The best places to get cards are DriveThruCards (print-on-demand) and online and local retailers.
It’s also common practice for players with large collections to set aside cards to give or sell cheaply to new players. Don’t be shy in asking if anyone has done this – VTES players are well known for their generosity, and there isn’t much we like more than seeing new players enjoy the game. Sometimes the best option is to buy a former player’s collection – these occasionally pop up on ebay, and they tend to give you the best value for your dollar, assuming that you are willing to spend a lot of money all at once. People also occasionally sell collections on the VTES Swap & Sale International Facebook group.
If you are looking to purchase card bundles, boxes of boosters or starter decks, you will first want to identify which sets you want to purchase. A guide on all sets, how good they are for beginners, and where to buy them is available here. One note of caution: the Nights of Reckoning set is cheaply and easily available, but it introduces a new self-contained mechanic to the game that is not supported by any other set. I highly recommend staying away from this set until you are quite experienced with the game. Once you know what sets you want to buy, you can check out these merchants:
- Hill’s Wholesale Gaming
- Noble Knight Games
- Potomac Distribution
- Rose Tatu Productions
- Universal Cards
There are also a number of merchants who sell individual cards – you will find that most cards are quite cheap (several for a dollar), but a few are quite rare and can be more expensive. Below is a short list of recommended retailers who sell single VTES cards and where they are based (those marked with an * have cheap international shipping).
- *Bik’s Ebay Store (Czech Republic)
- CCG GAMEZ (UK + Europe)
- House Antreides (UK)
- *Idasoft’s Ebay Store (Australia)
- Midnight Sun V:TES Store (Norway)
- *Rick’s Jyhad and VTES Ebay Store (US)
A great place for new players to start is Rose Tatu Productions – they offer starter decks from the Black Hand and Third Edition sets very cheaply. Decide which set of clans you like best (both sets feature Malkavian Antitribu and Tremere Antitribu; Black Hand also includes Nosferatu Antitribu and Toreador Antitribu, while Third Edition adds Brujah Antitribu and Tzimisce), and buy the appropriate Play Group Support Kit. For $60, you get 1 of all four starter decks and 400 support cards that you won’t find in the starters. If you want to spend a little more money, you could also purchase Blood Shadow Court (a single pack of 100 unique vampires). If you really wanted to go all out, you could get a support kit for both Black Hand and Third Edition along with a couple Blood Shadow Court. This would provide you with a really nice base of vampires and a lot of library cards that would go together nicely. It’s an excellent way to start your collection and really dive into the game, and it will run you less than $150.
A last important note is that many play groups allow the use of proxy cards (a printed piece of paper covering a normal card inside a card sleeve) for causal games. This can be a great way to experiment with cards that you don’t own before investing in them. Check with your play group to see what their feelings are on proxied cards.