Greetings fellow Methuselahs,
PRECONSTRUCTED DECKS BOX FRONTS REVEALED
After about a year of designing and playtesting, the four 2021 preconstructed decks are now soon ready for the printer. Featured clans are Banu Haqim (Camarilla), Brujah (Anarchs), Gangrel (Anarchs) and The Ministry (Anarchs). These decks will be available in English, French and Spanish and contain totally 42 new crypt cards and 16 new library cards mixed with reprints of previously published cards.
Distributors can preorder these soon, so please ask your favorite store to stock them. The recommended retail price is £18/€20/$22 and they will be in stores in October.
ATLANTIC CUP THIS WEEKEND!
Now we look forward to what seems to become the largest online VTES tournament so far. Over 100 Methuselahs have registered to play Atlantic Cup 2021 on June 5th and 6th. The format will be 3 rounds Standard Constructed played over Lackey plus Discord. Many thanks to Lionel Panhaleux and everybody else involved in organizing this!
For registration, cool prizes, schedule and all other kinds of information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vtes-atlantic-cup-registration-149917819233
Above: Some of the skilled players already registered: Jay Kristoff (US), Fernanda Nunes (BR), Desso Alastor (BR), Delmar Sittoni (BR), Richard Cortés Zúñiga (CL), Rudolf Scholz (DE), Tomàs López Jiménez (ES), Martin Weinmayer (AT), Joab Rogerio Barbosa da Silva (BR) and Nikica Novakovic (RS).
DECKS TO BEAT: MAY
A retrospect by Rudolf Scholz
The signs are right: The Kickstarter project is funded (yeah!), and the Atlantic Cup is about to take place (woohoo!). The monthly review on decks, this time from May, might give you an inspiration for your next tournament deck, since the tournaments with the most participants from May 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 saw winning decks which are a bit off nowadays’ mainstream. No, it’s not about Kali’s Fang, but neither about Liquidations, Tupdogs or Emerald Legionnaires.
“Sandwich of the month” by Matt Green
Deck type: Malkavian toolbox
Untitled tournament – Portsmouth, England – May 6 – 18 players
Notes from the organiser: Matthew Green won, with a quite EXTRAORDINARY toolbox Malky deck, including [blush, simper] out-of-turn rush/aggravated damage/Rotschreck combat. He only had 5.5 VP to get to the final but he engineered this quite BRILLIANTLY, ensuring, for example, in the third heat that none of the other players was going to get more VP than him, and that the biggest threats to him were stymied. He then played a total blinder in the final, starting off slow, blocking or voting down [with my help] Rob's votes, helping me to bring Rob down to 1 pool and then using a Madness network Dramatic Upheaval to swap places with me, so that he could bleed out Rob and then, via a deflection, me. A really AMAZING performance and one for the aficionados. Well done, Matt!
Notes from Matt: The deck could stand some improvement, it was the first time it had seen competitive play. The Bums Rushes were pretty bad, another hunter would have been better. The Legendary Vampire was great as were the My Enemy's-Enemies. Telepathic Vote Counting should be something different and the deck should have Sudden Reversals and maybe a DI [Direct Intervention]. Tribute to the Master effectively kept Rob T. in the game during round 1, I had no way to deal with it. Masters in this deck are at a premium really and adding still more OOT [out-of-turn] cards may be a bad idea. I'll try it and see.
2x Gilbert Duane 7 AUS DOM OBF prince Malkavian:1
2x Greger Anderssen 7 AUS OBF dom pro prince Malkavian:2
2x Victoria 5 AUS cel obf Malkavian:2
2x Zebulon 5 OBF aus dom pro Malkavian:1
1x Ozmo 6 AUS dom obf Malkavian:1
1x Aleph 4 AUS dom Malkavian:1
1x Watenda 3 obf Malkavian:2
1x Zöe 3 AUS cel obf Malkavian:2
2x Blood Doll
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
2x Elysium: The Arboretum
1x Legendary Vampire
5x Madness Network
2x Vast Wealth
2x Bum's Rush
1x Muddled Vampire Hunter
1x Ivory Bow
2x Leather Jacket
1x Sengir Dagger
2x Conservative Agitation
2x Dramatic Upheaval
1x Kindred Restructure
4x Kine Resources Contested
1x Malkavian Justicar
1x Parity Shift
2x Cloak the Gathering
1x Foreshadowing Destruction
3x Forgotten Labyrinth
6x Lost in Crowds
2x Telepathic Vote Counting
3x Behind You!
