What's New Dashboard Articles Forums Chat Room Achievements Tournaments Player Map The Promenade Volunteers About Us Site Index
Article Archives
First EditionSecond EditionTribblesAll

All Categories Continuing CommitteeOrganized PlayRules CommitteeDeck DesignsVirtual Expansions
Card ExtrasSpecial EventsTournament ReportsEverything ElseSpotlight SeriesContests
Strategy Articles


The Road to Worlds: Regionals 2019 Week 9

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

30th May 2019

Second Edition Washington Regional winner Michael Van Breemen
Title: Basso is the One
Headquarters: Bajor, Blessed of the Prophets
Deck Size: 44 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 50 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Wall Attrition

MVB's Commentary:
What achievement made you choose the deck that you used? What other achievements did you consider chasing?

You better sit down - I didn't choose the deck and it earns zero achievements. I gave her a list of affiliations that hadn't won a regional yet and since I couldn't decide on a deck myself (that comes up a lot), she said to play Bajoran microteam so that's what I did. Using One was what I decided to do differently than before.

Achievements that I considered chasing -

Borg
DS9 Earth
Terok Nor
Triple HQ
Bajoran/Romulan
Maquis/Dominion
DS9 Earth/Klingon
Starfleet/Terok Nor
Maquis/Ferengi
All Cunning with greater than 6

They're all the 2E achievements that I have left other than some dilemma set achievements.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
As long as I didn't face any decks with TCS, I thought that I would be fine.

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?
Not particularly.

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?
Nothing particularly situational. The most useful and most consistently used were the Orbs and Accession although the swapping out Ranjen Koral only to bringing him back with the Xhosa to get another card when you pick up the Xhosa is very handy.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
"Great things in games are never done by one card; they're done by a deck of cards." - paraphrasing Steve Jobs

How much did you use Optimism, and for what functions?
I used it to discard extra copies of people to prevent stop/kill with Orb of Contemplation. Also, when I had too many cards in my hand although that wasn't the main purpose of using the card.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Not really.

My Commentary:
For some reason, it rarely occurs to me to us Basso Tromac in a Bajoran integrity deck. I use him in Bajoran treachery decks all the time, but when it comes to the good guys, he stays on the sidelines. There's not much reason for that to happen though! Sure, there are some edge cases where he's the only one who makes it through An Issue of Trust at an honor mission, but this deck is going to have trouble if it is hit with Issue anyways. And hey, he can always pick up that honor through treacherous means.

Treacherous means like Covenant! Bajorans have some great interrupts, but none are quite as potent as Covenant, even after its errata. All the attributes and all the skills on any [Baj] personnel in your discard pile for the rest of the mission attempt, and all you have to do is (a) remove that personnel from the game and (b) have a treacherous Bajoran personnel in the attempt. Like Tahna Los, Teero Anaydis, or (your friend and mine) Basso Tromac.

Now sure, Basso's three integrity may seem like a liability in a deck with integrity missions, but with an ability like his, it isn't so bad. Burning one of your Bariels, Siskos, or Opaka boosts him to a very respectable eight integrity, and burning Optimism still gets him to six. The reason this matters are wall dilemmas like "Rapid Progress". Any time your opponent can easily call out a skill you don't have, those dilemmas become much better. And classic integrity decks, the ones that eschew treachery personnel, often have a rough time there. So when you have a treachery personnel who can have 6+ integrity, that's a good deal.

But five-costers aren't all that Basso has to burn here. Historically, I've seen (and used myself) Rule of Acquisition used with him (and Gorgon) for its massive nine cost, but MVB has opted to use One here instead. He's slightly cheaper, and there's a bit more counterplay against him with Gorgon, but he's got one very big upside: he's fuel for another wall dilemma, The Next Phase. I remember trying to use that dilemma when it first came out with personnel like Lore, and it was decent. Now, with One around, it is a much beefier wall, and in a deck like this there's almost always going to be at least one One removed by the second half of the game. I hope you're packing eight Bridge Officer's Tests!

