Spiritual Intervention by Ginés Quiñonero.
Greetings fellow Methuselahs,
New Year, new battles!
NEW LEGACY CARDS ADDED – SOME WITH SIGNIFICANT CHANGES!
470 cards were added to the VTES Legacy Card Singles at Drivethrucards.com last week. Below you see a list of all that had changes. The webshop can be tricky to navigate, so as a little help a list of all cards with some additional categorization has been made available separately. Card changes of the newly added cards are tournament legal on February 22 (the csv file at VEKN.net will be updated by then). Below is a list of all cards with changes.
Al-Ashrad, Amr of Alamut: Al-Ashrad can now burn locations requiring any clan (not only Camarilla clans).
Alvaro, The Scion of Angelica: Gaining blood is now optional.
Amam the Devourer: Gaining life when burning a minion in combat is now optional.
Ambrosius, The Ferryman: Pathos counters are now removed during the unlock phase.
Antonio Delgado: Unlocking is now optional.
Canopic Jar: Now burns 1 life if the attached minion is an ally.
Consignment to Duat: Now a +1 stealth action.
Divine Image: Now costs 1 blood instead of 2.
Donatello Giovanni: Choosing a vampire is now optional.
Edge Vitiation: Now costs no blood, instead of 1.
Eyes of the Night: NEW ART.
Form of Corruption: Adding a counter is now optional.
Giovanni Acceptance: There is no longer a default sect for each clan.
Giuseppe, Gravedigger: Now costs no blood, instead of 1.
Heaven's Gate: Now leaves the ally in play, but removes it from combat. The ally can now be chosen in the terms of a referendum, or burned to a War Ghoul or Abomination entering play.
Ignore the Searing Flames: The outferior level works explicitly when the opposing minion strikes.
Invitation Accepted: There is no longer a default sect for each clan.
Jar the Soul: Now burns 1 life from the minion if it is an ally.
Kali's Fang: Now costs 2 pool.
Masquer: Now costs 1 blood instead of 2.
Paolo Sardenzo: Gaining blood is now optional.
Path of Typhon, The: NEW ART.
Principia Discordia: The target vampire does not require to be locked.
Qadir ul-Ghani: The clan he changes to must be another clan than the clan to which he currently belongs.
Realm of the Black Sun, The: Now costs no pool, instead of 1. Gaining pool is now optional.
Retain the Quick Blood: Moving blood to the card and moving blood back to the vampire are now both optional.
Revelation of Despair: Works when blocking any minion, not only one controlled by the predator.
Revocation of Tyre: There is no longer a default sect for each clan.
Saqqaf, Keeper of the Grand Temple of Set: Gaining a pool is now optional.
Shadow Parasite: Now costs 1 blood instead of 2.
Shadowed Eyes: Burning the card costs 1 blood or life, no longer a conviction.
Spiritual Intervention: NEW ART.
Summon the Abyss: NEW ART. Now costs 2 blood instead of 3.
Summon the Serpent: Now a +1 stealth action.
Sutekh, The Dark God: Gaining a pool is now optional, but works with all mummy allies (not only bane mummies).
Ur-Shulgi, The Shepherd: The Tajdid that is retrieved from the library is now revealed.
Web of Knives Recruit: The recruit is now explicitly Independent.
Weeping Stone: Gaining a blood is now optional.
DELMAR SITTONI WINS THE BRASILIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!
41 brave Methuselahs logged in to play the (delayed) 2020 Brasil National Championship on January 23. The organizer Desso Alastor tells us that the environment had many ally decks, including several with Nephandi and Emerald Legionnaires, as you can see on the final table...
Congratulations Delmar, champion with 4 victory points in the final!
