Ginés Quiñonero Spying Mission VTES 2021
Spying Mission by Ginés Quiñonero.

Greetings fellow Methuselahs,


In the Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition lore, the Followers of Set have rebranded themselves as The Ministry, and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle abides. A preconstructed deck is at the heavlily-strained print shop and will appear, together with decks for Brujah, Gangrel and Banu Haqim (previously known as the Assamites) sometime in October-November.

We have to wait a bit with the deck list, but the tuckbox text tells us the following: "This deck delivers a steady stream of mischief on your enemy, with tactics both direct and indirect. Your vampires do anything to elude defenders – sneaking, hypnotizing, even shape-changing! Your defense is limited, but you have some Anarch tricks up your sleeve." So this will be a bleed deck, but Anarchness and the new clan discipline Protean (replacing Serpentis) helps it stay alive ... or should one say undead?

Below you see the new Spying Mission (always bleed responsible!), a new Baron with art by VTES veteran Ken Meyer Jr, and a new action that will be important in the deck, art by new VTES artist Kim Aldau.

Spying Mission VTES 2021 Elisha Tucker VTES 2021 Ken Meyer Jr The Platinum Protocol VTES 2021

VTES Rules Q & A July 2021RULES Q & A

Black Chantry Rules Director Vincent Ripoll answers some rules questions:

Q: If my vampire has a Sniper Rifle and blocks, and the acting vampire can set the range to close before range is determined, who wins?
A: The acting vampire has the impulse to play their cards and use their effects first, so the acting vampire “wins”: once the range has already been set, the Sniper Rifle cannot set the range anymore.
Q: In order to merge a vampire, do I need the two different versions of the cards, or does it work with 2 advanced versions?
A: You need the base and advanced versions. Once one is out, you can merge it with the other version by spending 4 transfers and 1 pool during your influence phase.
Q: If my prey gets ousted by my grand-predator (the predator of my predator), who wins the VP and the 6 pool?
A: You do, no matter who ousts your prey.

Q: The acting vampire plays Mirror Walk at superior and is blocked. Can the acting Methuselah choose to use the slave rule to unlock? And would there be combat?
A: The short answer is no [ANK-20210627]. If you want to read more about it, there is a very interesting discussion here: and a few clarification and reversals:

Two minor changes introduced in the 2019 Sabbat preconstructed decks that should have been mentioned in the official card changes on release:

Mirror Walk: Now explicitly locks the blocking minion. (SP, 16/02/2019)

This is because Mirror Walk no longer activates half of the block resolution and cancels the other half but triggers before the whole block resolution.

Telepathic Tracking: The card is played when the combat would end, and replaces this by starting a new round. Telepathic Tracking is always played before Psyche! because Psyche! is played when combat is about to end (that is after any replacement effects). (SP, 16/02/2019)

REVERSAL (of the last part of LSJ 20090513 about Promise of 1528): you cannot play Promise of 1528 before burning the blood or life to the Banshee Ironwail.

This is due to this new RULING: An effect that is delayed (such as Mirror Walk effect: "if this action is blocked, lock the blocking minion and end the action before block resolution.") happens as soon as the condition is met, before any Methuselah can play other cards or use other effects in that same timing window (it is not possible to "interrupt" the resolution of an effect by playing other unrelated effects, even if they share the same timing window).

If two delayed effects have the same timing, then they are resolved in sequence, as usual.

Do you have your own rules questions? The easiest way to get a quick answer is posting it in either the forum or in the VEKN Facebook group.

Card text updates July 2021OFFICIAL CARD TEXT UPDATES

Also from Vincent Ripoll, the official card text database has been updated, effective 09/07/2021 (DD/MM/YYYY):

  • Daliah: Gaining blood is now optional.
  • De Sade: All vampires (including the ones which the same controller) must burn blood to vote against De Sade's referendums.
  • Inside Dirt: Burns 3 blood or 3 pool, instead of 2.
  • Public Vilification: The blood stolen is now distributed among vampires.
  • Show of Force: The vampire can gain +2 strength at superior instead of +1 strength.
  • Vivienne Géroux: Can now play cards requiring basic Celerity and/or Fortitude as an Anarch vampire. (This includes Forced March and Diversion).

Also, note that there is a typo on Illegalism in the Kickstarter version of Anarch Unbound: The [chi] effect should read "This is a +1 stealth action." instead of "This action a +1 stealth action." This is a typo – there is no practical difference in these two wordings.

