How I would relaunch V:TES (card reprint)
If V:TES were to be reprinted, this would be the cards I'd keep, change or leave aside. It's close to the "cube" idea for drafts, but for standard play. This is mainly based on my personal experience as a player and deckbuilder, so it's highly subjective.
I have no idea at all about what Paradox will do (reprint, new game? go and vote quickly for your prefered option ), so don't speculate about it
I'll start with two main disciplines, Presence and Dominate. I won't consider the dual discipline cards, nor the anarch three-ways cards right now.
I see it as a discipline for:
- aggresive bleed (meaning you get +2 bleed actions at inferior)
- strike: combat ends
It doesn't have access to stealth (but keep in mind that many vampires have access to Obfuscate and Presence), whereas Dominate will have access to Bonding and Seduction.
Kept as is
- Bewitching Oration: presence is THE vote discipline, so keeping a push vote such as Bewitching Oration is pretty obvious. It helps you to pass your votes when you don't have the vote lock
- Catatonic Fear: combat ends is a clear characteristic of combat cards in Presence. The aggressive aspect of this combat ends is interesting.
- Enchant Kindred: with the absence of Govern the Unaligned (see below), this underused card would get its staple status back
- Entrancement: a polyvalent card that fills the "steal ally" niche perfectly
- Force of Personality: another combat ends that makes vampires predominant against allies
- Intimidation: Presence is also a bleed discipline. Intimidation costs no blood, making it an interesting options in decks that try to save as much blood as possible, at the cost of flexibility
- Legal Manipulations: The other bleed cards trades blood for pool, and fills the inferior Presence bleed niche
- Majesty: a signature card for Presence
- Mind Numb: a very interesting card that can be played offensively, defensively, or cross-table for deals
- Staredown: the last combat ends, cost free
- Voter Captivation: I know that the card is subject to debate, but voting should be something Presence does well, and get something extra for it
- Aire of Elation: drop the Toreador specific part, drop the cost to 0 blood (= make it similar to Threats) to enforce the "bleed for cheap" component
- Summoning, The: at superior, should also employ retainers
- Approximation of Loyalty: most of the time, the opportunity cost is too high
- Awe: redundant with Bewitching Oration
- Bloodlust: weak card, any rush card is better
- Business Pressure: redundant with Bewitching Oration
- Charming Lobby: redundant with Bewitching Oration. The automatic vote passing is not a good idea design-wise.
- Disarming Presence: not useful
- Dread Gaze: wallpapered by Scalpel Tongue, even though that's two disciplines. Most of the time, Delaying Tactics is far better anyway.
- Dream World: wallpaper
- Enrage: same as Bloodlust
- Exile: redundant with Mind Numb
- Heart of the City: wallpaper
- Mask Empathy: wallpaper, opportunity cost too high
- Media Influence: redundant with other bleed cards, superior effect is weak
- Perfect Paragon: redundant with Bewitching Oration (even though it's an interesting card)
- Propaganda: redundant with other bleed cards
- Public Trust: redundant with other bleed cards
- Social Charm: redundant with other bleed cards. Legal Manipulations is prefered in that pool-gain niche
- Treachery: wallpaper
- Unholy Penance: redundant with other strike: combat ends (Catatonic Fear was chosen over Unholy Penance)
Currently, dominate is a step ahead because it's a discipline for:
- pool gain (Govern the Unaligned)
- heavy bleed (Govern + Conditioning)
- pool defense (Deflection)
- combat defense (Obedience)
This discipline does too many things, especially in the pool damage / pool saving domain, and better than any other discipline.