TWD: "Cidade Das Esmeraldas"
1x Anarch Convert 1 -none- Caitiff:ANY
1x Mina Grotius 6 cel FOR NEC Harbinger of Skulls:3
2x Nicomedes 5 aus for nec vic Harbinger of Skulls:4
2x Solomon Batanea 5 nec AUS FOR Harbinger of Skulls:4
2x Zygodat 6 pot AUS NEC Harbinger of Skulls:4
2x Erlik 10 AUS CEL FOR NEC THN Harbinger of Skulls:3
2x Erebus 7 dem AUS FOR NEC Harbinger of Skulls:3
2x Information Highway
4x Parthenon, The
2x Powerbase: Montreal
3x Wider View
1x Creepshow Casino
3x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x FBI Special Affairs Division
1x Scourge of the Enochians
1x Slow Withering, The
3x Unmasking, The
1x Aranthebes, The Immortal
4x Computer Hacking
1x Mylan Horseed
19x Emerald Legionnaire
1x Carlton Van Wyk
Action Modifier (6)
2x Acheron Vortex
4x Call of the Hungry Dead
Action Modifier/Combat (8)
8x Breath of Thanatos
Action Modifier/Reaction (1)
1x Spectral Divination
Reaction (15 cards)
6x On the Qui Vive
6x Telepathic Misdirection
3x Delaying Tactics
Thanks to the organizers and all players!
Yes, finally a online, illustrated version of the Fifth Edition rulebook is up on www.vekn.net/rulebook. Check it out, and please tell VEKN or Black Chantry your feedback!
THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A NEW PLAYER TODAY
Some thoughts from Mexico:
When I started playing Vampire: The Eternal Struggle in Mexico back in 1996 it was a revealing and somewhat complex experience. Although at that time there were many stores where card games were sold (mainly Magic: The Gathering) there was not easy to find VTES cards nor VTES players. In the old days to put together a deck required a considerable investment since the cards came randomly, which meant that to build a deck you had to buy a large number of boxes or booster packs to get the cards you required to achieve the deck of your choice. That is something that new players won't have to go through.
The first VTES boosters contained 11 cards (3 crypt cards and 9 library cards) randomly distributed, so you had to search the packs for what you needed or find other players with whom to trade your spares or what you did not need. Something curious was that many times the cards of common rarity that you needed were sometimes more difficult to get than the ones of rare rarity. I must confess that even today there are cards that I never had a chance to get, and some I did not even see in play. But unlike other card games, in VTES you could make fun and functional decks out of mostly common cards, making the player's skill more important than rare or expensive cards.
These conditions made getting a deck to your liking a feat given the arduous search work it required. More than once when I reviewed winning decks available online, I exclaimed: “12 Immortal grapple?! When will I get 12 Immortal Grapple?!” To date I only have 6 of those that I am exchanging from deck to deck when I need them. And the same goes for a lot of cards. Until the 25th Anniversary deck was released, I was only able to get 10 copies of Freak Drive.
The strategy of Black Chantry Productions, who currently publishes VTES, aimed at attracting new players is very appealing since the Fifth Edition is a package with everything you need to play a game of VTES from scratch. The box includes five preconstructed, ready-to-play and fairly balanced decks as well as a beautifully edited rulebook and help sheets so that every new player knows what to do with their deck. I think this is great success!
Now, Black Chantry has made every effort to make VTES more accessible to players, what remains is to make the community of players wider and much of that task belongs to the old VTES players. In the past, some communities of players have been very closed, everyone had their own game group with which they used to play. Today, to be able to maintain our game with the vitality that we want, we need to focus on revitalizing and strengthening our community, making it more friendly and being available to teach interested people. We must share our experience, to help new players more interested in the different aspects of the game and motivate them to new challenges. We dream that new players join the communities of this cult collectible card game around the world.
Eduardo García Ayala, ”Lalo Vtes”
DECKS TO BEAT: JANUARY
A retrospect by Henrik Klippström.
New year, new battles, and another look into the history of VTES, more precisely the history of the competitive scene. Below are the four winning decks of the tournaments with most attendants of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, with some comments of mixed quality from yours truly.
