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."


Ginés Quiñonero VTES Preview 2021-03

Preview art by Ginés Quiñonero.

Greetings fellow Methuselahs,

Above you see the new, very nice preview art of a classic Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card that hasn´t been reprinted in a while. Do you have a guess what card it is?

VTES SAC 2020 Online

Some thoughts from Mexico - this time also with a tournament winning deck:

During 2020, the whole world was submerged in the apocalyptic pandemic. It has affected all areas of life, including the gaming communities around the world, and VTES was no exception. All kinds of face-to-face meetings were suspended, and we saw a new phenomenon grow, that is not exclusive to VTES: the interaction with communities from different parts of the world through the internet.

In Mexico we do not have a very large community. Although we have records of almost 100 players, only a couple of dozens are currently active and meet regularly to play, and most of those have been playing for many years. And, although we knew there were player communities in other countries, we never had contact with them beyond occasional comments and sporadic greetings. When the pandemic began, we had recently begun to see the result of a work to disseminate the game in Mexico City, integrating new VTES players in our community by having constant meetings for new players. When we closed these meetings due to the health contingency, we thought that all our work had gone down the drain. But nothing was further from reality.

Thanks to the magic of the internet and social networks, and the need to stay at home, we gave ourselves the task of looking for alternatives to our game and our community. And thus, we discovered all the communities that were in a situation similar to ours. We got to know online gaming platforms, such as Lackey and Tabletop Simulator, which we began to use with our community, which was conducive to carrying out our first league and our first virtual tournament, in which we had the participation of fellow players from Brazil and Chile.

Subsequently, the opportunity to play the VTES World Championship online came, something that, at some point, we believed to be a very distant possibility for us to participate in person, even without the current sanitary conditions. And we met players from different parts of the world there, which, as a player, opens your eyes to different ways of conceiving the game, contrasting strategies and knowing what your level of play is.

Now in March 2021, the 2020 South American VTES Championship was organized by the Brazilian community, led by our friend Desso Alastor and his entire team. It was an event in which 68 players from all over the continent and also other places gathered, including six Mexicans. It was among the most gratifying experiences that I have had as a player, and my Mexican teammates share this opinion. From Mexico we are very excited to join the world community of VTES in all possible events and tournaments, and we hope to have the opportunity to organize an event for the entire community at the level of our Brazilian brothers.

Congratulations and a recognition to the 2020 South American Champion Richard Cortés and to all the players who participated. We look forward to the next confrontation with the Methuselahs of the world. In spite of all the nefariousness of this pandemic, we are happy that VTES lovers have approached and connected each other through distances and schedules to continue keeping this vibrant game alive.

Eduardo García Ayala, @LaloVtes

The VEKN also thank the organizers of this large tournament, and congratulate the champion Richard Cortés. Here is his tournament winning deck, “No secrets in sabotage”:

Crypt (12)
1x Foureyes   3 obf pot   Nosferatu:4
1x Krid   2 obf   Nosferatu:3
1x Mouse   2 ani   Nosferatu:3
3x Nkule Galadima   8 ani aus pre ABO FOR   Akunanse:4
4x Uchenna   7 ABO ANI FOR   Akunanse:4
1x Clarissa Steinburgen   3 ani obf   Nosferatu:3
1x Darva Felispa   3 ani pot   Nosferatu:3

Library (65)
Master (15)
1x Ancestor Spirit
1x Guardian Angel
1x Powerbase: Montreal
2x Powerbase: Tshwane
1x Rack, The
2x Smiling Jack, The Anarch
2x Vessel
2x Wider View
3x Dreams of the Sphinx

Event (2 cards)
1x Scourge of the Enochians

Action (13)
2x Army of Rats
6x No Secrets From the Magaji
5x Creeping Sabotage

Political Action (1)
1x Ancilla Empowerment

Ally (1)
1x Carlton Van Wyk

Retainer (4)
1x Mr. Winthrop
3x Raven Spy

Equipment (11)
3x .44 Magnum
2x Kevlar Vest
3x Sniper Rifle
2x Sport Bike
1x Camera Phone

Action Modifier (6)
6x Freak Drive

Action Modifier/Combat (6)
6x Predator's Transformation

Combat (6)
6x Rolling with the Punches

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

Theft of Vitae + Carrion CrowsRULES Q & A

Black Chantry Rules Director Vincent Ripoll answers some rules questions:

Q: During combat between vampire A (2 blood) and vampire B (2 blood), A plays a Carrion Crows at superior before range is determined, then maneuvers to long range and plays a Theft of Vitae at superior. Vampire B has no effective strike. What happens? Can B play prevent cards that cost blood before being stolen 2 blood in order to escape torpor?
A: Both stealing blood with a strike and inflicting damage with a Carrion Crows happen during the strike resolution. However, inflicting damage and preventing/handling damage are two different steps and stealing blood moves the blood counters before preventing/handling damage. So, B immediately loses 2 blood to the Theft of Vitae and takes 2 damage at the same time (to be handled in the next step); then, since B has no blood left, B cannot play cards that cost blood in order to prevent damage and therefore goes to torpor. (Read more about combat sequences in the Combat section of the rulebook, page 28, and about stealing blood in the subsection Strike Effects, page 33.)

Q: Player A bleeds Player B. Player B is considering whether to block or not. Can Player C play a card before Player B has chosen whether to block or decline? (For instance, Netwar at [aus] to see Player A's hand.)
A: No, the sequencing section in the rulebook indicates that the opportunity to play cards goes from A to B once A is finished. B can only give the impulse to C by declining to block. If B attempts to block, the impulse goes back to A. (See Sequencing in the rulebook, page 8.)

