Dominion Basics (Part 4 of 5): Son’a, Breen, and Dominion Holograms
Posted March 20th 2018 by CardGameGeek
This article will deal with three aspects of The Dominion that need some love: the allies of the Dominion (Breen and Son'a) and those few, but very important cards from Holodeck Adventures (the Dominion affiliation holograms).

Gallatin

Introduction

There are three different sub-groups, all of them serving one purpose – ‘to serve the Founders in all things’, as Gul ... no ... Legate Broca would phrase it.

 

I.) The Son'a

Back in 2002 / 2003, when First Edition was close to extinction, Decipher decided to enter the market with one of the best expansions ever: The Motion Pictures. Not only were those cards of very high quality, it was the only expansion not requiring an explanatory sheet (if I remember correctly).

At that time (this being before Shape-Shift Inhibitor and Strategema were introduced in the All Good Things expansion), most people played heavy mass-reporting decks. As a result, no one took interest in a group of cards that did not play for free (anywhere).

Those Son'a were of no interest to anyone, despite their interesting objective card: Collect Metaphasic Particles. However, even back then, I already liked them. They were bad and they looked ugly. Just like the Dominion, that made them appealing.

It must have been around 2008 or 2009 that I built my first Son'a deck. Since they didn't report for free, I just found an elegant solution: seed a Federation Outpost at the Ba'ku planet, play Terran Empire Federation personnel in the Mirror Quadrant for free and then spend the card play on Son'a personnel.

That deck was quite solid and I played it several times. The combination of Fed personnel without affiliation attack restrictions and a bunch of non-aligned guys with that same lack of attack restrictions was efficient.

Nonetheless, I felt that they needed some love.

Son'a Obs

In 2010, after Worlds, I was told that I could design a card – as a kind of reward for winning Worlds. I was completely caught by surprise.

At first, one can imagine, I thought about something that my beloved Dominion would need. However, I realized that it would probably be the only chance ever to design a card to get Son'a on the gaming tables. Therefore, I proposed Son'a Observatory, it went through playtesting and finally made it into Shades of Grey.

One of the most popular cards was born which also caught me by surprise when I realized what I had created there.

Since then, the Dominion had a more than potent ally capable of solving two important problems: having a foot in the Alpha Quadrant (where a draw engine is present, due to Duck Blind seeded at the Ba'ku planet) and getting Ketracel-White for free to any location using Pa'rena.

In addition to that, Son'a ships use less RANGE in those Briar Patch regions, and therefore can move much faster than anyone else. Also, Son'a Battleships are very powerful and their flagship also has a matching commander who can be downloaded using Son'a Observatory or Ready Room Door. In any event, the Son'a are easy to set up, have powerful ships and their personnel provide SCIENCE which is desperately needed by any Dominion player.

There are two ways of arranging this convergence:

One can either start in the Gamma Quadrant and – if possible – place his or her Bajoran Wormhole adjacent to the Briar Patch region ORseed a Neutral Outpost (with Spacedoor) at Analyze Radiation to download a Dominion ship and start directly in the Alpha Quadrant.

 

A) Starting in the Gamma Quadrant

One of the biggest issues of having two important locations in two different quadrants is that an opponent always has the chance to ruin the game. Ways to do that include cards like Blade of Tkon or placing Gaps in Normal Space all over the space line.

When starting in the Gamma Quadrant, an opponent can either also seed a Bajor region (which might be very far away from the Briar Patch) or they can seed something like Spaceand create high span numbers between missions.

The best way to minimize the risks is to seed Ultimatum and download Bajoran Wormhole AND to use Mission II cards including a wormhole, preferably Changeling Research II and Covert Installation II. Those two are best combined with using a Dominion/Cardassian Treaty. When doing so, including Sleeper Trap is appropriate. However, using Obedience Brings Victory also allows downloading Subjugate Planet, therefore those two can also be used in a Dominion-only deck.

Ba'ku Planet

Using those Mission II cards, the risk of not getting to the Ba'ku planet is minimized greatly.

 

B) Starting in the Alpha Quadrant

The easier way to get started is to do so directly in the Alpha Quadrant. In order to do that, it is necessary to seed a Neutral Outpost with Spacedoor (as mentioned above).

From here on, there are three different approaches.

a) The first one is to download any Dominion ship, downloading a Dominion Engineer using Assign Support Personnel (or other appropriate cards) and then go to any Dominion mission seeded to download Remote Supply Depot and two equipment cards using Ultimatum.

