file (TWD) Gamex #4: Gift of Sleep in Los Angeles, CA (May 29th, 2011)

06 Jun 2011 18:06 #4916 by TorranceCircle

The Banishment/Exile module is intended to eliminate bleed deflectors. It also provides a great deal of flexibility to deal with other situations, including players at the table whose pool management is entirely recursion-based (e.g., Villein + Lilith's Blessing) or handling players running 11/12-cap minions.


Um, how are you going to do that? Banishment targets younger vampires, and you have no skill cards in the deck. :huh:

You did read Exile, right? :)


Ah yes, should have done that! :laugh:
I was only thinking about the tap-effect of Exile.
However, this does not explain how Banishment is used against 11-12 caps...
I assume Banishment is not used to target those 11-12 caps, then? I must have misread the paragraph. :whistle:


Just wanted to say, I played against an earlier version of this deck. During the end game Darby exiled Lutz without any problems for the game win. I think he used Iniko, either way he did it without any difficulty. Exile is very good (as is Brutal Influence)and I think it might be a little overlooked. Maybe its the whole Orun thing that keeps the popularity down.

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14 Jun 2011 16:51 - 14 Jun 2011 16:54 #5130 by Yo_
Maybe not the right place but I did test the deck with some adjustements :

- 1 Reinforcement (don't like that card)
- 1 Heidelberg (not sure of the use there)
- 1 Heart of Cheating (because I was lazy to look after it :))

+ 3 Villein
+ 2 Enkil Cog (900$ anyone ?)

I did only one game but the deck did go all the way for 1GW4VP with casual bleeds for 8 to 10 :)

The Rutor's hand was amazing and absolutely essential, villein are ok but you prefer to run the Oruns asap. Enkil Cog never showed up but it's good in theory

Besides the brag, I feel I could not have handle a bleedy predator and it seems to me that Lost In Translation is not a good option.

I will definitely play it again as it is at least a truely playable orun deck !

Cheers

Yo
Last edit: 14 Jun 2011 16:54 by Yo_.

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14 Jun 2011 21:28 #5143 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple
Yo_

The Heidleburg is there because Eze invaribly runs low on blood in the mid-game, at which time you simply refill from a newly Brutally Influenced minion. Look, it's a fully functional wheel vampire again!

I also have added 2 Villien to the deck since the tournament. Heidleburg allows maximum pool recursion if needed, while still allowing the new vampire to function.

Heidleburg also moves Kduva's Mask around for bleeds, refills vampires that got worked over in combat somewhere along the line or maximizes the benefits of Voter Cap (gotta plan ahead for that one). I always find uses for it when it's in play.

Heart is more useful than the Rutor's if you can believe it. It maximizes Orun accumulation if you get it early, while allowing you to bury situationally unhelpful cards for potential use later.

If you have a bleedy predator, but not stealth, No Secrets solves the problem decently, if you can get it. Against stealth, the Banishments and Exiles generally point backwards to slow the predator's minion accumulation and bleed potential. Dealing with aggressive predation does slow down development, but it is not tantamount to death.

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14 Jun 2011 21:54 - 14 Jun 2011 22:03 #5145 by Izaak
Just genuinly wondering - how do you survive?

As an example, I was playing an Elimelech deck at the recent Belgian ECQ. The deck was kinda toolboxy, but it had Reunion Kamut, The Call, Deflections, Villeins and a lot of Freak Drives. Oh and Kindred Spirits too. In two of the three preliminaries I was below 8 pool (7 and 4 to be precise) before I even had Elimelech out. In both games I only survived because I could Villein like 7 blood off and start bloating with Reunion Kamut and the Call while fishing for deflections. If I wouldn't have had the Villein I'd just be out of the game before taking my second turn with a minion in play.

Does that never happen to you? Cos' it happens to me all the freaking time. For some reason my predators always bring up a random nerd with DOM or PRE and sink in a bleed for 5/6 when there's 5-8 counters on my first guy..

Looking at your deck, your defense seems kinda weak. With only two prayer copies of No Secrets they might as well be something else, especially since you have zero combat to back it up and they burn if someone plays a Lost in Crowds. You have no bounce nor Archon Investigation and your bloat is only two per turn and that's AFTER getting a bunch of Orun's on Eze, which will take a few turns. I mean sure, there's some votes, but again, it's only a few copies and I see cards like Ancient Influence and Political Stranglehold DI'd, DT's or voted down pretty much 100% of the time.

So really, just wondering because I like the deck, how on earth does it not just die before it has setup all the time?
Last edit: 14 Jun 2011 22:03 by Izaak.