Update - Clarification: However, if B attempts to block, a new sequencing takes place during that block attempt: A can play cards (typically stealth), then B (following the sequencing rule), then the other players once B declines to play effects. The block attempt is not over until every player declines to play further effects. C is given the opportunity to play cards such as Netwar during the block attempt, or to give B some intercept with a KRCG News Radio for instance. Once everybody declines to play further effects, if the intercept is greater or equal to the stealth, the action is blocked; otherwise, B can declare another block attempt, or decline (giving the opportunity to block to the next player).

Q: The card text of Baron Dieudonne says “During your minion phase, Dieudonne can burn 1 blood to unlock after performing a successful action.” Can he keep spending blood and untap after each successful action performed successfully?
A: No. Baron Dieudonne's ability is restricted by the "during X do Y" pattern which limits doing X only once per Y (here: unlocking once per minion phase). (See Important terms in the game in the rulebook,
page 16.)

Coma + Warsaw Station
Q: Vampire A is in combat with a vampire, Nosferatu B. At close range, A plays a Coma to send the opposing Nosferatu B to torpor. Nosferatu B uses a hand strike to strike for 1. Does A lose 1 blood? Can B use Warsaw Station to go back into combat with A?
A: Both strikes resolve, the first one by sending B to torpor, and the second one by inflicting 1 damage to A. A has to handle that damage by either preventing it or mending it by burning 1 blood (see Combat in the rulebook, page 31). B is going to torpor, which ends the combat. The combat is not over immediately though, since cards usable at the end of the round can still be played (Taste of Vitae, etc.) If the Nosferatu B is not burned by a Decapitate or an Amaranth played by A, B ends in torpor when both Methuselahs decline to play other effects. Until then, the Warsaw Station cannot be used. B cannot go back in combat with A.


A retrospect by Henrik Klippström.

Time for another peek in the rear view mirror, this time on decks from March. These are the winning decks from the tournaments with most participants of March 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. Hopefully they will give you some inspiration for new builds!

March 2000Year 2000
Untitled deck by Jeff Dai
Deck type: Bigcap Dom/Obf vote/bleed
Praxis Seizure: Raleigh – Raleigh, North Carolina, USA – March 25 – Unknown no. of players

Notes from Jeff: “Bring out an 11 or 10 capacity vampire. GtU the other vampires out. Once you have enough, bleed and vote your prey out of existence.”

Crypt (12)
1x Arika   11 DOM FOR OBF PRE aus cel  inner circle  Ventrue:2
1x Etrius   11 AUS DOM OBF THA pro   inner circle  Tremere:2
1x Angelica, The Canonicus   10 DOM OBT POT cel obf   cardinal   Lasombra:2
1x Lucian   10 AUS DOM OBF cel tha   justicar   Malkavian:1
1x Queen Anne   10 DOM FOR PRE aus obf   prince   Ventrue:2
1x Roxanne, Rectrix of the 13th Floor   9 AUS DOM FOR OBF pot   primogen   Malkavian:1
1x Gratiano   8 DOM OBT obf pot   priscus   Lasombra:2
1x Justine, Elder of Dallas   8 AUS DOM THA obf   primogen   Tremere:1
1x Carlotta Giovanni   7 NEC POT dom obf   Giovanni:2
1x Gilbert Duane   7 AUS DOM OBF   prince   Malkavian:1
1x Mariel, Lady Thunder   7 DOM OBF aus tha   Malkavian:1
1x Didi Meyers   5 DOM aus cel obf   Malkavian:1

Library (91 cards) [Say what? In the TWDA?!]
1x Asylum Hunting Ground
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
3x Effective Management
1x Information Highway
7x Minion Tap
2x Sudden Reversal

15x Govern the Unaligned

1x Ancient Influence
2x Conservative Agitation
8x Kine Resources Contested
1x Political Stranglehold

6x Cloak the Gathering
2x Conditioning
3x Faceless Night
3x Foreshadowing Destruction
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
4x Lost in Crowds

10x Deflection
10x Obedience
8x Wake with Evening's Freshness

- Apart from the 91 cards problem, the deck is too thick. But it can be rather card intensive, so don´t go below 82-ish. Not hard though, just cut 10 percent in each card category.
- Switch Minion Taps for Villein, it will help the card flow a lot.
- Roxanne, Justine and Carlotta, sorry ladies, you have to leave. Sure 12 unique vamps and a smooth “Govern stair” in the crypt is nice, but not at any price. Consider Greger Anderssen and/or double up on the best ones.
- Depending on your enviroment, consider switching a couple of Kine Resources Contested for Ancillae Empowerment/Anarchist Uprising. Damage votes are important, but maybe switch 1-2 for Banishment, it is often very powerful.
- Switch about half of those Wakes for On the Qui Vive.

March 2005Year 2005
"Loyalists" by Reyda Seddiki
Deck type: Ventrue antitribu with Obtenebration vote
Coupe de Paris - Paris, France - March 12 - 39 players

Crypt (12)
3x Quentin   9 AUS DOM FOR cel obt  bishop   Ventrue antitribu:2
3x Gustav Mallenhous   8 AUS DOM for obt   priscus  Ventrue antitribu:2
3x Edward Neally   7 DOM FOR aus pre   Ventrue antitribu:3
2x Gerard   5 aus dom for obt   Ventrue antitribu:2
1x Samson   2 dom   Ventrue antitribu:2

Library (90 cards)
3x Blood Doll
2x Creepshow Casino
2x Demonstration
2x Information Highway
1x KRCG News Radio
2x Minion Tap
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
2x Secure Haven
2x Sudden Reversal

2x Dominate Kine
4x Govern the Unaligned

1x Mylan Horseed

1x Anarchist Uprising
1x Ancilla Empowerment
4x Banishment
1x Blood Siege
3x Cardinal Benediction
4x Consanguineous Boon
2x Domain Challenge
8x Kine Resources Contested