1x Body Flare
2x Bone Spur
3x Flesh of Marble
2x Forced Awakening
3x Malkavian Rider Clause
6x My Enemy's Enemy
3x Wake with Evening's Freshness
– Malkavians with Dominate looking for Madness Network fun: acting out-of-turn (all Malkavians have their own Enkil Cog) – with the option to play out-of-turn Master cards while acting. Like: “Does your deck have a viable defence against aggravated damage and Rotschreck? No? Oh, sorry … Do you mind me playing Graverobbing on your now useless vampire in torpor?”
– The vote angle of this deck allowed exchanging seats with another Methuselah, which usually resulted in VP-sniping (as described in the comment above). Dramatic Upheaval and Kindred Restructure were added to the Banned List in 2005. If you wished to achieve a similar effect nowadays, you had to build a deck around Life Boon and a way to deliver “friendly fire”, e. g. with (mass) damage votes (or the Dementation action card Kindred Spirits).
– How to make this deck work in 2021 and retain parts of the originality? Crypt-wise, in order to make sure the Protean combat module works more safely, I would triple Greger Andersen (drop Watenda) and maybe Zebulon (as 13th vampire?) and add 1 or 2 Wider Views. Hint: It is probably the safer bet to focus on Obfuscate cards (like Disguised Weapon) and Equipment (.44 Magnum is a very common option) when choosing groups 1 and 2. When going for Protean, change to group 2-3 and go for Rachel Brandywine with superior PRO (first printed in Camarilla Edition in 2002) as a fearsome star of the deck.
– More pool gain is needed since the VP-sniping option is lost. Poolgain could be 3x Villein (instead of 2x Blood Doll) and replacing all seat-changing votes and the copies of Conservative Agitation by Parity Shift. The 3 copies of Malkavian Rider Clause (maybe even add a copy of Cryptic Rider) will help you to get the pool you need (additionally, raise your sweet-talking skills).
– Master cards: Drop Elysium (usually there are too many non-Camarilla combat decks around) for another Dreams and maybe a Papillon (its cost-gain ratio is brilliant). Even though Direct Intervention and/or Sudden Reversal/Wash would be nice, I would go for Rötschreck only – you cannot chase two rabbits at the same time.
– Turn Bum’s Rush into Nose of the Hound. Forced Awakening should be On the Qui Vive, WwEF be Eyes of Agus, and you will wish to add copies of Second Tradition: Domain as well (or drop bounces for them, it´s a metagame decision). If you wish to exert more table control, add copies of Eagle’s Sight and probably a Bowl of Convergence.
– Vote-wise, I would stick to the 2 copies of Telepathic Vote Counting. If you want to get more bargain out of the Protean angle and Madness Network, you could instead take in 2 copies of Homunculus. Foreshadowing Destruction has to be another Conditioning, since only Gilbert has DOM. 1 copy each of Lost in Crowds and Forgotten Labyrinth should be Elder Impersonations, since “block fails” is so strong (and needed every now and then).
– The combat module is a small one (even if you go up to 90 cards), so choose your troubles wisely. Flesh of Marble is a nice way to take away the threat of huge amounts of damage. Bone Spur (and probably Body of Sun) could be Claws of the Dead (and maybe add two more copies of that). I would go all Protean, turning Behind You! into Form of the Ghost and/or Earth Meld.
– Fun note: If you up for funky stuff, add a Ghoul Retainer. When it uses the Ivory Bow or the Sengir Dagger, the damage is technically “environmental”.
“Ahrimanes gone wild” by François Déziel
Deck type: Ahrimane Anarch vote
NAC Qualifier - Watchtower: Chosen are Called – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – May 1 – 26 players
4x Howler 8 ANI PRE SPI obf Ahrimane:2
4x Siamese, The 7 PRE SPI ani pro Ahrimane:2
2x Cynthia Ingold 6 SPI ani for pre Ahrimane:2
2x Nettie Hale 5 ani cel pre pro spi Ahrimane:2
1x Anarch Free Press, The
1x Anarch Railroad
3x Anarch Revolt
3x Blood Doll
2x Powerbase: Los Angeles
2x Seattle Committee
2x Sudden Reversal
4x Engling Fury
1x Fee Stake: Boston
1x Fee Stake: Corte
1x Fee Stake: Los Angeles
1x Fee Stake: New York
1x Fee Stake: Perth
1x Fee Stake: Seattle
2x Muricia's Call
4x Conservative Agitation
2x Domain Challenge
4x Kine Resources Contested
2x Owl Companion
2x Raven Spy
2x Aire of Elation
4x Bewitching Oration
4x Voter Captivation
8x Swiftness of the Stag
4x Chameleon's Colors
4x Cats' Guidance
4x Falcon's Eye
2x Forced Awakening
4x Speak with Spirits
– Votes powered by Presence and Fee Stakes together with some table control with Spiritus reaction and combat cards. It is important to recall that only the Anarch cards of the sets Anarchs, Gehenna and Kindred Most Wanted were available (so no Anarch Convert) AND that Anarch Revolt affected all Methuselahs in the game until the rewording released with Twilight Rebellion (TR) in 2008.
