playing but playing against decks that can get people back from the discard pile almost at will isn't something I wanted to play against. Beyond that, anything that could solve space before I can was going to be a bad 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?
Nothing new and I've played with this 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?
Nope

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Trellium-D and the corresponding damage card, it did the killing that it was supposed to do.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Cardassians don't like to die... discard from the deck sure... but not die.

My Commentary:
"Starfleet with kill pile is still [the] counter to the speed Cardies." -Amber Van Breemen

Remember how I listed a bunch of things last week that you need to counter the Cardassian decks that are running rampant these days? This deck checks a lot of those boxes:

It kills! Hazardous Materials is a very efficient kill dilemma, to the point where I've seen non-SF decks include Delphic missions just to use it. And it isn't just efficient on the initial kill - all those equipment that this deck stocks aren't just there to fuel Menagerie and Horse Trader draws, they are also used to mop up after the initial attempt is stopped. Supplemented by other kill dilemmas like Simulated Prey/A Taste of Armageddon, Dragon's Teeth, Cornered, and Environmental Contaminants, you're going to need a lot of kill prevention in a game against this deck.

It prevents! Any Cardassian deck facing this one will be staring down three copies each of Grav-Plating Trap and Lustful Distraction. Starfleet has access to Best-in-Class verb denial, and even a Mila or two is not going to help you out.

It transports crash survivor(s)! Seriously, don't play against MVB without it. Although, now that I think about it, the only times I beat him last weekend was with a deck that didn't have it.

So, the moral of the story here is: wash your hands!. I played against Michael four times (other than in tribbles) that I can think of over the Texas Chainsaw Masters weekend, and shook his hand after every game. However, I washed my hands each time, and as of this writing still have not caught the plague!

Of course, now I have jinxed it and will become deathly ill starting tomorrow.

First Edition Canadian Nationals winner Kenneth Tufts
Title: 22nd Rom Evolved in to NA
Deck Archetype: Avoidance Solver
Play Engines: Drone Control Room, Protect the Timeline, Free Orion Slaves
Draw Engines: Finally Ready to Swim, Temporal Almanac, Remote Interference
Bonus Point Mechanics: Assign Mission Specialists, Holographic Camouflage
Victory Correctly Predicted By: DarkSabre.

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

Slight tweak to a crazy strong deck, to make it a different achievement, it was what I planned to play since I won with the original Romulan version and MVB at the same event gave me the idea for the NA version, I had nothing else in mind for the event.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Face almost anything really, it has a few techs in for a mirror match though that could be messy with possible HIGH dupe mission ratio and inability to double attempt, but I played a version of that a few weeks ago already and won so wasn't too big a worry. Borg was a concern I guess, but variety of species and careful play made it ok in the end.

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?
Well it's all based on MVB's Distant Control deck from down under and after he played it I was like why are you bothering with planets at all, and we spent the evening brainstorming the Romulan version of the deck. I played it shortly after getting home and MVB played his Non-Aligned version at the same time, and I decided after winning that NA was next for me as well. So it's a newish deck, but I have a reasonable amount of experience with it. I did learn to make sure I can play all my cards with but hey those ships kept my NA ratio up for achievements at least, and the deck discards a few cards anyway.

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?
Situational would be the combo dilemma counter one, faced very few but it's KEY to the deck as both Scow and Plague ship are worse then normal against us. Playing it again the useless NA ships would swap for more random NA personnel, and I'd add enough NA cards to put a couple more Romulan ships in.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Distant control attempting space missions with little or no repercussions is just sick, almost all the killing dilemmas become blanks or have such limited targets that I just don't care. Ship damage or movement - who cares, I can bounce and replay the drone. It's just so strong, it feels a lot like the VERY VERY old school red shirting space missions from your outpost days to make half the space dilemmas blanks, those days went away for a reason...

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
The 22nd Romulan Drone package is strong VERY strong, very flexible, with seamlessly swapping between battle and solving even in the same turn half the time, and all while keeping all your main people together and while not at a homeworld very close to it if you need to hide some times.

My Commentary:
Despite all the Drone shenanigans we've encountered at the top of high level events, there has been relatively little use of Distant Control. It is a bit finicky: the crew has got to be all-native, you need Empathy, the Empathy can die, and if the Empathy does die, the attempt ends. That's a lot of conditions.

I personally had some difficulty figuring out how the Non-Aligned personnel fit into all this, given the nativity requirement on Distant Control. It turns out, if you can read an entire First Edition Incident text box (something I have historically had difficulty with), you'll find out that Comfort Women has you covered. In addition to the text that goes along with the Cardassian Occupation theme of the original Second Edition card, there's that last clause that makes Non-Aligned 22nd Century personnel native to all relevant time locations. That's pretty handy - at the cost of needing to include a second planet in a deck that intends to solve all space missions (though I suppose that makes it immune to balancing act).

So, you jump through some hoops, and what do you get? Immunity. I mean, what's are the worst things that happen in space? The ship blows up? That's not a big deal for a Remote Interference deck - just download another. It's not like any of your personnel died. What about Cytherians? Again, Remote Interference just returns the Drone to hand, and you play it again. Ken points out that Garbage Scows and Plague Ships are problematic, which is where his Renewed Spirit tech card comes in to play - just nuke the half that's giving you trouble. Ken's right, it's like the good(?) old days of red shirting in space, but you still have access to all the skills on all of your personnel.

That, and of course all the power of the Drone package that we've seen in other decks this year. Card draw, bonus points, and low-risk high-stat ship battle. Impressive!


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