2x Bonding
2x Bribes
2x Conditioning
2x Crocodile's Tongue
1x Cryptic Rider
1x Daring the Dawn
4x Freak Drive
1x Kiss of Ra, The
5x Seduction
2x Shadow Play
2x Shroud of Night
2x Stealth Ritus
2x Tenebrous Form

4x Shadow Body

5x Deflection
2x Telepathic Misdirection
3x Wake with Evening's Freshness

- A rather original deck – there´s much to like here!
- Ventrue antitribu vote always seem a bit underplayed, and now we also have Framing of an Ancient Grudge and alternative crypts with Bruce de Guy and De Sade.
- Should go down to 82-ish cards to find those Demonstrations easier. Sadly the odd, fun stuff has to go. Blood Siege, Bribes and Stealth Ritus are too bad. Crocodile's Tongue is strong, but situational.
- I always want to build something with Cardinal Benediction! But those decks always fail. If you leave them out, but still want to stay in group 2-3, consider some titled Lasombra vampires instead of Edward Neally (love him, but he´s one of those “not quite good enough” vampires).
- You seldom see Consanguineous Boon in a non-weenie deck, and its worth pondering if you need them here. Sure they create pool, sure they can give you leverage in dealmaking, but might be better to focus on offense.
- I´d play 2 or 3 Daring the Dawn.

March 2010Year 2010
“Marchas de tranquis” by Gabriel Ron
Deck type: PRO royalty vote
Daring the Dawn – Barcelona, Spain – March 20 – 30 players

Note: Alessandro Donati won a 35 player tournament in Rome this month in 2010 (congratulations Alessandro!), but we leave that one out because he used a Una multi-act deck and Una suffered a errata in 2019 that makes it unplayable.

Crypt (12)
2x Angus the Unruled   10 ANI PRO cel for pot   justicar  Gangrel:1
2x Don Cruez, The Idealist  10 CEL POT PRE ani dom pro  justicar  Brujah:1
2x Ingrid Rossler   9 ANI FOR PRO dom   prince   Gangrel:2
2x Greger Anderssen   7 AUS OBF dom pro   prince   Malkavian:2
1x Marcellus   8 AUS CEL pro   prince   Toreador:2
1x Iliana   7 DOM FOR PRO tha   Gangrel:2
1x Elisabetta Romano   6 dom pro qui tha   primogen  Tremere:2
1x Chandler Hungerford   3 PRO   Gangrel:2

Library (78)
3x Blood Doll
1x Cavalier
1x Coven, The
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
1x Monastery of Shadows
3x Protean
1x Temptation of Greater Power
2x Vessel
2x Villein

1x Scourge of the Enochians

1x Dual Form
6x Fourth Tradition: The Accounting
2x Judgment: Camarilla Segregation

1x Ancient Influence
1x Ancilla Empowerment
2x Banishment
1x Domain Challenge
1x First Tradition: The Masquerade
4x Kine Resources Contested
4x Parity Shift
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Reins of Power

3x Conditioning
4x Earth Control
1x Enkil Cog

2x Rapid Change

3x Claws of the Dead
6x Earth Meld
5x Form of Mist

4x Deflection
2x On the Qui Vive
6x Second Tradition: Domain

- “All good decks start with a bunch of Discipline skill cards” is an old, highly ironic, saying. But there are exceptions! This is something as strange as a Gangrel vote deck with dominate, but without Stanislava. Well, there are some Malkavians here too, and the seldom seen Brujah justicar Don Cruez and other odd friends. Highly original, and not common to see on a final table.
- Large vampires without consistent multi-act is always hard, because every single action gets so important and you can´t really do any “launch turns”. I suggest at least one additional copy of Cavalier, replacing the now banned Temptation of Greater Power.
- The deck also lacks any serious crypt acceleration, not counting Fourth Tradition. I would add at least one more Dreams of the Sphinx though.
- The amount of bleed-bounce is low, but the other Methuselahs don’t know that! :)

March 2015Year 2015
Untitled deck by François Greiner
Deck type: Bigcap OBF-DOM vote
Hungarian ECQ – Budapest, Hungary – March 21 – 54 players

Crypt (12)
3x Mistress Fanchon   11 AUS CEL DOM OBF THA VIC  inner circle  Tremere:4
2x Rafael de Corazon   11 AUS CEL DOM OBF PRE   inner circle  Toreador:4
2x Alonso Petrodon   10 ANI DOM OBF POT for tha  justicar   Nosferatu:5
2x Gabrielle di Righetti  10 ANI AUS DOM THA obf pot  justicar   Tremere:5
1x Tryphosa   10 AUS DEM DOM OBF POT   prince   Malkavian:4
1x Neferu   9 OBF PRE SER THA dom nec  2 votes   Follower of Set:4
1x Orlando Oriundus   9 AUS DOM THA obf   bishop   Tremere antitribu:4

Library (75)
1x Giant's Blood
1x Golconda: Inner Peace
5x Information Highway
1x Metro Underground
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
8x Villein

9x Govern the Unaligned

2x Helicopter

2x Alastor
1x Ancient Influence
2x Parity Shift
1x Reins of Power

3x Conditioning
4x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
4x Faceless Night
1x Foreshadowing Destruction
5x Lost in Crowds
1x Perfect Clarity
2x Spying Mission

1x Hide the Mind
2x Swallowed by the Night

4x Deflection
3x Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
2x Mental Maze
7x Obedience

- I haven´t done the research to know exactly how original this is, but this kind of deck has appeared a lot in the TWDA. Anyway, the Alastor-Helicopter combo is strong with this VERY strong crypt.
- I have played a variant that relied more heavily on voting, particularily Parity Shift, but that is less fun now when that card is changed.
- A variant is to use more Rafaels and Mistresses and throw in some Flurry of Actions, to be able to do more damage in a single turn.
- If you play in a vote heavy environment, consider using more copies of Orlando Oriundus. He is the king of voting. I recall one game at EC Mannheim 2014 when I had 16 votes on the table with Orlando, and still hadn´t the vote lock. That table had something like 39 votes on it!