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15 Jun 2011 05:48 #5160 by Ankha

As an example, I was playing an Elimelech deck at the recent Belgian ECQ. The deck was kinda toolboxy, but it had Reunion Kamut, The Call, Deflections, Villeins and a lot of Freak Drives. Oh and Kindred Spirits too. In two of the three preliminaries I was below 8 pool (7 and 4 to be precise) before I even had Elimelech out.

I always play some influence accelerators if my star vampire is a 10-cap. Dreams, Information Hi$ghway, PB:Montreal are great for this, and should allow you to get out quite often in 2 turns, ready to bounce bleeds.

Prince of Paris, France
Ratings Coordinator, Rules Director

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15 Jun 2011 19:50 #5193 by TryDeflectingThisGrapple
Izaak.

I'm glad you like the deck and I hope you can use it with a little success.

I spent quite a while on this response hoping to avoid being "preachy." Hopefully, I was successful. If not, oh well, I tried. The down side....it is danged long because it includes a lot of gameplay analysis from the LA Tournament.

Please remember that I had used this deck a grand total of ONCE before this tournament. I now have only FOUR games under my belt with it, with a 2-1-1 record. It's not like that's a large sample size....but it seems to win in my hands and you asked a series of question, so I'll try to answer honestly.

This deck does require finesse and a little luck. It's fragile during the first 4-5 turns. The newest version includes 2-3 Villein for the BI'ed vampires as a recovery tool, but it will still be fragile.

Does that never happen to you? Cos' it happens to me all the freaking time. For some reason my predators always bring up a random nerd with DOM or PRE and sink in a bleed for 5/6 when there's 5-8 counters on my first guy.

Sure, bad stuff like you describe happens. Plenty. To all of us.
In round 2 of this tournament, I contested Eze all the way to my last pool. Zero possibility of a win. That seem worse than being bled for 6 early?

In the finals, I had to play without Eze because the other Eze deck also made the finals. I can limp along without him, he couldn't. And yes, I got bled for 5 by a random [dom] nerd when there were 6 counters on Iniko.

Here's the corollary: Good things can happen too. Maybe last week, I sat behind your Elimelech deck while you were having the snot bled out of you. You get defensive, I get a free pass to build and focus on offense. I like that scenario.....a lot. But none of us ever seem to remember games like that.

I mean sure, there's some votes, but again, it's only a few copies and I see cards like Ancient Influence and Political Stranglehold DI'd, DT's or voted down pretty much 100% of the time.

That can happen, but it is hardly a justifiable reason for such high-powered cards to NOT be in a deck that is DESIGNED to play and pass them. Saying they are undependable for any of your reasons is like saying you should never push pre-flop with a pair of aces because someone will just draw out on you.

I believe Ancient/Reins are nearly self-passing, barring that vote ousting a player. Voters are typically large capacity vampires and want to leverage that size - they probably carry those cards themselves. The only reason they shouldn't want pass these is when playing it says "There's an oust coming, but you're not getting it."

I frequently pass those votes in my COMBAT decks with no titles in my play space.
Maybe my metagame is different. Maybe I choose to take these actions under different circumstances. Maybe I table-talk differently. Maybe I'm willing to Exile or rush a vampire (anywhere on the table) to get them to work if I really need it.

They come up pretty quickly in a 75 card deck, especially with so many trifles and the Heart of Cheating. If you tend to play 90 cards in a high-output design like this, you should reconsider.

That's why No Secrets is in there too. It's broken in certain situations. Not against minions that can play Lost in Crowds, but against Embrace hunts, Pander votes,
 bleeds, old school Ventrue Law Firm and a lot of other archetypes.  If you try to block [OBF] with a naked No Secrets, you deserve to lose it.

Just genuinly wondering - how do you survive?

Oh boy. Bear with me, this is where the post gets really long as we go into all the little things that allow me to survive. You're not going to buy into all of the things I have to say, pick and choose what makes sense - then TRY THEM when you play the deck.

[SOAPBOX MODE]
At its core, V:tES is largely a game of rock-paper-scissors. In large part, results are dictated by the how your deck archetype interacts with those of your predator, prey and grandpredator (in order of decreasing importance).

Actual game-play or less-than-catastrophic variance in deck performance is less important than the initial unveiling of decks.

Therefore, one's best course of action inside any individual game is to counteract unfavorable rock-paper-scissors results.
[/SOAPBOX MODE]

Maybe it's just that I make those adjustments rapidly. Maybe I just get lucky. I'll tell you what I did during the tournament, you can compare that to how you would approach the situation.

