Samuel Araya VTES Unleashed preview

Preview art by Samuel Araya from the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Unleashed Kickstarter campaign.

Greetings fellow Methuselahs,

VTES Unleashed Kickstarter

This is a long awaited release from Black Chantry. We wait until the actual launch with details, but the four “VEKN created” VTES sets – Danse Macabre, The Unaligned and Anarchs Unbound – will be made into physical cards, funded with a Kickstarter campaign called “Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Unleashed”. Expected launch is early May.

Note: There will be some high pledge levels for big orders. These are open to everyone, but it is, for example, good if you are a VEKN National Coordinator or Prince and would like to help your local community by organizing a bulk order. There will be a discount on these high levels, and you also save on shipping costs.


More nice VTES content turns up every day, more than we can mention here. Thanks to everyone that makes the effort to spread the word of our lovely game, be it in text, video or otherwise! 

This time we want do a special mention of the high-reach Spanish Youtube channel La Mazmorra de Pacheco. Recently they aired both a tutorial:

… and a demo game:

Many thanks to those guys, and to anyone who put in similar efforts for VTES. Don’t hesitate to spread these videos to all your Spanish speaking friends!


A retrospect by Rudolf Scholz

Again, it is time for the monthly review on decks, this time from April. The tournaments with the most participants from April 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 saw winning decks that at least in 3 out of 4 cases are still regular guests at tournaments and tournament finals.

VTES Decks April 1Year 2000
“I’ll be your dog” by Rob Treasure
Deck type: Tzimisce Wall
Untitled tournament – Portsmouth, England – April 1 – Unknown no. of players

Notes from Rob: Block and slaughter, fixed bleed, lots of nasty surprises. Does not like S:CE, but can block regularly enough to give it huge problems. An interesting and fun deck to play, [you] have to take a few risks, too easy to sit tight and remain reactive.

Crypt (12)
2x Meshenka 8 ANI AUS VIC priscus Tzimisce:2
2x Dragos 7 ANI AUS vic Tzimisce:2
1x Lambach 10 ANI AUS DOM VIC pre cardinal Tzimisce:2
1x Corine Marcón 6 AUS VIC ani Tzimisce:2
1x Devin Bisley 5 ANI AUS vic Tzimisce:2
1x Lolita Houston 4 VIC aus Tzimisce:2
1x Isabel de Leon 3 AUS Toreador:2
1x Wendy Wade 3 ani aus Tzimisce:2
1x Horatio 2 vic Tzimisce:2
1x Franciscus 1 aus Caitiff:2

Library (90)
3x Blood Doll
1x Direct Intervention
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Fame
1x Giant's Blood
1x Hungry Coyote, The
1x Legendary Vampire
1x Minion Tap
1x Mob Connections
1x Rack, The
1x Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper, The
1x Sudden Reversal
2x Vicissitude

1x Army of Rats
1x Fire Dance
1x Revelations
1x War Ghoul
1x Femur of Toomler
2x Leather Jacket
1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1x Mr. Winthrop
1x Owl Companion
2x Revenant
1x Tasha Morgan

5x Changeling

4x Aid from Bats
5x Blood of Acid
6x Carrion Crows
6x Drawing Out the Beast
4x Horrid Form
5x Taste of Vitae
4x Trap

2x Cats' Guidance
3x Eagle's Sight
2x Enhanced Senses
9x Forced Awakening
2x My Enemy's Enemy
2x Precognition
2x Telepathic Misdirection

– This still looks like an almost viable close-combat wall deck. Because Blood of Acid was chosen over Chiropteran Marauder and because of Drawing Out the Beast, it looks like one of the deck’s intentions was to burn opposing vampires outright (“block and slaughter”).
– The crypt could be modified and diversified, there were no group 3 vampires back then, and many cards which are considered standard nowadays did not exist, e. g. Abbot, Bowl of Convergence, Channel 10, Deep Song (see Black Chantry’s “Den of Fiends” deck for reference).
– The action card Fire Dance is a unique appearance in the TWDA, kudos. Blood Dolls could be Vessels; Smiling Jack (and maybe Dragonbound) should be in for additional ousting power.
– The combat package is impressive, but it takes away space today’s walls need for more wakes (and bounces; only 4 in 90 cards usually is way too few). Forced Awakenings should generously be turned into copies of Eyes of Argus and On the Qui Vive.