Black Chantry Productions logo

• No, it was not a April Fool´s joke! VTES Fifth Edition in Latin is a real product - you can order the five decks in a bundle from, and download both the rulebook and the help sheets in Latin from Thank Ginés Quiñonero for this odd effort - we know you love it! Ginés also made five unboxing videos on the Black Chantry YouTube channel - of course in latin :)

VTES Latin
• Playtest coodinator Darby Keeney has delivered a meaty report about Round 2 of the current playtesting batch (four precons - Brujah, Gangrel, Banu Haqim and Ministry, plus the Fall of London set). Some additional thoughts are needed, but most likely not a full third round of playtesting. Most of the art is done and printing is scheduled!

• One of the most common questions Black Chantry get is "What are the upcoming products?". In January, product director and lead designer Ben Peal answered this in an article at, but you have to understand that the company needs to be flexible because of various factors, for example the pandemic, printing scheduling, art issues and heavy workload for those involved. Ben gave a more elaborated answer on Facebook recently, here quoted in full:

We don't have a set-in-stone release strategy, but here's the general framework (which is totally subject to change):

- We'll eventually do a pre-constructed deck for every clan represented in 5th Edition V:tM. 5 already published, 4 coming a few months from now, maaaaaybe a few more at the end of this year, and then a couple more by spring 2022.
- Each of these clans needs follow-up material to fill out the crypt groupings, plus more library cards. Ideally, this follow-up material (fixed-content bundles) should come out immediately after the associated pre-con decks, but we've been bad about that. But expect follow-up material for the first 9 clans late this year.
- An annual mini-set with a storyline angle. We're wrapping up production on one for this year as we speak [Fall of London], but a release date for it is going to depend on when we're all vaccinated and able to host events again.

- An annual promo pack.
- Stuff for Continental Championship events.
- Marketing tie-ins with other licensed partners.

- We're gradually getting all of the White Wolf/CCP era cards onto When this stuff is published is kinda random. Generally speaking, we're updating the text templating for the cards and getting replacement artwork for the cards that need it. As a given batch of cards (typically clan + clan-specific discipline) is ready, we put it up on Drivethrucards. The ultimate goal with this project is to give V:TES a permanent home so there isn't a reason for it to ever be out of print again.
- We're working on getting the VEKN sets published. Details on that coming very soon.

• Black Chantry want to acknowledge two other bits of news related to friends of the company: Firstly, VTES artist Mark Kelly has Solemn Vale folk horror RPG on Kickstarter right now, with contributions from Justin Achilli, Matthew Dawkins and others. Secondly, Onyx Path Publishing (with the original VTES graphic designer Richard Thomas as CEO) will have their Scion RPG developed into a tv show. Congratulations!
VTES Fifth Edition content
BCP 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.

World of Darkness Stories

Some highlights of the past month:

• Justin Achilli wrote about defining clans in the Development blog, revealing the old VTES Obtenebration symbol will also be the symbol for the Oblivion discipline in VTM.

• "World of Darkness Stories" was launched, an expanding collection of short stories, on Facebook and Instagram.

"Secrets and Shadows" is a new expansion for Vampire: The Masquerade - Night Road which unlocks five new clans, a new Discipline, and two sets of variant powers to explore.

"The Barclay Mansion Challenge" is a interactive sneak peek at Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife.


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 V:EKN Event Calendar.


You can contact the VEKN Inner Circle members using contact forms at Also follow the VEKN Facebook group, the official VTES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official VEKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES

"Always embrace 'I don't know'."

 Clint Langley preview VTES

Preview art by Clint Langley.

Greetings fellow Methuselahs,

Yes, take another good look at the art above - old school Vampire: The Eternal Struggle artist Clint Langley will once again grace our game with his talent!


Bill Troxel of Colorado, USA, won the 2020 World Online Championship, reported in the November newsletter. He used a fresh Tupdog & Emerald Legionnaire brew, and we decided to ask him some questions about its creation and how it works. First, the decklist:

Crypt (45):
x45 Tupdog

Library (90):
Master (39)
x10 Agent of Power
x2 Archon Investigation
x2 Direct Intervention
x10 Inceptor
x8 Liquidation
x7 Parthenon, The

Action (22)
x7 Scrounging
x15 Summon History

Ally (13)
x1 Cry Wolf
x10 Emerald Legionnaire
x1 Gianna di Canneto
x1 Veneficti

Action Modifier (10)
x10 Skin of the Chameleon

Reaction (6)
x6 Delaying Tactics

Hi Bill! Thanks for taking the time to discuss this. The champion deck composition is rather original. How did you come up with it?
- This deck is the convergence of several failed deck ideas. Sometimes you work on crazy ideas that you feel would be strong if you could just find the right tech combination to support them, and this is one of those rare moments where it worked out. I have been experimenting for a while with getting Emerald Legionnaires into play as quickly as possible, because they are so cheap and powerful. I have one deck that uses cel/for weenies Clan Impersonate the Harbingers, Forced March, then recruit Legionnaires, but it is too vulnerable to intercept and/or rush. I have a few decks with Obfuscate weenies who use Agent of Power and Summon History, one of which is actually a good deck, but they are also vulnerable to rush and are not very meta-flexible. And for a long time I have been trying and failing to create a viable deck that uses Tupdogs and Inceptor, the idea being that you could play a fresh Inceptor every turn and maybe create weird and unexpected surprises mid-game, like superior Eternal Mask or Shattering Crescendo or something. No competitive decks ever came of that, but I did learn that with Tupdogs, you could use Inceptor to pull useless cards out of your deck every turn, like if you don't need Delaying Tactics at a particular table, or if you stuffed your deck full of Parthenons or Info Highways for an early draw. When I realized that I could combine the concepts, and that Tupdog and Inceptor both accelerate the growth of the ash heap for recycling Legionnaires, I knew I was onto something. The fact that Tupdogs have access to free stealth and are expendable in combat covered up the holes of some earlier failed decks.