– Today, you want to make use of Anarch Convert in order to reliably control different ready Anarchs as soon as possible (which is needed to get the Fee Stakes work). As Karl Schaefer describes in his very useful article “Advanced Crypt Construction (and Math!)”, you want to go for 5 copies of Anarch Convert in a Crypt composed of 12 vampires (maybe 3x Howler, 2x The Siamese, 1x each Cynthia Ingold and Nettie Hale).
– The Master section is already nicely shaped, however consider using Trifle cards, so Vessels or Villeins instead of Blood Dolls, Wash instead of Sudden Reversal. I like Seattle Committee, but one copy could now be a Twilight Camp. Garibaldi-Meucci Museum and Carfax Abbey are strong cards you might want to add, maybe in exchange for 1 Owl Companion and 1 Reinforcements.
– I like the action section, too, yet including Field Training to enhance Cynthia Ingold or Nettie Hale is very tempting. Political actions should be diversified, exchanging some copies of Conservative Agitation (and/or KRC) for Eat the Rich and Reckless Agitation. 1 Domain Challenge could be Anarchist Uprising or Ancilla Empowerment.
– 1 or 2 copies of Bewitching Oration could be Perfect Paragon, and 1 or 2 copies of Majesty could be Force of Personality, to gain more flexibility.
– Regarding Reaction cards, again change Forced Awakening into On the Qui Vive. You want to make room for at least 1 Delaying Tactics and maybe 1 Detect Authority (as protection against a desperate D-action), but choosing 2x Direct Intervention (I heard there is a reprint available on Drivethrucards.com) would, of course, give you a lot more options against the various threats VTES offers. Because of card-flow issues, I would try to keep the total of Master cards at 16, maybe 17 highest.
“Viking Invasion” by Gonzalo García
Deck type: Gangrel feat. Torvus Bloodbeard toolbox
Fanfare for Elysium – Móstoles, Madrid, Spain – May 1 – 16 players
4x Torvus Bloodbeard 9 ANI FOR OBF PRO pot Gangrel:3
1x Xaviar 10 ANI FOR PRO aus cel pot 2 votes Gangrel:3
1x Brunhilde 8 ANI FOR PRO pre Gangrel:3
1x Danielle Diron 7 ANI PRO chi for 1 vote Gangrel:3
1x Sophia Watson 6 ANI FOR obf pro Gangrel:3
1x Lord Ashton 5 ANI for pro Gangrel:3
1x Bobby Lemon 4 ANI pro Gangrel:3
1x Ramona 4 for pro Gangrel:2
1x Bothwell 3 ani for Gangrel:3
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Gangrel Revel
1x Giant's Blood
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Powerbase: Montreal
1x Rack, The
1x Zoo Hunting Ground
3x Deep Song
1x Shadow of the Beast
1x Camera Phone
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Ivory Bow
1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
8x Raven Spy
1x Tasha Morgan
3x Canine Horde
7x Carrion Crows
4x Claws of the Dead
1x Earth Meld
3x Hidden Strength
5x Pack Alpha
4x Rolling with the Punches
1x Scorpion Sting
1x Skin of Steel
2x Target Vitals
4x Taste of Vitae
2x Unflinching Persistence
4x Cats' Guidance
1x Eyes of the Beast
2x Forced Awakening
1x Guard Dogs
4x On the Qui Vive
4x Sense the Savage Way
– Torvus is all about (bleeding and) tooling-up with permanents and winning in the endgame.
– Regarding the crypt, Xaviar is a bit too big as a secondary vampire for my taste, and it is not needed to rely on members of Clan Gangrel only. There are quite a few alternatives when going group 3-4 (okay, Ramona has to leave the crew then) and looking e. g. for ANI for+PRO. Doyle Fincher is interesting because of his +1 bleed, though his special makes him double-edged, plus Brunhilde, Danielle Diron and Beckett offer interesting advanced versions. Be on guard to keep enough vampires with capacity 7+ because of Sense the Savage Way.
– Masters: I would take out 2 Vessels and put in 1 Wider View and 1 Ennoia’s Theatre. Gangrel Revel could be Archon Investigation, of course doubling Heidelberg Castle would be a good idea as well.
– Actions and retainers: Alternatives for Gather and Shadow of the Beast are Army of Rats and Rewilding. In addition, if you reduced the combat package, you would gain some space for a few copies of Thing. Exchange 1 Raven Spy for a third bleed retainer, Robert Carter, and another one could simply be Mr. Winthrop, because it costs no blood.