I'd like to restrict the discipline to:
- more aggressive bleeds than Presence, but more costly
- "take control" discipline against location or vampires (eg. Graverobbing)
- pool defense
I voluntarily dropped a few cards that make other cards (even in other disciplines) weak in comparison:
- Govern the Unaligned (shadows completely Scouting Mission and Enchant Kindred)
- Deflection (cheesy)
- Obedience (find another way of protect your vampires)
You'll find more explanations in the details below
Kept as is
- Bonding: Trades bleed power for a bit stealth
- Conditioning: Still the better bleed modifier, fits in the "aggressive bleed that costs blood"
- Dominate Kine: Fits the "take control" and "bleed" categories
- Empowering the Puppet King: fits in some decks, costs blood, gives bleed, it's fine
- Far Mastery: not as good as Entrancement, but fits the "take control" niche
- Graverobbing: Fits the "take control". Makes Dominates an interesting side-kick discipline for combat
- Mind Rape: Fits the "take control" and "bleed" categories
- Redirection: A bounce card that is more restrictive that Deflection, making the superior level important (avoiding the "I play Dominate skill cards so I can play Deflection)"
- Seduction: Adds flexibility to the discipline
- Slaughtering the Herd: fits in the "aggressive bleed that costs blood" category
- Autonomic Mastery: crappy card
- Chain of Command: crappy card
- Command: too silver bullet
- Command of the Beast: not useful
- Command the Legion: crappy card
- Deflection: turns every vampire with at least inferior dominate into big stars compared to vampires without dominate. Deflection is one of the main reason why half of the crypts of the TWDA have dominate in them, even if it's an off-clan discipline (Gangrel dominate, Eurobrujah, Gabrin as a star, Bima dominate etc.)
- Foreshadowing Destruction: I like this card very much, but it's not required in the reprint cube
- Govern the Unaligned: A card that totally shadows other bleed cards or bloat cards, leaving little space for design
- Kindred Coercion: crappy card
- Mesmerize: crappy card
- Mouthpiece: crappy card
- Murmur of the False Will: slightly weak card
- Obedience: A fine card, but that gives too many options to Dominate
- Pulling Strings: crappy card
- Scouting Mission: not kept to shut down the bloat aspect of Dominate completely
- Sleeping Mind, The: crappy card
- Still the Mortal Flesh: crappy card
- Thanks for the Donation: crappy card
- Thoughts Betrayed: interesting card, but that isn't played and doesn't fit well
- Threats: removed to leave place to costly bleed such as Conditioning. See Presence for costless bleed.
- Tranquility: crappy card
I'd be happy to hear your reactions as long as they are constructive. I'm aware that some people will disagree with my judgements about "crappy cards" but the real question is: even if the card is not that bad, is it played? what does it bring to the game?
I agree with trimming the fat, but I still think that there's nothing wrong with the game in the cards themselves (just in the way the cards are written, not what they are supposed to do).
Ban Govern? Dreams of the Sphinx as well?
It kills too many decks.
There aren't minion of different bleed decks. You have mainly dominate (that benefit themselves from the Deflection): Ventrue Grinder, weenie dominate, Giovanni powerbleed, Kyasid or Lasombra bleed stealth, and Dementation decks. Let's add some presence bleed deck for the sake of it, but they are quite rare. Other decks will bleed for 2 at most, which almost any deck can handle without using some bleed bounce.
Brum wrote: Without Deflection, the million different types o bleed decks will become much more prevalent.
That being said, there's still Redirection in the Dominate card list, meaning you can still bounce bleeds. You won't be able to bounce 3 bleeds with one guy untapped, sure, so you'd have to pack some more wakes presumably.
I don't know why you're talking about Dreams of the Sphinx. What is the link?
Brum wrote: I agree with trimming the fat, but I still think that there's nothing wrong with the game in the cards themselves (just in the way the cards are written, not what they are supposed to do).
Ban Govern? Dreams of the Sphinx as well?
It kills too many decks.
As "banning" Govern (though it's not question of banning cards), it's a deliberate choice to leave more space for alternatives. As I said, no card competes with Govern as for bloating and bleeding. And the card is available in a discipline that does powerful thing (such as bleeding and bouncing bleed) better than any other discipline. It's a real designer pain to create new cards.