The weak spot of this is that such a Dominion mission needs to be close to the space mission where the Neutral Outpost was seeded. There might also be additional traveling required to get back to the Ba'ku planet.

It is a more aggressive approach since you are able to travel with your Dominion ships in front of your opponent's ships and facilities who will probably not be amused by having a staffed Dominion Attack Ship or even a Warship in the vicinity.

b) The second way requires the player to seed at least one Analyze Radiation. Then, Neutral Outpost can be seeded there. The rest is done as mentioned in a).

c) The third way is a bit more tricky, but provides some important and interesting advantages.

It is kind of a special deck type, but since it is conceivable only in combination with the Son'a, it was not discussed in article no. 3 of this series. It is discussed here instead.

The third way creates a kind of Dominion merchant deck. It has some resemblance with the Dominion Merchant deck already discussed, but requires the Son'a. It allows a player to go for a two mission win and does not require much movement.

Briar Patch

Three missions are required: Insurrection and at least two copies of Analyze Radiation.

Also, Neutral Outpost is required as well as Established Trade Route. In addition to that, one needs Establish Dominion Foothold, which has to be seeded at one Analyze Radiation where the Outpost is not seeded. Also, a Treaty: Dominion/Federation is required. Ultimatum is also needed as well as Assign Mission Specialists and, of course, Assign Support Personnel (Dominion War Efforts is not necessary).

Here is how it works:

Download a Dominion ship and a Dominion Support Personnel with ENGINEER. Fly to the Dominion mission next to your Outpost to get your hands on equipment cards: one Ketracel-White and one Jem'Hadar Birthing Chamber. If you have Pa'rena in hand, play her for free and chose to download two Jem'Hadar Birthing Chambers instead. Dock at your downloaded Remote Supply Depot and fly back to your Outpost as soon as possible.

How does all of this work and why does one need a Dominion/Federation Treaty?

One: Analyze Radiation has a seeded Establish Trade Route on it as well as Establish Dominion Foothold. Establish Trade Route allows ANY affiliation to attempt any one space mission (with a point box).

The deck should contain Son'a, several Young Jem'Hadar, and adult universal Jem'Hadar as well as some personnel required to be played as normal card play. Therefore, you can play Son'a and Jem'Hadar for free and your Jem'Hadar can use Victory Is Life which can be downloaded to hand using Obedience Brings Victory. Use Defend Homeworld on turn 2 to download Deyos (Temporal Micro-Wormholerequired) to draw cards for each of your Jem'Hadar entering the game. If you need a freighter, download the Karemman vessel.

Analyze Radiation is a 25 point mission. By using Establish Dominion Foothold and one mission specialist (Dr. Farek) + Victory Is Life, it is now a 45 points mission.

Insurrection is boosted by downloading and using Matthew Dougherty and Victory Is Life which makes it a 50 point mission.

Use additional Victory Is Life cards by attacking your opponent, giving you any additional 5 points needed. You can also play Drought Tree on a later turn (beware of In The Zone). If your opponent uses point-loss dilemmas, attack him or her more often to gain all the points you need.

If possible, include the Ba'ku since they also play for free.

To get the Acquisition and Greed personnel needed to solve that mission, I recommend spending card plays on personnel that have both skills, like Ah-Kel and Ro-KelKivas FajoMorn, and Rybak as well as Vash.

Since it is a space mission, also think about including Non-Aligned holograms like Cyrus Redblock (Civil Criminal) who has Acquisition or Nicky the Nose who has Greed. Only Dr. Farek is needed as a mission specialist, so the other one can be a Federation hologram.

You can either download them using Holodeck Door or simply play them as a card play aboard any of your facilities. Since they do not have a holodeck, those cards are deactivated. You can then beam them aboard your Dominion Battleship (which has a holodeck) and activate them there.

Breen Warship

 

II.) The Breen

The second part of this article will deal with this very small group of cards introduced when The Trouble with Tribbles was released – the Breen. During the last part of season 7 of Deep Space Nine, the Breen had become an important ally of the Dominion.

Before we go into detail, let's take stock.

There are five Breen cards:

The Breen Warship, its commander Thot Gor, his successor Thot Pran, and Lam (a universal Support Personnel). None of those cards plays for free, anywhere. Also, there is Breen Disruptor Burst, one of the most used tactic cards ever.

Nonetheless, there are reasons why one should consider using these cards.

A) Breen / Jem'Hadar battle decks

“For two millenia, the Jem'Hadar have been the Dominion's first line of defense.” - Founder Leader.