SPECIFIC ANSWERS:

1) JUST DIE SOMETIMES.
Sometimes I'm just gonna lose that rock-paper-scissors game so badly that I can't recover. It's bad if I get chump bleed/voted for 20 before Eze comes up. I probably see that coming early and pull off Eze, making my predator waste a few more cards to work through all 30 pool.

Or I contest Eze with my prey until I die. Done. Time to go be a toaster in Battlestar:Galactica

If I were less willing to lose, I would only play decks that I know are completely, utterly, twistedly overpowered compared to this one. I assumed higher risk once when I designed this deck and again when I chose to play it. It's the price of being one of the cool kids that didn't play [DOM] this tournament and I accept that.

So far, it's not been a problem. That might change next week at the Week of Nightmares. Yes, I'll play this sometime during the week, the deck is too fun not to use. Stay tuned for results.

2) GET GOOD SEATING (see the soapbox)
This is largely luck, but sometimes choice. I got to choose seating in the finals by virtue of a 1st round sweep (again, fairly lucky seating and some ::ahem:: pretty imaginative midgame gymnastics). That allowed me to set the pred/prey/gradpred relationship to my liking.

Without that advantage, my probability of loss in the finals skyrockets.
I specifically chose to sit in front of the only [DOM] deck at the table, even though I knew he would have a bleed predator to bounce at me. I knew something about how the [DOM] deck played. I also knew that the bounced bleeds would be zero-stealth and come late in the game.

I ate that Govern + Condition (5 bleed) before Iniko came up, but I had calculated for that possibility when I selected seating. Not to say I was happy about it, but I figured eating an early 3-5 bleed was probable.

3) SLOW DOWN AND THINK AFTER YOUR PREY'S TURN. THEN THINK AGAIN BEFORE STARTING YOURS.

With only big vampires and a small library, each action is critical. I try to think about more than just what I have in hand or might draw. Since I didn't have Eze's 2-3 actions per turn during the final, the importance of each of my actions was increased at least 2-fold compared to normal, maybe as much as 3-fold. I knew I would cycle few cards and be overall less effective. So it behooved me to carefully consider things every time the situation changed.

How can I perform this action to either flow my hand if needed, or conserve resources if needed?

How likely is my prey to attempt a block on this particular Brutal Influence? Does that worry me?

If I pull pool from an uncontrolled minion this turn, is my prey is less likely to block the next Brutal Influence? Do I think I will care at that point? Might 1-2 block attempts (or tapped minions from blocks) be to my advantage somehow?

If I really need to convince my prey that Brutal Influence is about pool (this time), maybe I should target a vampire with no blood instead of one with 4 when I announce the action.

How useful is this Banishment/Exile compared to other things I might do (including nothing)? Does playing it now make me appear too much of a threat before I am ready to lunge? Does this table even care about such things? Does this level of concern change my first targeting choice?

Is action "X" worth the risk of eating a 0-stealth
 or [DOM] bleed?  If I've got a Majesty in hand, is there ANYTHING that could make the action worth the risk of eat TWO bleeds like that?  If I don't act now , will I be faced with the same decision on my next turn, and then the next?

You might think I'm making all this up. Or I might be lying about having thought about this stuff in real-time.

Heck no. I considered every one of these things during either game 1 or 3. If you aren't thinking this kind of stuff, you are less likely to win with this type of deck when crunch time hits.

There are a few large decisions each game, and a lot of tiny decisions. There is uncertainty associated with each. When I'm playing a well-considered game, a higher percentage of those decisions turn out favorably.

4) PLAY THIS DECK AS CONSERVATIVELY/DEFENSIVELY AS POSSIBLE.
This deck does not just sit around waiting for a sign that reads "ORUN CRITICAL MASS ACHIEVED. BANISH/BLEED SEQUENCE ACTIVATED!" I think that's where people sometimes miss the boat. I try to not bleed for more than 2 until I can attempt an oust with a high probability of success.

In the finals, I could afford to be slow because there were no real early-moving bleed cannons on the table.

I spent only NINE pool on vampires. Everything else was covered by Brutal Influence and I made sure to pull 2 back every turn unless that pool created a vampire.

I intentionally floated my pool outside the range where the Tremere might be tempted to make tap out in an ill-conceived lunge (or worse yet, actually oust me). I tried to stay between 12-14 pool, though I did dip some during the last 15 minutes.

I didn't stupidly tap out in front of [DOM] unless it bought a minion after I pulled 2 pool off.