VTES Decks April 2Year 2005
“Tempting” by Andreas Nusser
Deck type: Followers of Set with Dominate Temptation toolbox
German ECQ – Bochum, Germany – April 30 – 51 players

Notes by Andreas: The main goals of this deck are to generate pool, survive bleeds with Deflections and Archon Investigations, and do clever tactical maneuvering with the Temptations. Looking back, including a third Archon Investigation might be a good idea. All in all, the deck did well, and the card-flow was okay.

Crypt (12)
2x Kephamos, High Priest of Marrakech 8 SER dom obf pre 2 votes Follower of Set:2
2x Hesha Ruhadze 6 SER ani obf pre Follower of Set:2
2x Count Ormonde 5 OBF dom pre ser Follower of Set:2
1x Ezekiel, Lord of Montreal 6 PRE SER obf pot Follower of Set:3
1x Sir Marriot D'Urban 5 PRE aus obf ser Follower of Set:2
1x Hadrian Garrick 4 obf pre Follower of Set:2
1x Nepata 4 obf pre ser Follower of Set:2
1x Celine Chevalier 3 obf ser Follower of Set:2
1x Khalil Anvari 3 pre ser Follower of Set:2

Library (90)
2x Archon Investigation
4x Blood Doll
3x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1x Khobar Towers, Al-Khubar
2x Opium Den
1x Path of Typhon, The
2x Serpentis
1x Sudden Reversal

1x Arson
2x Enchant Kindred
4x Enticement
2x Entrancement
3x Form of Corruption
3x Rave
1x Social Charm
13x Temptation
1x Sport Bike
1x Mr. Winthrop

4x Cloak the Gathering
1x Faceless Night
4x Forgotten Labyrinth
5x Form of the Serpent
3x Lost in Crowds
3x Swallowed by the Night

9x Majesty

5x Deflection
1x Delaying Tactics
6x Wake with Evening's Freshness

– Wow, 13 Temptations, this looks like fun to play and an expert training module in awareness (remember to place a counter on every Temptation in every Master Phase) and diplomacy/sweet-talking (“We Ssetitesss are friendly, ssss”).
– Bear in mind that you can play Temptation on your own minions as well to make them multi-act when low on blood, and that you can burn the counters on a vampire attempting to block in order to make her block fail.
– Many cards that might help to improve the deck were printed or designed after 2005: First to mention Mokolé Blood (to find/recover needed Serpentis cards) and the inherently toolboxy Saatet-ta, then of course Serpent’s Numbing Kiss (could be targeted with Mokolé Blood) and Ophidian Gaze (for additional bleed defence). There is even a new crypt card that fits perfectly: 4-cap Elizabeth Dimitros.
– The Wakes should generously be turned into copies of On The Qui Vive and maybe Fillip (I really don’t like the “Do not replace” clause on Wake with Evening's Freshness). Blood Dolls could be replaced by Villeins. Gregory Winter would help to trigger the Temptations. The Uncoiling should be in, since an Unmasking probably ruins the day for a deck like this.
– Only 3 TWDs feature Rave, and this is the one with the most copies of that card. I like the versatility it adds to the Temptation shenanigans, even though it is not considered being worth a card-slot nowadays.
– I wonder if the announced Anarch set by Black Chantry will allow players to build an Anarch version of this deck.

VTES Decks April 3Year 2010
“Girls!” by Erik Torstensson
Deck type: Bigcap MMPA stealth-bleed
GothCon 2010 – Gothenburg, Sweden – April 3 – 37 players

Crypt (12)
4x Cybele 10 ANI DAI OBF PRE SER THA Baali:4
4x Aksinya Daclau 9 ANI FOR PRE PRO cel tha Gangrel antitribu:4
1x Adana de Sforza 11 CEL OBF POT PRE PRO aus inner circle Brujah:4
1x Lutz von Hohenzollern 11 AUS DEM OBF PRE pot inner circle Malkavian:4
1x Mistress Fanchon 11 AUS CEL DOM OBF THA VIC inner circle Tremere:4
1x Rafael de Corazon 11 AUS CEL DOM OBF PRE inner circle Toreador:4

Library (82)
1x Anarch Troublemaker
9x Ashur Tablets
1x Blind Spot
1x Coven, The
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Fortschritt Library
1x Giant's Blood
2x Golconda: Inner Peace
1x House of Sorrow
2x Information Highway
1x Jake Washington
7x Liquidation
1x Metro Underground
1x Misdirection
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Parthenon, The
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
7x Villein
1x Wash
5x Zillah's Valley