First of all, Thot Gor's special skill is worth thinking about when it comes to building an effective Dominion battle deck. He gives every Breen ship and Jem'Hadar ship WEAPONS +2 if they are together in battle. That means, they have to attack together.

A good way to use that is to build a two-ship combo. One Breen Warship and one Jem'Hadar Attack ship. Using normal, given attributes, those two have 18 WEAPONS. Each of them has SHIELDS = 9.

Of course, as always with the Dominion, these attributes can be pushed massively. First of all, Thot Gor and any one Vorta using a VR-Headset can act as the matching commanders for those ships. That makes (10 + 3) + (8 + 1 + 3), a total of 25. Including Thot Gor's bonus, it is 29.

Also, using Lamat'Ukan (who can be downloaded using Quark's Isolinear Rods) on one ship and Divert Power on another one, those two have 33 WEAPONS available.

In addition to that, there is Breen Disruptor Burst. It adds another ATTACK bonus of 2 which provides 35 WEAPONS – using only two ships. That is enough to damage a Borg Cube, even one that has several SHIELDS +2 drones aboard. It is also enough to damage a non-Borg outpost. Using an Ablative Armor on both ships, there is not much anyone could do to damage them when trying to get rid of them.

Thot Gor

All of that can be achieved in turn 3, latest. Here is how it works:

You need two copies of Make It So seeded.

Turn 1: Download the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship using Spacedoor. During your turn, use Defend Homeworld to download Deyos. If you had seeded your VR-Headset, let him assume command. Download Captain's Log via a Ready Room Door acquired using Make It So. Then place the Ready Room Door on top of your deck. Use Quark's Isolinear Rods to download Lamat'Ukan to hand.

Turn 2: Download the Breen Warship using Spacedoor. Use the re-drawn Ready Room Door to download Thot Gor.

Turn 3: Play Lamat'Ukan. You can play Lamat'Ukan using a Temporal Micro-Wormhole in turn 3, even while already being under way. It saves some time.

This way, you have the firepower as mentioned above in a timely fashion.

B) Alpha Quadrant mission solving

The Dominion mostly consists of Gamma Quadrant personnel (and ships). Since a tightened deck (one quadrant only) is always easier to defend (and manage), one way of playing the Dominion has been termed: Alpha Quadrant only.

The Breen offer a small number of cards that are native to the Alpha Quadrant and do not require Ketracel-White. That makes them playable at any compatible facility without having to worry that they might go crazy due to White Deprivation.

Since Lam is a Support personnel, he can be downloaded using Assign Support Personnel whilst the Breen Ship can be downloaded using Spacedoor to any compatible facility.

C) Any Quadrant decks (except for mission solving)

The Breen ship offers a very interesting ability which is not common. It allows all members of a species, in this case the Breen, to report aboard. The ship itself, as stated above, can be downloaded using Spacedoor to any compatible outpost. The question becomes: why would anyone use the Breen in the first place?

In many cases, when people play scary decks, experienced players reserve the right to use landed ships. They are hard to counter and can save people from cards like Transport Inhibitor.

Breen CRM114

One of only a few ways to "counter" a landed ship is to use a Breen CRM114. It reports directly and ONLY to Breen and arms dealers. There are some arms dealers, but only three of them can be downloaded at all: Gaila who requires a player to spend the Defend Homeworld download, Benil who must be downloaded using a Nor or Terok Nor (denying a player from drawing any other cards during that turn) and Nicky The Nose who requires a holodeck (downloadable using Holodeck Door).

However, none of them would be quite safe in an Away Team because each of them does not have high printed STRENGTH. When attacking a landed ship, your Away Team will most certainly be subject to retaliation.

In a Breen deck which is designed to hunt an opponent (using appropriate dilemmas) and destroy his landed ships, Lam is downloaded using Assign Support Personnel; using Dominion War Efforts it even stays in play allowing the subsequent downloading of other support personnel on future turns. When used in a Dominion / Cardassian deck, there are many options for additional personnel that can be downloaded.

In essence, a (small) Breen Landed Ships Hunting Deck offers the ability to use a Breen CRM114 without a big setup.

Another way to play Breen in any quadrant is to mix them with Non-Aligned personnel in any quadrant when sufficient defense is not guaranteed.  A staffed and boosted Breen Warship (using Defiant Dedication Plaque and Captain's Log) offers an 11-13-12 ship which is enough to damage a Borg Ship (dilemma), for example.