I selectively blocked with Majesty in hand for riskless defense (no risk of Grapples.)

5) CREATE TIME TO PLAY.
In game 1, my Kiasyd prey was looking at 2 VP very, very fast. Basically, he did to his prey what you describe as your typical tournament experience, stripping a Villein with Revelations in the process.

I immediately spoke with my [POT] rush predator and told him I could slow my prey down. He said he would lay off me and bloat while I slowed the table threat.

Smart long-term play with a combat deck. He knew that rushing forward wouldn't oust me quickly. It would let the Kiasyd completely off the hook with sufficient momentum for a 2nd VP, at which time he gets to deal with it. Bad moon rising.

My predator's goal was to let me spend pool, maybe stop/slow the Kiasyd, then see what happened as the table to 3-4 players. He didn't even rush upstream, since he didn't want to make it too easy for the Kiasyd as it came around the corner.

All because we talked for 15 seconds after the Kiasyd's 3rd turn.

I pushed as hard as I could during the window between turns 3 and 6. Honestly, I playing to have a chance in the 3 player after the Kiasyd ousted 2 people. Instead, I hit some pretty interesting combos and actually ousted the Kiasyd in turn 6 (without bleeding for more than 2).

In the finals, there were times when I Banished/Exiled my predator's sole untapped [dom] minion to create space for my grandpredator to bleed. Pressure on my predator creates space for me to play.

In the end of that game, I got even more space when the Tremere lunged and couldn't finish me. I might have Exiled back yet again. From there, he had to shell up, even asking for my votes on a Con Boon in exchange for not bleeding. I knew he didn't have the oust at that point, but him having a bit more pool created more breathing room in the long run, so I was for it.

So many ways to make space, but yes, almost all of them required not having a rampant, bleed-hungry, relentless predator. At which point, I would Banish/Exile exclusively backwards and choose between pulling off uncontrolled minions (vs. stealth bleed) and buying new minions with trying to get No Secrets(vs. swarm bleed).

6) WAIT FOR AN OPENING WHILE YOU DIAL IN A HAND.
There were SO many instances of this during my games. And this is hard to do, but it pays off.

In game 1, I got cross-table Sense Depped following that first oust. Then I ate 4 or more rushes. I Majestied my way free of some of it, but made one poor choice and lost a vampire while trying to free Eze from the Sense Dep. I hung in there as the rush deck ran low on "enter combat" (thankfully, he hadn't opted to influence Beast because of the way transfers added up).

That gave me a brief window to use some cards I stored up. I Oruned my sole useable EMPTY minion, played Heidleburg and moved 4 blood from Sense Depped Eze to that minion. Now it sure isn't going to hunt. I use my 5 Orun, stored Exile and Strange Day on the 10 cap Ravnos responsible for the Sense Dep. That play was the pivotal move in the game, all made possible by being able to wait for an opening. Eze immediately Banished and bled out the player weakened by the Kiasyd, then I swept up.

In the finals, while my predator was overextending, my prey pushed himself all the way down to 11 pool WITHOUT ME TAKING ANY REAL ACTIONS AT HIM. I have Brutal Influence, Strange Day, Force of Personality, Iron Glare and Approximation of Loyalty sitting in hand. That's a 5 card combo for 11 bleed at his 11 pool, unblockable, canceling a bounce.

Opportunity knocks, but I don't even answer. Why not? What if my [AUS] prey has both Telepathic Misdirection and Enemy's Enemy in hand? I blow my 1-shot kill and oust my PREDATOR, giving the tournament win to my grandpredator. Better to wait if I can, see if the game is going to time (a win for me) and decide later with more information.

I also know my grandpredator has been holding Reins of Power for the last 30 minutes. He can't call it unless it gives him an oust and a good shot at me that same turn. See, I get to select a huge (Orun stacked on Iniko), giving me either an immediate oust, or easy meat on my turn.

In the end, that game went to time. If I had one more active turn, I would have been forced to take the shot at my prey and see what happened. Pool totals would have been too low to wait longer.

SUMMARY:
Look at all this on paper and it's pretty friggin' bad.

- no Eze,
- bled early,
- bleeding and bouncing predator with bleeding grandpredator,
- blocking/bouncing prey with non-bounce grandprey.

But all the things I did, including playing carefully and throwing Giant's Blood on the crosstable Eze, accumulated to set up a winnable scenario.

You asked, I answered. Careful what you ask for next time :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mephistopheles, Disco_Stu, KevinM, Yo_

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