In today's interview we talked to Marc Schütze who has been best known as a player of nasty combo-decks in First Edition and became German National Champion on 2001. Last year he made his comeback with 2E and won in Germany's Grand Prix Finals against leading player Johannes Klarhauser. With his first TOC victory this year already on the books he will for sure make an impact at the European Continental Championship as well ...
Name: Marc Schütze
Known on the dboards as: Dalrok
Regular player group: Hannover, Celle
Current/highest Decipher rating: 2nd Edition 1646 Points in years rating (rank 7 worldwide), 1st Edition 1998 Points
STCCG 2E accomplishments:
2nd place at the Grand Prix Convention in Celle 2006, winner TOC Celle
1). How did you start playing Star Trek CCG?
I started playing in 1994. I went to a local comic store and saw a Card Game called "Star Trek Customizable Card Game". Some weeks later I found a player group in another comic store. They were playing 1st Edition Multiplayer. The next week I built my own deck and started playing in this group. Some month later we heard that at the Game Fair in Essen are tournaments. Sealed and Constructed. Markus Knopf and I decided to play in a Sealed Deck and we finished very well. Since then I am a regular Player in first Edition and managed to reach 3rd place in the World rankings and later became a playtester. When 2nd Edition came out, I bought some Displays from the Premiere Set, but thought that 2nd Edition is too boring and I quit playing. Last year I thought I could look what happened to 2nd Edition and I realized that it had become more complex and much more fun to play. So I started again with 2nd Edition. My first tournament after my big break was in September and didn't go really well. I lost all but one game. But that was not surprising. I didn't know all the cards. So I started studying all the cards from every expansion and was better prepared for the Grand Prix Convention where I finished 2nd place.
2). Do you play any other TCGs beside Star Trek?
No, I tried a lot of other CCG's, but never found one that is as great as the Star Trek CCG.
3). Can you remember your first Star Trek 2E tournament? How did you do?
I think it was a Sealed Deck tournament. But I'm not so sure.
4). Some of the players travelling to Berlin will have never played in such a large event. What advice can you give to these players who want to build the best possible deck for the event?
I would always go for a deck which is not too complicated but insusceptible to certain strategies. Many players are very nervous when playing their first big tournament. I played three times EC's and a lot of TOC's and there were a lot of players who made mistakes because their decks were too complicated. In 2nd Edition you have the chance to play a really simple Mission Solver. Spend 7 counters and go for missions.
It is always recommended to check other websites to see what decks are going around. Check deck lists and try to understand what these decks are doing and find possibilities to counter these decks. But finding counters is not the only thing. Surely, there is a counter for every deck. But does it fit into your deck? It is not recommended to include cards to your deck which slow your deck down, just to be prepared against every single deck.
5). Since Worlds 2006, we have seen Starfleet, Voyager and The Original Series enter the game. Do you think these 3 affiliations will make an impact at the European Championships?
In my opinion Voyager is the most powerful affiliation at the moment. Chakotay is simply unbeatable.
The Original Series have one very very strong card. I built a deck with Carolyn Palamas, some Ferengi and Morik. That's a strong combination. But I haven't build an all TOS deck this far.
6). What was the first major 2E event you attended outside of your own country or outside your regular playing area? Do you feel that your game improved after playing?
When just counting 2nd Edition events, I attended at the Grand Prix in Celle last year.
My game is improving even in small tournaments, because there are a lot of very good players around here in Germany. But talking with and playing against some foreign players is always a great deal. To know what deck types are played in different areas will raise one's horizon.
7). Have you attended a Continental Championship before? What did you like/didn't like about it?
I played the 1st Edition EC in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. They were all much fun to play and I advise everybody - who wants to "learn" playing the game - to play the Continentals.
It's fun to see that the metagame is different everywhere.
8). The German Star Trek scene has always been the home of some top players. How do you think players from outside of Germany will fare at the event?
We'll kick their asses. No, to be serious, I think there will be a minimum of 4 different countries in the Top 8 (UK, Czech, Austria and Germany). The mass of top players are in Germany. But not only the quantity counts. The quality is more important. And there are very good players outside Germany.
9). If you had to place a 10 euro bet to name 3 players to reach the final 16 on day 2, which 3 players would you choose?
Alexander Bank, Vladimir Vrbata and Tobias Rausmann
10). What are your personal goals that you hope to achieve at EC2007. How far do you think you will go?
I want to reach the final day. But if I fail to reach day 2, depending on how I lost my games, I probably won’t worry about it. When I think that I did my best, but my opponents did better, I see no reason to hang my head.
11). What 3 cards released from These are the Voyages do you expect to see a lot of at the European Championships?
Optimism, No kill I, Excalbian Drama/Fesarius Bluff
12). If you could change one rule, or one game mechanic, of 2E, what would you do?
I would it make a bit more difficult to fly between two quadrants.
13). When not playing Star Trek, what else do you enjoy doing?
Spending time with my girlfriend, building new decks, making party.
14). Are you already planning your European Championships deck, or will you wait until you see all the cards that will be legal?
Surely I think of it. I check what decks are going around and against which deck my deck ideas do well and which will hurt my deck ideas.
15.) Which affiliation do you think will dominate the European Continental Championships, if any? Will there be a certain strategy your are going to prepare against?
I think the Voyager fraction will be very present. And of course we'll see a lot of Rommies flying by with the Gal Gath'thong. Currently I think about to play a Rommie Deck which is not that vulnerable to those Gal Gath'thong Decks. And don't forget the cadets. They are always very fast.
The best strategy is always having the better Dilemma Pile. I won the last two tournaments just because I had the best Dilemma Pile. I even managed to win against a Cadet-Deck using Genesis Kirk 100-0.
16). Name your favourite ever card? Why?
My favourite card to play with is "At what cost?". For just 5 points spent I get kind of a double-turn.
17). Have you ever built a deck that looked great on paper, but did terrible in a tournament?
I always test my decks before playing them in tournaments. That was true for 1st Edition and is still true for 2nd Edition. I remember a deck where I didn't read a card correctly and built a deck around it. but I still managed to finish among the top 3.
18). Can you tell us the most memorable game of Star Trek 2E you have ever played? Why does this game in particular stick out in your mind?
The most memorable game was definitively the half-final at the Grand Prix against Johannes Klarhauser. It all depended on his last mission attempt. He played his Morik/Dabo-Deck and I had played two Destiny Reset with K'mtar in my turn before. He could only destroy one of the two and he built two crews. Only one could solve the mission for the win. He made a random selection so that neither he nor me had a clue which was the right Away Team. It ended with me using the Destiny Reset for the right Team and stopping him. Next turn I finished my last mission and went to the final.
That was a very special game for me, because I had played my first big tournament for a long time and didn't know all the 2nd Edition cards. Unfortunately I haven't thought about reaching the finals. So I had planned my birthday party that evening and finally didn't have the time to play the final, because my guests were waiting for me.