How should the deck be played?
- The first thing I would do is advise a player to adjust the deck for their meta. At the championship table, I was not anticipating much intercept, and that turned out to be a good call. In a heavier intercept environment, you should add some Flow Within the Mountain, which offers combat-ends-continue and is quite good against Second Tradition. The deck also runs better with one more Summon History and two more Legionnaires. Really, I would advise a player to strip the deck down to its core, removing the defensive tech (meaning Delaying Tactics, Direct Intervention, Archon Investigation and Cry Wolf) and adding more of the other stuff to make a high-performance, speedier version. Then after seeing what the deck can really do, make adjustments to suit your tastes and your meta. I would estimate that there is about 12 cards worth of wiggle room for experimentation without ruining the reliability of the core mechanics.
   When you are actually playing, the first thing I recommend is to spend pool on bringing out as many Tupdogs as you can, at least for the first 4 turns of the game, usually more, often for the entire game. I have run many simulations in Lackey, and learned that having an extra Tupdog or two in the ash heap often translates to bringing up an extra Legionnaire early on, and an extra bleed per turn from a Legionnaire over a few turns justifies the pool expenditure.
   The second thing is to pay attention to what you are fetching with Inceptor, and from where. You will want to keep a copy of Summon History in your ash heap and keep pulling it up to the Inceptor, rather than continually thinning the Summons out of your library. Remember that all the cards that go on the Inceptor will end up in your ash heap at the end of the turn, along with all those Tupdogs. Since Summon History is the only thing you actually need on the Inceptor, the other two grabs are usually a Legionnaire plus a redundant card, like a Parthenon if you already have one. Sometimes you don't need the Legionnaire because there are so many in your ash heap already, at other times you grab two Legionnaires because of how many cards are already in your ash heap. Sometimes you will instead need to pull cards directly out of your hand to try to draw into what you need for the minion phase.
   The next thing to stay aware of is sculpting your ash heap. You have to remove 7 cards from the ash heap for every Emerald Legionnaire you will bring out during unlock, and you will want them to not be ally cards, and you will want to have a Summon History left over when you are done. Before discarding at the end of each turn, count your ash heap and the number of Legionnaires there. Sometimes you will find that you do not want to discard a Legionnaire from hand for the sake of your next unlock phase, because if you discard that extra Summon History or Scrounging instead, then you will be able to get one more Legionnaire out without having to remove any Legionnaires from the game, which would deplete your output potential.
Other than that, stop playing Liquidation once your library goes below 30, and wait until you have at least 3 Legionnaires in play – I prefer 4 – before fetching Veneficti. After all, two Legionnaires can be easily rushed and/or stolen, and that puts you behind by a full turn if you don't have any left during your next unlock phase, so getting out Legionnaires is first priority. Read Gianna's special abilities; she's mainly in the deck to destroy guns and to bleed, but her secondary ability also comes in handy. Other than that, have fun!

Bill Troxel VTES midWhy did you choose this deck for this particular tournament?
- I had been sitting on this deck for most of a year, asking people who saw it not to talk about it and waiting to unveil it in a high-profile tournament, so it was definitely on my list of 10 or so decks that I was strongly considering. I actually hadn't made up my mind to play it until less than an hour before the final round started, and I had modified it by 11 cards just the night before based on what I anticipated from the other players. Since this online tournament was multi-deck and I could choose exactly what to play for the final table, I studied my opponents' play history using the VTES-Hook website. I was able to correctly guess one of the decks exactly (Batsheva), and that deck ended up being my predator. Some of my other guesses were off and so I had stuffed my deck with useless tech, specifically x6 Delaying Tactics, x2 Archon Investigation and x1 Cry Wolf. The x2 Direct Interventions came in handy, though, and the Delaying Tactics were easily pulled into my ash heap via Inceptor.
   In the end, I thought the deck would be unexpected, aggressive, resilient and fun to play, and that's why I chose it. In retrospect, I'm really glad I did, because it was the perfect way for the deck to make a splash. I believe that Emerald Legionnaire is a really powerful card that was at first underestimated, and it's a personal project of mine to show that it is maybe a little too strong for its cost. I like to say that Emerald Legionnaire is the new Govern the Unaligned; it is strong enough that you can build all sorts of decks around it and they will still be competitive.

What prey and predator decks do you like and dislike?
- For its prey, this deck particularly dislikes seeing .44 Magnums and lots of wakes, which is true for Legionnaire swarm decks in general. A Toreador gun wall would be a worst-case scenario. A good prey would be someone without many minions and who can't stand up well to contests of attrition, like a typical Dominate bleeder. I don't mind bounce since I am swarm-bleeding rather than power-bleeding, so that's not a concern. As it turned out, my prey was playing Crows and Bats with Deep Song rush – a rush that can't be used against allies – and he was also playing cards that were delivering pool damage to the whole table, so aside from besting my allies in combat, he was nearly a perfect prey.
   For its predator, this deck hopes not to see fast stealth bleed. My only recourse in that case is to outrace them, and I did add a couple Archon Investigations and a Cry Wolf to slow them down in that eventuality. As it turned out, my predator had a bleed strategy with zero stealth, which was a very good situation for my deck, and I generally had Tupdogs ready to block when necessary.