Sure, all decks using Govern the Unaligned would have to change, but that's an obvious statement. Other decks will fill the niche. Now people would be able to bleed with Loss instead of thinking "wait, I'd better change my crypt so I can play Govern instead".
Slowing down dominate is not to the benefit of vtes. You should speed up all other disciplines and speed them up with unique strategies (Harmony, 419, Shatter the Gate,...)
When I play vtes I enjoy feeling as if the table is about to tip over at any time. Having a deck on the table that bloats to 40 pool yet does nothing of note is really really boring. Having a deck that uses 8 turns to equip with various obscure weapons only to face SCE is also not enticing.
Each deck that meets the table should have an inherent threat stemming from it. You see a small toreador antitibru that plays an embrace, while a seemingly innocent turn 2 action you know it will spiral into a threat real quickly. I suggest we create more of those threats.
In a game where the meta has evolved to be able to take a hit (bleeds for 6, parity shift for 5) bringing out a card like illegalism "bleed 2 and untap" that requires you to become anarch first isn't very interesting. It's also not very effective. The person in front plays villein + voter cap and gains about 10 pool each turn?
The game needs to finish, and it needs to do so while having all players attempt to balance and unbalance the table in their favour. Cards like sudden reversal, pentex, eagle's sight, kindred spirits, votes,... cards that provide interaction.
The weenie auspex that's slowing the whole table to a halt while sitting on Jack is for example great: it interacts with the whole table, yet the only stealth deck capable of removing jack might actually want to leave it in play because it's currently still helpful. So players would need to convince the stealth deck to waste his resources on getting rid of jack while they still have a chance. It adds tension to the table, everyone knows they need to get rid of it, no one wants to sacrifice the action to do it.
Acceleration like zillah and information highway, dreams and other card cycling mechanisms, combo cards (fae contortion), card searches(magic of the smith) and card recursion (anthelios, ercyes fragment, ashurs) should become more prevalent.
Not systems like Heart of Nizchetus that slow the table 3 minutes extra every round, I mean acceleration in terms of time and card efficiency. Players need to be able to do something useful at all times without it slowing down their turn to more than 3 minutes.
Tldr: Don't slow down dominate; speed up everything else alongside it so it becomes viable. The more ousting methods that do not bleed the less dominate and bleed bounce will be a problem.
2/ Bloating with Govern the Unaligned creates pool and slows down the game. You don't like bloating it seems, so why Govern would be fine?
3/ Last but not least, how is it incompatible with "speeding up" other strategies?
3 extra influence of which 2 come from the blood bank.
I have the same issue with you choosing Legal Manipulations over Public Trust. The card you should want to have in the game is Public Trust because it accelerates the game. (Turns blood on a vampire into a transfer/influence)
Dropping Govern from the list for dominate slows down the deck.
2) Govern is fine, that's 2 pool a turn. That's not slowing down any decent predator. Weenie auspex wall with 6 blood dolls hunting is far worse. Voter cap on it's own is fine, but 3 minions playing voter cap and combined with Villein (2+2+2+6) is broken, especially if the vote is a con boon. (2+3+2+3+2+3+6)
No one can abuse bloating with govern. It's limited to 2(3) pool a turn, if you can't get past that you should seriously consider if your strategy is even worth it at all.
3) Your selection of cards slows down the 2 disciplines you made the selection for and you are arguing for placing govern as the high end for what a card should be. Deflection and Obedience aren't cheesy, they keep the game fast, avoiding long combat sequences that will end in SCE anyways. Cutting Approximation of loyalty is another stupid move, it's one of the few cards that can cancel a bounce.
Don't slow down the disciplines and put effort into smoothing cardflow, (combo cards, searches, draw power) additional ousting techniques (for example army of rats that stacks but you get 1 additional stealth for each card to remove all of them in an action that costs a pool)