2x Anthelios, The Red Star
1x Scourge of the Enochians

1x Entrancement
2x Intimidation

1x Ancient Influence
1x Banishment
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Reins of Power

2x Aire of Elation
1x Approximation of Loyalty
1x Cloak the Gathering
2x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
2x Faceless Night
1x Into Thin Air
2x Lost in Crowds
2x Mirror Walk
2x Perfect Paragon

4x Majesty

1x Guard Dogs
2x Lost in Translation
1x Rat's Warning

– Here we have the coming-out of one of the nightmares of modern VTES: The “Girls (will find xxx)” archetype, with which Erik celebrated overwhelming success at that year’s EC in Paris. Nevertheless, the original idea goes back to the Finnish player Teemu Sainomaa, and the modern concept was a brew by the whole playgroup of Örebro, Sweden.
– Of course, it was hit hard by the ban of Anthelios and the nerf of Villein, but a cure was found which lead to the “Black Jack” and the “Girls will find Liquidity” versions that include even more Ashur Tablets and a bit more combat defence (e. g. by adding Unleash Hell’s Fury) and omit the vote angle.
– What more to say to this overpowered monster? It is a bigcap stealth-bleed deck by concept, it generates pool rigorously, it thins out the library by Liquidation and it gets back only the needed stuff via Ashur Tablets. It is a goose that lays golden eggs and a table-spread-yourself in one.

VTES Decks April 4Year 2015
“Malkavian Antitribu S&B” by Norbert Bróda
Deck type: Midcap Malkavian antitribu stealth-bleed
Négykapu Liga III. – Budapest, Hungary – April 12 – 26 players

Notes from Norbert: Classic Dementation S&B.

Crypt (12)
2x Rodolfo 8 AUS DEM OBF pro bishop Malkavian antitribu:3
2x Korah 7 AUS DEM OBF ani priscus Malkavian antitribu:2
1x Quentin King III 7 AUS DEM obf pre prince Malkavian:3
1x Quentin King III (ADV) 7 AUS DEM OBF cel pre Malkavian:3
2x Artemis 6 DEM OBF aus cel for Malkavian antitribu:2
2x Dolphin Black 6 AUS DEM OBF Malkavian antitribu:2
1x Kite 7 AUS DEM obf pre bishop Malkavian antitribu:2
1x Tony 6 AUS DEM dom obf Malkavian:3

Library (90)
1x Archon Investigation
3x Blood Doll
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
2x Information Highway
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
3x Sudden Reversal
2x Wash

3x Call, The
16x Kindred Spirits

10x Confusion
4x Elder Impersonation
4x Eyes of Chaos
4x Faceless Night
4x Lost in Crowds
4x Spying Mission
4x Swallowed by the Night
1x Walk through Arcadia

1x Coma
4x No Trace

6x On the Qui Vive
6x Telepathic Misdirection
4x Wrong and Crosswise

– Yes, a 90 cards bleed deck, but with Dementation stealth-bleed this is quite common, probably to make up for the bleeds for 4 instead of the bleeds for 6 delivered by their Dominate counterparts.
– The crypt could be a bit more diversified, e. g. with Persia and notorious Midget.
– 7 out-of-turn master cards might cause card-flow problems, thus a Bleeding the Vine could replace a Wash or Sudden Reversal. Regarding the reaction package, it could be considered to turn some of the cards into copies of Eyes of Argus, My Enemy’s Enemy and Delaying Tactics.
– The library is nicely streamlined. Walk through Arcadia and Coma are the only silver bullets (of course, there are plenty other options, e. g. Sibyl’s Tongue and Restructure), and there is also some combat defence with No Trace and Swallowed by the Night, making this a reliable deck for a beginner to train with and work on their first victory points and game wins.



Some thoughts from Mexico again – this time about a specific deck archetype:

This time I want to do an article primarily aimed at new players about one of the different strategies that exist in our favorite game, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (VTES). As every old Methuselah knows, there is more than one way to execute our evil plans, and it is a process that takes planning and practice.

