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The Road to Worlds: Regionals 2019 Week 7

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

16th May 2019

Second Edition Atlanta Regional winner Nathan Miracle
Title: Two Hundred Years Too Late
Headquarters: Qo'noS, Heart of the Empire
Deck Size: 42 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 30 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Infestation Attrition

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

I built a version of this deck back in December for David Camp. He's since done fairly well with Arne Darvin and Infestation (though a slightly different version without the Smugglers). I decided to add Skeleton Crew, Timescape and a few extra copies of Infestation and give it a try for myself.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I hoped to face decks which put relatively few personnel into play. Infestation piles care far more about the quantity of personnel the opponent has rather than the quality of those personnel.

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?
Most of my experience playing this style of deck actually came from playtesting Arne Darvin when we were working on Far Beyond the Stars. Other than that, I had only played one practice game the night before the tournament. The experience of playing against David's version helped as well. The run-time decisions worked out pretty much like I expected, so most of what I learned fell on the deck-building side. I did learn I need to add a bit of Geology and Programming.

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 say A History of Collusion and Lethal Wound both qualify as situational cards. Collusion only works if your opponent has an event in core that they really care about, but when they have that event you can string together some big plays. Lethal Wound never actually triggered, but stop prevention hurts Infestation enough that I wouldn't want to cut it.

Are there any cards from the upcoming set (A Less Perfect Union) that you wish you could have used in your deck?
Yes! She won't be revealed until next week, though, so I'll leave out the details until then. [I suspect he's referring to 48V14 -Lucas]

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
It'd be difficult to argue against Infestation, since the whole deck was built around it. I would like to list several honorable mentions: Vekma, who downloads Riker and has three key skills; Durg, who twice bypassed Nothing to Lose and once helped me maintain a bluff by NOT bypassing it due to attribute boosts; The Sword of Kahless, which allows me to complete even the tougher missions with four personnel; and Arne Darvin, who really takes Infestation to the next level.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
If you want to play this deck, I do have some changes I'd recommend. I'd add Journey to the Past and Where No One Has Gone Before to hit the opponent hard after Infestation stops enough personnel. I'd also take out Kahless and replace him with a third Vorax for the Geology and Programming.

My Commentary:
It was actually on a trip to Atlanta that I first experienced the power of a refined Infestation deck. Though the non-Infestation elements of the pile are a bit different between that deck and this one, the objective largely remains the same:

  • Step 1: Stop people for cheap with Infestation. Most competitive Infestation decks are about 50% Infestations; they replace all the Chula: The Chandra, Show Trial type dilemmas that you'd see in a standard attrition pile. Why wouldn't they? One cost for two stops is way more efficient than most standard attrition dilemmas. That's like The Chandra stopping eight personnel minimum instead of two.
  • Step 2: Clean up with dilemmas like The Dal'Rok and Occupational Hazards. One thing that Infestation can't do is remove personnel from the attempt without being overcome, so you sprinkle in a few dilemmas that are more expensive, but don't go under the mission. If those dilemmas happen to kill people too (thereby reducing the chance that the opponent can build up multiple crews and overwhelm your pile), all the better.
  • Step 3: Hit 'em hard with a finisher once their crew is mostly stopped. Shane used Programmed Compulsion and Sylvia for this purpose, Nathan had Gomtuu and Greater Needs (and suggests trying Where No One Has Gone Before and Journey to the Past in his interview). Whatever you use, Infestation your opponent until there's no way they can do anything about what's coming, and stick them with the worst you've got.

On the draw deck side, I wanted to remark on the inclusion of Galen. I wouldn't have thought of using him outside of a Thief deck, but he's quite a clever inclusion in this deck. First, it's a deck that naturally wants to use artifacts (The Sword of Kahless), and Nathan included a second copy so that he can use one and discard the other to activate Galen. Second, his use of A History of Collusion means that he has already sprinkled smugglers into the deck, and there's one particular Non-Aligned Smuggler who has seen a resurgence recently. Third, Vekma's primary target may be Riker, but that doesn't mean she's limiting her options to that particular human. There are lots of reasons to use him here, you just have to be a clever enough deckbuilder to remember he's out there when you're building a Klingon deck.

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