Untitled by L. Scott Johnson
Deck type: Dominate royalty stealth-bleed
Jyhad Underground – Charlotte, North Carolina, USA – January 9 – 16 players
Creators own 2000 comments: “Should replace Greger with another copy of Mariel. His lack of superior DOM is too much - even though he has a title and OBF. Mariel's ability is useful when faced with an intercept-combat deck.” … “I'd Drop the [Hostile] Takeovers. They weren't effective in this deck. Replace with an Obfuscate skill card and another Cloak the Gathering.”
1x Constanza Vinti 8 CEL DOM POT prince Brujah:2
1x Courtland Leighton 4 dom for pre Ventrue:1
1x Democritus 10 DOM PRE aus cel for justicar Ventrue:1
1x Dónal O'Connor 8 CEL DOM POT prince Brujah:2
1x Emerson Bridges 8 DOM FOR PRE pot prince Ventrue:1
2x Gilbert Duane 7 AUS DOM OBF prince Malkavian:1
1x Greger Anderssen 7 AUS OBF dom pro prince Malkavian:2
1x Mariel, Lady Thunder 7 DOM OBF aus tha Malkavian:1
1x Queen Anne 10 DOM FOR PRE aus obf prince Ventrue:2
1x Sir Walter Nash 7 DOM FOR PRE prince Ventrue:1
1x Spiridonas 9 DOM THA pot pre prince Tremere:2
2x Direct Intervention
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
2x Hostile Takeover
2x Information Highway
1x Life Boon
6x Minion Tap
1x Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper
4x Sudden Reversal
3x Govern the Unaligned
2x Far Mastery
6x Fifth Tradition: Hospitality
1x Judgment: Camarilla Segregation
6x Scouting Mission
1x Muddled Vampire Hunter
1x Political Ally
1x Anarchist Uprising
1x Ancient Influence
1x Ancilla Empowerment
6x Cloak the Gathering
1x Elder Kindred Network
1x Legacy of Power
8x Second Tradition: Domain
- Yes, it is THE L. Scott Johnson, known as LSJ, lead designer of many VTES sets. There´s actually a short tournament report, that tells this deck got 3 victory points in the final, 2 went to a Animalism weenie deck.
- Light stealth decks is always depending on your local meta, but with that in mind it looks kind of stable. Maybe a bit low on “throughput”. On the other hand it´s good defensively.
- Playing Scouting + Bonding instead of Govern + Conditioning saves a lot of blood on the vampires, but slows you down a lot. Having saved that blood I´d run some Freak Drives, although that might warrant a slight modification of the crypt.
- As most modern decks, this would do better around 80 cards, so just strip 1-2 off the cards that we have the most off, and of course remove the weird odd stuff (Legacy of Power?! Political Ally?!!)
- Also, both Hostile Takeover and Fifth Tradition: Hospitality had errata after this, so those can also go. Might save a couple of the latter if I go with those Freak Drives.
- Minions Taps should be Villeins today.
- Sudden Reversal is tricky. When I get owned by MMPA decks or just strong master cards, I always think “Darn, I should play more Sudden Reversals!”, but then when I run them, they´re often dead cards in my hand. The same goes for Wash.
- Life Boon is still dirty, but still works!
“Buckets o' Money” by Ben Peal
Deck type: Ventrue with Obfuscate breed & bloat
The Unmasking – Seekonk, Massachusetts, USA – January 2 – 26 players
2005 creator comment: “Basically a Group 3-4 Ventrue version of the Lasombra Creation Boon deck, using 3rd Trads instead of Creation Rites and Ventrue Headquarters instead of Power Structure. Marcus Vitel's retainer-burning ability was invaluable in the tournament. This is now the second tournament I've won with a deck that was the result of a conversation with Sten During (the previous deck was Pochtli Twister).”