I see three main types of VTES deck builds: direct damage, minion control, and reactive. Of these, the stealth-bleed strategy stands out among the direct damage decks as one of the most powerful and recurring. “Stealth-bleed” means that we design our deck with the idea of eliminating our prey through bleeding actions with our minions, which use various disciplines that grant stealth to prevent these actions from being blocked, causing great damage to the blood pool of our prey. The Malkavian clan deck in the Fifth Edition set is a clear example of this strategy, but there are many others.

Remember that in VTES, the object of the game is to accumulate the highest number of victory points by destroying the influence of the other Methuselahs. Stealth-bleed decks tend to be fast and effective in doing this, which is achieved by having a greater number of controlled vampires who will take actions as soon as possible, constantly weakening their prey.

For these decks I prefer a choice of mid-capacity vampires (between 5 and 8 capacity) that allow me to optimize the cards in the library through the disciplines or abilities each of them has. In the Fifth Edition Malkavian deck, half of the crypt has these characteristics.

Stealth-bleed decks have to be played with great restraint and coolness. It is very easy to fall into the charm of bleeding without caution, because of how powerful it is, but that attracts the attention of the table too early in the game, and generates an early wave of reactions against us.

As I have mentioned on other occasions, the help sheets that come in the Fifth Edition set are an excellent tool for first-time players (also available for download). These aids indicate that you should take out the largest number of vampires as quickly as possible and always go forward attacking your prey – that is “playing by the book”.

These decks are highly specialized and don't have much defense, especially not against direct combat decks. Our defense is set to redirect bleeds and end fights. And we should only enter combat if it is strictly necessary. If you follow the help sheet, in a short time you will understand the Malkavian deck, and in general the stealth-bleed deck archetype.

Here are some tips that won't hurt:
- Bleed consistently, but sparingly. Presenting yourself at the table with an early brutal bleed for 6 or more will turn all eyes on the table towards you, and it will make you susceptible to many of the horrors that are done in the game. Cards like Archon Investigation will target your minions, or they can be rushed by any Methuselah thinking that you look too strong.
- Play your cards. There is no worse card than an unplayed card. Do not keep cards waiting for “the best opportunity” – you may not have a chance to play it.
- Never forget to discard. One of the details of playing a stealth-bleed deck is that the cards are accumulated in your hand due to the conditions of the game. Sometimes your prey doesn't even try to block, but instead redirects your bleed actions, which means you will clog on stealth. Always discard at the end of your turn, and also try to find other ways to get rid of cards that you don't need.

Hopefully these recommendations help you in these first steps in The Eternal Struggle.

Eduardo García Ayala, @LaloVtes

Do you also want to contribute to this newsletter? Please contact . Hope to hear from you!



Black Chantry Productions


Direct Intervention on was a big hit. No numbers can be revealed, but one dares say that you should start asking “DI, anyone?” the next time you oust with a minion card!

• A decent amount of effort has gone into preparing the Unleashed Kickstarter campaign mentioned at the top of this newsletter. It will be ready sometime early May.

• Work is progressing with the four preconstructed decks for Banu Haqim, Brujah, Gangrel and The Ministry. Distributors will be able to preorder these in May, so its soon time to start nagging on your favorite game store to stock them. These will be available in English, French and Spanish, cost around £18/€20/$22 and be in stores in September.

• This year's annual 56 card promo pack has been decided and will be previewed soon. With the pandemic FINALLY leaving us, it will be distributed to encourage store and event play this fall, available in English, French and Spanish in September.

• Otherwise, work progress on various other projects, mainly brand new sets and readying old cards for print-on-demand. More on that when more can be said!

VTES Fifth EditionBlack Chantry products

• Currently these Black Chantry products are available through 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)
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition Latin (Drivethrucards 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.


Ever since Paradox Interactive acquired the World of Darkness in 2015, they made clear that a part from the obvious (digital games, other games) they wanted to make movies and/or TV based on the various titles. Finally, this seems to be happening! We are excited to see that such great talent is in charge: writers will be Oscar nominee Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”, “Bird Box”, “Shadow and Bone”) and Christine Boylan (“The Punisher”, “Cloak and Dagger”, “Constantine”), and the production company will be Hivemind (“The Witcher,” “The Expanse”). Heisserer and Boylan are long time tabletop RPG fans! We wish them good luck with this project – if successful, it will broaden the audience for the World of Darkness in general and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle in particular!


Upcoming events:
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 VEKN Event Calendar.

"We are our choices."