Also, some have asked what happened to the Mind´s Eye Theater promo card Alicia Cortez? The card was released on March 31, and is tournament legal as of that date. It has been added to the card database.


A retrospect by Rudolf Scholz

I rise my glass in memory of the ones we lost. Mementum mori, and say “Not today!” … I hope many of you have played VTES again, real VTES with cards in hand, and started to enjoy the summertime. Have you seen some previews of the new decks by Black Chantry and maybe even already pre-ordered some? Anyway, it is now time to look back, at the tournament winning decks with the most participants from July 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. Three out of four of these decks made use of library recursion.

VTES July 2021 01Year 2000
Untitled deck by Steve Coombs
Deck type: Midcap Presence lock-and-bleed toolbox
DragonCon 2000 – Atlanta, Georgia, US – July 2 – Unknown number of players

Notes from Steve: “Some comments about playing this deck:
1. Don't rely on getting any specific card, nor wait for one.
2. Play the hand you receive (all surprises from the deck will be good, I promise).
3. Cycle – Focus on going forward, you cannot win with this deck if you turtle up.
4. This deck was designed to play at a 4 player table ... (It's what I'm used to and usually what I see in tournaments).
5. Yes this deck is not perfect and it does have weaknesses, but I foresee changes to it in the not too distant future.
6. I'd like to thank David and Jose and the Charlotte play group for all their help and teachings over the last year.”

Crypt (12)
2x Anson   8 CEL PRE aus dom  prince  Toreador:1
1x Jost Werner   6 AUS PRE ani   Toreador antitribu:2
1x Rake   6 PRE aus cel pot  prince  Brujah:1
1x Sheila Mezarin   6 AUS PRE cel for   Toreador antitribu:2
1x Felicia Mostrom   5 AUS CEL pre   Toreador:1
1x Ramiel DuPre   5 PRE aus cel dom   Toreador:1
1x Demetrius Slater   4 aus cel pre   Toreador:1
1x Mariana Gilbert   4 PRE cel   Toreador:1
1x Remilliard, Devout Crusader   4 AUS pre   Toreador antitribu:2
1x Gideon Fontaine   3 PRE   Ventrue:1
1x Delilah Easton   2 pre   Toreador:1

Library (90)
4x Auspex
1x Barrens, The
3x Blood Doll
1x Effective Management
1x Elysium: The Arboretum
1x Giant's Blood
2x Information Highway
1x KRCG News Radio
2x Misdirection
1x Parthenon, The
3x Presence
2x Society Hunting Ground
2x Sudden Reversal
1x Tomb of Rameses III

2x Distraction
8x Legal Manipulations
1x Pulse of the Canaille
8x Social Charm

1x Ivory Bow
6x Marijava Ghoul
1x Palatial Estate
1x Sengir Dagger

10x Aire of Elation

4x Dodge
6x Majesty

2x Delaying Tactics
6x Telepathic Counter
2x Telepathic Misdirection
7x Wake with Evening's Freshness


  • Presence bleed is powerful and a viable choice, and trying to make use of Marijava Ghoul to bleed at +1 stealth with Presence cards is an interesting idea. Auspex as a second discipline is quite common nowadays, which usually leads to a Toreador antitribu and Toreador crypt.
  • With a deck like Steve’s, you try to overwhelm your prey, either by successfully bleeding or by getting blocked, which locks the blocker, and surviving the combat and doing something useful afterwards, either with the same vampire, in case of superior Majesty, or with the next one.
  • However, this deck features too many master cards (taking into account that there are only 2 copies of Anson and 1 copy of The Parthenon); and if you really need 7 skill cards, you should probably ask yourself if you have chosen the right crypt.
  • If you drop the skill cards, the master card section immediately looks better. By taking out 2 other (Tomb of Rameses III, KRCG News Radio) and by turning 2 more (Elysium: The Arboretum, The Parthenon) into copies of Dreams of the Sphinx, things start to look well.
  • The Presence bleed cards are usually more diversified these days, e. g. Enchant Kindred allows you to build up or play a waiting game, Entrancement to take care about allies. Distraction could be Mind Numb. 2 copies of Aire of Elation could be changed to Change of Target. Change the Dodges to more copies of Majesty and/or to Staredown and/or Charismatic Aura and/or Force of Personality.
  • Looking at the reaction cards, Wake with Evening’s Freshness has to be replaced by On the Qui Vive and Eyes of Argus, and usually Telepathic Counter makes way for more copies of Telepathic Misdirection and for My Enemy’s Enemy.
  • Crypt-wise, Rebekkah should join the team, and maybe Greta Kircher.