3x Lucinde, Alastor 10 DOM FOR PRE obf pot tha justicar Ventrue:3
3x Marcus Vitel 10 DOM FOR OBF OBT PRE prince Ventrue:3
1x Catherine du Bois 5 DOM for obf pre Ventrue:3
1x Earl 4 dom for pot Ventrue:3
1x Elena Gutierrez 4 aus dom pre Ventrue:3
1x Robin Withers 4 dom obf pre Ventrue:4
1x Diana Vick 3 dom pre Ventrue:3
1x Lana Butcher 3 dom for Ventrue:3
4x Blood Doll
1x Information Highway
1x KRCG News Radio
1x Secure Haven
2x Sudden Reversal
1x The Barrens
1x Uptown Hunting Ground
4x Ventrue Headquarters
1x Zillah's Valley
4 x Govern the Unaligned
1 x Psychic Veil
8x The Third Tradition: Progeny
6x Consanguineous Boon
4x Kine Resources Contested
1x Praxis Seizure: Cairo
1x Praxis Seizure: Geneva
3 x Bewitching Oration
4 x Cloak the Gathering
1 x Elder Impersonation
4 x Faceless Night
2 x Forgotten Labyrinth
4 x Lost in Crowds
4 x Spying Mission
4 x Swallowed by the Night
8 x Deflection
8x Wake with Evening's Freshness
- Yes, it is THE Ben Peal, current lead designer of many VTES sets.
- 90 cards should go down to 80-ish, and this ratio of master cards won´t do without MMPA tricks.
- I had to check Paragon because I could not for my life recall what it does. It does … not enough!
- I don´t think I would bring this to a tournament today, even if slimmed down. Just like the 2000 deck above, it is a bit low on “delivery” compared to modern similar competitive decks. Unless you have a very solid plan for how to stay alive (more than just breeding and bloating), you will need to be able to be more offensive. For example, a !Toreador breed-boon deck has Palla Grande and/or Foundation Exibit, Ravnos breed-boon decks has Week of Nightmares, etc.
“Shambling Powerbleed” by Aitor Jimenez and Antonio Cobo Cuenca, played by Jordi Tomás
Deck type: Classic Zombie powerbleed
True Blood – Barcelona, Spain – January 30 – 41 players
2x Andrea Giovanni 7 DOM NEC pot vic Giovanni:2
1x Francesca Giovanni 4 dom nec pot Giovanni:2
1x Gillespi Giovanni 7 DOM NEC POT aus Giovanni:2
1x Gloria Giovanni 4 DOM nec Giovanni:2
2x Isabel Giovanni 5 DOM NEC pot Giovanni:2
2x Le Dinh Tho 5 NEC aus dom Nagaraja:2
1x Lia Milliner 3 dom nec Giovanni:3
1x Rudolfo Giovanni 3 NEC Giovanni:2
1x Stefano Giovanni 6 DOM nec pot pre Giovanni:2
3 Acquired Ventrue Assets
3 Blood Doll
1 Coven, The
1 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Giant's Blood
1 Jake Washington (Hunter)
2 Pentex Subversion
1 Far Mastery
9 Govern the Unaligned
3 Sudario Refraction
1 Leonardo, Mortician
11 Shambling Hordes
6 Call of the Hungry Dead
1 Foreshadowing Destruction
6 Spectral Divination
2 Delaying Tactics
2 On the Qui Vive
- NOW we´re talking! This looks very stable, and it kind of plays itself, although the Shamblings needs a bit of thought to do optimal at the table, so might be tricky for newbies. But I wouldn´t hesitate to play this pretty much as it is …
- But it might need some extra bleed-bounce, at least 2 more, depending on you´re meta. On the other hand, everybody kind of expect you play more bounce, so they THINK that you always have one in your hand, so you might play it cool and keep the amount down.
- There´s a lot of decks of this archetype in the TWDA, so browse around to look at other variants.
- Much of what you need for this deck was published as $0.35 print-on-demand cards at Drivethrucards.com this month, check it out!