We have your report of the final table in the November newsletter, but as for the whole tournament, how was it for you?
- The tournament overall was pretty fun, especially so because it was multideck. My first game was a 2-2 tie with Jay Kristoff, who is one of my favorite players and a great guy. I had played an experimental Dementation + Vicissitude deck and was pleased to have done that well at a pretty competitive table. I also got to test a new deck entitled "Dumpster Fire of Pure Hate" that features both Imbued and Emerald Legionnaire, and got 4 VP with it. I did test out the Tupdog Legionnaires in one of the early rounds. It was a more streamlined version than the one I played in the finals, and quickly swept the four-player table. All my preliminary games were played with different decks and took place over the course of several weeks, so prior to the finals, it had more of a league feel than a tournament feel, really. Good times.
Bill Troxel VTES end
Black Chantry are considering making tournament winning decks available as print-on-demand, and/or just print them as prizes. What do you think about that?
- I have received a physical copy of my tournament-winning deck as a prize from Black Chantry, and am completely elated. That many Tupdogs could be costly to collect! I think it makes a great prize for an online tournament, and I look forward to being able to use it in live play without proxies.
   As far as print-on-demand goes, unless everything is going print-on-demand, I think BCP would be wise to review tournament winning decks on a case-by-case basis rather than making them available as a rule. For example, consider that 45 Tupdogs is at least 5 more than my deck needs, if not 10 more. But since it was an online format, there was nothing to stop me from making the crypt 500 Tupdogs, and if I had, well, that's more of a single card than ever needs to be printed for any individual player.
   I really like what they did with the 25th Anniversary set, roughly basing it on a famous deck of Martin Weinmayer's, but also filling it out with important cards that new players would value more generally. Approximations or reimaginings of tournament winning decks might be a more optimal approach than boilerplating them, especially for the sake of neonate collections, but that's just my opinion.

Again, thanks for this interview, Bill. If anyone out there feels it would be fun to tell the community about one your your successful decks in an article like this one, please co+ntact the newsletter editor.

VTES Mexico 03

Some thoughts from Mexico:

As in any deck building game, in Vampire: The Eternal Struggle the designing a deck part is one of the most satisfying and playful parts of the game. Each player makes a plan of what their deck should do and how it should work, and when that plan works out it is very satisfying. At a competitive level, this is reflected in the fact that when we win a competition, our deck design will be published in the official channels of the game, joining the archive of tournament winning decks, the “TWDA”. With a bit of curiosity, when reviewing the list of winning decks, you will be able to recognize that there are many similar decks, this is because many players build their decks based on what we call an “archetype”.

If we understand that winning the game is about being the last player at the table, one of the safest ways to achieve this is through the archetype decks. These are decks that are classified into a specific type of proven and successful performance. All the preconstructed decks currently available to buy from Black Chantry Productions are based on a classic VTES archetype, including the five decks in the Fifth Edition box. For example, the Parliament of Shadows deck is a direct damage deck of the political Lasombra archetype, which ousts its prey through political actions. Among the most famous archetypes are the Malk´94 Malkavians, the Ventrue Lawfirm, the Toreador Grand Ball, the Tremere Wall of Auspex and the Nosferatu weenie-Animalism.

Of course, many players rely on these archetypes to build competitive and effective decks. However, there are no fool-proof decks in VTES. All decks have their pros and cons, and each player responds differently to those. Both when playing the archetypes and when playing against them, each player depends on their ability to adapt to the table. One of the things I like the most about VTES is that the decks don´t make the player. Picking an archetype deck does not guarantee success, and all make their own modifications. There are countless versions of the first Malk´94 deck to date, as each player customizes this archetype according to their play style, but they all follow the bleed scheme with stealth.

However, playing with archetypal decks is playing safe. Normally decks are more or less accessible to build, but with the current online gaming platforms, you can forget about the limitations of physical cards, so you can try any archetype (because even in dreams most of us will get 30 Tupdogs, for example), to see how it suits your style of play. Also, if you´ve been into VTES for a long time, you may want to try something that is different. There are still a lot of things to explore in VTES when it comes to deck building, and, truth be told, there are great new deck builders all over the world. By consulting the TWDA, you can see which clans have no or few winners and try to make a winning deck for that clan. Who knows, maybe one of your creations will end up becoming a new classic deck archetype ...

Eduardo García Ayala, @LaloVtes

For more on archetypes, check out previous newsletter articles (for example about the Goratrix wall) and also the great articles on VTES One.


A retrospect by Henrik Klippström.

February, lovely february! With a lack of new funny tournament winning decks, we continue to check out winning decks of the tournaments with most attendants of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, with some comments about how they would do today and what to maybe change.

VTES Decks February 01Year 2000
“Play the table” by Mike Perlman
Deck type: G1-2 royalty vote
Praxis Seizure: Columbia – Columbia, South Carolina, USA – February 19 – 15 players

2000 creator comments: “Use your predator (and any vote decks that are on the table) to damage your prey.  When in doubt, bleed at stealth.  Opportunistically steal a location.” (Short LSJ report available.)

Crypt (7)
2x Arika   11  DOM FOR OBF PRE aus cel   inner circle   Ventrue:2
2x Queen Anne   10  DOM FOR PRE aus obf   prince   Ventrue:2
2x Anson   8   CEL PRE aus dom   prince   Toreador:1
1x Lucian   10  AUS DOM OBF cel tha   justicar   Malkavian:1
1x Roxanne, Rectrix of the 13th Floor   9   AUS DOM FOR OBF pot   primogen   Malkavian:1
1x Spiridonas   9   DOM THA pot pre   prince   Tremere:2
1x Wilhelm Waldburg   9   DOM FOR PRE aus cel   prince   Ventrue:2
1x Emerson Bridges   8   DOM FOR PRE pot   prince   Ventrue:1
1x Gilbert Duane   7   AUS DOM OBF   prince   Malkavian:1
1x Greger Anderssen   7   AUS OBF dom pro   prince   Malkavian:2

Library (90)
1x Direct Intervention
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Effective Management
1x Elysium: The Arboretum
2x Hostile Takeover
1x Information Highway
1x Millicent Smith - Puritan Vampire Hunter
7x Minion Tap
1x Misdirection
1x Parthenon, The
1x Secure Haven
2x Sudden Reversal
2x Ventrue Headquarters