VTES July 2021 02Year 2005
“With a feminine touch” by Jarkko Suvela
Deck type: Gangrel and Protean friends bigcap vote
Ropecon – Espoo, Finland – July 22 – 85 players

Crypt (13)
3x Stanislava   11 ANI CEL DOM FOR PRO  inner circle  Gangrel:2
2x Genevieve   10 ANI FOR PRO aus dom  priscus   Gangrel antitribu:2
2x Rachel Brandywine   10 AUS DEM OBF PRO ani  prince   Malkavian:3
2x Ingrid Rossler   9 ANI FOR PRO dom   prince   Gangrel:2
1x Caitlin   6 ANI PRO aus dom   bishop   Gangrel antitribu:2
1x Bothwell   3 ani for   Gangrel:3
1x Chandler Hungerford   3 PRO   Gangrel:2
1x Panagos Levidis   3 ani obf   Gangrel:2

Library (90)
3x Blood Doll
1x Direct Intervention
1x Dominate
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Ecoterrorists
1x Giant's Blood
2x Golconda: Inner Peace
5x Minion Tap
1x Sudden Reversal

1x Alastor
1x Ancient Influence
2x Banishment
1x Disputed Territory
1x Gangrel Justicar
5x Kine Resources Contested
2x Parity Shift
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Protect Thine Own
4x Reinforcements
1x Reins of Power

1x Assault Rifle
1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1x Ossian
1x Palatial Estate
1x Tasha Morgan

3x Beast Meld
3x Conditioning
4x Earth Control
6x Freak Drive
3x Rapid Change

3x Carrion Crows
5x Earth Meld
4x Form of Mist
3x Superior Mettle

7x Deflection
2x Guard Dogs
2x Rat's Warning
3x Wake with Evening's Freshness


  • The lady with the rose, yet not as a star vampire … The best way to find out about its special features is comparing it with 25th Anniversary.
  • With Carrion Crows and Superior Mettle, Jarkko’s deck is prepared for a few fights (to counter Finnish politics?), and with Alastor, Assault Rifle and Ossian, it has means to get rid of soft targets as well. Protect Thine Own also helped to deal with problematic vampires, but it got banned in 2008. There is also a library recursion module with Reinforcements which can allow you to do some deal-making.
  • Like the 25th Anniversary deck, this deck focuses on political actions and relies on Dominate for bleed defence, but it does not really try to put vampires into play faster (no Govern the Unaligned, no Zillah’s Valley). This deck won a BIG tournament, yet I wonder about the usefulness of the weenies (except for Chandler Hungerford).
  • Obvious changes are Minion Tap to Villein and Wake with Evening’s Freshness to On the Qui Vive. Recommended crypt changes are Rachel Brandywine to Xaviar Advanced and Panagos Levidis (since he has neither Fortitude nor Protean) to Mark Decker. Replacement for Protect Thine Own could be Scourge of the Enochians.
  • It should be tried to reduce the size of the library to make the Reinforcements more efficient. A first try is -1 Blood Doll, -1 Golconda, -1 Gangrel Justicar, -1 Kine Resources Contested, -1 Beast Meld, -1 Guard Dogs, -1 Carrion Crows. (If I were looking for a true redux version of this deck, I would kindly ask Jay Kristoff for help.)

VTES July 2021 03Year 2010
AD&D (Advanced Derange & Dementia) by Otso Saariluoma
Deck type: Malkavian bigcap stealth toolbox
Ropecon – Dipoli, Espoo, Finland – July 23 – 93 players

Notes from Otso: “The same deck I played before, this time with slight alterations, as I found Unmada too important to miss in the opening crypt. Temptation of Greater Power was actually an excellent addition. If you want to use the combo in every single game (which I didn't), I'd suggest playing more copies of the key cards: Derange, Dementia and Enkil Cog.”

20 days before Ropecon, Otso had won a smaller tournament with almost the same deck that he had named DnD (Derange & Dementia). On that deck, he commented: “The classic combo [Derange & Malkavian Dementia] with some new cards. Enkil Cog makes targeting the right vampires easier. Bring out Unmada first, Cybele second and Lutz third, if able. If all else fails, just bleed for three.”

