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Strategy Articles

Bajor Needs a Miracle

by Nathan Miracle, Staff Writer

21st July 2022

"He cheats death! He defies man! No trap can hold him!" -Mister Miracle #1, 1971

I knew when I saw the lore on Sisko, I had to write an article about him. Fortunately for me, his lore is not the only interesting thing on the card!

Benjamin Sisko

Benjamin Sisko (Corporeal Intercessor) rounds out the the Bajoran "Prophet" personnel in The Menagerie. This version of the venerated captain comes from Sacrifice of Angels, specifically from the moment he took the U.S.S. Defiant into the wormhole to face down the incoming Dominion fleet. In the show, Sisko convinced the Prophets to eliminate that threat. While removing all of your opponent's ships from the game would not work in the context of Second Edition, Sisko can still convince the Prophets to interfere on behalf of the corporeal world. For the low cost of disarding a Prophet card from hand, Sisko can move a dilemma which he is about to face to the bottom of the dilemma stack.

Jean-Luc Picard

"Don't rush me, sonny. You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles." -Miracle Max, The Princess Bride

Not very many cards in Second Edition alter the opponent's dilemma stack once it has been created. Sisko's ability reminds me of another great Starfleet captain. When helping Spock's Romulan Underground, Jean-Luc Picard (Bearer of Ill-Tidings) can ruin an opponent's dilemma stack. Each of the two has their own advantages. Romulans can score quite a few points, but Bajorans often do not mind having cards in the discard pile, so their costs each play to the strengths of their affiliations. Picard can throw the entire dilemma stack into chaos, while Sisko only moves one dilemma. On the other hand, Picard could shuffle a small dilemma pile right back to its original orientation, whereas Sisko's only risk is that the order of your opponent's dilemmas may not matter.

"Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? YES!" -Al Michaels, 1980 "Miracle on Ice"

Chula: The Game

While it is possible that moving the next dilemma to the bottom of the dilemma stack might do nothing, in many cases a single use of the ability can bust an entire combo. In broad terms, I see three ways moving a dilemma to the bottom of the stack could benefit you. In the best case scenario, Sisko moves a set-up dilemma such as Chula: The Game or Tragic Turn, giving you an entire mission attempt free from those ill effects and possibly giving you a free mission. In the second best case, Sisko could move a filter dilemma beneath the intended final dilemma. Consider the classic combo of Personal Duty into Gomtuu Shock Wave. Reordering those two dilemmas gives Sisko's crew a much better chance of passing the damage dilemma, even if Personal Duty eventually stops most of the personnel. In the final case, burying a dilemma beneath the stack could prevent you from ever facing it. Suppose your opponent knows they can stop you with a single dilemma such as Nothing to Lose, but also wants to prevent further attempts using Timescape. If you force Nothing to Lose to the top of the pile, all your personnel will be stopped and Timescape will be automatically overcome. Obviously you would prefer a free mission, but a free dilemma still helps!

"Always waiting on a miracle, a miracle" -Mirabel, Encanto

For all the praises I have been singing about Sisko, keep one word of warning in mind. A clever opponent may see Sisko's ability coming, especially if you use it too often. They may reverse the order of their own dilemmas so that using Sisko actually sets the dilemmas back to the right way around. Try to keep your opponent off guard, but remember Sisko's own words: fortune favors the bold!

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