8x Fifth Tradition: Hospitality, The
3x Govern the Unaligned
6x Kine Dominance

1x Ancient Influence
3x Ancilla Empowerment
2x Kindred Restructure
1x Kine Resources Contested
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Rumors of Gehenna
1x Ventrue Justicar

2x Awe
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
6x Freak Drive
1x Kiss of Ra, The
4x Lost in Crowds
1x Telepathic Vote Counting

7x Deflection
1x Dread Gaze
4x Elder Kindred Network
6x Obedience
1x Redirection
6x Second Tradition: Domain

- Not really a tournament viable deck today, because it relies quite a lot on banned or nerfed cards: Fifth Tradition: Hospitality, Kindred Restructure and Hostile Takeover. But surprisingly no Parity Shifts!
- Cut down from 90 to 80-ish cards.
- Pretty master heavy, even if you switch Minion Taps for Villeins. Sure you have some MMPA providers, but can´t rely on getting them unless you run more. Millicent would go first.
- 6 Kine Dominance is funny, and might have worked better with those un-nerfed Fifth Traditions. Today switching 4-5 of them for Govern the Unaligned is good if you want to win.
- I would be tempted to run at least a couple of Cloak the Gathering, for those Obfuscate-lacking vamps, but it might be hard to fit.
- I guess Elder Kindred Network and Dread Gaze are metagame choices, they would go away in the cut normally.
- Running no combat defense except for Obedience is a calculated risk, but it usually works good.
- Roxanne can stay at the 13th Floor.

VTES Decks February 02Year 2005
“It´s true, I play Temptations and Condemnations” by Rafa Bonnin, played by Aldo Bosmn
Deck type: Setites & Huitzilopochtli stealth-bleed
Rol Tsunami – Barcelona, Spain – February 27 – 37 players

2005 comment: “Setite deck based on Huitzilopochtli with some Temptations to multi-act and to not pay the infernal trait of the boss, a few Condemnations to control your predator and a lot of bleed based on DOM.”

Crypt (12)
3x Huitzilopochtli   10  AUS DAI DOM OBF POT PRE   Baali:2
2x Khay'tall, Snake of Eden   9   DOM OBF PRE SER aus   Follower of Set:2
2x Count Ormonde   5   OBF dom pre ser   Follower of Set:2
1x Intisar   8   OBF PRE SER cel pot   Follower of Set:2
1x Qufur am-Heru   7   OBF PRE SER cel tha   Follower of Set:2
1x Sarrasine   7   OBF PRE aus nec ser   Follower of Set:2
1x Sir Marriot D'Urban   5   PRE aus obf ser   Follower of Set:2
1x Marciana Giovanni, Investigator 2   dom   Giovanni:2

Library (90)
3x Blood Doll
2x Direct Intervention
2x Dominate
3x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
3x Minion Tap
1x Opium Den
1x Temple Hunting Ground

5x Condemnation: Doomed
8x Govern, the Unaligned
6x Enchant Kindred
7x Temptation

8x Cloak the Gathering
4x Conditioning
4x Elder Impersonation
8x Lost in Crowds
4x Swallowed by the Night

4x Staredown

8x Deflection
2x Sense the Sin
6x Wake with Evening Freshness

- Cut down to about 76-80 cards. Removing 10 % in each category will work.
- Blood Dolls and Minion Taps should be Villeins. And while the old proverb goes “All good decks begin with skill cards”, I´m not sure those Dominate skill cards are worth it.
- Condemnation: Doomed is nice, but nice enough for 5? I think not. Same for Temptation, 7 is a bit much, especially if you cut down the deck a bit. It´s flexible though, and nice for Huitzy. Many think it’s too slow, but dropping some early ones on key vamps early will prove very rewarding later, even if you have nothing to grind off blood with. But be careful with cross-table targets, people tend to take it as a sign of hostility! :)
- Here we find a lot of those Cloak the Gathering I mentioned above, but here they´re not that needed. Switch two of those and two Lost in Crowds for just about any other stealth modifiers.
- Marciana, really? No.

VTES Decks February 03Year 2010
“Paella au d'Erlette” by Ignasi Vilagrasa, played by Jordi Tomás
Deck type: Nephandus-breed mash-up
Torneo en Badia – Barcelona, Spain - February 28 – 39 players

Scored 0.5 VP + 3 VP + 3 VP + 3.5 VP in final.

Crypt (12)
4x Antonio d'Erlette   5   THA dom for pot   Tremere antitribu:4
1x Cristos Mantigo   5   aus cel dom obf pre  Toreador antitribu:3
1x L'Épuisette   4   aus cel pro   Toreador antitribu:4
1x Loonar   4   PRE cel   Toreador antitribu:4
1x Sabrina   4   aus cel pre   Toreador antitribu:3
1x Jonathan Gursel   3   aus pre   Toreador antitribu:4
1x Monique Kim   3   aus cel   Toreador antitribu:4
1x Justine Chen, Innocent 2   pre   Toreador antitribu:4
1x Nicholas Chang   2   aus   Toreador antitribu:3

Library (72)
1x Anarch Troublemaker
2x Direct Intervention
1x Fortschritt Library
1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
4x Life in the City
1x Not to Be
3x Palla Grande
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Secure Haven

1x FBI Special Affairs Division
1x Slow Withering, The
2x Unmasking, The

1x Aranthebes, The Immortal
10x Art Scam
4x Embrace, The

1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Gregory Winter
6x Nephandus (Mage)
1x Ossian
1x Young Bloods

1x Heart of Nizchetus

6x Change of Target

4x Dodge
4x Target Vitals

7x Deflection
3x Delaying Tactics
4x On the Qui Vive

- If I recall correctly, this is the original, very innovative mash-up between the classic Toreador antitribu breed-bleed and the classic d'Erlette Nephandus deck, i.e., the two decks that later became the Black Chantry precons Libertine Ball and Pact with Nephandi.
- Ten Art Scams might seem a lot, but consider each one is another minion, and swarming is what this deck does.
- The Slow Withering is extremelly abusive, but of course, if you absolutely have to win, go ahead.
- Otherwise, not much to say. Seems fun, try it out!