Crypt (12)
5x Unmada   10 AUS DEM OBF VIC cel for  justicar   Malkavian:5
4x Cybele   10 ANI DAI OBF PRE SER THA   Baali:4
3x Lutz von Hohenzollern  11 AUS DEM OBF PRE pot   inner circle  Malkavian:4

Library (76)
1x Archon Investigation
6x Ashur Tablets
1x Direct Intervention
3x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
2x Golconda: Inner Peace
2x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
2x Information Highway
3x Malkavian Dementia
1x Metro Underground
1x Monastery of Shadows
3x Parthenon, The
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Temptation of Greater Power
6x Villein
1x Wash
2x Wider View
3x Zillah's Valley

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

5x Derange
1x Entrancement

1x Banishment
2x Parity Shift
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Reins of Power

1x Cloak the Gathering
1x Elder Impersonation
2x Enkil Cog
2x Faceless Night
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
1x Into Thin Air
2x Lost in Crowds
1x Spying Mission
2x Swallowed by the Night

3x No Trace

2x Eyes of Argus
3x Telepathic Misdirection


  • Both Anthelios, The Red Star and Temptation of Greater Power are banned since 2016. Especially the first ban affects this master-heavy deck. The simplest fix seems to be: add a copy of each Derange and Malkavian Dementia for the lost copies of Anthelios. Temptation of Greater Power could become something defensive, maybe Unleash Hell’s Fury. Plus, after the RTR 20201130 Derange lost a bit of its disruptive powers.
  • The trick of the deck: Put Derange on a worthy target, preferably out-of-turn with the help of Enkil Cog, thus it cannot be removed before the start of your next turn. In your next master phase, play Malkavian Dementia on a deranged vampire and do with it what you regard to be appropriate: Play Golconda on it, or use Heidelberg Castle to drain off the blood and take a useful action if the vampire was unlocked. As a side benefit, Derange usually slows down the game to your favour.
  • Even without the combo the deck is a valid threat. And being granted two or maybe even three master phase actions, two sets of Ashur Tablets will probably allow you to retrieve precious cards. Possible variations of this deck: Adding Anarchist Uprising and Ancilla Empowerment is one of the most obvious choices, because of the many weenie and ally decks out there. You could try out Social Ladder (to be played after Malkavian Dementia), put in more stealth/block denial cards, or play more reaction cards (wakes, bounce, Mental Maze, etc).
  • If you squeeze in one or better two Master: Discipline skill cards into this deck, you can hope to be able to play Derange on ANY vampire. ;-)

VTES July 2021 04Year 2015
“NAG Anu gets a blood” by Bram van Stappen
Deck type: Anu and Weenies with Procurers swarm bleed
French LCQ – Soissons, France – June 4 – 31 players

Notes from Extrala who chose this deck as Deck of the Month in his blog: “The deck is a rather untypical ally bleed deck built around Anu Diptinatpa and the Procurer ally. The Procurers together with Anu’s special ability to spend a blood to give a minion (!) an extra +1 bleed, serve two purposes. The first is to bleed for one with Anu’s help, and the second one is to provide Anu with an extra blood (hence the deck’s name) for future bleed modification. If you dare to block, the third angle of the deck is kicking in: with Concealed Weapon & Flash Grenade the minions are able to end combat and tap down an opposing vampire easily for the next untap phase. The deck looks very inconspicuous, but it’s fast, and puts a lot of pressure on its prey with a horde of minions.” 

Crypt (12)
5x Anu Diptinatpa   7 DOM NEC aus vic   Nagaraja:6
1x Andre LeRoux   3 aus   Toreador:5
1x Alu   2 obf   Assamite:5
1x Dr. Solomon Grey   2 dom pre   Caitiff:5
1x Eric Milliner   2 pot   Giovanni:5
1x Honest Abe   2 pre   Brujah:5
1x New Blood   2 san   Blood Brother:ANY
1x Nichodemus   2 pot   Nosferatu:5

Library (73)
1x Anarch Troublemaker
6x Ashur Tablets
3x Blood Doll
1x Coven, The
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
1x Jake Washington
4x Life in the City
2x Parthenon, The
1x Wider View

1x FBI Special Affairs Division
2x Unmasking, The

1x Carlton Van Wyk
10x Procurer

1x Camera Phone
1x Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers
7x Flash Grenade
3x Saturday-Night Special

