This Interview with Greg Dillon was hold by Lucas Thompson and was published first on "The Continuing Committee (trekcc.org)" at Oct 18th, 2018.
Title: Romulan Assassins/Discard Lockout Day 1, Romulan Assassins/Discard Lockout Day 2
Headquarters: Romulus, Patient Stronghold
Deck Size: 68 Cards
Deck Archetype: Control - Interference
Dilemma Pile Size: 28 Cards/30 Cards
Dilemma Pile Type: Kill/Lockout
Why did you choose the deck that you used? What other decks did you consider using?
Whenever I'm super serious about winning I always favour heavy interference/lockout type decks because I suppose I'm just not a fan of the RNG of a draw deck AND a dilemma pile to win games, plus I'm not that great at skill tracking/playing dilemmas. Having said that my top picks were my Masters of the Universe Relativity, Starfleet (basically Ambers Day 2 deck because I copied the one Ken played at a Masters earlier this year), the Romulan Assassins I used and a similar deck that was more focused on discards and getting a lockout with Sela/Sirol + Dangerous Liaisons/Secret Conspiracy.
What sorts of decks were you hoping to face while playing your deck? What decks did you hope not to face?
I wanted to face speed solvers, because really no matter how fast a deck can go all I need is an Imperial Entanglements and a card in hand to be able to annihilate an attempt. I didn't want to face heavy kill prevention but I don't think that's really in atm, the most 'meta' kill prevention deck would be a Ferengi deck like the one KillerB won 2017 Worlds with and I think I could beat that 7/10 times any way.
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 a lot, I played the first version of the discard focused deck in an online tournament a couple months ago, which MvB recalled the unpleasant experience of playing against when I sat down across from him on Day 1 and very little practice with anything like it since then. I learnt plenty about the deck, I played it on Day 1 to get the extra experience with it and it payed off, in particular Back to Basics is probably the hardest counter to the deck but a Self-Replicating Roadblock or two fixes that right up.
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?
My favourite situational card/s was The Tides of Fortune + Soul Searching combo, it's rare because you have to be properly set up while the opponent is still trying to complete a space mission and have the spare counters to spend but when it works 15 points + your own dilemma under a mission of your choice is so cool.
Blind Spot/Romulus combo exceeded my expectations, it is so good at making sure you're there when the opponent begins the attempt to get the two discards from the ship and it saves two counters by not having to play Harried and Harassed if you don't play Imperial Entanglements.
From Day 1 to Day 2 I took out Hidden Strings and The Tides of Fortune/Soul Searching. I added Prejudice and Politics as a way to counter Back to Basics but only because I remembered a rule incorrectly, I would definitely swap that or GUYS for Self-Replicating Roadblock and probably take at the 3x At An Impasse, possibly add A Few Minor Difficulties. I added Shadow Operation for Day 2 but I'd take it out, I can't really decide if it's good or not.
What would you nominate as the MVP card from your deck?
For Day 1 it'd be Imperial Entanglements or Unsound Logic. For Day 2 it's definitely TR-116 Rifle.
Do you have anything else you'd like to say about your deck?
I could probably talk about the deck all day but I'll just direct you to the Worlds Day 4 thread where I've already responded to a lot of questions/comments.
I think the moral of the story here is: don't sleep on kill piles. In my recent coverage of Cardassian decks, I've focused pretty heavily on stopping them with interrupt prevention. However, they're also not very good at dealing with kill-based piles - their only natural kill prevention is Crell Moset, who is expensive and doesn't even work against The Clown: Guillotine.
Of course, this isn't an ordinary kill pile - Guillotine and All-Consuming Evil aren't here. No, what's here is much nastier. Unsound Logic's choice killing is very powerful, especially when supported by the TR-116 and the various Romulan-available Assassins. That brings me to the deck that supports the kill pile - it is also relatively new to the scene. Historically, when an interference deck with a kill pile takes down a major event like this one, it has been a Maquis deck or Neil's Romulan Discard deck or even just a deck that interferes passively using Aid Legendary Civilization. This deck is something different, which is nice.
We've taken a look at Richard New's version a couple times this year (most recently due to Gen Con Masters). One of the more remarkable things about this deck compared to prior interference victors is the interplay between the deck and the dilemma pile. It's not just Unsound Logic, it's the whole dilemma package - the Once More Unto the Breach and Chameloid Chicanery with the Harried and Harrasseds to get the Assassins and Cloaking Devices and Infiltrators to the mission. It's the Parallel Course to pull dilemmas back if you try to run away from all of those things. It's even the Simulated Prey/Taste of Armageddon to rack up the kills using the interrupts in your hand.
This is definitely a deck to keep an eye on, and perhaps one to try out if Cardassians (or any other anti-attrition heroes) are giving you trouble. I'm looking forward to seeing how players adapt to this new power on the scene - maybe it's through kill prevention, maybe you just thank them for delivering the assimilation victims to your mission? I'll personally need some more experience playing it and decks like it to find out for sure.
by Lucas Thompson, Ambassador