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The Road to Worlds: British and Canadian Nationals

by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador

27th November 2019

Second Edition British National Championships winner Thorsten Wanek
Title: UK Nationals 2019 DS9
Headquarters: Mouth of the Wormhole, Deep Space 9
Deck Size: 40 Cards
Deck Archetype: Midrange Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Attrition

My Commentary:
If you're worried about some sort of interactive strategy, no single card will offer to shut it down like the U.S.S. Defiant, Patrolling Warship. Hordes of Remans? Stopped. Romulan assassins? Stopped. Borg assimilators? Stopped! Only a few things avoid it: aggressive opponents either need to shut it down with A Few Minor Difficulties, or they need to move their battle targets. So Arena/Left Behind decks can still take shots at some isolated people, and Provocative Levity can move the ship. But then they've still got to somehow sneak past those 10 shields.

One Provocative Levity strategy is less about battle, and more about stranding the targeted ship, but this deck doesn't worry much about that either with three copies of the new interrupt, Full Throttle. I've been seeing that show up in a lot of recent decks, with good reason. Even if your opponent isn't trying to strand you or stall your with Crippling Strike, the range boost from Throttle can be incredibly useful. While on most early turns you won't need more than 8 range in a DS9 deck, in the late game being able to fly out, collect previously stopped personnel, and fly somewhere else can be very impactful.

But what's really cool about this deck is that its anti-interference tech is only part of the picture: it can also go on the offensive. Invasion Plans is very powerful tool for a dual-heavy attrition pile, and can completely negate the Stakoron mission advantage. Ruthless Efficiency means that those Full Throttles can pull double duty, allowing the Defiant or the Sao Paolo to swoop in, make dual dilemmas cheaper, then fly off an attempt a mission. And because Invasion Plans doesn't get destroyed when you win, you can swoop in again and move the same copy to another mission later.

So, I've mentioned two of the three different ships in this deck; let's talk about the U.S.S. Bellerophon. When it came out, there weren't a lot of great options for DS9-icon diplomacy personnel to drop with it. Its commander reduces his own cost in the mid game, and four-cost Sisko is someone you'd rather pay for in order to download a ship. But since then we've got some juicier options: 10-Integrity, 5-cost Kai Opaka sports a DS9 icon these days, and makes the Bellerophon effectively 2-cost when you use its ability on her. And this deck won't likely have the three Bajorans it needs to play Picard until late in the game, so being able to drop him into play for free is very valuable, since by skills and attributes he's basically a four cost personnel himself. This is a ship that has definitely aged well.

Second Edition Canadian National Championships winner Kenneth Tufts
Title: Cardies 1.3
Headquarters: Cardassia Prime, Hardscrabble World
Deck Size: 78 Cards
Deck Archetype: Speed Solver
Dilemma Pile Size: 35 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Attrition

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

I chose it because it's one of the best decks available right now and I'm comfortable playing it, I considered nothing else.

What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
Kill pile with a LOT of interrupt prevention is about the worst match up but even that is IMO at worst a 50-50 match up because most of those decks run slower then the Cardies can, so I can often just draw more interrupts faster then they can counter + Mila of course. So really I'm not too worried about anything with this beast.

What was your toughest match-up of the day? What made it so difficult?
Justin's Relativity, he was a slower one with lots of counters, but he got a less-than-perfect draw and I just drew way more cards and powered through.

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?
Lots of experience because it's that Cardie deck, didn't learn anything new though did use the few updates I made in several games.

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 swapped to event destruction Dukat, it was useful in at least one game (in another I would have liked the old stop-prevention one because I never drew Central Command), but over all it gives the deck tools it lacks other wise so I think it's a good change.

What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
The one card that NEVER should have been added to the Cardie's already overflowing tool box Enemy of My Enemy was the MVP again in more games than any other one card.

What was your best play of the tournament?
Nothing stands out, the deck just did its thing like it always tends to.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your experience?
Yet again I'm amazed this deck has not seen any meaningful errata hits, the change to EomE was way way way too little for a card that never should have been given to Cardies. Its end of mission text is just silly strong, one game I was able to start the attempt with three and three under at my 40pt missions and just solve with three EomE for the additional 21 cunning I needed. Cardies were a top tier deck before EomE and Casualties were added now with them the tax to counter all their tools is just insurmountable, they can very often one-and-done one or more missions a turn.

My Commentary:
I've said a lot about this deck. I, too, would like to see one or more cards in it receive errata.


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