Most players who have tried a Voyager Delta Quadrant deck know the danger of having their U.S.S. Voyager displayed there like a trophy. One way to prevent battle deck players from just destroying the main reporting ship is to build a secured Federation/Dominion Treaty deck, using Breen in the Delta Quadrant.

 

III.) Dominion Holograms

The Dominion was one of only a few affiliations without any holograms of their own – until Holodeck Adventures brought the light of the day. Even though there are only two different Dominion hologram cards at all, there are reasons to dedicate a chapter of this article to them.

Wodek

A) Characteristics

Both cards, Wodek'Idan and Dar, offer a noticeable advantage: they are Support Personnel cards and can therefore be downloaded using Assign Support Personnel in combination with Dominion War Efforts.

The only Dominion ship with a holodeck is the Dominion Battleship (both versions), therefore it is advisable to use it when running Holograms. Of course, there is always the possibility of using Non-Aligned ships, Holodeck Doors seeded or played on a Dominion Outpost in the Gamma Quadrant, and Non-Aligned holograms.

However, unless one constructs one of the “special deck types” (as mentioned in previous articles) or comes up with a new deck idea requiring it, it is always advisable to keep a deck Dominion-only.

As I mentioned in a previous article, the “deck flow” is better with less “obstructing” cards in the deck.

Since I mentioned the Breen earlier in this article, one thing must clearly be stated: a holograms's species is hologram, therefore the Breen hologram is not Breen species. He cannot serve to allow a Breen CRM114 to report. Also, since the Jem'Hadar hologram is not Jem'Hadar species, one cannot draw a card for reporting him using Deyos and a Young Jem'Hadar cannot be exchanged with a copy of him from hand.

B) Usefulness

Because the Dominion has no native way to download Holo-Projectors to any planet, their only but most important application is to use them in space mission attempts.

When playing a Dominion Gamma/Alpha deck, it is advisable, if possible, to start solving a space mission in the Gamma Quadrant. Space missions are far more dangerous than planet missions: CytheriansBorg Ship dilemmaEmergent Life-form and others are less troublesome on a small space line. In most cases, a Gamma Quadrant space line consists of four or less cards, therefore, everything is not as much stretched as it is in the Alpha Quadrant, where most of the action takes place. Besides, an opponent who tries to become more aggressive will be less motivated to do so deep in Dominion space.

Since the Dominion reports a lot of cannon fodder personnel, using holograms instead is less dangerous in terms of losing personnel. Two holograms, any one Jem'Hadar with a command icon (e.g. Support Personnel like Azet'Izan), and one Young Jem'Hadar can staff a Dominion Battleship.

Since a mission attempt does not require a staffed ship, it is sufficient to send those two holographic personnel alone on such a battleship into a mission attempt. They cannot be killed or relocated, therefore the only real danger is to lose the ship.

Dar

C) More …

Using holograms for mission attempts is nothing new. However, the Dominion offers another way to make use of them which is not open to any other affiliation…

Equipment reports for free at Remote Supply Depot. Therefore, the combination of holograms and any number of Mobile Holo-Emitter cards reporting for free at one's convenience imposes on the player. Tasks them even.

When building such a deck, it can even be one of those rare instances where it is conceivable to seed a Holodeck Door at any facility to report not only Dominion holograms, but all useful Non-Aligned holograms. Equipping them each with Mobile Emitters allows those holographic personnel to attempt missions without the need to play or download frail cards like Holo-Projectors, which can be nullified – eliminating all of the holograms on the planet (erased/discarded).

After they are equipped with a Mobile Holo-Emitter, an opponent is virtually unable to get rid of those holographic personnel. Since the emitter's game text says “While worn, does not count as an Equipment card”, it cannot be destroyed using Disruptor Overload.

Under normal circumstances, the Dominion is the only affiliation able to report numerous copies of that card for free. Now, if a player decides to push that option to the maximum, one can use Disengage Safety Protocols to allow holograms to mortally wound other personnel. Since those holographic cards cannot be killed (or targeted by Ceti Eel), using them offers a new way of approaching personnel battle, mission attempts and planning actions during a game.

 

Forecast:

The next article will be the last of the Dominion Basics series. It will deal with certain features and characteristics of playing all of the previously named and described deck types in general. Also, it will discuss certain difficulties unique to the Dominion.

 

Discuss this article in this thread.

 

by Andreas Rheinländer (Dukat), Freelance Writer


Original article published by TrekCC