file Lost Gargoyles: Card preview analysis

12 May 2018 16:55 - 12 May 2018 16:56 #86841 by Kraus
Hi! Last one's a charm.

www.vekn.net/2-uncategorised/403-lost-kindred-gargoyles

Gargoyles have had a hard time for the whole of their unlife, both in lore (being a slave is not fun, is it?) and in VtES. They are best known for their oppressive Tupdog archetype, a deck so strong that tournament decks slot hate cards just with them in mind. Other than that the gargoyles have been far from a tournament faction, even if Tremere themselves are, and the slave rule is closely associated with them.

Jar of Skin Eaters and Raw Recruit have been the most recent powerhouse additions to gargoyles, but the clan is still far behind. Let's see what the last preview of Lost Kindred has to offer.

Name: Chalcedony
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Gargoyle
Group: 6
Capacity: 7
Discipline: FOR POT THA VIS
Camarilla: Cards requiring a Gargoyle cost Chalcedony 1 less blood or pool. Flight [FLIGHT]. Tremere slave.
Artist: Alejandro F. Giraldo

Chalcedony packs all in clan disciplines at superior, and :THA: to boot if you want to have a surprise Thaumaturgy addition to your combat module. Of course :tha: already has a nice amount of synergy with Visceratika, being the outferior for many cards. Thaumaturgy packs a number of non-combat cards for Chalcedony as well of course. Gargoyles have plenty of combat options even on inferior levels of Visceratika thanks to Flight, which is a surprisingly versatile support to combat modules. Chalcedony has the benefit of being able to surprise the opponent with any Gargoyle combat option, but his main power is in his decent bulk of 7 and the ability to recruit Razor Bats for only 1 pool (and other gargoyle allies too of course, if you fancy). He's no Chaundice, and Gargoyles are not made better with just a line-up of superior disciplines.

Name: Porphyry
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Gargoyle
Group: 6
Capacity: 4
Discipline: vis POT
Camarilla: Porphyry gets +2 bleed against a Methuselah who controls a location. Flight [FLIGHT]. Tremere slave.
Artist: Riccardo Fabiani

I mean now we're talking! Porphyry has a decent direction to hurl him towards, and that is good ol' bruise bleed. Locations are one of the most powerful master cards, and you'll be hard pressed to not find a single one in a game. Of course your predator might not pack one, but if you make it to the end game it'll be a surprise if you haven't gotten some value out of his special. Cap of 4 makes him flimsy, sure, but really affordable at the same time. Compared to his bigger brother above, Porphyry has plenty of intersting things going for him. Watch out for those bounces though, since his ability doesn't pick and choose - he hates ALL locations with a passion.

Name: Verbruch
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Gargoyle
Group: 5
Capacity: 5
Discipline: for POT VIS
Camarilla: As Verbruch enters play, you can search your crypt for a Tremere, reveal them, and move them to your uncontrolled region (shuffle afterward). Flight [FLIGHT]. Tremere slave.
Artist: Ginés Quiñonero

It seems that the new additions to G5-6 aim for Potence and Visceratika, trading some levels of Fortitude for good abilities. Verbuch is a prime example with a potent ability that helps you with your early game and gives an answer to those still frustrated about bad crypt draws. There's little to add here: you might want to make him your solo, with other gargoyles as his aides (and fetch a master to hold the leash); you might use him just as support to your other Gargoyles and use his ability to horde up; or you can make a tag-team of him and a star Tremere (pick the strongest you want from groups 4 to 6) and make him a meat shield. That good old Tomato head springs to mind at first glance, or even some Tremere royalty.

Name: Handsome Dan
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Gargoyle
Group: 6
Capacity: 5
Discipline: aus cel for pot vis
Anarch: Flight [FLIGHT].
Artist: Ginés Quiñonero

Oh, wow, Handsome Dan really goes all anarch with only inferior disciplines. He adds :cel: and :aus: to Gargoyle in-clans, for a second anarch gargoyle in his group with inherent capabilities to utilise Guardian Vigil to it's full power. Arguably one of the best block related reactions in the game alone makes this duo playable. Wall up and win the game with brute force, but don't forget to add some friends. Will they together be better in walling than :AUS: weenies? Probably not. But they definitely have a solid reactive game. Just find room for offense as well, and you're good to go.

Name: Sheela Na Gig
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Gargoyle
Group: 5
Capacity: 2
Discipline: vis
Sabbat: Sheela Na Gig can lock to give a Tremere antitribu you control +1 bleed. Flight [FLIGHT]. Tremere antitribu slave.
Artist: Noah Hirka

As sabbat already hosts the kings of gargoyles, a swarm of Tupdogs, it's no surprise the most help is designed for Camarilla slaves and Anarch gargoyles in this set. Sheela is a prime example of a nice little addition that could be added as a support to almost and !Tremere group, but doesn't even try shining alone. She can recruit an ally or something, but adding her to a crypt of !Tremere does not warrant for any card support to make her any better. A disposabe meat shield, and some bleed to boot. What's not to like?