Second Edition Massachusetts Regional winner Chris O'Connell
Title: Dragon Con Diplomacy, Klingon Style
Headquarters: Qo'noS, Heart of the Empire
Deck Size: 83 Cards
Deck Archetype: Control Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 40 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Unfair Comparison/Overwhelmed

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

Because it was made already! I had made it last summer for my trip to Dragon Con, and it performed so well there I kept it together as a standby deck. I haven't had a lot of time for deck building these last few months, so having it always ready has been super convenient for me. I looked into making some changes for it for this time around, but it just didn't come together in time.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Nothing in particular I was hoping to face, but this deck has performed well against Infestation-heavy dilemma piles. I was hoping to avoid anything with counter denial, like Dominion infiltration. I need all of my counters each turn to hunt for my engine or barf out cards. So being denied any of them can slow this down significantly.

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 this deck at 3 other tournaments in the last year and won each of them. I think this time around I've been realizing what cards are more dead-weight than others. Some of them are important situationally, but I also was drawing them instead of my core engine cards when I could have used those more.

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 have Standard Orbit in this deck, to help against the TNG/DS9 mega-download decks. I don't necessarily get it out first turn, but even if it's early enough it helps slow down their engine a bit. Also Bridge Officer's Test works out really well against all-stop dilemmas. There is no shortage of 2x leadership. The key is just making sure that there is enough skill and attribute redundancy that whoever dies to it won't affect solving.

I think I would probably remove the Vor'cha ships. In no game did I use them. The Vog'leng is the perfect opening ship, and the Qel'Poh is a nice runner up. Also likely Expedient Opportunity will go. It's there in case I get Gomtuu'ed in the DQ and can't move back. But this deck usually has enough Diplomacy and unstopping to not let that happen. Or I just power-draw for B'Elanna.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
Undoubtedly Delirium. It has been so powerful I'm considering it running in other decks even if I have to pay full cost. Being able to play 2x for free with K'mtar is fantastic, but in any situations I drew it first, it still got played. Adding 2 to every attempt's draw and spend cannot be underestimated. It gives so many more options, especially when many of my killer dilemmas are playing for free already. It allows me to throw 4-5 dilemmas at a missions first and second attempt and kill 50%+ of their attempting personnel.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I would like to make a slimmer version of this deck that works a bit more efficiently. Possibly doubling up on some of the key personnel and cutting others out. But as it is, I've learned to not be afraid of over-drawing and burning through my cards. It sounds counter-productive at first, but unless I have the critical cards the rest of the deck doesn't matter. And anything that winds up in the discard pile is just fodder for BQC.

My Commentary:
In 2016, I won NA Continentals with this deck, and then when Chris came with me to American Nationals in Atlanta last year, I recommended the deck to him. He tweaked the deck a bit, and then more later, and has been happily using it since then - finishing first with it here, and also at a few other events like this Dragon Con tournament.

It's easy to see why the deck has legs: the dilemma pile is resilient to weenie decks with the 6-costers and control decks with Overwhelmed. Despite needing to stick to high cost dilemmas for Unfair Comparison, it manages t stock a little bit of everything: kills, stops, trips, and walls. He's added dilemmas like Aceton Assimilators after being scarred by Infestation in the past, and more anti-weenie cards than I was using - that's probably the right call, since this isn't the fastest deck to get up and running sometimes.

Of course, sometimes you draw the nuts (Alexander, Guidance, K'Tal) and the deck is super fast out of the gate. The amount of raw card advantage those cards (and the Surprise Parties and Energizes they download) generate can be quite absurd. However, I've found that the average card quality is high enough that the draw deck is quite resilient to bad draws (see my my tournament report, specifically my game against Phil). Sure, you're not exactly pounding out high-cost skill-rich Klingons at the rate of weenies in those games, but they are coming, and they're hard to stop.

Speaking of which, Klingons have one of the best suites of dilemma busting effects in the game. While a Romulan Control Solver is going to be better at controlling the opponent's side of the game, and will recover from poor draws more easily, their mission solving skills are much more limited. Klingons have naturally high attributes, supplemented by dense skill lists, and baked in personnel abilities like Gowron's stop and kill prevention or Riker's skill gaining. Chris has even managed to fit in a lot more of the top notch solving interrupts than I did, giving him much more flexibility to prevent stops, bust through wall dilemmas, and cheat skills. Definitely a formidable arsenal.