“Rachel's Network v3” by Daniel Malk
Year of Fortune – Praia Grande, Brazil – January 1 – 19 players
5x Rachel Brandywine 10 AUS DEM OBF PRO ani prince Malkavian:3
3x Greger Anderssen 7 AUS OBF dom pro prince Malkavian:2
2x Victoria 5 AUS cel obf Malkavian:2
2x Zöe 3 AUS cel obf Malkavian:2
1x Giant's Blood
4x Madness Network
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Powerbase: Montreal
1x Rack, The
1x Wider View
4x Anima Gathering
1x Aranthebes, The Immortal
2x Carrion Coffin
2x Shadow of the Beast
5x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
5x Faceless Night
5x Lost in Crowds
5x Swallowed by the Night
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Ivory Bow
10x Earth Meld
3x Form of Mist
3x Eyes of Argus
6x Mental Maze
10x Second Tradition: Domain
6x Telepathic Misdirection
- Got 3 victory points in final.
- I´d usually slim this deck down to 82-ish, but a bit hesitant because doing so with wall decks – in the odd games you actually can run out of cards playing this kind of deck (which is far from my personal favorite archetype!)
- Carrion Coffin makes a rare appearance here. It is kind of like Homunculus, weaker but less brittle.
- I´d consider diversifying the stealth cards a bit (4 of each instead of 5, making room for one more type), but on the other hand these four are the best for this deck.
- Might add 1-2 Smiling Jack, the Anarch as an alternative win condition if bleeding gets problematic.
BLACK CHANTRY SUMMARY: JANUARY 2021
• 470 cards was added to the VTES Legacy Card Singles at Drivethrucards.com - see the list at the top of this newsletter!
• Round 2 of the current playtesting batch (four precons - Brujah, Gangrel, Banu Haqim and Ministry, plus the Fall of London set) ends in the beginning of February.
• Mind´s Eye Theatre got a promo card, the Lasombra Prince of Tampa Alicia Cortez. Its available with a special icon in the Mind’s Eye Theatre Vampire: The Masquerade Volume 2 backer program, but will appear in other versions a while after that book is in stores. About this, Black Chantry CEO Hugh Angseesing did one more of those nice long interviews, this time for the Southhampton LARP:ers.
• Product director Ben Peal answered some questions about VTES design and the future of the game in an article at Blackchantry.com.
• Currently these Black Chantry products are available through Drivethrucards.com and other stores:
- Lost Kindred bundle
- Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 1
- Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 2
- Heirs of the Blood Reprint Bundle 1
- Heirs of the Blood Reprint Bundle 2
- Den of Fiends Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Libertine Ball Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Pact with Nephandi Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Parliament of Shadows Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Anthology I bundle
- VTES Card Creator (Drivethrucards only)
- 25th Anniversary
- First Blood: Malkavian (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Nosferatu (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Toreador (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Tremere (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Ventrue (Also Spanish, French)
- VTES Legacy Card Singles (Drivethrucards only)
- Promo Pack 1 (Drivethrucards only)
- Promo Pack 2 (Event promos only)
- VTES "Parity Shift" playmat
- VTES card sleeves
- Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition (Currently stores only)
Do you have opinions or questions for Black Chantry? Start a topic on the VEKN forum, or contact the company by e-mail, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
RECENT NEWS IN THE WORLD OF DARKNESS
Sure we love Vampire-themed games the most, but right now we are most hyped about Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood from Cyanide, launching February 4. Check out trailers and developers diaries at publisher Nacon´s Youtube channel!
Follow local regulations on what physical events are possible. Notice that online tournaments are possible - just note "ONLINE" in the event name when you add the event to the calendar!
For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.
You can contact the VEKN Inner Circle members using contact forms at VEKN.net. Also follow the VEKN Facebook group, the official VTES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official VEKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES
"The more you prepare, the more luck you will have."