– Forced Awakenings and probably Guard Dogs should be On the Qui Vive, and two combat cards should become Delaying Tactics. A further reduction or reshaping of the combat package would allow to include some Protean action modifiers to provide stealth every now and then. Especially when switching to an all Protean combat module, it should be quite easy to trim this deck down to 80 or even 75 library cards.
“Horda Psicopata” by Bruno Pontes
Deck type: Giovanni ally rush
Campeonato Extra 02 – Fortaleza, Brazil – May 2 – 13 players
3x Regina Giovanni, The Right Hand of Augustus 10 DOM NEC POT aus for 2 votes Giovanni:2
3x Lisandro Giovanni 9 DOM FOR NEC POT THN Giovanni:3
2x Andrea Giovanni 7 DOM NEC pot vic Giovanni:2
1x Carlotta Giovanni 7 NEC POT dom obf Giovanni:2
1x Isabel Giovanni 5 DOM NEC pot Giovanni:2
1x Vittorio Giovanni 5 dom for nec pot Giovanni:2
1x Rudolfo Giovanni 3 NEC Giovanni:2
1x Archon Investigation
1x Barrens, The
2x Fortschritt Library
2x Golconda: Inner Peace
2x Path of Bone, The
1x Tower of London
1x Wall Street Night, Financial Newspaper
1x FBI Special Affairs Division
1x Unmasking, The
1x Ambrosius, The Ferryman
1x Carlton Van Wyk
3x Gianna di Canneto
2x Mylan Horseed
2x Neighborhood Watch Commander
17x Shambling Hordes
1x Tye Cooper
2x Unlicensed Taxicab
3x Call of the Hungry Dead
6x Freak Drive
3x Spectral Divination
6x Glancing Blow
7x On the Qui Vive
– It is somehow unusual to see a bigcap crypt in the “Shambler” archetype, and in his next TWDA version a few months later, Bruno had taken out Regina completely in exchange for more smaller vampires.
– For the other changes he considered afterwards, please have a look at his next version (http://www.vekn.fr/decks/twd.htm#2015pcsb) and be on the lookout for his previous 3 tournament-winning Shambler decks (kudos!) as well.
– A lot depends on metagame and personal style, especially in a 90 card deck (that could be reduced to 80 cards when accepting less variety). Combat-wise, Trap and Fake Out are usually friends with Shambling Hordes. I would exchange 2 or 3 On the Qui Vive for Funeral Wakes and include at least 2 more “card cyclers” (Dreams of the Sphinx, Fragment of the Book of Nod), maybe in exchange for Tower of London and 1 Golconda. If I had not proclaimed that this “Decks to beat” article is not about Liquidation, I would have to mention the Liquidation & Sudario Refraction module. “Dare not think about a pink elephant …” ;-)
That’s it for this time. Thank you for reading!
BLACK CHANTRY SUMMARY: MAY 2021
• Time flies, and we are now in the last week of the Unleashed Kickstarter! Make sure to join, and tell friends who have been curious of the game. Some add-ons and new pledge levels have been added along the way - for example, the Temptation of Greater Power level - possibly a great, discounted way to get into the game, or maybe split it up in your playgroup?
• Upon requests, a "one-of-each" bundle of the Latin Fifth Edition cards has been added to Drivethrucards.com. More smart bundlings and of course more cards are being prepared for print-on-demand!
• Finishing touches are laid on both Promo Pack 3 and the above mentioned preconstructed deck. In stores and at events this fall.
• The Fall of London set has been sent to playtest groups for its second round of testing.
• 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)
- Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition Latin (Drivethrucards only)
RECENT NEWS IN THE WORLD OF DARKNESS
The most exciting World of Darkness news for VTES fans this month is the announcement of "Sabbat: The Black Hand", the official Sabbat sect sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade. It is now available for pre-order and planned for an August release. The official description:
An antagonists’ guide to the cultic fanatics of the Sabbat, this book contains:
• Descriptions of the Paths of Enlightenment, the foundations of Sabbat identity
• Information on the Gehenna War, and how the Sabbat opposes the dread Antediluvians
• New tools to expand your chronicles, including Discipline powers, versatile antagonists, and the horrifying Ritae of the Black Hand
This means lots of new design space for future VTES cards - we look forward to see what the Black Chantry design team make of it!
Creative Lead Justin Achilli was guest in the World of Darkness News show and answered many questions about the book:
VEKN still refrain from generally encouraging physical tournaments. Follow local regulations on what 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.
"Die with memories, not dreams."