For the next deck spotlight I am going to break down what I believe is the best non-NX deck, the Raptor. This deck doesn’t get much love in the weekly polls, but it has a great win rate against most other decks, and is very consistent due to the core cards.
The thing that makes this deck so great is its ability to control and maintain the board. This is mostly due to the 2 cores cards, Die with Honor and Honored Dead. The first does 2 damage to all opponent’s ships on Core Breach, which helps prevent them from getting a wide board and overwhelming you. You will usually be able to take out at least 2 of your opponent’s cards with one of these. This deck is all about getting great value out of your ships and Honor the Dead plays into that perfectly.
The other core card, which allows you to sacrifice a ship to deal 4 damage to a random opponent ship, is an amazing follow up to the previous card. After clearing the board you can start choosing these and deal with just about anything they can play.
With the Raptor Class flagship you generally always want to use the special ability. Generating the Escort Transport is incredibly powerful in this deck as opposed to doubling all Core Breach effects on one ship, which is rarely powerful enough. Between the ship generated by the Raptor’s ability, and cards like Raptor Class, it’s very rare to not have a ship on the board to trigger a core breach. In fact, you will often times find you have a full board every turn.
When I am playing this deck, if one of those 2 cards are available, when I use the ability, I will take it. In certain circumstances the Escort Bird of Prey can help push some damage through a few guardians but 9 out of 10 times I would recommend taking one of the 2 events. They are the engine that makes this deck run.
Let’s get on to the deck now and discuss a few key cards. The last version of the deck that we have been using is this:
Vidiian Type 1 2
Klingon Arms Freighter 2
Raptor Class 2
B’rel Bird of Prey 2
D5 Tanker 2
Rebel Klingon Shuttle 2
Andorian Recon Cruiser 2
IKS Duras 1*
K’t’inga Battlecruiser 2
Val Jean 1*
Kronos One 1*
Vor’cha Battlecruiser 2
D’Kyr Class 2
IKS Mo’Kai 1
This deck is fairly light on crew, since you are killing your own ships most of the time. The ones it does play with are generally focused on adding consistency to your board control options.
These cards play a huge role in this deck, especially B’Etor, who I would say is one of the 2 most important crew in the deck. Not every ship your opponent plays will have 2 health. These cards will help clean up the mess that your Die with Honor leaves on the board. Because you are constantly destroying your own ships, B’Etor can be played 2-3 times in a turn, often times. Never leave her on the board if she is not going to die. These cards are also great at clearing a shield off of a ship before triggering a Die with Honor.
Koloth is by far the best card in this deck. 3 damage to all opponent ships is amazing. Since you are constantly picking off their ships, at some point they will overcommit after you play an Honor the Dead and you will 4 for 2 them, or better. I would go so far as to say this deck is just average without him. You should also ignore the fact that he gives a ship guardian. Please, PLEASE, don’t play him unless he is going to die that turn, or unless you are facing lethal without the guardian on the board. He will consistently win you games by himself.
I also have a Rom in the deck just to deal with things like Enterprise E. We tried things like Kahless, Krell and Martok, but they were either too expensive or not impactful enough. Kor is decent if the meta doesn’t warrant a Rom.
Now we can move onto ships.
Vidiian Type 1
This little ship is incredibly powerful. I will typically hold it until I have a Core Breach that I want to trigger. Having the option to turn your Core Breach Effects into an immediate trigger is very powerful.
As mentioned in the beginning, this is great for keeping the board full since it dies and leaves a 1/1 behind.
This ship works out great since you are always sending small ships to their deaths for the glory of the Klingon empire. Why not gain an additional +2 Aux every time?
The other ships in the deck are pretty standard ships that either draw you a card, gain some life or are just a solid ship.
The biggest weakness of this deck is the NX Class flagship. That is the most popular deck right now, which makes Raptor not as powerful as it could be, unfortunately. Raptor works best when you can hold the board and react to whatever your opponent plays, dealing a few damage per turn. You’re not going to have a big finishing turn where you deal 15-20 damage. If the meta shifts to more mid-range or control then the Raptor could be the deck to beat.