Second Edition Chicago Regional winner Maggie Geppert
Title: Apparently Errata Was Necessary, Even Though I Didn't Win a Masters Yet
Headquarters: Cardassia Prime, Hardscrabble World
Deck Size: 67 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 38 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type:
Victory Correctly Predicted By:

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

I really wanted to see how this deck would play against Casey Wickum. He is a talented skill-tracker and loves to play with 3x Infinite Diversity and 3x "Rapid Progress." I also considered playing my [TNG] DipHoLe deck, simply because I haven't had it out in awhile, but The Central Command > Bridge Officers' Test. Of course, this time I didn't get a chance to play against him at all.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I was hoping to mostly play against other solvers. I don't mind battle decks too much, since I have tons of ships available to me if something goes boom. Capture or assimilation isn't much of a big deal because my personnel are weenies. My biggest worry was kill piles, since there's not much I can do about death and destruction. Thankfully, in my game against Eric, his All-Consuming Evil/Tragic Turn pile wasn't working 100% for him against me. It helped that I went [S]/[S]/[P] , so he couldn't set up ACE until the last minute.

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 this deck at 3 Masters events, so I have a bit of experience with it. I think the biggest thing I learned from this is how flexible the attribute gain from The Enemy of My Enemy is. I used it against Eric to confine him to one kill with The Clown: Guillotine. I used it to put The Weak Will Perish under my mission instead of my core.

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 got to use Silaran Prin in my game against Brian! He loves Mot + Vic Fontaine, so I named Vic when I played Prin (Mot was already out). Vic was deactivated a couple of turns later.

I'd probably take out Uninvited if I played this deck again. When I had to choose cards to discard, I nearly always ditched that over a personnel or Tacking Into the Wind.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
The Central Command. In my current meta, its unstopping power is more important than The Enemy of My Enemy's skill gain. I did make use of TEoME, but definitely TCC more.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
Thanks so much to Steve Hartmann (Chompers) for allowing me to copy his original creation and giving me some pointers on how to use it. I also miss being able to use TEoME with Seven of Nine, Immersed in Chaos. I don't really miss being able to combo it with One, but Seven was fun. I would have loved to have been able to gain Admiral against Brian's Dignitaries and Witnesses in Round 1. Oh well.

My Commentary:
I've definitely written a lot about Cardassians - they've been doing very well - but I had a nice break for a few months (If you don't count KCA decks that are basically Cardassian ones at a different HQ). This deck is a little different than that family of Cardassian decks, since it doesn't have the [AU] Bajorans that fuel [AU] Garak and Casualties of the Occupation.

This deck instead runs premiere Garak and a couple extra cards that will help you cycle through your deck to get your extremely powerful cheater interrupts (The Central Command and The Enemy of My Enemy). Often, I'll see Cardassian decks either use Intelligence missions and Tain OR These Are The Voyages; that's often enough to get you what you need. This one goes above and beyond but including both, for those times when "often" isn't good enough. It also means the deck can run a bit bigger than ones we've seen so far, while still putting you in the position of drawing what you need when you need it.

The drought of reviewing Cardassian decks does roughly coincide with the Errata to The Enemy of My Enemy, though I'm curious how much effect the actual nerf has had. It's still a very potent, flexible cheater card; the drought could possibly be more reflective of player fatigue with the Cardassian trend, or simply moving on to the next thing as soon as the errata hit, or even just moving onto the next thing just because. I did notice that One (who can no longer be targeted by Enemy) and the Gorgons that synergize with him are still here; I asked Maggie a follow-up about it and she said: "I kept them in post-errata. It's not as efficient, since I can't use One with TEoME after I ditch him, but you can't argue against a 2-cost [D] wall that hits every time.

Also, looking at this deck, you'll see Tacking Into the Wind, and you may think that the card is in there because Cardassian decks do so much self-milling that you'll need it for recycling your personnel and ships. I've found that, more often than not, it's usually used for event destruction (especially since Cardassians have such poor event destruction options) - the retrieval is more of a failsafe for the rare control match-up. But I also asked Maggie about her experiences, because she has played this deck a lot: "I think I used it once to get back personnel and ships. I think the one time was against Steve Nelson at Minnesota Masters. IIRC, he had gotten rid of all my Law to block me out of Strange New Worlds and I was out of TEoME. I prefer to use it for event destruction. That's how I used it yesterday against Al. I destroyed his War of Attrition."


Discuss this article in this thread.

Back to Archive index