VTES Decks February 04Year 2015
“Payload” by Matt Morgan
Deck type:
Northeast Regional Qualifier 2015 – Warwick, Rhode Island, USA – February 7 – 23 players

2015 creator comments (also in the decklist): “This deck originally had one Monastery of Shadows, but I must have moved it to another deck or something. Basically what you have here is an Edward Vignes deck where everybody costs 4 extra pool. The nice thing about all those titles is you can try to shut down bloat vote. Adding pool to the table is bad. I made this deck because I hadn't won a tournament with Ventrue yet (never had an Arika phase) and because I've lost my fear of being ousted and now just play a lot of offense. Haven't had a game go to time in quite a while.
     Anyway, the deck took 15 of 19 potential VPs all day, which might be a personal best. I let two get away in the first round because Peteo used some kind of mind control on me and convinced me he had wakes when he didn't. I then took 4 VPs on a pair of 5 player tables and swept the final, mostly by letting bad things happen to people who weren't me. All three of my preliminary rounds finished first and the final took around an hour.”

Crypt (13)
5x Mary Anne Blaire   10  AUS DOM FOR PRE ani pot   justicar  Ventrue:5
1x Johannes Castelein   9   DEM DOM FOR PRE   prince   Ventrue:4
1x Lodin (Olaf Holte)   8   DOM FOR PRE aus pro   prince   Ventrue:5
1x Joseph DiGiaccomo   6   PRE aus dom for   Ventrue:5
1x Mustafa, The Heir   6   FOR PRE cel dom   prince   Ventrue:4
1x Emily Carson   5   DOM for pre   primogen  Ventrue:5
1x Victor Pelletier   5   PRE cel dom for   Ventrue:4
1x Dr. Solomon Grey   2   dom pre   Caitiff:5
1x Jackson Asher   2   dom     Ventrue:4
"13 cards makes me feel better about not being crypt screwed and empirical evidence has supported that, but there's no real math behind it."

Library (69)
2x Anarch Troublemaker
1x Blood Doll
1x Ephor
1x Giant's Blood
1x Jake Washington
2x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Perfectionist
1x Ventrue Headquarters
3x Villein
2x Wider View
"Ephor is really just there for flavor, but has helped a little from time to time."

2x Entrancement
9x Govern the Unaligned
1x Judgment: Camarilla Segregation
2x Scouting Mission

1x Anarchist Uprising
2x Parity Shift
"I kept outsmarting myself and not being able to Parity Shift but having the most pool is a pretty good problem to have. I could see swapping a Parity Shift for Banishment. Great for dealing with the untapped bouncer."

5x Conditioning
1x Daring the Dawn
1x Enkil Cog
12x Freak Drive
2x Seduction
"Daring the Dawn was key in the final. Seduction is also very important. I got Enkil Cog out every time I drew it."

1x Force of Personality
"Haven't gotten this card to do anything useful for me."

10x Majesty

5x Deflection

- Yeah! This is my kind of deck, I even think I played a variant in a tournament once. And I think it´s still playable, at least if you aren´t playing in a meta with many wall decks, No Secrets from the Magaji, etc.
- Mary Anne Blaire is a great vampire, possibly a bit underplayed. Both her specials are fantastic. I love those hose early Govern-Freak-Scouting-Freak-special-rounds!
- I like both the ideas of adding a Monastery of Shadows (maybe for the Ephor) and switching the Parity Shifts (now nerfed) for Banishments.
- The deck seems very blood intensive, and I fear ending up with empty vampires, so consider adding Papillon, Uptown Hunting Ground and extra Perfectionists.
- It´s hard to know what to take out to make room, but I feel that one extra Daring and 1-2 Seductions more are needed, just in case you run into a wall deck. I almost always do in my cursed environment, hopefully you have more luck.
- I LOVE the offensive focus, but I could probably not resist adding at least one more bleed bounce and 1-2 wakes.


Black Chantry Productions logo

• Last month, 470 cards were added to the VTES Legacy Card Singles at There were some last minute technical problems with some of the cards, but now all have been fixed and are available for purchase. And more will come!

POD Drivethrucards VTES Feb 2021
• Round 2 of the current playtesting batch (four precons - Brujah, Gangrel, Banu Haqim and Ministry, plus the Fall of London set) has ended, and playtest coordinator Darby Keeney is preparing one of those very detailed, excellent playtest reports again. It will determine how many more rounds of playtesting, if any, are needed.

• Like mentioned above, Black Chantry tested a new thing and printed Bill Troxel's championship deck as a unique prize for him. It worked out nice, so we´ll see what happens in the future with similar ideas.

• Otherwise things continue as usual - Ben designs cards and decks, Henrik tries to manage marketing, Vincent templates cards and answers rules questions, Ginés commissions art and Hugh handles everything else that needs handling. If you have any feedback, please contact the company!VTES Fifth Edition content
BCP 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)

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.

Chapters preorder

• Third person eco terrorist mega mayhem "Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood" was released on February 4.

• Preorders for the story-driven board game "Vampire: The Masquerade - Chapters" from Flyos Games is now open!

• Paradox gave us some news on the very anticipated "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2". Unfortunatelly, there are more delays, but better have a truly great game later than a not so great game now, right? A bit more information was given in the World of Darkness News show.


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 V:EKN Event Calendar.


You can contact the VEKN Inner Circle members using contact forms at Also follow the VEKN Facebook group, the official VTES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official VEKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES

"Full effort is full victory."