Name: Alvusia
Cardtype: Master
Clan: Tremere
Unique.
Put this card in play with 1 counter for each Tremere and Gargoyle you control. Once each action, you can burn 1 counter from this card to give a slave Gargoyle you control +1 bleed or +1 strength. Put 1 counter on this card after a Tremere or Gargoyle enters play during your influence phase. Burn this card when it has no counters.
Artist: Jared Smith

The problem with such cards is and has always been that they require the right time to play it. Even if it does grow on counters even if you influence up vampires, it does NOT grow on counters on making babies - it does however count those babies already on board once it's played. Surely the best use for it would be a swarm of Pot Babies or Egg Babies, but it is for sure situational. So is Week of Nightmares, but on a whole different power level. Adding insult to injury, Alvusia burns once it's empty, which makes for a pro and con for it: on the other hand, if it didn't burn you could always play it early and make sure every new friend you get builds a new counter, but on the other hand you can always play plenty of them, use them out, and slam new ones to the table once you've depleted the first. The design on paper is a bipolar case of weird. I guess it might be good, but humour me on this one: It requires a Camarilla Tremere, which is not great for Tupdogs (Caine be praised), but if you do manage to get one early on board in a Tupdog deck, it's bye-bye for the rest of the world. You COULD always just add one or two weenie Tremere in there, or even go only Tremere and Clan Impersonate as !Tremere once you have Alvusia raring and ready to go. Just theory crafting, of course, but hey...

Name: Children of Stone
Cardtype: Action
Discipline: Visceratika/Thaumaturgy
+2 stealth action.
[tha] Equip with an equipment card from your hand and reduce its cost by 1 pool or 1 blood (requirements apply as normal).
[vis] Search your hand or library for a gargoyle creature retainer and employ it (requirements and cost apply as normal; shuffle afterward).
[VIS] As [vis] above, but reduce its cost by 1 blood or pool.
Artist: André Freitas

Children of Stone is a mini Magic of the Smith at outferior. That alone is fine, really. It really shines on :VIS: though, as a fetch for those, well, actually really powerful Gargoyle allies and retainers is very nice. The problem of course is that fetch is not the best of effects in Vampire, as aggressive cycling is often as good or better unless your game plan really needs that Eye of Hazimel or Soul Gem of Etrius. Getting that stuff for cheaper is the power here, and if you play any support equipment (Heart of Cheating is always good), you can always cycle Children of Stone for them. It's so and so how many you'll ultimately want to play, and Chalcedony or Charisma support makes it better if you can't justify the card on it's own.

Name: Their Master's Voice
Cardtype: Reaction
Clan: Tremere/Tremere antitribu
Usable by a locked vampire.
Unlock a gargoyle creature ally or a ready slave Gargoyle you control.
Artist: Gábor Németh

Is this actually a better than just playing On the Qui Vive or other wakes? Unlock instead of wake and having that multipurpose for allies is alright, but not really a game changer for Gargoyles. One of the most important features of masters (besides enabling the slaves in the first place) has been their :dom: for bounce, and Their Master's Voice will not double as a wake for bounce if you'd actually need that bounce instead. Their Master's Voice is alright depending on your balance of Tremere and Gargoyle in your strategy, but underwhelming in comparison to what we already had.

Name: Unleash the Hounds
Cardtype: Action Modifier
Discipline: Visceratika/Dominate
Only usable during a bleed action.
[dom] +1 bleed (limited).
[vis] +1 bleed (limited).
[VIS] Only usable by a unique slave Gargoyle. +1 bleed for each ready vampire of the enslaving clan you control (limited).
Artist: Ginés Quiñonero

Here is where the design, well-meant for Gargoyles that needed help, suffers a blow. You know that you can play this with Tupdogs? Their only real weakness was their slow ousting mechanism. This could've been a fine addition to Camarilla slaves, but even then it's the Tremere's role to bleed and for the Gargoyles to keep them rolling. It's not the slave's role to bleed, so here the theme suffers. As does the shift in intended power level, unless Tupdog was meant to gain a boost. Gargoyles did ask for an ousting mechanism (if the Tremere Dominate wasn't enough), but this was way more than we bargained for, I'd guess.

The gargoyles as a whole gained some good vampires to G5-6, and support to even G4 if you want to embrace the slave mechanic. Anarch lovers should be pleased, but and the allies and retainers that gargoyle boast were made slightly more playable. Then again, we always had Charisma. Maybe Chalcedony will swarm Rock Cats and the like with it. The library cards are slightly underwhelming though, or sompletely off the mark from where they were supposedly aimed at.

Tupdogs will most likely remain unrivalled as The competitive Gargoyle deck.

"Oh, to the Hades with the manners! He's a complete bastard, and calling him that insults bastards everywhere!"
-Nalia De-Arnise

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Last edit: 12 May 2018 16:56 by Kraus.

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12 May 2018 18:35 #86843 by kschaefer

Kraus wrote:

Name: Unleash the Hounds
Cardtype: Action Modifier
Discipline: Visceratika/Dominate
Only usable during a bleed action.
[dom] +1 bleed (limited).
[vis] +1 bleed (limited).
[VIS] Only usable by a unique slave Gargoyle. +1 bleed for each ready vampire of the enslaving clan you control (limited).
Artist: Ginés Quiñonero

Here is where the design, well-meant for Gargoyles that needed help, suffers a blow. You know that you can play this with Tupdogs? Their only real weakness was their slow ousting mechanism.


Tupdogs can't play the superior, so I'm not sure it helps them as much as you're thinking it does. Sure, doubling up the bleed on the Tupdog to 2 per Tupper is something, but if they've got they're prey to the point where bleeding is all Tupdogs care about, they've already won.

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12 May 2018 22:50 #86849 by ReverendRevolver
You can't get Rock Cat with children of stone. Allies are recruited, retainers are employed.

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13 May 2018 07:12 #86856 by PetriWessman
Yeah, thankfully Unleash the Hounds doesn't actually help Tupdogs much. It's a +1 bleed, and is not all the much better than a Computer Hacking etc. I doubt this would make the cut into a full-on Tupdog deck.

I sort of like this card myself, and am pondering Tremere weenie breed variations :)

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