1x Change of Target

2x Backstep
9x Concealed Weapon
2x Dragon's Breath Rounds

6x Deflection
1x Delaying Tactics
2x On the Qui Vive
1x Redirection


  • Bram himself says: “Well, I'd say it's originally built, pre-Legionnaire age. People tend to underestimate the damage output. The module with deflect and Anu's special is superstrong, especially if you can just use Procurer to fill her up again.”
  • It takes a while to fully understand all the threats Bram packed into this deck, and any unprepared opponent will tend to not regard it as a threat at all. First of all, any bleed delivered or bounced by this deck, even a bleed for zero, asks the same question to your prey: “To block or not to block?”
  • Personally, I like Procurers using Flash Grenades very much, since it is very powerful to lock an opposing vampire and not letting them unlock in their next turn. Adding the Saturday-Nights Specials together with Dragon’s Breath Rounds puts even more mental pressure on your opponents.
  • There is only one card I recommend to add to this deck: two or three copies of Anarch Convert (at the same time dropping one or two of the 2-caps), since in my opinion Anarch Revolt is currently a very common card in tournaments and a big threat to a deck like this.
  • Depending on the metagame, a second Delaying Tactics (in exchange for a Deflection) might be required, and a second The Coven (probably in exchange for a Blood Doll) could be useful since the first copy tends to be removed from the game (=> the curse ^^). I am tempted to put in a Secure Haven to help protecting the star vampire, yet it would not interact well with Life in the City and Blood Doll.

That’s it for this time. Thank you for reading!

VEKN Facebook growth

... of which a whopping 1,812 are considered "active members" during the last month. The growth is not explosive, but considering the launch of VTES Fifth Edition was during a period when physical events has been discouraged, any growth is welcome. Thanks to all of you out there who promote the game, on Lackey and otherwise!

Most engaging posts this month (most comments and reactions):
1. At this moment in Slovakia.. 1gw.5vp
2. To clarify about the Sydnelson's card being shared
3. In Honor of our friend Fernando Cesar - Prince of Rio de janeiro
4. Ken Meyer Jr returns with more lovely art for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle!
5. Octane is one of the crypt cards in the upcoming …
6. So what to do with the new g6 Assamites or Banu Haqim as they prefer to be called nowadays?
7. Victoria Ash, preview Vampire: The Eternal Struggle art by Carmen Cornet.
8. Last Thursday (every Week) we have 6 player Table in Wels, Austria.
9. New strategy article by Tommi Hakomaa: How to play Tupdogs & Nephandus
10. Obituary: Sydnelson was the most fundamental pillar of our community…

Don´t forget that the forum is still around! Rules Questions and tournament winning decks ("Event Reports and TWD") are popular sections in the past month.

Black Chantry logo


  • The Unleashed Kickstarter is under delivery! The first lucky backers have received their products, others have to wait a bit. Black Chantry Distribution has been created to serve EU backers more easily.
  • The five Fifth Edition single decks (Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere and Ventrue) are in stores since early July.
  • Previews for the next four preconstructed decks (Banu Haqim, Brujah, Gangrel and The Ministry) have begun (see above), but moving on slow, since the release date is sometime in late October/early November. The annual promo pack has roughly the same status – you saw a couple of previews in the June newsletter.
  • The second round of playtest of the Fall of London-themed mini expansion has concluded, and playtest coordinator Darby Keeney has produced a meaty report that is currently being digested by the designers. We´ll see if another round of playtesting is needed.
  • The design team is also working on a follow up expansion for the Fifth Edition clans. The format is still vague, but first drafts of some cards will be in playtesting soon.
  • The next batch of Legacy Card Singles for Drivethrucards has been templated and is now being proofread.

VTES Fifth Edition

Black Chantry VTES products

• Currently these Black Chantry products are available through and other stores:

Do you have opinions or questions for Black Chantry? Start a topic on the VEKN forum, or contact the company by e-mailFacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Swansong Galeb

  • Vampire: The Masquerade Swansong has a new trailer out for the Ventrue protagonist Galeb. The game is scheduled for release in Febuary 2022.
  • Paradox Interactive is looking for a freelance World of Darkness Community Ambassador - apply as soon as possible!
  • The World of Darkness News show has changed to a shorter format, and the main themes this month have been Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt (July 2 and July 10), and Vampire: The Masquerade Out for Blood (July 16).


Upcoming events:
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.


"Relax. No one else is knowing what they're doing either."